Do You Know The Shoe Behind The Hype?

It is no unknown fact that artists and designers and major high-street stores take inspiration from trends, other designers and archives. Re-designs and limited launches can cause hysteria, a battle to grab “any size I can get.” Inevitably, you’ll catch many sneaker-copping hopefuls on drop day proclaiming, “But it’s got such a unique design, it’s visionary.”

Yet, are hyped shoes all they’re cracked up to be?

Away from unique colourways or altered designs that can make a typical sneaker far more exclusive, and therefore desirable, here are five hyped sneakers that take their inspiration from something a little more humble.

Nike Air Yeezy 2 NRG

The Nike Air Yeezy 2, a shoe which can sell upwards of £6000, has been said to take its inspiration from the Nike Air Challenge 2. See the resemblance? Using the same sole unit, the Air Yeezy 2 is arguably a redesigned version of the Air Challenge 2. As usual, collaborating with one of the worlds most successful rappers and creatives, coupled with limited quantities, is sure to make the shoe desirable.

Balenciaga Triple S

Many questions have been raised about Balenciaga’s uniquely designed Triple S, specifically if it takes style cues from Sketchers’ D’Lite.
The D’Lite, a shoe found in TK MAXX’s clearance section and now, because of the current chunky-sneaker trend, everywhere from Depop to Urban Outfitters, has gained fame for its similarities to its high-end cousin.

From the wavy midsole, heel loop, toe box and even Balenciaga’s ‘S’ logo – the similarities might just save you £550 at retail cost alone.

eBay / Dominik Schulte for

Adidas Yeezy Calabasas Powerphase

At first glance, these two sneakers are the same. Upon second glance, they’re still rather similar. The Yeezy Powerphase, which recently released in its third colourway in the form of ‘triple black‘, clearly resembles the Reebok Workout. The Reebok is equipped with equally plush leather, albeit slightly lighter in colour, and features OG-branded detailing – just like the Calabasas.

Retailing at £115, the exclusive Calabasas’ were £35 more expensive at retail than the reeboks. Today, the limited adidas sell for over £200.

Adidas x Raf Simons Ozweego / Bunny

Ever heard of the Adidas Temper Run? The pair on the left has been said to inspire the £290 Ozweego’s designed by the famed Raf Simons, current Chief Creative Officer of Calvin Klein.

The Temper Run, a shoe which hit sales at £50 a few years ago, is now in high demand and is difficult to obtain. With that being said, Ozweego’s are easy to buy in most stores.

The similarities? That little plastic window and the defined outlines on the midsole, cut, shape, and most notably, the same sole material. Both use adiPrene, meaning they’ll be just as comfortable as each other.

Y-3 Pure Boost ZG Knit

Retailing for £230, Y-3’s rendition of adidas’ ugly sibling to the Ultra Boost, the Pure Boost, can now be bought for almost £1000. Standard Pure Boost’s on the other hand? They hit sales for around £20 in some cases.

Although thoroughly redesigned, the shoes are ultimately the same. Y-3 use primeknit and boost, so the value is not represented in the materials. Simply put – a cleaner, refined design and Yamamoto’s name will increase that RRP. And in regards to the resell value? That will inevitably increase with the likes of Fear Of God‘s Jerry Lorenzo wearing the sneaker.

Pitti Uomo SS17

Eric Brain

Eric Brain is a menswear journalist from London. He currently studies at Kingston University and has previously worked for Esquire Magazine, Hearst LIVE, JUNGLE Magazine, Sabotage Times and more. To contact Eric, email him at

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