adidas made the power move to snatch Kanye West from Nike. They also made the power move to snatch three of Nike's top designers. And they continue to invest heavily in culture. And they were the first major shoe company to develop a shoe made entirely of recycled sea waste. And they have exclusive licensing with BASF on the product of their Boost technology which basically makes polyurethane soles obsolete.
It's been a good run for adidas, even if they still lose the PR battle. Their products, their advances in actual shoe technology, their commitment to culture and willingness to take gambles sets them apart from Nike. Nike is still the big kid on the block, producing some of the most iconic silhouettes on the planet, but adidas is making waves.
The latest wave from adidas is the adidas Yeezy Boost shoe. The shoe is a single knit piece attached to a full Boost sole. The result is the most comfortable shoe that I have ever worn. Many have scoffed at the design and how it is nothing remarkable or, worse, an adidas product meant to submarine the Nike Roshe.
As a person who supports both brands and owns many shoes from both major competitors, I have to throw my take in on this. I bought a pair of the Nike Roshe quite some time ago, because the design was simple and the price point was cheap. The Roshe full run of designs was on sale because it hadn't become a hit yet. The shoe was fantastically comfortable and ridiculously lightweight. It did have some downsides - I only had the shoe about 6 weeks before one of the "swoosh" symbols came undone and hung off of the shoe. Eventually, I tore it off. Also, like many other Nike shoe lines, the Roshe is branded as a running shoe which is comical. After about four weeks of running in the shoe, the knit upper had adjusted to my foot well enough that it was much too lose to take any corners on a track because the sole would awkwardly shift under foot. This may have been due to my stride, but it was an issue regardless of origin.
And the Roshe at first wear? Very uncomfortable over the top of my foot. Even a bit painful. It took about a week of daily wear before the shoe adjusted to my foot. But, some of these issues aren't totally different with the Yeezy Boost. The shoe runs large. It also should NOT be used for running, except maybe straight line running at more of light jog. Just... Don't do it. The shoe is amazing, but enjoy it for what it is and not what it is said to be. This is a total "streetwear" shoe. It stands out in appearance, it is supremely comfortable and fashion is paramount.
Boost. Changes. Everything. There is nothing about this that is not true. Boost is boasted about by execs at both adidas and BASF. Nike is lucky that the public is not savvy to sneaker technology revolutions or willing to spend $150-200 on a pair of adidas runners, basketball shoes or Yeezys. Very few people that I know have been willing to give Boost a chance. Each person that has tried it never wanted to go back to what they were wearing before.
I was lucky to come into these shoes - a friend reached out and was able to secure me a pair at retail. The current secondary market valuation of this shoe is somewhere between $900 and $1,200 for most of the pairs I have seen. Currently, mega-site Campless, one of the very best resources for eBay valuation on the resale of sneakers does not have the black Yeezy Boost listed. However, the "turtle dove" colorway of this shoe which released earlier this year is currently sitting at an average deadstock price of $828 per pair.
And that is what made wearing my pair such a difficult decision. Sitting on a highly valued pair of sneakers for trade or sale is a great way to score yourself between $300 and $2,000 in profit. But, I was hooked up by a friend who expressly was willing to help me out because he is aware of my "WEAR YOUR SHOES" policy. Out of the dozens of pairs of shoes that I own, only one pair has never been worn. That pair has not been worn only because I purchased it as a second pair for when I wear out the first pair.
The adidas Yeezy is really comfortable shoe. It's the best casual shoe I've ever owned because the material, the technology, the design and the comfort combine in an unmatched combination of excellence.
Photos and Words: Daniel Coughlin (@xvanwilderx)