adidas, Nike, Puma, and the like do a pretty good job of creating memorable looking soccer cleats. The major brands are, after all, in business of creating looks that will sell. One shoe aficionado, Kickasso of Kickasso Kustoms, sees these shoes more as a blank canvas to create something even better rather than a final product.
Kickasso, whose real name is Troy Cole, is working with World Soccer Shop to create an exclusive range of shoes in 2015. These limited edition pieces of soccer art will be unveiled through the year and if the first piece of work is any indication they will be a huge hit.
The first piece of the collection went on sale on Mardi Gras and sold out in 8 MINUTES!
The Carnival inspired Nike Magista Obra cleats in the White Knight colorway were transformed with a sparkling purple, gold, and green paint job, the colors frequently seen on Bourbon Street during the celebration.
With a background in car and motorcycle detailing, Cole happened upon shoe detailing 3 years ago after selling his family detailing business when his dad passed away. The shoe collector did not immediately pick-up his new canvas, however.
“I knew I wanted to do something artistic and I had always collected shoes so I sort of put the two together,” Kickasso told Soccer365. “I started painting abstract shoes on canvas. Someone suggested I paint an actual shoe one day, so I did and the rest is history.”
The first shoe he painted was a biomechanically themed Nike Jordan 6 and he summed up the end result saying, “It was terrible. I didn’t really know what I was doing at the time as far as prepping the shoe and using the right materials.”
He turned to his expertise in car detailing to fine-tune his method on a shoe and found it was very similar.
“(Painting a shoe) is basically like painting a car. You have to stripe the original factory seal and build it up like painting a car. You have your sanding, your primer, and then your paint and clear sealant.”
The entire process can take anywhere from ‘20 minutes to 40 hours depending on what needs to be done to the shoe’ with both airbrushing and hand painting part of the process but once it is completed the new look will stand up just as well or maybe better than the original finish. And these shoes have been put to the test.
The Houston Texans Arian Foster is a client and he wore a pair of Kickasso Kustoms in every game last season. And the shoes have taken to the court in the NBA as well.
“(Foster) would wear a pair of cleats during the game and then wear that same pair the following week in practice. Other than being dirty, they weren’t destroyed. I have had NBA players wear them in the NBA games and they have come out like they were just regular shoes.”
The list of clients is an ‘eclectic bunch’ with famous people that everyone has heard of like athletes Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Joe Haden, Austin Rivers, Al Harrington, Thomas Davis, in addition to Foster; hip-hop artists like DMX, T.I., Trinidad James; actors Mark Wahlberg and Pawn Stars Chumlee the list goes on and on before Kickasso modestly adds ‘the entire list escapes me.’
The famous clients bring some celebrity to the brand but it is the shoe collectors and their appreciation of the art that has made Kickasso one of the best and most followed sneaker artist and stretched his waiting list for a pair of his shoes to 8+ months.
Fortunately, the chance to pull on a Kickasso Kustom could become easier in the near future with the artist discussing building his passion into a global brand.
“I just relocated to LA after meeting with a large investor out here who is in the movie industry. He really appreciates what I do and has pretty much allowed me to do I whatever need to do and gather whatever I need to gather to build this into a global brand. We are on the ground floor but it is very exciting.”
The final product will be a Kickasso Kustom branded shoe line with the first silo taking some of the inspiration from the style of indoor soccer shoes.
“The end product will be a completely Kickasso brand shoe. We are designing the shoe from the ground up and the design we are working with takes elements from indoor soccer with a low top cut and low profile so hopefully it will be successful with the soccer crowd.”
But for those impatient sneaker fans, World Soccer Shop has a Kickasso Kustom cleat waiting in the wings for the next special occasion. Kickasso said of his latest work, “I am really proud of the ***** cleats.” For those who want to take a guess at the design, here’s a hint. The theme of the next cleats are inspired by another festive holiday this one in March. Or you can visit Kickasso’s Instagram page and check them out.
What do you think about the first Kickasso Kustoms cleat in the World Soccer Shop 2015 line? What custom design would you like to see included in the series?