Interview with Sneakersnbonsai


Friend of the show Sneakersnbonsai recently opened up Germany’s first custom sneaker studio in Mannheim. The latest creation to come out of his studio is this 1 of 1 Asics Gel Lyte III “Only in Soho” custom. We asked him a few questions about the design and the steps involved in making a custom sneaker.

What made you implement the „Only in Soho“ on a GLIII?

I had been playing around with the thought of customising my Asics GLIII Copperhead for a while. Because of a trade I managed to get a hold of a second pair and started thinking about possible colourways that went well with the colours of the base. The predominantly royal blue upper of the Saucony x Footpatrol „Only in Soho“ practically presented itself. It made my decision fairly easy.

How many steps does a custom like this require? And how long does it take to do something like this?

Step 1: Removing and cleaning the striped grey midsole
Step 2: Dying the blue suede on the split tongue black
Step 3: Dying the blue suede on the upper black
Step 4: Painting the plastic eyelets
Step 5: Painting the cut out on the heel red
Step 6: Painting the outlines of the lateral Asics Tiger Strings red
Step 7: Painting the outlines of the medial Asics Tiger Strings black
Step 8: Dark blue highlights between the Asics Tiger Strings
Step 9: Taping the upper and outsole (preparation for airbrush)
Step 10: Airbrushing multiple layers on midsole
Step 11: Removing the tape and quality control
Step 12: Repeat steps 1 – 8
Step 13: Taping upper and outsole again for speckles on midsole
Step 14: Removing the tape and quality control
Step 15: Sealing the midsole and plastic


Duration: approx. 1-2 weeks including drying periods


Why do you customise mostly Asics, more specifically the GLIII?

The Asics GLIII is my favourite shoe, I also wear and collect them. What could be more convenient than using that shoe for customising?

Being the veteran customiser that you are, do you still mess up really bad from time to time? What do you do then?

Yes, naturally. It happens to everyone. Worst case – when the error is irreversible – you will have to try and disguise the error and work it into the new colourway. If that doesn’t work out you will have to get your client a new shoe.

Are there any materials that you haven’t worked with yet? What would you like to work with?

Other than reptile leather I have worked with all kinds of materials. I would like to work with python leather. How can I work the materials without getting the scales – do you call them scales? – stuck together?


Sneakersnbonsai will be hosting a Custom Workshop at all Sneakerness locations in 2015. Find out how to win a place in the Custom Workshop at Sneakerness Amsterdam here.