Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

Kickin' It: Where to Find Custom-Painted Shoes

Custom-painted shoes have long been style mainstays among fashion-forward sneakerheads, but lately we’ve been noticing them pop up everywhere from Derek Holbrook’s feet during an exclusive San Francisco society luncheon to online e-tailer Zazzle.

If the idea of owning one-of-a-kind kicks puts a spring in your step, here’s how to get your toes into a pair:

Turn to an artist: French artist Ndeur has inspired a cult following with hand-painted vintage pumps ($180). For custom dunks, look no further than JGoods Customs, whose designs ($600 and up) have stepped out with Pharrell Williams, Cam’Ron and Paul Wall. Along with custom Chuck Taylors painted by New York artist MAG, Punk Your Chucks recently started offering custom work on leather heels ($250). Locally, Bay Area artists Grant Gilliland and Max Allbee are happy to trick out pairs with their own art or work with you to create something original.

Do it yourself: If turning to the artist within is more your style, the JGoods Shoe Customization Kit ($45) comes with five different leather paint colors that can be mixed to create every color in the spectrum, as well as a narrow paintbrush, step-by-step guide and leather finish remover for pre-project prep. The most affordable option for custom canvas shoes comes from Zazzle, which lets you create pairs of women’s and kids’ Keds ($50 to $60) using templates, text and patterns from the site or your own images and digital artwork. There are five styles to choose from, including slip-ons and classic lace-ups.