One of the latest in Adidas’s Yeezy Boost 350 line, the Mono Ice, just dropped a few days ago. If you live anywhere but North America, Latin America, and China, you probably need someone you know living in these regions to get you a pair. You can probably fly to these places, provided that your country’s not included in the COVID travel ban.

Regardless, region exclusivity won’t stop avid sneakerheads from getting their hands on a pair, the Yeezy Boost 350 Mono Ice being no exception. It’s one of Adidas’s most popular sneaker lines, touted for its comfort. As you’ll find out later, this line helped the then-struggling brand to return to the sneaker market in force.

This article talks about how the Mono Ice and its siblings are able to enjoy the degree of popularity they do today.

One Brand’s Loss, Another Brand’s Gain

For years, Adidas has been struggling to beat the global sneaker giant known as Nike. Today, the latter still dominates the market, making USD$ 23.3 billion in sales in 2020, compared to Adidas’s USD$ 13.7 billion (per a Statista report). But, the Yeezy line is proof that even giants get hurt.

In 2013, Kanye West left Nike because the brand didn’t grant him royalties for his Nike Air Yeezy sneakers. These Yeezys were a huge success, but as he told Forbes, he was treated like ‘just another celebrity dabbler.’ Adidas came forward with more reasonable (and well-paying) terms: West gets to keep the Yeezy brand in addition to 15% in royalties, which Nike was unable to provide.

The Adidas-West collaboration became official in December 2013. One-and-a-half years later, the first Yeezy Boost 350 hit the shelves. This V1 line offered four colorways throughout its one-year run: Turtle Dove, Pirate Black, Moonrock, and Oxford Tan. DeAndre Hopkins wore an American football-ready version of the Turtle Dove Yeezy in an NFL game (and got a hefty fine for it).

In September 2016, the V2 was released, starting with the Beluga colorway, further solidifying the Yeezy line with Adidas. This is where the Mono Ice comes in.

Fashion Over Performance

The Yeezy Boost 350 Mono Ice speaks a lot about Adidas’s direction as much as its predecessors. It focused more on making its sneakers stylish for casual wear than making them ready for a rough game. The result is a cool pair in terms of how it looks and feels.

The Mono Ice is one of four colorways included in the Mono Pack (the other three are Mist, Clay, and Cinder), which forgoes the traditional Primeknit for the upper body. Instead, it has a mesh that shows the interior web cage, giving it a breathable appearance. The mesh used is reportedly similar to the one that comprises the stripe in the Static 350 V2.

One thing that’s still present in this Yeezy is Adidas’s Boost technology. Whereas Nike’s Air uses gas-filled polyurethane bags, Boost features a midsole made out of thermoplastic urethane, shaped in a way that maximizes energy returns. It’s also adaptable to any weather, an excellent feature to have in a pair of running or gym shoes.

The light hues in the Mono Ice make them perfect for spring or summertime wear. The light aqua and white colors allow for a broad range of clothing combinations, making picking something to wear less of a chore.

Looking Beyond Mono Ice

It’s too soon to tell if the Mono Ice—and the entire Mono Pack—will set the trend for the Yeezys of the future. The decision to go with a mesh upper instead of Primeknit has certainly raised eyebrows, yet it’s no less an interesting twist to the five-year-old sneaker line. 

As the Mono Ice is a summer release, the mesh may be a practical choice. Shoes that feel cool and light to the feet are among the must-have qualities for summer footwear. While not built for heavy sports, the Mono Ice is enough for those who do quite a bit of physical activity, namely running.

But, if there’s one thing that the Mono Ice implies, it’s the fact that Adidas has a grasp of what the average wearer wants. In a CNN interview, wealth management analyst Christopher Svezia stated that Adidas has been very aggressive in capitalizing on the consumer shift toward style over sports. West also happened to share the same sentiment when conceptualizing the Yeezy.

There’s no doubt that the Mono Ice is a take on the Yeezy worth copping. The region exclusivity may hinder you, but don’t let that stop you from feeling the distinction.