Trial and error is the most the important part of creation. Whether you paint, write, custom, design, whatever it is, you’re going to go through different stages as part of the process. Obviously someone isn’t going to pick up a paintbrush and come up with the next Mona Lisa first try. First tries are simply that, a start.
If you’re first crack at a custom job doesn’t look so hot, no worries. I’m sure a lot of the OG’s will admit there first time customizing sneakers didn’t turn out great. Maybe that first time looked okay, but there’s always room for improvement for that next custom. That’s people become great artists.
Tyler, head honcho at Angelus Paint and Lace Lab posed a question to the rad people over at Nothing But Customs. He asked them if they wouldn’t sharing pictures of their first try custom and their most recent customs as a way to measure their progress. What we got was an overwhelming response from people who were 100% down to share their work.
We decided to pick out a handful of customizers at random to feature on our blog. If you stay up on any of the premier sneaker sites, you’ve probably seen the same names come up again and again. This is because these dudes do some crazy work. But we can’t help but feel that there are some incredible customizers out there who haven’t gotten their time to shine. So here it is!
Amongst the first actual pictures to start popping up on the thread were these first and recent trys from St. Louis based Zahmill Mimi Manuel. The comment with her first try picture was “First one omg lol,” but she posted them! No shame in your first trys.
Then we she posted her most recent:
(Source: Zahmill Mimi Manuel)
Another early bird poster on the thread was from Covia, CA-based customizer Robert Spurlock. Robert dropped these XI Lows as his first try:
Not bad! Now, we have his most recents:
(Source: Robert Spurlock)
How sick are these? You’ve come along way Speezy! Be sure to keep up on his IG @speezycustomz for more work when you need some inspiration.
Next, Jaxon Greening shared his firsts and recents. Jaxon went next level with his documentation and posted the entire process for his first try:
Talk about progression, we can see this first try take shape. And it’s pretty good! Then his most recent customs:
(Source: Jaxon Greening)
The fade effect on these are next level! Even when your first try comes out clean, you still learn and grow as an artist, as we see with Jaxon’s two customs. Thanks for sharing man!
And these are his most recents:
(Source: Jerome Stukes)
Keep an eye for this one, because these skills are no joke!
We’re going to wrap this up with another Califas based artist, coming out of Eastvale. Tito Campos is the dude behind Titos Customs, specializing in both custom and freestyle. Much respect on the hustle!
For his firsts, Tito wasn’t afraid to go abstract on a pair of KD’s:
Some people start off small, and some people go all out for their first tries. Next we have his most recent customs:
(Source: Tito Campos)
These are just a handful of the incredible progress stories that were shared with us throughout the week. Be sure to check out the Angelus Direct blog for more custom work from this feature.
Lastly, a huge thank you to everyone who share their work with us. There’s no shame in seeing how far you’ve come!
A pair of crisp white flat laces are classic. If you get a fresh pair, they make your sneakers look clean, regardless of how far out-the-box they are.
By classic, think about this: the first Converse All-Star, or Chuck Taylors as we call these days was made in 1917. Guess what type of laces they used on the original Converse? Flat shoelaces.
This weekend (Aug. 29), Lace Lab and the Angelus Direct fam are going to be in Detroit, Michigan for Sneaker Con. While you’ve probably heard of Sneaker Con, along with things like “crazy long lines,” the fight in NYC, the rarest sneakers around, the Trading Pit.
So it’s pretty much going to be lit. And this is the first time Sneaker Con is setting up shop in Detroit, so Motor City sneaker heads and other enthusiasts from the Midwest who aren’t trying to drive a couple hundred miles can come down and get in on the action.
One big draw, and this is for the OG customizers out there is the Ace of Customs competition, which our boy Mache got in on a little while back.
Basically, dudes (and ladies) go head-to-head on a custom job for a pair of sneakers. So if you’re looking for some ideas for your next project, or you want to see the masters put in work, this is the spot.
Sneaker Con argues that it’s basically, “The Greatest Sneaker Show on Earth,” and from the looks of it, that’s probably true. Sneaker Con was started by a couple of young dudes by the names of William Debord, Alan Vinogradov, Barris Vinogradov, and Yu Ming in 2009. The first one was thrown in NYC and was pretty much a hit from the start. Since then, it's been traveling through America’s biggest metro cities, like Atlanta, DC, Chi-town, LA, and others.
For those of you who don’t live in one of those towns, getting there with a trunk full of shoe boxes might be a hassle. This is especially true if you’ve got some rare fire you’re trying to sell or trade and you have to get there by plane, train, bus, or a long-ass drive in your car.
