Ok, we’ll be honest, we’re a little late with this one. But spare us a moment as we try and make sense of Kanye West for what feels like the 100th time this year. Mr West filed a lawsuit last Thursday against retail giant Walmart for selling what he claims are ‘fake’ Yeezy Foam Runners. Now, we always side with the creator here at MoM, and the claim certainly seems valid on Kanye’s end. But we’ve sat here asking a few serious questions over the last few days “can you actually be mad at Walmart for making the Foam Runner affordable?” and “are the Walmart pairs actually ‘fake’ if they’re from the same factory?”
Ever since the real Yeezy Foam Runners were introduced back in June 2020 for $75, they’ve become the house shoe of choice for sneakerheads. And in usual Kanye fashion, the shoes sold out after immediately their release. That’s where Walmart steps in.
“The product referenced in the complaint is not sold by Walmart, but rather by third-party marketplace sellers,” said a Walmart spokesperson to TMZ.
Allegedly, the Walmart fakes were being sold by a trusted third party seller (like Amazon does) and they’ve since been removed from the site. But just to play devil’s advocate, we’ll make a case for Walmart essentially taking Kanye’s design.
Walmart is selling the fakes for around $25, which’s around $350 less than Kanye’s fetch on the secondary market. An exorbitant price that is driven by sneaker “cook-groups” and resellers who completely control the market and manipulate it in their favour. The result? Well, your average person simply won’t be able to get a hands-on them without paying their prices. But what makes this even stranger, is that the shoes appear to be almost indistinguishable from the ‘real’ pair. So it begs the question, did the third party (Walmart) seller simply find the factory in China and start producing their own pairs?
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about this scenario either. Many sneaker outlets reported the aftermath of the Travis Scott Jordan 1 release which saw a number of ‘fakes’ slip through the secondary marketplaces ‘authenticity’ checks because the shoes were a 1-for- 1 replica made in the same factory as the original.
Shoes (if that’s what you want to call them) that are this simple to manufacture are also very easy to replicate. In fact, these Foam Runners are so easy to replicate that the Yeezy Brand is suing Walmart on the basis that “Consumers are purchasing the imitation Yeezy Foam Runner footwear from Walmart on the mistaken belief that the shoes are associated with West and the Yeezy brand”. And let’s not even try to have a dig at Kanye for this shoe essentially ‘ripping off’ the infamous Merrell Hydromoc.
But enough of playing devil’s advocate with hypothetical ideas. Let’s hope Kanye West, who has a net worth of 1.8 billion USD, doesn’t miss out on the “hundreds of millions of dollars” in sales as the lawsuit filings suggest. You can check out one of the millions of ‘fake’ Yeezy Foam Runners via the link below.