words // Brandon Richard
images // Mary Hoffmann
Following the January re-launch of the Kamikaze 1, Reebok Classic is bringing back another original colorway of Shawn Kemp’s debut signature shoe.
The shoe returns sporting its white and black counterblocked upper, with minimal hits of royal blue taking care of branding on the tongue, heel, pull-tab and outsole.
These classic Reebok basketball shoes drop here for $115 this Friday, March 28 at 8:00 a.m. EST / 7:00 a.m. CST. Follow @Eastbay on Twitter and @OfficialEastbay on Instagram for all release information and updates.
words // Nick Engvall
The Reebok Kamikaze 2011 has been buzzing around the sneaker community for weeks now. We first showed you a sneak peek at this design which happens to be a collaborative creation from recording artist Swizz Beats and Reebok, early last month. Over the past couple of months we’ve even revisited this legendary name from Reebok, with Memory Lane pit stops to refresh our memories of the Original Reebok Kamikaze and the Kamikaze II.
While the Kamikaze’s heritage is apparent in the 2011’s design, specifically in the overlay panels, the style is undoubtedly a part of the current generation as well. The use of Reebok’s Hex-a-lite cushioning is the most noticeable piece of the design after its “kamikaze” paneling. What makes the Kamikaze 2011 unique is how Reebok made the unmistakeable honeycomb Hex-a-lite design is visible on the side view of the shoe, whereas in most of Reebok’s other Hex-a-lite equipped designs, the honeycomb cushioning was only visible on the outsole of the shoe.
Look for these to arrive at Eastbay later this summer.
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?
words // Nick Engvall
This week’s Eastbay Memory Lane post takes a look at a few of the Reebok basketball shoes from 1995. The unforgettable Reebok Kamikaze and Reebok Kamikaze II, made famous by Shawn Kemp of the Seattle Supersonics, were some of the craziest designs to ever hit the NBA hardwood back then. The Kamikaze and Kamikaze II were also some of the most successful shoes Reebok ever created without Pump technology thanks to Shawn Kemp playing in them during the 1995 and 1996 All-Star Games.
One shoe that might have gone overlooked back then was the Reebok Swingman, worn by Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues. The Swingman might not have been the most sought-after shoe back then, or even today, but it was one of the early options for personalization of your shoes. Sure, it was just a panel set aside for you to write your number on it with a Sharpie, but what other choices were there back then? As we all know, nowadays nearly every footwear company has some form of personalized shoes available.
What do you think was a bigger impact on sneaker culture, the Kamikaze, or the customizable number panel?