From the Vault: Nike Air Yeezy 2 “Red October”

From the Vault: Nike Air Yeezy 2 “Red October”

A look back at the legendary sneaker exactly ten years after its surprise release.

By AP Sneaker

His personal controversies aside, Kanye West has designed a lot of sneakers. No, Kanye West has designed a lot of great sneakers. But the greatest of all Yeezy sneakers, whether it be from his collaborations with Nike or adidas, or even BAPE or Louis Vuitton, is the ''Nike Air Yeezy 2 Red October''.

For our “From the Vault” feature for February 2024, we’re going back in time to February 2014 to cover the specifics of Nike’s surprise release of the “Red October,” and some of the events that led up to it. Admittedly, the ''Air Yeezy 2 Red October'' is one of those sneakers that’s been talked about a lot over the years, so we’ve added a few little-known facts about the shoe to this article to hopefully provide some new, fresh perspective on the all-red sneaker.

The ''Nike Air Yeezy 2 Red October'' is the last colorway of the last signature shoe released by Kanye and Nike. Before it, the duo had released the model in “Wolf Grey/Pure Platinum” and “Black/Solar Red” colorways on June 9th 2012. Ye was even seen in an unreleased, sample colorway called the “Black/White” in the “Kobe Bryant is… The Black Mamba” video. But the “Red October,” once it was revealed by Kim Kardashian in an Instagram post before Ye’s Saturday Night Live performance on May 18th, 2013, was the colorway that stood out—and continues to stand out—as the most prized of the Air Yeezy 2s.

Why that is the case has a lot to do with who teased the shoe (Kim), who wore the shoe in the public eye on multiple occasions (Kanye), and the events that built up to the “Red October’s” eventual release.

After West wore the “Red October” on SNL, the sneaker took on a life of its own. In late May 2013, a sneaker collector posted an image on Instagram of what appeared to be packaging for the sneaker. The packaging made reference to there being only 1,000 pairs and there being a June 18th, 2013 release date. A rumor that said tickets to purchase the Air Yeezy 2 “Red October” would be inserted into random copies of Kanye’s then-upcoming “Yeezus” album made the rounds, but some clarification by Nike’s PR Director squashed the idea.

The legend of the “Red October” grew from there.

The sneaker was referenced by Kanye on the song “Hold My Liquor” off of “Yeezus,” and a “Red October” contest giving away 50 pairs was announced on on June 22, 2023. He then wore the “Red October” on the first night of his “Yeezus Tour” in October 2013, which was followed by a teaser of the shoe by his close friend Don C that same month.

As you can probably tell by the date of the last event we mentioned, the “Red October” still hadn’t been officially released by Nike some four months after it was thrust into the public consciousness. The lack of information on the shoe’s release caused anticipation to grow. Then, a stunning announcement by West almost squashed the idea that it would ever be released at all.

On November 25, 2013, Kanye announced during an interview with Angie Martinez on Hot97 that he would be leaving Nike for adidas, citing creative differences, among other things.

With West no longer associated with Nike, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that the ''Nike Air Yeezy 2 Red October'' would never be released.

But then it did.

On a random Sunday afternoon on February 9th, 2014, at 1pm EST, off the strength of a single Tweet from’s Twitter account that read: “The Nike Air Yeezy 2 is now available.”

A little over ten minutes later, Tweeted that the shoe had sold out.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Well, before it was history, Kanye memorably broke a fan’s heart when he told them that the pair of “Red Octobers” he was about to put his signature on was fake. Why do we mention this? Because a shoe as iconic as the “Red October” has many imitators, but Stadium Goods is proud to offer the real deal, straight from Nike’s inventory in 2014.

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