The Yeezy Foam Runner (technically Yeezy Foam RNNR…but we’re not playing that game) released as a surprise in June 2020 in the Ararat colorway. As usual for Yeezy products, it sold out immediately. In the year plus since its first drop, the Yeezy Foam Runner has been a wildly popular footwear model that generates endless opinions and debate. Turns out, there’s a good reason it’s the talk of the town. And with more colorways set to release including an all red version, we knew the internet needed a Foam Runner performance review.
Contributing for this review are two WearTesters Discord community members. Marie Kaufman is a sneaker enthusiast with a career in public libraries. She’s an athletic nerd that paid for school by playing basketball collegiately. She originally found WearTesters while looking for a review on the Nike Shake NDestruckt. You can follow her on Instagram here.
Tyler Barbosa is a 24 year old business student and sneakerhead out of Southern California. He’s a long time WearTesters lurker and fairly recent supporter. He’s a fervent believer in sharing anything sneaker related to help inform others. You can follow him on Instagram here.
Marie: I wear a size 11 Men’s/12.5 Women’s in most Yeezy models, although I do go up a half-size in the Yeezy 700 V3 since the materials are cheap and unforgiving. I don’t mind wearing snug fitting shoes. In most cases, I actually prefer a tighter fit, even with casual wear. While most people size up in Yeezy 350s, I don’t, so please take that into consideration. I bought my true size 11 in the Yeezy Foam Runner and the fit is just right for my preferences. Though I will say I wear thinner socks with them because when I wear thicker socks my big toe annoyingly chafes. Would a size 12 remedy this? Maybe, but I’d rather these “shoes” be snug than too big, especially with their bulbus shape.
Tyler: Choosing the correct size for you on the Foam Runner is probably the most difficult decision when purchasing. I’m a true size 10.5 with feet that are very slightly on the wide side. Any regular lifestyle shoes like the Nike Air Force 1, most Jordan Retros and Dunks I wear my true size 10.5. Yeezys in general fit slightly small and this model is no exception. The issue is the Foam Runners only come in full sizes. If you are a half size, going up is usually the best option as they have very thick foam towards the toe box. If you are a full size, going true to size is your best option. Going up or down a full size will likely be way too big or small.
As for the heel lockdown, these are exceptional and stay securely on your feet while wearing with zero heel slippage. The dimpled material underfoot keeps your feet from sliding even when sweaty. Due to being an entirely foam shoe, similar to Crocs, the entire shoe will perfectly mold to your foot after several wears.
Marie: The cushion is nice. I’ve never owned a pair of Crocs so I can’t compare the two foams. I would say it’s similar to a pair of Adidas Comfort Slides. The cushion does appear to be a little thicker in the heel and it feels that way on feet as well. Is it as soft as Boost-filled Yeezy 350? No, but the comfort is still there. I can definitely make it through an entire day of standing and walking around at work with no issues.
Tyler: The cushion feels very soft underfoot right out of the box. The most comparable cushions are Nike React or adidas Boost. Both are responsive yet soft underfoot. The most commonly compared shoe to these are Crocs classic clogs. Personally, the Foam Runner cushion feels noticeably softer and more comfortable underfoot. Also, the height from the foot to the ground is average. Wearing these does not feel like standing atop a platform.
Marie: What can I say about the materials? It’s a molded foam. It’s nice for creating new and interesting shapes, but not premium in any sense. I’ve worn them about once or twice a week since I picked them up on release day a little over two months ago. I haven’t taken any intense walks in them, but they’ve held up better than I initially thought they would. The traction ridges are a bit less pronounced near the balls of my feet, but nothing outrageous. I have the mineral blue pair and sometimes they get visibly dusty, but it’s simple enough to wipe them off with a moist towel.
Tyler: This section is going to be very short, as there’s not much to say here. The shoe is made of and algae-based foam. Interestingly, some colorways are made in the US. The foam is visually and functionally durable. No matter how much you scuff them, simply rubbing them with a towel and water gets everything to come off. I’ve had no issues with cuts, tears or dents after months of wear.
Marie: The traction pattern is basically a wave pattern throughout the different flex zones. It’s not super thick and has quite a bit of space between each wave. I’m not sure how well they’d stick on a slick surface, but it works well enough for a casual shoe. I haven’t slipped or gotten caught up on any stairs yet.
Tyler: For an entirely foam shoe, including the traction, they’re surprisingly good. I wouldn’t use them to run in the street while it rains, but they get the job done in most regular life scenarios. The traction feels grippy, yet also surprisingly durable. I’ve been wearing my pair for months now and only have minor traction loss below the ball of my foot. Other areas of the outsole still have strong traction.
Marie: Overall, I’m pleased with my Yeezy Foam Runner purchase. They are definitely attention getters, even from non-sneaker enthusiasts. However, I definitely wouldn’t pay resell for them. It’s a foam “shoe” for goodness sake. I’d rate these an 8 or 8.5 out of 10. They lose a point or two for the $80 retail price tag when using foam that feels similar to the more affordable Comfort Slide. That being said, it’s a buy if you can get a pair. Then get ready to enjoy the look of an alien seed pod on your feet.
Tyler: Disregarding any secondary market prices for the Foam Runners, for the $80 retail price, these are killer. They’re surprisingly comfortable with noticeably soft cushion that molds to your foot. They are both visually and functionally durable, anecdotally lasting much longer than other 100% foam shoes. With all of the holes in them, they’re extremely well-ventilated. Depending on your climate that can be a huge upside or downside. And most obvious, the aesthetics are unique. This one is a real neck breaker. Not something you see out in the wild on the regular.
From a purely functional point of view and an everyday/ lifestyle shoe standpoint, the Yeezy Foam Runner is a 9 out of 10. They’ve been my “go-to” pair since March and will continue to be for many months. Whether you can get behind the alien-like look is up to you.
How to Buy the Yeezy Foam Runner
The Yeezy Foam Runner is now available on all resale marketplaces. Use the WANTD app to check all the resale sites in one place.