Restoring a Rare Nike Salesman Sample Sneaker

Another Day, Another Nike Sample Sneaker

Every sneakerhead loves a good Nike sample, and our very own Vick Almighty is no exception. Nike sample sneakers are fun because many have never been seen before, and most sample colorways never make it to the retail shelves. 

This is the case with the pair of shoes Vick is working on right now…but this sneaker is a special type of sample. Ever heard of a Salesman Sample? Neither had I, but luckily Vick is an expert when it comes to old sneakers. This isn’t your typical Nike sample shoe. 

According to Vick, a Salesman Sample was a sneaker used by Nike to show retailers and accounts what sneakers were coming down the pipeline. Nike Salesmen used to get these samples and take them around to retailers to give them a little sneak peek of things to come. 

The Nike Salesman Sample Vick is working on today is a pair of old Nike Forces. While the model itself was released to the public, this Olympic colorway never made it past the Salesman Sample stage..that’s what makes these so rare. 

I love learning more about the story behind a sneaker, don’t you? 

Today’s restoration is going to be a little different. Vick wants to keep the vintage, aged look of the Nike Forces, so the restoration work is going to be pretty minimal. Instead, all Vick’s really going to do is clean the sneaker and touch up a few untidy spots, because this sneakers’ age is as much a part of the story as is the Nike Salesman sample tag on the tongue. 

Deep Cleaning a Nike Sample from 1993

Let’s get these bad boys cleaned up. Vick used the RESHOEVN8R Deep Clean Signature Bundle to give these a proper clean. The fact that Vick’s been cleaning a lot of older sneakers with the Deep Clean Signature Bundle is all of the convincing you need to go ahead and purchase one…it’s so good. 

Vick removed the insole and shoelaces, and inserted the Adjustable Shoe Tree to help with creasing. Then instead of starting on the uppers, Vick went straight for the soles which are the dirtiest part of this pair of Nike Forces. After using RESHOEVN8R Sneaker Cleaning Solution and the Stiff Bristle Brush to scrub the sole, Vick delicately scrubbed the upper with the Soft Bristle Brush

He did just enough cleaning to remove the dirt and grime without damaging some of the leather that’s started to crack on the Swoosh.

To remove some of the mild yellowing on the sole, Vick stuck the shoes in the Vick 2000 indoor UV setup. The powerful UV rays of the Vick 2000 removed some of the yellowing without the need to apply Sole Revive. If Vick had wanted the soles completely white he could have applied the Sole Revive, but he wanted the soles to have an aged look and feel, thus he only removed some of the yellowing. 

Oh, and our Vick 2000 giveaway is underway. Click HERE for details on how to enter to win.

It's All in the Details

Now that Vick’s cleaned the sneaker to his liking, it’s time to do some detail and prep work. Vick used a lint shaver to clean up the sockliner, and then used both 400 and 600 grit sandpaper to smooth the white leather in preparation for a new coat of paint. 

Vick used some alcohol prep pads to remove any leftover smudges or marks from the white leather, and then proceeded to tape off the sneaker and paint it panel by panel. One of the tricks Vick used to maintain the vintage feel of the sneaker was tape off the glue stains around the sole. This ensured that after the new paint was laid down that the vintage glue stains would still be visible. 

It really is the small details that make a big difference…it’s no wonder he’s known as the Almighty. 

Vick touched up the red Swoosh too, but this time by hand rather than using an airbrush as he had on the white leather upper. He wanted to make sure the cracking was still visible, but not as pronounced…again to maintain the aged look and feel. 

We’re going for OG here. Anything that Vick could leave untouched, he did. 

The last step (and honestly the most time-consuming) was the shoelaces. The shoelaces? Yes, the most seemingly insignificant part of the shoe required the most attention, cause that’s just how life rolls sometimes. 

To clean the nasty shoelaces Vick had to soak them in water, Solution, and a Laundry Pod, run them through the Vick 2000, shave them with a lint shaver, AND iron them. Talk about a process..but they turned out awesome. And while Vick is a high-roller and could have easily bought new laces, the whole idea was to keep things OG, remember? 

Vick, you have done it again!

Nike Salesman Samples Restored with RESHOEVN8R

After all of that work to preserve the vintage nature of the Nike Forces, the results are captivating. Vick was able to do just enough to make these look better, without compromising the integrity of the OG design. 

That was definitely the key…doing JUST enough. If Vick had done any more or any less, they wouldn’t have turned out this good. I guess that’s why he’s on the workbench making magic happen, and we’re here watching and reading. 

Have you ever seen a Nike Salesman Sample sneaker in the wild? Hint: for an easy way to check, look at the tag on the backside of the tongue…if it’s a Salesman Sample, it’ll say so. So make sure to check the Nike sample tag! 

If anything, the restoration of this Salesman Sample Nike basketball sneaker SOLD the versatility of the Deep Clean Signature Bundle. If it’s good enough for Vick, it’s good enough for the rest of us. Use this link for 10 percent off your very own Deep Clean Signature Bundle

Thanks for giving this a read. Head over to Youtube for more sneaker restoration content with Vick Almighty! 

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