Whether you're new to making customs or have been doing this for a while, there is always room for improvement -- that's why we collaborate with artists to create tutorials demonstrating a variety of design techniques and other tips and tricks.
This week, @mcvsso stopped by to customize a pair of Vans Slip Ons dedicated to the iconic show Avatar: The Last Airbender.
These customs feature some of the shows most popular characters, from Aang himself to his flying bison Appa, painted over a sky blue backdrop.
If you want to learn how to make these customs yourself, make sure to check out the full tutorial over on our YouTube channel.
Portrait work is one of the harder techniques to get down, but once you do, the results can be incredible.
Sponsored artist @mache275 painted these custom Jordan 1s, featuring portraits of the late, great David Bowie to match the cover art for his album Aladdin Sane.
Sponsored artist @kendrascustoms designed and painted these custom Jordan 3s, featuring zebra, cheetah, and tiger print panels.
If your dream shoe collab doesn't exist, why not make it yourself?
Sponsored artist @bbizon created these Yeezy x Off-White x Dior customs, featuring Dior branding on the upper and Off-White branded overlays.
If the Dior x Jordan 1 is any indication, then a collab of this caliber would easily cost thousands of dollars, so do yourself a favor and learn how to make your own luxury customs.
With the MLB restart already in danger of being shut down, these next customs might not get much use, but they're still some of the cleanest cleats we've yet to see.
Sponsored artist @truebluecustoms designed these custom cleats based on the classic Jordan 1 "Shattered Backboard," featuring the same black, orange, and white colorway.
Angelus neon paints are perfect for creating eye-catching designs and colorways, but only if you know how to use them.
To help you learn how to give your customs a neon pop, @kingdom_made stopped by to create a quick tutorial, breaking down some of the simple tips and tricks of getting solid and vibrant coverage with Angelus neon acrylic paints.
To get started using neon paints, you'll need these materials:
- Angelus Neon Paint
- Angelus Standard Paint
- Leather Preparer & Deglazer
- Cotton Swabs
- Black Light (to see neon effects)
- Detail Knife
Once you have all of your materials together, you can get started on your customs.
How to Use Neon Paints
Using Angelus neon paints is a lot like using our standard paints, but there are a few extra steps you'll need to take to make sure you get that bright, vibrant neon colorway.
Prepping the Shoes
Before you get started, you're going to want to use Leather Preparer & Deglazer to prep your shoes. Simply use some cotton swabs to apply the solution, and use a cloth to wipe away any leftover dirt or dust. This will help make sure your custom paint job adheres strongly to the shoe.
Once your shoes are prepped, use your masking tape to tape off any areas that you don't want to get any paint on.
Since Angelus neon paints are semi-translucent, it's important to apply an even base coat using a standard acrylic paint that matches your neon paint (for example, if you're using neon yellow paint, use a standard yellow paint as the base coat).
Without a base coat, you'll have to apply several layers of your neon paint to get full coverage, and it still likely won't be as vibrant as you were hoping for.
In the picture above, the top Swoosh doesn't have a base coat and you can still see the factory finish beneath the neon paint. The bottom Swoosh, though, uses a matching base coat and has much better coverage.
Using Neon Paint
After your base coat has dried and you've taped off your shoes, you can get started with your neon paint job.
Use a paintbrush or airbrush to apply light, even coats to your shoes. Wait for each coat to dry completely before moving on to the next one.
Since neon paints are very bright and semi-translucent, it can be difficult to tell when an area is completely covered. If you have one at your disposal, turn off the lights and use a black light to check if there are any spots that need an extra coat or two.
Repeat this process for each section of the shoe that you want to paint. Again, make sure to let each coat completely dry before continuing. Otherwise, you risk clumping and dripping which can ruin your custom design.
Lastly, switch over to your detail brushes to make any necessary touch-ups to your finished customs. You can also use a detail brush to outline your customs, giving them a little bit of an extra neon pop.
