And now, the tweet that has the sneaker community in a frenzy…
— Footaction (@Footaction) March 8, 2013
When the Air Jordan 11 “Playoffs” Retro dropped in December of last year, word got out that 500,000 pairs were produced. Despite the large number of units, every store sold through their allotment like they cost $20 instead of $185. There have been surprise restocks on Nike.com and other smaller chains since, but this is a rare instance of a retailer calling their shot and telling everybody to get ready for the inevitable flurry come March 23rd.
Whether or not this restock means that Nike went back to the factory and made a few extra pairs out of the goodness of their heart or Footaction (which is under the same Foot Locker corporate umbrella as Eastbay and Champs Sports… just saying…) intentionally held back stock so they could have a second surge of sales is irrelevant; the reality is that Nike could have made a million pairs of the Air Jordan 11 and they still would have sold them out. It is a testament to Jordan’s popularity and the public’s insatiable thirst for his “signature” signature kicks that they sell like they do; no other pair lives in the cultural zeitgeist like the Air Jordan 11 and if a restock is going down, they will attract an audience of sneakerheads, casual fans and opportunistic resellers.
But could this be the “tipping point” of the Air Jordan 11? A few days ago we talked about the sneaker community possibly suffering from “Foam Fatigue.” Could this be the first time in a long time that the Air Jordan 11 does not sell out immediately? Will the aura of cool that you once had from owning a pair of the 11s be gone now that more people have a pair? Despite what some salty sneakerheads want to believe, not every pair goes to a reseller. And if this trend keeps going, will people even care about what is sure to be a packed holiday season, with multiple Jordan retros being rumored to drop?
We have talked about the benefits and potential detriments to popular sneaker restock all the time. We think it is great that people who missed out the first or second or third or fourth (you get the idea…) time get another shot at the kicks that they want, but is there a line that Jordan Brand has to draw in order to protect their “cool” image, or should they just go ahead and make everything a general release? Sound off in the comments below.