The Winner’s Guide to Adidas NMD [how Pharrell Williams led the race!]

By November 3, 2016November 23rd, 2021Adidas, Sneakers

Adidas manufactures futuristic and tech-inspired sneakers even though it’s one of the sneaker industry’s oldest top brands. Did you know that it was founded in 1949 in Germany as a result of a brotherly dispute? Adidas NMD, short for nomad, is a model of sneaker innovation on levels of ultimate comfort, technology, and hype. And by hype, we’re talking about Pharrell Williams signing adoption papers! The famous artist dedicates his mission as a fashion designer to story-telling and human diversity. To which he saw his Adidas collaboration as the ideal platform for! Not that Beyonce’s collaboration with Adidas was any different.

The Wheels Behind the Success

NMDs are a line of Adidas sneakers manufactured using Primeknit and Boost technology. Through which Adidas introduced “lightweight casual” to world-renowned design concepts. Adidas NMD was one of the most sought after sneakers in 2016. Although NMDs only became available in stores outside the US on December 12, 2015. An indication of Adidas’s strategy to restrict their availability due to high demand. Was it a limited stock strategy like Kanye’s or incapable production? And that was around the time Adidas considered ditching the laces on NMDs. Good choice, Adi.

ADIDAS NMD TOP 3 VOTE

Feel free to disagree! 🙂

Although NMDs were successful before collaborating with Pharrel Williams, the artist’s culturally diverse mindset boosted the model as a symbol of equality. Its combination of smart materials, streetwear style, and human values dubbed it sneaker of the moment at the time. The colorways are unrestricted as the backstories are inspirational. Let’s just say sneaker rivals knew what they were up against. With NMD popularity rising in sneakerhead communities. So, without further ado, here is a comprehensive overview of Adidas NMD sneakers.

If you’re also interested in mastering hype and EVERYTHING sneakers, click here for a quick recap.

Colorway Breakthrough!

One of the best things about NMDs is that they cover the entire color spectrum! Cool to know it didn’t start out this way though. The Adidas NMD R1s that dropped in 2015 adopted core black and grey colorways.  It was in 2016, when Pharrell Williams got involved, that the model spiked on colorways. No personality type, lifestyle, or fashion sense is a challenge this model can’t rule out. The R1 colorways that launched in October 2016 featured suede heel caps and a Boost outsole. Colorways ranged from yellow and royal blue to black and maroon.
NMD COLORWAYS
Fast-forwarding into the future, you can tell that the model was playing it safe with bold approaches back in 2015-16. NMD started out with a fierce structure. But it took confidence and major collaborative efforts to promote its fierce character. Read more about the unfolding of this remarkable Adidas model below!

Adidas NMD Pharrell Williams

Shoe companies rely greatly on collaborations with music celebrities and prominent athletes. For instance, Adidas benefited from collaborations with Pusha T and Kanye West. Do you even remember the world before Adidas Yeezy? Sometimes, people only buy shoes because of the artists they stand for. We’re talking about an influence unrelated to the sneaker industry with an enormous impact on its success! Interestingly, NMDs started out without collaborations and succeeded. They added a stylistic edge to the 2013 breakthrough Energy Boost. However, the model took on the colorful hype path when Adidas collaborated with Pharrell Williams, the highly successful music producer and influencer.

How Did It Take off in 2016?!

The NMD Pharrell collaboration took off in the summer of 2016. With the first NMD Hu Pharrell Human Race sneaker in vibrant yellow. Considered as the color of equality and creativity, the HUMAN-printed sneaker now resells for an average value of $1,400. To top the yellow hype, Pharrell dropped an F&F pair in tribute to the NMD R1 model that started it all. The burgundy nomad is currently among the priciest NMD sneakers at an average resale value of $4,332!

To enter the collaboration on good terms with his starved fanbase, the NMD R1 Pharrell Hu pack dropped on September 29, 2016. Probably as a consolation prize for the F&F pair that dropped in mouth-watering burgundy. The pack included two sneakers in Tangerine and Green colorways. And those who caught the hype train early are now reselling them for an average $642 and $527 respectively! How about that?
NMD R1 2016

NMD Hu Pharrell Human Race [2016]

The NMD Hu Pharrell Human Race pack also dropped three colorways on the same date. Species Black and Race Scarlet take the lead at roughly $815 worth of resale points. Whereas Sharp Blue hurries along at a value of $654. The steady rise in hype drove the collaboration to take bolder decisions in 2017. And step outside the comfort zone of plain colorways in their next NMD Pharrell Human Race pack.
NMD HUMAN RACE 2016

What Went on in 2017?!

