A Brooklyn designer filled Nike sneakers with holy water and is selling them as “Jesus Shoes”

The right pair of sneakers can make you feel like you’re walking on water. Now you literally can, thanks to a controversial new design.

Oct 25, 2019 |
3 min read

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The internet is a curious place, with a number of unique corners to explore. Take the site MSCHF, for example. This Brooklyn-based creative label releases new content every other Tuesday.

Ordinarily, MSCHF provides a web-based life hack. A website that disguises Netflix as a conference call, enabling employees to binge on episodes of Gossip Girl while at work, is particularly inspired.

Lazy students can also rejoice at a website that converts a Wikipedia article into an academic paper – complete with citations. Many feel that MSCHF crossed a line by selling sneakers dubbed, “Jesus Shoes“, however.

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“Jesus Shoes”? You mean a pair of 2,000-year-old sandals?

You’d think so, wouldn’t you? The truth is, these “Jesus Shoes” are repurposed Nike Air Max 97s, complete with a range of aesthetic changes – and holy water in the sole. By wearing these sneakers, you can walk on water, just like the Son of God.

You’re either fascinated by this ballsy demonstration of capitalism or slightly stunned (and possibly disgusted) by the brazen disregard for possible offense. It’s OK to be both.

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Is Nike OK with this?

Let’s make one thing clear before we do anything else – Nike had absolutely nothing to do with these sneakers. They don’t appear to have responded at all. Maybe they’re just seething that that didn’t think of the idea first.

These shoes are entirely the brainchild of MSCHF, in particular, Daniel Greenberg, the company’s head of commerce. Greenberg admits that the whole enterprise was an act of trolling.

Photo by Youtube/Entrepreneur

Greenberg wanted to poke fun at how ridiculous and shameless collaboration culture between corporate behemoths has become. He began to ponder what an association between a global entity and Jesus himself would look like.

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It’s undeniable that Greenberg managed to profit from the prophet. Nike Air Max 97 sneakers typically retail for around $125. That’s what Greenberg paid at retail, before making amendments.

Once redubbed as “Jesus Shoes,” the sneakers sold for $1,425 per pair. Only 24 pairs were created and sold out within minutes. The sneakers are now retailing from third parties for considerably more.

I still haven’t decided how I feel about this yet. Tell me more.

The traditional Nike sneakers contain water from the River Jordan, supposedly blessed by a priest, in the sole. A steel crucifix is also placed within the laces.

Just in case these references were too subtle; however, the sneakers contain a handful more features. The tip of the tongue contains a blot of red ink. If you’ve read this far, you’ll realize that this is to signify the blood of Christ.

Photo by MSCHF

A drop of red ink that symbolizes the blood of Christ is visible on the tongue of the trainer. The red soles are scented with frankincense. The bottom of the shoes bears the inscription Mt. 14:25.

This is obviously a reference to scripture – Matthew 14:25. Even if you haven’t read the bible in a while, you’ll no doubt be able to guess what that entails. That’s right – “Now in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.”

You have to hand it to Greenberg – once he commits to an idea, he really commits, for better or worse.

Can I buy these sneakers myself?

Yes, but your credit card won’t thank you for it. MSCHF’s initial stock sold out within minutes. If you’re looking for a pair yourself, you’ll have to look to the British site StockX, which is currently reselling the sneakers.

If you’re a size 12, you can display your holy credentials for a bargain price of $2,100. If, like the average American male, you take a 10.5, start saving. The sneakers are currently selling for closer to $3,000. If you take an 8.5, you’re looking at an eye-watering $7,500.

If you do pick up a pair, we’d love to hear from you. Just maybe don’t wear them to church on Sunday. The other worshippers won’t consider you a messiah, just a very naughty boy.

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