It’s been close to 10 years since Michael Jordan played in the NBA, but the brand born and bred by nike is far from retirement. Air Jordan sneakers are infamous for the hype, high price, and high demand surrounding them. No matter how slightly they tweak the shoes, people will pay, and they will wait to pay.
The most recent release of the Air Jordan Retro 11s, had the country’s sneaker buffs in a frenzy. On Friday December 21, the shoes were released in the black/varsity red-white color pattern worn by Jordan during Chicago’s 1995 – ’96 season when the Bulls went 72-10, and MJ snatched his fourth championship ring. In other words, for Jordan sneaker fanatics, these shoes are a huge deal.
Lines formed outside retailers countrywide, and as always, unruly crowds were an issue. In Alabama, police actually used pepper spray on a crowd of more than 100 people, all waiting for one of 36 wrist bands that would guarantee a pair at a later date. Medical personnel were present, but most of the shoppers refused treatment for fear of losing their spot in line.
The sneakers are selling $185 retail, but limited availability drove prices elsewhere, like eBay, where they’re being offered for between $400 and $500 on average.
Whether it’s outdoor equipment standing alone, or law enforcement working to control entry, there are ways to prevent these sorts of situations from escalating as they did in Alabama. Though they’ve altered their release practices, Nike just can’t seem to quell the madness surrounding their sneaker promotions, and maybe they don’t want to, as the hype drives demand, and demand drives profits.
But we’re talking about the safety of civilians here, and something needs to be done to better control the release of these coveted kicks.