Custom Nike Air Max 1 From the Ground Up

Here I have the world’s MOST RARE Nike Air Max 1s. And I’m about to show you how I got these. 

But a little background first. It just so happens that 2 blocks from my house in Newport Beach, Mitch Marshall was hosting classes showing how to make custom sneakers from the ground up. Him and I got talking and decided to collaborate on a custom pair of Air Maxes. First we picked out the materials we wanted to work with. Mitch had a bunch of different options ranging from tumbled leather to sheep skin. For me it didn’t matter the color, because I was going to paint it anyways. 

After I picked out the leather, it was time to cut the leather into pieces for assembly. We used templates for the size 11 Air Maxes I was making. Basically what I had was a cardstock shape of the piece I needed to cut. I used a white pen to outline where I was going to make my cuts. After that I used an exacto blade and fabric sheers to cut out all the pieces of my shoes. 

This was going to be my first time ever painting a pair of of shoes before the assembly. Obviously it was easier because I got to lay the leather pieces flat on the table. And you guys know half my life is is using tape to mask off sections of shoes, but I didn’t have to do that at all with these. The leather I picked out was pink, which was cool, but I didn’t want the entire shoe to be pink. So I started painting it black when Mitch had the idea to keep the edges pink to give the shoes a unique look. 

Since the shoes were going to be for me, I was wanting to experiment with asymmetry. Like the designs being different on each shoe. I wanted the (piece above the midsole) to have the majority of the designs on it. I did a chevron pattern, zebra pattern, metallic silver and a few other colors that I thought would compliment the black/pink that I was using. 

After painting in my Shoedio I returned to The Sneaker Academy where Mitch helped me assemble the pieces and stitch the shoes together. The was my first time working on an industrial post sewing machine. In fact almost any sewing machine. It definitely has a learning curve, but he’s been doing it a long time so he carried me across the finish line with the stitching process. 

I didn’t have a chance to film the deconstruction of the original Air Max 1 or mounting it to the new shoe we had just constructed. But that part is basically consists of stretching the leather around the shoe last (which is the mold of the shoe) Then you put some wet cork paste on the bottom of the shoe then nail it in to keep it snug. Once that’s all dry, you can put the glue on and mount the bottom of the shoe. You need the machine you see in this video for that. It basically sucks all the air out and pushes everything together. And once that’s done, voila! You have yourself a brand new 1 of 1 pair of sneakers.

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