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New Nike space-themed shoes create a ruckus in some cities

Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press

Geoffrey Neshkes of Laurel, Md., was unsuccessful in his bid to buy a pair of the Foamposite Galaxy basketball sneakers.

Sneaker fanatics who lined up outside stores overnight got their first crack yesterday at a new outer-space themed Nike basketball shoe, getting so unruly in some cities that police were called to restore order.

In Orlando, Fla., more than 100 deputies in riot gear quelled a crowd awaiting the release of the $220 Foamposite Galaxy. At a mall in Hyattsville, Md., one person was arrested for disorderly conduct. The shoe’s release coincides with this weekend’s NBA All-Star Game in Orlando.

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The shoes, part of a space-themed collection, are a draw for so-called sneakerheads who collect signature sports footgear and can resell it online at a marked-up price, sometimes for hundreds more than retail.

Malls in Florida, New York and Maryland reported bringing in police to manage fans clamoring for the purple and blue shoes, which have star-like flecks of white.

Nike issued a statement yesterday, saying, “As with the launch of all Nike products, consumer safety and security is of paramount importance. We encourage anyone wishing to purchase our product to do so in a respectful and safe manner.’’

Nike spokesman Matthew Kneller said the Nike store in New York City immediately sold out yesterday.

The shoes were also quickly out of stock in Cambridge, Mass., where people began lining up outside a House of Hoops by Foot Locker at 3 p.m. Thursday.

The store only had 12 pairs of the shoes, however, so it handed out tickets to the first dozen people in line, and only those people waited, store manager Terrio Lakes said.

In Hyattsville, Md., Geoffrey Neshkes, 30, said had waited at The Mall at Prince Georges since Wednesday, hoping to get a pair of the Galaxy shoes and other new limited edition sneakers. But the mall ultimately told patrons the shoes would not be released because of the crowd, which Neshkes estimated in the hundreds.

Neshkes, an auto mechanic, said he has been collecting sneakers for more than a decade.

“This is by far the craziest it has gotten,’’ he said.

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