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A Sneaker-by-Sneaker Breakdown of Kanye West’s Footwear Influence

July 22nd, 2014 by / 27

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.

Filed under: Adidas Air Jordans Air Max 90 Air Yeezy Nike Air Max Nike Flyknit

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27 comments
WizardKellyyalI
WizardKellyyalI

I love to see ppl hate Kanye... To actually go out of their tie to express to ppl who actually like him how much they dislike him... YOU DONT HATE HIM! The opposite of love isnt hate, its to have no feelings at all... You boost his relevance by posting about him, clicking his links and dirtying his name... If you wasnt hating so hard youd actually see this man has the potential to be our Michael Jackson. His CDs will be the Records that the ppl of the 80s cherish, his interviews will be looked back upon and looked at as pure genius... Because calling someone crazy is realitive until everything they said has come to pass

Nikelife
Nikelife

Every page reads the same, "As Kanye himself says ..." GTFO with that shit. Aside from the yeezy colorway Kanye isn't responsible for anything. Retro J's are you fucking kidding me?! Addidas? They were on the rise way before Kanye had anything to do with them. Lux sneaks? Fuck you. Get off kanyes dick, he's nothing but an everyday leather pants, gray hoodie wearing bitch.

60Minutes
60Minutes

Ok the whole influence of the JB brand is a total insult I have never seen so much tooting of someones own horn and  SN juggling so hard. The fact is with or without Kanye west sneaker heads and the collection of sneakers will be relevant and still valid.

Biga173rd
Biga173rd

Kanye is a musical Genius,and the asshole we all love to see and yes he has influenced the sneaker game for the new generation. But me I never bought a pair of kicks,J's,Ect because of him. And keep in mind all of his Yeezy were limited. Also sometimes the shit that comes out of his mouth is jaw dropping but at the same time draws attention. Lately the shit he has been wearing i'm not feeling but to each it's own. 

sneaker freak
sneaker freak

I like some of kanye's music and I do think that he's had a major influence on the sneaker game and the yeezy's are a decent looking shoe but the sneaker game does'nt revolve around kanye and I don't think that every sneaker head or even hypebeast for that matter is checking for what kanye is wearing and then  running out to the mall to cop that same shoe so they could look like kanye oh and 10 thousand dollars on a pair of shoes that's just crazy to me like I said earlier in my comment the yeezy is a decent looking shoe but it does'nt look any better then alot of other nikes that are on the market  

Gold_Clouds
Gold_Clouds

All of y'all for one are just judging Kanye based off what the media puts out and your personal feelings towards him second how do you say he didnt impact the sneaker world.....I don't see why old heads are saying "he didn't effect me" of corse not cause this article isn't about his impact on old heads it's about his impact on sneakers today...y'all are putting too much thought into a simple article

macksvolume
macksvolume

Fuck it I got a problem with Kanye and @sneakernews now it's a damn Budweiser ad pop up every time I look at a different news article damn wtf is going on is it jus my phone or what but I try to press the x to close an I gotta press 5 times I have an iPhone 5s so I hav an updated phone if an ad has to come up on every article I look at I'm gon hav to find a new hypebeast site

Flyrio
Flyrio

kanye's impact in street fashion is undeniable, but gawwddd he is one conceited motherfucker. i like his stuff but hate his personality. imagine in real life, you probably have to suck his dick(figuratively) every 5 minutes to get in his crew.

JFresh_136
JFresh_136

He created hype on shoes that would sit on shelves otherwise. 

DutchShaefer81
DutchShaefer81

Kanye only gets burn cause his wife and Jay-z he is a bullshit ass rapper and those who follow him ain't sayin much either but that's my opinion! He gonna have a bullshit ass adidas shoe as well

agentace24
agentace24

While yes Kanye has helped the shoe game especially with his own line with nike to say he is the sole & only reason why people wear certain shoes that he states is a complete lie. Take for instance jordans, while I'm 19 I had jordans on my feet before I could talk which a lot of kids born in the 90s & early 2000s did as well. Kanye didn't help nor hurt jordan brand b/c so many of us already had pairs before we even knew who he was.

DutchShaefer81
DutchShaefer81

I hate how people think Kanye helped the shoe game, I'm old school and rocked kicks in 80's and 90's when shit was fresh! Rappers and rockstars way before Kanye was a splash on his parents bed sheets paved the way for styles of the future.....this hypocrite ain't show nobody a damn thing! Whoever wrote this article u probably 20 years old shut up

custom
custom

@WizardKellyyalI Kanye our Michael?, that's a stretch. Production wise he is revolutionary, but he is no where near being a GOAT even in his genre. He is extremely creative, nothing less and nothing more. He's talented and it's a shame that he knows it. 

AKPifstars
AKPifstars

Lmfao if anybody is suckling someone off to be in a "crew" your life is officially a waist. Lmfao

kcookrocks
kcookrocks

@DutchShaefer81 Actually Jay has been musically relevant the latter part of his career due to Kanye and Ms. Knowles. Just saying... 

Zach Trimm
Zach Trimm

There is no way you've listened to The College Dropout, Late Registration, or MBDTF if you say he's a "bullshit ass rapper" even his new stuff, take a listen to the lyrics and put your personal feelings about his personality that you really don't know because you don't know the man

kcookrocks
kcookrocks

To most OG sneaker connoisseurs Kanye has no relevance because we were rocking signature sneakers before we even knew he existed. But he has definitely had an impact the newer generation of "sneakerheads."

Hype sells. Kanye generates hype. So his contributions to Nike, JB and every other sneaker he had garnered hype can't be ignored.

Zevans95
Zevans95

Ofcourse there were rappers that had an impact before Kanye (run dmc) but since 2000 who has had a greater impact?

macksvolume
macksvolume

Thing is is that I hav never rock one shoe Kanye has hype yeezys look pink to me an when I brought infrared 6s I only brought them for the memories of j bone these hype beasts u guys r talkin bout May buy a shoe cause of a rapper not me if I don't like em shit I don't like em never rock shell toes they ugly as shit to me but cause run dmc wore them I knew a lot of guys who wore them so yeah rappers do effect the weak minded trend following hype beast

Flyrio
Flyrio

@FutureTomorrow_ @DutchShaefer81  Old heads on a sneaker release article be like "remember when you can just walk into a store and buy whatever you like, the game has changed." and now on this kanye article they be like "nothing has changed, rappers like kanye doesn't have an impact in the shoegame." well why is it so hard to get these shoes now then? like seriously some of these old heads are corny and self-contradicting as fuck. 

AKPifstars
AKPifstars

@WizardKellyyalI Lmfao definitely a "waste". I appreciate the correction.

EmilyReyes
EmilyReyes

@Flyrio @FutureTomorrow_ @DutchShaefer81 um not because of Kanye, no one lines up for Jordans because Kanye wears them, i'm pretty sure most people don't even know Kanye wears them.. and it's not like he wears every Jays like that just makes no sense at all NO ONE CARES.



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