Tour de France 2020

Custom shoes for George Bennett and others by Caitlin Fielder

Fielder has been painting shoes for top pros like her partner Bennett for four years.

Four years ago Caitlin Fielder didn’t have a gift planned for the birthday of her partner, George Bennett. So the WorldTour climber asked if his artist could design something on his shoes. Fast forward to today, and Fielder has a business going painting shoes for cyclists around the world.

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The first pair of shoes Caitlin Fielder designed for her partner George Bennett was done with a marker. Now she uses a special paint. Photo: Courtesy Caitlin Fielder

In the Tour de France this year, Bennett (Jumbo-Visma) is racing in Maori-themed Shimano S-Phyre shoes painted by Fielder.

While the first few pairs of custom shoes were done with markers, Fielder now uses a special leather acrylic paint, but preparing the shoes for painting is the critical step, she said.

“It’s really important to take off the factory finish that comes on the cycling shoes or else the paint won’t stick, and will most likely chip off,” Fielder said. “Once I am finished painting the shoes they’re like a factory finished pair, and the paint and design stays on incredibly well.”

George Bennett’s shoes for the 2020 Tour de France. Photo: Courtesy Caitlin Fielder

Fielder painted her own shoes as a trial when thinking about turning his craft into a business, and the paint is still holding strong, she said.

“I find George water-blasting his shoes a lot to clean them, which is a pretty intense method to clean the shoes,” she said. “But the paint stays on so I can say with assurance that the paint sticks!”

Fielder said her business has grown organically, with word of mouth inside the peloton helping out.

“I’m really lucky to be friends with a lot of the guys in the pro peloton who are keen to wear my art work so that helps a lot,” she said.

Check out the photos below for some of her other recent work.

Shoes painted for Michael Matthews and delivered to him as a surprise gift from Shimano at the conclusion of the 2019 Tour de France. Photo: Courtesy Caitlin Fielder
FIelder made these Fortnite-themed shoes with Shimano for Mathieu van der Poel. She made another pair for him in another Victory Royale/Fortnite. Photo: Courtesy Caitlin Fielder
This is another pair of Bennett’s with a Maori theme. Photo: Courtesy Caitlin Fielder
The Scottish-inspired shoes were made for a client in Andorra. Photo: Courtesy Caitlin Fielder
These were created for a rider who lives in Lloret de Mar, a beach town near Fielder and Bennett’s European home base of Girona, Spain. Photo: Courtesy Caitlin Fielder
Shoes designed for Shimano for the 2019 Giro d’Italia. Photo: Courtesy Caitlin Fielder
Milan-Sanremo, anyone? Photo: Courtesy Caitlin Fielder