With the much anticipated release of the “Cream White” Yeezy Boost 350 V2 last Saturday there officially became eight colourways of Kanye West’s coveted V2 model. While rumours of a “Dark Green” colourway in the mix have been confirmed by Kim Kardashian’s Snapchat, no official release date has yet been confirmed. So here we take a look at how each of the current V2 releases match up against each other.
The Zebra colourway was released on the 25th of February 2017. Featuring a White/Black upper design, matched with a white lace, white heel tab and white boost sole the Zebra colourway was true to its name. The red detailing of the customary SPLY-350 lettering adorned upon a white stripe offered a subtle change from the otherwise black/white colour scheme to great effect, while the colour scheme itself offered a uniqueness that would make certain that this shoe was a head turner. The Zebra colourway is a good addition to the Yeezy portfolio, however it meets with one issue. Busyness. There is simply too much going on. The Zebra effect means that there is a vibrancy, or loudness, to the shoes that has not always been present in other colourways. The effect means that there is a lack of subtlety, the Zebra cannot fit seamlessly into an outfit without drawing attention to itself. It is, in the V2 family, the boisterous cousin that needs all attention on him all of the time. While there can be no doubting that the Zebra colourway is a valid addition to the Yeezy collection, it does not match up to the success of other iterations.
The very first release in the Yeezy V2 franchise, the Beluga was met with huge anticipation. While Kanye himself teased the shoes months before release date by wearing them himself, fans waited with bated breath for the sequel to the award winning Boost 350 models of 2015. Featuring a Grey primeknit upper, mixed with an Orange stripe and matching grey lettering, the Beluga model certainly marked a change from its V1 predecessor. While generally the new, improved shoe went down as a hit, some criticism can be levied its way. In similar manner to the Zebra colourway the Beluga can perhaps be accused of having too much going on. The new stripe, a welcome feature on other models, is perhaps not as aesthetically pleasing in such a strong colour as Orange, while the Grey/Orange flecks of the upper create a colour that lacks the subtle beauty of the V1 “Turtle Dove” or “Moonrock” releases. Adidas and Kanye were bold in their designing when creating this shoe, and by no means did they fail, however the new path that Yeezy embarked upon with the Beluga release was perhaps not as rosy as the path trodden before.
Released as a trio and so ranked in the same way the three alternate colourways surprised many when Adidas and Kanye released them in November of 2016. With all colourways snapped up immediately at release time the release of three colourways as opposed to the usual one did not detract from the Yeezy hype. With each colourway sporting a predominantly black colour scheme the only real difference between each iteration was the colour of the stripe that has adorned all but two of the current V2 colourways. With the changes in stripe colour came changes in aesthetic appeal. The Red colourway is perhaps the most pleasing to the eye, but also commands the most attention. The Copper colourway offers a more subtle change, and contrasts well with the black scheme of the shoe. Perhaps the least appealing of the three, the Green colourway features a pale, sickly green stripe that makes it far less attractive than its partners in Red and Copper. The inconsistency of this release means that it does not score top marks, but there can be no doubting that this was a superior release to the Beluga release that came before it. The use of a black colour scheme meant that some of the elegance of the V1 releases was reborn, while the Red colourway featured just the right balance of subtlety and vibrancy that makes it a welcome addition to the Yeezy family. Overall, the release is a success, not an overwhelming success, but a success nonetheless.
The latest of the V2 releases is only the second to not feature the signature stripe, and feels like a throwback to the original 350 design. An all white colour scheme that cannot be faulted (everybody likes a white shoe) means that this is simply a winning formula. Few faults can be found in this release, the V2 silhouette remains, while the subtlety of one colour that embodied the original V1 releases is present. Perhaps the only small issue is that this release does not offer anything new; we have seen all the ingredients before. It seems lunacy to say it, but the winning formula used to create this shoe is arguably its biggest fault.
All black, with a bit of red. The Bred colourway is truly a sight to behold. This was the first of the V2 colourways to be stripe-free and it is all the better for it. The delicate contrast of the red SPLY-350 lettering, as well as the red trim on the heel tab means that there is enough going on to not accuse this shoe of being boring, but the busyness of the Zebra or Beluga releases is nowhere to be seen. The almost entirely black upper means that this feels like a V1 “Pirate Black” upgrade; and it is certainly an upgrade. This is perhaps the first V2 release that can be considered as good as, if not better, than the V1 colourways of 2015. High praise indeed for an extremely successful release.
If the Bred colourway is the first V2 that can be considered as good as the V1 models, the Oreo colourway is the first and only model that can be thought of as superior to its older brother. The timeless, monochrome colour scheme of White and Black is faultless. The winning design of the Copper/Red/Green releases is present but this time utilizes colour combinations far more effectively than before. This is perhaps the only time that the signature stripe can be considered a welcome addition to the Yeezy design, as in this colourway it definitely adds to the shoe, rather than taking away its aesthetic appeal. While the original Yeezy V1 releases were subtle, yet intricate designs that worked to great effect, this takes that same subtlety and adds a tiny bit of life. By no means can the Oreo colourway be accused of being too loud, but nor can it be called dull or boring. This really is the best V2 to date.