On June 27, 2015, the adidas Yeezy Boost 350 Turtle Dove launched. In the time since, the following people have asked me if I can get adidas to hook them up with a pair, probably because they think “sneaker blogging” is synonymous with “sneaker connect” or something like that:
- My cousin who loves Kim Kardashian and thinks Kanye is cute
- My aunt who only sees Kanye on Keeping Up With The Kardashians
- Countless friends who have significant others that “love tennis shoes”
- My dad (he just wants to troll)
- My mom (she tried on my pair and loved it)
- People on Twitter and Instagram who know me as KicksOnFire EIC
- D-List celebrities
- People who work for other brands
I’ve had people ask me for Yeezys of all kinds for years. It’s not all that surprising to get an email, DM or text every few days from somebody I haven’t heard from in a while asking when either the next pair is dropping or if I can get them on a seeding list despite not having any sort of influence or notoriety. In some small way, it’s cool that other people think you’re in the kind of position that allows them the chance to get Yeezys – even if that’s far from the truth – but one thing I’m sure of is that this was not the case when Kanye was at Nike.
The adidas Yeezy 350 Boost is different from Nike Air Yeezys and even the adidas Yeezy 750 Boost. Yes, their arrivals were hyped to the moon and any sneakerhead would love to own them either to have for bragging rights or to resell down the line. The random non-sneakerhead might ask about the Nike Yeezys or the 750, but it was more of a passing curiosity than actual interest. But it wasn’t just sneakerheads pining for a pair of the 350 Turtle Doves and every pair since, it was the blue ocean.
The Nike Air Yeezys had a fashion tilt to them to be sure, but they were unabashedly a Nike product and that comes with all the “athlete” connotations that go with it. The adidas Yeezy 750 might be popular as hell, but they’re not the most versatile shoes in anybody’s collection. Those products were targeted to very specific audiences who ate up whatever limited pairs that were available. They weren’t for everybody.
The joke is that adidas Yeezy Boost 350 are adidas Roshes, but therein lies the appeal. They might be afterthoughts now, but the Nike Roshe Run/One was a breakout hit for the swoosh because of their simple look, comfortable feel and budget-conscious price. If you can find them, the inviting Primeknit upper, the loose fit and the comfortable Boost cushioning made the Yeezy Boost 350 was “cool” in a way the Roshe never was. They’re certainly not “dad shoes” like what the Under Armour Curry Two Chef became. The Turtle Dove was perfect for the summer (releasing them in June probably wasn’t a coincidence), but they could also be worn in the fall, summer and spring (the other 350 colorways like the Pirate Black and Moonrock were equally versatile). The lack of obvious adidas or Yeezy branding also contributed to the shoe’s appeal especially to those who loathe the habit of repping brands. A sneakerhead might not think twice about wearing Nike or adidas from head to toe and looking like a giant billboard, but most people aren’t like that.
Sadly, not everybody can get a pair of Yeezy 350s, but everybody can pull off wearing a pair of Yeezy 350s. And those that couldn’t buy the 350s ended buying Ultra Boosts, NMDs and even the recent AlphaBOUNCE Motion Capture colorway that had more than one person asking me if those were the “new Yeezys”. The Yeezy 350 transcended and made people pay notice to other things adidas had to offer that were similar and arguably better. Maybe the Ultra Boost and the NMD were going to be crossover hits regardless of whether or not Kanye wore them, but the combo of Primeknit and Boost was popularized by the Yeezy 350 did more to attract than detract.
The future of the Yeezy Boost 350 is brighter than anything else Kanye and adidas has coming down the line. At some point, they have to become general release kicks like most Jordan retros and sit on stores for anybody who wants to buy them. It’s bound to happen as long as Kanye doesn’t go full Kanye and burns bridges like he did at Nike. As we all know, Kanye wants to be the guy that shocks and awes like he when he dropped the
visuals music video (I’m old, dammit, it’s music video) for “Famous” but he also wants to get to Ralph level and all that entails, including outlet stores at Ontario Mills. One way to do that is make his most transcendent shoe available to everybody. Because you know, it’s nice to want things…