Crossing Over: Top 20 Reebok Question Colorways!
By Juan Martinez - Jan 26, 2016
Allen Iverson never changed. Yes, he evolved his look from the baby-faced kid who was the chosen one by the Philadelphia 76ers into the fierce warrior that played every game like it was his last, but the underdog fire was always there. He wasn’t afraid to take the path less chosen because he wanted to stay true to his character and what he knew, for better or worse. Now, one of those moments that we would qualify as “better” was when he signed with Reebok. We did not know it then, but we were looking at one of the most iconic and timeless sneakers ever made in his debut with the Reebok Question.
In celebration of the shoe’s 20th anniversary (2016 is going to be a huge year for retros), Reebok will be honoring the legacy of Iverson the man and the Question in a big way. So let’s take a look back at that legacy so far with our countdown of the Top 20 Reebok Question Colorways.
If you’ve never seen or held a pair of the 2006 UNDFTD x Reebok Question, this is what it says on the tongue:
here’s gonna be a million people that love Allen Iverson. There’s gonna be a billion people that hate Allen Iverson. Concentrate on the ones that care about you and keep steppin’.
If you take out “Allen Iverson” and replace it with “this crazy-ass shoe” it would have the same effect. So instead of embracing the hate or the love for this shoe, I’m just gonna keep on steppin’ and movin’ on to the next pair on this list.
Now before you LA fans out there think that “Crocus” is some fancy foreign word for “Lakers”, understand that this collaboration was actually inspired by the Crocus flower that is one of the first spring Swedish flowers to bloom every year. That being said, this is the perfect shoe to rock with a matching Lakers Starter nylon jacket. Just be prepared to answer any questions (pun not intended) about the shoe if you happen to be on your way to the Staples Center.
One of the Question’s finest on-court moments took place in 2000 when Mateen Cleaves, Morris Peterson and the rest of the “Flintstones” led the Michigan State Spartans to an NCAA Championship while rocking this White/Forest Green colorway. The pair got the retro treatment in 2015 to much acclaim as you can never go wrong with a classic, clean look.
Despite being the rare mid-cut signature shoe that can look just as good in low-cut form, the Question Low has seen more than its share of crappy colorways through the years. This is not one of them. I’ve seen and heard a lot of snarky Smurf jokes about these, but this colorway dropped at a time when we were mostly used to seeing the Question’s upper in either white or black. Way to Smurf it up, Reebok, and I mean that as a compliment.
I thought these were a Nick Engvall exclusive when I first saw them. After finding out these were a Karmaloop collab, I kinda wish my initial thought was true instead.
It’s a small shame that we will never see Georgetown rock these kicks because they are Nike/Jordan through and through, so sneakerheads can take solace in being able to rep AI’s alma matter in the kicks he made famous in the NBA. Yankee fans can even claim this pair for themselves, which makes sense because those actual tribute pairs Reebok dropped a few years back? Yeah, not so much.
This colorway has seen a handful of iterations through the years and for good reason. The black and gold just blend into the silhouette and shine especially when you look at the Hexalite’s honeycomb pattern on the midsole. A classy look for a classy shoe that works for any situation on or off the court.
It’s a bummer we didn’t get to see most of AI’s numerous Denver Nuggets-themed Question player exclusives hit the shelves, so we’ll “settle” for this clean pair that dropped in 2007. A low-cut version dropped earlier in the Question’s life cycle and quite honestly you can’t go wrong with that one as well although we’d have to give the edge to the mid by slightest of margins.
Limited to only 1,996 pairs made, this special edition Question has so many personal touches that you might say it is the quintessential AI shoe. Released to honor Allen’s jersey number being retired and raised to the rafters, the jersey-like feel of the upper gives it a unique touch that you won’t see anywhere else. 1,996 pairs might seem like a lot, but keep in mind that there are a lot of Iverson fans out there who are never up these recent grails.
