It’s NBA All-Star weekend in Toronto, and Nike is having a 4 day event from Thursday, 2/11/16 to Sunday, 2/14/16 in Toronto, LA, Chicago, and NYC. The Nike SNKRS XPRESS is a reservation only event (reservations were gone in a matter of minutes) at the main Nike store in each of these cities. I hear in Toronto they transformed a train car into a store, but living in Chicago I can only speculate from what I’ve seen/heard. Info on this event has been hard to come by, as even Nike reps have been sworn to secrecy. But I went to the event in Chicago yesterday. And I’m going back today. And Sunday. This is what you can expect at the Nike SNKRS XPRESS if you were lucky enough to score a reservation:
Reservations are hourly, as the event goes from 11:00AM to 7:00PM. You’re only allowed one reservation per day of the event, and getting an early reservation doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting first dibs. I had a Thursday reservation but had to cancel because of work, and I’m kicking myself for not showing up an hour or two late, because apparently the first “drop” was the Nike Air Jordan OG Chicago 1’s. If you’re not a sneakerhead, they’re one of the most sought-after Jordan shoes and they look like this:
A Nike rep told me there was another drop on Thursday, but I don’t recall what it was. I was standing out in the cold for a half hour before I got to talk to them, and my memory isn’t on point. My bad. The rest of the intel I’ve got is legit though.
I had a 1:00PM reservation yesterday, and they advise getting there a half hour early to line up. I got to the store around 12:40, and the line was already 30 people deep. 30 people doesn’t seem like a lot, but like I said, this is a limited reservation event, with likely limited stock of shoes, so I was a little worried at first.
After freezing your balls off for about a half hour, they start going down the line checking everyone’s reservation by ID as they hand out wristbands. There were 4 Nike reps and 2 security guards keeping an eye on things as they let people in 20 at a time. So I was out in the cold until about 1:20 before even stepping foot inside the Nike store. But hey, that’s the grind.
Once you get inside, they check your wristband before letting you up the first escalator. At the top of the stairs, they check your ID and wristband again, and then let you line up for the elevator. On line for the elevator, they check your wristband again, and again when you get in the elevator. Once you go up to the 5th floor, they check your wristband one final time before letting you into the SNKRS XPRESS station. A Nike rep greets you and gives you an entire speech about how it’s NBA All Star weekend in Toronto and tells you about all the festivities they have going on there. On the right there is a wall of classic Jordan shoes and limited releases (not for purchase). Towards the back there’s a Jordan XXX display with the latest sneaker, and a bunch of world clocks. And on the left are the shoes you can actually purchase (1 pair per person).
They had all the main Nike athlete signature All-Star Game Royalty Pack shoes (Kobe, LeBron, Anthony Davis, Paul George, Kevin Durant), the Nike Air Pressure, the latest Air Max and the Ultra Flyknit Air Force 1s, but on Friday the major drops were the Nike Air Foamposite “Northern Lights” All Star Foams and the Yeezy Pure Platinum Foams. Everyone was buying a pair of the Northern Lights, most were buying both. I heard at 3:00PM they had another drop, the Jordan Master 12’s, but these were not available at the time when I went there. I have a 5:00PM slot today, so I’m hoping for the best.
It seems like 3:00PM is the best time to reserve at the SNKRS XPRESS event, as I stayed there until about 2:15PM hoping they’d drop another shoe. I was told by a friend who had a 3:00PM reservation about the Jordan Master 12s I mentioned earlier, which weren’t available while I was there.
After you make your purchase, they usher you out and take your wristband. The shoes are non-refundable and not eligible for returns, so if you don’t like ’em you gotta resell them on 3rd party websites. They do, however, come with a poster and a collectible pin, which was pretty cool.
I’ll be sure to update this post tomorrow with what they had there Saturday and Sunday. There are rumors about the Jordan 10 OVOs, and it’s pretty much a guarantee the Jordan IV White Cement joints will be there today. Wish me luck.
So I went back on Saturday at 5:ooPM. The SNKRS XPRESS had the black Jordan X OVOs in the morning, but there were none available for purchase by the time I got there. There also wasn’t a 2nd “drop” after the OVOs in the morning, so I screwed myself getting a late time slot. They also had the Jordan White Cement 4s that dropped in the morning, but I already copped a pair online. All I bought was another pair of the Yeezy foams and called it a day.
Sunday was more of the same. In the morning they had the black OVOs and the white OVOs, but they were all gone by my 3:00PM time slot. There was no 2:00PM timeslot, so I was hopeful they’d have something special for us, but alas there was nothing. There was a guy who said he drove up from Indiana, and would pay cash for the Northern Lights foamposites, so pretty much everyone there bought one to sell him. It was an easy $55 flip, so of course I did the same. The only other new kicks they had were the Jordan 1 International Icons. A lot of people were buying them, but I wasn’t feeling them. Grabbed my 3rd pair of Yeezys of the weekend and the SNKRS XPRESS event was over for me.