Nike launched the Mars Yard 2.0 sneaker in mid-June through a temporary installation of Tom Sachs's Space Camp on Governor's Island. The Camp involved an obstacle course of mental and physical challenges, beginning with a rope climb and concluding with a swing over a small poll of water and a series of logs to hurdle. It was, by far, the most fun and memorable experience I've ever had to acquire a sneaker—it sure beats standing in line! And I realize it's just marketing for both the Nike and Tom Sachs brands, at the end of the day, but it was imaginative and well-executed and thought-provoking, and what more can one ask for in such an event?
The sneakers themselves have uppers that mix leather, suede, and mesh. They come with two sets of insoles, one in standard mesh and a second in cork, both with Sachs's sketches printed on them. The box also contains a small, stapled booklet with background on the sneaker's design.
In order to get my pair, I first had to sign up for a timed Space Camp appointment on Nike's events website. The appointment slots filled in about five minutes after they went live, so it was doable, if you were paying attention and ready when the appointment times opened up. Fortunately, I happened to be visiting New York, during the time that Space Camp was taking place. On the day of my appointment, I took the subway down to lower Manhattan, but its having been a weekend, the subway system wasn't running normally, and I couldn't quite take it all the way to South Seaport where the ferry leaves Manhattan for Governor's Island. So, I walked the final three quarters of a mile or so in the rain. Once I got to Governor's Island, I had to walk another 20 minutes in a heavy downpour—only later did I and the others who walked with me learn that Nike was running golf carts from the ferry to the Space Camp—and I was soaked by the time I arrived at the location.
Those those of you who missed out on the experience but still want to purchase the Mars Yard 2.0, they'll go live on July 8 on Nikecraft's website. In case, you're wondering, they run a little wide but are otherwise true to size (TTS).