Today’s the day — the Reebok Kamikaze 1 is back in the original White/Black/Racing Green “SuperSonics” colorway.
I remember these from my freshman year of high school, back when pretty much all the major sneaker companies were churning out classics left and right. The days of rad designs, simple leather and nubuck construction, and proprietary cushioning like Hexalite. This formula was more than enough to get the job done on-court and off in 1994, we just didn’t know FuseFrame, Hyperfuse, and Flight Plates were on the horizon.
Certainly didn’t hinder Shawn Kemp any — he averaged 18.7 points and 10.9 rebounds in these during the 1994-95 season, playing all 82 games (one of only two seasons he went wall to wall, the other was 1999-00 with the Cavs).
He did his All-Star work in the Kamikaze, too. Reignman dialed up a pair of Kamikaze Low for the 1995 NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix, racking up 13 points in the West’s 139-113 backhanding of the East.
The Kamikaze 1 retro felt a little clunky at first. I’m used to shoes like the Air Jordan XX8 and adidas Crazyquick, so having this much shoe around my foot felt almost boot-like. But that feeling subsided a couple minutes later and the memories of running wind sprints in a musty gym at 7am with my teammates rushed in. My eyes aren’t watery, that’s just the sun.
The collar is very plush (another throwback feature) and the sole feels thick underfoot. Didn’t notice much bounce from the Hexalite but I’d just laced the shoes up, it probably wasn’t awake yet. Forefoot and toe area narrows off. I think any narrower and it’d be irksome. If you’re going to ball in these, two pairs of socks would probably be helpful. The laces do their best here but there’s just so much shoe to cinch up, they need some help.
I like the latest in performance basketball kicks as much as anyone but it’s sneakers like the Kamikaze 1 and its mid ’90s counterparts that keep the love strong.
If you’re into these, find them now at reebok.com and retailers like Foot Locker, Finish Line, Champs, and Jimmy Jazz.