TGRR Blog: First Impressions of the Reebok ATV 19+


Prose: Finch (@Sir_Stymie)

Like many, I could be called skeptical about change and especially when it come to sneakers. After watching the promotional videos for Reebok’s ATV 19+ featuring “Rampage” Jackson (who just retired, mind you) as the pitchman, I must admit I was more than apprehensive; entertained, but apprehensive nonetheless. I was concerned that Reebok had made a grave mistake after a great run of retro releases from their Classics line (which included the previously written-about Kamikaze II.) and the ATV 19+ seemed to be a step in the wrong direction.

I was was confused about the functionality of the sole, which has 19 “Lugs” (a term coined by Reebok) which are supposed to help you run and train on virtually any type of surface. While looking at spec pictures, I was confused about how the Lugs would be viable in terms of the overall stability of the shoe since no part of the sole itself was a flat surface.

I brought my grievances to Sittler, who is well versed in sneaker technology, and a big fan of innovation. He too was was very wary of the comfort and the the overall functionality of the design. Even with all of our doubts, we both were trying to be the first to try on the kicks and to share our experiences with you fine people.

I got the opportunity to try on the ATV19+ yesterday as I was leaving my job at Foot Locker. As I was walking to the exit, I walked by the Finish Line in the same mall (I usually try not to frequent this store because I try hard not to buy shoes without my discount unless its completely necessary.) There on the door display sat an ATV19+. I couldn’t resist. I made a beeline with the shoe in hand to the nearest sales associate. Before I knew it I was sitting on a bench with the classic blue Reebok box in my lap (in other words It was about to go down).

The shoe comes in three colorways: a black, blue and orange “Rampage” colorway, a grey, black and lime green, and a red, black and yellow. I thought it was fitting to try on the “Rampage” colorway. The first thing I noticed when I opened the box was the length of the shoe. I wear a size thirteen so I’m used to the shoes in my size looking totally different than the shoe on the display. This shoe was a monster. The Lugs looked like they jutted seemingly from every which way, and even though the shoes’ shared identical Lug placement there didn’t seem to be a real pattern. The position of the Lugs also played a major factor in the overall width of the shoe as well.

As I put the shoe on my foot I came to the realization of two things:
1) That the ATV’s are a bit narrow
2) The ATV’s run a bit long

After tying the laces for a secure fit I stood up and the most amazing thing happened: the Lugs, which I previously thought to be locked in their respective positions, began to flatten once my body weight was applied. The Lugs work cooperatively with the soft midsole, almost making them like the Reebok equivalent to Nike Free plus Shox in some weird/awesome hybrid combination.

To say it in as few words as possible, these shoes are awesomely comfortable. I just wish they looked a bit better. To be honest, after viewing the shoe on foot for a while it begins to grow on you but still it’s a pretty ugly piece of footwear. When I talked to my source at Reebok they explained to me that the shoe was built for functionality and comfort and not as a fashion statement.

I can dig it but still I wish they would have done something better than what they did. I would have loved to pick the shoes up and done a total in-depth review but until then, the jury still is out on the overall functionality of the shoe. I am still very curious to see how The ATV 19+ perform in the elements intended. I guess I’ll have to save that for another time.

The Reebok ATV 19+ is available at and of course with a price tag of $139.99. I thought that they ran a bit long so you may want to think about getting a half-size smaller. If you can’t overlook the aesthetics of the shoe and if $140 is a little too much for your pocket, I strongly advise that you hit up your local Finish Line and at least try them on – you won’t regret it.

TGRR Blog: The Return of the Reignman

Prose: Finch (@Sir_Stymie)

In my last post I talked about the re-emergence of big man shoes in today’s sneaker market and I’m going to continue with the same theme in my latest pick up. I present to you the Reebok Kamikaze II OG Sonics, which I think is even cooler because of the possibility of the Supersonics coming back to the NBA. I was able to pick up the shoe from the good folks at City Gear for around $109.00 tax and shipping included in an early morning release day pick up. The Kamikaze II is the latest in a line of nice retro releases from Reebok Classics which include Emmitt Smith’s ES22, Allen Iverson’s The Question and Answer IV’s and Dominique Wilkins’ colorway of the Twilight Pumps. I have been more than excited about all these releases and am proud to say that I was able to pick up almost all of these retro’s for a modest price and great quality (ed. note: Sittler is pumped for the DMX 10 and Answer I releases too).  With that said, the Kamikaze is by far one of my favorite retro pick-ups to date.

The Kamikaze II was made famous by Shawn Kemp, one of the most athletically gifted players of the 1990’s not named Michael Jeffery Jordan. He was dubbed “The Reignman” because his ability to dunk on any and everybody. You will not find a top 10 dunkers list without Kemp’s name on it. The man had the rare ability jump so gracefully, but also throw it down with ridiculous power and what Shaq called “Funk” – creativity/swagger. If you were to use a player comparison of someone in today’s NBA, he was like a combination of Josh Smith and Blake Griffin, but with a flat top.

Kemp played for the Seattle Supersonics from 1990-1997. In those years he teamed up with Gary “The Glove” Payton (who is also rumored to have his Nike shoe re-released later in the year) to form one of the most dominant guard/forward tandems of the 90s outside of MJ and Pippen. Besides having catchy nicknames, Kemp and Payton ran roughshod over the Western Conference over their tenure in Seattle. Those seven seasons included five straight 50+ win seasons and two NBA Finals appearances (where they lost to the Bulls as did everyone did in the 90s.) Be that as it may, Kemp put up some highlights that will remain in NBA history forever and some pretty dope shoes as well.

The Kamikaze II “Sonics” is a mid top shoe with a white and black, leather and nubuck upper. Its most distinguishing feature is the black, almost lightning bolt, nubuck design that engulfs nearly the entire upper. This shoe also has accents of green on the midsole as well as green Reebok Vector logos throughout the shoe, which really pop against the black and white canvas. The sole is black with a classic herringbone design, the most functional setup from a performance standpoint in my eyes. There is also a green wave at the forefoot flex point and a chili red Reebok logo. In the sole itself Reebok uses Hexalite, which is comparable to Nike Zoom or Air Max. Hexalite works by using many hexagonal pods placed closely together, making a shape similar to a honeycomb. When weight is applied to the grouping of hexagons, they bend and mold around the foot while acting like a spring as it deflects and spreads the weight of the foot, helping on-court performance. The Kamikaze II was one of the first shoes to use this technology but it’s still being used on many new and retro silhouettes, including the Kamikaze I (which is also rumored to be released in the near future) and many shoes from the Iverson line. From a breathability standpoint – like most shoes from this era – they offer little relief so I suggest you let them air out after wearing them on the court or as a fashion statement.

Since the KII’s retro debut it has been worn on court by one of my favorite young players, Sacramento Kings’ point guard Isaiah Thomas (cool because he’s from Seattle, and ironic because the team could be moving back there soon.) Los Angeles Clippers’ shooting guard Willie Green has brought them out as well. They were also worn off the court by Rick Ross, Swizz Beatz and Jay-Z.

Since the success of the OG colorway, Reebok has followed up the release with rumors of a red and black colorway and a black and white on February 1. If you couldn’t get your hands on the OG colorway, make sure you get your funds ready by the first; I believe that it will be worth it. This shoe has a very nice combination of style and functionality that will appeal to today’s modern baller. You can’t go wrong with the price either!