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GQ once dubbed the Yeezy Boost 350 the coolest shoe on the planet that no one looks good in. The sneaker has an outlandish shape, wild sole, and peculiar lacing design that completely circumvented the need for a tongue. Kanye West endorsed the shoe, and from the moment the first pair hit the market in 2015, sneakerheads have been vying for ways to get their hands on them. In fact, the June 7 release of a reflective edition of the Yeezy 350v2 solid out in minutes and brought down several shopping websites in the process.

West followed up the success of the 350 with a few more style options; one more outlandish than the next. The Yeezy 700, for example, might be the ugliest shoe ever made. It embodies everything that is wrong with footwear, but fans still fell for them. So, what exactly makes the Yeezy line of shoes so appealing to the masses?

Why are Kanye West’s Yeezy sneakers so popular?

Kanye West caught some severe backlash back in 2018 for suggesting his company was on track to become a unicorn in the next year. According to Business Insider, a unicorn is Silicon Valley speak for a company valued at over $1 billion. West upped the ante even further by suggesting eventually his Yeezy brand, which works in conjunction with Adidas, would be a decacorn (a decacorn is a business valued at over $10 billion).

Finance experts argue that the company is probably not a $1 billion business. West’s exaggerations aside, the Yeezy brand is an incredibly popular one. In fact, it’s one of the most influential sneakers brands of all time, and its closest rival is that of the Jordan brand.

So, what exactly makes them so popular? Supply and demand would be number one. Yeezy sneakers are released in small batches, making them difficult to get. The limited supply means they sell out at a moment’s notice. The quick sell out also makes them more desirable. Secondly, the sneakers act as a status symbol because of the connection to today’s biggest stars. Everyone from Justin Bieber to Calvin Harris to Jay-Z have been spotted sporting a pair.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the shoe is comfortable to boot. Not only does the Yeezy brand get the backing of Adidas, but it also utilizes its Ultraboost technology. Ultraboost literally makes it seem like you, the wearer, are walking on little clouds.

Kanye is the perfect marketing tool

Kanye West is a character. Whether you love him or hate him, it’s obvious he has made a serious mark on pop culture. While his political stances, Twitter rants and celebrity feuds make him somewhat polarizing, everyone’s eyes are fixated on what he is doing – and wearing.

From t-shirts to sneakers, Kanye’s style begs to be noticed, so it makes perfect sense that his sneaker designs would be appealing. After all, he’s largely seen as a fashion icon; whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is hard to ascertain. Where a style icon goes, the masses will follow. Kanye has managed to spin that situation into a successful brand, and no one can blame him for that.

What’s coming next from Adidas and Kanye West?

The incredible success of the 350 v2 launches has buoyed the partnership. Not only is West planning several more releases with Adidas, but it looks like the rapper-turned-sneaker mogul has carte blanche over the design of his upcoming shoes. At least, that’s the way it looks when you see spy photos of the Yeezy 451 design.

The Yeezy 451 is slated for a late 2019 release and looks like a Yeezy 800 stuck in a spiderweb. The upper has a lot more bulk than the 350-style shoe, but the sole is where all the action is taking place. The massive midsole reaches far into the upper in a spider pattern that literally makes the sneaker look like it’s trapped. According to SneakerNews, the shoe was designed by Steven Smith, with input from Kanye.

The design is a strange deviation from previous styles. Those who don’t know that Kanye has the Midas touch with shoes probably assume this one will bring down the empire. It’s unlikely to happen. While fans are confused by the shoe’s design, they’ll probably still buy them in droves.