Reebok Sneakers


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About the Reebok brand - from aerobics to the Crossfit label

Reebok is today one of the most popular sportswear brands, but actually the company celebrated its greatest successes in the 80s. At that time Reebok was even more popular in the USA than Nike and Adidas. The company's success was mainly due to the aerobics movement, as Reebok was the first brand to discover women as an important target group.

The Reebok Business Start-Up

The brothers Joe and Jeff Foster came from an entrepreneurial family in England, already the grandfather J.W. Foster had founded a factory for sports shoes. Joe and Jeff Foster continued the business and finally founded Reebok in 1958. Originally the trademark was to be called "Merkur", but since it was not possible to protect this name by copyright, they finally decided to use the Reebok brand name. The inspiration came from an African antelope.

In the 60's and 70's Reebok mainly produced sports shoes for the English market. The Foster brothers presented their shoes in 1979 at the International Sneaker Trade Fair in Chicago. There they met Paul Fireman, who acquired the exclusive rights to the brand for North America.

The aerobic wave of the 80s brought success

The 80s were the time of the aerobics movement. More and more people, mainly women, in the USA and also in Europe were interested in getting fitter and getting their bodies into shape. The fitness market was still in its infancy and Reebok recognized the signs of the times. Reebok was the first company to launch fashionable aerobics shoes for recreational athletes. Women in particular played a major role in the success of the company, because fashionable sports shoes especially for women were something special at that time. While Nike and Adidas already dominated the men's market, Reebok dominated the women's sports footwear market. In 1987, Reebok achieved annual sales of $1.4 billion, an increase by a factor of about 1,000 compared to 1981, when Reebok was the most successful sports brand in the United States with a market share of 26.7%, followed by Nike. But the success did not last forever, Nike had already overtaken the Reebok brand in 1989.

Reebok Pump and DMX

To this day, Reebok Pump is regarded as the company's most important technical innovation. The damping system was first introduced in 1989. The pump technique consists of small chambers filled with air in the shoe in combination with an integrated pump. The inflatable chambers allow individual adaptation of the cushioning system to the foot.

A further development was the damping system DMX. Soles with this system contain ten bulbous air chambers which are connected to each other. This allows the air to flow from one chamber to the next under load. The first Reebok sneaker with this system, the DMX Run, was launched in 1997.

Reebok as an anti-establishment brand

The company experienced a renaissance in the 1990s. Reebok established itself as an anti-establishment brand especially in the young subcultures of the USA and Europe. In 2003 Reebok decided to cooperate with Jay-Z. The S. Carter appeared in a limited edition of 10,000 pairs and was immediately sold out. Further cooperations followed, which contributed to a renaissance of the brand, among others with 50 Cent and G-Unit.

Takeover of Reebok by Adidas

Although Reebok regained importance from the mid-90s until the early 2000s, this success did not last. Reebok, unlike its competitors Nike and Adidas, had failed to gain a foothold in the apparel segment. In 2005 Reebok was finally taken over by Adidas.

The Crossfit Wave

In the early 2010s, Reebok took several steps to regain its position as a performance and fitness brand. During this time Crossfit developed into a new fitness trend. Various partnerships with prominent crossfit coaches were formed, which contributed to Reebok becoming an integral part of the sportswear market again today.

Reebok Classics Division

The Classics Division was created as an analogy to the Adidas Originals line. In recent years, Reebok has brought some retro models back onto the market. Classics sneakers include the models Insta Pump, Club Classic 85, Workout or the Aztek and Aztrek DMX Daytona. Reebok has also collaborated with several fashion designers. This enabled the company to return to the brand's original successes. Today Reebok stands for fashionable performance sneakers and crossfit fashion.

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