It’s Hard Out Here for Shoe Connoisseurs


I love the Holiday season. Sure, spending time with family and friends is nice, but what I truly love is how it brings out the crazy in everyone. Whether it is camping out at the mall for a deal on a toaster, panic buying your gifts for everyone, or drunk dialing someone on New Year’s Eve, everyone has a moment of stupidity. You could open a law practice specializing in Black Friday events alone.

But nothing says holiday spirit like a mall stampede. And when you combine holiday stupidity with a new Michael Jordan shoe release—which almost always causes a riot—it’s a recipe for a Festivus miracle. This year, the holiday release of Nike Air Jordan 11 Retro sneakers did the trick.

Jordans have caused problems for almost 25 years. It’s crazy. People punching and body slamming each other for the chance to buy $180 sneakers. Has any article of clothing ever been this popular for so long? Marketing-wise, the release is genius; from the mind of Don Draper himself (actually more like Peggy and Pete with Sugarberry Ham, but whatever). Problems Riots occur because each store has about 30 pairs of shoes to sell but hundreds of people show up in a feeble attempt to be one of the lucky ones. There is always at least one video of the carnage to hit the Internet each year. Highlights from this year’s Jordan frenzy include:

  • Gunshots rang out in Richmond, California. Police believe the gunshots were inadvertent and no injuries were reported.
  • Police in suburban Seattle used pepper spray on about 20 customers when a fight broke out in the crowd. The crowd for the four stores in the mall that sold the shoes totaled more than 1,000 people by 4 a.m.
  • Nearly 100 people forced their way into a shopping center in Detroit, damaging decorations and property in the mall.
  • The best highlight, by far, was this video from Houston’s KRIV Fox 26:

Granted I am not a “shoe connoisseur” like these guys, but I don’t understand the people at the end of the lines. A store has 30 shoes. There are 200 people in front of you. Why would you stand out in the cold with the chance your kid could get “ammonia” when you can just call the Money Makin Maniakz and pick up a pair of shoes from them? Granted some guy may have licked your shoes, but you will still avoid getting trampled.

I guess making a trip to the mall is the price you pay to look good. At least you will have fresh kicks on your feet when you go out. Nonetheless, as for my lawyerly tip: don’t let the holidays get the best of you. Hopefully your New Year’s resolution is not to be stupid around the holidays . . . at least until St. Patrick’s Day.

PS: I need a Money Makin Maniakz jacket and I need it yesterday.

(Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aribakker/333236990)

Douglas Stephan is a solo attorney and owner of the Law Office of Douglas A. Stephan. He received his JD in 2010 from Ohio Northern University and BA from Ohio University. His practice is located outside of Dayton, Ohio. You can follow him on Twitter @stephanlaw.

2 Comments

  1. Ellen

    January 2, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    I REELY dont know what the problem is with peeople and sneaker’s. My Alan had NIKE’s and he would NOT take them off. FOOEY on him! FOOEY!

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