In the last year, LA native Kickstradomis, whose real name is Salvador Amezcua, has blown up as an NBA shoe customizer. On his Twitter page, he describes himself as “Your fave NBA player’s fave shoe customizer.”
And it’s true, he is. Kickstradomis has made custom kicks for over 50 NBA players, including some of the biggest names in the sport. With restrictions on shoe coloring being lifted this season and his notoriety rapidly growing, we’re likely to see Kickstradomis shoes on the court most nights.
As you keep an eye out for his custom kicks, here’s what you need to know about the man behind the shoes:
1. He’s Been an Artist Since He Was a Kid
In an interview with BAC Magazine, Amezcua said that he’s been an artist since he was four years old.
He said, “I’ve always been good at drawing, painting…then when I got older I started doing graphic design–I learned it all on my own.”
2. He Became Kickstradomis by Accident
As Amezcua tells it, he became the most coveted shoe customizer in the NBA almost completely by accident. He knew he liked art, but didn’t think to paint shoes until his cousin approached him to restore a pair. After he finished the restoration, he decided to try his hand at painting a few pairs.
In his interview with BAC Magazine, he said, “As I did more research and I saw you could actually do art on the shoes, that’s when I said to myself ‘I can do that too.’”
His first Instagram post as Kickstradomis dates back to March 5, 2014:
He’s made a lot of progress over the years, but he wasn’t always such a high-profile NBA customizer. That change came somewhat recently, beginning around the 2017-2018 preseason.
3. He Almost Dropped Out of the Business, Just Before Making it Big
In 2016, on his way to Sneakercon, Amezcua was in a serious car accident. He never made it to the event, and spent the next year off the grid as he battled financial trouble, back pain, and depression. He got a warehouse job earning minimum wage, and as he describes it, he was barely hanging on both mentally and financially.
“Before I started painting kicks,” he said, “I only had two pairs of shoes. It’s all I could afford. And I was, like, 26 years old. So that kind of gives you an idea of how low I was at that point.”
But just before the 2017-2018 season, he decided to check his Instagram to see if any NBA players still followed him after the hiatus. He noticed that Karl-Anthony Towns on his follower list and decided to send a message.
That message ended up changing his entire life. KAT responded almost immediately, and enlisted Amezcua to customize a pair for him.
His Halloween “Jason” pair ended up going viral, and since then Amezcua has been the NBA’s premier shoe customizer, working with James Harden, Donovan Mitchell, Montrezl Harrell, and tens of others.
4. He Made ‘Free Meek’ Shoes for James Harden
Shoe customization leaves plenty room for a statement, and Kickstradomis has been able to make a few with his shoes. He teamed up with a few players for some Martin Luther King Jr. themed kicks, and hooked James Harden up with a pair demanding the freedom of rapper Meek Mill.
Meek Mill is a good friend of Harden’s and was imprisoned last year under controversial circumstances. Amezcua’s shoes helped Harden make a statement on the court, something that’s becoming more and more common these days.
5. He Hopes to Open a Few Shops, and Maybe Even Start a Reality Show
In his BAC interview, Amezcua hinted at a reality show and said that he would love to have his own shops. Ideally, they’d be a cool place to hang out, where his NBA friends could come and go and he could do live custom work on the spot.
He’s already doing reality show-esque things on his YouTube channel, detailing his processes and making videos of himself delivering the shoes to players.
It’s not hard to imagine a show like this taking place on a channel like Vice, as they already have done a documentary short with him.
Reality show or not, though, Amezcua is set to become a legend in the shoe game.
Source: Heavy Sports