There are sneakers, and then there's the Nike Mag. Nothing more than a Back to the Future movie prop for more than 20 years, the Mag long captivated sneaker and movie enthusiasts who dreamed of someday having a pair to call their own. That became possible in 2011 when Nike teamed up with Michael J. Fox and his foundation for Parkinson's research to auction off 1,500 pairs for charity.
The surprise launch also made something else possible: seeing the Mag in different colorways. Until then, the shoe had only been seen in its iconic grey, white and blue speckled scheme, but a few courageous collectors sought uniqueness. Enter sneaker customizers like Dan "Mache" Gamache, one of the few individuals who have been approached about reworking the Mag. At a price tag pushing $10,000, customizing the virtually irreplaceable Mag is an experience unlike customizing any other shoe, and Mache initially felt the pressure.
"I was scared to death to work on them," Gamache told us about working on his first pair of Mags, a custom order by NFL star Cortland Finnegan. "It was more about the replacement costs. I can't mess these shoes up, because he can't get them again."
As for the actual process and any difficulties a customizer may face working on the Mag compared to another model, it was business as usual for Gamache once he got the hang of things.
"Now I see it as just another shoe," he said. "Working on it isn't any different from any other shoe that has a nylon base. It's more of mental thing of just getting started the first time."
To date, Mache has customized six different pairs of Mags, but he isn't alone. Other notable artists like Dez Customz, Kreative Customs, Kickasso, and Hippieneal have gotten the call. As the wait to see who will be bold enough to have their 2016 auto-lacing Mags customized begins, here's a look at 10 pairs that have already been remixed.