Today, I’m going to shoot you with some light basketball sneaker education. I’ll break down everything you need to know on how to customize your own basketball shoes online.
Ever heard of NIKEiD or perhaps miAdidas? Nikey’s and now discontinued adidas’s gear customization platforms that let you make a piece of gear, such as shoes or a t-shirt, your own.
If yes, then most stuff I’ll be talking about today will ring familiar to you. But if you’ve never heard of NikeID and such or you lack experience in such a process and would like to get some valuable insight, then fasten your seatbelt.
Whether you’re familiar with hoop shoe customization or not, I believe even the people that are aware of these platforms will be able to take something interesting and perhaps get bits of insight they haven’t had the chance to find out.
SHOW TABLE OF CONTENTS
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FIRST
Alright, let’s dive right into it. I’ll be giving a brief background of the concept of customizing shoes online to get you familiar; I’ll talk about the platforms that are and were available for us to use, and which you should stick to.
We’ll skip the platforms that let you customize only fashion sneakers and those that don’t offer any basketball shoe love.
I’ll also shoot a quick guide on customizing hoop shoes on NikeID and end it with some extra tips that are good to know before getting into customizing.
INTRODUCE ME TO THE IDEA OF CUSTOMIZING BALL SHOES!
It’s very simple – brands that sell basketball gear, specifically Nike, adidas, Reebok, and Under Armour have created their online platforms that allow their supported existing products to be customized in many ways visually, enabling you to make a shoe exactly how you like it.
Sounds super cool! Yeah, I totally agree. The general idea was initially to see all these brands compete with their customization platforms, making their tool somehow better and with more options to use, and also provide a huge selection of shoes that be adjusted the way people see fit.
Well, the reality in 2020 is not quite the blossoming idea this was a few years back…
THE PLATFORMS: THEN AND NOW
Let me break down the main tools that were initially available for people to use to customize basketball shoes.
All I’ve gotta say is, use it while it’s here…
NIKE BY YOU
The OG of all, formerly known as NIKEiD. The name was actually changed not long ago, to which I was also surprised. The good news is, this is still the king of brands that offer shoe customization.
The tool offers around 12-15 options to customize on each hoop shoe, the presentation is awesome and surely make you stare and how dope you’ve made them look. Working on me, lol.
Originally founded back in 1999, it’s still going in 2020, though the number of supported shoes to customize is pretty damn scarce now. It’s got over 50 athletic shoes in total, and only under 10 basketball shoes supported for pimping during the time I wrote this.
Though the most popular and latest signatures of star players’ shoes are there: the KD 13, the Kyrie 6, the PG 4, the Zoom Freak 2, the LeBron Soldier 14, and likely more signatures will be added as releases roll out.
So even if the selection can’t be called impressive, less is better than none, and you’ll soon see this for yourself.
Another ambitious platform created by adidas in 2000. Just a year younger than NIKEiD, MiAdidas had also been around for quite some time. But they’re discontinued now, so there’s that.
Yeah, less is definitely better than none. According to several reports online, MiAdidas was kind of a huge flop for the brand, but it is also stated that the brand is moving on to bigger and better things, and actually promise a brand new system down the line to replace MiAdidas.
The tool was actually discontinued just last year, in 2019.
The tool was pretty cool and I just as good as Nikey’s. I don’t remember the average number of options available to customize hoop shoes but I think it was close to Nikey’s, but a bit less. Don’t quote me on that though.
I did have a chance to pimp my own D Rose 4’s I think, and a few other signatures were available.
For those who are familiar with the platform and perhaps if you’ve been using it, adidas released a statement that all orders made before January 13th will still be honored.
By Under Armour
A fairly recent project launched back in 2017 that was actually fantastic and offered the most comprehensive and feature-rich tool yet. The main options also ranged between 12 and 15, similar to NIKEiD but ICON also let users get more in-depth in certain base options.
ICON launched with three supported models: the Curry 1, the ClutchFit Force 3.0, and the ClutchFit Highlight. Not many more basketball models were added to the customizable roster since then and the platform was discontinued not long ago. What a twist.
I think you get what I was trying to say with less is better than none.
Man, I wish I could brutally pimp out my Curry 6’s to look like a spaceship coming at you 100 miles an hour. Oh if only.
The most “unique” and different platform was YourReebok, which is a mobile application that lets you customize your shoes anywhere you go. Also launched in 2017.
The app launched with three Reebok’s classic shoes available to customize but progressively added quite a lot of models pimp-able, and to a great extent.
The app definitely was cool, it was super detailed and probably offered the widest range of things you can do of all, and features like “shake your own to change the color” were nice additions, though not enough to keep things going.
You guessed it, the idea was also discontinued not long after its launch.
NIKE BY YOU IS THE WAY TO GO
So by now, you’ve probably already got the idea – NIKEiD or Nike By You (whatever you wanna call it) is your only flagship option for customizing hoop shoes.
Without further ado, let’s first go through the process of customizing your sneaker and getting it shipped to you. It’s really very simple but for those who aren’t familiar – check it out
QUICK GUIDE ON CUSTOMIZING WITH NIKE BY YOU
All you gotta know are 4 simple steps!
