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One of the most sought-after basketball shoes in the world got its start simply because spikes were added to running shoes. Reebok got its beginnings in the late 1880s when Joseph William Foster started his own company, JW Foster and Sons, after he got the idea to add spikes to his running shoes. Although JW Foster and Sons wasn’t the most well-known company at the time, they did gain some recognition when their shoes were seen at the 1924 Olympics.

Reebok HQ in Canton, MA / Wikipedia

In 1958, Foster’s grandsons, Joe and Jeff, came up with the idea that would become the present-day Reebok. They renamed their grandfather’s company Reebok after Joe found the name in a South African dictionary that he won as a boy. The newly named company did extremely well in the UK, selling premium footwear.

It took nearly 20 years for Reebok to start selling in the United States. In 1979, Paul Fireman, a US sporting distributor, saw a pair of Reeboks at an international trade show and negotiated to sell them in North America.

Success in Sports Shoes / “Pump it Up” Slogan

The Reebok Answer I

During the 1980s and early 1990s, Reebok was one of the fastest-growing and most innovative shoe companies in the world. They changed the way that people thought of sports shoes when they started gearing their products to the aerobic and fitness crowds with much success. They also took this time to develop the uber popular Reebok Pump shoes and the slogan “Pump it up” that accompanied them.

Hip-Hop Crowd

The late 1990s were a struggle for the company, but they seemed to have found their footing in the early 2000s with the release of their RBK line which was geared towards the younger hip-hop crowd. The move allowed them to work with rap superstars Jay-Z and 50 Cent on their S. Carter Collection and G-Unit Collection, both of which helped propel Reebok back into the spotlight.

Adidas Takeover and the Sportswear Market


In 2005, the company became a subsidiary of German sportswear giant, adidas. From 2002 to 2012, Reebok had exclusive rights to manufacture and market both authentic and replica uniform jerseys, sideline apparel and caps, and on-field football footwear of the teams of the National Football League. They have also produced the on-ice “EDGE” Uniform System, performance apparel, and training footwear of the National Hockey League (NHL) since 2006. Reebok is also the official shoe supplier of Major League Baseball.

Fan Favorites

Reebok Shaqnosis
The Reebok Shaqnosis

They have also taken time to branch out into the ever expanding skateboarding culture when they signed their first skater, Stevie Williams, and released his signature DGK line.

In 2012, Extra Butter of Rockville centre New York collaborated with Reebok to bring back two Reebok Classic Basketball sneakers, The Pump AXT and also the Pump OXT.

In 2013, Reebok has taken time to re-release several other fan favorites, including shoes from former athletes Shaquille O’Neal and Allen Iverson.

Celebrities Wearing Reebok

Allen Iverson ReebokQuestion
Allen Iverson
Alicia Keys x Reebok Classics
Alicia Keys

More Cool Stuff About Reebok

The Reebok Fitness App 

Design Your Own Reebok