design

You can now buy $1,200 sneakers -- for horses

Published 30th October 2022
Horse kicks collection.
Credit: Courtesy VisitLEX
You can now buy $1,200 sneakers -- for horses
Written by Zoe Sottile, CNN
If you've ever wanted horse-sized Adidas so you can match shoes with your equine companion, you're in luck. But you'll have to shell out over $1,000 for a pair of customized horse sneakers.
Marcus Floyd, a Kentucky-based artist, started developing the prototype for a horse sneaker as part of a collaboration with VisitLex, Lexington's public tourism agency.
VisitLex reached out to Floyd ahead of the Breeder's Cup, a series of equestrian races held in Lexington on November 4th and 5th.
"Their initiative was to bring awareness to the Bluegrass state, like Kentucky as a whole," he explained to CNN.
Each sneaker is built on top of a protective boot, so they're fully functional.
Each sneaker is built on top of a protective boot, so they're fully functional. Credit: Courtesy VisitLEX
Floyd, a self-described longtime "sneakerhead." had previous experience with shoe design and modification. He attended a four-day intensive program called The Shoe Surgeon's SRGN Academy to learn how to deconstruct and reconstruct popular sneakers.
Constructing each set of shoes takes as long as 17 hours, according to Floyd. He started with buying the sneakers themselves — like a pair of classic Air Jordans.
Then he deconstructed them, carefully pulling apart each piece before reassembling the sneaker on top of a pre-made protective boot for horses. He strove to keep the design accurate while also adjusting for the shape of a horse's ankle and hoof.
A single set can take up to 17 hours to construct.
A single set can take up to 17 hours to construct. Credit: Courtesy VisitLEX
And yes, the sneakers are actually wearable, says Floyd.
The VisitLex horse sneakers will be auctioned at the Sneaker Ball, a fundraiser event for charities in central Kentucky, on November 12th, said Floyd. Going forward, he plans to donate 10% of all proceeds from sale of the shoes to local nonprofits through the Sneaker Ball.
Customers hoping to outfit their horse with custom kicks can commission sneakers from Floyd's venture, Horse Kicks. Unlike the name-brand sneakers made for VisitLex, the commissions will be Floyd's own designs. Prices start at around $1,200, depending on the complexity of the design.
Photos of the unique footwear have taken off on social media. "I don't think any one of us realized that it would take off to the magnitude that it did," said Floyd. "As an artist, I feel like a sigh of relief."