There are some other notable sneaker conventions around that started before Sneaker Con. Texas people might speak to this one, and that’s H-Town Sneaker Summit. The Summit has been going since 2004, and they claim to be ‘World’s Original Community Based Sneaker Event.’ By the numbers, they’re 5 years older than Sneaker Con but it’s based in and around Houston. So if you’re not in the Lone Star State, you might not be hitting this one up. If you are, the next one is on December 5 at NRG Center park.
Of course, we’ve got love for our customers on the other side of the Atlantic. Europe has some sneaker conventions going on to, but the one you need to know about is Sneakerness.
Sneakerness started out of Switzerland in 2008, and has been going heavy since then. Earlier this month, the people at Sneakerness touched down in London for the first time, so they’re making moves too.
Another notable is the SolexChange Show. This is going to hit NYC on September 26. If you’re not tapped out yet, check this one out. Basically, there’s something for everyone!
If you live in the U.S., you’ve probably seen them in some neighborhood at some point in your life. No we’re not talking about pigeons, although pigeons are literally everywhere all the time. We’re talking about sneaks on the wire, shoe-tossing, telephone line shoes, and so on.
You may or may not have seen a pair of these Nike Kobe Venomenon 5's floating around the Web the past few days.
The story about them, when they first hit, was that these were the new colorway for the Kobe V 5’s. People seemed to respond pretty well to them, for a summer shoe these would probably kill it. They’re bright, but the colors all add up nicely on top of the white base. Let’s not forget the laces, we specialize in laces like that.
But as it turns out, these were not pictures of a new, Taiwan-exclusive Kobe 5 release. These are actually a pair of customs made by a Kobe super fan in Taiwan. If you were to head over to this guy’s Facebook, it looks like he’s pretty young dude. But that didn’t stop him from banging out these amazing customs and having the opportunity to give them to Black Mamba himself.
How cool is that?
The Volt colorway has been in Nike’s repertoire for a couple years now. The Volt colorway really took off in 2011, when it was featured on a pair of Air Max 90 Hyperfuses. Since then, Volt has become one of Nike’s modern featured colorways. So good looking at to this kid for killing those Kobe’s with a volt and purple gradient colorway. No word on where this homie got his Volt laces from, but we applaud the use of custom laces for a custom sneaker job. So buddy, if you’re reading this give us a shout.
Let’s talk bright custom jobs for a moment. Now if you’ve ever searched Angelus Direct, our custom shoe paint and accessory site, we have a full line up of neon paints that can make any custom sneaker project look as clean as this kid’s Venomenon 5 “Dreams.”
Neon paint is just the beginning when you’re customizing a pair of sneakers. One of the first things that caught our eye on those custom sneakers was the laces. When contrasted a white tongue, the Volt really popped.
This idea can be replicated with pretty much any bright lace. We carry a full line up of neon laces that are perfect for a custom sneaker job.
If you don’t want to go “all-neon” we carry some pretty dope rope laces that still give incorporate that eye catching color without going overboard.These are great if you have a mostly black sneaker and need just a touch of color to offset the whole colorway.
Check out these custom Air Max 90’s that Angelus Direct sponsored artist Dank & Co did a while back.
Putting Volt laces on a black tongue have the same effect as they do on Kobe Dreams. The first thing that catches the eye is the laces. So if you’re need a little something extra, why not go big with a pair of bright laces?
In case you’ve been living under a rock, or without access to the Internet, you’ve probably heard everything about the Yeezy Boost. This was ‘Ye’s first sneaker after quitting (being fired) from a partnership with Nike. While his original Nike collaboration spawned two versions of the Air Yeezy, these two sneakers had that element of ridiculous that Kanye’s been leaning on for the past couple years.
Then after his breakup with Nike went down and the controversial partnership with German footwear juggernaut Adidas, things went in another direction.
There were the Yeezy 750’s, yes. I’m sure everyone saw the memes about them and their unfortunate likeness to a pair of Australian surf boots that sorority girls really like to wear to Starbucks. But they alright, I guess? Your call.
But after that was the Yeezy 350 Boost, which we talked about before on here. The Grey Yeezy’s dropped last month, and they sold out in like minutes. They were a low profile sneaker, made from a one piece primeknit material, that while super styley, were far more muted than Kanye's earlier ventures into fashion and sneakers.
Essentially, people lined up, the 350’s sold out, some were flipped on ebay, money was made, and probably 75% of the people who wanted them didn’t get a chance.That’s how it is though, right?
But earlier this week, it was announced that Adidas would release the “other pair,” black Boost 350’s that were seen on the runway when ‘Ye did his fashion thing earlier in the year. Like the grey Boosts, these are constructed from Adidas’ trademark primeknit material and the icon Boost soles, and that sweet selvedge strip on the heel, don’t forget that.
Now the question is, what laces would you put in yours if you came up on a pair? Like the grey Boosts, the black Boosts appear to come with the now iconic rope laces. But unlike the grey’s, the rope laces don’t really have that pop of contrast when laced across the primeknit.
