The uncomfortable truth about wearing Yeezy Boosts.
Kanye West loves to brag about the success of his Adidas Yeezy Boost sneakers. Sometimes he brags about them in interviews. Other times West applauds his shoe's success in full-on songs dedicated to the destruction of Nike. Yeezy Boosts are (still) the hottest sneaker on the planet in 2017, and fans will tell you are about as easy to buy as wishing to be struck by lightning at the same time you get bit by a shark. In fact, the difficulty of purchasing a pair has spawned entire internet subsets of people trying to figure out new ways to game the system or get any sort of advantage over other hopefully customers. And yet pairs are indeed out there, floating around eBay for sure, but also being worn on the daily by people young and old who are looking to flex both their taste and probably their shopping skills. That said, the amount of people who actually look cool whilst wearing these Yeezys is more or less zero. But how? How can the coolest sneaker on planet earth also be the least wearable?
Yeezy Boosts are like adding nuclear-level hot sauce to an outfit. Thanks to their rarity, their unique bulbous shape, and the never-ending media cycle surrounding West, they ruin the flavor of everything around them. The amount of wow-factor generated by seeing someone in the wild wearing an Adidas Yeezy—even in its more tame colorways—immediately overshadows the rest of any outfit. The more a person tries to subdue their power, say by wearing jeans and T-shirt with them, the more they stand out like a sore thumb. And in that way, they might be the least complementary sneaker on the market today.
They transform a man into a man who wears Yeezys. Even style gods like Pharrell Williams don't wield style powers bigger than Yeezys. When he wore them, he paired the kicks with a denim-on-denim outfit that looked okay. But would his look have been better with some plain black sneakers or some white Stan Smiths? Absolutely. And if Pharrell can't make 'em work, there's no hope for the rest of us.
At best, Yeezys are a distraction from the bad outfits they're often paired with. For years sneakerheads have struggled to pair their outlandish footwear with tasteful trousers, shirts, jackets, etc. But Kanye West's fans have an added problem in that they have a knack for dressing exactly like Kanye does. While he certainly looks great in Kanye West fits, the people who want to emulate him down to a tee (literally and figuratively) seldom do.
Part of that is because West simply has an odd, Humpty Dumpty body—on his song "30 Hours" he attributed his figure to skipping leg day—but it's also because he has the King Midas touch of style—and that is a gift and a curse. If he decides to wear a brand and is photographed by paparazzi, that brand can almost guarantee a serious lift in sales. (Adidas is certainly one of those brands.) But even things like heavy metal band T-shirts instantly become branded "The tee Kanye wore" as soon as he's photographed in them. There's no better example of this effect in the case of his very own sneaker.
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Adidas has a lot to be proud of with all of the success surrounding the Yeezy lineup, having in just over two years generated an immeasurable dose of halo effect around their brand. They've also proved capable of harnessing the power of one of our generation's most influential style gods. But the fact that everyone wants to get their hands on a pair these days simply speaks to the Yeezy Boost's hype, not its wearability. Hype is by no means synonymous with good taste, and as cool as Yeezys look, they're simply not worth the trouble.