Long Islanders apparently love having their own sneaker.
Last July, a limited-edition Jones Beach-inspired Nike sneaker created a wild frenzy at Street Gear in Hempstead, where shoppers doled out $150 ($30 more than the sticker price) for the sand-and-sea colored sneaks that featured the longitude and latitude of Jones Beach stamped on the back, the historic lighthouse on the tongue and a map of the island on the bottom. The entire run of 516 shoes (as in the area code) sold out in a few hours.
Well, they're back!
The Nike Jones Beach sneakers go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at Street Gear, which has them exclusively for a week. After that, they'll be distributed to other area stores, including Footlocker, Footaction and Champs.
Why the rerelease after less than a year?
"This is definitely a special situation," said Nike spokeswoman Demetria White. "The response to the shoe was so overwhelming and positive, that we had to do it again to give people an opportunity to acquire a pair."
Adds Street Gear owner Richard Leggio, who conceptualized and helped design the sneaker, "I've been getting calls for them for the whole year, from as far away as Italy. There's such a sentimental feeling people have about Jones Beach, such an emotional attachment."
The design remains the same, but the price has dropped to $100 for men's sizes, and now kid sizes are available (these also fit women) for $85. "It's much more democratic across the board, with women's and children's being produced," said White.
And there are many more available - somewhere in the 10,000-pair range, according to Leggio.
When the Jones Beach sneaks were first introduced, buyers reportedly spent up to $1,200 for them on eBay. (A pittance compared to the $27,000 said to have been spent on a pair of Kanye West Nike prototypes.) Leggio said they'll hold their value.
Sneaker guru Carlos Sanchez, who blogs on the subject at sneakgeekz.tv, said the only people who'll be upset by the rerelease will be those who collect for resale value.
For the ultimate collector, there is one supremely exclusive pair of the Jones Beach kicks. Leggio, working with Nike, has produced a "1 of 1" edition that he said he is donating to the volunteer organization Jones Beach Rescue. These come in a special wooden box with a plaque and a medallion. Leggio estimates they'll raise between $2,500 to $3,500 for the cause.