Yesterday, San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree made headlines for rocking a custom blue pair of Air Jordan 6 cleats against the Dallas Cowboys. While the Cowboys-inspired kicks will probably lead to a fine from the NFL, it is telling that something like a pair of custom kicks can cause quite a stir in mainstream media. The NBA would probably look at that and shrug their shoulders because half of their players don’t even bother to match their uniforms to their kicks.
In sneaker culture, kicks like the ones Crabtree wore pop up on blogs and social media all the time. It has been a long process but in their own little ways, NFL players are doing what they can to break out from the monolithic (read: boring) grasp the league has on its players by wearing little things that make them stand out from the pack. It’s been a long time since we had players like Deion Sanders who were iconoclasts for their style and with guys like Crabtree making that kind of stand (before you think it’s just an attention grabber, know that the cleats are going to be auctioned off charity), we could be seeing a revolution of fun coming back to the NFL.
But even if Crabtree never wears another blue pair of cleats again, his Jordan Brand deal guarantees that people will be watching him every week on the field just to see what red and gold he’ll be rocking. They can seem passe nowadays in the NBA and on the streets but Air Jordans on the field have continued to be eye-openers through the years because of how infrequent they appear and only a select few get a chance to rock them. So with the table set for even more red and gold Jordans to hit the gridiron this season, let’s take A Look Back at Michael Crabtree’s Red and Gold (and more) Air Jordan Cleats.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images/NFL, The Associated Press, Eastbay, Sole Collector, Niners Nation.