Whether you’re a budding shoe designer or just unhappy with what you find online, there are several ways to order your own custom sneakers. Big brands like Nike, for example, have customer customization programs. You can choose your basic model and its color scheme and even add a logo or your initials. That’s a hell of a deal considering Nike only adds a fee of around $25-$40.

There are, however, several ways to DIY your shoes. You can paint them, dip them in coffee, or try your hand at “aging” them. If that all sounds like too much work, you can play around with one of the aforementioned programs, which are actually very easy to use. Have you ever customized your character in a video game or changed your avatar on a social networking site? If so, you can make your own sneakers.

What do you want to know

sneaker construction

You should refresh your sneaker terminology – like vamp, quarter, mid, outsole, etc. — but most of these services offer visual cues about what part of the sneaker you’re modifying. Nike, for example, illuminates the chosen area with a luminous halo. It helps you keep track of the color or material you change when looking at the sneaker from different angles. (Most of these services offer real-time 3D renderings of your designs.)

Waiting time

If you want custom sneakers, you’re going to have to wait, especially if you’re ordering from an independent artist, not a giant brand. If you order from Nike, for example, your custom shoes will be shipped to your doorstep in three weeks or less. Meanwhile, The Shoe Surgeon – a famous sneaker designer – could take several months to complete your order.


It’s hard to get a truly bespoke sneaker. You can usually only edit existing designs. Why? Well, unique designs are expensive. Even midsize brands – like John Geiger – have to set very high prices to compete with the fees he pays for ordering smaller quantities. Just know it’s happening and remember it’s really about color coordination.

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The Shoe Surgeon Custom Shoes

People are paying to make their sneakers look vintage

Once a best-preserved product, the shoe has finally appeared on the aesthetics of actual wear.


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