Braves' Jarred Kelenic Got His Cleats From Unlikely Source

Jarred Kelenic's cool American flag shoes came from an unusual place.
Jarred Kelenic
Jarred Kelenic / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Mariners' decision to trade Jarred Kelenic to the Atlanta Braves this offseason came as quite a surprise given the apparent up-and-coming status of both the Mariners and Kelenic. Regardless of the why of it all, the Braves were more than happy to add Kelenic to their loaded lineup.

So far it looks like a solid enough decision. Atlanta went 20-12 in the first month of the season. Kelenic hasn't quite found his swing and is still hunting for his first home run of the year, but he's batting a perfectly fine .274 in 26 games played. The 24-year-old outfielder is also stirring discussion with his impressive American flag cleats, which he apparently got from the unlikeliest of sources.

During Sunday afternoon's broadcast of the Braves' matchup with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Bally Sports play-by-play announcer Brandon Gaudin revealed Kelenic did not have his cool kicks custom-made or anything of the like. In fact, as Kelenic tells it, he got it from a "random guy" on eBay.

In a day and age where any professional athlete can shell out thousands for highly-customized apparel through avenues unavailable to the average consumer, this is a beautiful thing. A throwback to when times were simpler and eBay was the only place to find pretty much anything unique.

Those are some seriously high-quality shoes from some random dude, though. Pro athletes put their shoes through incredible wear-and-tear in short periods of time no matter the sport. If they're up to snuff in Kelenic's eyes then maybe Nike should be reaching out to get his design ideas because he's got the durability factor down already.

Unfortunately the shoes held no magic yesterday as Kelenic went 0-1 against the Dodgers with one strikeout. But tomorrow the Boston Red Sox will come to town for a quick two-game series and give the shoes another chance to shine.

Liam McKeone


Liam McKeone is a Senior Writer for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. In addition to his role as a writer, he collaborates with other teams across Minute Media to help define his team’s content strategy. He has been in the industry as a content creator since 2017, and prior to joining SI in 2024, Liam worked for NBC Sports Boston and The Big Lead. In addition to his work as a writer, he has hosted the Press Pass Podcast covering sports media and The Big Stream covering pop culture. A graduate of Fordham University, Liam is always up for a good debate and enjoys loudly arguing about sports, rap music, books, and video games. Liam has been a member of the National Sports Media Association (NSMA) since 2020.