Kanye’s Praise for Nike’s ISPA Road Warrior Shouldn’t Come as a Surprise

Nike ISPA Road Warrior on foot shot

Kanye West tweeted his appreciation for Nike’s recently-released ISPA Road Warrior. West posted the same picture of the sneaker twice, writing that the sneakers “take me back to my childhood,” that he needs a pair, and to tell Nike to keep innovating as “the world needs it.”

At first, this appreciation may seem surprising, as ’Ye is signed to adidas via YEEZY and has had issues with Nike in the past — even going so far as to reference his beef with the Swoosh in a song.

However, those with Kanye Twitter alerts on (or those who have paid attention over the past year), will notice that it’s not the first time Kanye has been friendly towards Nike. In an interview with GQ earlier this year, ’Ye said he was cool with Nike retroing his Air Yeezy line. It’s also not the first time Kanye has repped Nike ISPA, as he tried on a pair of the ISPA 720s in Tokyo on Thanksgiving last year.

It’s clear Kanye has moved on from his ill feelings towards Nike, and that his admiration for the ISPA Road Warrior, in particular, is genuine. ’Ye is a known anime fan and it’s easy to see why the Road Warrior’s futuristic design language would appeal to Kanye. The tabi-inspired split-toe design and double-stacked Zoom midsole could easily be imagined on the feet of an anime hero.

ISPA is currently Nike’s most innovative subdivision, exploring design through the lens of the urban city dweller and mixing in a healthy dose of sustainability, while pushing the boundaries of performance as it pertains to our day-to-day lives. It makes sense that Kanye would appreciate ISPA’s mission, as he himself tests the limits of footwear design and style through YEEZY.

At its core — and all rivalries aside — this is one avant garde designer paying respects to avant garde design. Now the only question is, will Nike send ’Ye a pair?