Nike Kicks Lounge

I haven’t actually bought any shoes since I came to Japan. But since I like to walk a lot that started to affect my shoes and I badly needed to buy new ones. So I went to various shoes stores in my town, looked on the internet and even went to all of the major shoe stores in Osaka, but my size (EU 46) couldn’t be found anywhere. But a few weeks later a friend of mine sent me a video about a shop called “Nike Kicks Lounge” in Tokyo.

It looked quite interesting and since I was planning on going to Tokyo anywhere I thought why not go there.

What Is Nike Kicks Lounge?

Me test-writing onto the table.
Testing my writing skills before writing onto the shoe.

Nike Kicks Lounge is a Nike store near Harajuku in Tokyo. But it isn’t your normal Nike store! Almost everything you’ll see in this store is customisable – from t-shirts to sneakers.

Customising Your Kicks

First, you have to choose a sneaker. The shoes you can customise are all white (I think). You can customise shoes like the Air Force One or Air Max. Most people seem to choose the Air Force One since it’s fairly easy to paint on it. I did so too.

After that you’ll obviously have to pay. Not that after you painted on your shoe, you suddenly decide that you don’t like the design and won’t buy it. Unlike the shoe itself customising isn’t expenxive at all, and only costs 1080 Yen.

Nike‘s Air Force One before I painted on them.
Nike‘s Air Force One before I painted on them.

After paying you have to come up with your design if you haven‘t already. I knew that I wanted to make something related to Japan and my exchange year. But I didn‘t have a clear image in mind. So I asked a staff member and together we came up with something that sounded pretty good.

First I‘d spray a red dot onto both shoes resembling the Japanese flag. After that I‘d write 日本 (nihon = Japan) on one of the sneakers. On the other one I wrote 大阪 (Osaka). You‘ll see the result later.

Nikeのロゴにテープを貼った。
Putting tape over the Nike logo.

So after I started customising my shoe. The only thing that might hold you back is your imagination, because there are things like tape, spray paint, pens, brushes, etc. which means that you can paint almost anything onto your shoe.

My customised sneakers.
My customised sneakers.

Even though staff helped me (a lot) it took me about one hour and 30 minutes. There technically is a time limit of 30 minutes but because no other guests where there they just let me do. Another factor might be that they found it interesting that there was a foreigner speaking Japanese.

My customised sneakers.
My customised sneakers.

After finishing and letting the shoes dry for about an hour, the staff put on red laces that I chose and done were my own special Nike shoes.

Nike Kicks Lounge‘s Problem

僕はカスタマイズした靴だ。
My shoes now used as decoration.

I find my shoes really cool. So cool that I don‘t even want to wear them out of fear of making them dirty or something like that. That‘s Nike Kicks Lounge‘s only problem.

That‘s why my sneakers are now used as decoration in my host family‘s house and I‘ll only wear them for special events!

Thanks for reading this article about Nike Kicks Lounge!

If you found this interesting I‘d recommend you to read the article about why Japanese people wear masks.

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