Facts

  • Top

    Low Top

    Extremely popular sneakers because of their price range, versatility when it comes to style, and freedom of movement. Almost everyone is guaranteed to have low-top sneakers in their shoe rotation.

    Mid Top

    Mid-top sneakers extend toward the ankle for a little more support and hold. These lie somewhere in the middle between low-top and high-top sneakers in terms of usage and popularity.

    High Top

    Sneakers with collars that go above the ankles for optimal hold and support are some of the most sought-after models in lifestyle shoes. Most of these shoes take their roots from basketball and have easily or fashionably crossed to mainstream wear.

    Good to know

    Regardless of cut, it's always good to start with sneakers that can be worn for the daily grind, also called as "beaters" by some, as these are usually cheaper, easy to clean, and still gives that lifestyle "edge" before going for those wallet-thinning models.

  • Inspired from

    Sports

    Sneakers dominantly take their heritage from running, basketball, skate, tennis, training, hiking, and football. Still retaining a few of their performance-based technologies, these sneakers have transcended their respective niches and have successfully and popularly transformed themselves as staples of fashion footwear.

    Casual

    Sneakers designed for a laidback, "cool" vibe that is built for lifestyle wear right from the get-go.

    Good to know

    Brands are now blending elements of performance and casual appeal in basically every sneaker. One can hardly go wrong with a sports-inspired sneaker or a simple casual shoe.

  • Collaboration

    Good to know

    A masterful team-up between two or more entities, usually between brands and artists, pro-athletes, designers, and boutique labels. Limited Releases are very popular and are normally sold out in just hours or minutes upon release despite the hefty price tag. Collaborative works for General Release regularly come with a decent price tag, but can sometimes cost an arm and a leg because of hype, social media anticipation, or marketing strategy. Kanye's collab with Adidas is one such example.

  • Collection

    Good to know

    Shoes sharing the same inspiration, history, materials, or technologies are routinely assembled under one compilation for the convenience of those who may wish to categorize or label their own collection as such. The classic collections like the Adidas Originals, Air Max 1, Air Force 1, new balance classic sneakers, and the Classic Leather head the pack of frequently asked about collections.

  • Price
    $240
Show more facts

Summary

We spent 9.6 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

8 reasons to buy

  • The Pharrell Williams x Adidas Human Race NMD looks got the most thumbs up from reviewers who liked the overall aesthetics of the shoe. They described the shoe as “lit,” “dope cop,” and “clean looking.”
  • The shoe’s comfort level was commended by many users who said the shoe felt just as good on the feet as the Yeezy 350 Boost.
  • Several people remarked that the shoe’s upper looks more like a mesh than Primeknit but they liked the fact that it felt soft and stretchy. They also approved of the very thick fabric which they said felt like Adidas doubled up on the material.
  • The available colorways of the NMD Human Race got a lot of mentions from purchasers who said the colors looked bright and “sick.”
  • Some consumers cited the shoe’s quality as premium.
  • The shoe has a creative and unique lacing system that a few customers praised as incredible. One of them commented that the shoe had a messy type of lace look reminiscent of the Yeezy’s.
  • A buyer was pleased to note that the Pharrell Williams x Adidas Human Race NMD held its shape nicely even when not worn.
  • The shoe goes great with casual wear but can easily be styled up, one individual observed.

4 reasons not to buy

  • The Pharrell Williams x Adidas Human Race NMD runs big according to many. They suggest going down a half size if you want a snug fit otherwise stay true to size if you have wide feet.
  • The place where the ankle sits feels a bit tight according to a few reviewers.
  • The shoe doesn’t feel secure enough, some users noted.
  • Like other NMD shoes, the NMD Human Race doesn’t contain removable insoles which testers observed would have made the shoe so much better.

Bottom line

Adidas Originals’ NMD Human Race shoes live up to the brand’s tradition of comfort and quality and Pharrell Williams’ cool sense of style. The shoe bank on the much-vaunted Boost cushioning and Pharrell’s brilliant use of colors. The positive messages printed across the shoes’ uppers somehow enhance the shoes’ casual streetwear vibe and add a further enticement to purchase these kicks.

Adidas NMD Human Race x Pharrell Williams sneakers are highly coveted and very few regrets buying the shoes. Aside from the sneakers’ looks and comfort, they’re highly collectible since they almost always immediately sell out just as soon as they launch.  There’s not much of a downside to these amazing sneakers except for perhaps their construction that runs slightly larger than usual—a problem easily fixed by going down a size.

Rankings

Expert Reviews

Experts are sneaker fanatics, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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  • First look / Unboxing | Seth Fowler

  • First look / Unboxing | Hao You Phill

  • First look / Unboxing | Meeks Shoes

  • First look / Unboxing | Sneaker Chefs

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Pharrell Williams x Adidas Human Race NMD History

Popular songwriter, rapper, singer, and film and record producer Pharrell Williams has been into designing since 2005. In 2014, he signed a long-term partnership deal with Adidas which resulted in attention-grabbing kicks such as the Pharrell Williams x Adidas Stan Smith Small Polka Dots and Pharrell Williams x Adidas Superstar Supercolor Pack.

