”Classic or Trash” is a recurring franchise highlighting a specific item and asking exactly that question: is it classic or trash? Granted, each member of the Grailed community is entitled to their own opinion, and while the Grailed editorial staff does its best to judge items objectively, we more than encourage you to disagree and sound off in the comments below.

No matter how hyped a collaboration, eventually, great design beats out artificially inflated demand—at least, usually. Whether it’s a coveted Jordan in an admittedly awful colorway or a highly unconventional yet ugly high fashion sneaker, when the dust settles and hindsight bias kicks in, the public usually agrees on whether or not all the fuss was worth it. As of yet, the verdict seems relatively positive when it comes to the slew of Sacai x Nike collaborations that dominated 2019 and early 2020, but if the upcoming VaporWaffle is any indication, the future of this collaboration looks grim.

While most sneakerheads caught on to this partnership following Sacai’s Spring/Summer 2019 menswear show, when the label unveiled two silhouettes on the Paris runway, designer Chitose Abe’s relationship with the Swoosh actually dates all the way back to 2015. Back then, Abe was hardly a household name in the States, but in her native Japan the designer was already widely considered a superstar, a Kawakubo-trained disciple whose spliced hybrid designs were the next big thing. Back then, it was adidas, not Nike, who dominated the designer collaboration landscape. But Nike, now sans co-founder and avid anti-fashion crusader Phil Knight, was attempting to fight back with a string of cutting edge designer collections released under the NikeLab imprint, Sacai included. Those original sneakers—a laceless Air Max 90 and Dunk High both well ahead of their time—were technically women’s exclusives, and dropped to little fanfare alongside a women’s ready-to-wear capsule. Lack of name recognition and limited sizing prohibited the collection from truly taking off, and for years the relationship was on standby.

Then, without warning, two new Nike collaborations surfaced on the runway just three years later. The two silhouettes, a spliced take on the Blazer and a multi-Swoosh (and entirely unique) LDV Waffle with instantly meme-able extendo-back cushion, immediately soared to the top of the hypebeast wishlist. Then, six months later with still no release date insight, Sacai added fuel to the fire by unveiling additional colorways as part of the Fall/Winter 2019 men’s collection. Without releasing a single shoe, hype was at a fever pitch. When the shoes finally did drop in February of 2019, they naturally sold out, but were surprisingly easy to obtain. Resale prices were never astronomical, and within a few months, two shoes that for nearly a year were lauded as a hallmark event almost fell flat. Was it simply that the Swoosh released too many pairs, or, rather, were both the Blazer and LDV Waffle just not that good?

Enter 2020, with a new, even more outlandish Sacai model set to drop. Dubbed the VaporWaffle, the shoe is seemingly a fusion of the Air Zoom VaporFly and original LDV Waffle, utilizing the tech from the former and the last from the latter while combining the soles (and elongated foam back unit) of both. Add the multiple Swooshes, three plus colors per model, double-layer tongue and multi-colored laces and you approach Balenciaga Triple S levels of egregiousness.

Now, we’re not dismissing the sneaker outright, but from what we have seen thus far—and how other Sacai x Nike collaborations have fared—we are hard-pressed to think of a good way to wear these. Though we will concede the original Blazer and LDV had a moment, and like those sneakers, history is unlikely to shine brightly on the VaporWaffle. Will they sell out? Naturally. Are we discouraging you from buying them? Never. Do we think they are any good? It’s still a bit early, but doubtful.

Now, we ask you, classic or trash? Let us know in the comments below.

Tags: nike-ldvwaffle, nike-ldwaffle, classic-or-trash, chitose-abe, sneakers, nike-vaporwaffle, nike, sacai