December 26, 2000, 9:55 AM

A sole of one`s own

Web merchants are always on the lookout for ways to personalize their products. Nike.com has gone the distance with a feature that allows customers to build athletic shoes to order.

The feature, known as Nike ID, lets customers design cross-training or running shoes right down to the eight-character word on the heel and the color of the Nike swoosh. As users build their shoes, a color graphic lets them preview color combinations before buying.

For now, the custom shoes are available in men’s and women’s sizes and only in the U.S. The price for personalization isn’t cheap: $80-$85 a pair, plus a handling fee that ranges from $6-$18. But customers know exactly when to expect their new Nikes. Once they choose the specs, up pops a delivery date, usually two or three weeks.

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