Nike Air Yeezy 2 Red October vs Adidas Yeezy Boost 350
Nike Air Yeezy 2 Red October
Produced in partnership between Nike and Kanye West, the Yeezy 2 Red October’s were released back in February of 2014. When they arrived, it was with a bit of surprise but a lot of fanfare as they had been delayed on several occasions. Unsurprisingly, they sold old straight away and when they finally arrived in the hands of the lucky few, some hit eBay, building up to crazy bids. I said crazy, but what I really meant was “insane”. $16m. In case you don’t realise, the ‘m’ after the $16 means million. 16 million dollars. It really doesn’t matter which way you say it, it’s just cray. Part of this hype could well have been down to the fact that it was rumoured (and turned out to be) his last sneaker with Nike, following some monetary disagreements with the rapper. Even now, the sold out sneaker will set you back thousands of dollars. That’s 10 or maybe 20 times the retail price. What it means is that the average person will never own a pair of these sneakers and you’re unlikely to even see a genuine pair on someone’s feet walking down the street.
Enough about popularity and price and on to the sneakers themselves. Produced by Nike with design input from Kanye himself, the basic shoe design borrows a lot of its elements from other models in the Nike range. For example, the sole is from the Air Tech Challenge II. However, the ridging on the heel is unlike anything else and is apparently reptile inspired, as is the snakeskin pattern on the back pieces. There are references to Egyptian culture dotted all over, for example, a depiction of the god Horus on the tongue, Egyptian hieroglyphics are used to spell out YZY under the strap and each of the aglets is obelisk shaped. Attention to detail isn’t just in the small things though and as you’d expect from Nike, the materials used are top class. Luxurious leather, ballistic nylon and soft suede combine to create a sneaker that really is very well made and due to its bright red colour, very distinctive! Not only that, but reports say they are comfortable and supportive.
Since they released, many other brands have tried to capture the design and essence and have failed miserably.
Adidas Yeezy Boost 350
More recently, we’ve seen the Yeezy Boost 350. When Nike refused to pay Kanye royalties on sales, he split from Nike (although he claimed it was partly over wanting more design involvement) and signed a deal with Adidas. More or less a year to the day later, the Yeezy Boost 750, a high top sneaker made of suede, with a full length boost midsole, was released and predictably sold out within 10 minutes. This, combined with the massive (over) hype of the Red October’s, created even more hype for the June 27 release of the Yeezy Boost 350.
The Boost 350s are a complete departure and a very different design. They’re a low rise sneaker that look pretty similar to the Nike Roshe Run – one of the biggest differences between them being fit; the Yeezy’s have a much softer look to them and less of a rigid body. Compared to the 750s they follow and even to the Red October’s, they’re much more of an every day sneaker (if you can get you hands on them of course). They’re much lighter in weight than the Red October’ with the soft upper conforming to the shape of your foot. They have a one piece primeknit construction and only one visible line of stitching on the front. There’s some canvas detailing on the heel, black YZY detailing on the inner side and a rubber sole that features Adidas’ boost technology. It’s thick enough to be very comfortable and something you can spend a lot of time wearing. Kim said they’re the most comfortable shoes she’s ever worn, so it must be true, right? Overall, they’re a much more conservative and traditional style sneaker than the Red October’s that you can wear regularly without making too much of a statement!
There wasn’t as much of an impact for the Yeezy Boost 350 as the Red October’s, that’s for sure, although that must have been to Kanye’s annoyance noting the hype he tried to put out for them, trying to get everyone from Jay-Z to Obama and even a random kid at an airport to wear them. That said, there’s still been a substantial demand when compared to other sneakers, partly due to the limited number of units for sale. Hype continues though as more colorways are added.
Except for a very special pair of Air Jordan’s, the Red October’s are the most expensive sneakers in history and demand for them far outweighed both what was expected and the sneakers made by Adidas since then. After the initial ridiculousness of a $16m bid, prices have dropped off, but they’re still massively inflated at 10 – 20 times the original sale price.
Demand for the Boost 350 has been lower and the prices reflect that, they’re a much more ‘reasonable’ $800+/-. Just like the Red October’s though, production units were limited, so supply is short!
Bottom line, they’re both very different sneakers. In terms of choosing, if you’re looking to make a bold statement, the Red October’s will do just that. With a vibrant, powerful design and bright red colour, they’re unique. If on the other hand you are looking for something more comfortable that you can wear more regularly but are still of the fashion conscientious mind set, the Yeezy Boost 350 may be for you.