Zoom out for a moment, past every weekend’s ultra-hyped release, and it becomes clear: Kanye West and Adidas have built a sneaker empire in just over three years. And it’s still growing with each passing drop. There have been two Yeezy Boost 350 releases over the past three weeks (with one more coming in just two weeks’ time), but the Adidas Yeezy Powerphase Calabasas will hit shelves and online retailers on Dec. 9 in a brand-new, gray colorway. These kicks aren’t quite as hyped as the flagship Yeezy Boosts, but they might be the most wearable Kanye’s ever produced.
The retro-inspired sneaker features a super-soft leather upper in a beautiful dusty gray, a matching rubber outsole, and a subtle “Calabasas” logo on the side. If they look familiar it’s because West and the Three Stripes released an off-white pair back in March and June of this year. It’s a relatively tame sneaker design (especially considering West’s renegade style), so why will sneakerheads be waiting on pins and needles to cop a pair? Like a lot of things in fashion these days, it’s all about the logo. The small-yet-significant “Calabasas” logo that adorns the shoe is the golden foil ticket that turns these kicks from regular tennis shoes into highly desired sneakers.
Beyond the Yeezy-related hype, it’s worth noting that these are a pretty timeless pair of sneakers that would fit into any closet, whether you dress like a disciple of Mr. West himself or you’re slightly more conservative. The neutral gray color will work well with most outfits, and the slightly sporty silhouette won’t ever look too out of place. (As great as the neon yellow Yeezy Boosts are, they don’t exactly scream “everyday wear.”) While it’s rare to see such a simple sneaker generate such excitement, the Powerphase is further proof that in today’s logo-crazed landscape, even a plain sneaker can be turned into a modern-day hype machine with the right branding. All things said, it’s a hyped sneaker for good reason, and one that is definitely worth copping—if you get lucky enough to grab a pair, that is.
$120, buy December 9 at Adidas, Yeezy Supply, and select retailers worldwide like End