We spent 9 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

7 reasons to buy

  • A couple of reviewers say that is extremely loud in design and color making them a complete head-turner.
  • Some reviewers say this Chinese New Year release for the BYW is comfortable.
  • The high-top shoe has good stability and support features., some wearers noted.
  • Some observers praised the Primeknit material for its premium quality looks.
  • Rubber outsole patterns have good grip similar to the basketball shoes of the same model.
  • Boost material at the back gives needed cushioning and bounce at the back.
  • A few users say internal comfort is on point with the Ortholite sockliner.

5 reasons not to buy

  • Most observers say the premium price is a major reason why they had to forego buying the shoe.
  • A couple of users were not pleased with the breathability of the shoe as the thick Primeknit material hardly allows their feet to breathe.
  • The Pharrell Williams x BYW CNY shoes are difficult to style as mixing them with existing clothing is a challenge.
  • Other wearers were disappointed at the fit of the shoe which is a tad narrow.
  • Some critics are not pleased with the red, yellow and gold upper color scheme as too overly made up.

Bottom line

The Chinese New Year special edition of Pharrell William's take on the Adidas BYW is a total looker with its vibrant red and yellow colorway. The Pharrell Williams x BYW CNY high-top shoes, however, was given mixed reviews by reviewers who have a love-hate relationship with loud and flashy colors. The shoe also gained a few criticisms on fit and breathability, but the premium detailing and design remains to be its major selling point.


Top: High
Inspired from: Basketball
Collaboration: Pharrell Williams
Collection: Adidas Originals
Price: $250
Small True to size Large
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One of Adidas x Pharrell Williams sneaker creations, the Pharrell Williams x BYW CNY shoes have true to size fit and medium width. It has a sock-like and slip-on feature that allow for secure fitting and easy on and off. The shoe comes with an extra pair of laces in yellow tone for extra visibility. Adidas offers the shoes in sizes for men only starting from US size 4 to 16.

Adidas Originals released this kick just in time for the annual Chinese New Year celebrations. The detailing for the Pharrell William x BYW CNY focuses mostly on the celebrations with dragon scales and auspicious colors of red and yellow. The word AMBITION is also embroidered at the center which gives this sneaker a whole new character.

While the colors seem too bold and loud, this is also the sneaker’s main attraction as it can be a clear focus element of a person’s outfit. Wearing these colorful and visually stunning shoes would make heads turn and some people asking. The socklike sneaker is best paired with neutral or dark joggers, track pants, and shorts to let the very striking colors of the upper shine.

The Pharrell Williams x BYW CNY sneaker has modern aesthetics featuring Adidas’ latest in footwear technology. It boasts of a Primeknit upper material that is stretchy and hugging to the feet. The soles, meanwhile, have Boost cushioning to ensure responsive comfort and bounce. The shoe also has an Extended Torsion System provided by the TPU material found at the bottom that delivers stability and protection to the feet.

More than its functional features, the Pharrell Williams x BYW CNY also has premium aesthetics with a red and yellow combination upper with gold accents forming dragon patterns on the knit material. The shoe also has the word AMBITION placed near the toe box as a trademark aesthetic add-on of many of the musician’s designs in recent years.

Multi-hyphenated musician and artist Pharrell Williams has been collaborating with the Three Stripes brand since 2014. Pharrell’s designs have long been reflective of the musician's aesthetics churning out designs like the Adidas Pharrell Williams Tennis Hu, the BBC x Adidas Originals Stan Smith, Pharrell x Adidas Originals NMD Human Race, and the Adidas Originals  Pharrell Williams Supercolor.

  Adidas BYW roots

The Adidas BYW trace its roots back to the Feet you Wear (FYW) technology introduced by the Three Stripes label in 1996. The same technology was also used in the Kobe Bryant sneaker called the KB8 when the German brand signed a contract with the NBA legend in 1997. Some five years later, the FYW technology had to end due to legal issues.

In 2018, the Three Stripes launched the BYW or Boost your Wear based on the previous FYW technology. The design was launched just in time when there is a resurgence of chunky soled sneakers. Adidas designers also retained the basketball elements in the design to give it a vintage vibe while placing Boost pods in its sole to keep it well-cushioned.

  Pharrell Williams’ take on the BYW shoes

When Adidas released the Crazy BYW, it also took the interest of Pharrell Williams due to its funky and unique design with its chunky soles and Boost bottoms. The Grammy-winning musician and longtime Adidas collaborator decided to make a premium spin into the BYW design with the Adidas Crazy BYW LVL x Pharrell Williams in two colorways namely Chalk Pink and Solar Pink.

In 2019, hip-hop star and the Three Stripes released a special edition sneaker the Pharrell Williams x BYW CNY in time for the Chinese New Year. The design was released February 2019 but announced as early as January 2019 to anticipate the Chinese New Year festivities.

The CNY there from Pharrell has a red knit upper with gold scales and yellow stripes that start at the toes. The scale designs in the knit upper circle around the shoe up to the lateral side while the word AMBITION in white stitching is embroidered in front near the toe box. The midsole is composed of reliable Boost cushioning material while the forefoot is in yellow. It also has a gold TPU plate at the bottom that joins the components together while also providing stability.

  • Heel pull tab at the back aids in quick entry and exit from the sneaker.
  • The slip-on and sock-like fit at the collar provides a secure fit and ankle protection.
  • Gold embroidered knit pattern spans across the red upper with yellow stripes at front and at the midsole for a stylish Chinese New Year design.
  • Rubber outsole with tread patterns has reliable grip and traction.
  • Extra pair of round laces in yellow color allows for more style customization.


Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sneakerhead turned sneaker industry expert that believes a good outfit begins from the feet up. His aunt currently isn't speaking to him for wearing a pair of kicks at his cousin's wedding. He spends most of his time trying to keep on top of the latest releases, hitting up his contacts and doing what needs to be done to secure his next pickup. Danny has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.