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You can't talk about sneaker culture in New York without mentioning ALIFE. The company's been in the game for close to 15 years, supplying only the best footwear to sneakerheads and streetwear enthusiasts from its Rivington Club store on the Lower East Side. For everything ALIFE has done for the culture, we ranked the shop #2 on our list of The 10 Most Influential Sneaker Boutiques of the Past 10 Years.

ALIFE is not only a shop, it's a cultural hub where like-minded individuals can come together. The Rivington Club store has an outdoor courtyard that has hosted concerts from the likes of Nas, John Mayer, and Drake. This past summer, the space was even used as a World Cup viewing experience. And when the courtyard isn't playing host to a special event, employees would use the space when the shop closes for the day to shoot on a miniature basketball hoop.

Taking the concept to another level, ALIFE decided to fully leverage the outdoor space and build out a real basketball court. The updated spot was recently previewed on Instagram and will be open in October for everyone to experience—friends, families, and customers. For a shop that's been rooted in lifestyle, it's a different angle, but one that makes complete sense.

"We aren’t shifting our buying strategy to performance basketball, necessarily. But performance matters, performance breeds innovation," said Treis Hill, a partner at ALIFE. "Jordans were innovative. KDs are innovative. Innovation is progression, and from the results of those advances our culture embraces those changes into their lifestyle."

Shoppers will be encouraged to wear-test a pair of sneakers they're interested in copping to experience how the shoes feel and perform under real wear. It's an on-site concept that's rare for boutiques and even large chain stores.

ALIFE is showing no signs of ever slowing down and just keeps getting better and better, staying ahead of the curve and pushing the culture.

[via alifenewyork]