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5 Best Sneakers for Customizing

Customizing a pair of sneakers is a great way to personalize your shoes to match your style and represent your taste, and the best part is that you only need a few things to get started -- some paint, brushes, and a pair of kicks.

But what sneakers should you choose for your next project?

While you can customize pretty much any shoe, certain silhouettes make things easier and give you more freedom to paint whatever you want.

From Air Force 1s to Vans Old Skools, here are five of the best sneakers for customizing.

1. Nike Air Force 1

Air Force 1

(source: Adidas); Price: $90

Without question, the white Air Force 1 is the all-time best sneaker for customization.

The all-white colorway, classic silhouette, and paneled layout create endless possibilities for original designs and color schemes. Not to mention, at only $90, the Air Force 1 is more accessible for artists who want to try their hand at making customs without coughing up too much cash.

Jay-Z Custom Air Force 1

(source: @bbizon)

These customs created by sponsored artist @bbizon are the perfect example of how you can transform a pair of AF1s into something completely unique.

Featuring artwork from Jay-Z's legendary discography, these Air Force 1s take advantage of the blank white canvas to create an incredibly detailed and original piece of artwork.

2. Air Jordan 1

Jordan 1

(source: Nike); Price: $115

As maybe the most important sneaker of all-time, it's not surprising that the Air Jordan 1 is also one of the most popular shoes for customizing.

Like the Air Force 1, the Jordan 1 upper features distinct sections that make it easy to paint custom colorways and designs, and while some colorways can be pretty expensive, the all-white Jordan 1 Mid is usually in stock on Nike.com for a fairly low $115.

Custom Jordan 1

(source: @kingdom_made)

If you need some ideas to get started on your own custom 1s, check out these customs by sponsored artist @kingdom_made.

Featuring a red, white, and black color scheme, a clean wood grain finish, and a unique checkerboard pattern on the heels, these customs fully utilize the shoe's layout to create a one-of-a-kind design.

3. Vans Sk8-Hi

Vans Sk8-Hi

(source: Vans); Price: $65

The canvas Vans Sk8-Hi is an iconic high-top sneaker that features a canvas upper, a padded collar and heel, and rubber sole. The way the shoe is designed leaves you with a perfect picture frame in the middle that you can use to paint whatever design you want.

At only $65, the Vans Sk8-Hi is a cheap sneaker that's perfect for practicing new design techniques before trying them on more expensive kicks.

Sherbert Vans Sk8-Hi

(source: @swellguycustoms)

Vans Sk8-His are a perfect shoe for customizing, but since they're made out of canvas, there are a few extra steps to take to make sure your design sticks without messing up the fabric of the shoe.

To help you get started, sponsored artist @swellguycustoms created this tutorial to show you how to create these rainbow sherbet Vans, and how to properly blend and paint on canvas.

4. Air Jordan 3

Jordan 3 White Cement

(source: Nike); Price: Varies

The Air Jordan 3 isn't the cheapest or most widely-available shoe, but it's unique and instantly-recognizable design make it perfect for custom artists.

The patterned panels open up more unique design options, and the solid upper offers a perfect canvas for painting elaborate and detailed designs.

Animal Print Jordan 3

(source: @kendrascustoms)

If you're having trouble coming up with design ideas, you can always try creating your own take on an existing colorway.

Based on the Air Jordan 3 "Animal Instinct," sponsored artist @kendrascustoms created these custom 3s, featuring a white base, cheetah print on the toe panel and ankle collar, tiger stripes around the laces, and zebra print on the heel.

5. Vans Slip-On

Vans Slip-On

(source: Vans); Price: $50

Last up is the Vans Slip-On -- not the most exciting silhouette, but it is one of the best for artists that want a blank canvas to paint larger designs.

The solid white upper serves as the perfect surface for portrait work, large paintings, and similar, detail-oriented designs, and at $50, there's no reason not to pick up a pair and see what unique designs you can come up with.

Joker Vans Slip-On

(source: @lucha_loafers)

Vans Slip-Ons are perfect for larger, more detailed designs, like these Joker-themed customs by sponsored artist @lucha_loafers.