I. ACCESS NIKE BY YOU
First, you want to visit Nike By You and for basketball shoes, scroll down, and hit the Start Here button under “Cuztomize for your sport”.
II. CHOOSE YOUR SHOE
Now, all you have to do is choose the shoe you’d like to pimp out either from the full catalog or you can slim it down by choosing a particular signature using the panel to the left.
Choosing certain players such as Giannis or Paul George together brings up an error screen for some reason, so be aware of that. You can still browse through their shoes from the full catalog, or by selecting just that one player. Shame on you Nikey.
Once you’ve chosen your shoe, click on it – this will take you to the shoe’s page. Inside, click Customize on the shoe’s page and it will take you to the customization screen. I’m sure you’ll find it.
III. LET’S PIMP IT
Now for the fun part. You’ll be taken inside the customization hub – and this is where the magic happens!
The shoe you’ve chosen will likely have around 12+ options to pimp – you’ll see all of those to the right of your screen.
You can customize the base of the shoe, its tongue, laces, midsole, the swoosh, and you can even add your own number and/or text in set areas, as well as much more stuff you can tinker with.
Once you click on the area you want to adjust, you’ll be able to choose the color/design. When you’re happy with that area, simply click the tick at the bottom right and you’ll be taken back to the overview.
Keep pimping the shoe ’till you’re happy with the overall look! When you’re fully done and happy with the result, simply click Done at the bottom of the screen.
IV. SEND IT HERE!
It’s time to finalize the shoe. After you’ve clicked Done, you’ll be taken back to the shoe page but this time, you’ll see it exactly how you pimped it.
All that’s left is to make sure you’re signed in to your Nikey account (create it if you don’t have one yet), choose your size and click Add to Bag!
After that, you’ll simply be taken to Nike’s standard checkout page where you’ll be able to make the payment – the shoes will be sent to you in 3 weeks or less, depending on where are you are.
Yeah, it’s that simple! Now it’s off to impatiently waiting for your kick-ass designed kicks to be delivered to you. Due to the pandemic, the delivery times might be prolonged, as it’s normally much less than 3 weeks.
But wait, there’s more you should know about…
SOME STUFF TO REMEMBER BEFORE CUSTOMIZING
Even though the process is done and it’s as simple as washing your dishes pretty much, I’d like you to know a few additional things you might want to know before getting into pimping with Nike By You.
Some of ’em are better than others but being equipped with this knowledge will help you make a better decision going forward.
EXPECT A SLIGHT PRICE INCREASE
This one’s probably quite obvious but each shoe that’s customized will have a slightly bumped up price from its original retail price.
What’s cool though is that it’s really not that much, which wasn’t the case some time ago with NIKEiD. It’s also a fixed price, so you’re not paying more depending on the options you select, how many of them you go with, etc.
For example, during the time I’m writing this, the KD 13, the Zoom Freak 2, the PG 4, and the LeBron Soldier 14 will be $20 more expensive than their standard counterparts.
Only the Kyrie 6 has a $30 increase for some reason. So all in all, not a huge increase but still something you should know.
THE MATERIALS COULD BE SKETCHY
Something you should DEFINITELY know about. This also happens to not only Nike By You – brands can’t afford to use the exact same premium materials used on the base shoe each time a user decides to pimp out a shoe.
What do they do? Well, for some shoes and depending on the options selected, the shoe might come with materials not as high-quality as they would be on the standard base shoe. This is often to reduce the cost of each shoe shipped, which makes sense, but something the consumer should know about.
Sadly, there’s no way I can pinpoint the exact shoes or options that will result in this but as an example, let’s take the KD 13. The original model uses a textile synthetic material throughout the upper. Customizing the shoe might result in parts of the upper being more flimsy or bubbly as opposed to the original state.
I’m not saying this particularly will happen if you customize the KD 13 though – just an example.
This also greatly depends on color choices. Some colors and the paint applied might not be as premium as others. I recommend checking some YouTube videos of people getting their custom orders, you might find some information based on people’s experience in terms of material quality.
YOU CAN STILL RETURN CUSTOMIZED SHOES
This one correlates with the material situation. Just as you can return your Nikey products within 30 days for a refund or a change of order, the same policies are in place for Nike By You orders as well.
That’s a very neat thing to have as you’ll know you’re good at all times. So if you think the product you pimped doesn’t look how it’s supposed to or perhaps some of the materials used are extremely low quality, you can always return the shoes within 30 days.
EXTENDED SHIPPING TIMES
Normally, customized shoes would arrive in 1-2 weeks but due to our crappy situation of the world at the moment, shipping times can be up to 3 weeks.
Non-customized shoes would arrive within just a few days for US residents. Is it worth the 1-2 week extra waiting time? That’s up to you.
DO YOU PIMP YOUR SHOES?
That is it for the customization guide! Something a little bit different and hopefully something that shed some light on the whole process!
Also, check out my in-depth basketball shoe reviews if you’re hunting for a pair of new hoop shoes!
Did you ever customize your hoop shoes with NIKEiD? Perhaps you’ve tried MiAdidas or other platforms before they were canceled?
I highly encourage you to leave your thoughts below and I’ll get back to you as quickly as I can!