It was in early June when Roly Padron of Nomad Custom Kicks of Miami got a text message from some guy claiming to be Bryce Harper. It was one of these ‘yah, right’ moments as Padron wanted to know which of his buddies was messing with him. Padron played along with the ‘textor’, and then when the next text was a photo of Bryce, direct from the Nats clubhouse holding a cleat, that proved that it was the ‘legit’ Bryce Harper.
At that point, Padron was overwhelmed with excitement that Bryce Harper was so resourceful that he found Padron’s cellphone number which isn’t listed anywhere. Bryce said he found Padron’s work on Nomad’s Instagram account, and Bryce reached out directly by text message.
“This was the face of baseball contacting me,” said Padron. “Bryce is a big deal and I wanted to take care of him. We texted back and forth different design ideas, and Bryce was great to work with. He sent me two pairs to customize.”
Major League Baseball players can’t do much to express themselves with their equipment on the field so a pair of custom cleats is part of Bryce’s self-expression in Making Baseball Fun Again. Padron is an artist who hand-paints every shoe with a traditional artist’s brush and air brush. As an artist, his canvas is athletic shoes, and it is wearable art. Everything he paints is one-of-a-kind custom art.
Harper shipped Padron two pairs of cleats that were last years model of Under Armour’s Deception model that were very white and could be painted. Here is the before and after of the first pair Padron finished for Bryce to wear on July 3rd!
The other interesting point about that pair of cleats is that Under Armour made them with molded plastic spikes in the back and metal spikes in the front which is something Padron had never seen before.
Padron is now 37 years old and started painting his Nikes when he was in High School over 20 years ago as friends were wondering where he got those cool shoes from. Padron was working as a golf caddie at a private Miami country club, and when he was not lugging around clubs he was working as a starving artist until three years ago at the age of 34, Nomad Customs became a full-time business, and Padron was starving no more. He is very fair with his prices. It takes him 8 hours to 20 hours on a typical pair of athletic shoes depending on the complexity. Bryce’s first pair took 15 hours of work.
“As the paint dries, I can work on other pairs,” said Padron. “There is a lot of prep time that goes into each design and it begins with the collaboration with each client.”
Bryce screenshoted some of Roly’s previous designs so they could come up with what Bryce wanted on the second pair of custom cleats to include the BH34 design and mirror more of Bryce’s personal style.
Padron’s minimum price starts at $300 for a pair with a full custom design. Prices can go to $500 and up for the most intricate work. When we asked Padron if he comp’d these cleats for Bryce, he said that Bryce paid, and as a matter of fact he paid by personal check that was signed by Bryce. How cool is that!
Bryce has worn other custom cleats made by Under Armour such as these Mother’s Day cleats he wore in 2016, but the first pair of hand-painted custom cleats worn by Harper were a Roly Padron Nomad Custom design. If you want to contact Padron for your own pair of custom cleats or sneakers or golf shoes or flip flops or whatever, contact Padron initially by email [email protected] or let’s see if you are as resourceful as Bryce Harper and can find Roly Padron’s cellphone number! Maybe your custom pair will be featured on their Instagram page IG handle: @nomad_customs.
Bryce as you might remember was told that he could not use his patriotic July 4th bat this year like he did last year with a custom painted Chandler Bat that sported the stars & stripes and the Washington, D.C. monuments.
Here is a copy of the bat regulations that was posted in the Nats clubhouse in 2015, and it strictly prohibits this type of bat and says “subject to confiscation”.
This is the 2016 July 4th bat that Victus Bats made for Harper which he could not use, and Bryce wrote about it on his personal Instagram account with a message, “One day I hope players in the @MLB can express the way they feel…”
Bryce Harper now also designs caps and has done his own lines of New Era custom caps this year that we have shown previously.