Shopper Warning: New Air Jordans Pack Stores & Empty Wallets

March 31, 2017

A few years ago I was shopping at my favorite beauty supply store on North Tryon Street in Charlotte. It was around 7:30 pm on a Thursday and when I pulled into the parking lot I noticed a line about 2 dozen people long standing outside one of the stores in the shopping center. Wondering if they knew about a sale I'd missed, I asked one gentleman why he was standing in line. "I'm here to get the new Jordans." I assumed it was like being at the Concord Mills Coach store at Christmas and it was simply too crowded to let everyone inside at the same time. "How long do you think you'll have to wait until you get inside?" I asked the anxious sneaker-head.  The look on my face when he answered, "Saturday at 10," prompted him to add, "the first dude in line has been here since Tuesday." Tuesday?!?!  It's Thursday and you plan to wait in line OUTSIDE for some sneakers until Saturday!?!?! That's when I realized that there is something about Air Jordans hitting the market that makes fans feel like I do when Target announces a collaboration with a designer I love, but can't really afford.

Sneaker News says this is a huge weekend for Air Jordan collectors. There are coveted shoes dropping today and tomorrow. You'll probably never spot the premium KAWS Jordan 4 on the streets. Starting at $350 you wouldn't want anyone to step on your gray suede shoes.  The limited edition retro kicks with the glow in the dark soles are already for sale online from $1570 to $4500.  Compared to the Jordan 4 KAWS, a pair of Christian Louboutin sneakers selling for $795 at Nordstrom sound like a bargain.

Don't expect the other sneakers being released tomorrow to be any easier to get. The Jordan brand is just as strong today as it was when it launched in the 80's. Michael Jordan could buy a few more NBA teams and triple the payroll for Charlotte Hornets players and staff with the proceeds from shoe sales alone. He may be known for basketball, but Nike only sells about 20 sneakers made for shooting hoops.  Jordans rake in the big bucks by offering close to 60 "lifestyle" shoes just for men. Thanks to having the ultimate pitchman in MJ, Nike has found a way to appeal to men who are rich, poor, urban, suburban, mature, not-yet-shaving, high fashion and sporty. And when they're gone, they're gone. The Air Jordan 1 "Royal" is fueling hype because it hasn't been made since 2013 and back then there were very limited quantities.  Air Jordan XXX1 will start at $185. Don't expect to pay that. Even at consignment stores where you'd usually find a deal, classic Jordans tend to have a gigantic markup. The shoes are doing what Beanie Babies were supposed to do. It's like the company releases a hard-to-get Christmas toy every quarter. 

As a person who understands what it feels like to covet the latest your favorite label has to offer you probably know that and are your best bet for any of the new Nikes with MJ's signature "Flight" pose. You also know you'll probably have to pay far above the manufacturers suggested retail price. But here is something you might not know.  While I can't guarantee you'll find the kicks of your dreams, a Hornets fan told me he found some hot Jordans, with a removable shroud, while he was shopping after a game at the Spectrum Center. He loves them because he gets to decide whether he wants his laces to be visible. His gift shop find was described as being inspired by "the fine details from an Aston Martin and the smooth lines and flow of a jazz solo." Wow! No doubt the company continues to reign when it comes to innovations in style.  That's why there's no doubt that if you find a store with a pair of tomorrow's new releases, you will also find a VERY long line. 

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