How Nike Custom Shoes All Started

Nike Custom Shoes

In our day and age, finding a moment of actual privacy is rare. Social media keeps us at bay wherever we go and whatever we do, shared office spaces are getting immensely popular and it seems as if we this lack of privacy comes hand in hand with the loss of what makes us unique, individual and special. 

Not to say, of course, that we are all unique special snowflakes that need to be protected, but it does mean that it’s just great that the possibility to find individuality still exists – even for these giant corporation’s mass production items. 

Nike custom shoes – that’s what we are exploring today.  

The world has increasingly become more “productive” than it ever was since the start of the great industrial revolution in 1760. 

That is to mean that production has become so technologically advanced that we are now able to produce, say iPhones, in a yearly rate of 76.5 million more units than the whole population of the then-British-colony. 

In an age when numbers like these are a day-to-day reality for any company and service, there’s no surprise that we can sometimes feel a little out of our element sometimes; like we don’t have the possibility in this sea of options and choices – those that are uniquely ours.  

That’s exactly why graffiti-artists, fashion designers and others have turned to the most iconic mass-produced brands as a method of reclaiming our lost individuality. 

It might sound a little far-fetched, but let’s explore these Nike custom shoe trend and see for ourselves.  


 af1 is a good shoe for customization

How Nike Custom Shoes All Started 

 Let’s go back to the old days, like really old, when it was still ok to wear frosty-eyeshadows. 

We are traveling back in time to the nineties – a decade into the market-bombing launch of the Nike Air Force Ones. 

Everyone was going crazy for this fresh new kicks in town, which made them a staple of status and swag. 

Infiltrating the market through the basketball court and the street-play culture of uptown New-York, these sneakers were everywhere, and as such – they grew pretty un-special, pretty fast. 

Of course, there’s no possible way of tracing this trend of customizable shoes to its the actual origin, there were numerous artists and graffiti-enthusiasts that probably did it before it was mainstream, as so many hipsters do, but we can definitely identify when Nike themselves saw this need arise. 

On the brink of the new millennium, moments before the Y2K scare and other ridiculous trends that we allowed existing, Nike have seen an actual change is a society that was slowly creeping into the footwear industry – the loss of the individual. 

Hurrying to provide their growing customers with a viable solution to this feeling, Nike launched the 1999 NikeiD Studio. 

Now customers could go online, or visit a physical location, to modify and choose their own unique color schemes. 

In other words, and simpler ones at that, Nike offered the end-client to customize his own mass-produced shoe.  

Now people not only rocked the Air Force Ones on the street, but they were also rocking their own style and personality as well.  

Individuality was taken for granted by these massive corporations, and customizing the shoe, whether during production or post-production, gave a certain sense of selfhood alongside still conforming to the current trends of swag and fashion. 


 air force one customization

Nike Custom Shoes Online 

 Having the Nike iconic swoosh on your feet meant that you don’t only understand the current culture, but you also take part in it.  

To this day, the swoosh allows people to wear fairly plain clothing-articles and be received with open arms to one of the most exclusive clubs of them all  the “Stylish Lifestyle” club. 

Understandably, attaching this swoosh to a color scheme of your choosing meant that you aren’t any part of this club – you’re the one who sets the tone.  

Keeping this motivation in mind, it’s not so shocking to learn that the demand for this product skyrocketed in just a few quick days. 

Luckily – Nike wasn’t shocked either.  

Expecting these high levels of demand in advance, Nike had launched the service primarily through the internet, with just a little over a hundred physical locations open and running to this day.  

Customizable shoes were almost unanimous with the appeal of these ever-growing phenomena called “World Wide Web”.  

Ordering your shoe from the comforts of your home, having as much time as you may need or want to decide on the final look and then receiving it to your own doorstep, could it be any more personal? 

Ordering customizable shoes online is just another way of making them appear much more personal and unique, and that’s why after NikeiD was launched – everyone else wanted to get into the business as well. 



How Long Does it Take to Make Nike Custom Shoes? 

The answer, as you may assume yourself, depends on the customization you are looking to have. 

Some artists and designers paint on the shoes, some print, some use other dying techniques and NikeiD themselves manufacture it from scratch. 

Time is money, though, and it’s important to check and see how long a process you’re looking at.  

I personally find that personalized patterns and colors are the best way to go, not just because the preference of colors is the window to one’s soul, but also because you can go online and find existing color schemes that suit your every need. 

Available merch means no extra waiting time and maximum value. 

As simple as that or at least as Samplez that” (sorry for the horrible pun, we had to). 

When you go on and order a pair of personalized shoes make sure to check for the specifications of the “work-time” on them, and take that in mind when deciding what service to go with.