George Kiel III is a man of many talents, and he is very passionate about many things. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing George since 2014 and got to know him even better after he came to my house to film a Sneak Peek for Nice Kicks in early 2015. Since then, George and I have kept in touch and I consider him a good friend and someone I admire for many reasons.
He burst on the scene during his time with Nice Kicks, writing for the site and creating their highest rated original video content including Sneak Peek and Kicks on Court. Through that process, George engaged with the best known athletes, celebrities and artists in the world, and eventually rose to become editor-in-chief. In January of 2015, he formed the Kiel Colon Cancer Foundation to raise awareness and honor his mother who passed from the disease the previous year. The KCCF 3-on-3 basketball tournaments and open gyms have gone national, and the blue knots initiative has grown to include college and professional athletes. Upon leaving Nice Kicks in 2016, Kiel formed coiski.com – an educational digital media platform.
I say it a lot about the people I have interviewed (which may explain why I choose to interview them in the first place) but George is truly one of the nicest and down-to-earth people I know. Despite his continued success across many platforms, he remains grounded and humble. The passion he displays for the KCCF is unrivaled and I’m always happy when I am able to participate or contribute to the their efforts in some way. Thank you, George, for taking the time to answer my Five Questions.
1. We all have that one moment or pair that was an “aha!” moment in sneakers. What was yours and how would you describe it?
My “aha” moment was the Nike Hyperflight. It was a horrible basketball shoe, performance-wise, but aesthetically, it was before its time. I remember playing in that shoe every single day during the summer it came out, and my feet were in bad shape because the shoe was so bad. I didn’t care because it looked so great on the court.
2. If you had to choose only one sneaker to have- currently in your collection or not – what would it be and why?
I would keep my “Kiel Colon Cancer” Nike Kobe 9 EM iD because that’s the first shoe I created in honor of my late mother and for kielcoloncancer.org. I think of her every time I come across all of my KCCF shoes, but especially that one.
3. Who or what is your biggest and best design inspiration?
Eric Avar. The Kobe V is my favorite shoe ever, and Avar created it. I think it’s the best basketball shoe, performance-wise, ever made. I still play in it, faithfully, to this day.
4. Hypebeasts. Resellers. Sponsored posts. Influencers. Doing it for the Gram. What is your take on the current state of sneakers and social media?
I think resellers have killed the game in a sense. The people that really want the shoes are left without them because the resellers are buying them all up and jacking the prices up. It’s ridiculous.
5. In 30 years, people in the sneaker world will look back and say George Kiel was….?
George Kiel was a creator and originator with the content he put out, and he stayed true to himself by not falling into trends of the general public.