It’s almost impossible to ignore the massive influence that Kanye West has had on the sneaker industry and the way its consumers choose their products. His footwear selections and tendencies were quickly imprinted into the collective conscious of his fanbase, but more importantly, they sent the industry as a whole back to the drawing board in an effort to bring products that aligned with his thinking. Of course, the pop culture megastar was just like everyone else when the sneaker culture was in its neophytic stages; he merely wore what he liked, steadily rotating Air Jordans, Air Max 1s, and Air Force 1s, but as his career began to “touch the sky”, so did his personal tastes.
Along the way to the state of “Kimye”, Kanye West has taken a liking to a number of different footwear styles and genres. From the Retro Nikes, he went on to A Bathing Apes, kicks from luxury brands, and who could forget the Polo Ranger Boots? It all culminated with his own personal sneaker design facilitated by Nike, and from there a groundbreaking sequel and a surprising alliance with the brand’s biggest competitor in adidas. Throughout this somewhat winding path, Kanye West has dictated what fashionable footwear is, and we’re breaking down this phenomenon by pointing out some of his sneaker choices that have made lasting effects. Continue on for the full feature and stay tuned to see where Kanye West takes the sneaker game next.