Classics Revisited: Reebok Emmitt Smith ES22 (1997)
Swizz Beatz’s involvement with the marketing of the ‘new generation’ of Reebok was an oft-discussed topic last year, when the hip-hop star joined forces with the long-time footwear brand to create a special edition lifestyle collection inspired by Reebok’s most prized models. After Swizz came Rick Ross, Tyga, and even Swizz Beatz’ wife and fellow hip-hop megastar Alicia Keys in the mix, but let’s keep in mind that this isn’t Reebok’s first attempt at intertwining pop culture and sport; In the mid-90′s, Reebok put a little ‘soul’ into its sneakers with ad campaigns featuring 70′s icons Don Cornelius of Soul Train and the legendary Pam Grier, known for her roles in some of the most iconic films in the history of black cinema. Their involvment came as part of a multi-million dollar campaign in 1996 when Reebok was introducing the VizHex line – a collection of high-performance footwear across all sports that featured visible Hexalite cushioning in its midsole; the VizHex line included a number of highly-advertised models like the Reebok Preacher Mid (one of Shaq’s signature shoes), the Reebok Question, and the Reebok ES22, the focus of today’s Classics Revisited.
The Reebok ES22 was a signature cross-training sneaker for NFL superstar Emmitt Smith of the Dallas Cowboys. Emmitt debuted the shoe on-field in November of 1996, creating a mounting buzz around Reebok’s VizHex line and the sneaker itself, and the ES22 later released in 1997 in Cowboys-centric colors to much fanfare. The ES22, designed by Reebok’s long-time designer E. Scott Morris, was undoubtedly one of the most popular sneakers of the year and perhaps one of the highlights of the entire decade of Cross Training kicks dominated by Nike; the dazzling colorway of the metallic blue, the unique midsole detailing that rose far above the quarter, and the fact that Emmitt Smith was one of the best players on the most iconic sports teams of the decade only played into the overall mass success of the sneaker. The Reebok ES22 is near the top of the list of most coveted Retros, and as the brand is taking a slow and steady approach to its re-issues, the ES22 is certainly on deck either later this year or next (we’ll keep you updated on that). Rejoice in the news of the ES22 re-release and check out the gallery of this old-school classic below!
Reebok ES 22
Photos: ecara on eBay