With a history of 50 years, 500+ comics, and now 3 feature films Iron Man is quite the accomplished comic book character. Apart of the Marvel Comics empire the red and gold superpower machine super hero is not just for comic book nerds. Sneakerheads have fully embraced the metal suit look of engineer billionaire Tony Stark. With the release of 2008’s Iron Man movie the idea to use the red and golden suit for a custom sneaker fan art design only continued to grow. 5 years later and on the release of the 3rd movie we have scoured the web for what we’d like to consider the best Iron Man themed custom fan art sneakers made up to this point. Lots of big name sneaker customizers made the list with maybe a few you’ve never heard of. Page through the list and let us know which is your favorite.
Disclaimer: PaintOrThread.com does not claim ownership of any of the “characters” depicted in this list of fan artwork by individuals. The “characters” are the sole original property of Marvel Entertainment, LLC. Any designs are not available for purchase and for display online only.
[tps_title]Iron Man and War Machine Nike Dunk by Diversitile[/tps_title]
You have to start with the pair that made the most noise. Customized in 2010 by Diversitile out of Florida this Nike Dunk was fully customized in red and gold metallic motif. They featured lots of details in the engraved lines and even LED light up tongues a a lot the arc reactor. They caught a blaze of attention outside the sneaker world onto comic and tech blogs. Eventually Marvel Comics saw them and had them remove them from their site and eBay auctions. So Diversitile just made the same design but in all white or all black titled “Cease & Desist”
You can check more work from Diversitile on Instagram: @Diversitile
[tps_title]Iron Man 3 themed Nike Lebron X by Mache Customs[/tps_title]
In more recent news this pair just happened to be everywhere from big sports blogs to ESPN programming because of some guy that goes by @KingJames23 on Twitter. Heard of him? NO? Well over All Star Weekend 2013 Dan Gamache of Mache Customs was able to present that guy who goes by Lebron James his own signature model Nike, the Lebron X in custom painted Stark Industries styling. Complete with a custom box.
You can check more work from Mache on Instagram: @Mache275
[tps_title]Nike Air Force 1 Iron Man Comic Book Style by bLue[/tps_title]
This will be a blast from the past for those in the customizing game since the mid 2000s. Created around ’05-’06 by bLue of the old ISS/Sole Collector Forums who once owned Pimp-My-Shoes.com, these were a previously all white with gray sole AF1 Hi tops. The entire upper was painted red with a few darker shaded graphics and metallic gold Swooshes. Using a very traditional comic book styling bLue recreated two very detailed shots of Iron Man on the medial heel panels. Below you can see the step by step process by put together by bLue if you ever wondered how people paint characters on shoes.
The original artist of this is pair has no contact info and is no longer customizing as far as we know.
[tps_title]Nike Dunk Iron Man & War Machine by emmanueLabor[/tps_title]
Away from paint this time Seattle based customizer emmanueLabor went the reconstruction look for this abstract take on an Iron Man and War Machine custom sneaker. Inspired in 2008 at the release of the original movie these were realized until 2010 with the 2nd movie. Taking the original sole from a Nike Dunk emmaneLabor rebuilt an entirely new upper following the silhouette of the Nike Dunk high void of a detail of the Swoosh that was replaced by the overall design of Iron Mans helmet. The helmet can be seen straight on from the back angle and the flip of a switch the eyes light up bright white just like the real…err movie thing.
You can check more work from emmanueLabor on Instagram: @emmanueLabor
[tps_title]Nike Dunk Iron Man by MoreThanArtToWear[/tps_title]
The statement is old and tired but it is true great minds think alike. The previous custom by emmanueLabor was released to the public a good 6 months before this one. It caused a minor upstir among customizers as “stealing” an idea from someone who did it first is looked down upon as in any creative field. But J’Field of MoreThanArtToWear.com swore he had never seen the pair by EL and respected his craftsmanship. Really not a big deal, as the end result was a pretty amazing work. Aside from the red and gold paint job bright white lights were used in both the heels as the helmet eyes and on the front tongue as the Arc Reactor. After a year of being posted online these too caught fire in 2012 with the big Marvel Inc. going by and asking J’Field to remove and stop selling the design. One of the overall top creations of the list.
You can check more customs from J’Field at www.MoreThanArtToWear.com
[tps_title]Iron Man and Friends canvas Vans shoes by @JordanMendenhall[/tps_title]
Shall we mix it up a bit with some customized Vans canvas slip ons? Though we wanted to keep this list strictly Iron Man these were too good to pass up. Often seen with other super heros, duh he is an Avenger, Iron Man is often just one half of the subject for these custom sneakers. In these two by @jordanmendenhall on Instagram the shoespace is shared with a very well hand drawn Hulk and Spiderman per the different customer requests. Images via DeviantArt account Jboogieman
[tps_title]Iron Man Converse Chuck Taylor Hi by Off The Wall Art[/tps_title]
One of the most customized shoes today the Converse All Star received one of the better cartoon-esq Iron Man designs thanks to Off The Wall Art. Simple and to the point but done very well. Remember kids you don’t excess paint on the toes or midsole if it isn’t part of the design….take your time and keep it clean like these.
