Best Kicks 2023 | Many Worlds | Goods & Services | Phoenix

An awesome pair of sneakers is the pièce de résistance of many an outfit. If your kicks wardrobe needs some updating, we suggest a trip to Many Worlds. The sleek, minimalist space holds a dizzying assortment of mid- to high-end sneakers from brands such as Nike and Adidas. But Many Worlds isn't just the place you go to buy your kicks; it's also the place to keep them looking their best. Inside the space is Reshoevn8r, a business that offers shoe-cleaning services and sells products for you to take care of your sneakers at home. Many Worlds also sells a few T-shirts and other clothing items, keeping you looking fresh from head to toe.

The love of the desert shines through in everything Keep Nature Wild, a Phoenix-based clothing label, sells and does. "I'd Hike That" shirts, caps embroidered with desert plants and "Keep Arizona Wild" stickers are all well-made and stylish. But the folks at Keep Nature Wild do more than just sell cool nature-themed stuff. They've made a commitment to pick up a pound of trash for every product sold, an undertaking that has removed more than 1 million pounds of garbage from the environment so far. If you want to get in on the good work, you can join them for one of their cleanup events, or you can purchase a Keep Nature Wild cleanup kit; they include gloves and trash bags so that you can make a difference on your next hike.

When Macklemore was singing about thrift shops, we think White Dove Thrift Shoppe must have been his inspiration. The four Valley locations are full of treasures and finds from someone's wealthy grandpa and grandma, and you're guaranteed to find some hidden gems here, sometimes even designer or brand-new. Unlike other greedy corporate stores (we're looking at you, Goodwill), prices are affordable and proceeds go to Hospice of the Valley, Arizona's largest nonprofit organization, rather than some CEO's salary. Whether you're looking to furnish your home with real artwork or adorn your neck and earlobes with fancy jewelry, you'll probably find what you want at White Dove Thrift Shoppe's clean, organized stores. Keep an eye out for their clearance days, too — up to 75% off certainly might make you say, "It was 99 cents."

There are many wonderful things about the long temperate season in Phoenix, one of which is our abundance of local outdoor markets. Farmers markets and flea markets are popular, but once a month in the Melrose District, vendors get together to host a fun and funky vintage market. Many of the vendors sell colorful midcentury finds that match the neighborhood vibe. There are booths selling clothes, jewelry, house decor, vinyl records and some snacks. The market is also dog-friendly, so even if you don't find anything to buy, you can still hang out with the friendly neighborhood pups. This Sunday morning market pops up fall through spring.

The Melrose District, a stretch of Seventh Avenue between Indian School and Camelback roads, has long been the home of antique shops. But what makes Sweet Salvage unique is that it is only open for one long weekend each month. During the rest of the month, stylists and treasure hunters gather goods, spruce them up and create elaborate displays for the next market. Each month has a different theme to match the season, meaning you're likely to find something totally different each time you visit. On one visit, take home a comfortable leather chair to complete your reading nook. The next time, you might find a one-off piece of artwork to hang on the wall or maybe a vintage necklace, an old baseball glove or a Christmas ornament. The fun is in the unknown, so we suggest visiting with an open mind, an empty trunk and a spare hour or so to see what you can find.

Some people look forward to Christmas each year, or their birthday, or the start of football season. We mark our calendar for a weekend in February, because that's when the VNSA Used Book Sale comes around. For two days, bibliophiles and book dealers from around the country head to the Arizona State Fairgrounds to browse hundreds of thousands of books, DVD, CDs, records, games, puzzles and more. Prices are fairly reasonable and get even better on Sunday, when whatever's left over is half price. There's no cost to get into the building, although the fairgrounds do charge to park. Proceeds from the event benefit a rotating list of local charities, which helps us justify leaving the sale each year with a shopping cart full of stuff.

When you walk into Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix, you're greeted by friendly staff, tables of fiction and nonfiction bestsellers and, of course, the hard-to-miss First Draft Book Bar. You can grab a book, sip some wine, visit with fellow readers and writers and move about the aisles discovering your next compelling read. Both Changing Hands Bookstores welcome guest authors, hold workshops and have book clubs every month. The vibe in both locations is one of community and open exchange of ideas. The Tempe location has been a Valley mainstay for 50 years, and with the addition of the Phoenix location in the last nine years, we're all lucky to have two Changing Hands outposts to find just the right read.

Bibliophiles and bookworms of the Valley, you've got a new favorite haunt: Books on 7th Ave is a hidden gem that's off the beaten path but well worth seeking out. Tucked into an out-of-the-way Sunnyslope building marked with the word "BOOKS," the focus of the long-running retailer is as straightforward as its signage. Inside are row after endless row of towering bookshelves boasting every kind of title imaginable. Fiction and nonfiction. Paperbacks and hardcovers. Recent releases and out-of-print gems. There's also an extensive collection of true crime tales, a bounty of biographies, dozens of romance novels and pulp-filled sections of sci-fi and fantasy. Owner Mary Anne Ramirez, who founded the business in 1990, keeps the store's 200,000-plus books organized with assistance from family members and an amiable staff. They're happy to help you find something or just let you browse aimlessly for hours while exploring every nook and cranny. If you've got the time, they've got the tomes.

Bookstores that offer refreshments aren't anything new. But there's something special about Grassrootz Bookstore & Juice bar in Central Phoenix. Grassrootz is a Black-owned business, and the solid selection of new and used books cover topics like hip-hop culture, Black history and fiction by Black authors. The reading area with comfortable chairs and coffee-table books beckons visitors to sit for a while and flip through a tome while relaxing with a beverage such as a cup of coffee or a bottle of locally made juice (the pineapple ginger lemonade is a favorite). But in addition to the books, drinks and art for sale, Grassrootz is a place for the community; the store hosts everything from children's storytimes and live music events to lectures and the popular Chessmaster Sundays.

Shopping for vinyl records is a fun hobby for some folks. Others — well, let's call them what they are: obsessed — will spend hours digging to find treasures from coveted collectibles to quirky surprises. Whichever camp you're in, The 'In' Groove is a place where you can do some hunting. The shop's inventory includes an ever-revolving rotation of new and used records in numerous genres and all price points. There are four-figure gems behind the counter, but we like to shop the crates on the ground underneath the bins, where used records in less-than-pristine condition can be had for a song. The 'In' Groove is our favorite Record Store Day destination; they open early and stock all the offerings. Beyond records, the store also offers a selection of equipment, like turntables and speakers, and you can check out their stock online if you prefer to shop without leaving home.

Best Of Phoenix®

Best Of