Tom Sachs x Nike Mars Yard 2.0 Natural/Red-Maple AA2261-100


SKU: AA2261-100 Category: Tag:


Inspired by Sach interactions with NASA scientists, the design features an Off-White mesh upper with maple colored nubuck panels, a Sport Red Swoosh, and red pull tabs on the heel and tongue. The shoe also comes with two insoles made of mesh and cord, with the latter geared towards sockless wear.

Tom Sachs is a master of reinterpreting Americana and refracting it through the prisms of sculpture, irony and humor. So when it came time for Sachs to release the second iteration of his beloved NikeCraft Mars Yard shoe, naturally Sachs offered his own interpretation of Space Camp. The elaborate Space Camp installation that Sachs has set up on Governor’s Island is proof positive of this: far from a run-of-the-mill pop-up, Sachs has built a full complex, including an obstacle course, shooting gallery, coffee-shop and sculpture studio. Aspiring space cadets must complete Sachs’ challenges to earn a chance for a pair of Sachs’ coveted NikeCraft Mars Yard 2.0.

Speaking over the din of rotary saws and heavy machinery, Nate Jobe, Senior Design Director in Nike’s Footwear Innovation department, that Sachs’ decade-long relationship with Nike is a continuous conversation. “We had lunch once, and he gave us very comprehensive feedback,” including a comprehensive report of field-tests, trials that included “skateboarding, cycling, daily studio wear.” Sachs himself claims to have worn the the shoes practically everyday since the first NikeCraft drop five years ago.

Much like life, there are always two ways to go through Space Camp: the easy way or the hard way. After being briefed, attendees were told “you can choose the difficult path ahead or be a pussy and choose the easy path and walk around the party.” Cadets can either climb up a rope, using their legs as a supportive lever, or climb a step-ladder; there were two RC helicopter challenges; push-ups can be modified by adding an incline, etc. but must be completed until failure.

Much like friend and collaborator Frank Ocean — more on him later — Sachs has two versions of his Nikes. Jobe spoke on the differences between the shoe’s first and second iterations. In their daily trials, Sachs and his team found what they called an “unknown unknown: despite Vectran — a JPL-developed material used in the first sneaker — being “stronger than steel” according to Sachs, it has a breaking point. “If you folded the sneakers more than twenty times, it snapped like a paper-clip.” The 2.0 subs Vectran out for a mesh and polyfiber lining that gives the sneaker a metallic sheen. According to Jobe, Sachs’ studio team also specifically requested a cork insole to facilitate barefoot wear.

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