Even after a full three years away from the game, Allen Iverson still gets questions. When is he coming back? When will he retire? When will we see him next? They won’t end until he comes back with answers, but there is one Question and one Answer that he’s willing to give back to the people—literally.
On Friday, March 8th, Reebok and Allen Iverson will be re-introducing his famed initial sneaker, The Question, and its near equal in the Answer IV. Smartly, they aren't limited, both shoes will be available at the major chains such as Foot Locker, The Finish Line, Footaction, Eastbay, Champs, Reebok, and Shoe City (have your buck-twenty-five ready—that’s a Ben Franklin, by the way).
But that’s not the whole reason for the spotlight.
The Question and Answer IV are the most definitive shoes in Iverson’s career. The former is most famous for being the model of shoe in which Iverson broke down our dear MJ and won his first kind of NBA Most Valuable Player Award, in the 1997 NBA Rookie Game. The latter is the shoe that “The Answer” wore in his historic 2000-2001 season, when he and the Philadelphia 76ers matched up against the Los Angeles Lakers in that season’s Finals––the finest season in his 14-year career.
Simply put, the shoes have history—but are they still relevant in 2013?
To give admirers of the shoe some incentive to purchase (or re-purchase), Reebok made The Question and the Answer IV with a kind of chromatic throwback motif. Though the Answer IV stays true to its original color palate, The Question is being released in a flat grey/athletic navy/white colorway, making the shoe a shoutout to Georgetown University, Iverson’s alma mater and the foundation of his national stardom.
The Question has been, seemingly, done to death for more than 15 years with none surpassing the original late 1996 release, but in the gray/navy update, the Question gets a treatment comparable to a gentrified neighborhood: you know the history and that the look was superb for its times, but you didn’t realize how fresh it could be with a little reconstruction. The navy suede toe, Hexalite windows and lining class up the joint a bit and give The Question some needed depth. The flat grey tumbled leather also gives The Question a more relaxed feel, as they are typically released in a white so bright that they can burn retinas fresh out of the box. Simply, this version of The Question is deserving of the dough.
As for the Answer IV, as aforementioned (with the exception of Iverson’s patented player-only strap), it returns just as it came. Though Reebok discontinued its former DMX I-Pak technology, the shoe carries the same attributes as before. In the case of this particular shoe, the Answer IV was more a niche sneaker and wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea for style, but was a huge hit for child fans of Iverson (including this former child). Yes, it’s a classic and moved major units in its day, and it is certainly one of the best Iverson models produced. It gets the Co-Sign for nostalgia, but whether it conjures up any genuine lust or covetousness remains to be seen.
More than anything, both shoes are among Iverson’s best, and his die-hard fans will surely support. That much is certain.