Summary

We spent 7.7 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

7 reasons to buy

  • The Nike Air Yeezy provides superb comfort ideal for all-day wear, according to some video reviewers' opinions.
  • Several video reviewers admire the shoe's unique design as, according to them, it beautifully combines a lot of design concepts and details that were never before seen.
  • Among the shoes co-designed by Kanye West, this factor ultimately contributes to the Air Yeezy reaching its cult-like status, especially amongst sneaker and music fans.
  • This shoe incorporates the visible Nike Air technology that reduces the force of impact and provides ample cushioning.
  • The shoe's toebox, midfoot, and tongue have perforations for a breathable fit.
  • This pair is considered as a "Holy Grail" by most sneaker enthusiasts due to the limited pairs available, unbelievable hype, and great demand.
  • Several sneaker fans don't mind the Nike Air Yeezy's extravagant price tag and have added that it is worth the price.

1 reasons not to buy

  • Due to its super limited nature and high demand, resellers have jacked up the prices to almost ten times its original price, which most consumers find crazy.

Bottom line

The Nike Air Yeezy is one of the most popular Nike kicks in the sneaker scene due to its unbelievable hype and limited quantities. Aside from Kanye's reputation and fame, the shoe's unprecedented design is what sold the sneaker to most fans. 

Although considered by some as design overkill, the infusion of different elements into one working unit is considered genius by others. Its high-top profile allows for excellent ankle support while the visible Nike Air unit absorbs impact and offers superb in-step cushioning making it ideal for everyday wear.

Facts

Top: High
Inspired from: Casual
Collaboration: Kanye West
Collection: Nike Air Yeezy
Closure: Laces, Strap
Designer: Kanye West
Material: Air Sole, Leather, Rubber Sole
Price: $215
Colorways: Black, Grey, Orange
Size
Small True to size Large
See more facts

Expert Reviews

Experts are sneaker fanatics, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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  • First look | Seth Fowler

  • First look | Seth Fowler

  • First look | Seth Fowler

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The Nike Air Yeezy was released in men's sizes only. If you are a lady sneakerhead and seeking for this pair, you should go 1.5 sizes down from your standard shoe size. Nike used the traditional lace-up closure system reinforced with midfoot strap. Meanwhile, the ample padding found on the ankle and tongue provides superb comfort and style. 

A medley of numerous fashionable details, the sneakers in the Nike Air Yeezy collection exhibit a stylishly maximal design that reflects the trends during its year of release. Before the boom of minimal profiled shoes, the Air Yeezy is the epitome of trendy footwear. Its high-top silhouette coupled with a play on colors and textures, debossed prints, and glow in the dark outsole were deemed a unique and must-have shoe by sneaker and music fans.

People were seen rocking this kick with jeans or pants that are slightly bigger, but you can pair it with shorts or joggers for an athleisure-inspired street style.

  Nike Air Yeezy vs. Adidas Yeezy 750 Boost

Following Kanye’s controversial move to the Swoosh brand’s rival is the release of the Adidas Yeezy 750 Boost shoe. Although displaying the same high-top silhouette and midfoot Velcro strap as the Air Yeezy’s, the Three Stripe’s Yeezy 750 Boost clearly takes a step back when it comes to design details. Adidas’ rendition opts for a more minimal approach via plain suede uppers and earth-toned palette for its colorway options.

This apparent difference in Kanye’s Adidas Yeezy 750 Boost vs. Nike Yeezy also signifies the rapper’s transition from his late 2000 style to his early 2010 aesthetic - from bold and maximal to basic and minimal.

Styling-wise, the Adidas Yeezy 750 Boost is easier to pair than the Nike version for obvious reasons. Consumers could ultimately decide whether they want a more eye-catching, statement-making everyday ensemble via the Nike Air Yeezy or if they want a more versatile-looking kick to match with more outfit choices via the Yeezy 750 Boost.

This kick's upper is mostly crafted from a premium leather material for durability, while a suede toecap with debossed 'Y' print serves as protection against bumps. A leather Velcro strap with debossed ‘Y' pattern is placed on the midfoot for a lockdown fit and visual appeal. Perforations are placed throughout the shoe's toebox, midfoot, and tongue for maximum breathability. A transparent round lace lockdown is also provided to keep laces in place and visual purposes.

A pull-tab with ‘YEEZY' stitched on it is placed in the heel area as an aid when putting the shoe on. It also features stylized metal lace aglets for visual purposes. Its midsole houses the brand's visible Air unit, which provides cushioning and absorbs impact. Lastly, the pair's outsole is made of rubber and glows in the dark for grip and visual appeal, respectively.

The Nike Air Yeezy is the first collaborative shoe produced by the Nike brand that is not done in partnership with an athlete. This collaboration was done with Kanye West – a rapper, producer, designer and one of the most popular and most influential celebrities today. But before Kanye teamed up with Nike, he did a shoe with Japanese brand ‘Bape' called the Bapesta College Dropout. The success of this kick proved that whatever Kanye releases would be profitable.

Kanye and Nike officially teamed up in 2007 and started planning on their collaborative shoe's design. Initially, the project was only expected to run for months but later turned out to be a 2-year course before the physical product was launched. The design process lasted for about a year then Kanye debuted an all-black sample shoe during his performance in the 2008 Grammys, then finally on 2009 the Nike Air Yeezy 1 was made available to the public.

The Nike Air Yeezy 1's release was surrounded by a lot of hype both from sneakerheads and West's fans. Hundreds of people camped outside Nike stores in the wee hours of the day of release with hopes of owning a pair. This hype was fueled by the shoe's ultra-limited availability coupled with fans' eagerness and dedication to doing whatever it takes to cop this kick.

The Nike Air Yeezy 1 was released in three colorways: black, zen gray, net/tan, and retailed for $215. Today the shoe is continuously coveted by sneakerheads while reselling prices soared to over $1,000. In fact, the all-black sample shoe that Kanye wore to the Grammys is selling today at a whopping $250,000.

Nike and Kanye eventually released another pair in 2012 and 2014 called the Nike Air Yeezy 2 with the same, if not, more hype and demand as the first release.

  • The Swoosh logo in net/tan colorway also glows in the dark.
  • The shoe’s collar and tongue are padded for added comfort and cushioning.
  • The Nike Air Yeezy borrowed the Air Jordan 3’s midsole.

Comparison

Author
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Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sneakerhead turned sneaker industry expert that believes a good outfit begins from the feet up. His aunt currently isn't speaking to him for wearing a pair of kicks at his cousin's wedding. He spends most of his time trying to keep on top of the latest releases, hitting up his contacts and doing what needs to be done to secure his next pickup. Danny has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.

daniel@runrepeat.com