Sales of Space Jam Jordans off and running in ATL

The new Space Jam Air Jordans went on sale today, with local stores reporting crowds of people trying to snatch up the retro shoes in time for Christmas.

A handful of Foot Action and Foot Locker stores said customers filled their stores at 7 buy the Air Jordan 11 (Air Jordan XI) Retro shoe. An hour later,  the buyers -- and the shoes -- were gone.

The shoe is selling for $175.

Nationally, stores were reporting early morning lines, with some retailers opening at midnight. "Space Jam Jordans" was also the top-trending term on Google trends early today.

In downtown Atlanta, retailers said crowds formed early in the morning but tapered off. By 8:30 a.m., a store clerk at Walter's Clothing on Decatur Street said only shoes in really large sizes remained.

An employee at the Foot Locker store on Campbellton Road that was burglarized early Tuesday said the thieves did not get any of his store's supply of Space Jam Jordans.

He said the store was jammed this morning with customers buying the new Jordans.

The line stretched down Decatur Street when Walter's opened at 8:30 a.m.

Store owner Jeff Steinbook, who counts numerous professional athletes among his customers, said he sold 44 pairs of the new shoes within minutes. He only had a handful of larger sizes left an hour later.

"It's the most popular Jordan we've had in a while," Steinbook said. "It's been a while since we've had them lining up."

Steinbook said the Space Jam Jordan is the most popular new style since the 23rd edition of the Nike Air Jordan went on sale in January, 2008.

Then, customers camped out for about a week outside Steinbook's store to get their hands on the version bearing Jordan's basketball number. But in that case, there were special circumstances. Nike only made 23 pairs (jordan's jersey number)  that were sold for $230 at 23 stores nationwide.

Steinbook said the Space Jam Jordans are so popular because they are a re-release of an earlier version of the shoe first sold in the mid-90s.

"They really like the earlier models, up to about 12 or 13 is where the really popular shoes are," he said. "This one that came out today was an 11, which was real popular. They call it a retro – they might change the color or something."

He said Nike "doesn't release enough, so supply and demand still works pretty well."