Sneaker Customization is an Emerging Art Expression

Sneaker Customization is an Emerging Art Expression

Various sources state that art, in general, is subjective. These sources also say that art is an expression of the artist’s creative side, a way of showing their vision to the world. With art composed of different elements, we can say that artists can turn almost anything into an art form. And with art defining a movement, we can categorically say that customizing sneakers is an art.

With sneaker customization gaining worldwide attention thanks to different athletes putting it in the spotlight, we can say that it’s gaining traction as an alternative art form. Furthermore, with the proliferation of posts on social media platforms, more and more people are now exposed to the possibility of expressing themselves through the shoes on their feet. Furthermore, with the emerging streetwear culture and more artists dabbling in the craft, sneaker customization may become the next big thing in artistic expression. 

With sneakerheads forming a large subgroup of collectors and sneakers highly attainable compared to fine art, sneaker customization is here to stay. The more mainstream the movement becomes, the better it is for the sneaker community. It legitimizes and validates the formerly counterculture movement of collecting footwear for the aesthetics and the fun of the chase. It also allows more people to express themselves artistically, as sneaker customization is a highly personalized take on an idea. 

Let’s dive into the emerging sneaker customization movement and find out why it’s becoming such a fashion trend. 

What’s sneaker customization?

Sneaker customization is the process of altering an existing shoe model widely available in the market and putting your spin on it. For example, customization may entail replacing the colorway or painting over some elements to create a different scheme. Some artists also incorporate different parts of different shoes to create one-of-a-kind custom shoes unlike any other in the market. 

In essence, sneaker customization is the personalization of a mass-produced shoe to help express your personality and artistic vision. This isn’t commercialization, as the point of customization is to have as unique a shoe as possible. 

Sneakers Painted

Bespoke or customed?

Are customized sneakers bespoke? Or vice versa? To answer this question, technically, a bespoke shoe is made to your specific order. This means made to your particular material specifications and colorway. Sneaker customization is more on aesthetics and making it as unique as possible. In a way, bespoke shoes are custom shows, but not all custom sneakers are bespoke. 

Can I make my sneakers custom?

By all means, yes! Sneaker customization is a personal expression of your creativity. If you’ve got a shoe that you can use as a canvas, you can do anything that will make it custom. You can change the colorway, paint over it, replace the shoelaces and tabs. You can go crazy and make it look distressed if you want to, as anything goes. As long as you’re happy with the results and you can still use it, it’s all good. 


Sneaker customization is an emerging form of artists’ expression. With collectors looking for unique pieces from otherwise mass-produced shoes, it’ll continue to build traction. Custom sneakers will not only express your love for art, but they will also express your love for footwear and street culture. 

Photo Attribution:

Featured and 1st image from

2nd image from

Share This

About the author