2022 has been a wild ride for the adidas brand. It achieved great heights off the back of many events (such as the FIFA World Cup) to the lows of having to cut ties with Kanye West, effectively ending the Yeezy collection. That said, the brand had done quite a lot of work prior to their eventual cancellation of the Yeezy contract, especially in the way of some offshoots of the Yeezy brand. The adidas Ozrah is one such sneaker.
The Ozrah collection was launched in 2021. While it was tentatively received at first, 2022 saw it reach new heights and increased sales across the globe. As such, adidas launched many new colourways and collaborations including the Ozrah off the back of this good reception.
Review courtesy of Archive.
Design and Style
Needless to say, the Yeezy influence is heavy on the Ozrah. It’s not a complete copy and paste but you can see quite a bit of the undertones shining through. And to be honest, that’s not a bad thing. As a fan of the brand and of the Yeezy range, it would be a shame to have completely lost the design ethos that has been curated over the past years across a dedicated design team.
The Ozrah draws its influence from the adidas Yeezy BOOST 700. It features the same flow pattern with its lines flowing from bottom to top. On the Yeezy 700, this pattern is found on the midsole, whereas on the Ozrah it’s more emphatic on the upper. There are five of these lines in total with the top and bottom portions tapered off in opposite directions. The middle three lines have smaller cut-outs with a different colour tones to reference the three stripes logo adidas is known for.
As with the Yeezy range, its midsole is also wrapped in a TPU cage. The biggest change is that adidas utilises its other cushioning technology, the adiPrene+, instead of the BOOST technology. In addition to this, the midsole has quite a pronounced appearance, which is split into two sections. The centre of each of these sections is much more rounded, creating a bubble effect.
While the aesthetic has been influenced by Yeezy, the toe box is almost a direct translation from the 700. The Suede finish of the toe cap to the overlay of the toe spring, it’s all taken from the 700 V1 and V2. The two Yeezy BOOST variants, the V1 and V2, are my favourite from the Yeezy range. As such, the heavy influence of its design and aesthetics on the adidas Ozrah is a welcome approach, in my opinion.
The closed lacing system is also quite a bit different. It has a V-shape outline with the eyelet stays on the inside of this. This adds to its flow design, looking like it has forward motion. The one negative aspect about the laces is that they’re rounded, while also having a harder build. This makes it quite difficult to knot when tying the laces, as they tend to loosen quite easily. The trick to getting them to stay in place is to double-knot them and then tuck them back into each other so it doesn’t pull and, consequently, untie themselves.
Overall, many people may mock the Ozrah for its heavily influenced approach to its design but from my perspective, it was never going to be a bad thing. We’ve already seen much of the industry, and its relatively standard designs, changing because of the success of Yeezy. The adidas Ozrah is great visually and adds to the longevity of the flowing design ethos.
The adidas Ozrah Quality
As an offshoot of the Yeezy brand, I expected quite a lot in the quality department. Thankfully, it didn’t let me down in that respect.
Given its close resemblance to the Yeezy brand, adidas was not about to take any shortcuts in the domain of quality. It looks and feels good in hand. It has several different materials on its upper for its overlays, including suede on the toe cap and heel wrap, as well as leather as the base material. This is then complimented by the TPU overlays, which create the flow pattern on the upper.
The same TPU material is used on the Yeezy midsole. On the Ozrah, this also extends to the midsole cage, as well as the heel pull and edges around the V-shape lace closure. What’s great about the TPU is that it isn’t a painted material either. This means it won’t lose its colour or start to peel over time.
Switching to the bottom of the sneaker and you’ll find a similar design on the outsole as with the Yeezy. Yet another influence. The rubber used on the outsole also appears to be the same used on the Yeezy.
The quality even extends to the inner and insole. It feels good with the surrounding cushioning, which I’ll discuss further below. However, you can feel the difference in quality between a more conventional sneaker when sliding in your foot versus what it’s like on the Ozrah.
Managing Your Comfort
As mentioned in the previous section, the comfort of the sneaker is felt almost immediately. Sliding my foot into the sneaker has a premium feel to it.
In addition to that, you can feel all the various aspects of the cushioning from the inner lining, as it hugs your foot in all the right areas. This extends all the way from the forefoot to the outer edges of the ankle rim.
Added to the inner cushion around the foot, there’s also the cushioning underneath. This comes in the form of the adiPrene+ midsole. You may not be able to see it directly but beneath the TPU cage is a comfortable cushioning technology. It’s not at the same level as the Yeezy BOOST, with its midsole using materials that are runner ready. Instead, the adiPrene+ offers a subtler approach. It doesn’t have the same amount of bounce and energy return but does more than well enough to absorb the impact with each stride.
The one aspect where the Ozrah differs from the Yeezy 700, in terms of comfort, is the tongue. On the latter, even the tongue has a padded finish. However, on the Ozrah, adidas has offered a tongue with very minimal padding, if any at all. Its materials are also a lot harder on the tongue. It doesn’t add any discomfort, it must be noted but there isn’t that added protection from the elements.
The Odds and Ends
Overall, there’s a lot to take home about the adidas Ozrah. It looks and feels the part – every bit as good as the Yeezy range if not for a few omissions. That said, the comfort levels and design are still great.
What is interesting to note – although may not be of use – is the sneaker smell. There are two distinct smell differences between the Ozrah and the Yeezy. The Yeezy has that premium Suede upper smell that is most noticeable. While the Ozrah also has suede overlays, its smell is heavily influenced by the abundance of TPU use. That’s not to say it’s a bad smell – anything but. However, if you’re going to pick a winner based on that, the Yeezy is far more pleasant.
As with the 700, the Ozrah has a flat base. It has not been designed for running or excessive walking, irrespective of its underlying foam cushioning technology. You will, however, be able to extensively wear the sneaker throughout the day, whether you’re running errands or just hanging about. It’s quite comfortable and once you get the lacing ailments out of the way, you can really go all day without too much fuss.
Given the end result of the Ozrah, at almost half the price of the Yeezy range, it’s easy to see why there has always been a lot of talk regarding pricing. That said, the Yeezy brand was built up as a premium product, both in name and in design and build. There’s no question about that. However, given that adidas has now pulled off a similar-styled sneaker is an indication that you are, in fact, paying for the label and exclusivity.
Can the adidas Ozrah be the Stepping-Stone into a Post-Yeezy World?
What the brand has created with the adidas Ozrah is a definite shoo-in as a candidate to replace the Yeezy range. What’s significant about this is that adidas has already seen traction in the market in the year leading up to the cancellation of the Yeezy brand, which was effective immediately.
The adidas Ozrah isn’t quite at the same level as the Yeezy in terms of all the design and comforts added, not to mention the resale value from carrying the brand name. However, it goes a long way in proving that there is potential with the said design ethos away from its predecessor into the future. I love the Ozrah and can only hope for more designs and plenty of well-curated collaborations going forward.
You can get your hands on the adidas Ozrah online at ArchiveStore.co.za, as well as in stores across the country. The sneaker carries a retail price of R2,999.
It may not be quite the Yeezy replica but the adidas Ozrah is a great new design path for the brand. It looks amazing, it crafted from premium materials, as well as being incredibly comfortable.
- Similar Yeezy design
- Super comfortable
- Half the price of Yeezy
- Issues with laces