NORTH AUGUSTA — On Thursday, Treval Sullivan was the first person in line at SMS Sportsworld to buy a pair of Nike Air Jordans XI “Bred,” having arrived at the store at 9 a.m.
Approximately 15 people were waiting in line to purchase the iconic footwear by mid-afternoon the same day, lounging in camping chairs and determined to wait outside the store through what forecasters predicted would be a cold, windy night. The shoes went on sale Friday at 8 a.m.
“It’s like, a good shoe,” Sullivan said. “We decided to wait in line for them but came early.”
Nike’s Air Jordans, named for professional basketball player Michael Jordan, were first released in 1985. New designs are released every year.
The Air Jordans XI “Bred” are a re-release of the XI originals, which were designed by Tinker Hatfield in 1995 in anticipation of Jordan’s return to the NBA. Jordan indeed returned to the NBA and wore the Air Jordan XI model when the Chicago Bulls won the 1995-96 Championship. He also wore the XI model in the animated movie “Space Jam.”
The “Bred” model’s colors are red, white, and black, designed originally to match the Chicago Bulls uniforms.
Many waiting in line outside SMS said they’re buying the shoes for themselves and will most definitely wear them.
“But, you got some people that are collectors,” said Terrence Martin, who was fourth in line.
“We knew we were going to have a line. We got a lot of calls about these shoes. The men’s (shoes) will be gone in 15 minutes. I know so,” said Billy Minor with SMS Sportsworld.
SMS Sportsworld added $10 to the price of the adult-sized shoes and $5 to the children-sized shoes to help cover the cost of security the store provided to its costumers.
“They’re worth it,” Sullivan said.
Supplies were limited to one pair per customer. Sizes were limited, too. For instance, there was only one pair in size 8.5 and four pairs in size 10.
“If I don’t wait in line, I won’t get them,” said B.G. Gibbs, who was third in line. “It’s just like another Black Friday. The shoes won’t last 10 minutes (before someone buys them).”
Media reports have shown a trend of lines of people waiting for the shoes across the area and country. In Richmond County, police were called to the Augusta Mall to help control the crowds, and police in Huntsville, Ala., said customers seeking the shoes became unruly when they lined up at a mall, and pepper spray was used in an attempt to restore order.
Police said that officers sprayed pepper spray in the general direction of the crowd but did not use the chemical on people in line Thursday morning.