Real Talk: The Yeezy BOOST 700 ‘Wave Runner’ is Still Kanye’s Ultimate Sneaker
The adidas Yeezy BOOST 700 ‘Wave Runner’ is still Kanye West’s ultimate sneaker. The ‘Wave Runner’ officially debuted during the Yeezy Season 5 runway show in 2017, after months and months of leaks and speculation.
Initially made available via Yeezy Supply pre-order with no prior warning, fans were forced to wait months before finally getting their hands on the sneakers, the ‘Wave Runner’ again sparking an interminable feedback-loop typical of a Yeezy release: Month One: ‘Trash.’ Month Two: ‘Need on-foot pics.’ Release Date: ‘Who’s got the plug??’
The initial $300 price tag had some sneakerheads vacillating. But slowly, the tide rose on the ‘Wave Runner’, and opinions shifted. By the time a restock was announced in 2018, everyone was clamouring out of the woodwork citing their own divinatory tastes – ‘I was a fan from day one!’
Once again, the Wave Runner was a masterclass in Kanye West’s prescient design language.
Not looking to trim the fat, instead basking gloriously in it, the Yeezy label fed the big-boy DNA of other heritage dad-shoe classics like the New Balance 990 and Nike Air Monarch, stuffing the silhouette with four different materials on the uppers, and a busty BOOST midsole that helped – alongside Balenciaga’s high-fashion behemoth, the Triple S – usher in a new era for the chunky sneaker.
Also a logical extension of Raf Simon’s generation-defining adidas Ozweego, Kanye West hit a home run with the Yeezy 700 ‘Wave Runner’, the design still arguably the purest rendition of the modern chunky sneaker phenomenon we’ve seen (for the record, Kanye West obviously felt similar. Anointing himself the new king of the dad-shoe, Kanye reactivated his Twitter account in 2018 to fire shots at Nike, posting an image of the M2K Tekno alongside the caption ‘YEEZY 700 VIBES’)
Wedged between Kanye’s Primeknit masterpiece (the Yeezy BOOST 350 V2) and more polarising modern models like the Yeezy 450 and Foam Runner, it’s still the OG ‘Wave Runner’ that ebbs and flows in the cultural milieu, the upcoming 2021 retro providing just another small indication of its perpetual relevance in the sneakersphere.
One of the rare constants in sneaker culture involves colourways, and the OGs are often the best. The Yeezy BOOST 700 ‘Wave Runner’ colourway is no exception.
While the Yeezy label are generally better known for their more earthy, tonal colourways, the team in Calabasas have recently decided to radically alter the scope of 700 colourways. Just this year, we’ve had gaudy renditions like the ‘Enflame Amber’ and ‘Sun’, the combustion of colourways marking a shift from earlier, more conservative models like the ‘Carbon Blue’, ‘Mauve’ and ‘Magnet’.
And that’s before we mention the 700’s rambunctious younger siblings, both the motocross-like 700 MNVN loading up with blinding ‘Bright Cyan’ and ‘Honey Flux’ colourways, and the alien 700 V3 going super-saiyan with the ‘Azareth’.
The modus operandi from the Yeezy label is clear: Broaden the palette. And while we appreciate the transition to colour TV (the rumoured arrival of a ‘Red October’ Yeezy Foam Runner has triggered a Kanye x Nike nostalgia-fest at Sneaker Freaker HQ), it’s still the Yeezy BOOST 700 ‘Wave Runner’ that hits the high water mark for composition, the expert cohesion of colour and shape a hallmark of Yeezy brilliance.
So get off Kanye’s damn lawn, this is a patch of dad-shoe turf that no-one’s stepping on for a long, long time.
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This feature was originally published on June 11, 2021.