Michael Jordan still king of the sneaker

After waiting in line since 5 a.m. this morning, New Yorker Anthony Mota was happy to buy the latest Jordan sneakers.
Greg Sandoval/CBS Interactive

(CBS News) NEW YORK - After all these years, people still want to be like Mike - or, at least, dress like him.

The sneakers named after Michael Jordan, the former NBA great who retired from professional basketball in 2003, continue to be a status symbol in many parts of the country.

In the early hours this morning, long lines gathered in front of shoe stores across the country as the latest iteration of Jordan's shoe, the Air Jordan 6 Retro (also known as the Olympic), hit store shelves.

According to Nike, the company that created the line, the Jordan 6 Retro is the same design that Jordan wore when he won his first championship, with the Chicago Bulls, in 1991.

People tried to push their way into Solestice shoe store in Manhattan before the last of the new Jordan sneakers were gone. The shoes sold out in 15 minutes.
Greg Sandoval/CBS Interactive
At Solestice, an athletic shoe store in Manhattan's Spanish Harlem, it was a mob scene as customers who were in line outside the store began trying to push their way inside. The store was given only about 17 pairs of the Air Jordan, and according to Jennifer Kim, the store's owner, the sneakers sold out within 15 minutes.

"We anticipated there would be a lot of interest, but we didn't anticipate anything like that," said Kim.

Globally, Jordans have been popular brand for a while, but "retro" shoes are in demand, said Kim, referring to styles from earlier eras.

Kim said that she sold her Jordans for the suggested retail price of $160, but according to media reports, some stores were jacking up prices to as much as $400.

Anthony Mota passed by Solestice carrying a pair of the new Jordans he purchased from another area merchant for $250. He said he had begun waiting in line at 5 a.m.

Nike released the Air Jordan line in 1985 and backed the shoe with what became one of the most successful marketing campaigns for a sneaker ever. Nike releases new designs annually.

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    Greg Sandoval covers media and digital entertainment for CNET News. Based in New York, Sandoval is a former reporter for The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. E-mail Greg, or follow him on Twitter at @sandoCNET.

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