Sunday, December 21, 2008

Answer XII - The Gridiron on the Hardwood

It's a well known fact that football is AI's favorite sport.
The way he plays football is what defines Evasive Protection. What is Evasive Protection?

On a football field, bigger guys always tried to get a hit on AI. The thing that kept him from getting hurt was not getting hit.

His style of protection is avoidance. It was not about putting extra strength or extra pounds, but it was about being faster than anybody. So rather than adding excessive materials for protection, it was engineered to maximize the speed of the player- Speed is the best form of Protection.

Clear TPU on the heel is inspired by the football gear. It is an external heel counter that gives extra support, and also helps form a shape that is close to AI's last. Instead of adding an overlay material to cover the heelcup, it is completely exposed to accentuate the curves around the ankle and to minimize unnecessary weight. The new hidden ghillie system is an another detail that exemplifies the concept of A12. The Question-inspired webbing is protected by slits on quarter panel to prevent from being scuffed. It's a nice solution to add a protection without adding an extra material.

Reebok also found a new way to laser etch the graphics on the backside of TPU. Details like the blurry Answer logo on the heel is a subtle way to symbolize one of the fastest players ever to play the game. A12 is a shoe that embodies competitive spirit and skill of AI.





Subtle but carefully engineered details like the wavy herringbone makes a significant difference on hardwood. If you feel the outsole, the pattern will rise and fall- it's not just flat to the ground. It has the right amount of grip to get the best traction to help maneuver quickly on court.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Re-Up Luxe

“Simplicity” is the word that comes to mind when you see this shoe, but there is something more about the design of Re-Up Luxe.

“I always look for subtle, flattering shapes, good fabrics, and materials that I know will work well for years. My goal is to create shoes that will last for many seasons to come. And it always needs to be comfortable. ” says the designer, Kohei Kanata, who also designed the Reebok Answer X and XII.

“I wanted to create a shoe that is not just good looking, but also with some kind of playfulness, ironic feel because it’s ’08, not ’80. There are too many retro-looking sneakers out there. Mimicking classic models is not what we want to do. Re-Up has the traditional elements of a basketball shoe, but with a little twist. Understated yet it draws attention.”

Simple & sophisticated, traditional & ironic, sporty & luxurious, playful & dignified... Re-Up Luxe is for the fresh individuals who feel uncomfortable wearing the same shoes as someone standing next.


「僕は自分自身を良く見せてくれる形、良い素材、何年も使えると思うようなものを追求します。 履き心地はもちろんの事、何シーズンも廃れない、永遠に残るデザインをする事が目標です。」とアンサーXやXII等のデザインを手掛けた金田氏は言う。

「単に格好の良い靴をつくるのでは無く、 遊び心のあるものをつくりたいと思いました。今は80年ではなくて2008年ですから。今の世の中、昔つくられたバッシュに似せたものが多すぎる気がします。定番モデルをコピーしたりする事は絶対にしたくない。Re-Upは伝統的なバッシュにある要素プラスひねりがあるので、主張は少ないですが靴を良く見ている人からは注意を引くでしょう。」

シンプルでありながら洗練されていて、伝統的でありながら皮肉的で、スポーティーでありながら贅沢で、遊び心の中にも風格のある、そんな靴だ。となりの人と同じスニーカーを履く事に嫌気のさしたフレッシュな輩の為のRe-Up Luxeでした。

Monday, November 3, 2008

We talkin' bout Pistons

Blue and red... not a bad color scheme for the Answer 12.


Friday, October 31, 2008

Talkin' Krazy

You may have seen this shoe on NBA players' feet - This one is an exclusive colorway for the Boston College Eagles.
No word on release date.
Pic via


Monday, August 25, 2008

Question III Low

The Question III low seen here includes some similar characteristics as the Mid version with the use of ventilated TPU and clean toe.
Low's often end up looking like a dumb down version of the mid's, because a lot of times it's an identical shoe except for the collar height. But this shoe has its own identity and is unique in its own right.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Versatile Ninjas

Here is an another colorway for the Union Versatility. Reebok has found a way to tap into new market opportunities with releasing distinct design, rather than trying to fit into bukatsu stereotypes as often presented by other companies.

This colorway is pretty aggressive when you think about bukatsu players wearing them in a relatively conservative bukatsu environment. During the 90's when I used to play, there was this incident where one of my teammates' shoes were stolen by the upper classmen just because they were black and too aggressive. That's how serious it was to choose what to wear in bukatsu because in Japan, "A nail that sticks up gets hammered down" was still true back in the day. But today is a whole new era, Ninjas no longer need to be unperceived, it's time for sneaker companies to step up their game in bukatsu designs.

This shoe was heavily focused on achieving maximum ventilation for bukatsu ballers who play all year round in a gym where there are no A/Cs. There is another version of this shoe made for speed player. I will post some pics, so stay tuned...




Friday, July 18, 2008

Reebok Answer XII Revealed

Reebok Answer marks its 12th year this year since the first release in '97. The new Answer XII was built for the player who was known as a star pointguard AND a star quarterback in Hampton, VA. This shoe represents what Iverson the QB would wear on basketball court. The way he plays basketball is not so different from the way he plays football.

"I'm a football player man, so contact is nothing to me... That's what it's about you know, that's what the (basketball) game is about." -Allen Iverson (from interview with ESPN).


"俺はフットボールプレーヤーだから、接触は俺にとってはなんでもない。そもそもそういうもんだろバスケのゲームは。” -アイバーソン(ESPNのインタビューより)。

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I was cleaning my pile of design CDs and found this graphic I did a while ago. I think it was around '03. At the time, I thought it came out pretty good for a first stencil I've ever done.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Kicks for Ninjas

Bukatsu Versatility, the first reeboks engineered specifically for Japanese bukatsu ballers. I remember doing countless suicides and 3-man-weaves in Air Flight Light IIs and Air Swifts back in the day. I just couldn't do it in Asics or Mizuno's because I preferred American style bball. Japanese brands had reputation for creating comfortable shoes, but I believed nike air is what's going to make me fly higher. But it's '08, Reebok is doing it right this time. If I was still bukatsu-ing, I'd definitely rock these.


Monday, July 14, 2008

A.I.'s Casual Shoe

Some of you might already know, these are what Allen Iverson is wearing off court. Taking design ques from the original "Question", Allen's first signature model.


Answer X - Bubbachuck the Bulldog

4-time NBA scoring champ plays his heart out everytime he steps on the court. He is pound for pound, the toughest player in the NBA. This black gold Reebok was supposed to be on his feet if he had stayed with the Sixers in '07. You can see the glimpse of "bulldog" in this shoe, which was the inspiration behind this design.