Tastemaker meets tastemaker as hip glove company Handske brings shoe painter Kyle Davenport (kdD) into the wings for its custom-painted bike shoes. kdD paints the new line by hand, with the options of unique seasonal designs, or completely custom.
Options to fit an array of monetary or creative budgets exist: send in your own kicks or buy a fresh pair, and choose from a pre-set selection of designs or do a consultation with an advisor, tattoo-style. Specialized will deliver road and MTB shoes for the line.
Handske x kdD custom painted bike shoes
Davenport, an entrepreneur-turned-sneaker-painter, handles the art. He’s adorned sneakers with graphical designs like primary-color shapes, outer space kits and trippy topo maps. And he’s produced custom-painted bike shoes before, doing a cartoony “robots v. monsters” design on a pair of Specialized road shoes. He’s even done Disney characters and a custom Alien Vans job with Ripley and a xenomorph.
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Each season, he and Handske will lay down 2-3 pre-determined designs. From there, the sky’s the limit. With the consultation method, the brand advises that only a few sensitive subjects (which you can probably imagine) are out of bounds. “We are in the business of keeping things cool, easy, and neutral,” the brand states. The custom kicks look cool and easy, and though they’ll stay politically neutral, some customizers will undoubtedly get radical final products.
Handske waxes poetic to explain the appeal. “It’s not only a design,” the brand says, “it’s a personal bond that you identify with and makes you stand out from the rest.”
No worries on the quality, either. We’re not art experts, but kdD busts out high-spec supplies like Angelus paint, Molotow markers and LK topcoat sealer to get the job done. He has painted for Handske before, but now he joins the brand permanently in its ever-expanding stable of artists. Bike painters Tony Baumann and Black Magic Paint, and muralist Micha de Bie, also work to make Handske rad.
Contact, pricing, and drop deets
Give your custom-painted bike shoes a fresh look, custom-sneaker style, with Handske x kdD. For now, you’ll have to send in your own — a supply shortage will keep Specialized shoes out of the picture until 2022. The line starts at $175 for the seasonal designs, and $300 for full custom.