Limited edition kicks

Still the one: Long lines at Houston malls as fans wait to buy Air Jordan 11 Concords

Still the one: Long lines at Houston malls as fans wait to buy Air Jordan 11 Concords

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Those lined up closer to the front of the line will be guaranteed a pair of Jordans at midnight.  Photo by Whitney Radley
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This is what they're waiting for.
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Vanessa Benavides, far left, has been in line since noon on Wednesday.  Photo by Whitney Radley
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Around the southwest corner of Sears department store, the line continues. Photo by Whitney Radley
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When you were warm and cozy in your nice, dry bed Wednesday night during the big rainstorm, I bet you felt sorry for the occupiers. 

No, not the ones in Tranquility Park —the hordes of shoppers camping out at malls around Houston and the country in hopes of snatching up a pair of Air Jordan 11 Concords

The limited edition shoes, a re-release of the design initially worn by basketball great Michael Jordan in 1995, go on sale at midnight on Thursday — at $180 (plus tax) a pair. Enthusiatic fans began lining up at stores in the Galleria, Memorial City, Gulfgate, The Woodlands and other area malls as early as Wednesday to snare a pair, although chances for those in the back of the long lines isn't good.

 Enthusiatic fans began lining up at stores in the Galleria, Memorial City, Gulfgate and other area malls as early as Wednesday to snare a pair, although chances for those in the back of the long lines isn't good. 

At Memorial City Mall, only Champs Sports, Foot Locker and Kids Foot Locker have the new retro shoes in stock. According to Foot Locker associate Charles Bruce, that makes for about 320 pairs at the whole mall. 

Some fanatics arrived as early at 7 a.m. on Wednesday at Memorial City to queue up at the entrance near Becks Prime. By noon on Thursday, the line had wrapped along the sidewalk on the outskirts of Sears, extending to the southeast corner of the store. It included hundreds of people, bolstered by lawn chairs and bedding, gallon coolers that would look more at place field-side, eating fast food brought by over by helpful friends and family members.

Loida Ramirez and Vanessa Benavides sat near the front of the line in adjustable lounge chairs, blankets covering their laps. Each had perfect makeup, but they claimed they've been in line since noon on Wednesday. They endured the wet and the cold of last night's storm to buy a pair of Air Jordan shoes each. 

Ramirez and Benavides complained that the mall doors were closed overnight, so those in line were not allowed to use the restroom or charge their cell phones in the electrical outlets until this morning. But they believe it will be worth the wait once they have the Air Jordans in their hands.

Around the corner, those waiting near the line's end arrived only Thursday morning, but they were still optimistic that there would be shoes left in the stores when it came their turn. 

How likely is it that?

"There's no way," said Troye Austin, associate at Champs Sports.

Though security will be handling the crowds, letting in only 10 to 15 shoppers at a time (each shopper is allowed a maximum of two pairs of Concords), the stores are still preparing for the deluge.

"We're making sure we have all of our staff here," said Austin, "And all of our associates who are buying a pair of the Concords themselves will leave them here, just to be safe."

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