Rarely does a sneaker go beyond the small sneakerhead culture and capture the attention of the general public. It happened in September last year when Nike released the Nike Mags (you can read all about them here). In that case Nike, in partnership with eBay, released a limited number of shoes (150 per day for one week) which were sold at auction online. And it looks as though Nike has done it again: at the end of last year (and right before Christmas), Nike released the much anticipated Air Jordan 11 Retro “Concord” shoe, this time for sale at retail stores all over the country.
According to news reports, on the day of the release, huge crowds of people lined up very early to secure their spots for a chance to buy a pair of the coveted sneakers. Unfortunately, at some of the stores offering the Concords, fights broke out as folks jostled and pushed each other for position. In one case in Seattle, police had to use pepper spray to quell an angry crowd that started fighting and, in Richmond, CA, police closed the Hilltop Mall where the store was located due to gunshots reported in the area.
The chaos caused by having a limited number of shoes available at select retail locations has been the subject of much debate. At ESPN.com, a commentator asked if this retail scarcity was necessary: “Would it alter the bottom line that much if Nike made more of these Air Jordans available to retailers? Would the shoe lose any cachet if Nike made retro Jordans only available online in limited supply?” While we will leave that debate to other, more knowledgeable folks, we would like to point out that there is another way to find these scarce items, on eBay.
Which brings us to today’s remarkable listing, surfaced first on the eBay Top Shared page, but then brought to our attention by the folks over at eBay Fashion who noticed a huge increase in the number of Air Jordans sold on the site. Of course, it is a pair of Air Jordan 11 Retro “Concord” shoe, such as this one, below.
We have linked to a representative seller who has numerous different sizes for sale. But if you do a quick search, you will find numerous sellers with shoes available at various different price points (of course).
So, what makes this shoe so special? According to ESPN.com, these are re-releases of the sneakers “which Jordan wore during the 1995-96 season, when the Bulls notched a record 72 regular-season victories and won the NBA championship.” As if that wasn’t enough, Michael Jordan led the league in scoring with over 30 points per game, and won the league’s regular season and All-Star Game MVP awards.
So the question is, was it due to the shoes? Dubiously, but if there was ever a shoe that symbolized the greatness of Michael Jordan, this would be it. The shoes have design aspects that were “firsts” in and of themselves, but most importantly, they were the first sneaker to blend on-court performance with off-the-court street style.