Sneakers Were Sporting Equipment
If you wanted a pair of sneakers in 1992, you went to a sporting goods store. And why not? Sneakers were sporting goods, just like baseball gloves or tennis racquets. Running shoes were primarily for runners, tennis shoes were primarily for tennis players. People were wearing them to make fashion statements, sure, but they were still being sold as utilitarian products. Hence the lack of retro products — wasn't the newest one the best? Why would you want an old sneaker? And the idea of a "sneaker boutique" was ludicrous. Were there baseball bat boutiques? Exactly.