The worlds of sportswear and luxury convened in New York City in February 2015. The Mecca of American culture was playing host to both NBA All-Star Weekend and Fashion Week with a rebellious rapper at the center of it all.
Kanye West was set to debut his Yeezy Season 1 collection that weekend, also performing at NBA All-Star festivities and releasing footwear with Adidas at the same time. People of note including Anna Wintour and Pusha T watched West debut his derelict basics, and one piece from the collection instantly stole the show: the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350.
Internally called the “Roshe Killer” by creatives in West’s camp, the slip-on silhouette was designed to riff off of Nike’s popular Roshe Run sportswear silo, while also destroying it. At first sight, it was clear West had a chance as fans flocked to the peppered Primeknit upper, encaged Boost cushioning and rope lacing.
The first two colorways, “Turtle Dove” and “Pirate Black,” released at retail in 2015 for $200 in adult sizes, eventually scaling down to prices and cuts that fit infants. Shortly after, “Moonrock” and “Oxford Tan” takes would continue the earthy nature and tonal takes associated with introductory 350s, becoming a fashion staple around the world.
By 2016, the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 was a bonafide hit and ready for expansion. Famously, a cleated take would be worn in NFL competition only to be banned by the league.
Always altering his creations, West rolled out the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 after the first version’s first year at retail, updating the shoe’s stance with a slightly shapelier midsole and more aggressive Primeknit pattern on the upper.
Since arriving in 2016, the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 has been the Three Stripe sportswear company’s most iconic model this side of the Superstar. Releasing at a rampant rate, the 350 V2 has made waves in loud “Zebra” and “Beluga” iterations while also proving popular in a range of core colorways that play off clean black uppers and sharp side stripe contrast.
For those watching closely, the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 has shifted in shape and structure over the many makeups it’s released in. The 350 V2 was released with and without a heel tab, also updating the upper’s Primeknit pattern from time.
For instance, the popular “Clay” colorway of the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 adorns a solid heel tab, semi-translucent side striping and patchwork Primeknit styling on the upper. Conversely, the “Mono Clay” Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 does away with Primeknit all together, instead sporting a sheer monofilament mesh upper with a solid heel tab.
Another aesthetic attribute often employed on the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 is the use of reflective threading. Many popular 350 V2 colorways, such as the “Yeshaya” style, have been released in standard non-reflective form, as well as nearly identical reflective renditions that sport a 3M shine when hit with light.
In a similar manner, the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 has also rolled out popular glow-in-the-dark drops, adding yet another element to the incredibly popular footwear franchise.
Aside from uppers that shine in the light or glow in the dark, the reliance on altering the Primeknit pattern on the upper remains the most malleable shift for the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2. In 2021, both “MX Oat” and “MX Stone” styles bring a marbled aesthetic to the upper of the West favorite, swirling shades on the Primeknit for a new look but the same shape.
For years, fans have awaited a third version of the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 series. In 2019, a close comparison came in the form of the Adidas Yeezy Boost 380.
Sporting a sock-styled shape with slim Primeknit upper sitting atop a chunky semi-translucent Boost midsole, the 380 was first believed to be the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V3 due to its inherently similar DNA. It is not, but certainly an extension of the same idea.
After its 2015 introduction, the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 remains one of the most popular franchises in the footwear world. While the introductory 350 has been shelved in favor of the sharper sequel, the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 has become a massive hit on both sides of the pond thanks to its cozy cushioning, creative colorways and celebrity co-sign. By boasting the ability to prove popular in various tones, Primeknit patterns, special-effect styling and new materials such a monofilament mesh, the most lucrative line under the Yeezy umbrella is still as viable as ever.