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Space-themed Nike shoe causes frenzy in US

Sneaker fanatics collect the signature footgear and resell it online for skyrocketing prices

Space-themed Nike shoe causes frenzy
Image Credit: Supplied
Gulf News

New York: Sneaker fanatics who lined up outside stores overnight got their first crack on Friday at a new outer-space themed Nike basketball shoe, getting so unruly in some cities that police were called to restore order.

More than 100 deputies in riot gear quelled a crowd in Orlando, Florida, where the release of the $220 (Dh807.77) Foamposite Galaxy coincides with the NBA All-Star Game. At a mall in Maryland, one person was arrested for disorderly conduct.

And in Greenwood, Indiana, police said they cancelled a Nike release after 400-600 people showed up on Thursday night at a mall and were "panicking to get to the front of the line."

The shoes are a draw for so-called "sneakerheads" who collect signature sports footgear and can resell it online at a marked-up price. Malls in Florida, New York and Maryland reported bringing in police to manage fans clamouring for the purple and blue shoes, which have star-like flecks of white. Some shoppers lucky enough to get their hands on a pair immediately posted them for sale on eBay at skyrocketing prices: $1,000 and up.

Authorities did have some warning the shoe could cause mayhem. Earlier this month, police were called to a mall outside Albany after pushing and shoving broke out during a promotional event for the shoe.

Nike spokesman Matthew Kneller said the Nike store in New York City immediately sold out on Friday.

The shoes are part of Nike's Foamposite line which originally debuted in 1998. Their outer space theme is a nod to Florida, the long-time launch pad for the nation's space programme.