Copping a fresh pair of Nikes is harder that you think.
Sure, buying those Air Max 90s with your mom at DSW was easy enough back in the day, but snagging a pair of highly coveted sneakers is much more difficult. There are pre-release campouts at stores, ridiculously long lines the morning of the release, and absurdly fast sell-outs. And that’s all in New York. The game is much harder to play here in the Midwest, where your best bet for a nice pair of sneakers is an out-of-state “friend” you met at a party who had good drugs.
First I’m going to handle the haters, because I feel their wrath coming and I keep my pimp hand strong. It’s not that hard – just buy them online. –SMACK- Why don’t you just go to the mall, or Foot Locker? -SMACK SMACK- Bitch please with that nonsense. If this were that easy, you all would be wearing Air Yeezy 2s or Nike Mag 10s instead of the Shocks and Sperrys I see y’all fools rocking. Respect your elders in the game, because I’ve been there.
The bottom line that any true sneakerhead will realize about life in the Midwest is that good shoes are imported. There simply isn’t a large enough market for brand retailers like Foot Locker or FinishLine (or other good stores) to supply either the volume or selection that places in LA and NYC can cater to. Sure, they might participate in highly anticipated releases to ride the wave of profitability that these release provide, but shoe stores out here cater to a different market. And sadly, that market is flooded with Crocs.
The second thing you should know about dedicated sneaker shopping is that shopping online can be just as unsuccessful on release dates. Especially on highly coveted pairs, sites like Eastbay of FinishLine have been known to experience server crashes when flooded with thousands of customers in a five-minute span. A crashed site, with an emptied cart, is not what you want.
Your true path to glory will be had via Twitter. Follow “@nikestore” and keep an eye on their tweets the day before the expected release date, which can be found on the Nike store’s calendar. At some point, usually mid-afternoon, the Nike store Twitter feed will tweet something prolific, something that will resonate with a generation. Something like: “Extra responsiveness. Ultimate control. The @NikeBasketball KD V Elite launches tomorrow at 8am EDT. pic.twitter.com/24rrajgjmP”.
At this point the heat is on. You know the date. You know the time. Set your alarm, cue up a Twitter feed on perpetual refresh, and let the waiting begin.
At the assigned time, Nike’s twitter will ring out again, although this time with a link to the proper Nike store page. USE THIS LINK. Nike’s site has a reputation as being the best place to buy sneakers, namely because their servers expect to handle the massive influx of customers. Move smoothly, but quickly, adding one pair, and only one pair to your cart. None of this Nelly, Air Force One, “Get me two pairs,” type nonsense. Some releases are extremely limited, and Nike will limit their sales to a certain amount per customer. Apparently you’re allowed to go over the limit when adding shoes to your cart, but come checkout time, the whole thing fails, empties your cart, and starts you over at the back of the line. Not a good place to be when the stakes are high and the bounty is few. Best to ensure you’ve got at least one pair before getting greedy.
Once you’ve got your cart loaded, do like I do when late in the semester and check the fuck out.
Sit back, wait for shipping, and prepare for hipster girls to swoon.
– Preston Bukaty
Edited by Erika Reals
Photography by Vasu Gupta