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SOUND OFF | Jordans vs. Yeezys

YEEZYJORDAN

Jordans have been, are currently, and always will be infinitely times better than Yeezys. They outcompete Yeezys aesthetically in quality and range, and in most sales metrics, despite Kanye’s tweets. And Michael Jordan doesn’t need a Twitter account to do it.

Disagree? In this article I’ll compare Yeezys and Jordans side-by-side with a few metrics including aesthetics, sales metrics, hype and influence.

HYPE

I’ll start off my match-up by conceding a point to Kanye. He’s been able to build incredible rapport with his fanbase and create much, much more hype on social media before the release of his sneakers. His constant battles with the media; his public, controversial rants; and his frequent social media account deletion/reactivation cycle all add to his hyped-up social image. Additionally, his celebrity status as a rapper and not an NBA star appeals to many young people, including those who many not have any interest in basketball, creating a larger and more diverse fan base than Michael Jordan. Win: Yeezys

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CELEBRITY INFLUENCE

This is a no-brainer. Not only has the Jordan Brand been around for almost two decades, it’s roster of sponsorships is star-studded with such NBA greats as Lebron James, Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul to name a few, as well as MLB and NFL players, rappers and celebrities (you can read the entire list here). Since these sponsorships allow many athletes and celebrities to design their own shoes, the Jordan brand not only has an increase in marketing but an increase in artistic variation as well. Even celebrities who don’t have actual sponsorships from Air Jordan, such as DJ Khaled, are constantly showing off their new rare Jordans on social media. Who does Yeezy have making and designing Yeezys? Just…Yeezy. Win: Jordans

AESTHETICS

Objectively, Yeezys are just ugly as f***. There are only two colorways that look nice: V2 Butter and V2 Cream. Unlike the other designs, those designs and colorways aren’t too jarring to the eyes, with light colors and a simple design. The rest just range from really ugly to ugly. Many Yeezys look like normal sneakers that can sell in the $60-$100 price range. There isn’t even anything about their functionality that make them a particularly better running sneakers.

For example, the Yeezy Boost V2 Beluga 2.0 looks like someone vomited concrete over a cartoon triangle:

The soles also look blown up like a balloon.

The soles also look blown up like a balloon.

And the Yeezy Boost 700 Waverunner looks like a child took a bunch of markers and splattered them over an old fashioned New Balance sneaker:

Who told Kanye this was a good idea?

Who told Kanye this was a good idea?

Like I said before, Jordans’ celebrity influence helps generate a ton of variety with their shoes. Additionally, they regularly pump out design changes and new colorways each year. They make really nice colorways for special holidays like Chinese New Year (which also appeals to global fans), and celebrity limited releases such as these Will Smith Jordans. Even if you think some of their pairs are ugly, their selection is so vast you can definitely find others that are more your style. Unsuccessful releases with horrible designs, such as the Air Jordan XV, are offset by many, many more successful designs. Win: Jordans

The Air Jordan XV was a particularly bad release that nobody was a fan of.

The Air Jordan XV was a particularly bad release that nobody was a fan of.

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The intricate designs on these Jordans XXXII, however, are quite beautiful.

Although these sneakers are laceless, the Jordan 5 Retro Grape is an homage to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, who wore sneakers without laces. It was released on Will Smith’s 50th birthday.

Although these sneakers are laceless, the Jordan 5 Retro Grape is an homage to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, who wore sneakers without laces. It was released on Will Smith’s 50th birthday.

SALES

The Air Jordan Brand, a subsidiary of Nike, made $3.1 billion dollars by itself in 2017. That was almost more than the entire company of Adidas. If Air Jordan was its own company, 2017 would have been the first year Adidas overtook Jordans in market share. And Yeezy, like Jordan, is only a small part of Adidas. Win: Jordans

RESELL PRICE

On average, Yeezys sell at a higher price than Jordans. That’s because for the past few years, Nike has been releasing large batches of Jordans, driving down the price by flooding the market. This worries some sneaker aficionados who can’t buy and resell Jordans to make money like they used to. However, limited edition Jordans are still in circulation, usually in the price range of $1,000-$2000. This matches a typical pair of Yeezys, which can resell for between $1,000-$4,000. It might seem like Yeezys won the resell price category, but if you take into account the most limited Jordans available, many OGs resell for $15,000-$20,000, and Flight Club sells Eminem Retro 4 Jordans for $32,000. Kanye likes to compare himself to Drake, so let’s take him to task: Drake’s OVO Jordans sold for $100,000 on eBay after he gave them to a fan at a Toronto Raptors. Meanwhile, no Yeezy ever sells above $10,000 on the retail market. On average, Jordans may resell for cheaper than Yeezys, but the most limited Jordans out-price the most limited Yeezys by many, many, many thousands of dollars. Win: Jordans

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The rarest edition of Jordans, most of Eminem’s designs retail between $10,000 – $25,000 and currently has an asking price of $35,000 on StockX.

SOCIAL INFLUENCE

One is the brainchild of a Trump supporter, and the other signed Colin Kaepernick and released Equality shoes. Win: Jordans

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Only 200 of these shoes were raffled away, with proceeds going to the Smithsonian National Museum of African History and Culture.

Yeezys only seem to be successful because Kanye made them. If anyone else had designed those shoes, they would be a flop. Yeezys grew in popularity based on hype and marketing, which is admirable. While Jordans had a few flops and some cringey designs, they’ve been around for two decades and are only growing stronger. And though it’s true that hype was generated back when MJ was winning rings, their legitimacy as a very good basketball shoe with good designs ensured Air Jordan’s success. Their long list of celebrity endorsements and design contributions ensure newer and greater designs, and while Yeezys have taken up some of the market share in the past couple years, Jordans remain the giant they were and always will be.

Winner of Jordans v.s. Yeezys: Jordans.

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1 comment

  • Hun, Jordan’s have been around since the 80’s. That’s almost 4 decades, Kanye could never.

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