Line for Levi’s Air Jordans Trails Down Market Street

With the long line for limited edition sneakers comes minimally-paid people to hold spots.

People line up along Market St. for new Air Jordan sneakers on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018 (Photo by Ida Mojadad)

Downtown San Francisco traded procrastinating holiday shoppers for avid sneaker collectors lining up days in advance for the latest Air Jordans.

Levi’s isn’t known for sneakers, but a limited-edition Air Jordan denim shoe has people lined up well past the Westfield Mall entrance for the collaboration. The shoes — along with a limited-edition trucker jacket — don’t go on sale until Wednesday, but dedicated shoe lovers showed up over the weekend.

San Francisco resident Felix Sting arrived on Saturday to nab the second place in line — one of roughly 10 each year he sits through in order to add to his shoe collection. Plus, shoes like these can resell online for more than double its $225 price tag — and already have on sites like StockX.

“A lot of people won’t do this for a shoe,” Sting says. “They’re not easy to get.” 

Levi’s x Air Jordan IV sneakers (Photo courtesy of Levi’s)

Another Levi’s x Air Jordan IV hopeful who goes by Dee Dre says that others in line have their cars nearby, or will sleep in hotels overnight and leave the chairs to hold their spot. Sometimes, other people hold a spot for them — for anywhere from $20 to $100.

Levi’s set rules that require the purchaser to have government identification matched to a wristband, but refused to comment on any policy they may have regarding spot holders. One woman, who declined to give her name, says a man found her outside her Mason Street home and paid her $20 to stay in line on Tuesday — on top of the place he already had in line.

In other words, the man who paid her $20 stands to earn at least $500 should he resell both pairs. But someone taking advantage of another — who will help them profit for so little expenditure — could be the least crazy aspect of people waiting for days to buy limited-edition sneakers. And they come from all backgrounds. As Sting says, “There’s a little bit of everybody here.”

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