If you have been paying attention to Kanye West’s career over the past two decades, then you know that his name is synonymous with not only music but fashion as well. Since signing a brand deal with Adidas in 2015, Yeezys have become one of the most popular brands in the sneaker industry with powerful colorways, unique designs, and extravagant releases (much like Kanye himself). West and Adidas have dropped loads of ‘Yeezy’ silhouettes since the partnership began five years ago, and together they continue to evolve the brand, making sure every new release is better than the last. With the holiday season just a couple of weeks away, you may be looking to indulge in a little sneaker retail therapy. Here is your personal guide to the 20 best ‘Yeezy’ kicks to choose from.
Release Date: December 2017
Of course, we have to start with the pair that Ye claimed put his brand over Jumpman. While we can definitely debate the statement, there is no question that this colorway caused a frenzy upon its December 2017 release (these were nearly impossible to get ahold of). The ‘Blue Yebras’ are beautifully designed with a zebra pattern across the upper and a wintery appearance. The shoes are also incredibly comfy, complete with the boost cushioning that has become a must-have for Adidas lovers. These particular Yeezys remain a fan favorite and will make you want to ‘get your money right so that nobody can tell you nuthin.’
Release Date: December 2019
This is a hill that I am willing to die on. The ‘Yeezy 500’ sneakers rightfully belong on this list despite what other people may think. When these shoes were released in December 2019, it was met with a lukewarm reaction from ‘Yeezy’ diehards. Some were critical of the design, while others were skeptical of the shoe’s wearability. Like it or not, the ‘500s’ remain one of the most popular Yeezys on the sneaker market, and the hightop design and color resemble some of the iconic Jordan colorways. At $150-$200 (which is on the cheaper side for Yeezys), the solid black color can be paired with anything in your wardrobe. If you don’t like them, well, I’ll just ‘blame everything on you because you know that’s what I’m good at.’
Release Date: April 2020
Nothing screams ‘Enter the Matrix’ more than the ‘Alvahs’ shoes. Considered to be one the more ‘sophisticated’ Yeezys we have ever seen, the shoe was an experiment with Kanye and crew playing around with the shape, line, and texture. These sneakers have drawn comparisons to astronaut suits, and in my opinion, remind me of the early 2000s futuristic vibe that pop stars had during that time. If you are looking for a ‘cool’ sneaker, the ‘Alvahs’ are worth the pickup.
Release Date: December 2019
Welcome to the danger zone and step into the fantasy. You can’t talk Yeezys without mentioning the ‘Boost 380’ colorways. This shoe was named ‘Alien’ for a reason with its intergalactic design and features. The Primeknit pattern on the upper and the upgraded Boost midsole complete the design, providing comfort and style. If you haven’t already, get your hands on the ‘Yeezy Boost 380 Aliens.’
Release Date: February 2002
While this is a relatively new release, you definitely have to ‘pack these up and bring them back to the crib.’ Pulling from some of the older 350 models, the ‘V2’ brings back the heel tab from earlier models and has a translucent Boost cushioned sole and a grey ulterior. This specific silhouette was only available in Russia and Europe at the time of this release, so if you can snag these now, you might just have a rare Yeezy in your collection.
Release Date: March 2018
For some odd reason, this is another hit or miss, and I can’t understand why. While the ‘Calabasa’ sneakers don’t have some of the grand designs that we are used to from Yeezys, these colorways’ simplicity makes them even better. These sneakers can be matched with anything. The ‘dated’ look that people complained about is no different from the vintage Adidas shoes that just about every sneakerhead has in their collection. If you are one of the people turning your nose up at this shoe, please get over yourselves.
Release Date: November 2017
When the ‘700s’ first came out in November 2017, sneaker fans simply went crazy. The design of this colorway marked a change in the original ‘700’ design aesthetic, instead of transforming the shoe into more of a running sneaker. The grey and black suede overlays really complement the sneakers, and you can definitely play around with different lace colors to create a variety of looks.
Release Date: December 2015
I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t exactly see the light at first when it came to these shoes. They reminded me of a winter bootie, and I typically like my sneakers to look like sneakers. After a little bit of convincing, I came around and I have to say that these sneakers are actually pretty nice (I still think they are best suited for winter though). While there are different colors to choose from, you can never go wrong with solid black. It should be noted that these Yeezys are among one of the earlier models, so if you can get one, you may end up having a collector’s item down the line.
Release Date: February 2014
I know these aren’t technically Yeezys, but longtime Yeezy fans know that Ye worked with Nike to create some pretty sick colorways prior to the Adidas partnership. This included the ‘Air Yeezys Red October’ sneaker released in early 2014. This sneaker is actually considered to be one of the best Yeezys released to date. The hype leading up to this shoe was insane, with Kanye teasing the sneakers on the song ‘Hold My Liquor.’ The ‘Red Octobers’ are considered a national treasure, but if you can manage to drop the $12,000 needed to buy them, you will definitely be ‘photoshoot fresh and looking like wealth.’