This artist takes advantage of the large blank canvas to paint portraits of the two most acclaimed Jokers of all-time: Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix.

Tip: Don't forget to use Angelus 2-Soft when painting canvas to make sure the paint adheres well and doesn't make the fabric become stiff.

To see more customs like these, make sure to follow us on Instagram, and don't forget to stop by our online store to pick up the tools and materials you need for your next pair of customs.

Tiger Print 1s + More Clean Customs

While we all continue to self-isolate, many people are using this time to step up their customs, and to help you get some ideas for your next project, we thought we'd share some of the great customs our sponsored artists have been working on lately.

Check out the customs below and stop by our online store yo grab the tools you need to create your own custom sneakers.

Ghost Rider AF1
(source: @justwincustoms)

First up is sponsored artist @justwincustoms with a pair of Air Forces straight out of Ghost Rider.

These custom 'Rage Force 0s' feature an all-black silhouette, flaming orange accents, a burning Nike Swoosh, and chain laces.

Cityscape Vans
(source: @kendrascustoms)

Painting detailed designs can take some work, and sponsored artist @kendrascustoms has clearly put in the hours.

These slip-on Vans feature a detailed cityscape on one shoe and painting of a mountain on the other. If you want to step up your own detail work, try grabbing a detail brush to use for more intricate designs.

Tiger Print Jordan 1s

Sponsored artist @dejesuscustomfootwear started a great new series on his YouTube channel where he recreates designs made by other sneaker artists.

For the first installment, he recreated these unique rainbow tiger print Jordan 1s. To see for yourself what tools you need to recreate this design, make sure to check out the full video on YouTube.

Lil Uzi Vert Vans

(source: @lucha_loafers)

Eternal Atake may have taken a while to come out, but Lil Uzi Vert's latest album finally dropped earlier this year.

To commemorate this new project, sponsored artist @lucha_loafers recreated the album's cover art on a pair of classic slip-on Vans.

Grab a 12 color assortment kit to try painting this design yourself.

Back to the Future Air Max
(source: @tragik1993)

Nike Mags might be one of the most iconic sneakers of all time, but they can be pretty tough to get your hands on. Still, you can at least recreate the colorway yourself.

Sponsored artist @tragik1993 designed his own customs inspired by Back to the Future, and the final result is one of the cleanest pairs of customs you'll see for a while.

If you liked these customs, make sure to check out our Instagram for more original designs.

Tiger King AF1s + More Custom Inspo

With all of us stuck at home, we thought it'd be a good time to share some of the great customs our sponsored artists have been working on so that you can get some inspiration for your next quarantine project.

Check out the customs below, and make sure to visit our online store to grab the tools and materials you need to create your own unique pair of customs.

Tiger King AF1

(source: @mache275)

If you haven't seen the new Tiger King documentary on Netflix, you're missing out. Joe Exotic, the star of the doc, has become a cultural phenomenon over the past week, and what better way to join in on the fun than with a fresh pair of customs.

Sponsored artist @mache275 designed these custom AF1s, featuring a portrait of the man himself on top of a clean tiger print background.

If you want to see how these were made, make sure to check out the design video on the artist's YouTube channel.

Kobe 11s

(source: @sab_one)

We might not see basketball come back for a while, but that's no reason to give up that Mamba Mentality.

These custom Kobe 11s, created by sponsored artist @sab_one, feature the classic purple and gold Lakers colorway in dedication to the late Los Angeles legend.

Purell Stan Smiths

(source: @solesbysir)

Hand sanitizer is a precious commodity these days, so these next customs are sure to have some serious resale demand.

Sponsored artist @solesbysir designed these Purell-themed Stan Smiths to keep his feet as clean as his hands while we're in quarantine.

Toy Story Air Max

(source: @tragik1993)

This next pair is certain to bring on some nostalgia.

Sponsored artists @tragik1993 threw it back to a childhood classic with these Toy Story-inspired custom Air Maxes.

Grab a 12 color assortment kit to see if you can recreate this clean Buzz Lightyear color scheme.