You can check more work from them on Facebook.com/OffTheWallCustoms
[tps_title]Iron Man 2 Converse All Star Chuck Taylor’s by What’s Shop[/tps_title]
So much going on in one pair of shoes right here. Thailand based sneakercustomizers WhatsShop hand painted this design after Iron Man 2 featuring Tony Stark, Ivan Vanko, War Machine and Iron Man throughout the canvas upper. To add to the look they even added a War Machine-esq series of metal paneling to the laces. Detail, detail, DETAIL.
Check more work from WhatsShop on Instagram: @WhatsShop
Bonus here is their Iron Man take on the Nike AF1:
[tps_title]Vintage Comic Book Iron Man Canvas Shoes[/tps_title]
Something about the handdrawn comic book look is just timeless. Not perfect but they are perfection in how vintage they look. From 2010 these were hand painted by Arth Akal for friends that were fans of once again Iron Man and The Hulk. The top pair is probably one of the coolest we came across as it is a recreation of the first time Iron Man is seen as on the cover of Tales of Suspense #39 and The Incredible Hulk #1.
Check more sneaker customizations by Arth Akal via his Flickr page: DamnDirtyAngel on Flickr
[tps_title]Nike Lebron 9 Iron Man and War Machine by KickassoKustomSneakers[/tps_title]
If Iron Man was a basketball player he’d surely be Lebron, right? Here comes another Nike Lebron 9 Custom this time from Kickasso Kustom Sneakers. Kickasso took the P.S. Elite version of the 9 to another level with an airbrushed paint job up with the best Iron Man suit customizations giving a near mirrored look on each pair aside from the red & gold vs the metallic silver. But he took the white light addition to another area in the Air Max bubble unlike previous designs we’ve seen to mimic the rocket booster look of the iron suit for the War Machine pair. While Iron Man went for the Arc Reactor look on the tongues. How do these match up with other light up Iron Man customs?
Check more work from KKS on Instagram: @KickassoKustomSneakers
[tps_title]Iron Man Nike Air Force 1 by Sole Junkie Customs[/tps_title]
Back in 2008 Southern California based sneaker customizer Sole Junkie went with his usual style on this AF1 Iron Man custom. Taking the ever so often used white on white Nike Air Force 1 Sole Junkie aka Steven Cedre hand painted the entire white leather upper. A Iron Man suit esq-metal panel look was created on the toes and lace areas with two profile shots of Iron Man on the medial sides. The kicker is though that the white eyes glow in the dark AND the gold was covered with 23k gold leafing.
Check more work from Steven at SoleJunkie.com
[tps_title]Iron Man 3 Nike Zoom Rookies by @JPcustomkicks[/tps_title]
For the current 2013 scene this pair may lose a few points for the huge & kinda childish Iron Man patches but the extra details still gets it on the list. Jeff of JP Custom Kicks started with an entirely red pair of Zoom Rookies. The upper was painted metallic gold and the red nubuck was given a v shaped pattern a la the Iron Man suit from the front to back. Next the upper pod features four real metal screws and the front actually light up white once again in Arc Reactor style. Lose the patch on the tongues and these are solid.
Check more work from Jeff of JP Custom Kicks on Instagram: @JPcustomkicks
[tps_title]Iron Man 3 Zoom Rookies by eXpression Airbrush[/tps_title]
One to never skimp on detail is Robee of eXpression Airbrush. In an attempt to create something that looks like Iron Man literally just took them off his feet Robee struck gold & red. Using the medial lines of the shoe’s Foamposite upper the concept of looking like panels of Iron Man’s suit was accomplished with carefully airbrushed red on the Foam material and gold upon the nubuck. The next cool part we’ve not seen yet is the detail Robee painted of the panels appearing to have been damaged from fighting with cracks and tears in the faux metal finish. The appearance of a mini-bolts on the tongue tag Penny logo and the overall shiny finish make these a blockbuster Iron Man custom.
Check more work from Robee of eXpression Airbrush on Instagram: @Robee519
[tps_title]Nike Lebron 9 Elite Tony Stark by Mache Customs[/tps_title]
To finish off the list a solid job by Mache Customs that pre-dates his Lebron X for Lebron see earlier. This takes the premium Nike Lebron 9 Elite to another level with a makeover from a white upper to mostly red. Mache broke out his airbrushing skills for the typical Iron Man look. A last detail of “Mache” and “Stark” in the Stark Industries font were hand painted on the back logo areas.
Is Mache the Tony Stark of custom sneakers? Let us know in the comments and which is your favorite from the list.