The Kicks You Wear, Vol. 29 — We need more Ivy Park

This weekend didn't do Beyonce justice

Good morning! It's Monday! Welcome back to the Kicks You Wear! Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! Thanks for giving me a bit of your time today, folks. I appreciate it!

After you read this, do yourself a big favor and read the entirety of the letter from Birmingham Jail. It’s extremely enlightening — especially with all the bullshit going on in our country today. If you have Tidal you can listen to a playlist of his speeches. Its dope.

With that out of the way, let’s dig in. Read to the bottom! Big news!


Beyonce deserves more

(Photo by Maureen De Wit on Unsplash)

It’s safe to say that Ivy Park was a smash this weekend. Everyone went nuts trying to buy whatever they could from Beyonce’s new collection.

  • Adidas had a surprise presale on Friday and the merchandise sold out in a couple minutes. Everything was gone. Adidas.com didn’t have anything left for the actual launch date.

  • The launch date was pretty much the same. Within a couple of minutes, everything was pretty much gone at every participating retailer. Finish Line, Foot Locker, Shoe Palace, whatever. All gone.

I would definitely know. I tried to help my girlfriend cop the Sleek Super 72, the Nite Joggers, a couple hats and a dress. How much of that stuff did we get in the cart? None of it. Everything launched at 10 a.m. ET.

  • We spent the next 40 minutes trying to cop. I knew it was pointless — we lost. She took her first L. I kind of enjoyed that.

But in all seriousness, there were thousands of people trying to buy this that were just like us — shit out of luck. The hype was real. The Super Sleek’s tripled in value once they hit StockX. Legit still trying to find the apparel but it’s sold out everywhere. It’s insane.

Adidas hasn’t had this kind of energy in a while. This felt like a Yeezy SZN launch a la 2016 or 2017. It was a massive collection and it almost sold out immediately.

  • Obviously, the product was limited — that exclusivity factor is definitely in play here. But the only thing you could buy after a few hours was an Ivy Park belt. A BELT, y’all.

This was a massive deal. You could easily see a future where Ivy Park blows up for Adidas the same way Yeezy has. But there was one big difference that was bothering me. Kanye West had a Yeezy sneaker at launch. Beyonce didn't. There’s no Ivy Park sneaker. And that feels like a big miss.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Beyonce deserves a signature shoe and she deserves it right now. Not next week. Not next month. Not next year. Today.

  • Having a Beyonce launch was already big. If she had her own sneaker that came with it, that’s changing the game. A woman with a leading signature model for the #2 company in the industry. We haven’t had that since Rihanna’s Creepers and this would’ve been bigger.

  • Maybe that’s not something she wants to do. If so, that’s totally fine. But Beyonce has represented excellence in pretty much everything she’s done. It’s hard to see her not taking that next step here.

Time will tell us what’s going on here. There’s still time to get it done. This was a Spring ‘20 collection, so we could easily see her coming back for more in the winter. Maybe, if we’re lucky, she has a bit for us in the summer. But I’d like to see a signature sneaker come with whatever is next.

Also, if somebody has the Ivy Park hook up let your boy know. Because…uh…the way my household is set up…yeah.


Stop gatekeeping, y’all

(Photo by Henning Kesselhut on Unsplash)

Sneaker Twitter was outraged last week after newly-minted sneaker free agent Kylie Jenner posted a picture of her wearing the OG MF Doom Dunks.

  • For those of you who don’t know, the Dooms dropped in July of 2007. They created the shoe in partnership with the rapper MF Doom himself.

  • She also posted a picture in the “What The Dunk” lows and raised some eyebrows with that one.

Everyone is upset because we don’t know her intentions. It’s difficult to figure out if she has a genuine love for the culture or if she’s just wearing the shoes for likes on Instgram.

We have no idea which one it is. Like we’ve said before, that OG Dunk line is sacred. Wearing it means you’re apart of something — only a certain type of person gets, or even wants, this sort of access to the culture.

And that’s what’s bothering OG sneakerheads so much. Is Kylie Jenner one of those people? Here’s Complex Sneaker OG Matt Welty with more.

This is probably one of the last deadstock pairs in her size, she’s going to wear them once, and then toss them somewhere, never to be seen again. All while driving the resale price up. I get it, you want to flex for Instagram, get likes, get sneakerheads on your shit, prove your not-so-secret boyfriend Travis Scott that you wear his gifts. It’s cool. Just don’t front like this is your thing.

Totally get that thinking. Posing sucks. It always has. Earlier in the piece, he mentioned that Jenner has probably never listened to an MF Doom track in her life. He’s probably right.

