Adidas is the second-largest and one of the oldest sportswear manufacturers globally. Most famous for their footwear, it’s hard to find someone who has not heard of them. Their top-notch quality and chic designs make it hard for anyone to miss them and not own a pair or two. However, with so many people wearing the same shoes, seeing them everywhere can become a bit monotonous. That is why many people decide to customize their Adidas Sneakers and make them their own.
Of course, you could go out and buy a pair of custom shoes that match your style and help you stand out, but what is the fun in that? Thankfully, there are various ways you can go about customizing your own Adidas, all of which we have outlined in this article.
The Best Adidas Shoes To Customize
Before we get into the details on how to customize your Adidas sneakers, we need to make sure you have the right pair. If you don’t already have an old pair laying around, you’ll need to find a pair that are comfortable, fit your personal style, and easy to customize. If you decide to get a brand new pair, here are some shoe designs we’d recommend.
- Superstar Sneakers: These are one of the company’s newer models and probably the ones that gained popularity the fastest. They’re sleek, comfy, look good with any kind of clothing, and are super easy to style.
- Stan Smith Sneakers: They’re similar to the Superstar’s when it comes to the build and durability, but in the exterior design, they don’t have the Superstar’s trademark three stripes. This gives a more connected region for you to draw on without any interruption by the stripes.
- Continental 80: An old classic that has been modified over time to fit in better with the changing fashion trends and is now a loved and highly worn model. If the design you want on your shoes is a bit subtle or you just want some small addition, these are the shoes for you.
- Nizza: These are platform shoes for women that come in 3 variations; high-top, mids, and low-top. They provide a broader canvas and are great for painting or sharpie.
Let’s Get Customizing
By this time, you’re probably itching to know about the various techniques you could use to customize your Adidas sneakers. Similar to when customizing Vans shoes, you have a lot of options available to you. Start by asking yourself what kind of design you are going for. Some techniques may be best for little details while others are better for more color. Whatever you are going for, we have put together a list of different techniques, required materials, and methods for each.
Hand painting your Adidas is probably the most-used process when it comes to personalization. It’s pretty straightforward, involves a paintbrush and different colors, which is always fun, and it gives you complete control over each and every spot, line, and curve on your shoe. Another plus is that it’s incredibly flexible; you can use it for any design, pattern and even substitute many of the products used with things that are more readily available.
- Prep solution: Angelus Leather Preparer and Deglazer or 100% acetone nail paint remover to get rid of the factory finish.
- Making or Electrical tape
- Acrylic paints or Leather paints from Angelus Direct
- Cotton balls
- Paintbrushes of different sizes
- Acrylic finisher or varnisher
- A heat gun or blow dryer
- Lead pencil and transfer paper/graphite paper
Soak your cotton balls in a little prep solution and rub them over your shoes to remove the factory paint. Now draw your design over your shoes; you can either freehand it or use a transfer paper to trace it over your shoes. Once transferred, use a small, point-tip brush and start painting the borders. Use a wider brush for the larger inner areas and background. You’ll need 4-5 thin, even coats with proper drying time in between. At the end, when the paint is completely dry, add 1-2 coatings of your acrylic finisher to bind everything and make the paint last longer. And you’re all done!
LORENZ KING’s YouTube video shows the entire process by painting a cool drip-style, on Adidas shoes.
You could use this method to paint your favorite characters on your shoes like this.
Or you could paint a simple pattern or some cute, small stuff like flowers, etc.
Not too sure about your painting skills? Want some equipment that would get the job done correctly and give your shoes an industrial look? A fan of spray paint? Or maybe your motif isn’t something that’s too defined and involves a subtle mixing of different colored paints. If any of these fits your case, airbrushing is the perfect method for you!
- Prep Solution: You’ll need this to prepare the shoe by removing the factor finish and making the surface more compatible with the paint i.e., so that the paint sticks better. You can use Angelus Leather preparer and deglazer for this or 100% acetone nail paint remover
- Small cotton pads
- Masking/Electrical tape
- A print out of your design (this is important for stenciling)
- XACTo knife or any sharp blade
- Acrylic paints or Angelus’ leather paints
- Brush cleaner: To clean the brush when changing colors or when ending
- Thinning solution: Distilled water or Airbrush reducer/improver or Angelus 2-thin
- Acrylic Finisher
- A blow dryer or heat gun
Like for hand painting, first use the prep solution to remove old paint. Now use your printout and tape to create a stencil over your shoe. Its best to start from the outside, do those bits, and then cut out the inner parts, cover the inner parts and brush over. For a detailed stenciling video, check out Jake Mata’s video with Angelus shoe polish that focuses on this topic.
