Animal prints are usually seen on women’s dressier shoes—boots, stilettos, pumps, and the like. Other shoes, particularly sneakers, don’t venture into that territory as much in fear of looking tacky and over-the-top. In recent years, however, more and more sportswear brands are breaking this rule in terms of designing their newest sneakers. Animal prints on sneakers used to be unheard of and a bit cliche, but Adidas and rapper-turned-designer Kanye West proved otherwise with their Yeezy Boost 350 V2 “Zebra” trainers.
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Release date: February 25, 2017
Kanye West’s Yeezy line has been the talk of the fashion crowd for quite some time now. The brand is breaking fashion and retail standard rules left and right with the help of German sportswear giant Adidas. One of their most recent releases that did such, the Boost 350 V2 “Zebra” sneakers, was released on February 25, 2017, through select Adidas stores. It was during the Fall 2017 Fashion Month and each pair costs around $220.
Zebra print may normally be seen as tacky and garish, but Kanye West and Adidas’ new take on it for their Yeezy sneakers is a totally new spin. Their own interpretation, painted on fine primeknit uppers, are faded and almost graffiti-like in its overall graphic impact. They also offer the print in different hues, namely baby blue and gray, for more variety. The once over-the-top print now looks like a sleek design feature on a very streamlined pair of shoes. Moreover, because of the upper material and the heel tap on the counter, the shoes are easy and comfortable to slip on and off as one pleases.
Knit has become a go-to material for a lot of sportswear brands, particularly when constructing sneakers. While the wooly fabric is great for winter garments, it’s not always the most ideal for sneakers. A lot of people who’ve bought and worn the Yeezy Boost 350 V2 “Zebra” shoes often find their pair stained. While the shoes are reportedly easy to clean, they’re also quite challenging to maintain. Add to that the fact that the toe box is quite narrow, making the pair uncomfortable for wide-footed consumers.