Ever wonder what happened to Reebok?
The introduction of the Reebok Zig Tech system brought the running world to its knees with an unconventional design that was more than elaborate. The sheer comfort of the tech was nothing short of amazing, so amazing that hoop fanatics couldn’t wait for the tech to be transitioned over to a basketball shoe. While we got what we wanted with the ZigTech Slash, the traction utterly destroyed the possibility of having Reebok come back in full force.
If we take a look back, way back… we can find an abundance of sneakers just waiting, if not begging, for a reissue. With the retro market showing no signs of slowing down in popularity, why haven’t they taken advantage of the retro and brought back some fan favorites?
Reebok’s signature SHAQ series is just one example. Sure, not all of them are great looking but they were all more comfortable (my opinion) than any Nike Air based sneaker at the time. We get it, Shaq took his name and logo when he left the brand… yet that hasn’t stopped Nike and Adidas from reissuing previous lines that helped make take their popularity to a whole other level and making subtle name and logo changes to make the reissue work.
What about certain shoes where the players attached didn’t take their name or logo with them… and could even use a little extra cash? Shawn Kemp had a great run with the brand featuring Kamikaze’s and the Reign Man line. Again, a VERY comfortable set of sneakers just waiting for a reissue.
We can even go further into the vault and dust off some old turf shoes as well. The Reebok ES 22 was by far one of the best, if not the best, turf shoes of the 90’s. Nike had some great ones I’ll give them that, but these just give me chills when looking at them. That flashy blue and giant Hexalite pods just scream ‘rock me till the sole fall off!’… And trust me, owners of the sneakers DID. Trying to find a pair is next to impossible these days, let alone a pair in good condition. They were the Questions of turf trainers…
Speaking of Questions… this is a sneaker that has been reissued more times than one can count, in more colorways than Baskin Robbins has flavors. Much like most of the Reebok Pump line, the Reebok Question is one of my personal favorites out of the Reebok vault, but it’s been abused over the years as a quick money maker for the brand. Almost like placing patent leather on a shoe. As we have all witnessed, too much of something isn’t always a good thing. More money is awesome and nobody will contest that, but too many Questions just makes one tired of the repetitiveness. I don’t care how many colors or materials they HAVEN’T yet placed on the shoe… it should never come out again; or at least for 20 years.
So why hasn’t Reebok taken advantage of the retro? They have been making great strides with their performance innovation the past few years but they have yet to truly tap into a market that would undoubtedly have them compete with Nike, Jordan and Adidas. Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s there is only one brand that I can think of that truly went head to head with the Swoosh successfully… and it was Reebok. Personally, when I walk into a sneaker store I would love to see some of these cult classics on shelves next to the adidas Crazy 8, Nike Air Go LWP & Air Jordan Legacy lines… Out of all of the brands, one seems to be blatantly missing from the bunch.
What are your thoughts on the subject; should Reebok consider looking into the past in order to retain their consumers from yesteryear, or should they keep looking forward and forget where they came from while attempting to create the next big thing?