Reebok Question - Pearlized Red

The Reebok Question (2012 Reissue)

Introduction

Coverage of reissues this season has been expansive through the major brands – including the Nike Air Zoom Huarache 2k4 and the Adidas Top Ten 2000.  Not to be left out of the pack, Reebok has recently reproduced one of the most iconic sneakers in basketball history.  The last great Reebok star, Allen Iverson, left a legacy of amazing performance sneakers through two lines.  Taking his nickname, the “Answer” line was one of the most sought after models during the late 90’s/early 2000’s, as Iverson became a superstar in the NBA.  Reebok struck gold with one of the best point guards of the time, and during his rookie season, they started off with a bang.  Matching his dynamic performance in 1996, Iverson was equipped with the original Question.  This Performance Review takes the 2012 reissue of one of the greatest performers ever produced on the hardwood – the Reebok Question.

Introduced by rookie Allen Iverson in 1996, the Reebok Question is one of the greatest performing basketball shoes of all time.  The features include the following:

  • Grain leather upper with Pearlized Red toe box
  • Hexalite cushioning for comfort and increased responsiveness
  • Translucent non-marking rubber outsole
  • Lace hoop system with round braided laces
  • 2012 reissue of the signature shoe for Allen Iverson during his rookie season

Aesthetics and Styling

With a 1990’s look, the Question has a simple silhouette with, the customary for the times, shapes and accents around the shoe.  The bulky design is made with heavy padding and a thick Hexalite midsole.  The grain leather upper has a luxurious feel and is an aspect that is rarely seen in modern day performance sneakers.  This shoe definitely does not take light weight into consideration, but the performance has warranted numerous reissues though the years.  And as the first Allen Iverson shoe, the Question holds a high distinction in the history of Reebok Basketball.  To mark this special reissue, Reebok has produced the infamous White/Pearlized Red color scheme, representing Iverson and the Sixers in his rookie year.

Reebok Question - Pearlized Red

Worn by Allen Iverson in his rookie season, the Question is a gem in the history of Reebok Basketball

As looks can be deceiving, a side profile of the Question is not very exciting.  Two honeycomb Hexalite pods stand out at the heel and forefoot as the grain leather upper looks bulky.  For this color scheme, the Pearlized Red toe box and translucent blue outsole gleam from the all white upper.  Our look starts below with a thin translucent rubber outsole.  The outsole is broken into two sections, the forefoot and heel, with a steep curve at the mid foot to help with court feel.  This non-marking rubber sole is molded with a simple wave pattern throughout and is very thin.  A toe cap is formed with a line of stitching, and a red Reebok logo runs vertically down the forefoot.  Through the translucent sole, a large Reebok check logo is visible on the midsole.  Moving to the heel, a small rectangular piece reveals the cushioning system, branded with the “HEXALITE” logo etched into the rubber.  The sole continues up the heel where a circular patch has the stitched number “3” of Iverson.  Complimenting the thin rubber outsole is a very thick foam midsole.  The smooth foam is expansive, running along the base.  Hexalite pods, with a honeycomb design, are placed at the heel and forefoot on each side, the signature look for the Question.

Grain synthetic leather makes up the upper.  At the toe box, the red leather is stitched on, connecting to the first lace hoop at the throat line.  The sides are done symmetrically in a couple of layers.  First, as base layer is stitched above the midsole.  On the middle of each side is a stitched Reebok check logo, which sits on an overlay patch above the wrinkled leather, making up the majority of each side.

At the heel, more leather is found for comfort and stability.  Panels of stitched leather form a base above the midsole, before a padded ridged collar section is reached.  The signature “Q” logo sits on top of a pearlized red patch at the top of the back end, appropriately branding the shoe.  For ankle support, the collar rises at almost a 90 degree angle, and has plush padding throughout.   Providing maximum comfort, a fleece lining is used.

Lacing comes in the form of hoops and round braided laces.  The laces pass through six lace hoops, which spell out “Reebok” on the lateral, with the check logo placed on each hoop for the medial.  Each hoop extends from a cut out portion of the leather and is reinforced with plastic.  A heavily padded mesh tongue sits under the laces, with an asymmetrical patch on the top.  This leather patch is marked with a stitched Reebok check logo.  Rounding out the Question is a contoured PU insole.  Thick and flimsy, the insole is used for maximum comfort and has the final Reebok logo and check at the heel.

