ELIZA BROOKS | STAFF WRITER
It comes as no surprise for many that the resent release of the highly anticipated Nike shoes has lead to riots and uproars at many retailing locations, AGAIN. Over the Christmas holiday, several media outlets reported several riots in malls across the country stemming from the re-release of the Jordan Concords. Several weeks later, shoe riots have occurred again, this time following the release of Nike’s foamposite sneakers. This time, the story was a bit closer to home, as Crabtree Valley Mall faced a similar situation which forced the mall to cancel the launch.
My initial response to this was, “Really?” It was easy for me to initially point the finger of blame at Nike for allowing something like this to even happen. Nike is no amateur in the area of marketing. From this assumption, it would be fair to say that as a successful business Nike understands the concept of supply and demand. As demand for a particular product increases, the price for the product will also increase. With that being said, why would they sell the Galaxy Foamposite shoe for $220 and release a very limited number of shoes?
Having a low price and small quantity leads to an much larger pool of potential consumers; and, like we’ve seen in the past couple of months, this creates conflict. Maybe it was their intent to set a price that a large percent of their consumers would be able to afford. Then again, maybe they had something else on their agenda. Whatever their true reason for doing so was, one thing that they were successful at doing was shedding light on a number of issues starting at our foundation.
With that in mind, I reevaluated my initial urge to fault Nike and took the opportunity to reevaluate myself and the actions of my community. How did we go from marching for freedom and equality to rioting over shoes? Have we come to a time and place where we are willing to lose souls for soles? As we look, admire, and even mock one another’s shoes, we need to go a step further and notice the foundation that crumbles beneath them. How foolish do we look to be camping out, rioting, and even fighting in order to buy glow in the dark shoes? To collectors, these particular shoes are seen as a hot commodity but to the rest of the world they are seen in a comical light. Imagine what kind of image this is creating for us as a whole. I’m not saying it is wrong to be a sneakerhead, but what I will say is that I think we should be begin to think about who we are and what we stand for both literally and figuratively.