REEBOK SIGNATURE SERIES – SHAQ ATTAQ – MONDAY TREAT
The year was 1992 when Shaquille O’neal signed his first NBA contract with the Orlando Magic. Coming from the LSU, Shaq was already promising to be one of the biggest stars in the upcoming years, naturally all the equipment companies wanted sign him as well foreseeing the potential of the 7 foot 2 inches tall young center. Now we all know that Reebok won that battle and started preparing him the first signature shoe which arguably became the best looking one in his career. In the first months of season 1992-1993 Shaq was playing in Reebok’s Above The Rim – The Intimidator, which was a similar version of the D-Time, rocked by Dee Brown, but was a high cut version with small changes of the look and featured a fullfoot pump chamber.
Not too long further in to the season the first signature was born, the Pump Shaq Attaq, per Shaq’s words the shoe was created to look futuristic and provide a look that will be relevant even 20 years later after its creation, the designer was Judy Close and she created it for only four months, she was also responsible for a large number of Blacktop series kicks. The upper was made of high quality full grain leather with nubuk overlays and suede accents for the vector logo, also a small blue synthetic accents around the heel area and the tongue upper. These sneakers were rather different than most Reebok Basketball models at that time, The bright orange pump was replaced with a black one, the Pump system was only in the midfoot chamber, there was no Hexalite cushioning in the heel, instead the overall weight of the shoe was lowered down significantly by the use of Graphlite, which was Reebok’s version of carbon fiber, Graphlite also helped a lot with the shoe stability and support. In fact The Shaq Attaq was the first basketball model to utilize the use of Graphlite, up till this model Reebok only used it in some of the Cross Training models and Runners as well. Inside the shoe on top of the insole and right under Shaq’s logo it reads “All Men Count On You, But None Too Much.” The original phrase, as written by the English poet Rudyard Kipling in his 1895 poem “If”. Reebok also included their new speed lacing system, which was a reinforced lace eyelets with perforated plastic plates.
I am not entirely sure why was Hexalite not used in the Attaq, since we know later the combination of Graphlite and Hexalite was used in many, many models with a big success, and if I ever have a chance to talk to anyone at Reebok, that will definitely be one of my questions .
Shortly after the launch of the Shaq Attaq, Reebok created one of the most powerful add campaigns to promote the model, Shaq was in commercial along with basketball legends like Carim Abdul Jabar, Bill Russel, Bill Walton and Will Chamberlain, that was first aired during the 1993 SuperBowl.
The model became very popular and was sold all over the world, the only down side, if can even talk about down side was the price tag of $130. The price was similar to all the Jordan’s from that period and it was almost impossible to reach, at least for myself.
Shortly after that a Black version of the Attaq was released, interestingly enough Shaq never laced up a Black pair of the Attaq’s for any official NBA game, he would rather change the white laces with black ones and still rock the White pair on both home and away games. The Black and Azure version was mostly done in black leather and nubuk, Azure accents around the ankle area and tongue upper, also a black and azure midsole/outsole. Another interesting fact is that there was no logo or Reebok written any ware on the outsole of the shoe, which till today I think is the only one like that.
Later there was a second version of the Black pair which was almost entirely made out of black leather and nubuk, the difference with the first one was perforations along the side of the toe box and the lateral side of the shoe, the tongue upper was replaced with black mesh, and featured an Insta Pump system, the midsole was all black, same as outsole, this time around there was Reebok placed on the medial side of the heel area, also the Azure synthetic accents around the heel were replaced with Azure suede accents. Speaking about Insta Pump, both the White and the Black version received an updated release with the Insta Pump later in 93-94 period.
2013 was probably one of the most important years for Reebok, none of us fans believed that will ever see the Shaq Attaq retro-ed, luckily for all of us out there that ware waiting for a retro release for over 20 years, Reebok made it possible. Shaquille and Reebok finally buried the hatched and started working on delivering all those amazing retros back to us. My personal thanks goes out to Reebok and Shaq for making this possible. The only downside, I am sure for many people, was the limited numbers on the original white pair, many people that wanted to buy this legendary sneaker were not able to and a lot of pair end up on ebay held hostage in the hands of re-sellers for more than twice the retail price. Hopefully Reebok will retro the Attaq again and this time with a lot more pairs, I am sure they will sale as well.