Shoppers Duke It Out Over Air Jordans

Although there may not have been a must-buy toy to cause a shopping frenzy this holiday season, a shoe managed to make adults behave like children. Police were called to various locations across the country to break up scuffles over the latest Nike Air Jordans.

According to the AP, violence broke out in such places as New Jersey, California, Georgia and Washington state. The $180 shoe went on sale Friday, spurring obsessive shoppers to engage in altercations that included an accidental gunshot, a store break-in, an attack on an officer and police pepper spraying a crowd of 20 shoppers.

Although it’s no excuse for lawless behavior by shoppers, the shoe’s reportedly short supply didn’t help the situation. Stores around the country reported the shoes quickly selling out.

New Air Jordans cause frenzy [AP via Sports Illustrated]

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  1. Wireless Joe says:

    Did I sleepwalk into a time vortex only to wake up in 1992 again?

  2. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    The mind boggles.

    • Cat says:

      “The mind wobbles, doesn’t it?” — Kelly Bundy.

      • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

        “… mind bottling, isn’t it?”

        ” … did you say mind bottling?”

        “… yeah, when things are crazy and it is like your mind is trapped in a bottle …”

  3. Draw2much says:

    My husband’s response to this was: “Hell yeah! Nice to see traditions maintained.”

    I sometimes wonder why people lose their minds over stuff like this. It’s a shoe, A SHOE. Good grief! o_0

    • PsychoRaven says:

      You’re not alone. People are so stupid. Like you said it’s just a shoe. An extremely overpriced shoe too. Why anyone would want to overpay for a shoe and on top of that act like children for them is way beyond me.

    • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

      When it is a sneaker, women claim not to “get it”. When they are some pumps that look fancy but don’t actually fit, they will riot just as badly.

    • look_out51 says:

      “It’s our culture!” That was the reply from one of the many people that broke into the Stonecrest Mall in Lithonia, GA before opening time.

  4. energynotsaved says:

    People pay $180 for a pair of basketball shoes? I just don’t get it. But then, I never understood the appeal of shoes. You put them on your feet and, over time, they get smelly and dirty. But then, I don’t drive a fancy car, nor do I wear any kind of name brand (except Levi). I guess if it floats your boat….

    • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

      I have a $150 pair of boots that I wore in 36″ of snow, and they kept my feet warm and dry…and I wore them in 95+ degree heat in the sand, and they kept my feet cool and free from sand.

      In that case, it’s worth it to me. Though they aren’t very fashionable.

  5. u1itn0w2day says:

    I think sneakers are among the latest items getting attention from collectors along with being a hipster fashion craze. And like any worthy capitalist some are reselling on the internet.

    • homehome says:

      Actually, no. Jordans have been like this for at least 15 years now. Ppl always go crazy when the new ones come out, its just that with it coming out on the holiday season, the normal craze was amplified. There’s things I’m okay with spending extra money on such as electronics, but things like shoes no.

      • november84 says:

        The normal craze wasn’t amplified because of the holiday season. This was a re-release of the shoe he wore in the 95 playoffs when he came back. That’s why it was amplified. As well, these were/are going for ~550+ on ebay. A lot wanted to keep them(read:idiots), and a lot wanted to sell(read:smart ones).

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      Show me one single clip out of the dozens that were taken around the country with a “hipster” in the mob. Just one clip with one hipster, please.

    • look_out51 says:

      It was Michael Jordan that made these a “limited supply” and it was Michael Jordan that made sure they were not released into stores until the 23rd.
      Do they know that Nike factories are located in China where the workers are slaves?

  6. HomerSimpson says:

    A large quantity of them ended up ebay from the sound of it.

  7. Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

    Good job blaming someone other than the idiots fighting over sneakers, Phil.

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      No, he brings up a very good point. It’s very likely that an artificial shortage was planned by Nike to create buzz. Seems to have worked.

      • zibby says:

        Nike can make as few or as many shoes as they please. They are in no way responsible for people being unable to behave like civilized human beings. We really can blame the idiot consumers in this case..

