(I couldn't decide which title I liked best.)
No. This post is not about Burger King, although I find the Angus Burger quite tasty!
This post is about the growing number of shoe manufacturers that allow you to customize your shoes by creating custom colorways (that's what they call the color combinations). They have created web applications that make changing colors as easy as point and click. Some even allow you to add custom text to your shoes, although I think they probably don't allow profanity or copywrited words, so R.M., don't even try it. Yes, I'm talking to you.
I personally think this is a great thing. I'm salivating over my K-Swiss Classics that I just haven't gotten the nerve to order yet.
So, without further ado, here's a brief roundup of websites where you can customize your own shoes. Have fun.
- The NIKE iD site. While most other site of this kind only offer a few models to customize, Nike is leading the way here. There are LOTS of shoes here that you can bend and twist to your own well, twisted, desires. BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE. They also have other stuff: apparel, bags, balls. You could probably burn hours here just playing around.
- Classic K-Swiss. Perhaps my personal favorite, because I crave simplicity in a complex world, and all of the options at Nike make my head hurt. The K-Swiss Classic is just my favorite shoe. Simple. Clean design. Plus, it doesn't make my feet look as big as they really are. They only have a couple of designs to choose from, but why would you need more options? Go with the Classic. Funk it up a little bit.
- Timberland Boots. Yes, you can get custom boots in a couple of models for men, women and children alike. They offer custom text, with the added bonus of Greek symbols, so to you fraternities and sororities: knock yourself out.
- Since they're owned by Nike now, I suppose it only stands to reason, but at converse.com, you can customize your own Chuck Taylors! Just look for the pencil icon in the compass rosette-looking thing in the upper right of the main page. I remember back in the day when there was a spot near our house where you could get Chuck Taylors for $5! At the beginning of each summer, my mother would take my brother and I there and we would each get a pair. Those were our summer shoes. Get them dirty, wet, anything you wanted. Just realize that if you managed to destroy them, well you'd walk around barefoot for the rest of the summer. Oh, the good ole days. Well, these ain't really the same Chucks, now that I think about it. Back then, you couldn't get them in leather!
- I've never had a pair of Vans, and I've never wanted one. Sorry, that's just the way it is. I've already said K-Swiss was my favorite. HOWEVER, when I can customize my colors, this opens a whole new range of possibilities for my wardrobe.
- rbjcustom.com offers three different models to choose from, including their Classic Leather. I don't have much Reebok experience to draw from, but the site is pretty nice. They let you add text too. One thing here that was slightly different is that as where on other sites you have a shoe floating in space to serve as your WYSIWYG preview, Reebok has thoughtfully mocked up the shoe on a foot, with a pair of jeans breaking over it just right. Nice touch.
- Puma has an interesting offering that uses the theme of a Mongolian BBQ. Get it? You get to pick and choose what you want? Right! Now you get it. They only offer one shoe model at the moment, but there are 20 different customizable pieces. The site is very graphics-intensive, though. Lots of added motion that the site would move more quickly and smoothly without. That's the price of the BBQ experience, though. Very slickly and nicely done.
- Adidas has this weird concept called Adicolor. They sell you a pair of solid-color shoes in white, red, blue, yellow, green, pink or black. The pair also comes with - get this - a set of markers. They want you to use the markers to customize your kicks. This is decidedly grass-roots and I can see the draw for the artsy set, but come on Adidas! This is 2006.
That's about all that I found. Keep in mind that these take about a month to be made and sent to you, so plan ahead. Next February or so, I'll be putting a few
Know What I'm Sayin'??