Exclusive: The Reebok Answer 4.5 is Inspired by A.I.’s Iconic Sleeve

Reebok is hard at work on the I3 Legacy Collection, a series of sneakers that will celebrate Allen Iverson. We reported on samples of one of A.I’s new sneakers but the latest is the Reebok Answer 4.5.

Reebok designer Craig Howard has rebuilt the Answer 4 for 2018 with a slip-on build and inner sleeve. That inner sleeve, according to Howard, was incorporated to celebrate one of Iverson’s historic accessories: the full-length compression sleeve.

According to the New Yorker, Iverson’s shooting elbow had developed bursitis and it had been swelling for some time. While the injury would eventually lead to surgery, then Piladelphia 76ers trainer Lenny Currier devised a temporary solution: he cut a length of tube bandage (compression stockinette) and offered it to Iverson for his elbow, according to the New Yorker.

allen iverson sleeve

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

A.I. agreed to play in it, and that night he went off for 51 points. He went on to average more than 31 points per game the rest of the season and dragged his team to the NBA Finals. Iverson played in a full-length arm sleeve the rest of his career.

Now, the sleeve has been adapted to the Reebok Answer 4.5, a new heritage basketball sneaker that, according to its designer, is playable — although feet will get hot due to the leather upper. Cushioning is supplied by regular EVA and traction will be covered by a rubber outsole.

There is no official word yet on when to expect the Reebok Answer 4.5 but stay tuned for updates.

UPDATE 8/8/18: This shoe, according to its sample tags, is called the Answer IV.V (Answer 4.5).

Reebok Answer 4.5 Reebok Answer 4.5 1

Reebok Answer 4.5

Reebok Answer 4.5 allen iverson


Images via @size_okay


  1. Why are they using EVA for this when they’ve brought back functioning DMX? I just tried on the Daytona and there is real DMX in that so it makes no sense why they don’t put it in these!

  2. Cost and design implementation probably decides the outcome. With that I’d guess for the Answer 4 and this hybrid, it wasn’t adding up favorably.

    I like these since they skip the shroud, which like no one uses. Ever better if they shaped around a more modern last, but the recent Stepover retro just felt like something to put up with imo. Felt cool for the nostalgia and doing some dribbling work early on, but it’s hardly in my rotation.

  3. dang ! reebok almost had it. this is exactly what I was worried about happening. not sure what reebok is trying to accomplish other than possibly paying Iverson some hefty royalty or I dunno. it just doesn’t make sense. they could have had a fantastic legacy retro line that they could sell more even for $160. but I guess they want to sell these like budget models for $120. not complaining that much but could have saved me from putting on some custom insoles which could be a bit of an inconvenience. would I buy them? certainly unless something better comes along.

  4. just remove the DMX branding altogether when it does not actually have the tech. this is just confusing and puts more people off from buying it because you can never be sure which model has actual dmx or not.

    i had the mesh slip on answer iv back in the day and it was glorious.

  5. it says DMX on the shoe. how’s it not going to have DMX? Reebok is unsuccessful bc dorks run the company. the decisions they make are ALWAYS shortsighted. they save a few bucks, only to hurt their sales and damage the brand reputation in the process 9x out of 10. they make it really difficult to like or even respect the company. sad

  6. Real simple. Release the answer 5 and 6 in a combo pack. On one side of the box, “Even on the court we stay fly, Jada and A.I.” other side “A.I and Jkiss, presenting the A6”. Top of the box has a shot from both commercials. Shoes are the colorways from the commercials. Tell me people wouldn’t buy that over what they’ve leaked so far.

  7. Disappointed about the substitute EVA cushioning when the shoes sport DMX Cushioning branding… It’s a clean looking shoe otherwise. I can appreciate remixing models like this, “heritage” models if you will, because it offers fresh takes on classic silhouettes. The snug like fit the sleeve will provide and the fast lacing system could all be great.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.