In a recent article in SLAM, NiceKicks’ Nick DePaula revealed that adidas and Kanye have plans to release athletic footwear under their collaborative YEEZY line, and I actually think it could be great for the industry.
Basketball (and sports in general) has for a long time operated on the premise that on-court footwear turns into off-court. Which makes sense when you look at the amount of technical aspects involved in athletic footwear. It doesn’t however, make sense from an aesthetic standpoint, especially when you take into account the now long standing appreciation of minimalistic casual footwear.
I have to be honest, and I never thought I would say this, but I actually think YEEZY Basketball sneakers could be just what the industry needs… but hear me out before you judge me for saying that.
With adidas’ heritage of producing highly functional footwear (German engineering), combined with a more palatable, stylish YEEZY aesthetic, they may usher in an era of footwear that is not only functional, but also extremely stylish and easily worn off-court. Unlike a lot of current performance models that look like you’ve got a robotic/transformer strapped to your ankles.
I’ve been fairly vocal with the fact I believe that recent athletic footwear has lacked the transcendence of earlier athletic designs. So perhaps re-thinking about the way athletic footwear gets created is just what we need to do. Rather than stripping down a Basketball style, maybe we should be building up a casual one? After all, with Boost being at the heart of most YEEZY models, they already incorporate elements of performance materials.
We should also be real here and realise that a lot of the so called “innovations” being thought up by the world’s top athletic brands are purely marketing tools and don’t actually increase performance in most cases. So it’s really not a far stretch of the imagination to think that YEEZY Basketball shoes could be just as functional as footwear that’s currently hitting that hard wood.
I guess the real question is; can adi and Ye create Basketball shoes that become real, time tested, performance footwear that is worn on a regular basis by high performing athletes, and not shoe’s that are worn on a purely special, almost gimmick basis? Because then, and only then, will YEEZY ever get a chance of jumping over the Jumpman.
Product Designer + Footwear Architect | Founder of @ConceptKicks | Instagram @MrBailey_ | www.MrBailey.co.uk
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