It normally starts about three months early. The text message from someone you haven’t talked to in a few months. The Facebook message from someone you haven’t talked to in even longer. They’re both asking the same question: “Hey man, can you help me get those XI’s that are coming out this holiday season?”
As anyone who’s ever worked in a sneaker store can tell you, it’s a fall ritual: People who you haven’t talked to in a long time or are simply not close with will bug you about the XI’s for months and months on end. For some reason, the holiday release seems to bring out the worst in most sneakerheads, and also shows a bad side of folks who are just into shoes casually or not at all.
With everything from fights to riots, people seem to go insane for the XI’s. Maybe the patent leather sets off some primal urge to act like an idiot in some people’s heads, or maybe they’re just so desperate to get their hands on the status symbol that the XI is that they just can’t control themselves.
Any way you slice it, it’s very off-putting. Some sneakerheads stay away from the XI entirely, or go to resellers (another XI problem. Resellers love them to death because they’re so easy to move) because they want no part of the craze surrounding the shoes. Can you blame them?
Although this year’s XI release is the “Legend Blue” (a re-naming of the classic Columbia colorway that ‘heads go crazy for) with a fair raffle system in place at most sneaker shops, and beefed up security at major malls, one can only hope that this year’s release goes off without a hitch. However, we at KicksOneTwo suggest that you stay ready. You never know what kind of crazy stuff might go down when you’re trying to get your hands on a pair.