Sneakers
From the ground up

In early January, Kanye West was spotted in Calabasas rocking a never-before-seen silhouette, which the internet quickly dubbed the YEEZY Runner. In July, West teased the pair once again while hooping with 2Chainz at UCLA. There was hardly any verified information about this sneaker, but certainly lots of speculation.

Not long after, adidas and Kanye West finally confirmed the sneaker during the YEEZY Season 5 presentation in New York City, before the “Wave” Runner released on the weekend as a surprise drop from YEEZY Supply. It doesn’t require much scrutiny to see that the shoe’s design is vastly different from other Kanye West-designed, Boost low-tops like the 350 or 350 V2. As with so many of West’s creative efforts, nonbelievers started with derisive comments, and before long, lazy comparisons were being made between the YEEZY Runner and sneakers like the Nike Air Monarch or adidas Temper Run, as well as the Balenciaga Triple-S.

But here in the Highsnobiety offices, our Creative Director Edward Chiu was quickly reminded of another sneaker, as it’s far more likely that West took cues from his partners at adidas as opposed to Nike. Our eyes were quickly drawn to the YEEZY Runner’s grooved sole unit, which bears some resemblance to that of the adidas EQT Solution, a sneaker from the mid-1990s.

Semblances of adidas’ triple stripe motif are imagined as rounded brush strokes that stretch across the midsole of each, most easily identifiable when viewing the silhouette laterally. There’s no doubt that ‘Ye has been given access to the extensive adidas archive in Herzogenaurach during his stint with the German sportswear brand, which was inked in 2013.

The new sneaker leans towards ’90s running aesthetics, so we’d place our bets that the adidas archive informed this design in one way or another. It’s more than likely that West drew inspiration from a number of places, but when glancing at the midsole of the EQT Solution and the YEEZY Runner, it’s hard to miss the similarities.

Stay posted as more colorways of the “Wave” Runner become available. If you like the look of the Yeezy “Wave” Runner, but missed the online release, you can shop other vintage adidas models on eBay, like the EQT Vapor Extreme and the EQT Vapor FYW.

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