Pharrell’s work on the Stan Smith was a fun play on the classic. He covered the shoes in small, red polka dots resulting in a model that is somehow edgy yet whimsical. For the Superstar collab, Pharrell dressed the iconic silhouette in a dizzying array of monochromatic colors—50 to be exact. Several shades of yellow, green, red, and blue abounded, making it difficult for the ordinary sneaker lover to collect them all.

While these releases were notable in themselves, it was the Hu line that truly cemented the Adidas and Pharrell partnership and made Williams’ name synonymous in the public’s mind with the phrase “shoe genius.”

  Adidas Originals NMD Human Race

Two years after signing up with Adidas, the brand and Pharrell came out with the “Hu” line in July. Although some people argue that the Hu here is supposed to stand for the human element in the periodic table, it actually stands for “Health Ultimatum.” It’s also supposed to denote people of different skin colors (hue) because the sneakers are meant for every one of every race.

The first release of the Pharrell Williams Adidas Human Race line is mostly inspired by the culture of the Native Americans in North Dakota, specifically the MHA Nation. Its collection’s main theme was about people from all walks of life and culture coming together and understanding each other.

The 2016 collection featured one vibrant yellow colorway with words in black saying ‘Human’ on the right foot and ‘Race’ on the left. This silhouette was built based on Adidas’ NMD model and featured the same NMD soles. The sneakers also had very thick Primeknit uppers and a unique lacing system that utilized TPU cages. 

The first Hu shoes were a limited edition release but the Pharrell Williams Adidas Human Race debut was quickly followed up by a second wave, which debuted in September of that same year. Five shades launched this time: green, scarlet, tangerine, black, and light blue.

Each of the colorways contained different callouts. The blue ones read “Human” and “Being.” the tangerine shades read “Hue” and “Man.” University Red colorways featured the words”Hu” and “Race” while the version with the matte black uppers contained the words “Human” and “Species” on them. Perhaps the most striking in the batch is the version in green. Instead of words, the shoes showed triangles on the uppers containing the words “Hu,” looking very much like a symbol from the periodic table of elements.

  Adidas NMD Friends and Family Release

In February of 2017, a very limited edition of the Pharrell Williams x Adidas Human Race NMD shoes came out which were not sold in retail stores. The Friends and Family iteration was done up in magenta and had white Chinese characters on the uppers which, when translated to English, spelled out “Human Race.” These are highly sought after, and upon last checking, was retailing for around $5,000, although a few have been sold for much higher.

Pharrell Williams x Adidas Human Race NMD Style

Confidence is key and rocking these kicks relies much on how you carry yourself. One of the shoes’ defining characteristics are their adept use of color so don’t be afraid to experiment. Whether contrasting or blending with the shades of your clothing, the sneakers are meant to stand out.

With the vibrant tones of Pharrell Williams x Adidas Human Race NMD’s colors, you can opt for low-key shades for your clothing if you mean the focus to stay on your kicks. Pharrell usually dons the shoes with super casual outfits such as ripped jeans, statement tees, and interestingly-patterned jackets. Tracksuits or the usual pairing of sweatshirts and joggers would do as well.

If you need something a little more “dressy,” a short skirt with ruffles paired with a cotton top might do the trick. For men, black trouser pants, a solid-black tee, and an overcoat in the same inky black shade would up the style ante.

Fit & Sizing

Pharrell Williams x Adidas NMD Human Race kicks are unisex although sizes are based on men’s measurements. Available sizes range from 4 to 13, with half sizes offered too.  Converting to women’s dimensions is quite easy. Just go down a size and a half from your usual shoe size to get the men’s equivalent. For example, your size 8 in women’s would be a 6.5 in men’s. But, since many reviewers felt that these sneakers run big, it would be safer to size down a half size for men and two full sizes for women.

The shoes rely on a unique cage lacing system to secure them to the feet. The rope laces can be inserted anywhere in the more than a dozen holes in the TPU cage for a personalized fit. The uppers are made of thick knit fabrics but are stretchy enough to accommodate various foot width sizes.

Notable Features

Expert use of color and the cultural positivity messages set these kicks apart. Pharrell’s name carries some weight, but that will only go so far without heavy creative genius to back it up. The shoes are also very much distinctive from other silhouettes. One look and you’d know they’re Hu shoes.

As NMD kicks, these low-top Adidas Originals shoes carry the highly-touted Boost midsoles that give users a responsive ride. The Boost tech provides a high-energy return for wearers (reportedly the highest of any running shoe) courtesy of the small energy capsules that make up the Boost cushioning system.

The Primeknit material that makes up the uppers also deserves some recognition. They keep the shoes lightweight while delivering a sock-like fit for users. They don’t crease and are easily collapsible, making these cool go-to shoes for avid travelers who are on their feet all day.

Additional Info

  • The heel tabs contain Pharrell’s equal sign on the left and a rainbow-colored Trefoil logo on the right.
  • The shoes are regularly spotted on the feet of high-profile celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres, Justin Bieber, and Jaden Smith.