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。