Comfort and Fit

A thick and padded tongue pushes the laces open for an easy entry into the shoe.  For those who have never tried on a pair of Questions, one of the most comfortable basketball performers ever made awaits.  Tightening the laces is a bit of a task due to the bulk of the tongue, and when laced tight, the pressure is minimal.  Fitting is a half size large, but those who need more width will be fine with their true size.  Up front, the toe box is every comfortable and secure.  There is ample room width wise, with the toes having good room to move.  Around the foot the shoe has a cumbersome feel, but the comfort is unmatched.  Ankle support and protection is rock solid, and heel lock down is excellent.  Below, the insole provides a perfect, comfortable base above the stiff Hexalite cushioning.  This is one of the best combinations of comfort, with a responsive feel.  The foot sits with good arch support from the leather upper, and the heel area is a bit raised.  Comfortable, secure, and responsive, the Question is one of the best fitting basketball shoes every made.

Reebok Question - Pearlized Red

Comfort, security, and responsiveness are the aspects that the Question brings to the table

Performance

Great court feel comes with feeling the intricacies of the shoe coming together with the court surface.  For the Question, the layers of the foundation speak to the foot, starting with the soft insole, to the thick Hexalite midsole, down the thin rubber outsole which has a vacuum like attraction to the hardwood surface.  Running is very comfortable all around.  The tongue padding is excellent, with the upper feeling very secure.  Flexibility of the toe box is natural and the Hexalite gives a responsive ride, with an overall close to the ground feel.  And even with the bulkiness and weight of the shoe, the natural feeling and flow of performance makes these factors a non-issue.  Versatile performance makes the Question fit for any type of player or position.  In short, playing in the shoe is a fun experience.  For the big man, the shoe is tough and responsive.  The midsole is very thick, able to take a pounding for the heavy footed player.  Couple this with the thin outsole, which brings great responsiveness and traction, and the player is able to be both nibble and aggressive in the post.  Swingmen will find the ease of movement up and down the court favorable.  A leak out on a fast break, the player can press through the foundation for a quick burst and glide down the court smoothly.  Rising up to a finish, the Hexalite is solid and responsive enough to take the pressure at full speed, and absorb all the impact evenly.  Also, the thickness of the heel is great for handling those awkward landings or strong heel strikes.  The quicker player will find benefits with the above performance, as well as moving laterally.  Stopping during a cross over, or sliding to a halt on the baseline, the sidewalls of the midsole hold up well.  Again the performance of the Hexalite comes into play, as it is very consistent.  Stop & starts and quick pulls just feel great.  At the end of the day, the versatile, responsive, and comfortable performance of this Reebok reissue can not be questioned.

A leather upper, thick padding, and solid midsole can only mean exceptional stability.  The Question really has no weaknesses and the evaluation of stability performance solidifies this statement.  The upper provides natural protection and stability through the leather and padding – from the tongue and collar.  Around the foot, the shoe holds well, and can take the taxing forces from side to side, front to back.  This serves the big man well, in terms of playing physical, but also for the quicker player who can torque the shoe in many directions.  Below, the Hexalite is both comfortable and solid.  The design of limiting the amount of bulk for the outsole, and transferring it to the midsole not only gives extra support, but keeps responsiveness and court feel high.  For the most part, stability works as a whole, with the upper keeping the foot protected and in place, while the foundation never lets the player slip or get off balance.

Traction for the Question is all about feel.  The grooves cut into the outsole serve more for flexibility and movement over grip.  In a static position, or moving slowly, grip is sticky.  Because the rubber used is minimal, this set up works well in providing responsive grip in the context of a game setting and harsh movements.  To maximize performance, stepping hard is recommended, although there are not problems when simply moving around on the court.  Jab steps and stop & starts keep the player stable without getting stuck in place.  The shoe can stop quickly, but most importantly, movement is not slowed down by any traction pattern.  In all, the more pressure the player puts results in better traction.  A leather upper with little perforations and a fleece lining leads to satisfactory ventilation.  One of the few minor drawbacks of the Question may affect those who value breathability in a performance shoe.  Long sessions on the court can result in heat build up and sweat at times.  This however, is a small price to pay for the enjoyment the shoe provides on the court.

Conclusion

The Allen Iverson years can be considered the last great times for Reebok Basketball.  Looking for a new star, Reebok has turned to young sensation John Wall, but the resurgence of the line has not made a huge impact to say the least.  Performance sneakers like the Question only come along once in a blue moon, and those who were not around during the days of the initial release would be wise to give them a try on the court this time around.  One of the most versatile basketball shoes ever produced, the Question brings comfort, great responsiveness, and excellent stability – and overall, a fun experience on the court.  The Reebok name today may not hold the luster that it has in the past, which may lead many to shy away from this reissue.  Those who are familiar, however, know that there is nothing to question with this Reebok performer.  Released late last month in limited quantities, the Reebok Question is available at select Reebok retailers now.

This shoe is comparable to:

Adidas Top Ten 2000