  8. Nobody Owes You says:

    Short supply. You think Nike would have planned better so this wouldn’t have happened and they wouldn’t have gotten so much media coverage over the shoes. (can you see my tongue in my cheek?)

    Nike and MJ are laughing all the way to the bank at the idiots in the hospital ER.

  9. Labratt21 says:
  10. yungjerry703 says:

    Friday morning these where selling for $400-$660 on ebay. I’m starting to consider joining the madness for that kind of cash.

  11. bjcolby15 says:

    One of our local politicians took advantage of this craze to scold his constituents: if you have $180 for a pair of Nike Air Jordans, you have $180 to donate to his re-election campaign.

    He’s 100% correct – most of the people that he represents are in the poor urban section of the city, ones who barely have $180 left when they pay their rent, buy groceries, pay their utilities, and everything else. Why blow your money on a pair of status sneakers when you can write a check to his campaign?

    On the other hand, it’s kinda sleazy to promote yourself at the expense of a fad – one that’s causing a massive case of toxic herd mentality to the people who want these sneakers. What happens when he doesn’t get re-elected? Or worse, the $180 they donated gets stolen?

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      ones who barely have $180 left when they pay their rent, buy groceries, pay their utilities, and everything else

      Correction:
      ones who barely have $180 left when we pay their rent, buy groceries, pay their utilities, and everything else

    • Firevine says:

      I feel so bad for these people who have to live with other people buying their groceries and paying their bills, while they have to drive around in brand new Escalades with $2000 rims, and are stuck buying $180 shoes, and wear brand new designer clothes. So bad. :(

      I’ll be over here living it up with my one pair of ratty ass jeans, shoes with the soles breaking apart, and winter coat I got at Goodwill.

      • Jules Noctambule says:

        All people who benefit from public assistance drive luxury cars, wear expensive designer clothes and dine on lobster and champagne every night. I know it’s true ’cause Fox News told me so!

        • Firevine says:

          The fact that I met and interacted with hundreds of them in my years of delivering pizza in the ghetto…oh, I’m sorry, “economically depressed area” is a good indication too. I can only deal with so many people wearing designer clothes, carrying Coach handbags, and with their hair and nails did and trying to get us to take food stamps for their pizza before I get a bit pissed about the whole bit. One is a fluke. The numbers that I have seen are a culture.

    • Kuri says:

      The last pair of shoes I got cost me 20 bucks, so I don’t feel sorry for them in the least.

      • bjcolby15 says:

        @Kuri: I’m a huge fan of the New Balance Factory outlet. The shoes I buy from there last for years before I have to replace them – and usually I get them for $30-$35.

        • Kuri says:

          Indeed. Cheap in price doesn’t mean cheap in quality, and giving how fast i hear Nike shoes can wear out, in too many cases High in Price is still Cheap in Quality.

  12. Cat says:

    Let me be the first to say,
    “First World Problems”

    And let me be about the 20th to say,
    “What The Fuck is Wrong With People?”

  13. nocturnaljames says:

    I wasted $100 on nike shoes once, they didn’t last a year. Never again.

    • Firevine says:

      I spent $100 on a pair of Dr. Martens. They last me six years. I’ve bought two more pairs since. :D Even with the manufacturing changes, they’re still great.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      I spent about $40 on Reeboks maybe four years ago and they’re still going strong. (They were on sale but still.) I don’t run or anything, just walk. I used to buy those when I worked in food service and was on my feet all day. They lasted longer than any other shoes I got, including Dr. Scholls “special” work shoes.

    • AstroPig7 says:

      I’ve exercised in a $60 pair of Pumas for the past three years. Aside from scuff marks on the bottom edges, they’re still in great shape.

    • Kuri says:

      I spent 20 bucks on a pair of Faded Glory boots form Walmart, they last longer than any Nike.

  14. Kuri says:

    Ok, I didn’t think it would have been worth it to risk getting mugged over a PS3, but a fucking shoe!?!?!?!?!?

  15. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    $350+ on eBay.

  16. Jawaka says:

    $180 for a basketball sneaker?

    Sounds like the economy is making a rebound after all

  17. smo0 says:

    Curious, what type of people are buying/fighting over these shoes?

