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For the past few years, sneaker companies have been experimenting and collaborating with designers, musical artists, tastemakers and brands, with varying results. The partnerships can breathe new life into a old silhouette and spark enthusiasm from shoe collectors. While some sneaker labels may play it safe by aligning with popular musical artists who are currently billboard mainstays, Reebok is thinking outside of the box by designing alongside the toy brand Nerf. Just the mere mention of Hasbro Nerf company conjures up images of sweltering summers, propelling soft Nerf bullets at neighborhood friends on the front lawn, or completing a 360 slam on a mini Nerf hoop. Reebok and Nerf have harnessed that nostalgia and vibrantly splashed it all over the popular Kamikaze II “Backboard Breaker” model.
While the bold angular pattern on Shawn Kemp’s Kamikazes have always turned heads, traditionally Reebok has countered the unique design with a very simple black and white color scheme. However, with this Nerf association Reebok has thrown all conservatism out of the window and purposely draped the high tops in flashy, eye catching hues and shades. While the base of the shoe remains a sobering black, the symmetrical overlays pop with neon green, vibrant orange, hot pink, icy blue, teal and bright purple. In order to make the shoes even more striking, Reebok has followed the popular trend of making the left and right shoes mismatched colors, just to make sure the wearer has all of the attention no matter what room they happen to be in.
To the untrained eye the colors may seem to be haphazardly thrown all over the kicks. However, 80s and 90s babies will surely recognize the retro color pattern from various squishy footballs and darts. Finally, the Nerf name and logo is printed on the toe box and tongue just in case anyone was confused about where the inspiration came from. While Reebok has decided to call these shoes “Backboard Breaker” in order to celebrate Shawn Kemp’s ferocious assaults on the rim, the brand could have just as easily called them “neck breakers” based on its ostentatious appearance. Get yours at Eight One when they release, June 25th.