Size and fit

The Nike React Element 55 Kendrick Lamar rendition is offered in both men’s and women’s sizes. While the shoe fits true to size, it is recommended to go a half size up for those who have wider feet. It also comes with a rear pull tab for that easy on and off. 

Having a lightweight and comfortable interior, a lot of wearers agree that the materials used are similar to those of the React Element 55. The structural integrity of the midsole also remains the same as the original. 

Nike React Element 55 Kendrick Lamar Style

Designed in collaboration with Kendrick Lamar, this iteration of the React Element 55 adds a Multi-Platinum look to the translucent upper that pays homage to Kendrick’s rap alter-ego, Kung Fu Kenny. With a split, contrasting marble design that’s inspired by the yin-yang effect, the upper sure has a head-turning effect on the overall appearance of the shoes. Completing the design is the speckled React cushioned sole. 

Styling this shoe up is definitely a no-brainer given its already trendy design. One can go for a casual get-up, sporty wear, or even an easy street-style ensemble. The wearers can choose from pairing this shoe with jeans, shorts, sweatpants, and joggers with shirts, plain sweatshirts, tanks or anything that goes with one’s style.

Notable Features

The multi-Platinum recording artist Kendrick Lamar gets a silhouette from Nike that matches his success. This iteration has recognizable lightweight neoprene uppers printed with monochrome-hued marbled patterns with inverted colors split down the middle to create a stark contrast between the medial and lateral sides of the shoe,  inspired by the Yin and Yang effect that represents the back-and-forth of real-world living. An eyestay and heel clip, inspired by one of Nike’s OG running shoes, the Internationalist, is also found on the upper. 

Technology-wise, this sneaker boasts of a responsive, full-length React foam midsole that delivers premium cushioning and energy return. The marble pattern continues to the gripped soles that are fitted with rubber pods underfoot for that added bounce. A miniature Swoosh in black is placed at the forefoot. Although a branding or an outright text layout does not exist as a specific call-out to Kendrick Lamar, the design concept surely has a connection to the award-winning artist. 

Nike React Element 55 Kendrick Lamar History

In 2018, Nike’s React technology has taken the world of sneakers by storm. This futuristic foam cushioning created by the Swoosh brand was first used on high-performance running shoes and was eventually brought into the lifestyle market with the release of the React Element 87 and React Element 55. Following the success of Element 87, the Element 55 has found favor among the majority of the sneaker-loving population for its striking look, reasonable price point, and easy accessibility.

Moreover, other key details from the 87—the 3M, leather accents, and an asymmetrical tongue—are not present in the 55 which is no doubt a more cost-saving measure. Borrowing design lines from heritage Nike running shoes, the Element 55 embraces its history while looking forward into the future. 

The Element 55 has been in a number of collaborations and one of them is with the award-winning musician, Kendrick Lamar. Lamar has been collaborating with Nike for four pairs, all of which are involved with the Cortez. Quickly transitioning from the throwback era to a contemporary one, Kendrick chose to do things differently with the fifth collaboration pair. He decided to use the React Element 55 this time.

For this very special edition of the React Element, it has a noticeable two-toned upper with a marble print that is reminiscent of the color motif of Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly” album that came out in 2015 and is considered as the rapper’s best album to date. Another explanation for this unique colorway is that it pays homage to the Yin ad Yang effect, which is a representation of the back-and-forth of real-world living. The Element 55 Kendrick Lamar collaboration is on track to become one of Nike’s next casual staples and a must cop for any sneaker collection.

Nice to know

  • The Nike React technology is the brand’s longest-lasting foam.
  • The lightweight fabrics used in the shoes help regulate body temperature.
  • Nike React Element 55 Kendrick Lamar sees to it that the theme of Yin and Yang is present throughout every single aspect of the sneakers, from the uppers down to the outsoles. 
  • A set of white laces with a very faint grey streak runs the middle and a wolf grey-black set are the colorways of the extra laces. 

Facts / Specs

Base model: Nike React Element 55
Style: Sporty, Futuristic, Chunky
Top: Low
Inspired from: Running
Collaboration: Kendrick Lamar
Collection: Nike React Element, Nike React
Closure: Laces

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Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sports nut with a particular interest in football and running. He loves to watch sports as much as he loves to play. Danny was lead researcher on RunRepeat and The PFA’s report into Racial Bias in Football Commentary. His football and running research has been featured in The Guardian, BBC, New York Times and Washington Post.