It was a year of giving for the brand with Three Stripes. As the popularity of their all-conquering BOOST technology waned, the brand looked to new markets and new technologies in 2018.
Team Trefoil was ambitious, unleashing possibly the biggest (and geekiest) pop-culture collaboration we’ve ever seen. Tapping into the supercharged world of Dragon Ball Z, they came through with not one, but eight collaborative sneakers across the latter half of the year.
As you’d expect, Kanye was also up to his usual antics, proclaiming that Yeezys would be available for everyone. He didn’t disappoint either — unless you’re a reseller, of course.
Who knows what 2019 has in store for adidas? 4D for everyone, maybe? We’ll have to wait and see.
adi Goes Anime
We’ve seen pop-culture-themed collaborations before, but there’s never been anything quite like 2018’s supercharged Dragon Ball Z x adidas collection. The hype reached over-9000 as we were fed rumours for months, before Team Trefoil finally unveiled the eight-sneaker smorgasbord to the joy of sneakerheads and weebs worldwide.
Utilising the brand’s newest silhouettes, the rollout kicked off with the ZX500 RM ‘Goku’ and Yung-1 ‘Frieza’, followed by the Deerupt ‘Gohan’, Ultra Tech ‘Vegeta’, Prophere ‘Cell’, Kamanda ‘Majin Buu’ and EQT Support ADV ‘Shenron’/‘Super Shenron’ to round things out. And, while the sneakers were distinctive, we’ll never forget the conceptual packaging which housed them — good luck trying to one-up that, Nike.
The colourways were polarising, the release was a little drawn out, and they also made a few glaring omissions from the lineup; but despite all that, you’ve got to respect the size of Team Trefoil’s Dragon Balls — this was a Super Saiyan—sized gamble that paid off.
'Yeezys for Everybody'
Kanye West has never been one to shy away from outlandish statements, and we have to rewind back to 2015 for this gem: ‘Everybody who wants to get Yeezys will get Yeezys!’ Enter 2018, and Ye’s vision has become a reality. After years of Ls, copping Yeezys has never been easier, with stock dropping in higher numbers than ever before.
Since debuting the sought-after Wave Runner 700 at the start of the year, we’ve seen plenty of releases sit on shelves, the Yeezy BOOST 700 ‘Mauve’ and the Yeezy BOOST 350 v2 ‘Sesame’ just to name a few. Admittedly, it’s been a bit of a shock to the system — this would’ve been unheard of a year ago. That being said, unless you flip ‘em for a living, you’ve got nothing to complain about, right?
Given the supply-demand nature of the sneaker game, this was another gutsy move from Kanye and the Three Stripes. Whether it pays off remains to be seen, but if the early peeks at the 2019 Yeezy lineup are anything to go by, we expect more money moves (and Twitter banter) from Mr. West in the new year.
The Futurecraft Looks Bright
The Three Stripes began to transition their revered 4D technology from grail drops to general release in 2018. Positioning themselves as the frontrunners in the 3D-printing footrace, adi announced they’d bring 100,000 pairs of 3D-printed sneakers to market before the year’s end. While the numbers haven’t officially been revealed, their efforts haven’t gone unnoticed.
We were introduced to a bevy of 4D drops throughout the year, including the ZX 4000 4D, Futurecraft 4D-5923, Y-3 Runner 4D, and the new Friends and Family Futurecraft 4D colourway, with a lot more to come in 2019.
There’s a definite likeness to the emergence of the BOOST juggernaut back in 2013 (only 100,000 BOOST-soled pairs were made in the first year of production, with a whopping 50 million produced annually at current). And with BOOST losing its bounce in recent time, the 4D revolution could be adi’s not-so-secret weapon for the sneaker war in 2019.