From tropical sunset Air Force `1s to custom Mac Miller Converse, Angelus sponsored artists have been working hard over the last couple of weeks to create some truly unique and exciting new designs.
Check out the customs below to get some ideas for your next project and see how Angelus paints can be used to create one-of-a-kind customs.
These Tropical Sunset AF1s are perfect for some summer night vibes.
Designed by sponsored artist @dejesuscustomfootwear, these custom Air Forces feature a clean red, orange, purple, and blue color palette, a tropical floral pattern, and custom dripping Swooshes.
Make sure to check out DeJesus Custom Footwear on YouTube to see his latest tutorial on how you can use an airbrush to achieve a similar gradient effect as seen on these customs.
Sponsored artist @mache275 came through with a pair of customs dedicated to everyone's favorite convenience store.
These custom AF1s feature 7-11s classic red, orange, and green color scheme, 7-11 branding, and custom Nike branding across the heel tabs.
Sponsored artist @bbizon worked with a customer recently to create an incredible pair of Converse dedicated to the late great Mac Miller.
These customs feature the artwork of Mac's posthumous album Circles and his classic 2014 mixtape Faces.
Make sure to pick up a 12 color assortment kit if you want to try recreating this complex design.
The NBA season is set to resume later this month, so it's time to get your basketball customs ready for the playoffs.
Sponsored artist @truebluecustoms designed these custom Jordan 4s dedicated to Kobe and the Lakers. The customs feature the signature Lakers purple and gold color scheme and Kobe's numbers, 8 and 24, printed across the tongues and ankle collars.
For this last pair, sponsored artist @bbizon threw it back to a childhood classic.
These handpainted Sonic-themed Vans feature a solid blue base, Sega branding, a portrait of Sonic himself, and a Vans stripe repurposed to represent the classic Green Hill Zone from the game.
Grab a detail brush set and see which of your childhood favorites you can bring to life on a new pair of customs.
There are plenty of effective sneaker cleaners out there. But how much of a difference does the cleaner actually make?
While it's important to have an effective cleaner that won't damage your shoe, in some cases, the real difference maker is the brush.
That's why we had @sneakerheadinthebay stop by to create a video explaining how to tackle a dirty pair of sneakers and which type of brush is best for the job. Read below to learn the key points, and make sure to check out the full video on our YouTube channel.
Types of Brushes
There are a few different types of brushes that should each be used for different purposes and materials.
First, is the horsehair brush. Horsehair brushes have very soft bristles that are used mostly for brushing off any excess dirt or dust from your shoes before you start cleaning.
If your shoes are super dirty or muddy, hitting them with the horsehair brush first will make cleaning them a lot easier.
With bristles soft enough for suede but strong enough to scrub off dirt and grime, the all-purpose brush can be used on nearly any material without damaging it.
The nylon bristle brush, which comes in our Nubuck & Suede Set, has tough bristles that are used to reset the nap in your suede after being cleaned and dried.
The Angelus Nubuck & Suede Set also removes most soil and spots on suede and nubuck.
Lastly, we have the brush that comes with our All-Purpose Foam Cleaner.
This brush features very hard bristles that are perfect for outsoles and midsoles. If you're having trouble getting rid of dirt and grime no matter how much scrubbing you do, this cleaner and brush combo is your best bet.
More Cleaning Essentials
Finding the right brush is essential for cleaning your sneakers correctly, but to make sure they stay in good shape, you might want to grab a few of these other sneaker care essentials:
- Easy Cleaner: a premium shoe cleaner that's safe for all materials
- Mink Oil: a premium conditioner that prevents stains and extends the life of your shoes
- Foaming Cleaner: a foaming cleaner that uses a pump for easy application and is perfect for most materials
- Sole Bright: a solution that completely reverses oxidation to bring your soles back to life
- Deoderizer: a scent-free formula that completely eliminates all odors from your shoes
These basic essentials will make sure you have everything you need to keep your sneakers in factory condition.