Can You Kick It?

As we watch the barometer rise, we watch the clothes come off. With little to adorn the body, the focus shifts to what to put on your feet. The barebones back-to-basics nature of summertime fashion means your footwear must be up-to-par. Anyone can rock ordinary store-bought, ready-to-wear sneakers, but customized kicks are undeniably unique. As the novelty of more mainstream customization lines like Nike ID and Adidas Adicolor diminishes, buyers are looking for new ways to step up their shoe game. explores two companies blazing trails in the sneaker industry, kicking dirt over the competition. Who can forget the early 90’s favorite, the illuminating L.A. Lights by L.A Gear? Well, Jezign upgraded this light-up concept with a millennium twist. Worn by Zab Judah, Lloyd, Paul Wall and Young City, Jezign kicks are a summer staple with the celebrity set. With a line aesthetically similar to Ice Creams, with the exception of its illuminated 180 air bubble, Jezign kicks are the first shoe of its kind to have an advanced patent luminosity system. However, unlike L.A. Lights, Jezign’s footwear does not flicker when walking. With the help of a 9-volt battery, invisibly located in the tongue of the shoe, Jezign Kicks operate via an off/on button: giving off a fluorescent illumination like a beacon of style on any summer night. Jesign is owned and operated by independent Black entrepreneurs Jez Martson, CEO and designer of the illumination technology, and Attorney Brian Carter, the co-founder who spearheads operational duties at Jezign LLC in Washington D.C. Jezign Kicks spent nearly ten years in product testing and development, evolving from a simple drawing and concept to a first of its kind patented shoe. While a student at Howard University, Jez, intrigued by the concept of illuminated kicks brought the idea of an advanced illumination footwear design to Brian. “I always thought the concept of lights in shoes was interesting, but never felt it was done to its full potential,” says Jez. As an attorney and financier, Brian aided Jez in carrying his concept from paper to reality. “When I first started shopping my idea around, I faced many obstacles. A lot of people discouraged me, and told me it would never succeed,” says Jez. Brian has watched both Jez and the Jezign shoe concept grow exponentially, becoming a historic phenomenon in athletic footwear. Finally receiving a patent in 2005, Jezign shoes is ready to change the game. They created three lines of shoes: the Night Eagle Basketball shoe, the Casual line, and newly released Bubble Cloud; all readily available at, Finish Line and DTLR in early July at a buck fifty ($150) a pair in men’s sizes 8 through 131/2. Ladies too can get their shine on as Jezign is expecting to launch several lines for both women and children this fall.Once known as summer’s epitome of fresh, Air Force Ones have been revamped as a modern day canvas for Philly In Miami, a customized footwear and apparel design team. As imaginative as they are unyielding in customized designs, Philly In Miami has made their mark in the footwear and apparel trade going from industry secret to the most widely known designers when seeking customized kicks. As one of the first customized creative design teams, Philly In Miami began its ingenious creations by designing t-shirts and later gravitated toward footwear. This inevitable gravitation made Philly In Miami infamous for their inventiveness. With thirteen artists and several designers on deck whose specialties range from customizing sneakers, apparel and even murals, Philly In Miami has oriented itself as a tight unit of professional artists dedicated to reinventing fashion. Dame, Chief Exec of Philly In Miami, told that his company isn’t the first to customize sneakers; however, it is probably the first to put together an organized team of artists to brand a customized image. Created in 2003, Philly In Miami has become a platform for artists to express their creativity. “At Philly In Miami, we do one of a kind sneakers. We can customize any sneaker,” explained Dame. “There are a lot of people out there who paint sneakers but we give our artists the chance to expose their talent under a branded umbrella.” Depending on how you want your shoe customized, its exclusivity, and current trends, the average cost of a matchless pair of kicks may run you about $325 a pair. With two locations in Miami and future locations pending, Philly In Miami will soon be decorating cities across the country, already serving rappers, athletes and sneaker heads alike. It’s not too late to cop a pair for your summer collection, so visit to get your own.So can you kick it? Now you can.