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Now & Then: Reebok Kamikaze Ii

Date: August 09 2013

By: Sneaker Freaker

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Reebok Kamikaze II 2013 Retro


Is it possible to flawlessly recreate an iconic retro sneaker? There’s so much more to it than the materials and colours that make the memory. When rapper Action Bronson was in the SF office earlier this year, he caught sight of the OG Kamikaze II on our wall of fame. “I had these, the Shawn Kemps, brilliant,” he said. We told him they were about to be brought back. “Nah, damn!” he said. “Retros are just not the same.”

We all have nostalgic memories of shoes, and it’s sometimes hard to let go. So many times shoes have been brought back that are out of shape or made from crummy materials, missing key details or just plain wrong. But some shoes are being done right, and the Reebok Kamikaze II is one recent example. Kudos to the Bok.


Reebok Kamikaze II 1996 OG


In fact, we struggled to find much to quibble with. Comparing the retro to the OG, there are more similarities than differences. The shape and panelling is perfectly recreated right down to the wavy midsole paint and side stripes. The only external aesthetic difference you really notice is the lace locker. Assuming it’s an issue of licensing the Kemp name, it’s hardly a deal breaker.

Comfort-wise, the 2013 iteration trumps the OG. Remember, we are comparing it to a shoe that’s over 15 years old. Reebok has refined the Hexalite cushioning over time, and the latest model benefits from that, feeling a bit more bouncy than its godfather despite the cutaway panel being harder to the touch when you give it a poke from the bottom.

Yep, the Kamikaze II remains a beautiful beast, as downright dangerous as it was in ’96. It’s as close to a one-to-one retro as you can get, and that’s enough for us. In this special Reebok Classic promo, we take a trip through some of the Kamikaze II retros and Reebok Classic colabs from recent times.

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