A photo of the Nike Air Decade that's infamous for being involved with the Heaven's Gate cult.

Restoring the Most Infamous Shoe In Nike History

Nike Decade Restoration

Today Vick is going to be restoring one of the most infamous pairs of Nike shoes to every exist. 

During a three-day period of late March 1997, 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate cult took their own lives inside a Southern California mansion.

All 39 members were wearing these black-and-white Nike shoes…the Nike Decades.

The Nike Decade has garnered a cult-like following ever since, and they're extremely hard to come by. 

With a story that intense and gruesome behind them, this pair of kicks is much more than an object, but a history lesson of sorts...a lesson that Nike tried desperately to erase from their record-books. 

Luckily, we got our hands on a pair, and Vick is going to bring them back to life. This is going to be one of the most labor intensive, and eerie restorations to date. 

Let's get started. 

Restoring the Soles

To start we're only going to focus on the midsoles and outsole. Vick used cotton balls and acetone to get rid of the old glue in preparation to re-glue the soles. Then, using our Medium Bristle Brush and Cleaning Solution, Vick scrubbed them to try and remove the dirt and staining. 

These were pretty stubborn, so Vick moved on to the Brass Bristle Brush to really give these a good scrub. Once the midsole and outsole were pretty clean, Vick applied Sole Revive to both the white midsole and the Nike Air logo on the outsole. 

After wrapping the midsole and outsole in Saran wrap and sending them off to the indoor UV setup, we can move on to the uppers. 

Many Worlds Shoutout

Let's move over to the Many Worlds cleaning station to give these some work. Vick used an air compressor to dust the Nike Decades off, and a vacuum to remove any loose dirt from the insides of the shoe. After hitting the liner with a lint shaver, we're ready to continue on with this lengthy restoration. 

Glueing the Soles

Instead of using acetone like he did for the midsole and outsole, Vick had to use an exacto knife to scrape all of the old glue off of the upper. After using a pen to trace an outline for the glue, we're ready to stick this shoe back together. 

Vick applied the glue to all three pieces of the shoe, and let it cure for a few hours. Then he used a heat gun and some clamps to get these bad boys pieced back together. It took a lot of patience, and Vick was admittedly pretty worried, but he got the alignment just right. 

To fix the rubber toe caps, Vick cut out a piece of rubber and glued it in place. Then he filled in the gaps with Flex-Seal. To make it flush with the rest of the rubber, Vick used some 600 grit sandpaper to smooth it out for painting. 

The laces are in pretty bad condition. Vick used some heat shrink tube to replace the lace tips without too much trouble. Then he used a miniature iron to iron out the laces...they were extremely wrinkled from being on the shoes for so long. 

Dyeing the Suede

To clean the upper we're going to be using our Signature Shoe Cleaning Kit. After inserting the Adjustable Shoe Trees, we can start working through our Three Brush Pack with the Cleaning Solution.

Vick used the Soft Bristle Brush to hammer the uppers, and then used the Brass Bristle Brush to reset the nap of the crunchy suede. To bring the black color back, Vick airbrushed some black dye back into the material and then rubbed it in with the Medium Bristle Brush. 

Anytime you dye a pair of sneakers, it's important to lock in the dye with Reshoevn8r Water + Stain Repellent

Finishing Touches

For the finishing touches, Vick painted the new rubber on the toe caps black to match the rest of the soles, and place the kicks in the indoor setup one last time to whiten the Nike logo on the tongue. 

This pair of Nike Decades from the 1990s is looking like they came out no earlier than 2020. Wow, Vick did a number on these. The combination of the Reshoevn8r Signature Shoe Cleaning Kit and Vick's expertise really brought this pair back to life. 

Thanks for watching. For even more amazing restorations and customs with Vick, click on over to our Youtube channel. 

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