To the uninitiated, the insane demand for YEEZY shoes may seem inexplicable, and to some degree, it kind of is.

But these Kanye West-designed adidas YEEZY shoes are without a doubt some of the biggest status symbols in the sneaker world. In fact, an entire ecosystem has developed around the YEEZYs shoes craze, from Facebook groups and Twitter pages devoted to sharing leaked information, to secondary marketplaces that grow and thrive from the sale of YEEZYs as well as other adidas releases that benefit from the Kanye association, not to mention a flourishing counterfeit market for those that want the look, but aren't willing to fork over hundreds of dollars.

To help make sense of the ins, outs, and soles of one of the most popular shoes in the world, we've made a beginner's guide to everything from answering how much are YEEZYs to the YEEZYs shoes available right now and a primer on Kanye West's ongoing partnership with adidas Originals. We cover the history and background of the collaboration, outline some tips to help you buy YEEZY sneakers, and, of course, what releases to look forward to in the future.

Kanye West x adidas

After West's public fallout with former collaborator Nike, the rapper-turned-designer inked a subsequent deal with German sportswear brand adidas in the beginning of 2013.

After Kanye was spotted working with adidas Originals' Nic Galway - who also worked directly with other high-profile adidas collaborators including Raf Simons, Yohji Yamamoto and others - the rumor mill went into overdrive, fueled by pictures of Kanye making trips to China, presumably related to manufacturing. Once onboarded to adidas, West has been closely linked with the brand's head of Global Entertainment and Influencer Marketing Jon Wexler.

The resulting co-branded Kanye West x adidas YEEZY shoes made their eventual debut in early 2015, with the adidas Originals YEEZY Boost 750 making its grand entrance in a grey colorway. Since then, the collaboration has expanded to include many more colors (all hail the black YEEZYs) and footwear silhouettes (the 350, 500, 700 and the 950 boot), in addition to apparel collections for men and women, accessories, jewelry, and a Calabasas diffusion line.

West has also enlisted the help of footwear designer Steven Smith as one of YEEZY's lead designers working in the Calabasas office. Smith has previously worked for brands like New Balance, adidas, Nike, FILA, and others. Smith was also joined at YEEZY by former Reebok and Nike designer Christian Tresser.

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Over time, Ye's dropped the YEEZYs shoes more and more frequently, in line with his ambitions to provide YEEZY sneakers to everyone who wants them. In 2015, West Tweeted, "Eventually, everybody who wants to get YEEZYs will get YEEZYs. adidas has promised me that, because there’s so many kids that have wanted them that couldn’t get them.”

In September 2018, West announced the biggest-ever drop of YEEZY sneakers, stating, "On September 21 we're doing our largest drop ever of the 350 V2 Triple White."

Where to Buy YEEZYs

adidas typically makes official YEEZY announcements one week or several days prior, or in some cases the same week of the release date. Most commonly, these announcements are made through the adidas Originals Twitter account, then via retailers.

Often, insider information is leaked on social media weeks or months ahead of time, giving YEEZY fans a heads up on forthcoming re-stocks and colorways. These sources are not 100% reliable, but certain groups like Yeezy Mafia in particular have developed a fairly reliable track record when it comes to predicting drops.

If purchasing through adidas direct, registry on the brand's adidas app is recommended. Currently, app launch zones include the following select cities: Berlin, London, Milan, Atlanta, Houston, Las Vegas, Long Island, North New Jersey, Orange County, Philadelphia, San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. The app is set to be discontinued however, as adidas revealed, "In the coming weeks Adidas Confirmed will transition away from being a standalone experience and will move under the Adidas App portfolio of services, where users will continue to have safe and fair access to the most anticipated Adidas releases."

After signing up for the launch of a specific sneaker, randomly selected users will have the chance to reserve a pair in their size. Sneakers can be picked up from adidas flagship stores as soon as they are available. Head to the iTunes store to download the app for free.