Reebok is “Pumped” for its New Weightlifting Shoes

February 26, 2023 by
Photo courtesy of Reebok
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There may be no more iconic shoe technology than that of Reebok’s “pump technology” which first came out back in 1989. Kids could be seen on the basketball court, or anywhere for that matter, reaching down to pump up their shoes for some extra umph in a pop culture moment that has stood the test of time. 

Remind me: On the 32nd anniversary of National Basketball Association player Dee Brown’s historic “no-look” dunk contest performance that launched the brand’s “Pump” technology into stardom, Reebok has unveiled “Pump Universe”, a revisionist footwear collection that reimagines its most iconic archival sneakers, which now includes The “Pump Universe” Legacy Lifter III Pump along with two other shoes.

Tal Short, a Senior Product Manager of Performance Footwear for Reebok talked about the new weightlifting shoes, which CrossFit athletes will surely look to get their hands on, and a bit about the iconic technology getting an upgrade for 2023. 

Q: Reebok’s Pumps are very iconic and well known. What were some of the challenges in transferring the tech to a weightlifting shoe?   

When we began to explore adding in the Pump technology to the Legacy Lifter franchise, the only problem we came across was figuring out why we didn’t think of adding it into earlier versions! We had this industry changing customizable fit technology sitting there the whole time that could be transferred easily to the upper of a lifting shoe. Once we made the move to the Pump, we made sure to do a ton of testing to make sure the Pump provided the same amount of the locked down feel as a traditional multi-strap lifter.  

Q: When it comes to weightlifting shoes, what is the latest you guys are hearing from that community, and also the CrossFit community, in what they want in a good lifting shoe?  

Stability is always #1 in lifting shoes. Grip is another key factor that can never be overlooked, but we are seeing that consumers are caring more about the style/look of their lifters than ever before. Look good, lift good.   

Q: There’s obviously some serious nostalgia with the pump for older people who remember when it first came out. How are you guys updating and transferring this cultural moment to 2023?

Pump has always been a huge part of Reebok’s heritage and our Classics team has done a phenomenal job of managing the bring backs of the iconic Pump models for the older generations while also introducing Pump to our newer generations in a strategic, cool way. We are lucky that we were able to use this technology in a performance product and the hope is we add it into future performance models where it makes sense.  

More intel from Reebok: Legacy Lifter III Pump (HR0428, $220): No two feet are alike. Whether three pumps or ten, PUMP technology applied to Legacy Lifter III offers a customizable and locked-in fit ensuring confidence when it’s needed most, before stepping up to that big lift. Classic color blocking remembers Pump’s past, while an innovative midfoot strap, injected TPU underfoot, and a rigid midsole together provide best-in-class support.

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