So we’re going to go ahead and be controversial here and suggest that if you’re one of the lucky ones to snag a pair, change up the laces. We think doing Grey/White Rope Laces would look great. Not too obvious, but a nice contrast. Or you could take it a step further and be bold with a pair of Red/Black Rope Laces. What do you think of that? Too much? Never.
Of course, we have a full arsenal of 3M Rope Laces that would do the trick too. Let’s be real, if you had a pair of Yeezy Boosts, in black or grey, people would automatically be staring at your feet. So why not get them to look a little harder with a pair of premium laces form Lace Lab?
The Bred colorway is iconic: black and red, little bit of white simple as that. You could probably argue that the sneakers that originally came in this colorway, the Jordan 1’s, started the sneaker craze. While most models of the Air Jordan and Jordan Retros have come in some version or another, making custom Breds has long since been a favorite.
You don’t want to do this classic colorway a disservice by doing it boring, right? There are many different ways to paint a pair of sneakers using three different colors, but unless you think outside the box, they’re not going to pop.
So we recommend finishing your custom sneakers or restoration projects off with a clean pair of laces. But not just clean laces, rope laces, 3M’s, XI ropes, etc.
If you’re specifically doing a class Bred colorway, think about our Black and Red Rope Laces. These things are technical without being too obnoxious. Plus you still keep the general theme of your colorway.
The Jordan 11’s in the Bred colorway are one of those models that get relaunched every couple years, and they always sell out. If you do happen to get a pair, we have your replacement laces. No seriously, we make the best XI Rope laces on the market that are the best fit, maybe the perfect fit for you J 11’s.
Try out these Red XI Rope Laces on your Bred’s. They’re real bright and crisp! So if you’re black ones get boring, or you just need a fresh pair, give us a holler.
When we say we have a set of laces for any Jordan 1-inspired custom, we’re not kidding. So if you’re getting a pair ready to match that 23 jersey, think about switching it up with a pair of our laces!
You’ve seen the name 3M before, mainly just on our site right? No? Okay, so you’ve seen the phrase 3M before somewhere else, maybe in reference to some wild reflective gear for hiking in the dark or safety wear for firefighters or whatever. But if you happened to be on our site, you saw those 3M laces on our site and were like, “sick, those are going to kill on my Air Max 95’s.”
Do you ever look down at your new Roshe’s and think, “man, I want to change things up on these?” The Roshe’s Run (One as it now goes by) is one of the most iconic sneakers to come out in recent years. It’s simple, yet clean design seems to go with any outfit in any situation.
But if you’re like us, so times you might look down at your Roshe’s (like these blue and obsidian Suede joints from 2014) and think, “I could use some different laces on these.”
July 4th is right around the corner, so while everyone is figuring out what they’re going to do, you’re figuring out what you’re going to wear.
That brings us to the importance of a crisp pair of “wear once” sneaks to look good while you’re eating barbecue ribs, drinking Budweiser (or literally any other American beer), watching fireworks displays, and celebrating Freedom. What are you going to break out for the 4th of July party?
Nike Basketball released their “4th of July Basketball” pack online and in-store Saturday, June 27. The pack offers not one, but four different sneakers to choose from, so if you feel like taking homing strictly basketball, you’re covered.
The LeBron 12, the Kobe X, the KD 8, and the Kyrie 1 are each done up with a patriotic theme in mind, featuring a heavy Stars and Stripes motif. If you do grab one of these, try one of our 3M reflective laces, available in red, white, and blue and be sure to pop when the sun sets.
Let’s talk about the Yeezy Boost 350. We’ve all heard about this shoe by now, and if you haven’t, well do you know who Kanye is? Anyways, Kanye made the jump to Adidas last year and has been pushing his new joints before they hit the market.
The big story behind Kanye’s jump to Adidas was the drama that went down over the original Nike Air Yeezy’s and Nike’s drop of the coveted Air Yeezy 2 ‘Red Octobers.’ Mind you, these are the second drop of the Adidas x Yeezy line.
The Boost 350’s area slated to drop at select retailers in New York, Los Angeles, and ‘Ye’s hometown of Chicago on June 27. So put that in your calendar: June 27, they’re running for $200, so you can cop this shoe. Don’t sleep.
Lace Lab Sizing Chart*
|Number of Eyelets||Lace Length|
|3 Eyelets||30 Inches|
|4 Eyelets||36 Inches|
|5-6 Eyelets||45 Inches|
|6-7 Eyelets||54 Inches|
|7-8 Eyelets||63 Inches|
*Sizing varies from shoe to shoe. Please use this chart as a rough estimate. For best results, please measure the length of your original laces. If you are between two sizes using our chart, we recommend choosing the shorter length for most applications.