All photos by Alexis Castro.
Hender Schemes are the footwear grails of certain style-conscious dudes and sneakerheads alike. However, at upwards of $700 a pair, they're not exactly the most affordable kicks around. For savvy shoppers who can compromise on certain things however, it's very possible to get a pair for a decent price.
Take the Hender Scheme MIP-04 for example, a Vans Era homage that costs $713 brand new. The Japanese Yen happens to be quite terrible right now compared to the U.S. dollar (thanks, Obama), and after some digging, we managed to score a used pair through a consignment shop off Rakuten, where you can find many new and used pairs. These particular kicks were beat, like, really beat. But they were also a steal at about $230 shipped. So we copped 'em and bided our time.
Upon arrival, they were definitely in need of a resole and a little cleaning up, but from the jump, they were definitely much more comfortable than a fresh pair. We took them a few blocks away from the Complex offices to Leather Spa, the kind of ritzy spot that specializes in repairing Louboutin shoes, Louis Vuitton handbags, and other luxurious leather goods. Surely a beat-up pair of Hender Schemes wouldn't be too much trouble right?
Originally, we set out to put a ripple sole on the bottom, but the Leather Spa folks told us the shoe was too thin and the sole may not take, or worse, look bad. So after going through a few options, we went with a tan crepe sole—perfect for warm weather. Two weeks later, the finished product was ready—and totally blew us away. The craftsmanship that went into restoring these beauties is obvious. From the treatment they gave the uppers to painting the back of the crepe sole heel to match where the original heel was worn down, it was a top-notch job that cost about $140. In total, the used sneakers coupled with the cost of restoration still cost about half the retail of brand new Hender Schemes.
Have a closer look below: