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12 Shoes Rappers Love

Fair warning: You won’t be able to find many of these at retail value

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September 28, 2018

Since the formal introduction of sneaker culture into hip-hop with Run DMC’s famous 1986 track “My Adidas,” the rap game and sneakers have been a match made in heaven. Many rappers have dabbled in footwear design and some have even made it a part of their living—here’s looking at you, Kanye West.

 

For many of these heavy spitters, sneakers are a way to get a leg up on their competition. They’re social currency—the more expensive, the better. The influence of the sneaker world can be heard in music as some of hip-hop's most prolific artists have expressed their love and addiction for fashionable footwear. There's Drake’s “Pound Cake/Paris Morton 2,” which featured an insane Jay-Z feature when Hov raps, “A pair of Jordan 3’s tryna chase this cash.” Then there’s Nelly’s classic sneaker anthem, “Air Force Ones.” Nobody can’t forget the subliminal shot Ye threw at Michael Jordan on the track “New God Flow,” when Yeezy started it off by saying, “Hold up, I ain't trying to stunt man/But these Yeezys jumped over the Jumpman.” The trend continues and it’s looking like there’s no stopping it now.

 

Here are the sneakers your favorite rappers can’t get enough of. Fair warning: Be prepared to buck up—you won’t be able to find many of these at retail value.

 

Yeezy Wave Runner
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Yeezy 700 Wave Runner, $615

 

The Wave Runner isn’t one of Ye’s signature models, but it’s certainly one of his most popular. Making its debut to the public in August of 2017, this Yeezy exclusive features a mesh upper sole combination of gray and black suede with premium leather and blue mesh underlays. Adidas was able to provide new-age, enhanced technology of comfort and stability to the base of the shoes by adding their signature Boost technology on the midsole. This sneaker is the ultimate combination of high-brow fashion blended with casual dad vibes.

Carolina Off White 1s
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Nike x Off-White Jordan 1 UNC, $730

 

This iteration of the Jordan 1 might be Virgil Abloh’s flashiest creation yet. Carolina Blue is a classic Jordan colorway, harkening back to his college roots. That, along with the orange Off-White tag on the Nike swoosh and the classic text label on the shoe make this an instant hit. Most recently, Logic was spotted wearing them on the red carpet at this year’s VMAs.

Katrina 3
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Jordan 3 Katrina, $190

 

The Katrina was first sold by Jordan Brand in an effort to raise money for Hurricane Katrina victims but was retroed earlier this summer. The classic white, red and gray colorway is simple but can work with most any outfit, so it’s become a celeb favorite. For example, Travis Scott hooped in them in this year’s H-Town Classic put on by James Harden.

 

Yeezy Blush 500 0
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Yeezy 500 Blush, $250

 

The 500 is quickly climbing the ladder in the Yeezy rankings with the shoes appearing on the feet of NBA World Champion Nick Young, Fabolous and Drake before he decided to sign with Nike. This monochromatic colorway is one of the cleanest the Yeezy line has to offer, which makes it an easy choice for every outfit.

Off White Converse
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Nike x Off-White Converse Chuck Taylor, $900

 

This is a unique spin on a classic shoe, doubling down on the trend of the transparent upper in a sneaker. This is a Wiz Khalifa favorite—he’s even been spotted performing in them.

 

Cactus Jack 4s
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Travis Scott Cactus Jordan 4 $330

 

This might be one of the best sneaker releases of the year. Travis Scott’s Cactus Jack Jordan 4 turns heads, not just because of the contrast between its red lining and Carolina blue upper, but the Cactus logo on the heel. The multi-platinum rapper did a great job of paying tribute to his Houston roots with this vintage montage of the ex-NFL Oilers team’s colorway. Travis outdid himself with this one.

Off WHite Prestos
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Nike x Off-White Air Presto, $700

 

The Off-White Air Presto is one of Abloh’s hardest-hitting releases, and hip-hop’s heaviest hitters have responded in kind, with this sneaker worn by Chance the Rapper, A$AP Rocky and Drake. The distressed nature of the shoe along with the colorful lace combinations make it versatile.

Nike Cortez
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Nike Cortez Kenny 3, $200

 

The Cortez Kenny is a simple shoe with its mostly black upper, but the red tab on the heel and down the tongue make this shoe pop. It’s been sported by Kendrick Lamar along with a host of other celebrities throughout the summer.

 

Homage Jordan 1s
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Jordan 1 Homage 2 Home, $200

 

This odd combination on the Jordan 1 is abstract enough to make anyone’s heads turn. It’s a combination of the home and away OG Chicago Jordan 1’s sneakers all in one and is pretty slick. Famous Dex was seen walking around in these.

Balenciega Shoes
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Balenciaga Triple S, $895

 

These shoes are… something else. Designed by Balenciaga creative director Demna Gvasalia, they’re chunky and come in a ton of different colorways to play with. They’ve outfitted Migos, and been worn by a ton of other rappers who have the money to cop.

Yeezy Butter
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Yeezy 350 V2 Butter, $220

 

This is a simple and smooth Yeezy colorway that West himself has copied in wide-scale releases for the Yeezy line. They’re not easy to track down, but one of the more accessible Yeezys and also one of the easiest to wear.

Off Whitre Jordans 1s
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Nike x Off-White Jordan 1 Chicago, $2,000

 

This shoe was 2017’s sneaker of the year at the coveted Footwear News Achievement Awards and has been spotted on countless celebrities from rappers such as Playboi Carti, Drake, Chance The Rapper and Travis Scott, to athletes such as Odell Beckham Jr. and Roger Federer and social media stars like Luka Sabbat. It was the sneaker that started the Off-White craze with Nike and has remained a sneaker culture mainstay.