For as long as there have been sneakers, there have been sneaker customisers.
Back in the day, adding a splash of paint, removing a logo or otherwise modifying your sneakers was one of the best, and most creative, ways to stand out on the street.
Nowadays though, with brands collaborating on every silhouette under the sun, it’s becoming more and more difficult to find new and unique ways to wear your creps. Every colourway has been done (there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of Air Max 1 colourways) and it takes more than just a Sharpie and a Pritt-Stick to turn heads, especially amongst sneakerheads who have seen it all before.
Accordingly, this paved the way for sneaker customisers. Able to cut, sew, replace and refinish every aspect of a sneaker, these urban Bob Rosses are bringing back a world where originality can flourish, and your imagination can run wild – if you have the cash to pay for it.
Below are the top five sneakers that have undergone the custom treatment. Five sneakers, five customisers, five masterpieces.
Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 ‘Beluga/Zebra’ by Ceezem Customs.
Arguably the two most iconic colourways of the Yeezy 350 Boost V2 make it into Ceezem’s latest custom sneaker. There’s some incredible attention to detail on this pair, right down to two different midsole units, contrasting insoles and laces. It takes real guts to butcher these two sneakers, but Ceezem nails it once again.
Nike Air Vapormax ‘Indigo’ by Mache Custom Kicks.
According to Mache, these Vapormax were hand-sipped in Indigo, giving them their subtle two-tone flex. What’s better than the hottest sneaker to release this year? Well, a one-of-one edition I guess.
Nike Air WoodMax by Kickasso.
One of the craziest concepts on the list, Kickasso re-imagines a cult icon in a brand new way, decking the Nike Air Max 90 in a wooden colourway. The yarn laces round off the custom, giving the whole shoe an antiquated look.
It’s not only sneakers that Kickasso turns his hand to, either. He recently customised football boots and goalkeeper gloves in a menacing Joker colourway, to accompany his original Ultra Boost iteration. Hey – murderous psychopaths can’t enjoy sports too?
Adidas Ultra Boost ‘Atmos Elephant’ by Huycustoms.
If Air Max Month had you taking more L’s then you ever thought possible, all is not lost. Huwcustoms, a Florida-based sneaker customiser, has reproduced Atmos’ famous ‘Elephant’ print on the Ultra Boost silhouette, resulting in…well…probably another L. At least we can dream…
(BONUS! Continuing in the vein of taking impossible-to-cop sneaker colourways and applying them to the Ultra Boost, check out his KAWS Ultra Boost here.)
Nike Air Max 1 ‘What The Bespoke?’ by DJ Clark Kent.
One of the most prolific sneakerheads in the game, DJ Clark Kent recently took to Instagram to flex his latest acquisition – a unique take on the ‘What The’ concept, applied to the Nike Air Max 1 silhouette.
The sneaker features turquoise snakeskin, pink ostrich-skin, giraffe print and too many others to mention, coming together to form a true neck-breaking, head-turning, eye-melting masterpiece. There’s no word on who the customiser is, but there is no doubt that these are perhaps the ultimate mashup of a true icon.
So what do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and make sure to check out the Instagram accounts for each customiser above – there are some incredible pieces hidden in each.