Our verdict

We were thrilled about the comeback of the Answer DMX, with all its updates and familiar features. This Reebok Classics shoe carries a vivid 90's vibe and pays tribute to the great Allen Iverson. Even though we didn't find the same funky DMX air technology of the old, this shoe still surprised us with excellent impact protection. In addition, its comfort and durability make it well worth the price tag. It's not the best for performance but it can surely handle a game or two.

Pros

  • Incredible durability
  • Stylish retro silhouette
  • Plenty of impact protection
  • Mimics the OG DMX cushioning
  • Comfortable in-shoe feel
  • Great support and stability
  • Fantastic value for money

Cons

  • Not breathable
  • Heavy for a hoop shoe

Audience verdict

89
Great!

Who should buy

The Reebok Answer DMX is right up your alley if:

  • you are feeling nostalgic for the '90s vibes
  • you are a huge fan of Allen Iverson and want the same shoe he wore in the famous Spin Cross commercial
  • you want a retro silhouette that can still hoop

Reebok Answer DMX review

Who should NOT buy

The Reebok Answer DMX belongs to the brand's Classics footwear which means that it's not a performance-oriented option. We found it too clunky and lacking the technical edge for a proper court game.

If you need a basketball shoe for real action, our current top picks are Nike LeBron NXXT GEN and Jordan Zion 2.

Reebok Answer DMX lab test

Breathability

We gotta be honest, the Reebok Answer DMX seemed like it would get zero for breathability at first sight.

But as our smoke-pumping machine test shows, the shoe does let some air pass on the sides of the tongue. It's definitely not enough to keep the interiors ventilated on a warm summer day, but at least it's not a foot oven.

On a 1-5 scale, where 5 is the most breathable, we rated this Reebok shoe's breathability as 2.

To further demonstrate the shoe's absolute lack of ventilation capacity, we put its half-cut upper against bright light. As you can see, no perforations or mesh sections whatsoever.

Test results
Answer DMX 2
Average 2.3
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

But what is the upside of getting an all-leather upper? Its insane resistance to abrasion, for sure!

We chose our most dreaded weapon to test the durability of this Reebok shoe's toebox - the Dremel. Having drilled the toebox material for as long as 12 seconds at a 5K RPM speed, it seems like we only got through the topmost varnish!

The Reebok Answer DMX got its well-deserved 5 out of 5 for toebox durability.

Sneakerheads who blow away dust particles from their kicks need not worry about donning this Reebok shoe outside!

Reebok Answer DMX vs Adidas Harden Stepback 3 toebox durability

Reebok Answer DMX vs. Adidas Harden Stepback 3

For reference, this is what mesh-upper hoop shoes come out like after the same Dremel test.

Test results
Answer DMX 5
Average 3.8
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

On the downside, the heel lining did not perform so well.

After only 4 seconds, we saw the tool create a pretty bad tear on the heel collar material. This was quite surprising after seeing the abrasion resistance of the Reebok Blast's lining. So, it's not like the rand doesn't know how to make durable in-shoe linings.

Reebok Answer DMX heel padding durability test

Unfortunately, we had to give this shoe's heel padding durability the lowest score - only 1 out of 5. This is less durable than the average across hoop shoes too.

Test results
Answer DMX 1
Average 3.6
Compared to 35 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

But before you become dismayed, let us show what the shoe's outsole looks like.

It is incredibly hard! No, quite seriously, it is the hardest rubber in our basketball shoe roster so far! With a durometer measurement of 91.0 HC, it is firmer than 99% of our lab-tested shoes!

It will surely take months before the outsole starts to show signs of wear.

Reebok Answer DMX Outsole hardness
Test results
Answer DMX 91.0 HC
Average 82.1 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
59.5 HC
Outsole hardness
91.0 HC

Outsole durability

Which is 100% confirmed by our Dremel test!

Applying the tool for 22 seconds at a pretty high speed of 10K RPM, we were shocked! You can see how the Dremel's cap just remains in the same place where it normally cuts through the rubber like a knife cuts through butter.

