A couple weeks ago Marshawn Lynch announced he’d wear $1,000, custom gold cleats in the NFC Championship game. However, facing threats of ejection from the NFL, he didn’t wear the flashy spikes, but the issue highlighted a growing trend among top football players, who see custom footwear as another way to stand out on the field.

As the NFL’s response showed, there’s a lot at stake here, with independent shoe customizers threatening advertising dollars and big deals. Earlier this year, Nike, which has a lucrative merchandising deal with the NFL, threatened to terminate the contracts of players wearing custom designs that obscured their swoosh logo.

Source: Esquire: Custom Shoe Guy @ esquire.com

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