Tom Sachswears his shoes. The crafty fine artist has a relationship with Nike dating back to 2012, when their collaboration produced the NikeCraft Mars Yard, a retro-future-looking runner now seen on only the coolest kids in Soho. (Also in L.A., most likely at the Soho House.)
But Sachs quickly learned that the product wasn’t quite up to his hard-charging needs. The upper material wasn’t holding up quite as he’d like it to, so in 2017 the brand and the artist released the Mars Yard 2.0, now with brand-new ultra-strong mesh.
The shoes have been a hit—1.0 now resells in the $5,000 range, 2.0 slightly below that. And while Sachs is a proponent of grinding your sneakers into obsolescence, you’d have to have a particularly piquant sadomasochistic streak to wear a pair of Mars Yards in the rain, sleet, slush, snow, dirt, or mud. So, in typical Sachs fashion, he decided to do something about it.
That something is the Nike Mars Yard Overshoe, the behemoth you see here. This is a Stay Puft Marshmallow Man of a sneaker, a Standard Issue Martian Exploration sneaker, a Left the Rest of My Hazmat Suit at Home sneaker. Which is exactly the point.
“Its nickname is the March Yard — for March, the worst month of the year,” Sachs says in a Nike press release. “It is wet, your feet are wet the whole month of March.” The March Yard fixes that.
The upper is made from a special brand of Dyneema, which is literally trademarked as the strongest fabric in the world. The sole is massive and rubber, sturdy enough for even the rudest spring rainstorm. And the whole thing is covered in enough buckles and straps to make an Acronym obsessive faint. It is a remarkable amount of shoe, an absolute unit for those who think the Balenciaga Triple S is a little too modest. Honestly, it kind of rules.
But it’s not all puffy white exterior. There is a regular Mars Yard buried inside all that high-tech textile—and, somewhat tragically for the would-be sneakerhead, it’s not meant to be removed from its shell. Of course, that hasn’t stopped enterprising owners from stripping it out anyway. I’m not going to sit here and tell you to take scissors to a shoe that retails for $550. But I will tell you that that’s exactly what Frank Ocean did. So, you know, do what you will.