Surely on social media you’ve seen (and admired) the iconic Jordan with the python leather effect or any other of the models from the Misplaced Checks series created by Dominic Chambrone under The Shoe Surgeon name. And so, beyond creating collectors’ sneakers, this true artist tries to remind us that sneakers can have thousands of lives if we leave them in the hands of the right kind of surgeon.

Forget about any negative connotation surrounding the word surgeon (unless you’re a big fan of cosmetic surgery and botox and, instead of being scared by it, you’re actually turned on by the word). The Shoe Surgeon is the surgeon that has the whole sneakerhead community completely enamoured thanks to his work as a customiser of iconic models which, suddenly, become truly unique pieces right after they have gone through his hands.

But, wait, Dominic Chambrone doesn’t like being called a customiser. Ultimately, he considers himself to be a shoemaker: ever since he was young, he knew that this was his job, and so he showed his tenacity until he honed his shoemaking skills enough to be able to fulfil his dream. A dream that became very fervent for him when he realised that, as he usually says so himself, all of his friends (himself included) looked like idiots as they all wore exactly the same sneakers. And so he took his Air Force 1 Mids, painted them in camouflage print and saw how he started to get similar orders.

Since then, The Shoe Surgeon’s career has truly been filled by success after success, and so they have ended up garnering a lot of attention from the media, whether it be for his Jordan 1’s, that he customised with a laser for Jerry Ferrara (from the TV show Entourage), the Jordan’s that had the python leather effect or, above all, the saga of Misplaced Checks sneakers. This last one was the idea of his friend John Geiger, part of The Shoe Surgeon’s team that has managed to create his own line. And it was an idea destined to hit hard, as he basically works on taking Nike models and putting checks (or swooshes, whatever you prefer to say) in places where they don’t belong.

Either way, it’s very obvious that Dominic Chambron’s customisations are starting to be valued their weight in gold. Therefore, unsurprisingly, he has a large client base that is wide enough for him to be able to turn down orders from certain celebrities that approach him just to flex their sneakers, instead of truly loving sneaker culture. It’s important to note that one of this artist’s prerogatives is actually that what he makes aren’t art pieces, as sneakers are meant to be worn out in the streets and not just be kept on a collector’s shelf.

Unsurprisingly enough, Chambrone has also managed to create Surgeon Studios, a true atelier in which a team works on customising sneakers that are tailor-made to the client. And it’s not just customising: Surgeon Studios is the headquarters for a movement that The Shoe Surgeon is defending, in which shoes have more than just one life and, if they’re treated with care, repairing footwear damaged by time can turn into making a new sneaker that can bring that much of a difference to your collection.