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Typically, Week 13 in the NFL means the Regular Season is starting to wrap up. But this season, Week 13 is all about custom cleats because of the #MyCauseMyCleats campaign. Throughout the week, hundreds of players will be wearing custom cleats throughout the week’s games. Seeing as how custom cleats are becoming a topic of controversial for owners, players, and commissioners alike, a few hundred players wearing customs seems like it would be a headache. But the other unique thing going on is that this campaign is fully backed by the NFL higher ups because it raises awareness.

(Source: @signaturecutz)
If you keep up with NFL, you know custom cleats are usually not in line with typical uniform regulation practices. The cool thing is that the players wearing custom cleats to show their commitment and dedication to various causes that they feel strongly about. Many of these clauses are associated with charitable organizations that could use some love. While, it’s not entirely clear if players or teams will be donating money to their chosen causes, it’s still a big win bringing awareness to the field.

(Source: @packers)

For customizers, this was also a big win too. For the handful of lucky sneaker customizers chosen to work on this project, this meant using their work to raise awareness. While plenty of customizers were tapped for this campaign, we’re pretty proud of our sponsored artists for participating, even if some of them have had their work out on the gridiron before (hint: most of them have).

(Source: Raiders)

Longtime Angelus Direct sponsored artist DeJesus Custom Footwear Inc. did these Play 4 Keeps customs for Detroit Lions’ tight end Eric Ebron.

(Source: @dejesuscustoms)

One of our most recent sponsors _theheymann_ did made these customs Stephon Gilmore, cornerback for the Buffalo Bills. They were made to raise awareness for Alzheimer's.

(Source: @_theheymann_)

Dez Customs did these New York First Responder custom cleats for Nick Mangold of the @nyjets.

(Source: @dezcustomz)

Our dude Billy who runs True Blue Customs has been doing cleats for awhile, so it’s pretty clear why Tyler Eifert of the Cincinnati Bengals picked him to do these incredible @warriorwishes cleats to raise awareness for veterans.

(Source: @truebluecustoms)

We can’t forget Dan Gamache, better known as Mache Custom Kicks. Mache is no stranger to creating custom cleats, and might have done the most customs for this campaign.

(Source: @mache275)

Keep an eye out for these cleats throughout the week. Did you make a pair? Tag us at #angelusdirect #MyCauseMyCleats.

Best Sneaker Cleaner? Right Here at Angelus Direct.

Picture this: you’re camped out for the Air Jordan IX Space Jam. You’ve made it inside past the crowds of people and cop a pair. Remember, these are iconic because they’re a retro for Michael Jordan’s “retirement” sneaker after he left the NBA the first time in 1993.
(Source: Sneakernews)
So of course, you want to keep these sneakers perfect. You go home and put them on the shelf, but keep them in the box so the elements don’t mess them up. When you finally decide to wear your IX’s, they’re as crisp as the day you bought them. You wear them out, your boys compliment you, you snap a picture for your followers, etc. On the way home, someone steps on them—or worse, you step into a spot of mud. What do you do? 
If you’re into sneakers, customs, retros or otherwise, you probably know the struggle of keeping your footwear clean. Back when sneaker culture was starting to take off, OG sneakerheads were trying to handle dirt, mud, stains, and all the other inconveniences that mess up a good pair of shoes with detergent, water, and a toothbrush.
(Source: TheShoeGame)
This is isn’t back in the day though, and we’ve moved beyond these methods. Nowadays, there are so many different niche sneaker cleaners, choosing the best one can be overwhelming. But at Angelus Direct, we specialize in turning sneakers into something special and part of that is making premium sneaker cleaner and shoe care products.
Since there’s so much on the market, we’ve tried to simplify the cleaning process with three kits. Two of them are tried-and-true classics, and one is a new cleaner that makes everything that much easier without skimping on the quality that’s earned us over 100K five-star reviews.
When you’re looking for a shoe cleaning product, determine what you need is always best before hand. For general sneaker cleaning, our Easy Cleaner Combo Kit has been the MVP time and again.
Easy Cleaner is cleaning unique solution that works well on sidewalls and soles, but can still handle suede and nubuck. With one of cleaning brushes and a microfiber towel, this is perfect for daily upkeep.
If there’s more suede on your sneakers, like these Air Jordan XI’s, then you’re going to need a slightly different approach to cleaning them. That’s good, because we have something for that too.
Our Suede Cleaner Kit is a little more involved than the sneaker cleaner, but if you’ve ever tried to deal with stains on suede or nubuck, you know that it can tough to bring your shoes back to life.
The trick is having a specialized suede cleaning block that is made for that material only. This way you can work into the stain without changing the texture or color of the material itself. But you need to protect that newly cleaned pair, and Mink Oil is an industry tested standard for protecting shoes. Don’t let any of these other gimmicky sneaker protection companies fool you, Angelus Brand Mink Oil has done the job for decades (literally decades). The Mink Oil - Aerosol makes applying a protective layer to your sneakers even easier.
Lastly, we recently dropped a new cleaner eliminates the mess and does the same hard-working job on your sneakers as Easy Cleaner. Our Foam-Tex Cleaning Kit has everything a sneakerhead needs without having to use water or a bowl.
Essentially, this shoe cleaner comes out as a foam, so you just need to scrub and wipe down and your sneakers are good to go.
When it comes sneaker cleaner, shoe cleaner, and shoe care products, choose Angelus Brand!