Air Max 90 Warhawk

(source: @wallychamp15)

Last is another pair of Air Maxes designed just in time for Air Max day.

Sponsored artist @wallychamp15 designed the Air Max 90 "Warhawk," featuring a green and silver upper with the iconic Warhawk shark mouth design on the toe box.

If you liked these, make sure to follow us on Instagram for more great customs, and don't forget to wash your hands, stay inside, and stay safe.

Air Force 1 Custom Tutorial + More Great Pieces

Custom Junk Food Air Force 1's

For our latest tutorial, John from @wreck.creation stopped by to show you how to create this pair of custom junk food-themed Air Force 1s.

Whether you're a beginner or you've been doing this for a while, John will show you all of the tips, tricks, and materials you need to create these AF1s.

To learn how to make these for yourself, make sure to check out the full tutorial on our YouTube channel.

Chrome Air Force 1

(source: @kingdom_made⁠)

Sticking with the AF1, sponsored artist @kingdom_made is next up with a unique take on the classic Nike Swoosh logo.

These customs feature the first attempt at an original chrome effect that takes these AF1s to another level without changing the classic all-white color scheme.

Pulp Fiction AF1

(source: @danielcordas⁠)

What's your favorite Tarantino movie?

For these next Air Force 1s, sponsored artist @danielcordas paid tribute to one of his favorites by depicting three of the main characters from the all-time classic, Pulp Fiction.

Air Max 90 Warhawk

(source: @astrotorfcustoms⁠)

Making your own custom sneakers is all about creating what you can't have. Sometimes, that means recreating an existing colorway that you can't get your hands on.

That's what sponsored artist @astrotorfcustoms did with this pair of custom Air Max 90 Warhawks, which features a colorway almost identical to the original.

Make sure to grab a 12 color assortment kit if you want to try recreating your own favorite shoe.

Back to the Future Customs

(source: @tragik1993)

You've probably seen the official Nike Mags before, but you've probably never seen a pair of Back to the Future hoverboard customs.

Sponsored artist @tragik1993 created both with this pair of customs -- one shoe featuring the classic Nike Mag color scheme, the other featuring the same color scheme and pattern as the board itself.

Which one do you prefer?

To check out more great customs like these, make sure to follow Angelus on Instagram. Also, be sure to stop by our online store to grab the materials you need to create your own customs.

Custom Leather Backpack Tutorial + More

You're not limited to shoes for your custom projects. Angelus paints can be used to customize a variety of products, from backpacks to furniture.

Check out these pictures to get inspiration for your next custom project.

Custom Leather Backpack

(source: @ehkcustoms)

Artist Enzo Kim (@ehkcustoms) stopped by the Angelus studio to put together this custom koi fish leather backpack tutorial.

Check out the full tutorial to watch Enzo walk you through how to create this design, and to see all the materials you need to get started.

Custom Air Max

(source: @jwdanklefs)

Air Maxes continue to be an all-time favorite for shoe artists.

Check out these custom "What the Air Max" AM1s design by sponsored artist @jwdanklefs, which features a variety of animal print and camo patterns.

Grab a 12 color assortment kit to try creating your own custom Air Maxes.

Custom Jordan 12

(source: @kattycustoms)

What would you name these Jordan 12s?

Sponsored artist @kattycustoms designed these Js features an all-black upper, multicolor camo sole, and neon pink accents.

Supreme x Louis Vuitton Custom Cleats

(source: @solesbysir)

Supreme x Louis Vuitton: every hypebeast's dream.

Turns out Drew Brees is a hypebeast himself. Sponsored artist @solesbysir designed these custom cleats for the legendary quarterback and added some gold accents to bring the design to a new level.

Area 51 Customs

(source: @visionarykickz)

You ready to storm Area 51?

Be sure to prepare yourself by checking out this tutorial by artist Jake Mata from @visionarykickz. Watch as he walks you through the design using Angelus paints and some easy DIY stencils.

Don't forget to follow Angelus on Instagram for more customs like these, and check out our online store to pick up the materials you need for your next project.

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