words // Nick Engvall
We’ve covered some of the past Reebok releases in our Eastbay Memory Lane stories before. But with one of the most memorable names in sneaker history returning as the Kamikaze 2011 next month, it seems appropriate to revisit this historic sneaker design. While we did see a couple of colorways of the Reebok Kamikaze and Kamikaze II earlier this year, it wasn’t until the 1996 Eastbay catalogs that the colorways came into full bloom.
By the 1995-1996 season we had already seen Shawn Kemp wearing the original Kamikaze and of course his unforgettable video game inspired commercial, and were anticipating the second coming. Since the white and black colorways, and the Seattle Supersonics inspired white, black and green were seen all season on Kemp’s feet, for myself and many others, it was during the All-Star game in 1996 that we saw the white and navy colorway unveiled by Shawn Kemp that really moved it to the top of the wish list. That, and receiving this very Eastbay catalog, which arrived shortly after the season ended, gave us our first look at the (now elusive) red and black colorway. Without the internet showing sneakers months in advance like it does today, the Eastbay catalog was our “sneak peek” at the colorways we never saw on the NBA courts, and the red and black Kamikaze II was one of those sneakers.
Looking back, you can’t help but notice the Reebok Shaqnosis. Another of Reebok’s long forgotten designs that is well deserving of a retro release. However another of the Reebok Basketball releases was also on many most wanted lists, The Blast. The Blast was one of the first shoes to feature a yin-yang like split colorway where one side was done in black and white, and the other was done in the opposite black and white combination. Not to mention the Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson worn Reebok Rail and matching t-shirt collection.
So which of these would you like to see return as a retro?