Sneaker customs with The Shoe Surgeon

I have always admired The Shoe Surgeon‘s work… from afar. His customs are amazing, some of the few full remakes or soleswaps to remain true to the original shape of the sneaker. I never thought I would get the chance to participate in one of his classes or own a custom from him. Thanks to Footaction Toronto and Adidas Canada, a few people were given just that chance.

I used every piece of advance intelligence I could before the event. I searched all the recent customs done by The Shoe Surgeon, I ran into his team on the street and begged them to tell me what shoe we were doing (the Stan Smith) and I spent way too much time looking at recent collabs and customs to get ideas. I felt like I didn’t want to waste this opportunity and go in unprepared. I also felt like I would be terrible at making something wearable!

The Footaction store in the Eaton Centre was transformed into a workshop. Each station had a pair of original Adidas Stan Smiths. We had access to new tongues in a variety of colours and materials, eyelets, markers (paint was thought to be a little messy), stencils laces and other accessories as well as the tools to make big chances to our sneakers and a Shoe Surgeon team member to teach us what to do.

With so much available it would be really easy to get overwhelmed and maybe do too much. My goals were to create something I would actually wear and to take advantage of the tools and materials that I don’t have at home. In the end I:

  • removed the tongue and had two new tongues put in (we weren’t allowed to use the industrial sewing machine. Probably for the best). I used black leather for the back tongue and white for the front and left them quite long, inspired by the long tongue on the Adidas Samba
  • removed all the eyelets and put in new black ones
  • coloured the green back patch black
  • used white waxed laces (this was a difficult choice, I almost went with black)
  • added gold lace locks

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It was harder than I thought to make the custom. I had to pull helpers in to help with some of the labour since we only had 2 hours! I’m not sure that all my work was the best quality (some of the eyelets are a little suspect) but I could’t be happier with the end result. I love my new customs and they aren’t just a display piece. The Shoe Surgeon team was all wearing their (much nicer) customs and I think the best way to repay them for the advice and experience is to wear mine too.


Some of the customs available!

The Shoe Surgeon debut apparel collection and some completely mind-blowing hybrids and fully re-crafted customs (Jordans and Yeezys) are available at Footaction Toronto throughout this weekend (July28/29 2018).

Thank you to Footaction Toronto, Adidas Canada and The Shoe Surgeon for a once in a lifetime experience.