If you've ever gone shoe shopping, you've probably had to ask yourself, "Why are Yeezys so expensive?" The standard Yeezy is $300 or more, while special editions like the Nike Air Yeezy 2 'Mismatch' Sample signed by Kanye West cost an insane $50,400.
Well, there are a few reasons that Kanye West's line of sneakers comes at a hefty price tag and even more reasons why there are plenty of consumers who don't bat an eye at shelling out $300 or more for a pair. Even though Adidas cut ties with West after extended controversy, the shoes remain popular.
That's why there are other consumers who dearly love these sneakers but refuse to part with this much cash for a pair of shoes that they're likely to wear out in a year or two.
Well, that leads to the very important question: "Why are Yeezys so expensive anyway?" How are they that much different than a normal pair of shoes?
It's a question we've been asked a lot, and it took us a bit of research to find the answers to it. As you might expect, it's not just one reason. West's popularity as a rapper and producer (which has waxed and waned) isn't the only influence. Here is what we learned.
When creating this in-depth list and examining the reasons why Yeezys are so expensive, we did a lot of research. It's important to us to get the accurate and meaningful data you need to understand buying trends like these and get the information that you need. Without this kind of research, your data would be ineffective, so we make sure to do the following when preparing all our posts:
- Read through lists of the most expensive shoes and examine explanations for their costs
- Check various social media posts to see what other people are saying
- Examine other, more in-depth sites to gauge the general opinion towards Yeezys and Kanye West
- Regularly update our post to ensure that it provides accurate information
- Highlight important facts and ideas, such as sociological buying trends
Reasons Why Yeezys are So Expensive
As you might imagine, a pair of shoes isn't regularly sold and bought for $300 without there being a good reason or two behind its success. After all, Adidas made over $350 million selling this shoe last year, which makes it one of the most popular shoes on the market today. Let's take a deep dive into the reasons to help you get a better understanding of the forces at play here.
1. They’re Designer Shoes and Aren’t Meant to Be Cheap
Let’s be frank here: Yeezy sneakers were not intended to be a run-of-the-mill shoe that you can get for $25. Designer shoes are specifically set up to be more expensive and to be, in essence, a status symbol. If you can afford a pair of Yeezys, the idea states, you’re making good money.
Let’s not forget that Kanye West was the shoe designer who came up with the initial idea for the Yeezy line. As a former billionaire before his string of controversies, West is still a very rich person, one who appreciates and understands the importance of looking good.
According to West, he didn't have any intention of making the brand so expensive that people couldn't afford them. Instead, he wanted to give the average person a sneaker that was genuinely high-quality and a high-end designer accessory that had a higher value than the average sneaker.
Designer shoes like the Yeezy typically have higher-quality materials, better workmanship, a more fashionable design, and a brand that sells. That last point is more important than anything else here: branding is everything in the designer shoe world.
Furthermore, the price for these shoes is roughly half of what some of their more high-end designer counterparts run for when compared with similar models. So, it could be a lot worse for fans of Yeezy sneakers. But how well do these explanations hold up?
2. Does This Explanation Make Sense?
It’s understandable that people would be on the fence about buying a $300 pair of shoes. The best way to examine this debate is to check out what the real users of Yeezy shoes have to say. One poster on Quora pointed out that the Yeezy line ranges between $250 to $550 a pair.
This individual compared them to some of the other luxury sneaker brands based on quality, design, and comfort. They came to the conclusion that there isn't nearly as much work put into the construction of Yeezys as there is with the handcrafted variety that takes hours of labor to complete.
In this post, he pointed out that a comparison of the two doesn't come close to justifying the inflated price for Yeezys when compared to established designer brands. Does this automatically mean that Yeezys are overpriced? Well, other people seem to think not.
For instance, in a post on Reddit, someone interested in buying Yeezys who balked at the price asked users whether they were comfortable and worth the price. In nearly 100 posts, a vast majority of users stated that Yeezys were very comfortable, with only a few people saying they weren’t worth it.
In some posts, commentators stated that the Yeezy 380 was far more comfortable than the 350, stating that the latter shoe was “overrated.” However, many others praised the 350. So, it’s clear that there is some room for debate on whether the Yeezy shoe craze is worth the price.
3. Everyone Has Their Own Opinion on Why Yeezys are So Expensive
Obviously, everybody has an opinion that they’re more than willing to share, especially online. For example, a Reddit poster from 2019 stated that “Yeezys are ugly as sin” and that people who buy them are “dumb.” While that’s not very fair to say about people, it’s not an unpopular opinion.
Another Reddit poster had a very similar opinion and stated that they couldn’t understand why Yeezys are so expensive when they’re so unattractive. Then, there were posters that praised the shoe and its style. It’s interesting to see just how far people’s opinions differ on this subject.
So, when it comes to establishing the value of an item, it seems that consumers have widely differing opinions. The Quora contributor had a good point about the production quality of Yeezys. They’re nowhere near the highest-quality shoe on the market by that metric.
4. Social Media Impact
Furthermore, there are currently many social media posts examining Yeezy alternatives to help people find shoes that are similar but not quite the same. That said, there's another point of view that may help to explain why Yeezys are so expensive: it sets the trend for shoes.
