The scene was chaotic at Foot Locker's flagship store on New York City's 34th St. on Friday morning as would-be shoppers exchanged blows, shoving each other while a crowd huddled around them, phones capturing the moment for social media.
The group outside of the store was anticipating the release of the Nike LeBron 14 "Out of Nowhere," a limited launch announced by Foot Locker on social media on Thursday. But according to Kezlon Gray, who was on the scene for the morning's chaos, store employees said they didn't even have the shoes for sale.
"It's crazy, the store associates, they didn't even know what was happening," Gray tells Sole Collector.
A Foot Locker spokesperson confirmed that the sneakers were not sold on Friday as they didn't make it to the store on time.
According to Gray, the fight broke out over relatively standard sneaker line fare: cutting, a tense atmosphere, and a lack of proper security measures. He says the people in front of the store dispersed once Foot Locker employees told them they weren't selling the sneakers, but not before breaking a door in the midst of the brawl.
Foot Locker often uses raffles or app-based procedures to launch coveted shoes like this, so it's a bit surprising to see the store a using first-come, first-served approach for these Nike LeBrons.
"Consumer safety and security is the priority for both Foot Locker and Nike," a spokesperson tells Sole Collector. "We always encourage anyone wishing to purchase any product from Foot Locker to do so in a respectful and safe manner."
It's unclear at this point if Foot Locker will be releasing the "Out of Nowhere" LeBron 14s at some point in the future.