A new image leaked yesterday of the Adidas Yeezy 451, a sneaker Kanye West has been tinkering with for years without a proper release. Ever since samples began surfacing, sneakerheads have been divided on the aggressive, claw-like silhouette. Kanye was photographed wearing a pair while in Paris earlier this year for the Yeezy Season 8 runway show, but even that appearance didn't prepare us for just how wild the design has become.
As previously covered by a pair of baggy leather pants, we can now see the surprisingly flaccid collar that wraps around the ankles. It's unstructured, sock-like construction is a serious contrast from the rubber rib cage that extends from the sole to envelop the entire upper. We've never seen anything quite like it, and the oddity of it has inspired many jokes at its expense.
Get your jokes off — I promise not to go full "tweet roundup" — the laziest form of content — but there are a few I have to include. First up is the pork bun comparison, which may be the most apt for the 451's bizarre texture.
Then there's Russ Bengtson, ever a healthy sneaker skeptic, with an association from left field.
And finally, an image that appropriately utilizes sheer terror.
But what if it's good? — While I love the jokes, I seem to be in the minority of sneakerheads who think the shoe is actually good. When everything in the space starts to look the same, I welcome the beautiful monstrosity that is the Yeezy 451. It appears as if the 350 V2, which is played out, has been taken over by a parasite and become freakishly powerful.
Whatever the hell Kanye is doing out there in Wyoming, the grounded, earthy aesthetics are dope. These 451s seem right in line with the dome-shaped home he's working on. Rocking them and stepping into the cavernous domicile would feel like transporting to Tattooine — a vibe aided by the fact that the shoes kinda look like Lando Calrissian's mask.
Controversial is cool — I haven't been this excited about a Yeezy since the first run of 350s in 2015. I'd welcome the challenge of figuring out what to wear with the 451s. Any opportunity to freak it. Sneaker history is full of designs that were once hated and eventually became admired, like Adidas and Audi's co-created The Kobe and the Nike Flightposite 1 that Time magazine called the worst design of 1999.
Perhaps people will finally come around to the 451s. We still have an indefinite amount of time until Adidas even releases them. But even if people don't change their minds, I'll gladly rock the Chestburster 1s.