I bought the first batch of the official Back to the Future II Air Mag licensed shoes from Halloween Costumes back in 2014. They were great for Halloween costuming, but also great as a base to start modifications to make them look more like the actual prop. The electronics were crap and failed within a month of owning it. I finally decided to take the first steps in making the modifications.
After 3 years, there have been major improvements in replica Air Mags you can buy online overseas. My build is not to make this shoe 100% screen accurate nor to replicate the actual Nike 2011 or 2016 release of this shoe. I’d rather spend the $500 (current market price) if I wanted a good replica (which I most likely won’t). I just want to find ways to modify my existing cheap alternative to the point where I feel proud to wear and costume one of my most favorite iconic character/movie.
Huge thanks to the guys on the RPF (Replica Prop Forum) that took the time to make and post their tutorials in modifying these.
I started with the “toe slimming” modification which made these off the shelf mass produced shoes looking like boots to more of the look of the screen used and licensed Nike shoes. To achieve this, I used a damp towel and a steam iron to press the toe box and massage the shape down to a slimmer profile.
Overall I am happy with this modification. Here is a before/after:
Next mods planned. add Nike strapping, add Nike Swoosh, repaint midsole to more accurate color, restore and tint the soles, add Nike Mag branding to heel cup.