CINCINNATI -- The Bengals have a few notable shoe hounds on their roster; a handful of them have spent god knows how much money on custom cleats this season.
These flashy cleats are decked out with cartoon favorites, superheroes or their own names and numbers. They're fun to ogle over on Instagram, but technically these cleats are against league rules and are considered "non-compliant footwear."
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Frequent spenders and offenders from the Bengals roster include WR A.J. Green, DB Wallace Gilberry, LB Vontaze Burfict, CB Dre Kirkpatrick and, most notably, WR Mohammed Sanu.
(Some of these guys' custom cleats may be kosher with the NFL -- I'm no self-proclaimed expert. But these guys all wear cleats that are customized and colorful in some way.)
Last year, Nike threatened to end endorsement deals with NFL players if they continued to break the rules by wearing customized cleats during games. Players don't have their custom cleats designed by their endorsement company; for example, some of Sanu's recent creations came from Kreative Custom Kicks, according to his Instagram account.
Players are fined when their cleats -- or eye black, socks, etc. -- aren't according to uniform...at least most of the time.
One nice note, though -- when a player or team is fined by the NFL, the typically steep fines are donated to charity. Players are frequently match their fine amount to donate to charity (so those pink cleats, socks and jerseys? The fines actually do go to benefit breast cancer research and treatment).