Xavier Crews Kickz up Sneaker Customization Via His New Book

Create one-of-a-kind footwear via Raleigh author’s new book.

Armed with Posca markers in one hand and an unrelenting passion for sneakers in the other, Raleighite Xavier Crews has taken the sneakerhead community by storm. The viral sensation behind the uberpopular YouTube channel, Xavier Kickz touts some serious skill by switching ordinary sneaks into extraordinary works of art—and now he’s launching an instructional book, Art of Custom Sneakers, so you can too. 

Landing on shelves in September, the first-ever sneaker customization manual is a step-by-step guide to creating unique sneaks—including fun and easy designs; techniques for leather or canvas footwear; and instructions on how to prep, paint, airbrush, doodle, hydrodip or toothpick paint your sneaks. Translation: fab footwear on fleek (!). 

Art of Custom Sneakers kicks off with the basics (think tools and materials, workspace setup, prep, finishing, and design planning) and each chapter continues to put its best foot forward via vibrantly illustrated custom designs and QR code links to his online vids for extra design deets (plus a few laughs!). 

The VA native and footwear maestro kicked off his fascination with shoe customization in high school after garnering attention for his cool kicks. “That really got me customizing,” recalls Crews. “I told my mom, ‘This is so cool, I really wanna do this!’”

A software engineer by day and a sneaker guru by night, Crew transforms sneakers right here in Raleigh—and his passion project for shoe design has garnered him an online following of nearly 1.5 million YouTube subscribers. And padding his popularity, the content creator’s personality and infectious sense of humor has only served to catapult his career via his 100+ YouTube videos inviting viewers into his world of sneaker stylin’. … “I’m also very entertaining,” he adds with a smile.

To boot, the sneaker artist + author aims to use his footwear fame to keep pursuing his dreams and giving back to the community—think gifting basketballs, iPads and his customized footwear, natch.Whether you’re a sneaker aficionado or simply someone who appreciates the fusion of art and fashion, Kickz, well, kicks you the opp to join the customization revolution. So strap on your wildest imagination and get ready for a rollercoaster ride of colors and creativity. … Got (shoe) game?@xavierkickz

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About the Author

Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.