It’s the most anticipated day on the sneakerhead calendar: Air Jordan release day.
On Saturday, the Air Jordan 11 Concords went on sale, ushering in the latest generation of the iconic sneakers.
In Calgary, stores at CF Chinook Centre did away with the lineups that usually precede these types of releases. Instead, a raffle was held and those with a winning ticket were guaranteed the chance to purchase the $300 sneakers. If shoes went unclaimed by the afternoon, they were fair game.
Francesca Costelo was lucky enough to have her name selected and said the latest Air Jordans will make a nice addition to her collection.
“Jordan 11s are probably the biggest drop of the year,” said Costelo. “It’s something that everyone looks forward to.”
As of 4 p.m., both stores in Chinook were sold out of all adult sizes.
This year’s model pays homage to the original Air Jordans that Michael Jordan wore during his return to basketball in 1995.
The 11 Concords feature a number 45 on the heel, a nod to the number Jordan chose to wear after being told he couldn’t bring back his retired number, 23.
Adam Keresztes, co-founder of Calgary sneaker community YYCSOLEdiers, is excited to see a sneaker that throws back to the original Jordans.
“The shoe is very unique,” said Keresztes. “It came with patent leather. [Jordan] wanted it to be a dress shoe that’s also a basketball shoe with the best technology.”
Keresztes said YYCSOLEdiers do what they can to introduce sneakers to a wider audience but the price tag can sometimes get in the way.
“I definitely know people that will forgo eating to buy sneakers,” said Keresztes, “but we never advocate buying shoes over anything else.”
YYCSOLEdiers organizes sneaker swaps throughout the year for rookie and veteran collectors to buy, trade and talk shoes.