Now that you know exactly what went on in 2016, you’ll surely be able to detect an NMD creative pattern. 2017 too witnessed the release of the Respira F&F pair in a khaki purple combination. Looking so much like a fake or a custom-made pair, which makes it even sexier! With a next-in-line resale value of $3,000 compared to the F&F 2016. Two NMD R1 colorways under Zebra and Ice Blue were also released in August 2017. Did you know that the EVA insert on Ice Blue pair has “La Marque Aux 3 Bandes” written on it? Which is French for “The Brand With 3 Stripes.” Fancy!

Before we jump to the Human Race pack of 2017 which dropped on November 11, 2017, let’s look at what happened on November 4th. The NMD Pharrell Hu Y.O.U. N.E.R.D. dropped a super limited stock at ComplexCon, CA. Makes sense why they’re reselling for $1,894 on average, right? Hot collaboration, limited stock, and a dope black exterior. Not to mention that N.E.R.D is a hip hop rock band with Pharrell as the third member and co-founder. Meaning “No one Ever Really Dies.” Nothing short of hype! Although nothing can compare to the Chanel collaboration of that year. Which retailed for $1,160 and is now reselling for $6,752 on average. Definitely one of the most expensive Adidas collaborations in history.
NMD HYPE 2017

NMD Pharrell Human Race [2017]

NMD Pharrell flew past its NERD and Chanel collaborations to a third collaboration with BBC. Billionaire Boys Club to join the billion dollar sneaker industry! Except that its founder is no other than Pharrell Williams. So, it’s pretty much like joining hands with oneself. Same as the N.E.R.D situation. Except that the product makes you $1,134 on average every time it clenches.

The NMD Pharrell Human Race pack released a total of four colorways that year. And experimented with multicolor for extra personality! And although the 2017 pack was more colorful and exciting than the 2016 pack, it wasn’t worth half its value on resale. But by that time, AIO bot’s copping success on NMD sneakers was shoutout-worthy!
NMD HUMAN RACE 2017

NMD Hu Trail Holi [2018]

The NMD Hu Trail Black Canvas welcomed the new year in February. And the Hu Trail Holi pack dropped three colorways later on March 16. You can tell that Pharrell William’s diversity mission took charge that year. When he dedicated two out of the three colorways to the Hindu celebration of Holi, or the festival of color. Core Black took a minimalist approach to the colorful festival. Whereas Pink Glow and Chalk Coral dived right into confetti! The resale hype on NMDs had started to slow down by then. Pairs that retailed for $250 are now reselling for less than $299. A below average flip but totally worth flexing!
NMD HOLI PACK

NMD Human Race China [2018]

On May 12, 2018, NMD washed off the Hindu festival and landed in China on three soul pillars! Green represented YOUTH, red PASSION, and blue stood for PEACE. Basic color symbols for youth, passion, and peace. No mystery there. Except that the third F&F pair in collaborative history also dropped exclusive to China. So much that the golden pair spells out “HAPPY” on its upper in Chinese! No coincidence there, considering that his number one hit is “Happy”. The value of the three YPP pairs is not worth flipping as it is worth flexing. But you’ll be happy to know that the F&F pair is reselling for $3,100 on average! As there are only 300 pairs of it that exist in the world.
NMD CHINA PACK

NMD Pharrell Solar [2018]

And you thought it was China after India and back home that year! Adidas NMD sure travels light. On August 18, 2018, NMD Pharrell Williams dropped the last pack of the year in solar mode. He sure blessed the rains down in Africa (click here to get nostalgic!) with three wild colorways. Notice that the pink dominant pair features the word “MOTH3R” on its upper. Looks like this pack is personal on an ancestral level to Pharrell. The tribal tributes are now reselling for below retail on StockX. The perfect opportunity to land a pair, or three.
NMD SOLAR PACK

Update [2019]: Latest Adidas NMD Pharrell Williams Sneaks!

The Adidas Pharrell Williams bond has been on-going for over three years. 2019 has the wrap up on over 45 Adidas NMD Pharrell Williams colorways yet! Some of which were public releases and some of which went regional, like the China-exclusive pack. Not to mention the few F&F pairs that teased the nomad out of us. 2019 witnessed yet another Adidas NMD x BBC collaboration. Talk about self-hand-holding and liking it. In addition to a girl power pack to keep up with the times. Like Air Jordan with back-to-back women releases that flooded the market “for her feet”.

