NYC Sneaker Stores
by Jared Flint, 08/28/2013
Photo: Alexander Thompson
Alife Rivington Club
158 Rivington St., 212-432-7200, Lower East Side, Manhattan
Back in the heyday of sneaker collecting (let's call that 2002–2007), walking into now-defunct outlets like Clientele and Recon/Nort, or even Supreme, wasn't exactly a study in stellar customer service. But at the end of the day, you could try on sizes and still not buy anything without feeling uncomfortable. Then there was Alife. It was always intimidating being buzzed in through its door; then again, there was a fair chance you’d stumble into an impromptu Wu-Tang concert in the courtyard, so the shop earned its exclusivity. Today you're less likely to luck out and see Staten Island's finest in action, but the store's eponymous line of sneakers stacks up nicely against any product from Nike, Converse or Vans. Alife has remained independent and grown in a way that emphasizes its downtown roots. Go today, get buzzed in and have a true NYC shopping experience.