Fans were thrilled when Reebok announced last month that it would celebrate the newly created Alien Day by selling the iconic “Alien Stomper” boots that Sigourney Weaver wore in Aliens—even though most saw through the made-up holiday as a blatant ploy to sell merchandise. But as is the case with many nostalgia-driven sales, like Pepsi Perfect last October, things didn’t go as planned.
The shoes were set to go on sale April 26 at 12pm ET, costing fans a cool $174.99 with the option to purchase Ripley’s high-top shoes or the mid-cut version Bishop wore in the movie. However, the numbers were limited: only 426 pairs of Ripley’s shoes (referring to LV-426, the planet in Alien) and 1,986 pairs of Bishop’s shoes (the year Aliens was released) would be available. If you’re in the U.S., that number went down significantly.
@julianpope Only 36 pairs!— Reebok Classic (@ReebokClassics) April 25, 2016
Even if you didn’t know just how few pairs of shoes would be up for grabs, it was probably fair to assume Reebok’s website wouldn’t hold up to the traffic once the gates opened—despite Reebok having nearly a month to prepare for legions of collectors and fans.
hey @Reebok fix your damn website so I can checkout! you had MONTHS to prepare for this…— M. P. Cherkowsky (@MPcherkowsky) April 26, 2016
Why can't any company properly release a limited edition product without screwing customers cc @reebok— molly (@heymolly) April 26, 2016
But fans soon noticed an entirely different problem. When they clicked on the link to purchase Ripley’s Alien Stompers, they discovered the shoes—ones that a female character wore in a blockbuster so successful that there’s a fake holiday around it—were only available in men’s sizes.
Generally speaking, you can convert to a women’s shoe size by stepping down a men’s shoe size by two, although that’s not always a guaranteed fit. According to screenshots of the Ripley’s Alien Stompers product page, the smallest available size was a men’s 8, which would be approximately a women’s 10. That already leaves out many of the women who may have wanted to purchase and wear those shoes.
Many fans didn’t miss the irony that shoes originally worn by an iconic female hero weren’t made available to women.
Even the smallest size, Men's 6, would be 2 sizes too big for me. What makes @Reebok think women don't want to wear Ripley's shoes??— Yaya Han (@YayaHan) April 26, 2016
I feel like @Reebok only releasing 426 of the Alien Stomper sneakers is a giant middle finger to the fans that won't get them.— Ani-Mia (@AniMiaOfficial) April 26, 2016
why is reebok only releasing these as a batch collector's item for men as opposed to legit selling them to EVERYONE WHO WANTS TO WEAR THEM— Maddy Myers (@MIDImyers) April 26, 2016
Wait, @Reebok created running shoes from Aliens that Ripley wore, but only released them in men's sizes? Ripley wore them. Female Ripley.— Elias Toufexis (@EliasToufexis) April 26, 2016
So @Reebok makes limited ed replicas of Ellen Ripley’s kicks from Aliens…and doesn’t offer them in women’s sizes. Brilliant move corporation— Luke (@Burning_Luke) April 26, 2016
The Daily Dot reached out to Reebok for comment, but did not get a response. A Reebok representative told i09 that “The Alien Stompers were released in men’s sizes due to retail demand.”
The Alien Stompers are, unsurprisingly, already sold out, but you can still bid on a pair being given away for charity.
Update 10:06pm CT, April 26: Reebok provided i09 with an updated statement, claiming the representative who originally spoke to the site wasn’t authorized to do so. According to the statement, “The Alien Stomper was mis-categorized on our US website as a men’s shoe. While size availability varied by market, the Alien Stomper is a unisex style and was produced in sizes (US Men’s) 3.5 – 12, which is a typical size range for a unisex model.”