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Sneaker stores on Long Island

Rebecca Taylor's Olympia high top, $295, boasts a

(Credit: Handout)

They call themselves "sneakerheads" -- and they aren't picking up a pair of Nikes on sale at a local retail store. They are purists who scout online for the latest "drop" of retro Air Jordans and other limited-edition sneakers, shopping loyally at their favorite sneaker boutique.

The demand for these high-end sneakers can be enormous because the companies -- mainly Nike and Reebok -- produce a limited number of them, often as few as 500 pairs nationwide. Local stores vie with the rest of the country for their fair share, getting as few as 15 pairs of a particularly valuable sneaker. When retro or limited-edition sneakers are "dropped," usually on a Saturday, lines go around the block, and some hold events for their customers. Many of these sneakers retail in the $150-to-$250 range but can sell for much more on eBay and sneaker blogs.

Even though Michael Jordan officially retired nine years ago, his Air Jordans are on top of the heap of the exclusive sneaker scene. He now has a sequence from one to 26 and often releases retro sneakers based on his earlier designs.

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