Reebok Answer DMX 10

The Reebok Answer DMX 10

Introduction

So far this year, Reebok Classics has released the Shawn Kemp Kamikaze and the Shaquille O’Neal Shaq Attack.  As the reissued models continue to keep the Basketball wing afloat, the next release this year goes back to the last biggest superstar the brand had – Allen Iverson.  In the past two years, the Question Mid (which is a staple to be reissued every year) and the Answer IV have seen a revival.  It is only fitting that the latest Iverson to get the retro treatment comes right around playoff time where, AI definitely had his signature moments.  The Answer line became one of the sought after signature models during the reign of AI.  Driving Reebok Basketball through the mid-2000’s, the Answer line is their longest running signature shoe, making it up to 14 models.  This Performance Review looks at the retooled 2013 version of the first Answer, renamed the DMX 10.

The very first in the Answer line, the Answer DMX 10 marks the initial reissue of the shoe.  The features include the following:

  • Full-grain leather upper for comfort and support
  • Cushioning provided by DMX 10 technology
  • Rubber outsole with pod design
  • Mid foot stability plate
  • Shroud style lacing system with inner lace hoops

Aesthetics and Styling

For the first run of Answer models (including the Question Mid), the style and design featured leather uppers with a low/mid cut.  Compared to the shoes of today, they may not look as sleek & refined, but during their time, these were the shoes that were meant for the guard type player.  In the Answer DMX 10, a full leather upper and thick foundation give off a bulky look.  Full-grain leather upper means both support & comfort for the player.  And one of the most important aspects of the Answer 1 was that it represented the first time DMX 10 moving air technology was equipped in a basketball shoe.  Released after his rookie season, the black and gold color scheme was fitting for the newly crowned Rookie of the Year.

Reebok Answer DMX 10

Renamed the DMX 10, this reissue was the first in the Reebok Answer line

Just like the Question Mid that precede it, a lower-mid cut is draped in various types of leather.  The look is on the bulky side as the upper is encompassing with a thick outsole.  This shape and somewhat heavy design would carry over to the next couple of Answers, all the way to the IX.  Starting with the outsole, the speckled rubber is separated into forefoot and heel sections.  Up front, the rubber forms a toe cap and moving down, the traction pattern is made up of deep wavy lines.  The defining aspect of the sole comes with the circular pods.  There are two pods on each side of the forefoot and heel area respectively for a total of 8 pods.  A clear stiff stability plate lies at the mid foot with the “I3” logo connecting the forefoot and heel.  The heel has the rounded look from the side pods, with another protruding pod in the center.  A small Reebok vector logo is molded on the back side of the heel, on the speckled rubber.   Rounding out the thick foundation is a white foam midsole.  The midsole has gold ovals on the side with the “Reebok” branding at the heel.

Full-grain and synthetic leather are used for the upper.  The toe box shoes off the multiple forms of leather with the synthetic rounding the toe cap and the full-grain on the top.  White leather sits under the stitched black leather creating rings at the toe box.  Another Reebok vector logo is discreetly placed at the throat line, embroidered on the leather.  On the sides, the shoe has a simple and clean look.  The panels of leather are stitched on with a small Reebok vector logo stitched on the lateral mid foot.

Multiple layers of materials are found at the heel.  First is a synthetic base layer extends on each side to the mid foot.  Next comes the white leather, leading to the full-grain black leather.  The top of the heel has a large rounded & padded Achilles notch, designed with corrugations.  This notch is covered with a mesh webbing for style.  Moving on, the collar is integrated seamlessly into the design of the shoe.  The lateral side has a black, gold, and red “I3” logo.  On the inside, the lining is a silky synthetic with very plush padding.

The lacing system for the Answer DMX 10 is one of the most unique aspects of the shoe.  High quality round laces travel through lace hoops which are tucked inside the leather sides.  The sides of the lacing system form a semi-shroud if the laces are tied very tight.  Four lace hoops are cut on the inside with two final eyelets on the top.  The top of the sides have a gold and black Reebok vector logo made of leather, covered in plastic.  Underneath the lacing system is a plush tongue.  The tongue is lined just like the collar.  Patent leather makes up the top of the tongue broken up by three layers of stitching. “Iverson” is stitched on the leather in gold & black with the “Reebok” branding on top, and behind the tongue is a patch commemorating the 1996 Rookie of the Year.  Last but not least is a high quality PU insole.  The insole comes simply in black with a final white Reebok vector logo printed on the heel.

Comfort and Fit

Getting into the DMX 10 is made easy with a wide opening and easy to manipulate lacing system.  The foot slips in for a true to size fit, which is both comfortable and plush.  A big change from the form fitting uppers of modern performers, the padding and leather upper have a more relaxed feel.  The comfort is excellent due to the padding all around, from the collar to the tongue.  At the front of the shoe, the toe box has very comfortable wiggle room.  The leather upper feels comfortable and not too soft, allowing the toes to push up against it with a more supportive feel.  There should be enough room for those with wide feet.  Around the ankles, the cut of the collar does enough to cover the ankles.  Heel lockdown is a bit relaxed, but sliding is not a problem.  The Achilles notch rises high and brings great support as well as comfort.  Moving to cushioning, the DMX 10 is on the stiff and flat side with a bit of give.  It is definitely not the stiffest set up, but would not be considered soft either.  What can be felt are the pods on the sole.  This gives the shoe a raised over flat feel.  All in all, the cushioning set up is comfortable with a slight bounce.  Next, the leather upper and synthetic panel provide good arch support.  Support mainly comes from the feel of the materials over the shape and fit of the upper.  In other words, the leather just feels very supportive.  In the end, the Answer DMX 10 brings a comfortable and plush upper, with a foundation ready to hit the hardwood.