How crazy would it have been if Reebok had managed to sign LeBron James (wore Questions in high school) and Kobe Bryant (wore Laker-themed Questions during his sneaker free agency) in 2003? Imagine the repercussions for Nike had one or both never made it to the swoosh. The sneaker world would be a different place, that’s for sure. We’ll never know now, but at least we have the memories of a different time when they did both rock Questions in their earlier years courtesy of this collab with Packer.
For all the fuss surrounding Kanye West’s sneaker takeover of 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend, Reebok Classics had a phenomenal showing that year as well with their Token 38 Collection that included this mash-up pair that mixed the SNS collabs. If I were a Charlotte Hornets super fan, I would have ten pairs of these stocked somewhere…
Much like AI’s infamous rant that has become a staple of American pop culture where he didn’t understand what practice had to do with his on-court play, I don’t know what this shoe has to do with said rant. But they do look amazing and are truly deserving of a place in the top 10. With all that being said, we couldn’t mention this pair and not reference this…
We’ve talked extensively about this shoe on the site and how it was such a bizarre moment, but I think we would all be lying to ourselves if we didn’t at least think about inquiring as to the shoe’s whereabouts. I just hope that if Reebok did indeed manage to sell this gaudy piece of footwear that it did go to a good place and not this guy.
True story: I may have gotten weirdly emotional during an Agenda Show in Las Veags a few years ago when I saw a giant poster of AI featuring this all-white Question Low. My personal favorite pair of Questions ever made, it’s a classic look that I would argue is better than the consensus greatest all-white sneaker the Nike Air Force 1. I’ll save that argument for another day, but yes, I do believe this shoe is that damn good.
BAIT has a habit of shaking things up with their collabs, but few have had the impact on the sneaker world as their rendition of the Question. No element of the shoe felt like anything you had seen before; from the snakeskin upper to the glow-in-the-dark midsole to the midfoot tab that featured a die-cut Reebok Vector logo, it was a masterclass in taking a shoe and making it your own. So what collab could top a shoe that is all about storytelling?
How about a shoe that is about well, nothing. Sometimes the colors just make sense and you don’t need a fancy backstory to make it seem more important than it really is. Such as was the case with this beautiful SNS collab where they didn’t even bother to build a storyline around the shoe after they found a look that worked for them. Now you could argue that the story about nothing is a story itself, to which I say…
The shoe that AI never wore became a cult classic thanks to the Warriors color scheme that was mind-blowing at the time. With a retro scheduled to drop in 2016, the timing could not be better with Golden State currently wrecking the league with a diminutive guard who is reshaping how the game is played. The more things change…
Underrated no more, this is the best non-OG Question colorway as it references Allen Iverson’s memorable night as the first pick of a historically loaded 1996 NBA Draft. Even without the storytelling aspect, the blue nubuck upper with white speckled midsole and subtle hits of red was well-executed and perfect for any throwback Sixers jersey. This shoe really takes you back to a pre-cornrow and pre-tattoo AI. It’s a time machine. 2
To call this the #2 is kind of insulting, so let’s just call it #1B. The Pearlized Red – and even the Red Suede – were game-changers that showed Reebok was ready to take on the world with AI, Kemp and Shaq in tow. Sure, it didn’t turn out that way in hindsight but the promise and footwear was there. Much like the Air Jordan 1, whenever these come back in true OG form, it’s welcome with open arms. So what’s #1A?
I’ve played this clip somewhere between a hundred to a thousand times in some shape or form ever since the day it happened. Whether it was rewinding it on a VCR, watching the worst possible pixelated GIF to pulling it up on YouTube at least a few times a month, it never gets old. Oh, and the crossover is pretty dope too.
It’ll never happen of course, but wouldn’t a “Crossover” Pack with these two kicks – AI’s Questions and Jordan’s 12s – be the greatest thing ever? Hell, with both kicks possibly returning in 2016, we can make it happen. We just need somebody to make the custom box.