New Jersey artist creates custom cleats for big-named sports stars

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Football fans may have noticed that NFL players across the country sported some customs cleats representing charitable organizations earlier this month.

It was part of a project called “My Cause, My Cleats,” and one of the artists behind the shoes comes from Passaic County. Mike Jordan says that his custom cleats are meant to stand out from the crowd.

“Designing-wise, you try to take so much into mind about the good placement of things. Especially if you are doing movie quotes like I am, like what quotes do I want to use?” says Jordan.

Jordan’s shoes have been worn by professional baseball and football players. Jets quarterback Sam Darnold wore a pair of Jordan’s cleats to benefit the Goryeb Children’s Hospital for the “My Cause, My Cleats” program.

“The whole concept was to have the kids write hand-written messages to Sam and words of encouragement. That was the exciting part about it for me was that the kids were going to be able to see the cleats and just thinking about how excited that they would be,” Jordan says.

Jordan has never had any formal art training. He says that he started designing the shoes after watching a YouTube clip of Derek Jeter getting custom cleats in 2017.

“I just imagined how cool it would be to do that thing, he says. “So, I figured I'd give customizing shoes and cleats a shot.”

Jordan says that he started to reach out to players on the Jets and Giants practice squads to see if he could customize their cleats for free.

“I had confidence in myself that if I could get some stuff in the locker room, I could get the attention of some other guys,” he says.

He says that he started to get calls from big-name players through word of mouth – players like Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, Saints defensive end Cam Jordan and Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton.

Jordan says that his cleats are merely a side-project for now. He says that he still works full time as a quality analyst for Prudential. But he says that he is excited to see how he progresses.

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