Reebok Answer DMX 10

Pods on the outsole bring very good court feel and responsiveness

Performance

With the pod set up on the outsole and the DMX 10 cushioning, court feel in a static position is excellent.  The shoe feels ready to push into action out of the box.  Once into a sprint, heel to toe transitions have a natural feel with very good comfort.  A combination of the pods on the outsole and the forefoot/heel design makes movement easy, while the DMX cushioning has a slight, but responsive bounce.  The leather upper has enough flex through the toe box while the flaps above the lacing system do not really hinder the foot from flexing easily.  Comfort comes from the padding all around the collar and down the tongue, which helps alleviate the lace pressure.  In terms of weight, the shoe is heavy compared to the performers of these days, so it may take a minute or two for the player to get accustomed to the balance of the shoe.  For performance,  the shoe favors aggressive play.  Guards that play heavy footed and like to push a shoe to the limit will find the pod set up very responsive.  The pods do give a raised feel, but they are not as rounded as they look.  That is, they feel more close to the court surface than above it.  To describe the responsiveness of the shoe the set up is important.  The footbed is on the flat side, while the outsole has the contours.  This allows the player to get a better feel of the pods to be able to work them during play.  Also, the pods are placed on the sides which helps with balance.  Changing directions harshly or from high speeds feels very balanced.  The player can feel the pods working, while the DMX provides the comfort.  For the heel, the pods work just as well.  Whether rocking back or to the side on defense, the pods on the heel are great for pivoting and moving laterally.  Moving to jumps, the shoe is dynamic in every sense.  Again, the pods are very natural to play off of and the DMX is made for jumping.  Jump shots have a boost upwards and finishes are just as explosive.  Landings are handled with very good comfort.  The DMX cushioning is thick and the pods almost eliminate any awkward landings.  Great court feel, responsiveness, and comfort make the Answer DMX 10 one of the best shoes on the market.

With a full leather upper and a thick foundation, stability is a bright spot for the shoe.  Starting with ankle support and protection, the shoe is satisfactory.  The cut does cover the ankles, but during play, the lack of a tight wrap can be felt.  This does affect the ankles and heel lockdown as the shoe favors a more flexible feel in this area.  However, the very large and padded Achilles notch does a great job of giving a secure feel with comfort to not leave the back end totally exposed.  Next the leather upper brings security all around.  Unlike the synthetic materials used with modern shoes for a form fitting feel, leather uppers give some room for the foot to breath.  For harsh lateral slides, the player can feel the leather working.  There are few moments where the leather comes to a point of failure.  Also, when the player bends and gets low, the upper does not have rigid flexibility.  This adds to the aggressive nature of the shoe, allowing the player to push the shoe hard in every direction.  Below, the pod outsole and DMX based foundation adds another layer of stability.  Players that put a lot of impact on the sole will find that this shoe can take a good beating.  Whether it be landings or hard foot stomps, the shoe feels able to take impact comfortably with a feeling of security.

Traction performance is unique.  Because the outsole set up is based on the pods lining the sides, traction in this instance is based more on feel than through the use of a traction pattern.  Because of the aggressive nature of the shoe, traction is more fit for a heavy footed or stop & start player.  That said, traction is observed playing off the pods.  Unless the player is pushing forward off the traction pattern towards the toe cap, the pods are the main element that touches the court surface.  The pods give a rolling feel, pushing the player to move in whatever direction desired.  This means that each pod provides grip, which would not be described as sticky.  The pods do grip the court well and can halt the player from high speeds, but stopping is not rigid (like a herringbone pattern would provide).  One problem that the shoe does have is on dusty courts.  The sole seems to pick up a film of debris which adversely affects traction.  Especially during long game sessions, the player will have to be conscious about wiping down the sole to keep traction performance at a maximum.  As for ventilation, the design of the shoe is not the most ideal.  The leather upper and plush cushioning can get hot, and moisture can build up (depending on the player).  There are little outlets for relief, so this is another aspect that the player must look out for during play.

Conclusion

Reissues give sneaker fans a chance to go back in time and experience iconic shoes of the past.  They also give a perspective on how sneaker design has changed over the years.  Today, shoes are refined and efficient, made with minimal materials to reflect the fast paced game.  A time for innovation and radical designs characterized 1990’s/early 2000’s, with performance pushing for versatility.  The Answer DMX 10 (like the Question Mid and Answer IV) is another representative shoe of the time.  Bringing very good court feel, stability, and comfort, the shoe shows just how good the Answer line was and that Reebok Basketball was no slouch.  Of course it does not compared in speed to all the light weight performance on the market today, but those looking for a solid shoe with a full-grain leather upper would not be disappointed with this Answer reissue.  Released this past Memorial Day Weekend, the renamed Answer DMX 10 is available at the Official Reebok Online Store now.

This shoe is comparable to:

Reebok Answer IV (2012 Reissue)
Reebok Question Mid (2012 Reissue)