Ubiq’s Philly cheesesteak sneaker has almost sold out

It’s a Diadora N9000, but the appeal is decidedly local.

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Cassie Owens/Billy Penn
Cassie Owens, Reporter/Curator

If you’d like to order the “Wiz Wit,” Ubiq, the Philly men’s urban fashion brand, has specific instructions.

Or perhaps it’s better to say had. In less than two weeks, their “Wiz Wit” sneaker has nearly sold out. Created through a collab with Italian sports apparel brand Diadora, this spin on the N.9000 sneaker pays tribute to cheesesteaks. See the textural difference in fabric between the toe box and the upper? It’s like that because, as every Philadelphian knows, a cheesesteak roll has to be sturdy, but softens on the inside with the meat and the grease.

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Cassie Owens/Billy Penn

Jose Gaffney, who works stock at Ubiq, told Billy Penn they’ve got maybe three pairs left. Aside from the 10 in mens in the window, the last units are in smaller women’s sizes.

At the Jan. 28 launch party, they had shirts too, but all the clothing has sold out. A Wit-Out order meant just the shoes. Wit meant the shoes and a shirt, but you had say which of the shirts you wanted, the Cheez Wiz version (black) or the American (white).

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Ubiq

Orders came with stickers, condiment containers for laces, packaged with paper wraps, and handed off white paper bags— you know the ones.

“Keeping with the Philly vibe, nothing’s overly precious,” said Kelton Bumgarner, creative manager at Ubiq. “You get it in your cheesesteak bag.”

Bumgarner said they’ve done other Philly-themed custom shoes, like their patriotically colored version of the New Balance 1600s, “the Benjamin.”

Their new shoe with Diadora is handmade from leather and suede. When asked if they’d partnered with a local cheesesteak shop too, Bumgarner raises his eyebrows and hands. He answers carefully: “We didn’t want to take side in this.” Their aim was to present the shoe and and invite people to share where they eat their favorite steaks. Steve’s was popular response they heard, so those were steaks they served at the launch.

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Cassie Owens/Billy Penn

The shoe retails for $200. The sneakers left are available at their Walnut Street store and their DC location.

Bumgarner is glad the cheesesteak sneaks are finally a real item: “Being in Philly, we always wanted to do this very Philly thing.”

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Cassie Owens/Billy Penn

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