George Kittle

49ers' Kittle reveals influence for fashion, love of sneakers

NBC Universal, Inc.

SANTA CLARA — George Kittle is a known sneakerhead who used his unique sense of fashion to collaborate on a second line of sunglasses with 49ers partner Zenni.

The All-Pro tight end sat down with NBC Sports Bay Area to share the origin of his fashion interest — which includes over 150 pairs of shoes, and why he loves his partnership with the eyeglass company.

“I really like the fact that a lot of their stuff is very affordable for everyday people,” Kittle said. “There are a lot of very expensive $800 sunglasses out there. I want glasses that everybody feels like they can wear, be stylish and feel like they can afford them, get them for your whole family.” 

Kittle’s fashion interest began not long ago with the assistance of his wife, Claire, who obviously has some input on what the seven-year vet wears on gamedays. The two enjoy the creative outlet that designing provides.

"It’s awesome because if I ever start second-guessing something, she doesn’t,” Kittle said.  “She always makes a very straightforward decision which I appreciate. And she also understands that I am a little bit different when it comes to my style. Sometimes I’m very loud, sometimes I’m not.” 

Another influence on Kittle’s wardrobe choices is a former teammate and fellow sneakerhead Jimmy Garoppolo. The Las Vegas Raiders quarterback and the tight end both wear a size 13 shoe, which prompted Garoppolo to gift shoes he was not wearing to his younger teammate.

This was the beginning of a large collection of sneakers that Kittle splits between his homes in Nashville and California.

“He was kind of the start of it,” Kittle said of Garoppolo. “I would see all of the Js he was wearing and he always looked really nice with his shoes. I hit my stride in that too, 2019 season going into 2020. You can go back and look at my first two years of photos. Not very great sneakers.”

Kittle also was influenced by his former quarterback in what he does with his lesser-worn footwear. Needless to say, size-13 friends of the “People’s Tight End” are very lucky when it comes to sneakers.

“If I don’t wear a pair of sneakers for six to eight months, I gift them,” Kittle said. “Sneakers are meant to be worn, no matter how nice they are. I keep the ones that are collector’s items. I like to get the drops when they come out but if I don’t wear them I gift them to my friends.”

Kittle’s second line of Zenni sunglasses is set to drop in October.

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