“ Brand: Yums / Type: Sneaker „
Yums Shoes is a footwear and clothing brand from Dallas, Texas. The brand was created by the local graffiti artist Big Tex early in 2007 and since then has been a staple for black youth out in Texas in addition to others areas (primarily throughout the United States). Once Tex, who was a pioneer for graffiti in the '90s decided to move on from being a clothing designer for other brands such as Rage and Swurv, Yums was created and made for a whole, fresh new look that would influence the 'urban' fashion game.
Yums initially gained attention once the Atlanta rapper Soulja Boy Tell 'Em, signed a sponsorship deal with them early in 2008 and quickly traded-in his Bathing Apes for these similarly brightly-coloured shoes which make a statement wherever you go. Since then he has gone on to make his own signature shoe with them and others such as Sean Kingston and Dorrough have gone on to follow suit in getting their own footwear line.
Their shoes have been particularly noted for their flavoured colours. The first line of shoes came out in patent leather with Grape, Lemon-Lime, Bubble-Gum amongst many other flavours, all of which had Big Tex's see-through base with a graffiti bottom giving a taste for what that particular shoe was about. This has been the basic structure to most of their shoes as they've gone on to include Ice Cream, Cherry Cola and Cheesecake to their array in more recent times, in addition to moving on from basic low-top shoes towards hi-tops and ones which replace the patent leather with suede material or even denim.
===The Flytop Shoe===
The Flytops came as the first high-top range of Yums shoes, following their successful low-tops range which featured a range of 'flavours'. We see that for the first time they ditch that gimmick of flavoured shoes in order to go for some straight-up standardised colours. Initially they came in Black/Silver, Red/Black and Blue/White but later went on to incorporate Red/Yellow and Red White and Blue Snocone' to the collection. Ankle-high, they were brought out as a 'throwback' style to reflect fashion trend of the time in styles which take from the late eighties and early nineties Hip Hop styles. They feature the same patent leather as found in all of their early shoes to give a glistening effect which you'll either love, hate (or grow out of liking). They were a Summer 2009 release and quite hyped-up after being initially shown off at the start of the year as the future of the brand.
These shoes were the first (excluding the females' 'Jellybeans' range to come in a newly-designed box. We find that the classic red box with scattered yellow Yums faces is replaced by a purple one with much larger faces and a cardboard handle. It comes with a little Yums wrapping paper as an extra added touch so they can be covered over if you wished to store them away. I wouldn't say that the box is particularly special and in fact I'd say that it's not really even as nice as the first one that they brought out with the shoes, and so it isn't one that I plan on really keeping much longer.
I bought a Red/Black pair in the Summer of 2009 soon after the release as my second addition to my Yums collection. I have to say that when they arrived they seemed quite different to how they appeared online and I suspect that much of this is down to having the patent leather actually there to see fully for what it is. Really, you won't be able to go anywhere in these without being noticed and it's up to you whether you'd like the attention.
The shoe does seem to have a lot going on within it and I felt as though images of it didn't do it justice. Of all of the styles, I felt that the Red/Black was the best (before the 'Snocone' style dropped much later, and with the predominantly Red version we find that the red patent leather used for their 'Candy Apple' is used along with the black patent leather of their basic 'Cupcake' shoes to act as a contrast on both the tope area and as a backdrop to the 'Y' design. I felt that the tongue was the most unexpected of all of the shoe though as we find that from a messy red base it goes up towards a fluffy Yums face backed by the red patent leather again. I have to admit that the wooly face did put me off and it seems to make them feel just a little tacky as you know that of all the sections, that's the first to show signs of wear.
The shoes also have rounded black laces and hints of silver to outline certain things throughout it. 'Yumshoes.com' fills out the insole, and you find that the shoe is made up of quite a complex mid sole in which they try out a wavy pattern of black and red. I have to say that it took some time to get used to, but it grew on me by the time it got around to wanting to purchase. I feel that that was something that held it down though as it does appear to be quite chunky as a result of it being so thickly soled. The sole itself, the signature to the early shoes, is seen to be quite nice. I'd say it's nothing really special where Hip Hop shoes go as you get a few of the Big Tex stars and then the clear, see-through designed restricted to just a circular incision where the Yums face has been included (rather than a full panel for the whole of its base.Here with the Flytops the ball-bearing link is replaced with a chained Yums keychain attachment and I thought that it added a nice touch to add to the thing at the top of the shoes.
Having had them a while, but not being able to wear them much due to weather restricting their likelihood to be chosen over something more practical, these haven't seen that much action. I have to say that this is probably a good thing as I can tell already that constant wear would mess up the black toe section through excessive creasing. As they are now they seem OK, but had they been worn more I'm sure that this would have been more of an issue, but seeing that this section is black it means that it's not as obvious. Other than this they are durable as long as you only use them for casual use and aren't deciding to use them on the premise that they take on a basketball shoe-type look for any sporting activity.
I'd have to admit that after an initial liking for them, I've gone off them somewhat as they aren't really as comfortable as others shoes I've got lying around and you have to really be in a red mood to want to rock them whilst you're out and so it restricts just how often you'd actually wear them. I feel that this shoe isn't for many and it's difficult when the shoes look so much different in person than in images as you may feel a completely different way about them. As it's unlikely that you'd be able to get them in the UK anywhere other than online then you'd have to really like the look of these to get them because if you're only half into them then you would probably end up disappointed.
===Where To Buy===
These shoes initially dropped on the Yumsshoes.com website at $84.95 (around £56), but are yet to fall in price and so I personally thought that they were a very decent price considering all you get for your money. If you ever get fully into the Hip Hop fashion world properly then you'll know that you won't often get shoes like that for that cheap. I'd have to warn you to stay away from the official website though as the shipping costs come in two parts, one online and one when UPS deliver the items (the latter I was never told about) until it was too late, and so after my first bad experience with buying from Yums, by this time I knew of a man on ebay who sells them for a little cheaper and gives you upfront shipping costs without being surprised at the door. I'd advise to go to 'pirahnarecords' on ebay before the official website as they get the new releases only about a week later and ship within a week directly from Texas too.
Given that I've only supplied these ways, its needless to say you won't be able to get them anywhere from the UK or offline, however there are other online shops throughout the US that sell them. Having looked, don't expect to get a better deal than just over £70 (including shipping).