The day after Thanksgiving means only one thing for many Americans. No, not turkey and mashed potato leftovers (although those are pretty important, too). We're talking about door-busting, frenzy-inducing, mega-deal shopping madness. In the sneaker industry, the Black Friday frenzy doesn't take the form of Wal-Mart riots to save an extra $20 on a flat screen TV or set of wrenches, but worrying if you're going to be able to score the day's hottest sneakers. It has become a tradition for brands to drop special releases on the annual day of shopping hysteria, and we've seen some pretty memorable models hit the shelves.
In celebration of another impending Black Friday this week, we take a look back at some of the best sneaker releases of the yearly shopping "holiday" over the last decade. And if you missed any of these on the year they originally dropped, keep in mind that all of Black Friday's greatest hits are in stock now and ready to ship at Stadium Goods.
2009: Air Jordan 12 "Flu Game"
In 2009 Jordan Brand paid tribute to Michael Jordan's infamous "Flu Game" in the 1997 NBA Finals with this alternate edition of the black and red Jordan 12 he wore as he willed himself to dropping 38 points and picking up the win in a pivotal Game 5. Many collectors were critical of the switch from full-grain leather to nubuck and added "sick-face" detailing when these first released, but they've since evolved into a cult-classic colorway that becomes more sought after as deadstock pairs become harder and harder to find.
2010: Air Jordan 13 "Flint"
In 2010 Jordan collectors got another chance at the OG "Flint" colorway of the Air Jordan 13, which hadn't been released since its first retro in 2005. It turns out that five-year absence wasn't so bad, as we've currently been waiting for another retro of the classic look for eight years and counting.
Jordan Brand pulled out all the stops for 2011's Black Friday, dropping one of the most celebrated sneakers of all time. It didn't matter that these had just released three years earlier in the Countdown Pack collection—the 2011 version disappeared faster than grandma's pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving dinner.
There was only one way to follow up Black Friday 2011 for Jordan Brand: drop another one of the best models and colorways ever, the Air Jordan 4 "Black/Cement."
Still one of Ronnie Fieg's best New Balance collaborations to this day, the "Daytona" 1600 stole the show on Black Friday 2013 thanks to its impeccable colorway and premium materials.
After releasing the Air Jordan 5 "Oreo" in 2013, Jordan Brand got back to the tradition of dropping essential OG colorways for Black Friday in 2014. They obviously picked one of the best options possible, the always-amazing Air Jordan 6 "Black/Infrared."
2015: Air Jordan 8 "Aqua"
It was business as usual for Jordan Brand's 2015 Black Friday, once again taking top honors among sneaker releases for the day with the classic Air Jordan 8 "Aqua."
2016: Air Jordan 3 "True Blue"
After "Black/Cement" in 2011, Jordan Brand revisited the Air Jordan 3 for their high-profile Black Friday drop in 2016, this time bringing back the beloved "True Blue" colorway, complete with OG "Nike Air" branding on the heels.
Ronnie Fieg was back in the spotlight for Black Friday 2017, releasing the super stylish and functional adidas UltraBoost Mid TR along with Japan's Nonnative featuring a wool-infused Primeknit upper and ample traction for off-road and slick conditions. We don't suspect that very many people have dared to wear their pair of the limited edition sneaker out for a hike, though.
2018: Air Jordan 12 "Gym Red"
Red November? This year Jordan Brand is ready to drop the all-red Air Jordan 12, which even with a full slate of impressive releases including the adidas Yeezy Boost 350 v2 "Sesame," is our pick for the shoe that will go down as this year's most memorable Black Friday drop — even though the release ended up being delayed one day to Saturday the 24th.
adidas Yeezy Boost 350 v2 "Sesame" (2018)