There was an aura of excitement and a little bit of danger that night at the Montalban. Rarely has there been a raffle more intense. The tension was so palpable that if you did score a pair, Nike was smart enough to send for your car ahead of time so you could buy your kicks, jet out of the crowd and into your ride in one motion. Not that people were going to fight you in front of hundreds of people because that would be stupid, but who wants to be the sneakerhead that lucks out while everybody else is hoping to get their own pair(s)?
Want to feel old or just have a realization that you’ve been doing this for a while now? That scene from the Montalban Theater in Los Angeles was from 2012, when the Nike Air Foamposite Galaxy dropped five years ago during NBA All-Star Weekend. There was a raffle where people could buy any pair they wanted, and from the Galaxy Foams on down, people were itching to cop anything from that pack. Remember the craziness of that release and the lengths both hilarious and nefarious that some were willing to take to buy one to either keep or sell down the line? Way before there were apps and draws and complicated raffle procedures that have mitigated some (keyword is “some”) of the madness, sneakerheads were buying anything that had a swoosh and some hype on it. Foams and Jordans were all the rage, but people were scooping up LeBrons, Kobes, and KDs as well. Yes, those of you who are too young to remember; there was a time when people lined up for Nike Basketball signature shoes. It was different back then.
Foams, Jordans, LeBrons. Unless you’re talking about super-rare colorways or OGs, the thrill of copping them just isn’t there anymore. As a sneakerhead who has been through it all, the progression of time and tastes is kind of amazing as they can now go to a store and buy a pair that would have been sold out in mere minutes just a few years ago with ease. The catch is that sneakers have never been more expensive than they are right now, but it’s a price that most are willing to pay to get what they want, no questions asked. But it’s not hard to imagine what kicks that are sitting right now would have been impossible to cop just as recently as two to three years ago.