One of the most asked questions we receive from customers is, “How much do you charge for custom sneakers? The biggest misconception we see within the custom sneaker community is thinking there’s a set price for all designs. Unfortunately, this is not how custom sneaker shopping works.
In this article, we’re going to break down the pricing that goes into custom sneakers so you, as a shopper, know exactly what to expect when sending in a custom order request. In simplest terms, there are really three main factors that go into pricing for custom sneakers. Those three factors are the cost of the base shoe, the complexity of the design, and the experience an individual artist has.
Cost of The Base Shoe
The first factor that goes into pricing custom sneakers is the cost of the base shoe. All artists prefer to paint on a clean, blank canvas which is why 99% of our orders deal with a newly purchased sneaker supplied by the artist. For example, our most popular base shoe, the Nike Air Force 1 Low, costs $90. That price is automatically added to the final quote so we always recommend clients to have AT LEAST a $150 budget.
The second factor (and most impactful factor) that goes into pricing custom sneakers is design complexity. To use a simple analogy everyone should be familiar with, think of a tattoo artist. If you go to a tattoo artist wanting to get your dog’s name tattooed on your arm, that would be much cheaper than getting an actual portrait of your dog tattooed on your arm. The same concept applies to custom sneaker designs.
Now let’s use the Nike Air Force 1 Low as another price example. Since the base shoe for the Nike Air Force 1 Low costs around $100, the absolute cheapest pair of custom Nike Air Force 1 Lows our artists offer would be around $170. At this price point, you would not be able to get anything more than some simple colors and maybe light stencil work. Below would be an example of a custom Nike Air Force 1 Low worth around $170.
As you can see, this would be a fairly simple design that wouldn’t take too much time to make. Having said that, let’s take a look at a pair of custom Nike Air Force 1 Lows that would be in the $250-$300 price range. This would include designs that have some sort of portrait photo on them such as a cartoon/anime character, or a portrait of an actual person. Below is an example of a previous pair of custom Nike Air Force 1 Lows that us and our partnered artist, Saint Designz, did for $320.
This design was much more complex and required a lot more time and resources to complete. However, as you can see, the end result is a pair of custom Nike Air Force 1 Lows nobody else in the world owns. It’s truly a one of one custom sneaker.
Experience of the Artist
The last biggest factor that goes into pricing custom sneakers is the experience of an artist. If you don’t know already, we partner with some of the world's most talented sneaker artists. Some of our artists are more experienced than others and with more experience comes more demand for your services. Using basic supply and demand logic, the artist with the most experience will have more demand, thus, giving them the ability to charge more for their services as there is always a limit of the amount of designs they can produce in a day. On average, artists price their services at a MINIMUM $15/hour, so if a design takes 5 hours to make, their quote for just the artwork would be $75. Add on the cost of the base shoe, other materials, shipping, and transaction fees, and you end with the final quote.
Although we just went over the three main factors, there are some other expenses artists always include into their final quote for custom sneakers. The cost of materials needed to complete your design such as paint, paintbrushes, airbrushes, stencils, stencil machine, etc., will also be factored into the final invoice. Along with that, shipping costs will always be factored into the final quote, and as well as any transaction fees the artists pay when they become partners with us. Below is a quick price breakdown of the cheapest pair of custom Nike Air Force 1 Lows we would sell:
Custom “Blue Shade” Air Force 1 Lows ($170)
- Nike Air Force 1 Lows ($100 including shipping from Nike)
- Cost of paint and other materials ($10)
- CMS transaction fee ($15)
- Cost of labor. Artists normally charge AT LEAST $15/hour. This design would take roughly 1-2 hours ($30)
- Cost of shipping ($15)
Knowing all this information, I want you to notice what the NET REVENUE of that transaction would be for the artist. On this particular pair, the artist would only bring in $30 profit. Our partnered artists do this out of passion and love for art and sneakers. $300 for a pair of custom sneakers is not cheap. However, we created Custom My Sneaker to help make shopping for custom sneakers a stress and worry free experience as we take all of the risks out of the shopping process.
If you’d like to create your own 1 of 1 custom sneaker, use this link and click the “Create your dream sneaker” button to begin submitting your own custom sneaker request: Custom Sneaker Request (custommysneaker.com)