According to RMK Shoes, Yeezys remain popular and so expensive because of an attractive marketing campaign that makes them seem appealing. A social media advertising campaign set up an exclusive release that not only made them seem fashionable but also in demand.
Furthermore, the first Yeezy release was very intelligently timed. When the Yeezy 750 Boost was released in 2015, it was the National Basketball Association's All-Star Week. This is always a very special Adidas release period and is significant for the brand.
As a result of this timing, the Yeezy line took center stage and became the preferred model by consumers. Furthermore, the Yeezy 350 Boost even won the 2015 Best Shoes of the Year award. This model helped define the sneaker culture of the decade due to this intelligent timing.
Even when the controversy surrounding West’s comment reached a head in 2022 and 2023, the Yeezy market skyrocketed. It had many people asking whether it was “right” to support the brand. The continued success of this brand makes it clear many people don’t care about West’s personal choices.
In the end, the Yeezy caught the zeitgeist of the shoe world and created a new brand that took over the market from the formerly most popular Jordan brand. It’s all about preference and demand, and the shoe world clearly still wants the Yeezy and prefers its unique style.
5. Limited Editions
If we're going to compare high-priced sneakers like the Yeezy and Jordan lines, then it's important to remember that other comparable brands, such as Nike, make limited-edition releases. The Limited Edition concept is one that has continually driven prices of sneakers up into the stratosphere of affordability.
For example, Nike’s Air Force 1 is a normally pretty affordable shoe, but limited editions of it have cost similar amounts to the Yeezy or even more. The concept of supply and demand is critical to understand here because, as the supply goes down and demand goes up, price increases.
What’s interesting about the Yeezy line is that supply remains pretty much limitless for the shoe while the demand stays high. As a result, Adidas can still charge a high amount for the shoes and get the money they want. Even better, they can sell a large number of shoes to many consumers.
That’s why, if you look at some of the prices that are charged for the other brands' limited editions, the Yeezy doesn't seem to be out of line in their pricing and, in some cases, even lower in price. Checking out SVD’s online store highlights many limited editions that cost lots of money.
Like with the Yeezy, you're not going to get these limited-edition shoes for bargain basement prices unless you choose to buy used. Some people do just that to save themselves money, especially with the Yeezy. In fact, the Yeezy has almost single-handedly boosted the shoe resale market.
But don’t forget what the old saying states: you get what you pay for when you buy cheap. Simply put, used shoes are notoriously low in quality in most cases because they’ve been heavily worn over the years and typically have major problems that make them not worth buying.
Regardless of this fact, the low numbers of limited editions have kept the demand high. As a result, when the supplies ran out, you could find Yeezys offered for sale by people who stockpiled and held onto them to sell for a much higher price. This caused the price to soar even higher.
The sneaker-flipping market has surged into heavy popularity in recent years, mostly due to the demand for Yeezy shoes. As a result, many desperate people have purchased them for far more and found themselves with $300 shoes that weren’t worth the $600 they spent on them.
6. Cult Following
Furthermore, occasional scarcity on the Yeezy lines has created a cult following that has driven the value of the Yeezy brand to be higher. It’s just part of the market reality: no business person is going to lower the value of a product to make it cheap if there isn't ample reason.
After all, they’re out to make money with their products. Since the Yeezy line was selling out like hotcakes, there was no justification for lowering the cost of Yeezys. In fact, it’s unlikely that the price will ever lower unless the demand for the shoe starts reaching lower levels.
Of course, there are consumers who will complain about the price and will even refuse to pay it. That was the risk Adidas made when it cut ties with West in February 2023: people were certain that the shoe would plummet in price and would remain unsold.
However, when you have hordes who are willing to pay the asking price, then the manufacturer has no incentive whatsoever to lower the price. It's just a matter of good business sense. Before cutting ties with West, Adidas increased production of the Yeezy to make them easier to find.
Of course, this hasn't lowered the manufacturer's suggested retail price for Yeezys. But it has made them more plentiful and cut down on the number of vendors who can sell them at inflated prices. This idea did help to fight the scalpers market and minimize the $700 asking prices.
Will They Still Be Expensive After the Controversy?
Ironically, prices are likely to be even more expensive now. However, people who buy them may be looked at quite differently these days. As fewer people buy them, the market size may shrink. As a result, each pair sold may rise in price. It’s an irony that Adidas has been fighting for many months.
Kanye West has been remarkably successful with his Yeezys designer shoe lines. They've been big sellers since their retail debuts in 2015. Here’s an important question to ask when answering why Yeezy’s are so expensive: are they really all that costly?
Well, they are high-priced but part of an exclusive line of shoes that has value in that exclusivity. Furthermore, they cater to a specific group and are marketed towards a clientele that can afford them. In fact, most people who buy them make more than enough money to do so.
By attaching the Adidas Kanye West brands to the sneakers, they created a high demand that, with all the other factors mentioned above, makes for an exclusive line of sneakers that are likely too costly for the average person but a common investment for the true shoe collector.
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Written by Liz Flynn
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