Well, it appears as though we might not ever see them again. Matthews told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he was fined $5,000 for them. Tom Silverstein reports:
LB Clay Matthews said in an interview with teammate Josh Sitton for the cable television show Rome is Burning that he had been fined $5,000 for wearing the wrong colored shoes Sunday against St. Louis.So perhaps Williams is the mystery player wearing gold cleats in the background of that photo.
The Packers wore their 1929 throwback jerseys that feature navy blue tops, brown helmets and tan pants. The shoes that come with the gear are dark brown.
Some players wore white shoes, but used black tape over them so that they were dark and didn't stand out.
Matthews, however, wore bright yellow shoes, which the NFL deemed as inappropriate and a violation of the league's dress code. In the interview with Sitton, Matthews read outloud the letter he received from the NFL.
It's like that CB Tramon Williams got fined as well. He also wore the bright yellow shoes on Sunday.
Teams can designate themselves as black-shoe or white-shoe teams. Players can wear cleats with team colors added to them, but only to a certain percentage; they have to be predominantly white or black. The Packers had been a white-shoe club, but switched to black in 2008 to mark the beginning of the Aaron Rodgers era. Perhaps these cleats had too much gold in them; we'll see what else the NFL has to say.
Another interesting line from Silverstein's article:
The shoes that come with the gear are dark brown.You wouldn't know it from game photos.
Looking at those photos, it sure looks as though most of the Packers were wearing their regular black shoes.
Kicker Mason Crosby was wearing his customary (mismatched) black cleats:
As was Jordy Nelson:
Looking at this photo of Charles Woodson and Desmond Bishop, Woodson seems to be wearing black Nikes (with gold laces!).
Bishop, on the other hand, is the only Packer I can clearly identify as wearing dark brown.
Bishop is also wearing those snazzy gold socks.
Obviously Clay Matthews wasn't the only one to customize his footwear, but he stepped far enough over the line to draw the League's notice. And good thing he did (from my perspective if not his) otherwise I never would have realized that the Packers had issued brown shoes for this uniform set.
UPDATED 10/25/11: From the comments, I am indebted to the reader who directed me to these photos of Greg Jennings and BJ Raji, clearly also wearing the brown shoes: