Running shoes, or ‘Runners’ have been a mainstay in urban culture since the 80’s, and this year has been no different, but why? This year, it seems like every other weekend, whether it be an Adidas NMD, a new Yeezy, or an Ultra boost, thousands of people gather around either their laptops or a local Adidas retailer to grab a pair. This craze seemed to happen overnight as some of the same people who were religiously tied to Nike and swore never to switch brands are now walking down the street in the newest Ultra boosts. This sudden fad for Adidas runners can be credited to one person and one person only, Kanye West.
When Nike and Kanye parted ways back in 2013, it seemed like so did many of his fans. Once he inked the deal with Adidas and started to produce apparel and footwear solely for them, the popularity for Adidas skyrocketed. Around this same time, Adidas launched their new boost technology and it claimed to be the future of footwear performance and comfort. Kanye West implemented this new technology on his new line of shoes , and thus the paradigm shift was starting to begin.
Initially, the Adidas Ultra boost was not receiving as much attention as Adidas had originally hoped and it wasn’t until Kanye West performed one song during a Bulls timeout that they, almost instantly, became a hit. During his performance he wore the triple white Ultraboost which came out a couple days prior and within an hour of him performing they were sold out on Adidas.com and can now only be found at second hand retailers like eBay for $300-$400 plus.
Seeing the Yeezy effect in full form, Adidas capitalized on this and created a number of sneakers with the boost material in hopes to recreate that success of what Kanye brought them. In doing so, they created another genre of sneaker and expanded their market to consumers who wouldn’t usually wear their product.
In an interview, Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer stated that sales were up 29% compared to last year and a large share of this is due to Pharrell and of course, Kanye West. Whether it’s because of its uber comfortability or the endless amounts of colorways you have to choose from, the boost technology is the new wave of sneaker innovation and has set the bar high for adidas competitors. It’s safe to say that Adidas will continue to make shoes with the boost technology in the near future