evolution of the Nike death shoe

I’m continuing this discussion from “gruesome is the new cool“. I’ll paste that part over so you don’t have to click out.

And what better day to start than one where I’m spiked up on prednisone again because I had a stupid latex dust reaction in a huge Nike outlet store from pilfering through boxes trying to find an acceptable pair of awesome athletic shoes. My fave Nike Air Trackstar 3 black/metallic silver-white is discontinued, but I found a pair in the UK online almost double the cost, but now the order is pending so I’m crossing my fingers while I wait for response to my contact.

And why do I want THESE so badly? Because gruesome is the new cool. (Also, the arch is the most perfect fit for my foot that I’ve ever found, really wish Nike would stop messing around with that.) From one of my surveys on Surveypalooza

Do you wear your shoes in the house? My podiatrist wishes I would. He commanded me to BUY GOOD SHOES to wear in my house, so I bought these and thought Cool, I look like a space cadet. Until I discovered about a month later that everyone in the Heaven’s Gate mass suicide was wearing identical shoes… which I first saw on Ancient Aliens: Season 3, Episode 12 “Aliens and Deadly Cults”

:edit: I’d better mention that I later found out the style is Nike Decades. Click this to see suicide scene pix. Someone blogged about it, click to read. Here is an official journalistic look back. If you do the right kinds of searches you can see people scouring for vintage Decades on ebay and stuff. I say what the heck, mine look cooler, but they are post-90s. Close enough. If you want to see more about the Heaven’s Gate Decades, click here, you’ll see them often enshrined on a purple cloth. I was told when I bought my Trackstar 3s at Lady Footlocker in 2010 that they were the top selling shoe, and I think it’s because it was the closest thing people could still get to the Heaven’s Gate shoes. I looked around today and didn’t see anything else as close as this, so they may be moving away from associating with that image now that color smashing is all the rage. Check out this very interesting Nike problem

Note- I believe mass suicide is a social disease, where a psychopath feeds on the despairing who very sadly fall through cracks and think they find a cool support network where they feel like part of a family. I’m sorry, family won’t kill you. Any belief system requiring your life is erroneous. Why do I love the black Nike death shoe so much? Because when I wear them, they represent living past the despair. I made it. I love that they have become a pop culture symbol and that every time we remember it, we remember those who mistakenly followed a social pervert. When I refer to myself as an ‘evil villain’, it’s not because I’m a psychopath or a social pervert. I’m going to tell you a secret- ok, no I’m not. I’m saving it for the book. You’ll find out why I’m an evil villain when it’s time.

Ok, back to real time.

It took ten days for me to realize that order would remain pending forever because whoever constructed that particular website didn’t allow for orders to fall through cracks when an item is sold out. The rest of this discussion is a result of me doing more research attempting to get the closest thing I can to original Nike death shoe.

Having worked in big retail selling intimates for five years, I’m aware that many customers don’t realize they can migrate to ‘new’ styles when they become frustrated over something like their favorite bra being discontinued. To freshen merch and push new sales, styles are sometimes recycled with very minor changes (a stitch change) and then renamed. Same thing happens with shoes. Nike ‘death shoe’ sales (black with white swoosh), as I’ve been told by sales associates in shoe stores, are actually top selling shoes, so it doesn’t make sense to stop making them. It is understandable, however, why a company would choose to dissociate with a negative image like the Heaven’s Gate mass suicide in 1997. But that was nearly twenty years ago, you say. I know, right? If people still want it, why can’t we get it? It’s not like we’re all going around killing ourselves.

The shoe in the above picture, Trackstar 3, was among the next gen from the original Decade, and this subtle change has continued through the years until it’s very difficult to score a black Nike with a white swoosh any more that still looks close to the original Decade. The closest that I can find that is already discontinued (2014) is the Nike Air Relentless 3, which is a truly awesome shoe. You can still find some sizes on sale, but my size is already long gone. Click the pix to see more.

 photo relentless3.jpg

 photo relentless3sale.jpg

And now Nike truly steps away from the original Decade with the 2015 Relentless 4, inserting leopard spots on a gray background. Keep in mind I’m still trying to keep the same fit I had with my Trackstar 3. The problem is, I’m not a leopard spots person.

 photo relentless4.jpg

You can still get Nike black with white swoosh in other styles. You probably didn’t know there is this much awesome out there. Click the pic to see way more. You’re welcome.

 photo swoosh.jpg

I wasn’t paid to link Nike all over this post. I’m just obsessed with this shoe. By the way, I’m not the only person who will search heaven and earth trying to remain in a particular shoe. Jackie Stiles, a local Bears basketball player, had the Nike company itself scouring the world for her favorite shoe. For Stiles, Only One Shoe Will Do

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