20 Years of Space Jam and the Air Jordan XI

Twenty years ago, Warner Brothers Pictures dropped the masterpiece that inspired some of the most iconic franchise merchandise in cinema history. Okay, maybe it wasn’t a masterpiece. Maybe it wasn’t even that good, but 1996’s Space Jam has withstood the pages of history for a few reasons. First, it was one of the many Michael Jordan related things to occur in an era he dominated. In fact, Space Jam was his first starring role.

(Source: Variety)

Regardless where you stood on MJ as a player, there was no denying his star power throughout the 90’s. Then, there was the fact that him, Bill Murray, Newman from Seinfeld, and a slew of NBA greats were on screen with one of the most iconic cartoon characters playing one of America’s favorite sports. This wasn’t necessarily the recipe for an outstanding film, but for kids, it was enough to get them in the theater.

(Source: Rolling Stone)

When all was said and done, it was a pretty terrible movie, but it did bring about one of the most coveted pieces to come out of the Air Jordan archive, ever. For a company like Jordan, with so many “big deal releases” throughout it’s history, that’s really saying a lot. In terms of timeline, the Air Jordan XI’s debuted during the NBA season prior to the film’s release.

(Source: YouTube)

 MJ had recently returned from his first retirement stint, so to see him on the court was already fascinating, and the XI would soon become known as his “comeback shoes.” He first showed up in the White/Black-Dark Concord, which are loosely known as the first or “original” pair of XIs. The Air Jordan XI “Space Jams” though, came later in that series. This colorway first debuted in Game 4 of the 1995 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals against the Orlando Magic.

(Source: Kickz)

 The Bulls didn’t make it that season, but 1996 recalled the Jordan hysteria first seen during the 1991-1993 threepeat era. While the ‘95 season saw Jordan in a 45 jersey, he brought back the legendary 23 in ‘96 along with his comeback sneakers. Part of Jordan’s comeback and return to pop-culture’s limelight included his debut as an “actor.” Essentially, Jordan’s second coming was back in full swing.

(Source: Indulgy)

Although the XI’s hit the market during the 1996/1996 season, that mysterious colorway season in Game 4 wasn’t part of these original releases. It wasn’t until the climactic game against the Monstars (yeah, that was seriously their name) that these specific XI’s were seen again. Maybe this was a throwback to Jordan’s first series back after retirement, but whatever the reason, this colorway was solidified in sneaker history as the “Space Jam.”

(Source: Hypebeast)

20 years later, the simple mostly-Black-with-some-Concord colorway has inspired legions of sneakerheads since. With a retro dropping this month in honor of Jordan’s adventures with Bugs Bunny, it’s no doubt that we’ll be seeing plenty of Space Jam inspired customs coming out. If you’ve got a Space Jam project you think is worthy of MJ himself, tag us at #angelusdirect! 

(Source: @hex6customs)

The Future of Shopping

If you’re into sneakers or fashion or “pop culture,” you’ve probably caught wind of the massive marketing activation being held at Long Beach Convention Center this weekend. That would be ComplexCon, a two day event aimed at showcasing the hottest sneakers, clothing, and food that represent pop culture in 2016.

