Why Did Nike Cover Up This Sneaker?

Some people who purchased Nike's OverBreak Overspray shoe believe it could be hiding a Tom Sachs-looking colorway underneath its top layer. Find out more here.

Nike OverBreak 'Mars Yard' DA9784 700 Pair

Image via Nike

Nike OverBreak 'Mars Yard' DA9784 700 Pair

Did a resemblance to Tom Sachs’ coveted Mars Yard collaboration cause Nike to covertly alter a sneaker just before it released? We can't say for sure, but a couple curious details around a new colorway of the Nike Overbreak shoe have led some people who purchased the pair to believe so.

Images of a tan suede OverBreak with a red Swoosh circulated last month, and the likeness to the Mars Yard Nikes was so undeniable that we called it out in our headline. Weeks later, the pair has yet to drop in the U.S.—or has it?

On Jan. 8, Nike released a “College Grey” OverBreak in the States. The seemingly understated pair featured a muted tan suede upper and dusty orange rope laces. But it wasn’t long before the internet discovered something literally hidden underneath. Reddit detectives got to work examining their “College Grey” pairs and found that it wasn’t a “new” colorway, but rather a modified version of the Tom Sachs-looking “Fossil” style. 

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Based on the findings of those users and YouTube clips of the shoe, it’s safe to deduce that Nike sprayed over the Tom Sachs-like “Fossil” colorway and released it as the “College Grey.” Backing up this theory is an Instagram post from Nike’s unofficial Special Projects Instagram account, which labels the pair as the “OverBreak overspray.”

The only question is why? Some are speculating that Nike called a last-minute audible to modify the “Fossil” OverBreak due to it looking like the Mars Yards, perhaps at the request of Sachs himself. We can’t confirm that speculation, but the fact that Nike is currently in the middle of launching the Mars Yard 2.5 lends credence to the idea that they wouldn’t want to step on the designer’s toes with a similar-looking sneaker. In early 2019, the brand used a tan and red colorway on its SB Team Classic model and comparisons were also made then.

Nike did not respond to requests for comment.