And guess what? Our tread gauge shows that the damage is 0.3 mm. Zero. Point. Three. That's not even visible at arm's length!

Reebok Answer DMX outsole durability test

Test results
Answer DMX 0.3 mm
Average 1.0 mm
Compared to 26 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

And what's more, the Reebok Answer DMX uses a thicker-than-average rubber outsole too! Measuring it with our caliper, we got a reading of 4.5 mm.

This shoe is guaranteed to last.

Reebok Answer DMX Outsole thickness
Test results
Answer DMX 4.5 mm
Average 4.0 mm
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.9 mm

Weight

You don't really need a scale to know that the Reebok Answer DMX is a heavy-set shoe. But we still have to check exactly how heavy we're talking.

Reebok Answer DMX support

Coming at 16.3 oz (461g) in a men's US size 9, this was not the heaviest Reebok shoe in our catalog (hello Reebok Blast at 17.5 oz!). But it is still 2 ounces heavier than the average basketball shoe and that's a big deal when we're talking about on-court performance.

Reebok Answer DMX Weight
Test results
Answer DMX 16.26 oz (461g)
Average 14.00 oz (397g)
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
11.29 oz (320g)
Weight
17.46 oz (495g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

The Reebok Answer DMX keeps beating records! This time around, it tops the list of stack heights in basketball shoes.

Reebok Answer DMX quality

Based on our caliper measurements, there is a whopping 38.4 mm of stack in the heel! That makes it over 8 mm taller than the average.

On foot, this Reebok shoe indeed creates an incredibly cushioned experience. And even though it's not very playable, the Answer DMX will offer tons of impact protection in case you happen to engage in a spontaneous game. 

Reebok Answer DMX Heel stack
Test results
Answer DMX 38.4 mm
Average 29.4 mm
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
23.6 mm
Heel stack
38.4 mm

Forefoot stack

The Reebok Answer DMX keeps raising stacks in the forefoot too. According to our caliper measurement, it is 24.7 mm tall under the toes. Also taller than the average but this time by 3 mm.

Reebok Answer DMX Forefoot stack
Test results
Answer DMX 24.7 mm
Average 21.7 mm
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
18.0 mm
Forefoot stack
29.2 mm

Drop

Subtracting the forefoot stack from the heel height, we get a drop of 13.7 mm. This is way taller than the average (by approximately 5.5 mm).

That way, the Reebok Answer DMX is the total opposite of being "low to the ground." Such a massive platform and raised heel is much better suited for casual wear these days.

Test results
Answer DMX 13.7 mm
Average 7.7 mm
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
4.0 mm
Drop
14.8 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

Retro shoe purists may remember the revolutionary (at the time) DMX moving air tech. It was Reebok's own take on Nike's Air cushioning. The DMX comprised a 10-pod setup in which air was transferred from pod to pod when compressed by the foot. That way, more air was transferred to the part of the shoe where it was most needed.

Reebok Answer DMX jump

The modern-day Reebok Answer DMX we are looking at now uses a more contemporary (and much simpler) variation of the DMX.

Reebok Answer DMX Drop

We can still see air pockets under the heel and forefoot but they are nowhere near the size they used to be. Actually, those round pods you see on the outsole used to be part of the DMX setup but now they only mimic the OG design.

The shoe's primary cushioning is now delivered by the DMX Foam. Using a durometer, we measured its softness at 25.1 HA which is nearly the same as the average for basketball shoes.

Reebok Answer DMX Midsole softness

Neither too plush nor firm, it's just a well-balanced, no-nonsense type of cushioning.

Test results
Answer DMX 25.1 HA
Average 25.6 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
11.0 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
38.6 HA

Insole thickness

Complementing the shoe's midsole is a well-padded insole. It shows 4.5 mm of thickness in our caliper, also average for a hoop shoe.

Reebok Answer DMX Insole thickness
Test results
Answer DMX 4.5 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Insole thickness
8.6 mm

Stability

Lateral stability test

From our on-foot experience, the Reebok Answer DMX's side-to-side stability is unshakeable!

From its sturdy and heavily padded upper down to the wide and rigid platform, everything works well together to make this Reebok shoe amazingly stable for lateral movements.

