It's not hard to find a collector with a bumper haul of Uptowns, Dunks or Jordans, but we can't recall ever having met a Footscape fanatic quite like Malaysia's KY Wong, aka Deadmarsh. Infatuated with this 90s nugget of avant-garde innovation, Wong fell head-over-heels for the Footscape back in 1996. Having amassed an amazing archive of rare colabs from the likes of Medicom, fragment, The Hideout, LIVESTRONG and F.C.R.B., we just had to ask him what it was about the Footscape's warped ways that sparked his obsession with free radical.
How's the sneaker scene in Malaysia these days. People still bringing the heat?
Well, the scene is Malaysia has gone slightly down now. We used to have an awesome sneaker forum (Streething), but unfortunately it's no longer as active as it used to be. However you can still see people bring out some heat. Thankfully a few retailers in Malaysia have kept the scene alive. Most people nowadays make their purchases online though. Personally, I started collecting sneakers back in 1996 and stopped in 2000 before rejoining the scene back in 2006.
We don't come across too many Footscape collectors. What made you feel that the Footscape was your shoe?
I started my sneaker love with a pair of Footscapes back in 1996 when the hype began. I love their comfortable feel and the wideness they have. The colours and side lacing made it love at first sight.
You have some OG Footscapes – how has the shape and quality of the shoe changed over the years?
There have been no significant changes in shape. OG Footscapes are a bit roundish at the toe box area, while the later generation of Footscapes have a slightly narrower toe box. Basically Nike did not change much with its material combinations. It was actually great to see Nike take the Footscape to the next level with different sole combinations and the Wovens. However the recent Footscape Currents didn't strike me much. I still prefer the OG design.
Tell us about the mid 90s sneaker boom in Asia. How crazy did it get?
The availability of sneaker information back then was limited. We were very much influenced by the sneaker scene in Japan & Hong Kong. We used to buy a lot of Japanese magazine that we didn't even understand it. The only hope was to get a hook-up through friends traveling abroad (especially to the UK and USA). We could only dream of having the hottest kicks.
What's been the toughest Footscape for you to track down?
I would say it was the Nike Air Footscape x Babekubcity (Medicom). It was only released through the Medicom website on September 18th, 2005. At that time I wasn't back in the scene. Three years later I finally managed to track down a pair in my size after hours surfing Yahoo Auctions Japan. Through a friend with some hook-ups from another friend in Japan, I managed to get them. At first I thought shipping would be smooth. My local postal services messed up by sending it to the wrong address. And to make things worse, I was out of town. Millions of thanks to my buddy in KL that help me to sort out the error while I was away.
You have many colabs in your collection.Which one is your favourite?
There are indeed some good colabs such as Medicom, Fragments, FCRB, Hideout etc... My favourite is the Nike Air Footscape Woven FCRB. It was pretty limited. Only 30 pairs worldwide! Loved the idea of this hidden pair as part of the Footscape Woven Joga Bonito lineup. The usual F.C.R.B black colourway made it easy to match with daily outfits.
How many Footscapes do you think you've bought over the years?
I owned about 40 pairs of Footscape & Footscape Wovens. I have moved on though to another phase of life where my home and family needed my earnings more than my hobby. Hence I don't really buy nowadays.
What are some of the other non-Footscape gems in your collection?
Well, I am very much focused to what I wanted. Other than Footscape, I think it will be my OG Reebok Pump Furys which they are dead now.
Do you think you'll ever be as obsessed with another shoe as you were with the Footscape?
Not for now as I'm still in love with the weird Footscape design. But lately ASICS & Saucony fever has struck me, although I'm still yet to own a pair.