Local man goes from Panthers fan to designing players' cleats

Ryan Bare of SR Customs works on cleats for one of the Panthers players

DENVER, N.C.- It's not hard for Ryan Bare to get excited to go to work in his downstairs home office in Denver, North Carolina. Every day he gets to mix two things he loves- shoes and the Panthers.

Bare grew up in North Carolina and is a Panthers fan. He wasn't an artistic kid, but he was always looking for ways to stand out.

"As a kid I would go out and do different things, cut up shoes, make mom mad because she spent so much money on them. Just trying to be different," Bare explained.

As a father, he started designing cleats for his sons. It wasn't until 2015 that he realized that hobby could turn into something more.

It started out with messaging different NFL players to see if he could do some cleats for them. At the time, safety Tre Boston still played for the Panthers, and he was the only one to respond.

"Long story short, he was all for it," Bare recalled.

He began designing cleats for Boston, and pretty soon the safety had other Panthers players dialing up SR Customs for a pair for game day.

"He's definitely been the biggest part of helping me grow, and getting me to where I am today," Bare said.

From corner backs like Daryl Worley, to wide receivers like Devin Funchess, and rookies like Christian McCaffrey, Bare has taken tons of cleats from ordinary to art.

"I try to keep everything fun for me, because if it's fun for me it's going to be fun for them and they'll be excited about it," he explained.

It's a passion that pays off. As fans look forward to Sundays, Bare looks down.

"We go out to our seats, and we’re like, 'He’s got them on. He’s got them on.' See what everyone is wearing," Bare said.

There's hours of work behind every shoe, but for him it's a small chance to contribute to something much bigger.

"Look good, feel good, play good. I do what I can to help you look good, the rest is up to you," Bare said.

To see some of his work, CLICK HERE.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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