Posted on / by Joseph Graham / in Apparel

Custom Prints For Shoes

Having your own brand, logo, or custom design on your shoes is the way of the future. There are a lot of younger people who want to stand out of the crowed with their own custom kicks and depend on Print Or Dye to get it done for them. The most common shoes that we print on are Chuck Taylors, and Nikes. White shoes are optimal for printing on if you plan on having various colors in the design, but any shoes can be printed on.

Heat Transfer

One popular method of printing on shoes is heat transfer printing, also called absorption printing. This is when your company logo or slogan is printed directly onto the shoes. There are different types of printing equipment used for heat transfer printing, from traditional thermal paper to digital printers capable of high resolution. Other options for printing on shoes include dye sublimation, cold roll forming and cold plasma printing. Your chosen printing company should be able to help you choose which method is best suited to your printing needs.

Screen Printing

Another option for printing on shoes is screen printing. The logo or text you want printed onto your shoes can be applied using a special spray bottle. The bottles can either be spray-painted or engraved using special tools. Screen printing, as the name suggests, involves applying the ink directly to the surface of the shoe, rather than the underside of the cap. It is more expensive than absorption printing but the results can be highly professional.

Direct Printing

A third option is the use of direct ink printing, also known as DIP printing. With this method, your custom printed area of your custom print shoe, such as the logos and messages, are applied using special inks which are applied to the outer surface of the shoe using a special roller. The ink will pass through the shoe from the top down, and will adhere to both sides of the printed areas. This is the most expensive way to print on caps, and can take the longest to complete.


Curing is a technique which is used to set the correct ink pattern on the shoe. For instance, if you wanted a picture of a dog printed on your foot, the technician will lay a piece of tracing paper across the top of the shoe, followed by a rubber ring, then an outline of the dog. After this has dried, the final artwork is laid on top of the tracing paper. The process repeats again until you have the desired effect.

Before any printing takes place, it is important that the proper equipment is available. Depending on what you are printing on will determine what is needed. If you are printing on a shoe platen, the proper equipment will consist of a shoe platen screen, ink cups, a buffer, and a Teflon tape. The platen must be completely clean and all tools and materials must be spotlessly clean. There will also be a few extra precautions taken to ensure that the finished artwork is intact.

If you choose to use a screen, there are specific guidelines that must be followed in order to avoid smearing. For those who plan to do most of their printing on the inside of the shoe, a simple solution might be best, so you only need include one additional piece of Teflon tape to seal the artwork.

If you wish to add some embellishments to your artwork, you will need to use an ink pad and the appropriate tape. This is because the extra material that is required to create a design will likely smear if you do not do it right. If you need an even tinier design, you can use masking tape to hide any gaps you may find.