For the paint solution that you’ll pour in the airbrush, you’ll need milk-like consistency of your solution. To achieve this, mix 50% paint with 50% of the thinner; percentages may vary slightly depending on your exact materials, but usually this would be perfect. Use this with the airbrush and spray over the designated areas. Get 4-5 even layers and go slowly, once dry, add 1-2 coats of the varnish.
Airbrushing is usually used for a soft blend of colors so that they look melted into each other naturally rather than have sharp boundaries.
But with proper stenciling, you can also use it for smaller designs.
If you’re looking for something super fun that doesn’t involve too much effort or requires a lot of precision, you should totally look into hydro dipping your shoes. Hydro dipping has been made popular when it comes to creating custom Air Force 1s, however, it can be used on Adidas as well. It is a great way to incorporate your favorite colors and add a groovy vibe to your kicks.
- A large tub or container
- Masking tape
- A sharp blade that can cut the tape
- Bonding Primer (A spray that will help the paint stick to the surface): You can get one from Rustoleum
- Acrylic spray paints
Take the laces off your shoes and carefully tape all the parts of your shoes you don’t want any paint over, like the tongue, toe cap, the side stripes, soles, edges, etc. Now spray a generous layer of primer over your shoes. After this, fill a tub with water and spray several layers of your paints on top, you can paint them on top of each other or go in lines, just create a random, large pattern that can completely envelop your shoes. Now dip your shoes, upside down into this water. Do this slowly and hold for a while. In the end, just take them out, let them dry, remove the tape, and enjoy!
With hydro dipping, you could easily create bright, abstract art on your shoes
Or you could go for something darker, like the galaxy or night sky.
Almost all of us have used Sharpies to doodle on an old pair of shoes. This same technique used to customize your old Vans can be used on your Adidas as well. Customizing shoes couldn’t be easier than it is with Sharpies, it’s the same as drawing on paper, and you can enact some pretty intricate designs. The best part is that they’re waterproof! No worries about them washing off or bleeding on the cloth with water.
- Oil-based sharpie
With sharpies, it’s just like doodling; grab a marker and let your hand move around freely. Or, you could go for some specific drawings. Either way, all you have to do is take your sharpie and use it like any other marker on paper, except this will be on shoes.
Like Hoodie Jordan, you can use several different colors and give a bright, rainbow look to your shoes.
Or, like RALPH CIFRA, you could use one color and draw some wild art with it. You can also add shadings using lighter tones of the same colors.
Bedazzle With Crystals
The glitz and glamour of anything that shines is quite attractive and gives a very fancy vibe, upgrading even the simplest of things into something illustrious and alluring. Now, Adidas is in no way simple, but what if you adorned them with some crystals? Definitely something special.
- E6000 glue or any industrial adhesive
- Rhinestones or Swarovski crystals in different sizes
- Tweezers or a Crystal Applicator
First of all, decide which areas you want crystals over. Once chosen, start applying glue on small sections of that area and then place the crystals on top using a tweezer or the applicator. Try not to get any glue on the crystals and use different sizes depending on which ones fit best in which parts, as Carli Bybel has demonstrated in her video. Let the glue dry, and your shoes are ready to wear.
With crystals, there are a variety of options available depending on the kinds of stones you get.
Studs give a strong, metallic, and a little rocky look to your shoes. So, if you’re a metal or rock and roll fan or want a chic, street style aesthetic, studs are the way to go.
- E6000 glue or some very strong adhesive
- Studs (of your choice)
Adding studs is precisely like that of crystals, apply glue, and then carefully place studs on tops. For Adidas, we would suggest using studs of smaller size and broader base that would easily stick to the surface and would not fall off with a little rubbing or flexing.
You could place crystals over some parts of your shoes, like shown below.
Or you could have small studs covering your entire shoes.
Taking Care of Your Masterpiece
Now that you’ve had a crash course on how to customize your Adidas Sneakers, it’s time to learn how to properly take care of them. Depending on the technique you used, keeping your Adidas clean may not be as simple as throwing them in the washer. Make sure you check out our guide on cleaning your customized sneakers so you can perserve your artwork for years to come.