Footwear and apparel are the most common products being customized today. I get many e-mails asking about some major examples in these areas. Thus, here a short collection of some more recent examples. This is not a comprehensive list !! If you know an important example missing here, just e-mail me and I will be glad to include it in the list. Or just add a comment below (this list has been updated on Oct 27).
The following list was initiated by the web blog 'World of Custom, An Overview of Current Custom Consumer Offerings', as compiled by Jason Davis/Merge Design.
FOOTWEAR -- SPORTSHOES
(more detailed descriptions here)
Adidas Mi (http://www.adidas.com): Six shoes (running, soccer, tennis, indoor, basketball) with three areas of customization; fit (length and width of each foot), performance (outsole and midsole options and seasonal upper materials) and design (choosing from over 100 color combinations and embroidered lettering). All of which has to be done in person at select Adidas store locations.
Reebok Custom (http://www.rbkcustom.com): NEW! One of the best configurators with many features. But even if this is a perfect example of how a configurator should look alike, I am afraid that RBK will just be seen as a late follower, copying what everyone else in their industry does as well. There are no innovative customization features from the perspective of the consumer.
Converse (http://www.converse.com/converseone/): Three shoes (Chuck Taylors high and low and Jack Purcells) with the One Star coming soon. Custom color and embroidered lettering online using the Nike iD engine.
Nike iD (http://www.nikeid.com/): Fifty-one shoes (thirty-one for men, seventeen for women and three for kids) six bags, five watches and three golf balls. Custom color and lettering on Nike’s third generation site.
Puma Mongolian BBQ (http://www.puma.com/mongolianbbq/): Single style served up at hands on kiosks open for limited times at select Puma locations. Very tactile with a DIY flavor. There is also an on-line version replicating the in-store experiment.
Vans (http://shop.vans.com): Two shoes. Custom color and patterns online with a solid and well thought out interface for color selection.
JG Customs (http://booktown.com/jgcustoms/): hand painted, real actual personalization, small batch sizes, DIY approach.
O’Neill: (http://www.oneill-action.com/designyoursneaker.php) open innovation experiment, co-creation of new styles and design competition, but no custom manufacturing
FootJoy Golf Shoes (http://www.myjoys.com/): Popular golf shoe. Custom color and individual length and widths for both right and left shoes.
FOOTWEAR -- DRESS SHOES
Selve (http://www.selve.net): Munich based custom footwear company for women's shoes. Latest design and custom fit (based on foot scan). Stores in Munich and London. Manufacturing in Italy.
Steve Madden (http://www.SteveMadden.com):Newly-launched “Design Your Own” collection on SteveMadden.com offers options resulting in a total of 4,221 combinations. Consumers can make their choices among product features such as heel height, pattern, material, finishing and color. Special as formal women's dress shoes -- no sneakers!
Leftfoot (http://www.leftfootcompany.com): Leading European provider of custom footwear for men. Stores all over Europe, production in Finland. Custom fit and design.
Otabo (http://www.otabo.com): Upcoming US brand and manufacturer for mass customized men's shoes. Growing number of stores, manufactured in the US (Florida).
Adidas Team (http://www.adidas.com): new Japanese offering, create your own team outfit, nice and easy configurator
Land’s End (http://landsend.com): Nine apparel pieces (Jeans, Chinos, Shits and a Jacket for men and women). Color and custom sizing all offered up on the Archetype engine.
MeJeans (http://mejeans.com): A new custom jeans maker in the US, offers more than 89 trillion possibilities for truly custom jeans, self measurement, rather complex configurator, for people loving and knowing jeans very well. Very good pricing (about 100 USD per pair). [more background information]
UJeans (http://UJeans.com): Founded in Oct 2005, this Canadian jeans manufacturers offers custom jeans as well, self measurement, again only for people knowing jeans very well. Good pricing (less than 100 USD per pair) and a great "workbook" to educate the customers about eans customization (the configurator is still very basic, though).
Polo Ralph Lauren (http://www.polo.com): Fourteen apparel pieces (four shirts and one tie for men, four shirts and one bikini for women and four shirts for kids). Basic color and monogram choice via straightforward web page.
Nunatak Kobuk Mountain Jacket (www.nunatakusa.com):
Custom hiking jacket; rather simple design, style choices come down to pockets on the front or inside and a hood. choice of nylon; custom arm and chest measurements for perfect fit (review here). Alternative offerings from Beyond, ME: www.beyondfleece.com
NeighborHoodies (http://neighborhoodies.com/): Growing chain of personalization stores. Plethora of base products (sweatshirts, t-shirts, pants, shorts, hats, underwear, baby clothes, etc.). All customized with lettering and iron-ons.
Spread Shirt (http://www.spreadshirt.com/): Much more than customized t-shirts, but opportunity for every user to open custom t-shirt shop and sell their own creations to others. Great business model, and one of the largest recent success stories.
CustomInk (http://www.customink.com/): Special to this site is its community orientation: Most customers do not customize for themselves, but for an entire group. Kind of peer-segmentation.
Route One (http://www.routeone-design.com/): Custom corporate clothing.
Pixeltees (http://www.pixeltees.com): Easy and simple t-shirt customization site. Many similar sites like this on the web.
Lids baseball caps (http://www.lidscyo.com)
Time121 (http://www.factory121.com): Swiss made custom watches, high quality, many customization options, VERY nice configurator.
Fossil (http://www.fossil.com): Very simple customization offering, but reinforcing the trend.
Blancier (http://www.blancier.com): Anotehr custom watch manufacturer, but much less choice and options compared to Factory121.
Ultimate Ears Earbuds (www.ultimateears.com): Pricey earbuds with superior sound quality and custom buds based on silicone casts of customers' auditory canals and outer ears taken by an audiologist.
Timbuk2 (http://www.timbuk2.com): One bag (classic messenger in four sizes). Custom color, options and accessories through well built online site. One of the first mass customizers in existence. Powers also NikeID custom bags.
Freitag (http://www.freitag.ch/f-cut/): One bag. Based on custom, utilizing used truck tarps for base material with online interface that lets you select the actual pieces made to build your bag.
L.L.Bean (http://www.llbean.com): Three bags (boat tote, classic backpack and messenger bag). Custom color and feature selection (extra pockets, strap lengths, etc.).