Julian Edelman wasn’t always the best receiver on the NFL’s most celebrated team. Once upon a time, he was a seventh-round draft pick just lucky to hear his name called. But through his desire, he saw his profile rise. In 2013 and 2014, the former Kent State quarterback combined for nearly 200 catches and over 2,000 total receiving yards. Then this season, though injuries kept him sidelined for seven games, Edelman produced 61 receptions and a career-high seven receiving touchdowns.
The New England Patriots wide receiver isn’t known just for his elite work ethic, however. He’s also one of the NFL’s most stylish players, routinely showing out in everything from winter sweaters and overcoats to fleece jackets and tapered joggers.
Versatility is what makes Edelman different. On the field, it’s obvious, but off the field it’s just as paramount and noticeable. Whether working out or hanging out, Edelman always looks relaxed and comfortable in his own skin. Training. Going to events. Bearded. Not bearded. That all starts with PUMA.
We had the opportunity to chat with Tom Brady’s most dangerous weapon on his relationship with PUMA, style, and which sneakers are currently in his rotation.
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PUMA is working to collaborate with a number of big-name celebrities, athletes, and musicians. Which collab collections are you most excited for?
I love their collaborations. They are pretty sweet. I am huge fan of the BAU X PUMA R698, those are some awesome shoes with some great colorways. PUMA is coming up in the game with all of these collaborations. You see it going mainstream everywhere, it’s like one of those Jordans. You see sneakerheads rocking them everywhere, it’s kind of cool.
How would you describe your own style away from the field? Seems like you are pretty comfortable in everything.
I like to keep my stuff kind of simple. Pretty trendy but I keep it classic. I wear classic colors, I like to wear a lot of black. I want to be able to look back in the future and say, “Hey, I wasn’t looking like an idiot.” I love rocking Suedes with all my outfits. Regardless, you can always rock a classic Suede. Especially with a suit, you can rock it with funky color. I will rock an all-red PUMA with gum bottom with an all-black outfit to make it pop out more. I am actually here just looking at my PUMAs and I have to say I love the Suedes.
Your personality, confidence, and comfort with yourself always seem to come through in this regard. Do you think that’s what makes you connect with PUMA so well?
I’ve always been kind of a PUMA fan. I remember my dad telling me a story back in the day when he was young and saved $70 for his first pair of PUMAs. It has always stuck with me. I went down to get a pair of classic suedes with like a tan PUMA logo. It had this cool old school vibe. Years down the road I had the opportunity to work with them and I think it is awesome because I think the brand has a lot of European flare. It’s not like the other brands in our category. It’s just different. You will see a guy wearing a sick pair of PUMAs with an awesome outfit and your like, “Man, that guy has PUMAs on.” He is not rocking a traditional sneaker everyone else rocks with other brands. It’s like having your own flare and you’re out of the regular.
Outside of the obvious stuff like sneakers, joggers, and jackets, do you have any PUMA stuff that you like to wear that maybe people wouldn’t think of at first?
I like wearing PUMA’s zip-up Poly Fleece Hoodie. I rock that going out and you can put a nice jacket over it. It has an European cut and it kind of hugs you a little more. They also have these cool rain jackets I like to rock. In our profession we get to wear a sweatsuit to work, so that is what you always see me in. You will see me in a pair of PUMA jogger sweats and some fresh kicks because I like to mess with the guys on the team. They always like to see what I am going to bring to the table. So I wear like a different color Suede or I would wear some of my trainers with some funky color.
Where does the PUMA Suede factor into your rotation? Do you have a favorite?
I love the all-black colorways. I am kind of into the Johnny Cash all-black phase right now. It’s kind of like a “me and against the world” kind of thing. So I am rocking the all-blacks. I love those, I wear those, probably wear them everyday. I love the Baskets. I have a pair that has a snakeskin feel to it, like a cool leather. It looks like a tennis shoe, so it is in the high-end kind of category. It’s always cool to rock with a black pair of jeans and a black shirt.
Then you have the Carson Runner Knit shoes. It’s a lifestyle shoe and it is made with cloth material. It’s like the Nike Free, it’s actually better. I wear them all of the time like slippers. They have this mesh upper which creates air flow in them and it fits like a sock.
What sneakers do you wear when you hit the gym?
I usually use the Ignite XT and the Pulse XT is another one of my favorites. I usually wear those, it’s a cross-trainer so it has good ankle support. You can also sprint in these because our training has to do with a lot of side to side and directional drills. There is a lot of lifting and single-leg bounds, so you have to have a shoe that is able to do both.
How do you think confidence has factored into your whole career? How did you keep it? Did you ever lose it?
As a professional athlete when you stop believing in yourself that is when you stop becoming one. I’ve always been really confident in my abilities because I prepare. It’s like studying for a test. You study, take notes, you prepare, you listen. You go into a test feeling confident because you know the material, so it’s the same thing with football and athletics. If you go in prepared and do everything you can with offseason training you get the results you want. This is a huge part of my life, it’s a 12-month job; it’s not like we just play six months. You have to constantly keep getting better at all times. When you do all the stuff and prepare you go in and take care of business. So that is how I have always tried to live my life.
Now it seems like people can’t get enough of you. Is it hard to slow down or do you even want to?
I am pretty simple when it comes to that. Everything revolves around football. It’s funny because through the week we have practice–I call it a school night. I go home, I throw on the TV, play some FIFA, handle some calls, and just try to chill and get to bed early. We are usually traveling and everything is built towards trying to play your best game on that one day you get to play. So my life is pretty simple during the season when it comes to those kind of things.
Wildest thing you’ve done lately that no one would’ve ever guessed five years ago? Winning a Super Bowl? Appearing in Entourage? Hitting Disneyland?
That’s all cool and awesome. Winning the Super Bowl was an amazing thing. I never thought I would have been presenting an award at the Grammys so that was kind of cool. Went to Fashion Week and did a bunch of the high-end stuff. But TV late night and morning shows was cool as well. It was an eventful year and that’s why I am looking forward to this year because I think it can be a really good year as well.
I’ve heard people describe you as being a fighter, and that’s why you’ve been able to carve your niche. Do you think that’s accurate?
I can’t speak for other people but I am a competitive guy and I would say I am a scrapper.
You had a huge senior year of high school when everything sort of clicked for you. Do you remember that feeling? What was that like to all of sudden be like, “Wow, I can really do this?”
Definitely! High school football is one of the purest and funnest football you get to play in your life. It’s a little different. You go out and it’s “Friday Night Lights” and you go to class and that was the start of my journey. I didn’t necessarily think it was going to click there. I focused on my next task at hand at junior college and going that route. I never really thought about going to the NFL. It was always to focus on what was on my plate at the time and try to win football games.
When’s your next comedy skit dropping?
Hey man, a magician never tells his secrets. I have a couple things up my sleeve and I’m just going to keep them in that sleeve for now.