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Sneakerheads Brave Cold For LeBron James' New Nike 'Corkscrew' Kicks

By Mark Konkol | February 23, 2013 2:41pm | Updated on February 25, 2013 12:17pm

WICKER PARK — Sneakerheads — those devoted collectors of stylish gym shoes — braved the cold overnight in Wicker Park to score a pair of Lebron James' new “LeBron X, Corkscrew” from Nike

At 6 o’clock Friday, dozens of young people had already lined up outside Saint Alfred on Milwaukee Avenue to buy the $300 basketball shoes made out of cork when the store opened at 11 a.m. Saturday.

“They’ve been trying to line up for three or four days, and I’ve been telling them to leave,” Saint Alfred manager Frank DiGiovanni said.

Maharshi Patel, 26, was posted up in the front of the line.

“It’s serious out here, man. If you’re a sneakerhead you know,” Patel said. “For me, my outfit starts with the sneaker. People see you walking by, and they see the sneaker and you get mad respect. You don’t have to say anything. They can tell you have a certain amount of swag.”

Gym shoe aficionados waited in line to get their hands on a pair, which retail for $240 and are worth about $1,000 on the resale market.

Excitement over the extremely limited edition “LeBrons” even overshadowed Nike’s re-release of Michael Jordan’s “Air Jordan III Retro ’88.”

“No offense to Michael, but it’s a hot shoe. Very limited. Not a lot of people get ‘em,” said Aaron Auruz, 19, of Kenosha, Wis. “If I get 'em for box price. I’m wearing them.”

After all that waiting, Saint Alfred sold out of its share of extremely limited release — fewer than 20 pairs — in about 15 minutes.