Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Kicks: Who Remembers the Reebok Pump?

Sneakers, or kicks as the kids call them these days, are a collectors item in themselves. New releases and custom artist designed kicks can sell for big money (click here). For something as simple as the rubber and leather that covers our feet, the sneaker head obsession does seem a bit ridiculous. However, as with any other collectible, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I myself collect sneakers. More importantly, I also wear them so as to get the full use and enjoyment out of each pair. I'll highlight some of the kicks in my collection as well as some of the more iconic footwear from the past 30 or so years in a series of "Kicks:" posts right here on Hoopography.

The first installment of "Kicks:" features the ultra rad Reebok Pumps. I love the old school Reebok Pumps from the late 80's and early 90's. It seemed that Nike had every great NBA superstar signed up to the Swoosh, but Reebok had it going on for a while too with spokesman like Dominique "Human Highlight Film Wilkins, Doc Rivers and Shaquille O'neal. Plus, they put together one heck of a cool marketing campaign to go head to head with Nike.

The Pump technology was truly innovative. The air pockets inflated to allow for a highly desired tighter fit. Whether tying ones shoelaces tighter couldn't also accomplish this same feat is another topic entirely and it didn't really matter to consumers weather the air pockets really made that much of a difference or not. Between the cool factor and creative TV commercials like the one to the left, Reebok had found a winner with the Pump.

My favorite Pump sneaker was the original Shaq Attack kicks. Shaq was the hot commodity of the early and mid 90's for sporting apparel giants like Reebok and Starter. You could even get a small pressurized tube of air called the Insta Pump for the Reebok Shaq Attacks. The Insta Pump filled the air pockets automatically. Although the Reebok Shaq Attack line did not sustain the same longevity as the Nike Air Jordans, they were just as hot at their brief pinnacle.

Did anyone have a pair of Reebok Pumps back in the day? If so, how do you think they compare to modern day kicks of today like these Nike Zoom Kobe V's?


  1. Today's shoes don't make you nearly as awesome as Pumps did... so Pumps beat anything put out today. I was never allowed to get them, though, because they were too expensive. Another shoe line I wanted badly were the Penny Hardaways.

    What's funny is that all the shoes of 10-15 years ago are coming back, it's hilarious. I wonder if they're ACTUALLY being remade, or if manufacturers just have a TON still sitting around? I've seen some Grant Hills, recently.

    I LOVED shoes back in the day. Not necessarily owning them all, but I made sure to always get the new Eastbay catalogs.

    Dude, your site rocks, keep bringin' the nostalgia!

  2. Nice. Pumps were badass, but they were out of my parents price range. I did have a pair of Converse Magic Johnsons when I was in 5th grade. I thought they were pretty awesome at the time. Actually, I still do. I'm looking forward to more "kicks" posts.

  3. First off... this is going to be an awesome series. I'm not sure if I can actually be called a "shoe collector", since I've tossed out most of my old pairs... however, I've always loved shoes and have owned many of the classics.

    As for your question... I've always been a Nike guy when it comes to basketball, so I never owned a pair of "Pumps"... however I always thought the novelty behind it was cool.

    If I were to pick between vintage and modern shoes... I'd go with vintage... at least the down to earth designs. I've never been a fan of crazy/flashy shoes (except for the Nike Zoom Flight 5... Kidd's old shoe with the shiny plate on the side... I loved these).

    Just for kicks... here's a list of my favorite shoes of all-time:

    1st - Air Jordan XIII
    2nd - Air Max '95 (most comfortable shoe I've ever worn & by far the most purchased... I was stoked when the came out with these again a few years ago... gotta love the retro thing)
    3rd - Adidas Superstar (shell toes)
    4th - Vans Half Cab
    5th - Nike Zoom Lebron II Low
    Honorary Mention - Nike Zoom Flight 5, Air Jordan III, Air Jordan XV, & Nike Air Foamposite I (Penny's), Nike Air Max CB34

  4. Thanks for the input guys!!!

    - Joe, I had the Nike Air Penny 1's. They were awesome. One of my all-time favorites. I love that all the old kicks are coming back. I've always been a sneaker guy. It's a tough balancing act to collect poster, trading cards, books, hats and sneakers. One card can be $.50 or $5.00, but a pair of kicks can be $50.00 or a lot more. Needless to say, my card collection is a bit fuller than the sneaker collection.

    - TJ, the Converse Weapons are awesome!!! I would love a pair today as well. The pumps were cool when they came out, but I wanted a pair of Jordan's back in the day when I was young. So the pumps lost out to the Jordan's.

    - Mark, I've always been a Nike guy as well. Many of the shoes you mentioned I will be posting about. I love old school design, but the lighter modern day kicks are pretty comfy too.