NMD Hu Pharrell x BBC

And you thought you’d see the last of the Billionaire Boys Club! Reminiscent of the China-exclusive pack that dropped in May 2018, these NMDs feature the three same colors a year later in May 2019! Told you there was a creative pattern. Except the three colorways are set in plaid. Not up to Pharrell’s potential and resale proves it. Both the Blue Plaid and Green Plaid are reselling for below retail. And you can really tell about the success of a release when its F&F pair isn’t doing so well either. The Red Plaid F&F pair is reselling for $517 on average. That’s less by half than what plain regular 2016 NMDs are worth at this moment.
NMD BBC PLAID

NMD Hu Trail Now Is Her Time

“Know” “Sun” & “Breathe” “Infinity”. How cool is that?! This female empowering pack features 4 pairs in Solar Yellow, Pink, Cream White, and Black colorways. In the respective order of the meaningful words above. Sadly, the pack did not make it big on resale. Almost like the abundant production of Yeezy Cream Whites bit the NMD cream white in the buttox. Half way through 2018, we’ve established that NMDs have somewhat lost their hype. And have crossed that bridge as inspirational yet affordable shoes. Not everyone has Kanye’s success agenda after all. But time will tell what Pharrell’s genius has in store for us!
NMD NOW IS HER TIME

Gone Hype: NMD Took Its Name too Literally

That’s just on the NMD side of the hype album. Since Pharrell has taken some time to reimagine his iconic Adidas Tennis Hu. Which was his first signature silhouette inspired by the legendary Stan Smith. We’ve even spotted Adidas slides signed by Williams himself. Now, as with any limited-edition item that overfloods the market, Pharrel’s NMDs, we hate to readmit, have lost some of their value on the secondary market. Supply and demand laws! Kanye, how about you teach your fellow about the Yeezy laws of success?! 

Since stock control might be the reason why Yeezy’s hype survived longer than NMD’s. Considering that the two signed with Adidas around the same time. But also, it could be Kanye’s controversial vibe that keeps the Yeezy hype train going. (Here’s more abortion-related cringes in case you missed this).

With NMDs, the highly exclusive and rare sneakers that were once worth hundreds of dollars in profit are no longer as profitable. At least not for expert resellers going after the big fish. NMDs are more like social climbers now facing downhill. Which means, if you’re just getting started at building your sneaker collection, copping a pair or a dozen of Adidas NMDs will prove you know your game! Resale value or without, they are golden sole mates worth cherishing. 

Looking Beyond Resale: Other Qualities to Consider

As you can probably tell, Adidas NMDs are considered to be some of the best sneakers in the world and that is why people dig them. As their name suggests, they are especially suitable for travelers and tireless adventure-seekers! By being flexible, compressible, and light. Yes, compressible means you can squeeze them right into your bohemian suitcase without damaging them!

While this may not be a crucial factor for every customer, taking that most sneakerheads feed on hype, it is a notable characteristic. Let’s take a second to admire the authenticity, shall we? After all, isn’t that the golden rule behind every sneaker worth buying? Although authenticity can range from shoes reserved for special occasions only (like a juicy NMD F&F pair!) to every day shoes packed to your convenience. This fashion diversity just further proves how valuable and respected these NMD shoes have become in the industry.

How Do I Get a Pair?

ADIDAS NMD AIO HAPPY ENDINGCommit to the right sneaker bot, load up on quality proxies, and connect to a location-smart server. You know the drill and we don’t mind re-explaining. Same old story? Well yeah, but the ending is new every time! That is, if you choose from the top bots in the market. Else, you might as well cop manually for a cheap shot at a happy ending. 

It’s been some time since we’ve last seen an Adidas NMD Pharrell release. And boy can they be a zombie race for brains! Adidas Superstar has taken the lead lately on the Pharrell side. And even on the luxury sneaker side with its Prada collaboration. Is Pharrell taking some time off the NMD sneaker scene to prepare for something hype-worthy? We sure hope it’s a marketing strategy to recenter the hype and not the end of his NMD journey. We’ve seen and copped the earth-toned redundancy that is Adidas Yeezy for years now. But we’ve always had NMDs to inject some color into our engines and keep us balanced. It’s tragic enough we won’t get to flex these colorways outdoors due to COVID-19. The least Pharrell can do is spare us the copping tragedy!

Stay tuned for everything and anything NMD-related! In the meantime, it wouldn’t hurt to cop major Yeezy and Jordan releases.
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