"Hey, Zuzi and Jan, what is the coolest thing we can buy here in Prague?”
We get that a lot during our Prague food tours. And we do have suggestions that we like: instead of the tacky tchotchkes they sell around the Charles Bridge, we like things that mean something to us as Prague locals and that would normally go unnoticed by foreign visitors.
Our most common suggestion? Easy: the Czech Botas 66 sneakers. Virtually the only brand of sneakers available when we grew up in the 80s (yes, it was so hard being cool at that time), the Botas have now been slowly becoming the local hipster favorite since about five years ago when two design students came up with the idea to brush up the 1966 model and turn it into a street style fashion statement. Today they are one of the most popular sneakers around here.
Now, we have a confession to make: Jan was suggesting them on almost every occasion but did not actually own a pair until about a month ago when he finally opted for the “track” model that is based on the 1980s running model. The model he chose (and which is pictured above) is called “Insane Track” (or “clown shoes”, as the baristas at EMA Espresso Bar dubbed them). They are still hand-made here in the Czech Republic and they allegedly retained all the original suppliers, so it’s still the “Eastern block” sneaker. They are fairly light and very comfortable.
OK, and now for the details:
How much are they?
The prices start at about EUR 50 and never go beyond EUR 75.
Where can I get them?
That’s a tricky one. Botas did close its central concept shop about a year ago and hasn’t found a replacement location since. JB Sport at Dlazdena 3 street in the centre has a small selection. If you want to see the full assortment, you’d have to travel a bit out of the centre to Artis-Botas Praha at Radlicka 11 street (tram 7 or 10 from Andel subway stop to Braunova stop). Finally, they do sell online within the EU (visit their online shop here). If you want to have them delivered to your hotel, why not? (Jan bought them online, too. Their fit is a bit tight so if you are in between regular sizes, he recommends you get the bigger one).
May 2014 update:
Botas 66 finally has a designated store! (And a really cool one at that.) You can find it at Krizkovskeho 18 street on the border of the Vinohrady and Zizkov districts very near the TV Tower. Visit their website for further details.