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How The Reebok Pump Changed The High-Tech Sneaker Game Forever

Updated 15 Jan 2020 36.4k views13 items

When it comes to cutting-edge athletic footwear, Reebok and its competitors - Nike being the most prominent among them - have been at the forefront of industry-shaking innovations that literally change the way people wear (and buy) sneakers. But few innovations have caused a stir quite like the Reebok Pump. On its way to becoming a veritable game-changer, the Pump - introduced at the tail-end of the 1980s - featured technologies that many brands, including arch-rival Nike, had been tiptoeing around for years. 

Thanks to various celebrity endorsements and buoyed by the "Pump Up, Air Out" campaign, the Pump became noteworthy among professional athletes and sports fans, eventually working its way into pop culture - not to mention every aspiring athlete's closet. The Pump utilized a high-tech air bladder system to provide an at-the-time unparalleled amount of support for feet and ankles. Reebok was one of a few brands manufacturing similar products at the time, but the Pump was without a doubt the most successful - until it wasn't.

Despite the Pump gracefully falling out of favor by the mid- to late-'90s, sneakerheads and nostalgia lovers continue to fawn over the highly coveted original Reebok Pumps, with their limited-edition releases and colorways.

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