Kanye West is no stranger to controversy. And over the years, he’s had his fair share of polarizing moments. Let’s just say we’ve nearly gotten used to his provocative statements until he really did push the boundaries with one particular comment “slavery sounds like a choice.” And that was the moment hell broke loose. And as some petitioned for Adidas to cut ties with the artist, others were forming theories and raising speculations about whether Yeezy sneakers are based on slave shoes. So, let’s see what’s the story behind the Yeezy slave shoes theory, shall we?
What Are Slave Shoes?
Kanye basically called 400 years of slavery a choice. Now, it might take days to say what we wanna say about this statement. So, we’ll just cover the part within our field. First of all, slave shoes weren’t made of leather, or some pieces of cloth, they were rather made of iron. And on the insoles or the part where the heel resets to be exact, there were iron spikes. Slave masters used to make their slaves wear such shoes whenever they disobeyed them. They weren’t just uncomfortable, they used to literally cut the feet of the wearers. But what has this to do with the Yeezy slave shoes theory? Let’s see.
Yeezy Slave Shoes – Slaves Shoes vs Yeezy
But there were other slave shoes than this one right? Well, yes. And they were over the internet the second Ye made the slavery comment during a talk with TMZ. Now, when you come to compare slave shoes vs Yeezy shoes, you might find some similarities. And we’re not talking about Yeezy Boots or Slides, but we’re speaking about the Foam Runners. (You can check them in the picture above).
Thing is, at the end of the day, it’s not really the shape of the shoe and how much it resembles slave shoes. It’s rather about the social and ethical implications, as well as the negative influence the Yeezy slave shoes theory leaves on the public.
However, Ye offered no explanation for the inspiration behind Yeezys. At the same time, Yeezy has always been the brand to promote sustainability and to take social responsibility by bringing workers’ rights to light. In addition, the brand has always been one to donate part of its profits to social justice and charitable causes, like families of gun violence victims and prison reform.
In fact, there were some pictures that surfaced on the internet of supposed slave shoes. Which looked like they belonged to the pre-shoelace era or something. Turns out those shoes are from 300 B.C. and belonged to Roman elites NOT SLAVES.
So, is Yeezy slave shoes a thing? Can we say that Yeezys drew inspiration from slave shoes? Well, as you can see, nothing exactly points fingers at Ye for the possibility of getting his inspiration from slave footwear. Can you even imagine how dark the idea would be? We can’t deny that Ye’s comment was an awful one. But at the same time, we can’t exactly he likes the idea of slavery. It doesn’t even make sense. Kanye is innocent until proven guilty in this case.
And since there wasn’t enough evidence, Adidas fought against the social pressure and decided against cutting ties with the artists back then. Well, the Three Stripes did snap afterward, but that was for another offensive comment several years after…