Salvin Shoes has been a family-owned mainstay of Hartford, Conn. since 1927. That’s over 75 years in the shoe business. Starting off as a mom-and-pop operation, the store initially featured more traditional footwear. (After all, high tops hadn’t really arrived yet in the Roaring Twenties.)  Over time, though, it has grown to include an inventory of some of the hottest athletic shoes around.

“We’ve tried to evolve and change with the business,” says the store’s manager and buyer, Bobby Alves, who also notes that Salvin now has second and third generations of customers patronizing it. But the clientele isn’t only locals—the store has become a frequent stop for UConn basketball players and Trinity College students alike.

While Bobby himself has a personal repertoire of about 50 pairs of kicks—a very modest size as far as sneaker collecting goes—he doesn’t get tied down by any of them. His mantra is: “Buy now; Wear now; Give them away”—not a surprising attitude coming from a guy who’s always done things a little differently for his whole life.

For more of Bobby’s thoughts on the footwear business, and his all-time personal favorite kicks, be sure to watch the newest episode of FILA’s Rise of the Independents above.