On July 1st, Nike scheduled the release of a fairly run-of-the-mill Air Max 1 release as a tribute to the upcoming Independence Day holiday. The shoes were decorated in red, white, and blue with a custom tongue logo and an embroidered flag on the heel – one that was in use as far back as 1777. The thirteen stars, arranged in a circular manner, represented the original thirteen colonies and has long been considered a symbol of patriotism. For sneakerheads, it brought back memories of a similar release from back in 2003 – one that many Air Max 1 fans consider among the greatest ever. It was supposed to be a quick and easy shoe release on a week where most of America’s attention is on cheap beer and a day off from work. Nobody expected the level of fireworks that followed.
Days before the July 1st release, Nike mysteriously pulled the product from their SNKRS page. This isn’t uncommon, and it was expected that the release was possibly postponed for a later date. As it turns out, the outspoken Colin Kaepernick – a central figure in the brand’s “Just Do It” anniversary campaign last fall – urged Nike to halt the release of a shoe that honored a flag that coincided with the slavery era. After that news got out, the flag was widely decried as racially problematic symbol and the shoe in question is now unwittingly at the center of yet another polarizing discussion with a mind-boggling side effect: the shoes are worth crazy money.
Despite Nike’s efforts to pull the product, footwear retailer Finishline released the shoes in-store. Although they had product pages up on their website, stock was never loaded an as of now a sale was never made online. Other retailers have disclosed with us that they still have their stock in their possession. Almost immediately the value of the shoes began to rise, and before StockX officially announced that they were banning the shoe from their marketplace on July 2nd, pairs were selling for above $2,000, which is typically grail-level pricing for the Air Max 1. Now, just a day after the Independence Day holiday, a pair has appeared on eBay with over 100 bids and a current price of $15,000 (the retail price was $140). We can firmly assure you that no level-headed Air Max fanatic is paying that much for what’s truly an average shoe, so this could be another one of those outlanding eBay listings that don’t end up in an actual sale, or someone just wants these really, really badly. Follow along the auction and see where the final bid price is when the listing ends this Monday evening.