Design Your Own Custom Shoes Online & Buy Them
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How we are shod has long been an indicator of social status, occupation or position in this world. Take the saying, ‘well-heeled’ as a reference to the upper class, or ‘slip-shod’ to talk about poor craftsmanship. So it’s no wonder that we all take pride in our shoes and that it is a huge part of fashion.

But where can you get shoes that are uniquely you? There are a few places on the web that have great little programs that allow you to design custom shoes, – make them as individual as you are – and buy them! Now, I know MakeUseOf is intended to feature free applications and websites and such. However, I could argue that the ability to design shoes online is free, it’s just the getting the shoe part that costs.


Zazzle makes me jealous. You can design your own custom Keds shoes there with practically any design you can think of. Upload a piece of artwork and apply it to the shoe.

How about a picture of your dog for your dog-walking shoes? Make shoes for each day of the week. Maybe make ‘left’ and ‘right’ shoes for your kids? The possibilities are definitely endless. Well, not completely endless. They don’t have a men’s shoe. I suppose a fellow could buy a women’s slip-on and wear that, since they are pretty unisex looking. However, it seems that women’s shoes are typically much more narrow and pointed than men’s shoes.

When you start designing your shoe, you are shown what areas you can customize.

design custom shoes

Clicking on each colour box gives you a variety of preset colours and patterns to choose from.


I’ve always liked red polka dots, but they just weren’t conducive to this design. So I moved on the area where you can add images to the shoe.

design custom shoes online

As you can see, there are many options here to help you work with your image. Probably the most important thing to remember is to choose your shoe size first. The images will show differently on different shoe sizes. As you add images to the shoe, the demo of the shoe is instantly updated, so you’ll have a good idea what to expect as you go along.

Check out these sweet kicks I designed. No brown-nosing here….

zazzle - muo keds

These beauties could be yours for the low Internet price of $79.25 plus applicable taxes. We’re not seriously selling these though….are we?

Custom Keds from Zazzle could be used for fund-raising as you can sell your design through Zazzle (I’ve seen some breast-cancer themed ones). Or you could just buy a few pairs to wear for awareness campaigns like the yellow ribbon,  or even as incentives for employees. (Hint, hint, editors!)


I’m pretty sure that’s supposed to be pronounced Nike ID, because when I tried to say it as a word it sounded too much like nekkid. Brought to you by marketing legend Nike shoes, this is an extensive web application to design not only your own Nike shoes, but clothing and accessories as well. The pricing is very competitive with factory designed shoes as well.

I’m going to design some shoes for my son, who is seven. I’ve chosen the Nike Air Tiempo Rival Premium iD Shoe (Barcelona) Kids’. Okay, they could come up with shorter names. You have to be in shape just to say that in one breath!


What I’m going to do with it is apply colours that mimic the jerseys of the Edmonton Oilers – my favourite NHL team. Mind you, it’s not my son’s favourite team, but I’m not really buying him these shoes anyway.

At the point where you start working on the design, you are given a great number of options: colours, materials, logo’s, custom text and mascots. Check out some of the screen shots from the design environment below.

nike_base nike_base_material nike_text
nike_logo nike_mascot

Here’s the finished project. Not bad if I say so myself! With a tag of $100, it’s not ridiculously expensive either. If he was done growing, I might think about buying them.


Know of any other places on the web to design custom shoes online? Have any experience ordering shoes like these? We would love to hear about them in the comments below.

Image Credit: Dmitri Ma via

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  1. Anurag Anand
    March 7, 2016 at 9:23 am

    I have started with Tamara shoes ( You can check it for creating your own personalized shoes and then we make it for you. Check it out.

    • Guy McDowell
      March 14, 2016 at 1:44 pm

      Interesting concept.

      • Anurag
        March 14, 2016 at 1:46 pm

        Appreciate your feedback. :)

  2. lynne
    May 17, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    I spent hours creating keds and flip flops on zazzle. Then they suddenly discontinued and never warned us. I'm a pro seller there. Kind of fed up.

  3. mira smith
    January 19, 2010 at 12:55 am

    Highest quality custom handmade and hand-embroidered martial arts, karate belt. Providing excellent quality martial arts belt since 1974, we specialize in handmade, hand-embroidered black,master, panel,flag, taekwondo, and tangsoodo belt. Proudly made in USA.

  4. Nicole Tongson
    January 1, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    I came across your post about custom shoes and wanted to let you know about our company, Eidia Lush. We do custom women's shoes as well (high heels, kitten heels, and couture designs). Our process and style is very unique because we have fun and funky patterns and embellishments to choose from on our site to allow you to build your dream shoe. They are literally works of art. We also do complete customization for weddings. You can check out or email me at for more details :)

  5. Mike
    December 4, 2009 at 12:59 am

    Hi Guy

    Great article. We have just started a new company in the space called "Shoes of Prey". We make custom ladies shoes that can be designed on our website. You can choose the shape of the shoe (and mix and match different shapes), and then choose the leather for each part.

    Cheers Mike
    Mike :)

  6. Elliot
    September 21, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    you can design your own vans here, but the designs are pretty limited, mostly skater patterns, since, vans is a skater brand

  7. Shine
    August 23, 2009 at 5:05 am

    What about Vans shoes? I'm not sure if they still do custom but when I was in high school you could have your sneakers made from any material, any pattern. I had a friend who loved her grandmother's funky curtains so she sent the material to the Van's store and had some shoes made. It was great fun.

  8. Jill
    August 19, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    I bought my daughter a pair of custom made Chucks last year, and she wore them out.

    • Guy McDowell
      August 20, 2009 at 12:21 pm

      Why couldn't I find this site? Custom Chucks are exactly what I was looking for.

      • Guy McDowell
        August 20, 2009 at 6:08 pm

        I was hoping I'd be able to upload custom patterns for the Chucks like you can with the Keds. Bummer.

  9. Jim Kep!
    August 19, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    Don't forget and get some custom made Chucks! My daughter swears by them.