Just in time for this weekend’s AFL Grand Final, custom-made sneakers made from genuine Sherrin footballs and kangaroo leather.
Sherrin is a brand as much associated with Australian Rules football as Collingwood Magpies or Melbourne Cricket Ground. The manufacturer of the official AFL ball, Sherrin has now been given the custom-made treatment in a unique collaboration between Sneaker Freaker magazine and BespokeIND, a custom footwear workshop also based in Melbourne.
Titled ‘Melbourne Rules’, the concept of sneakers made from actual Sherrin footballs was designed by Sneaker Freaker’s founder, Simon ‘Woody’ Wood, world famous sneaker collector and professional footwear historian. While Wood has well over 2000 pairs in his collection, but this is the first time he has commissioned custom sneakers to his own personal specification.
“I’ve dreamed of making these ‘Sherrin’ sneakers for several years, but no one in Melbourne had the expertise to pull them off until BespokeIND opened their doors,” says Wood. “Credit to their team of artisans, they are truly next level craftsmen.”
The shoes are true ‘one-of-one’ customs and will not be available commercially. Utilising Wood’s favourite Nike ‘Air Force 1’ model as the template, both pairs are fully lined with black kangaroo leather and feature waxed cotton laces and vegetable tanned leather insoles that have been laser-etched with custom logos. The red pair uses the ‘daytime’ Sherrin, while the ‘night-time’ edition makes for a striking yellow and black combination. Each individual shoe utilises all four panels of a Sherrin game ball.
The investment in highly specialised labour and deluxe materials pushes the retail value north of $3,000 per pair.
“Consider this a loving tribute to the Air Force 1, my all-time favourite shoe, and also to Aussie Rules, the world’s greatest game!” says Wood.