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Classics Revisited: Reebok Kamikaze I & II (1994-1995)

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Yesterday’s feature of Frank Thomas’ Reebok Big Hurt for Classics Revisited placed an unforeseen spotlight on one of the most unique sneakers of the 90’s, and like it did during the original run, the Big Hurt response was mixed, to say the least. But moving from the diamond to the hardwood is the first signature shoe for a top athlete known for thunderous slams of his own – Shawn Kemp of the Seattle Supersonics. Kemp and Gary Payton formed one of the most exciting duos in NBA history while climbing up the ranks of the Western Conference, and it was during that early to mid-90’s tenure that earned him the nickname ‘Reignman’ for his vicious downpours on feeble defenders in the paint. In 1994, Reebok introduced Kemp as part of its elite group of athletes with the Reebok Kamikaze – a radically new design that minimalized the Reebok logo and emphasized a dynamic design to match Kemp’s electrifying persona.

In addition to the footwear was a line of Shawn Kemp apparel that was advertised as ‘Super-Human Gear For Mere Mortals’, and the success of the sneaker as well as Kemp’s rising popularity led to second model known as the Reebok Kamikaze II (which Kemp wore during the 1996 clash against the legendary ’96 Bulls in the Finals). The Kamikaze line came to an end with the II with the introduction of the Reebok Reignman in late ’96, but the Kamikaze later reprised its role as part of a Swizz Beatz collaboration that opened up new doors to a new collection of Retro-inspired lifestyle/street footwear. The Kamikaze is certainly one of the most recognizable titles of 90’s sneaker history and tied to one of the most exciting Power Forwards to ever play the game, so get familiar with the Kamikaze and Kamikaze II below and stay tuned to Sneaker News for more updates on Reebok’s 90’s renaissance!

Reebok Kamikaze
Kamikaze I (1994)
Kamikaze II (1995)

Reebok Kamikaze I

Reebok Kamikaze II

Photos: only-sneakers

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