Online translators have a reputation of providing dodgy results, which is why a little extra research is required to make sure that nothing is lost in translation. This is particularly important for us when it comes to the names of Japanese sneakers, titles that tend to get caught climbing over cultural barriers.
In this case, the just-launched Kasabaru from Y-3 translates into ‘bulk’. On the surface that doesn’t seem like a very flattering name, and yet when you examine the shoe you realize it does effectively encapsulate the design ethos of the new model.
Described as a study in contrast, the Kasabaru juxtaposes a lightweight nylon upper with a bulky Japanese rubber cupsole. It’s a theme that can be found in other Y-3 designs that take ethereal materials and ground them with those of substance.
Without providing any specifics, adidas vaguely describes the $460 high-top as a “daring take on an iconic ’70s silhouette.” It’s not a stretch to assume that the inspiration came from an archive basketball model, a sneaker genre that Y-3 has revisited several times of late.
We appreciate the boldness of the Kasabaru’s design, and the cleverness of using a wrapping cable that doubles as an eyestay and heel tab. In fact, we like this Y-3 so much that it just might be time for us to bulk up.