adidas Yeezy Foam RNNR

Sneakers - June 26, 2020

The adidas Yeezy Foam RNNR Is Here

Pete Forester

Pete is a writer, host, and producer based in New York City. He is the Editorial Director of StockX.

After months of anticipation, the adidas Yeezy Foam RNNR has dropped. Just don't call them "Yeezy Crocs."

After months of anticipation, the adidas Yeezy Foam RNNR has dropped. Just don't call them "Yeezy Crocs."

People have been calling them the “Yeezy Crocs” and we get it: the new adidas Yeezy Foam RNNR looks more like a rubber clog than anything else, but speaks to the convergence of a number of trends in footwear, both old and new, that are still making their way through the industry, most notably: the metabolization of 3D printing technology, sustainability, and shuffling US-based manufacturing.

adidas Yeezy Foam RNNR References

We’re not implying that the adidas Yeezy Foam RNNR is made through 3D printing technology: it’s not. But the sneakers take obvious inspiration from sneakers that have hit the market through those technological advances. Most obviously, the adidas 4D Futurecraft. The Futurecraft’s immediately recognizable seafoam green soles sit under expertly and intricately knit uppers, but it’s the soles that demand the $400 price tag. Upon first release in 2018, the sneakers became one of the hardest sneakers to secure, demanding prices in the multiple thousands (those prices fell over the following years). The soles were expensive because they were hard to make, with thousands of tiny trusses printed millimeter by millimeter, creating a complex web of responsive cushion. While the Yeezy Foam RNNR is made through an injection process, the shoe borrows this aesthetic and learned tech to create a shoe that’s molded and responsive with compounds that are reactive while also being durable.

While the adidas Futurecraft inspiration is clear, it also almost goes without saying that these shoes likely wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the Nike Air Foamposite, the first sneaker of its kind. Injection molding, sculptural elements, and minimal piece construction are all famously attributed to the Foamposite. So even if the look of the Yeezy Foam RNNR is reminiscent of Croc clogs, if anything, the Yeezy Foam RNNR is less of a Yeezy Croc and more of a “Yeezy Foamposite” – the names are even remarkably similar.

Manufacturing Challenges in 2020

When the adidas Yeezy Foam RNNR was first introduced by Kanye West and sneaker designer Steven Smith, they announced that the sneakers would be made with a combination of algae and EVA foam. You know EVA foam, it’s the most prevalent material for making sneaker soles. It’s on everything. But like all plastics and plastic derivatives, it is not good for the environment. While it would be better to leave the material in the past, we’re not quite there yet. But we can reduce the amount of EVA per use by blending it with sustainable materials like algae, which is a veritable unlimited resource.

Back in 2015, adidas went hard into the development of “Speedfactories” in the US and Germany, but less than five years later those factories are being shuttered and moving to Asia. Sneaker production in the US is expensive and labor-intensive, making it hard to keep those processes there and while the prototypes of the adidas Yeezy Foam RNNRs were made in the Atlanta factory, it seems production may have likely left those shores. The construction of the shoes, with their single material, is certainly less complex than other sneakers that demand higher prices and is easier to complete, explaining the lower price point of $75. But it’s a testament to the complexities of American manufacturing that even simple, inexpensive shoes are unsustainable to produce in the US.

Even More References

There are a couple of other elements to the adidas Yeezy Foam RNNR that are worth noting.

First, the footprint is almost identical to the Yeezy 700 V3, and the upper has reflections of that same aesthetic, showing that even while these shoes are of a different modality, they’re fruit of the same tree.

And secondly, because the shoes are made up entirely of the algae and EVA amalgam, there’s no BOOST in these Yeezys, which is a rarity. Some drawbacks of single material construction have been solved; you’ll find a variety of different textures deployed all over the shoe for grip on the sole and internal grip to keep feet (and socks) in place. But that Boosty bounce is not present.

After months of anticipation, the adidas Yeezy Foam RNNR drops this weekend with little advanced notice, forcing fans to act quickly. Grab your pair on StockX today.