(Source: @complexcon)

On paper, ComplexCon is what Agenda Show (and Capsule and Magic for that matter) have turned essentially turned into. With the rise of eCommerce, the concept of a trade show has become less and less relevant. Buyers can do this work over the Internet. Instead, conventions have loosely turned into marketing activations, like Pharrell pushing G-Star Raw here.

(Source: @pharrell)

A marketing activation is essentially a form of brand engagement with potential customers to showcase what exactly your company does, and why the product is worth buying. You’ll find these in forms of the booths at said shows. The booth is part customer engagement, part show of force; a booth basically says, “how dope/powerful/cutting edge is our company? Have a look.” Take for instance Nike’s Air Force 1 booth at ComplexCon. This massive booth showcases the 20+ year history for one of Nike’s longstanding favorites, which leads to the exclusive Special Field Air Force One that’s being sold just at ComplexCon.

(Source: Nike)

Obviously this space is insane, Nike is a Fortune 500 company (in fact, they’re technically a Fortune 100 at #91). So being one of the top 100 companies in the world allows you certain liberties with your activation. For instance, they’re showcasing a single product because they’re operating under the assumption that world knows about all the other sneakers they sell; they’re probably right too.

(Source: @complexcon)

Part of the experience of ComplexCon is the “cash-and-carry” feature that drives the whole customers there. While a convention like Agenda is more focused on buyers picking out stock for their stores, cash-and-carry means the average consumer can go their and literally buy product. In other words, the convention center has been turned into a massive pop up shop with performances, food, and panels.

(Source: @travisscott)

Panels are the norm at most conferences. Typically, a group of experts talk about what’s new and exciting in their field. For ComplexCon, that ranged from Action Bronson talking about weed to DJ Clark Kent talking about Jordans. It’s interesting to see conversation that might take place on the message boards or in the “comment sections” move into a real life setting. How these panels impact the way streetwear heads spend their money hasn’t yet been determined, but the entire convention is a unique spin on an old concept.

(Source: @complexcon)

This is the shopping experience in 2016 and it’s pretty fascinating.

Customs Rule on Halloween

Hands down, Halloween is one of the best holidays. You can dress up and go out, or if you have kids, go trick or treating. For the sneaker custom community, that means cooking up some Halloween-themed projects. Every year, the #angelusdirect page showcases some of the most creative customs. Here are some of our favorite Halloween sneakers from this year.

These Evil Dead Foamposites were done by @revivecustoms. The 1981 horror film is a cult classic, bringing the cabin-in-the-woods genre of horror films to a gruesome new level. These Foams are based on the Book of the Dead, called the Naturom Demonto in the film.

(Source: @revivecustoms)

Surviving the mayhem was the character Ash Williams played by Bruce Campbell, who quickly became one of horror’s greatest characters.

(Source: livingwithanerd.com)

Next, we have these Freddy Krueger Air Jordan III’s by @chillsbarkley.

(Source: @chillsbarkley

Back in the fall of 1984, Wes Craven’s The Nightmare on Elm Street unleashed one of the most terrifying horror villains on audiences. Freddy was the stuff of nightmares, literally offing a squad of helpless teenagers in their dreams.

(Source: movieweb.com)

Another pair that caught our eye was these Walking Dead Air Jordan V’s by @sneakerfairy.

(Source: @sneakerfairy)

 For the past seven seasons, fans have watched their Rick and his gang of survivors battle mindless hordes, marauding militias, insane villains, and (sometimes) family drama! Ironically, the first episode aired on Halloween night back in 2010.

(Source: collider.com)

 This last pair, Air Max 95’s were done by @abstracked_customz, were one of the most horrifying of the bunch.


(Source: @abstracked_customz

 While not necessarily themed after a specific movie, they like they might be on the feet of Leatherface, the terrorizer from the 1974 film The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.


(Source: slantmagazine.com)

 Until next year, keep up those customs and be sure to tag #angelusdirect for a feature. And if you haven’t checked it out yet, or sale ends tonight at 11:59 PM EST. Use the code SPOOKY20 and stock up on your favorite items.