COLUMBUS, Ohio — More than six years ago, Kato Mitchell began mixing his love for art and football.

 What You Need To Know
  • Former Buckeye Kato Mitchell has a custom cleats business

  • Mitchell has always had a love for art, and his business allows him to combine his passions

  • He recently went viral for a pair of cleats he made for OSU wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.

​Mitchell always had a love for art. When he first enrolled at Ohio State University, he majored in art, but switched to education and human ecology with the fear he would not make any money.

He expressed his creativity on the field with his helmet and cleats as a wide receiver on the Ohio State football team.

“I had some old Jordan Olympic 6’s, they were beat up, torn, they had scratches and everything, and I’m cheap, so I was like I’m going to just paint these and see what happens,” Mitchell said.

What started as a restore and refresh for his own cleats turned into the business he has today. His time at Ohio State gave him a network of athletes.

He’s made shoes for everyone from Terry McLaurin, of the Washington Commanders to Jeff Okudah, of the Detroit Lions.

“Nowadays, people want to be different, so with the customs that allow them to be different,” said Mitchell. “It’s your own swag, it’s who you are. I have people like Paris Campbell. That boy can dress, so when he gives me a project, he usually has my favorite concepts.”

His work isn’t just reserved for the professional stage. He recently went viral for a pair of cleats he made for OSU wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.

Even though he’s no longer playing the game, he said that it’s been amazing to still see his cleats on the field and that his passion for art has come full circle.

“I love what I do, so to me painting, I don’t think that’s ever going to stop,” Mitchell said. “People ask me if I ever want to retire and I tell them I’ll paint ‘til I’m 70. I just love what I do.”

As a Cleveland native, Mitchell hopes to work with LeBron James and continue working with Buckeyes on the field and beyond.