Customers line up for ‘shoe frenzy’

Published 11:01 pm Thursday, December 20, 2012

People started lining up outside The Athlete’s Foot at Suffolk Plaza about 5 a.m. Thursday, ahead of a new release by Nike, the new Air Jordan. The shoe was to go on sale when the store opened at 9 a.m. Friday.

People were lining up outside The Athlete’s Foot at Suffolk Plaza since at least 5 a.m. Thursday for a new shoe that wouldn’t go on sale until 9 a.m. today.

To many people, the $199 Air Jordan is a big fat waste of money. But to a sneakerhead, the shoe is something worth camping out for.

Deandre Turner, 19, one of about 25 outside the store just after midday Thursday, said he had been there since 5 a.m.

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“They just look good. They’re special,” he said, adding that he’s been awaiting the shoe’s release for “years.”

For Sherrod Falls, 18, the shoe’s appeal is in its color scheme, which reflects the black, white and red of shoe namesake Michael Jordan’s old basketball team, The Chicago Bulls.

“These are retro, and I believe this is only the third time they have come out,” he said. “I’m just into shoes because this is just something that I love. I’m a big Jordan fan.”

Falls said it’s getting increasingly difficult for true sneakerheads to purchase newly released shoes. People snap them up merely because they’re the latest fashion, not because they are truly passionate about them, he said.

“You have to go to extreme lengths,” he said, explaining that last week he had lined up at a mall to get a ticket for a pair from Foot Locker, but missed out.

“They said someone was able to get into the mall and get there before us,” he said. “This is my second time, and there’s still a possibility I might not get them. I have a funny feeling I might not get them.”

Shakira Jordan, 18, who joked (or maybe not) that she is Michael Jordan’s cousin, said, “I just love them because they hot. They just hot. I just want them in my hand. I could have ordered them, but I want them in my hand so I can wear them tomorrow.”

Cameron Baum, 18, who lined up outside the store at 5 a.m., admitted to spending $2,000 to $3,000 on sneakers a year.

“It’s the best shoe in the world,” he said of the new Air Jordan. “It’s a fresh shoe.”

Maurince Parker attested to the “sexiness” of the shoe. “When I think about the shoe, I think about the sexiness of the shoe and how good it looks — and how many girls you will get when you put them on your feet,” he said.

Falls disagreed with Parker’s last point. “You don’t get girls with shoes,” he said. “It’s just your personality — you can still get girls just being yourself.”