  18. Jenny8675309 says:

    I guess that the down turn in our economy hasn’t taught these shoppers a lesson. Don’t buy frivolous crap and put something away for a rainy day!

  19. Straspey says:

    There was a time when, if you wanted to buy a pair of dungarees (“blue jeans”) you’re only option was to go to an “Army-Navy Store” where you could purchase a pair of Levis or Lee’s – or perhaps order from a catalog, such as Sears Roebuck, & Co.

    Dungarees came in basically one style – dark blue, hard and crusty when new and they had to be washed numerous times before they became soft and faded. If you required warmth, you could get them lined with flannel. (L.L. Bean still sells flannel-lined dungarees).

    Then – sometime in the early to mid seventies, a company named “Jordache” came up with the idea of turning an old pair of dungarees into a fashion accessory by making them more form-fitting, adding some decorative stitching on the back pockets and seams, and attaching what would become to be known as the “Designer Label”.

    They promoted the new style heavily and successfully -

    “You’ve got the look I want to know better. You’ve got the look that’s all together…”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NioKhGJgbI

    Have a look at the commercial from the 70′s and you’ll see what I mean.

    At the time, this was totally new and completely unheard of – and the idea that dungarees or blue jeans could be turned into a hip and cool fashion statement was scoffed at by many.

    The rest is history

    Similarly, there was a time when, if you wanted to buy a pair of sneakers, you went to your local show store and bought either a pair of “KEDS” or “P.F. Flyers”.

    Then – sometime in the early 80′s – the concept of a “jogging shoe” was formed…which gave rise to the “athletic sneaker” and the manyh high-end and over-priced brand names of today. Although “Pro-Keds” have been around since the 60′s. when they were marketed to pro basketball players.

    “Keds shoe brand has been established in 1916. The company which manufactured Keds was the U.S. Rubber Company, or Uniroyal as it is known today. At first, they decided to name the shoes Peds which means foot in Latin. However, another company had already been registered under that name, so they changed it to Keds. In 1917, Keds were sold to public for the first time as canvas-top sneakers.

    The word sneakers was first used by Keds. The term was coined by Henry Nelson McKinney, an agent for N.W. Ayer & Son for advertising, because the soles of the shoes don’t make any sounds on different kinds of surface. It can especially be used when people want to sneak around quietly and they don’t want to be caught, thus the name sneakers.

    Since then, Keds shoes have become a must-have for many people from different backgrounds.

    Pro-Keds is a line of athletic shoes which are not just made for casual use but for more specialized function, like basketball. Keds introduced this line in the 1960′s and the 1970′s. Since then, basketball players are usually found wearing Pro-Keds when playing.”

    http://www.articlespan.com/article/111006/a-brief-history-of-keds-shoes

    And – finally – the reason a company will sell a pair of sneakers for $180 is simply due to the fact that they are aware of their market and know how to whip them into a “must-have” frenzy regarding a new product and their willingness to pay the up-ended price.

    Ya know – kind of like Apple and the iPhone or iPad…

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      You pegged that one. The iPhone is the middle class version of these sneakers. There have been a few skirmishes in lines over iPhones as well, but nothing like with the Jordan’s.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      That was interesting. I’ve owned several pairs of Keds sneakers (when I can afford them; they’re not cheap, especially the leather ones) and I never knew that.

      The leather ones I have now are really nice, but I found out the hard way that wearing them all day doesn’t give me the support and comfort my older Reeboks do. They’re nice for a quick shopping trip, but not for sprinting through the airport, longer outings, etc.

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      I completely forgot about all that! Jordache – Keds. Yeah, that’s when it started. Here I am PO’d because the Levis I buy wear out so fast – and I forgot about LL Bean. Thanks!

  20. oldwiz65 says:

    $180 for a pair of sneakers? You can buy an excellent pair for $60 and donate the rest to the nearest homeless shelter or community pantry. Better yet, keep your current shoes for another year and donate the $180 instead.

    sheesh.

