Several of the decade’s defining sneaker moments were owned by Kanye West.
The drama of his split with Nike in 2013 made his sneakers with the Swoosh infinitely more desirable (most notably his Air Yeezy 2 “Red October”) and his partnership with Adidas that began in 2014 is still driving the marketplace. The rap megastar has released several classics with the Three Stripes and has further established himself as a credible sneaker designer — and not a standard celebrity collaborator.
With the decade coming to a close, FN looks back at West’s defining sneaker designs of the 2010s.
Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2
West and Adidas are still churning out new colorways of the Yeezy Boost 350 three years after its debut — and people still can’t get enough of them. The “Beluga” and “Zebra” iterations that dropped in September 2016 and February 2017, respectively, arguably remain the favorites, but that isn’t stopping sneakerheads from picking up every look that hits retail.
Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 “Triple White”
The “Triple White” iteration of the 350 V2 is worth calling out on its own because of what it represents to the Yeezy line. West once proclaimed that everybody who wants a pair of Yeezys will be able to get a pair, and the “Triple White” brought truth to his statement, with it being his first mass-produced shoe with Adidas.
Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 “Turtle Dove” and “Pirate Black”
Although it wasn’t the first Adidas Yeezy style to hit stores, the 350 silhouette — particularly in the “Turtle Dove” and “Pirate Black” colorways — was largely responsible for the fervor that still surrounds West’s designs today.
Adidas Yeezy Boost 750
West’s post-Nike debut was a good one. His first Three Stripes release — the 750 — was a bold silhouette, atypical to anything seen on the market, and it immediately had sneakerheads and the fashion-focused intrigued. Once available, the high-top shook up the already thriving resale market, with pairs selling for as much as $10,099. (The sneaker retailed for $350.)
Adidas Yeezy Boost 700 “Wave Runner”
The construction of the 700 was far more intricate than the prior 350 and 750 silhouettes, further proving West is a more-than-capable sneaker designer. And the way he put together the shoe allowed for a seemingly infinite amount of intriguing colorways. However, the most compelling version was the first, dubbed “Wave Runner,” which remains a favorite among sneakerheads.
Nike Air Yeezy 2 “Red October”
The colorway dropped online on Feb. 9, 2014, months after West announced he was leaving Nike for Adidas in December 2013. Despite thousands of much-hyped sneakers hitting the market since its release, the “Red October” is still one of the most coveted sneakers of all time, if the aftermarket demand is any indication. But more important, the intrigue and lust that surround the shoe today prove the rapper’s ability to shift culture and confirm his status as an undeniable icon to the sneaker community.