It was a low-key camp out Friday outside the Next clothing/footwear store in West Akron as people waited for today’s release of the latest LeBron James shoes.
For much of Friday, there were more foldable chairs than people lined up outside the store on West Market Street. People waiting at various times said that ad-hoc rules allowed people to leave the area as long as a representative stayed.
“We started waiting on Wednesday,” said Jamal Wiggins, 27, of Akron, who sat in one of the roughly two dozen chairs outside the store Friday morning.
“I was over here dozing off,” said Wiggins, who explained he was holding places for several friends. “I’m talked out,” visiting with other LeBron shoe fans.
Naturally, some of the talk involved James winning his second NBA championship Thursday night.
Wiggins and the others hope to be among those snagging a pair of the limited-edition Nike Lebron X Denim, which boasts uppers with denim.
The store planned to have 48 pairs in stock to sell today, so Wiggins seemed assured of getting a pair.
The shoes to be released at 8 a.m. today will retail for $180, but some have been showing up on online shopping sites for much more.
Does Wiggins plan to turn his long wait outside the Next store into a profit-making venture?
“It depends,” said Wiggins, a landscaper. “I kind of want my pair for my personal collection. But if somebody offers me the right amount of money, I’ll sell them.”
Releases of Nike shoes endorsed by James have become an event for shoe stores and fans. The Next boutique, in the city’s Highland Square neighborhood, is again among a relative few outlets nationwide getting a new edition shoe.
In February, Next was selected to release the limited-edition LeBron X Cork shoe, which has uppers made from cork. The Next store’s creative director, Michael Hurley, turned the February event into a LeBron-fest, with LeBron-centric items on hand, including memorabilia from James’ days at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron.
That time, a lottery system was used to sell the shoes. Prospective buyers were allowed to begin lining up 90 minutes before the shoes went on sale. Each person in line got a ticket. A drawing was then held, and the lucky ticket holder got the chance to purchase the shoes.
Wiggins lined up for that event, too, but did not have a winning ticket.
Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or email@example.com.