How To Become A Sneaker Customizer

Sneaker Customizers are sole entrepreneurs whose creations become novelty and art pieces that attract sole collectors.

Career Profile, Salary & Job Outlook —

What does a Sneaker Customizer do?

A Sneaker Customizer or a Custom Shoe Designer intricately redesigns a sneaker with artistic flair. For example, they take different approaches from hand-painting, applique techniques, to using hand and machine tools to customize a sneaker design. Sneaker Customizers not only are an expert on sneaker construction and manipulating materials but are on the pulse with trends to drive the market or create customizations that are appealing to their customer base.

How much does a Sneaker Customizer make?

According to Comparably, Sneaker Customizers or Footwear Entrepreneurs make a national average of $68,639 annually or $33.00 an hour in 2021. In general, entry-level sneaker customizers make around $33,170 annually, with senior-level sneaker customizers making $125,270 a year.

What impact does this career have towards the sneaker industry?

Sneaker Customizers are sole entrepreneurs and artists who influence their audience, celebrities, influencers, and the market. Moreover, their creations become novelty and art pieces that attract sole collectors.

What is the job outlook for a Sneaker Customizer?

The Footwear market is expected to show a volume growth of 4.0% in 2022. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth in the fashion design industry (including Sneaker Customizers) is projected to grow one percent during the 2018-2028 decade (www.bls.gov).

How to kick-off your career:

  • Stay up to date on sneaker releases pushing the capabilities of design, materials, and technology.
  • Collect inspiration of your favorite sneaker customizers.
  • Learn sneaker anatomy to understand the different parts of a shoe you can customize.
  • Download our Ultimate Sneaker Career Guide to understand the pathway into this career.
  • Explore our Sneaker Essentials online course to understand the Design & Materials process.
Jon Tang, Footwear Creative Director

Learn from:
Jon Tang
Sneaker Essentials contributor

Experiences: Founder & Creative Director, Fronteer
Senior Designer, Collaborations & Special Projects, K-Swiss

Related Careers:

Men’s Footwear Designer | Women’s Footwear Designer | Footwear Graphic Designer | Materials Designer | Creative Director, Footwear | Footwear Authentication Specialist | Reseller

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