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VERSUS: Nike Yeezy > adidas Yeezy?

Date: October 11 2019

By: Sneaker Freaker

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Yeezy jumping over Jumpman will likely go down in history as the biggest and most controversial code switch in sneakers. 

Nike rescinded their athlete-only endorsement policy by releasing the Air Yeezy and Air Yeezy II with Kanye West in 2009 and 2012. The following year, the firebrand rapper, artist, and perpetual headline generator moved to adidas, sending ripples through the sneakersphere. 

It's Nike Kanye VERSUS adi Kanye! Who do you think reigns supreme? Cast your vote below! 

Gabe

The Air Yeezy and Air Yeezy II? Are you really going to argue that these designs carry more weight than Kanye’s adidas catalogue?

Minh

There were many cataclysmic events in the sneaker sphere during the 2000s: Nelly stomped in his Air Force 1s, Fat Joe licked the soles of his Jordans, and Kanye West dropped the Air Yeezy and Air Yeezy II, and also bum-rushed Taylor Swift.

Gabe

I’d argue bum-rushing Taylor Swift is actually more culturally relevant than the Air Yeezy at this point. He wasn't even wearing them when he did it. You’re not actually still searching for Air Yeezys online are you? 


Minh

Searching? I've got DOUBLES of all of them. Whether or not you believe me, that's up to you... Let me postulate why the first Air Yeezy is great. Like his eclectic sampling on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Ye's archive knowledge runs deep. Contrary to popular belief, the midsole actually references the 1987 Air Assault, not the Air Jordan 3.  The Air Yeezy’s glow–in–the–dark sole is one of the most tasteful applications of the effect. The colourways: Zen Grey, Black/Pink, and Net — only Ye could have conceived these omnipresent colourways over a decade ago. Not relevant? Did you see the 'Net' Lebron 15s earlier this year that nuked the court?

Gabe

Referenced, or stole? You want to talk archive? Take a look at the front cover of his 2002 mixtape Get Well Soon. What’s that on his feet? Yep, it’s the adidas Marathon TR. Let’s not forget about his unreleased 2006 Rod Lavers… Kanye's been an adi head since way back.

Minh

Definitely referenced. He's been a sneakerhead since before the 90s, and paid tribute to the Air Tech Challenge II midsole on the Air Yeezy II. He’s simply paying homage to the pioneers before him.

Nike Air Yeezy Ii Sketch
Nike Air Tech Challenge Ii Og
Gabe

Then you can’t deny that the new adidas designs are totally free from restriction. They are original designs. Nike was too elitist for Kanye — and his fans. Who was even able to get their hands on a pair?!

Minh

The hunt for Kanye's Nike-era sneakers is cult-like. It's resulted in many sleepless nights on eBay. The thrill of the chase never goes away, because they're properly rare. It’s fine that not every single person was able to get a pair — it’s not a sneaker for the masses. The Yeezy BOOST 350 V2? Keep it G — don't wear no 350s 'round me.

Gabe

Well, that was Kanye’s choice to ‘democratise Yeezy’. He made them available for everyone, not just Nike’s exclusive club. I’m sure Kanye could hype any of his adi silhouettes if he wanted, but he doesn’t need to. That’s why we have Yeezy Supply: ‘Everybody who wants to get Yeezys will get Yeezys.’ 


Minh

Thank you Kanye, very cool! If you couldn't tell, I'm being sarcastic. I think you'll find Kanye's most daring musical work occurred with his Nike projects. Our minds were blown when we first saw the Air Yeezy samples on his feet during 2008’s Glow In The Dark Tour. Then, born out of the Air Yeezy's afterglow, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy released, and became a modern masterpiece.

Gabe

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is a masterpiece, I'll give you that, but just look at how prolific Kanye became after he signed with adidas. The Life of Pablo, Ye, the production work for Pusha T and Nas among others. On the sneaker side, we got 350s, 500s, 700s. If he releases the basketball line along with Jesus Is King, then MY LIFE IS COMPLETE.

Minh

Speaking of Pusha T, did you catch that line on ‘What Would Meek Do?’ Quote: ‘I won’t feel right until I feel like Phil Knight.’ Even years into his adi deal, he still pines for the Swoosh. The eagle-eyed spotted some Off-White Prestos in his rotation last year. And the Yeezy Basketball line? It's had as many delays as the album previously known as Yandhi. The NBA were allegedly going to ban the shoes because of their distracting reflectivity… 

Gabe

Of course the NBA wants to ban the Yeezy Basketball. GOOD. Ye's here to f*** shit up, remember? There's no way he was going to disrupt with Nike the way he is with Three Stripes. You could smell the Nike boardroom just by looking at the Air Yeezy II...

Minh

Nike wouldn't put out anything short of perfection, especially for a true artist like Kanye West. We don't even know if adidas, Kanye and YEEZY MAFIA are in cahoots. Who's actually behind it all? What are the facts?

Gabe

You want some ‘Facts?’ Yeezy just jumped over Jumpman. adidas has the best Yeezy shoes of all time. OF ALL TIME!

The Results 

Voting is now over. As we always do with VERSUS, we put the vote in your hands to determine a winner. The Result? 64% of you felt that Yeezy's collaborations under Nike were more impressive! 

Keen for more VERSUS? 

This is how you felt about Kanye getting control of adidas...

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