  21. tbax929 says:

    My sister, who is a decade younger than I, is in town for the holidays. She made a comment yesterday about my sneakers having dirt on them. Apparently she cleans her sneakers, and she was appalled that I don’t give my sneakers ($50 New Balances I bought at an outlet) the same degree of care. She also didn’t get why I said I’d never spend $180 on a pair of freaking sneakers.

    Since it was Christmas, I decided not to point out the beautiful home I own, the new car I drive, my successful career, or that fact that she and I clearly have different ideas about what is important. I hope she enjoys her clean, expensive sneakers in her run-down rental as she drives around in her car from the buy-here-pay-here place and tries to support the baby she’s expecting. Ahh, family.

  22. Jules Noctambule says:

    The last pair of shoes I bought were a $115 pair of Danskos; the ones I bought four years ago for the same amount hadn’t worn out, I just thought it would be nice to have another pair of quality shoes in a different colour. I sure as hell didn’t line up to buy them (hello, Zappos!) nor did I have to fight anyone for them, but if those tacky shoes held up as well as my Danskos I couldn’t really fault people for dropping that kind of cash on shoes (minus points for the queuing and aggro). I’d rather buy an expensive pair that will last for years than multiple cheap pairs that require replacing every year.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      Yeah, I’m sure they were fighting over the shoes because the quality is just that good!

    • dwtomek says:

      I’ve had my $60 Reeboks for 8 years now. After a certain price point on shoes you are no longer paying for an increase in quality and instead are simply paying for the hype, or the designer, or whatever imaginary value you might assign to them. Obviously this price point will fluctuate with the shoes intended use (I.E. workboots will have a higher threshold for price/quality than casual sneakers) but the point remains the same. These shoes are priced WELL above that threshold.

  23. dwtomek says:

    Well, at least this was all over an aesthetically unpleasant and overpriced shoe. Bravo Nike.

  24. Hawkeye says:

    It’s funny how the big box stores like Walmart are criticized when fights and riots break out at their stores on Black Friday, but Nike isn’t brought to task when consumers are stabbed over their “limited edition” shoes.

    What does Michael Jordan have to say about people beating each other over something with his name on it?

  25. IgnoramusEtIgnorabimus says:

    so this is how poor the country has gotten, the thieves are stealing shoes?

  26. ancientone567 says:

    I can understand if it is prison. They are supposed to act like animals. Com’on people!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCF3ywukQYA

  27. INsano says:
  28. Tiffymonster says:

    I don’t really know how much race really has to do with it. I mean these particular shoes held a certain appeal to a specific target audience but have some store advertise Louboutins for $200 and watch mobs of women trampling and stabbing each other to get some.

  29. touayang says:

    These were the most anticipated Jordans since the Space Jam Jordans, but back then there weren’t as many Jordan fanatics. The Jordan 11s have been the most collected version of the series because they are just simply awesome and the most comfortable. They were also the first Jordans to use the patent shiny leather. I owned 4 pairs, but I don’t collect them. I wear them to play basketball and they get worn out pretty fast.

    They were orginally $125 when they first came out back in the 90s which was a lot of money back then for shoes. One of the reasons why people fought over these was because the Black and White ones were the orginal colors. The Grey ones that previously got released slipped under the radar because they were just plain ugly. No one cared and there was no fighting. No servers crashed either.

    I wanted a pair of these, and was willing to shell out $180 on them, but I was not going to fight ghetto people at the mall for them. Tried ordering them online, but the servers crashed on every site when I tried to order them. I knew there was going to be a high demand for them and wasn’t surprised when police were called all over the country to control the mobs of people trying to get a pair.

    Anyways, whoever got a pair of these for Christmas is one lucky son of a …..

  30. Nobody can say "Teehee" with a straight face says:

    It must be really difficult for the child slaves making these shoes. If they could just escape from that factory with a single shoe, they could sell it for around $175, about their entire life’s wages.

  31. AndroidHumanoid says:

    Its stories like these that I like to interrupt men with when they start to comment on women and their “shoe obsession”. I have many male friends who have closets stuffed with boxes and boxes of Nikes and all those collectable ugly shoes.

    • Nobody can say "Teehee" with a straight face says:

      I don’t know a single male like that. It seems like the people that go nuts over these nike things all live in the same areas.