January 28, 2014 BY Aaron Kr. / 3
If you’ve been immersed in the sneaker world since 2004, you know that the last ten years may as well have been fifty in terms of the changes in the dynamics of the game. The sneaker culture has exploded from a guarded subculture to an all-welcoming mainstream affair and the whos, whats, and hows of sneaker consuming have all evolved drastically along the way. Trends, brands, and retailers have all come and gone, and although today’s landscape may appear quite different from a decade ago, there are a few institutions that have weathered all the storms and endured to stand the test of time.
Mike Packer will be the first to tell you that people thought he was crazy when he told them he was opening up a boutique sneaker shop in suburban Bergen County, New Jersey. Despite its stone’s throw proximity to New York City, Teaneck seemed like another universe from the Lower Manhattan scene that had become the epicenter for all things cool in the sneaker sphere. Why would anyone go all the way out to Jersey for shoes with the wealth of juicy options scattered within a few blocks of each other in the Big Apple?
Now ten years later, almost all of those revered Downtown spots are gone and Packer Shoes is still going strong. The thing that initial skeptics had underestimated was that the thirst for sneakers permeated far beyond its perceived urban demographic and
people from all over were trying to get their hands on the good stuff through eBay and other online channels. Packer planted their flag in unclaimed territory offering a brick and mortar alternative to the often unfriendly “too cool” vibe that you’d get in the City shops and it took no time at all for the word to spread and the store to thrive.
The customers were there from day one – from the local regulars to out-of-towners who would journey from far and wide. Especially before limited editions and quickstrikes were so widely available, people would travel from up and down the East Coast and even across international waters to visit the shop and get their hands on some hard to find gems. Now in celebration of their tenth year in Teaneck, Packer Shoes is paying tribute to all the loyal customers who have found their way to the store time after time with the “All Roads Lead to Teaneck” Asics Gel-Kayano Trainer.
Compared to the original Packer Shoes location opened in Yonkers in 1907 by Mike’s grandfather and his brother, the Teaneck store is still a baby, but nowadays, ten years in the sneaker retail business makes you the bona fide OG on the block. Packer will be celebrating their milestone anniversary with special projects and releases all year long, beginning with the Kayano and its appreciative nod back to the store’s faithful supporters. Continue on for more on the shoes and watch out for them hitting Packer Shoes in-store and online this Friday, January 31st.