The Nike Mac Attack finally returns

The Nike Mac Attack debuted in 1984. Image via Asphalt Gold

The Nike Mac Attack, a tennis sneaker originally produced for John McEnroe in 1984, will return as a retro for the first time next year, sneaker industry sources tell Complex. According to a source, the retro treatment will include a collaboration with retailer Social Status which is set to launch in May 2023.

Nike did not respond to a request for comment on the upcoming retro; Social Status declined to comment on their collaboration. There are no image leaks of the retro Mac Attack, and the pairs shown here are originals.

Although next year will mark the Mac Attack’s first true retro, Nike has flirted with bringing the shoe back before. In early 2012, the brand launched Nike Mansiona retro design without Swoosh based on the Mac Attack. Mac Attack Retro Samples have been circulating for the past few years, suggesting that Nike was planning a retro towards the end of the last decade, but the shoe never returned to production.

More recently, some of Nike’s biggest endorsers have worn pairs of vintage Mac Attacks in what now look a bit like calculated moves to build hype around the model’s eventual return. james lebron worn Mac Attacks in January 2021, walking through the NBA tunnel in a rare version of the shoe equipped with a grass-specific sole. A Nike employee helped find this size 15 for James from collector Jon Migdalwho lent them and now has them in his possession.

LeBron James wearing a vintage Nike Mac Attack

LeBron James wearing a vintage Mac Attack in 2021. Image via Getty

Travis Scott wore a pair of vintage Mac Attacks in March 2021, then broke the shoes again for an on-court appearance at a Brooklyn Nets playoff game this month of June. He got his pair from a Los Angeles-based sneaker store Rif in January 2021.

According to Rif’s co-owner Jeffrey Malabanan, the sneakers had been sitting at the store for about 10 years before the rapper picked them up. The pair was immaculate, complete with its original box. The Mac Attacks were listed at $500, but Rif actually gifted them to Travis as a token of appreciation for his patronage.

“He wanted to drop by the new store and show his support,” says Malabanan. “He dropped, like, $20,000 on Dunks and SBs.”

Malabanan recalls a friend of his at Nike trying to get the Mac Attacks for Travis, who apparently needed them to inspire his own Nike projects. Although he was happy to make the connection, it seemed like an odd request to him.

Travis Scott wearing a Nike Mac Attack

Travis Scott released a vintage Mac Attack pair in 2021. Image via Travis Scott on Instagram

“This is the most random shoe anyone could ask for in mint condition with box and all,” says Malabanan.

Mac Attacks’ claim makes a little more sense now – with Nike prepping a retro for 2023, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect the brand to have taken an early lead on the shoe’s anticipation. But the former Nike employee who helped Travis find the vintage pair at Rif’s insists it wasn’t part of a marketing campaign and was instead driven by the artist’s genuine appreciation for the shoe.

Whether those moments when A-list Nike affiliates broke the Mac attack affects the model’s retro success will be tested when the shoe returns next year. But Malabanan has already seen the hype in the secondary market. Resale prices immediately increased. How many other people contacted him to get a pair of Mac Attacks after Travis wore a pair publicly?

“Everyone,” says Malabanan.

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Darryl A. Chapin