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Reebok Pumps: A Legacy


Born in 1989, the Reebok Pump has evolved significantly throughout its history and has definitely sealed its place in sneaker legend.


The History

Although considered a basketball shoe, the Reebok Pump was originally released in 1989. It was considered as much a tennis shoe as anything else, with relatively unknown Michael Chang winning the French Open at only 17 years of age. After winning that Grand Slam title, Chang was targeted by Reebok to advertise one of the first pumps in their series, the Court Victory. Reebok also then released SXT and the Omni Lite.

And although Reebok used 9 time all star Dominique Wilkins to advertise their pumps, it wasn’t until the 1991 NBA Slam Dunk Contest that the Reebok Pump really blew onto the scene. This was when another ‘new kid on the block’, Dee Brown, cemented the Pump in NBA history. Whilst making the All-Rookie team with the Boston Celtics that year, Dee also entered into the Slam Dunk Contest against fierce competition. As a 6ft 1′ rookie, it’s safe to say that he wasn’t favourite..

The ‘No Look’ Dunk

As you can see before Dee’s signature ‘No Look’ dunk, he made sure to pander to the crowd and play the sportsman, pumping up his Reebok’s beforehand. This had kids all over America amazed by their technology. “Those pumps can make you fly” was heard all over the playground the next day, and sales of the Reebok Pump went through the roof.

Considered as the only serious rival to Nike and Michael Jordan’s mass empire, the Pump grew throughout the early and mid 90’s. Shaquille O’Neal was one of their biggest stars with his own audacious brand of pumps that matched his personality, the Shaq Attaq, whilst the Pumps were featured in a variety of different films and TV shows. Probably most notably was their feature in two of hip-hop artist Tupac’s films, Juice and Above the Rim (of which released their own ‘Above the Rim Pumps’ with the release of the film.



Tupac and Omar Epps pictured above starring in the 1992 drama ‘Juice’. In the film, Epps character Quincy spends several minutes deciding which shoes to wear; he tries on several pairs of Reebok Pumps.


Skip forward to the modern day and Reebok has done a few things with the Pump throughout the start of 2013; they re-released a few retro versions of the old Pumps, like the Omni-Lite, but they also gave the Pump a complete makeover. Reebok introduced several versions of the Pump as more of a cross training shoe; they did do this originally back in the early 90s, but the popularity wasn’t anywhere close to what it is today.

Below, we’ve listed a few of the currently available version of the Reebok Pump. Bare in mind this is just a small selection and for the truly rare sneakers, you might have to go hunting.



Shaq Attaq

Reebok re-released the Shaq Attaq a few years ago at a pretty reasonable price; Shaq himself helped design the shoe and ensured that they would be sold at a fair price. They are now almost certainly one of the most popular basketball shoes of all time.


The Revenge is a great example of the using the old pump technology in a completely new shoe. Pretty similar to the Shaq Attaq, following the same Orlando Magic color scheme, the Revenge uses modern technology like the DMXFoam cushioning with the old Pump mechanism to create a pretty awesome performance shoe.

Court Victory

The Court Victory is a real flashback to one of the original Pumps worn back in 1990. More of a fashion statement than a performance shoe, the Court Victory is as popular with the older generation who remember its original release as it is with the young, who appreciate the retro look and the history of a classic.

Crossfit Nano Pump

The Crossfit Nano Pump uses the old Pump technology known for its use in their basketball shoes, and adapts it completely to be more suitable for a streamline crossfit shoe. There’s a reason Reebok have created some the most popular shoes of the past few decades; their innovation is prominent with the Pump technology.

That’s it! Thanks for your time, we appreciate you visiting us here and feel free to browse our website for all your shoe-related needs!

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