Soccer leagues have kicked off across the city and that means it’s new-boot season for thousands of New Yorkers. Sure, you can buy from Soccer.com or Amazon, but nothing beats browsing irl.
Especially since soccer shops look like Spongebob the Musical.
About 90% of the boots are neon, the balls are Patrick Star pink and there are more bright yellow kits dominating the racks than ever.
I went neon soccer shopping today because I needed a new pair of turf shoes to handle both the spongy, rubber-tire turf at Brooklyn Bridge Pier 5 and the sandy concrete at Grover Cleveland Park in Ridgewood.
I was headed to Modell’s in Astoria, when I noticed A&K Sports, a narrow soccer shop on Steinway Street. A&K gets no love online — every search for soccer shops in the Astoria area yields results for a few Modell’s and a bunch of Upper 90 boutiques throughout the city.
But the store has good prices and a great selection — I ended up buying a pair of Nike Tiempo X Mystic V turf shoes for $55 (They’re usually $85 + tax).
Best of all, A&K is a beautiful store.
“This is the most colorful place I’ve ever seen,” my wife said as we scanned the shelves and thumbed through the jerseys.
I picked out a few pairs of black Nikes that look like old man loafers until I finally asked for her input. She plucked the Tiempo X Mystic shoe off the wall and handed it to me. They’re a good way for me to get my feet wet in the neon game — I’m still not ready to go all in on incandescence, but these shoes do offer a strip of radiant green on the heel.
A few hours later, I slid them on, laced them up and headed to the park near my apartment to play. I felt the same way I did strapping on a new pair of Lottos when I was 14 — like a pro.