The Internet was supposed to break today. Foot Locker was slated to release the Nike Air Yeezy II "Red October" at 8 a.m., and servers were expected to crash as a flock of sneakerheads, Kanye fans, and anyone with an interest in style attempted to snatch a pair of the long-awaited kicks off the retailer's website. But that potentially catastrophic event never happened. Foot Locker—after confirming that it would release the sneakers—tweeted that the release had been cancelled with no further explanation. People, of course, were perturbed that they wouldn't get the sneakers that they had been hyped on since before Kanye rapped about them on his track, "Hold My Liquor."
But, at this point, does it even matter if the "Red Octobers" ever release?
By now, everyone is well aware of Kanye's falling out with Nike, and how he has since moved onto adidas. Although Kanye will forever be linked to the Air Yeezy I and II, not having Kanye directly connected to the release of the sneaker hurts the "Red October's" cache. These aren't Kanye's sneakers anymore. Plus, a plethora of all-red sneakers have released and an all-red Yeezy II doesn't feel quite as special as it once did. Not to mention, there are a sea of of fake "Red Octobers" floating around.
It's a weird time for the "Red Octobers" to release. October has long passed, Christmas is over, and everyone wants to know what Kanye is going to do with adidas—not what he's already done with Nike. The hype behind the "Red Octobers" was unreal, but when they didn't release today, it felt like the sneaker died. All of the remaining hype fizzled away. Even Kanye himself stopped wearing the sneakers on the "Yeezus Tour," and, by this point, the latest cancellation of the "Red October" release feels like a girl that stands you up for the 12th time. It's time to move on.
After Kanye tried to one-up Nike and Mark Parker, the ultimate snub move would be for Nike to not release the shoe at all. Nike would get the last laugh after Kanye dragged their name through the mud on numerous rants and radio appearances. It would be the ultimate "so what?" reaction to Ye's signing with their German rival.
After Kanye tried to one-up Nike and Mark Parker, the ultimate snub move would be for Nike to not release the shoe at all.
Would people gain from the "Red Octobers" releasing? Of course. Re-sellers are still standing by to profit off consumers who gush over anything Kanye related. But there will be other sneakers in 2014. The "Red Octobers" would have been the most-hyped Kanye x Nike sneaker to release, but at this point they feel like an afterthought. The Air Jordan "Gamma Blue" XIs caused all sort of madness, and the Air Jordan "Bred" Is will drop tomorrow. There are other sneakers from Nike to fill the void of the Red Octobers not releasing.
And it's not like Nike is taking a major financial hit from holding on the the shoes. Let's not forget that the athletic giant's bread and butter has always been, and always will be sports and innovation.
This isn't the end of Kanye designing sneakers, either. His collection with adidas looks to be off to a rolling start, and it won't be long before everyone has forgotten about the "Red Octobers" and is salivating over whatever new ish he's cooked up.
At this point, it feels too late for the "Red Octobers" to release. And with all the bad blood in the air, Nike doesn't need to draw more attention to its fiasco with Kanye. The company could sit on the sneakers for a year, five years, or even 10 years, and still have the sneakers instantly sell out if they ever release. Or if the "Red Octobers" released around the same time as the first Kanye x adidas collection, Mark Parker could get the last laugh.