Samples to Shelves

Jordan Brand, as they do, is continuing to pump out releases on almost a weekly basis. Among these drops, have been a flurry of sneakers that were formally only samples or family and friends exclusives. These unreleased sneakers making it to retail shelves were highlighted by last week’s launch of the Jordan XIII “History of Flight”.  Some of these releases have caused a little bit of a stir among sneakerheads and collectors, so I’ve decided to give my own personal take on the topic of samples eventually being produced for the masses.


The debate revolves around the idea of “keeping some things sacred”, allowing some things to simply stay unattainable, because that’s what makes them special; and I get that. If everyone is able to get a pair of them, where is the allure and fantasy surrounding it? But the other side of the argument, the side that I find myself on, is, why not? We are all in this for the love of the game (I hope), so why wouldn’t you want to eventually get your hands on a pair of shoes that you otherwise thought were completely unattainable? I completely understand the concept of allowing things to remain sacred and pure, but at some point, if you want something, you would hope it would be available for you to acquire. Right?


I was in Chicago when Nike first introduced the History of Flight collection at their NikeTown location on Michigan Avenue. A massive display featuring Jordans 1 to the newly released 28 were on display in uniformed white leather, red soles and lining; and black laces. It was a sight for sore eyes, that’s for sure. I remember standing and staring at the Jordan III alone for like 3-4 minutes. If a Nike employee walked over to me and said, “hey, bro. If you want those threes, I can let you buy them for retail right now”, I wouldn’t have been like “nah man, it’s okay, keep them as a display forever.” No! I’d say, “wrap them up… can I have two pairs?”


Granted, I will agree. If these pairs released four or five years ago, they would have sold out before they even got close to the shelf. But seeing pairs like the Pantone Pack and Motorsport 4’s in person is awesome; limited quantities or not. These are sneakers I never thought I’d be able to even see in real life; let alone have the opportunity to purchase.

To sum up my thoughts, I think that – yes, it sucks that these sneakers are sitting on shelves. But we can’t control the market, and if the sneaker community isn’t interested in Jordans like they used to be, so be it. However, it does not take away from the fact that these shoes are incredibly rich with history and the stories behind them are crazy. The sheer fact that the public has access to these pairs is dope, and I say keep pumping out these kinds of releases, because I love them.




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