Release Date: June 2012
Speaking of Kanye’s deal with Nike, another gem to come out of that partnership were the ‘Nike Air Yeezy Platinum 2’s.’ These sneakers are also considered a collector’s item, and had a similar build-up leading into their release as well. While not as pricey as the ‘Red October’ shoe, the ‘Platinum 2’s’ are still a pretty penny, so unless you are rolling around in money, it may be a while before you can actually purchase these. Sorry to be so heartless.
Release Date: March 2019
Back to Adidas. These colorways are very drip heavy with their clay upper, orange accents, and translucent stripes. The color patterns on this shoe are definitely eccentric, and the material is pretty high quality. The ‘Clay’ sneakers are well suited for Fall and Spring, and could definitely make for a good resell in the future.
Release Date: February 2017
Released right after NBA All-Star Weekend 2017, these sneakers are exactly what the name says they are. Literally modeled after a Zebra, the shoe sports a white-based Primeknit upper with black accents and a red stripe. The shoe also has a translucent BOOST cushion sole. The ‘Zebras’ remain the most limited Yeezy release, and can sometimes be difficult to find. So again you may have a collector’s item on your hand if you can get one.
Release Date: September 2016
The ‘Belugas’ are one of the best Yeezys ever created. Improving upon the design from the first model, the sleek earthy design and quality of the shoe are unmatched. The solar red stripe further complements the sneaker, making these ones a go-to shoe for all Yeezy fans. The ‘Belugas’ range from $700 to $1100, so the value in these could potentially increase over time.
Release Date: November 2018
You can never go wrong with a nice blue sneaker. Described as being one of the best Yeezy colorways so far, the ‘500 Salt’ colorway will have you feeling ‘smarter, better, faster, and stronger’ with its salt upper and midsole. Again this is a simple sneaker with neutral colors, and the durability of the shoe means that it can definitely last long term if taken care of properly.
Release Date: August 2020
I know this may be a little early to put on the greatest list, but the ‘Arzareth’ has the potential to be considered one of the greats in the future. The design pattern is absolutely striking on this shoe with its blue and grey prime knit upper, and translucent glow-in-the-dark cage overlay. Unlike previous Yeezys, the ‘Arzareth’ has an EVA foam midsole, and the monochromatic colorway means that it will work with just about anything in your wardrobe. The value of these sneakers is sure to increase as time goes on.
Release Date: January 2018
Welcome to the good life. Maybe I’m a bit biased because I love suede, but I feel like everybody should have at least one pair of suede sneakers in their closet. In my opinion, the ‘Crepes’ are a good choice because of the neutral taupe color. You can really wear these shoes any time of the year, and the low top silhouette means that you can either pair it with a casual outfit or something more ‘high-fashion.’
Release Date: April 2009
I’m going to flashback to Nike for a quick second. Not only were the ‘Air Yeezy 1s’ one of the best sneakers to come out of Kanye’s collab with the brand, but the design of these shoes are pretty similar to Timbs in terms of the color patterns and shape. These sneakers are an early look into the creativity Ye would showcase in some of his later shoes. The ‘Yeezy 1s’ run for about $3,000, so they would be a prized possession for any Yeezy collector.
Release Date: June 2019
Maybe it’s because Kanye is a performer himself, but nothing tops the reflective patterns Ye puts on his sneakers. I personally think these shoes belong on the all-time list because of their simplicity and comfort. The colorful designs are pretty cool, but these are the type of sneakers that you can still wear 20 years from now because of the solid black color. The ‘Black Reflectives’ are also a good pair for any first time Yeezy wearers. They’re simple yet stylish.
Release Date: November 2017
There was a bit of anticipation leading up to the release of the ‘Frozen Yellow’ sneakers. Rumors began flying about this shoe around Spring 2017, and fans finally got confirmation of the sneaker when Kanye was spotted wearing them on an outing. This shoe steps away from the softer neutral colors associated with previous ‘V2s,’ and the colorway is great for those days when you want to rock bold colors. Any Yeezy fan needs to add these to their collection at some point.
Release Date: June 2020
Imagine taking a nighttime stroll and randomly seeing a mini batmobile heading in your direction. Naturally, you would be alarmed, but what if the person driving was randomly handing out Yeezys? Well, that is exactly what happened in February of this year when Kanye gave people a sneak peek of the ‘QNTM Barium.’ While these are newer sneakers, because of the presentation, these have to be included in the list. All in all, the ‘Barium’ colorways are a solid shoe with their suede reflectives and a translucent sole. I definitely think we could see an expansion of this sneaker in the years to come.
With over a decade in the sneaker business, Kanye West has put out some pretty legendary sneakers. We all have our own shoe styles and preferences, but there is truly a Yeezy out there for everybody.