Reebok might have closed their performance basketball division for the time being
(we're still waiting to see that they're going to announce on that front), but their decision to break out the early to mid 90s designs is a welcome one. We've bumped into some of the minds behind the shoes of this time (when the brand went up against Nike with Shaq, Shawn and Allen), but as we understand, many of the shoes we've loved like this over the years were the work of genius journeymen shoe designers who put out classics across brands. The master of the brand hookup, Swizz Beatz, endorsed a belated sequel to the Kamikaze II that was made for casual wear over 16 years after the last installment, but it didn't match the Kamikaze II.
We love 1994's original Kamikaze shoe — Shawn's first Reebok signature shoe after a college and professional career in Nike Air Force and Air Flight classics of the time — but we like this sequel more, continuing the Kamikaze design language, with the Hexaiite in the forefoot and the Ultra Hexalite in the rear. It helps that it ties in with Kemp's career peak in 1995/96 too. The drug busts and siring a zillion kids just makes the Shawn mystique a little deeper as far as we're concerned and while his career never came to the most glorious of ends, his dynamic ability and double act with Gary Payton makes him one of the NBA's most memorable individuals. We've always found it odd that both Shawn and Gary (aka. the Sonic Boom) got zip up "concealed" models in 1998, in the shape of Reebok's Shroud and Nike's Glove. What was it about those players that demanded shoes within shoes?
We'd also like to see 1996's Reignman model return too at some point, with its Question-style performance aesthetic. Shawn Kemp got himself the Reign Man nickname around the time 'Rain Man' hit, because of his speed and mode of play (not because of airport freakouts or a superhuman way with numbers) and it's reflected on this makeup of the Reebok Kamikaze II Mid. Applying a Polish raindrop camo style pattern to the upper of this model just makes it look meaner, but just in case you're not feeling the inclement aesthetic, the original Supersonics-styled Kelly Green colourway drops alongside this makeup tomorrow in the Crooked Tongues store in very limited numbers. As a reminder of the original drop in winter 1995, the ad below takes it back to a time when Foot Locker's exclusives were insane. Most Kamikazes never got a second opportunity to strike, but these are an exception.