Kanye West has worn a lot of different sneakers throughout his time in the spotlight and we take a look at 15 of his oddest footwear choices over the years.
By no means are we saying that any of these kicks are wack or not highly rated, but Kanye has achieved a certain level of expectation when it comes to what he wears out in public. With that said, it’s interesting to see some of the kicks ‘Ye rocked back in the day during The College Dropout years, as well as the times he chose to wear supper affordable options such as Vans or Converse Chucks.
Air Jordan Spiz'ike "Grape"
Look, we’ve been proponents of good Jordan Spiz’ike colorways for a long time now. When done right, they can genuinely be a dope shoe that stand on it’s own as more than just a “hybrid.” But the “Grape” colorway Yeezy rocked a few times? Definitely not one of our favorites. Which makes it all the more surprising that Kanye donned these as many times as he did.
Air Jordan Spiz'ike "Fresh Since 1985"
Forget the Grapes, this is the kind of Spiz’ike we love. The “Fresh Since 1985″ colorway, drawing heavy from the Black Cement IVs, is by far one of the best colorways the silo has ever seen. But what puts it on this list is the simple fact that ‘Ye is wearing Spiz’ikes. We didn’t see that one coming!
Ato Matsumoto Cow Hide Boots
We all know Kanye West stays putting folks on to brands they’ve never even heard of, and we’re no different. No lie, but prior to Yeezus rocking these wild strapped-up Ato Matsumoto Cow Hide Boots, we’d never even heard of the brand. Not that they’re a terribly ugly shoe. But, truth be told, we’re not feeling the exaggerated straps on these.
Ato Matsumoto Cow Hide Studded Boots
And while we actually did like the colorway on those pre-Red October Ato Matsumoto Boots, we can’t say the same when ‘Ye dropped the red in favor of the studded version of the silo. Perhaps this high fashion is over our heads here, but this one is a hard pass.
Geoff McFetridge x Nike Vandal
A lot of people forget about these Vandals, but not Yeezy. A 2003 collabo between Nike and LA-based artist Geoff McFetridge brought us the game-changing wear-away layered design. Long before the “Lance Mountain” Jordans or “Statue of Liberty” Dunks, these Vandals showed us the way. And while we actually love the shoe itself, it’s surprising to see Kanye rock these gems on the pages of Complex back in 2005.
'Tan' Combat Boots
Okay, so maybe rocking combat boots with your Saint Laurent jacket is perfectly “Kanye.” Let’s be real, the boots are probably another crazy high fashion label that he hasn’t put us on to yet. But when looking at ‘Ye’s history of footwear choices, seeing him rocking these high cut combat boots alongside high-end couture just looks odd. Or maybe we just don’t get it yet.
Nike Air Flight '89 "True Blue"
These “True Blue” Nike Air Flight 89s are a clean shoe and we really like them. However, they’re something of an odd choice for a guy like Kanye: a general release! While ‘Ye’s usually draped up in some uber-limited ish, it’s always odd to see him rocking stuff you can frequently catch on the sale racks. See? Celebrities, they’re just like us!
adidas Pure Boost
It’s certainly not odd to see Kanye in adidas sneakers these days, so this is strictly a selection based upon performance in regards to the chosen activity. We’ve professed our love for the revolutionary cushion game that is adidas Boost, so there’s no hate here. But, seeing Yeezy lace up his Pure Boosts while hooping had the internet going nuts. Gotta watch those ankles homie!
Vans Slip-On "Checkerboard"
As we’ve pointed out here earlier, Kanye’s shoe game is on a level all of it’s own. So much so that when your boy Yeezus rocks something the rest of us plebes have such easy access to, it’s considered an oddity. Like back in 2006 when he slid in to some classic “Checkerboard” Vans Slip-Ons.
Neil Barrett Baseball Boot
With as many different sneakers as Kanye’s has at his disposal, there just has to be some misses, right? Look, these neon Neil Barret joints aren’t horrible. We know that Neil Barret makes crazy high-quality product, but when compared with ‘Ye’s illustrius footwear portfolio, these just don’t make the cut for us. Rarely has such a bright shoe been so dull.
Asics Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66
This is another instance where what’s being worn isn’t what makes it odd, it’s who is wearing them. This one had us cracking up because it proves that, back in 2003, prior to The College Dropout changing the game, Kanye was just another swaggy rapper. A human being, if you will. And here he is, on a promo shoot, rocking some Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66s. Ahh, the internet is a wonderful place sometimes.
Nike Alpholution "Carbon Fiber"
See? This is how you know Kanye’s got good style. Sure, he’s often caught in super-limited, exclusive, or prohibitively expensive kicks. But, there are also plenty of instances of him rocking dope shoes that aren’t on the hypebeast collective radar. Like these “Carbon Fiber” Nike Alpholutions he rocked back in 2010. These are clean!
Creative Recreation Cesario
Another one from The College Dropout-era vault, here is ‘Ye rocking the Creative Rec Cesario. Look, this isn’t intended as a knock on Creative Rec. But, how much you think you’d have to pay him to rock these in a magazine shoot in 2015?
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star
In yet another instance of us doing a double take, here we have Mr. West rocking the iconic Chuck Taylors. Now, if/when we rock Chucks, it ain’t even worth the ‘gram. But when Kanye wears Chucks? That’s definitely more memorable…and something you don’t see everyday.
Speaking of iconic classics, does it get any more clean and subtle than a pair of white/white Vans Eras? We love the simplicity of the silo and apparently, Kanye does too. He’s rocked them quite a few times publicly, most often while donning all white himself. It’s interesting that for a guy with an endless sneaker closet, when he’s going for the simplicity of an all-white sneaker, he grabs his $40 Vans. Odd? Maybe. Awesome? Definitely.