Torsional rigidity

We gave the shoe's torsional rigidity the highest possible score (5 out of 5) straight away. As our manual test below shows, twisting the shoe with bare hands is nearly impossible.

The ANswer DMX made us forget all about feeling shaky or twisting an ankle!

Test results
Answer DMX 5
Average 4.5
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

As burly as it may seem, the shoe's heel counter actually has some give to it.

Assessing its stiffness in our manual test, we gave it 3 out of 5 because it has a pretty average amount of rigidity for a basketball shoe.

It's a very fine balance of ankle hold and pliability for comfort.

Test results
Answer DMX 3
Average 3.6
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

This Reebok shoe features an amply wide platform that's neither too narrow nor wide. According to our caliper, it comes in at 108.5 mm in the widest part of the forefoot. That's about 3 mm narrower than average but didn't cause us any stability issues at all.

Reebok Answer DMX Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Answer DMX 108.5 mm
Average 114.4 mm
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
106.2 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
122.2 mm

Midsole width in the heel

In the widest part of the heel, however, the Answer DMX turned out to be even wider than average.

Our caliper reading showed 95.4 mm, over 4 mm wider than the average hoop shoe. This definitely contributes to the shoe's overall stability.

Reebok Answer DMX Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Answer DMX 95.4 mm
Average 90.4 mm
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
82.4 mm
Midsole width in the heel
105.1 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

Given the shoe's really chunky leather upper and massively thick midsole, we expected it to be on the stiff side. Surprisingly, it wasn't too far off the average.

According to our force gauge, it takes 42.4N to bend the Answer DMX to a 90-degree angle. Only 4% more than it takes on average. We can confirm that there is enough flex to walk comfortably in this shoe.

Test results
Answer DMX 42.4N
Average 40.3N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
28.9N
Stiffness
67.2N

Grip / Traction

The Reebok Answer DMX offers a pretty basic level of traction which is good enough for a casual game. But do keep in mind that it is not a performance-oriented kind of grip.

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

At first look, it may appear that the Reebok Answer DMX is a pointy and constricting shoe. But luckily, our on-foot experience and measurements proved otherwise.

In the widest part of the toebox, our caliper showed 100.5 mm which is about the same as the average.

Reebok Answer DMX Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Answer DMX 100.5 mm
Average 101.4 mm
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
92.6 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
108.2 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

It isn't a very tapered toebox either. Measuring its width around the big toe, we got 76.5 mm which is exactly the same as the average.

For our medium-width feet, this Reebok shoe offers an ideal fit.

Reebok Answer DMX Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Answer DMX 76.5 mm
Average 76.6 mm
Compared to 41 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
71.2 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
85.1 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The tongue is partially attached on the sides (semi-gusseted) which prevents it from sliding around just fine.

Reebok Answer DMX Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Answer DMX Both sides (semi)

Comfort

Tongue padding

Reebok loves them tongues thick.

This is yet another hoop shoe with a generously padded tongue. Our caliper shows 12.5 mm which is 3 mm thicker than average!

Reebok Answer DMX Tongue padding

Paired with a well-padded collar, the Answer DMX offers a luxuriously comfortable in-shoe feel.

Test results
Answer DMX 12.5 mm
Average 9.6 mm
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1.3 mm
Tongue padding
15.9 mm

Heel tab

There is no heel tab on the shoe but it has a wide enough mouth and a convenient lacing system to allow easy on-and-off action.

Reebok Answer DMX Heel tab
Test results
Answer DMX None

Removable insole

Using a custom insole or an orthotic won't be a problem with this Reebok shoe. Its insole is easily removable.

Reebok Answer DMX Removable insole
Test results
Answer DMX Yes

Background

The Answer DMX gives off a lot of retro vibes with its style inspired by the classic 90s release from the brand. It pays tribute to Allen Iverson, as seen on the Iverson branding/logos that prominently sit on the tongue, the sole, and the lateral side of the upper.

Originally released in 1997, the silhouette made a comeback in 2018.

Reebok Answer DMX laces