Reebok is celebrating the 25th birthday of the Ventilator runner and New Jersey's Packer Shoes is the latest member of the Certified Network to join the victory parade. Here’s the first pics of Packer’s sun-drenched Ventilators, which form the summer component of their upcoming 'Four Seasons' collection with Reebok. Mike Packer’s family goes back several generations in the shoe business, so who better to ask about the legacy of this classy Reebok runner?
You've been around the sneaker business long enough to remember the Ventilator when it first came out. Not many retailers can say that.
It’s crazy, but I do remember it hitting the store. The Ventilator is an integral part of Reebok's history. It's also part of Reebok’s amazing run with technology when they developed things like Hexalite and the Energy Return System (ERS). That's what comes to mind when I think of the shoe. Plus it's from the brand's heyday, when they had the Freestyle, Phase One and their amazing basketball range like the Pump. Look at the runners from that era like the Sole Trainer, ERS 5000, Racer-X and Inferno, they all came out along with the Ventilator back in the early-90s. That was the golden period for Reebok.
How'd you approach doing your version as part of the Certified Network?
We wanted to do something that conveyed that ‘summer’ feeling, something simple that you could easily wear with a pair of khakis. When it came time to create our design, we knew this would be part of a larger project that we were thinking about with Reebok under the 'Four Seasons' banner, something that we've always wanted to do using a bunch of different silhouettes. The ‘summer’ shoe had to be the Ventilator, because it has that famous see-through mesh and a lightweight feel is perfect for the hotter months. It came out great, we’re really happy with it.
The materials are interesting, definitely some subtle textures.
We used ballistic mesh and some open mesh. We used pig skin suede which brought the whole design together. But we still wanted to give it something extra, because at the end of the day, it's a very simple looking shoe, but we wanted to add just a hint of texture with the detailing. So we used an ostrich-type leather, which is something we've never used before at Packer, and we also used croc on the heel to give it that simple yet 'Oh shit!' factor!
The Packer Shoes x Reebok Ventilator ‘Summer’ will be arriving at Packer Shoes in Teaneck and via Reebok Certified Network accounts on the 13th of June. Stay tuned to Sneakerfreaker.com for the latest Reebok Ventilator news and release details!