That doesn’t really matter, though. Wearing what you want to wear is also apart of the game. If Jenner actually likes these shoes, then there’s absolutely no problem with her wearing them. Even if she doesn't, she bought then with her own bread. She can do what she will with them.

So lets say Jenner never wears the Doom joints again or whatever.

  • At best, she could give them up or donate them somewhere and they just get recycled. Let’s assume that doesn’t happen. They just sit in her closet forever. Ok. Fine. Sucks, but whatever.

  • There are legit sneakerheads who love this culture and STILL buy pairs to just look at them. They case them. Keep them boxed. Whatever. They just don’t wear them. We never comlain about those folks.

Gatekeeping isn’t good to do. It’d be fine if sneakers were still a subculture. They’re absolutely not anymore — this thing is mainstream now, fam. We’re here. Since we ARE here, being more accepting and inclusive of new folks is how you make it better.

Even if Jenner never wears those Dunks again she’s still done some good for them. People who have never paid attention to OG Dunks in their life might think those are dope. They might try to find the shoes Kylie had on and wear them themselves. That’s a win.

We can’t complain about people wearing what they want. If you’re truly in this for the love of sneakers, help them build that love up.

Each one teach one. All that corny shit. That’s real. That’s how we build the greatest community we possibly can.


The Vaporfly might be in trouble

(Photo by Tirza van Dijk on Unsplash)

Sometimes things really can be too good to be true. That could be the case for Nike’s Vaporfly Next 4% runners.

This shoe has been shattering records left and right and has become a staple for runners now because of how good it is. A few newsletters ago I talked about how they were actually impacting other runner companies and dwindling their numbers.

  • Essentially, it uses a carbon fiber plate in its foam sole to help the runner rebound better from one stride to the next. There’s a bit of a spring there and the resistance is reduced.

  • It’s been heavily debated over the last few months whether this shoe presents an unfair advantage through tech or if this is just a natural progression sneakers will go through.

Well, the debate is coming to a head now. The shoes could potentially be banned at the Olympics this year. A report from the London Times claims that the shoe is set to be banned by World Athletics — the governing body that determines what runners can wear in global sanctioned competition.

Things are still up in the air, though.

  • Another report from the Guardian disputes that piece, saying that instead there could be a certain limit or restrictions placed on Carbon Fiber tech.

  • If the shoes do end up banned, competitors won’t be able to wear them at future Olympic games, Fast Company reports.

This is, honestly, one of the most fascinating stories in sneakers right now. It’s eerily reminiscent of the LZR swimsuit debate that came after swimmers were shattering records in 2008 while wearing it.

The end of that story doesn’t bode well for Nike. The swimsuit got banned later on, so we’ll see how this one ends.


Don C has some stuff coming

Don C’s Jordan 312 collab wasn’t really doing it for your boy, but he’s got some stuff coming that actually looks pretty sweet.

I’m not a huge fan of the Air Jordan 2, but the last time he touched it up he did it justice. It looks like he’s got some more coming along with a little bit more.

(via @chicagodonc)

As another one of Kanye West’s conciglieres, we’ve had a bunch of expectations for Don C that it doesn’t really feel like he’s lived all the way up to — especially not after the initial AJ2 release.

Hopefully, we get some heat here.


What’s droppin’, y’all


Y’all. We fucking did it.

I have to say, when I first launched this thing I didn’t even know about hitting 100 subscribers. I thought that I’d cap out at, like, 70 or something and just keep doing this for my own benefit.

That would've been fine, by the way. This was created to be an escape for me. I love sneakers and I love writing about them. This is my thing, I guess. My area of “expertise” so to speak — even though there are much more knowledgable OG’s out there than me.

But, even still, y’all got me to 500 subscribers this week and I couldn’t be happier. Thank y’all so much for reading, supporting and engaging with me about a subject we all love. This is your newsletter as much as it is mine and every week y’all show up for me. I can’t thank you enough.

So, to show my gratitude as promised, we’re raffling off some sneakers. $120. Whatever you want.

Here’s what I’m doing: Every subscriber’s e-mail is being placed on a list that I’ll drop into a random draw. I’ll “shuffle” the drawing five times before picking a random e-mail out of my imaginary digital box. And that’ll be our winner.

The drawing will be on Wednesday afternoon. I’ll reach out to the winner on Wednesday to let them know they’ve won. On Friday, the winner will be announced here on the newsletter!

Thanks again! Good luck!!!


Growing with y’all has been love. Thanks so much for supporting your boy each step of the way. I’ll holla at you on Friday — except for our winner. See you Wednesday, fam.

Love y’all. As always, peace and love. Be easy. Be kind.

Signing off.

Sykes 💯