Since 2012, Nike and Tom Sachs have engaged in a never-ending quest for slow and steady improvement in their coveted projects, whether they take form in a shape-shifting poncho or the hallmark Mars Yard shoe. Striving for perfection in their latest model, both the brand and the artist have announced the “NIKECRAFT Weartester Program,” in which fans will have the opportunity to wear test the latest iteration of Sachs' distinctive Mars Yard shoe.
The Mars Yard 2.5 wear test is part of Sachs and Nike's collaborative NIKECRAFT initiative, which focuses on the examination of products. To help improve the design of the sneaker, fans are being solicited to put the Mars Yard 2.5 to the test by recording personal experiences with the shoe and providing feedback. The program aims to gather research on long term footwear care and sustainable production.
Wear and tear — Prior to this announcement, photos of the Mars Yard 2.5 floated around the web, including one of Sachs himself rocking a pair. No hints or confirmations of an actual release were ever made, but now we see the artist is simply perfecting his art. To top the previous photos, Nike released a cheeky video of Sachs and his colleagues testing the shoes over nails on a treadmill, hammering its outsole, and spraying the model with water. No word on whether civilian testing is expected to be as extreme.
“With this particular challenge, we are engaging people to really think about this shoe and bring different perspectives, both culturally and environmentally,” said Sachs. “This is an opportunity to invite a larger audience to really indulge in our favorite part of the process — learning about things and making stuff. The process is the most valuable thing, and if the end result is a great pair of shoes, that’s fantastic. But I think it's really important that the testing process celebrates the journey.”
So if you’re in it for a free pair of shoes, maybe prepare to run on nails. With the Mars Yard 2.5 wear test, NIKECRAFT has a goal of making products that can be “worn to death.” The brand is asking for more than a little sneaker creasing.
Challenge accepted — Anyone interested in wear testing the Mars Yard 2.5 can submit an application in the form of a one-minute video uploaded to Instagram explaining why you want to join. The clip should include your Instagram handle, location, and shoe size. To ensure the NIKECRAFT team sees your submission, use the hashtag #nikecraftweartester and tag @tomsachs.
If chosen, the shoes will need to be returned following use to be sanitized, studied, repaired, and reissued, but you can always cherish the time your feet were blessed by the Mars Yard 2.5. Find out more about the program on NIKECRAFT’s website, and make sure to submit your application for the wear test by December 31. Maybe you can end your 2020 on a high note.