Founded in England in 1958, Reebok was one of the original innovators in high performance footwear. Created by two brothers, Joe and Jeff Foster, Reebok was launched to carry on the family tradition in athletic footwear manufacturing, following in the footsteps of the brothers’ grandfather Joseph William Foster. Fister’s company, J.W. Foster was an innovative manufacturer which developed one of the very first track spikes in 1985. With a lasting legacy in performance wear, Reebok was the original sneaker titan with a hold over the footwear market that went unchallenged for decades. Here at Incu we stock all of the best selling men’s Reebok sneakers that are designed to provide comfort and contemporary street-inspired style.
Inspired by the African Antelope the Grey Rhebok, the Foster brothers landed on the now iconic brand name. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Reebok continued to operate out of the United Kingdom, producing running spikes and performance-based running shoes. It was in 1979 when Reebok was exhibiting at the Chicago International Sneaker Trade Show, and an American outdoor equipment wholesaler, Paul Fireman, discovered the brand. Fireman soon acquired the exclusive rights to Reebok in North America, turning the sneaker company into a global brand. Initially Reebok enjoyed only modest success in the United States, but by the late 1980s, Fireman’s investment had become one that would reap legendary rewards. It was during the 1980s that a fitness boom began taking off across the globe. It was the decade which saw an astronomical increase in popularity and there was suddenly a new interest in sports like weight lifting and tennis which blended physical activity with a sociocultural lifestyle. In that context, Reebok thrived. The company expanded from running spikes to offering an expansive range of casual athletic footwear designed for amateur athletes and fitness aficionados. Reebok’s initial explosive growth came from the women’s aerobics market when the brand introduced the Freestyle—a gamble at the time that Fireman was talked into by his West Coast sales rep, who had seen first-hand how passionate his wife was about aerobics.
Just five years after Fireman took the initial risk in acquiring the North American license, the business owner took another gamble that would prove to be one of the most important decisions in cementing Reebok’s status as a forerunner in the athletic footwear industry. In 1984, Fireman bought out the British Reebok parent company in a move that would make him the sole owner of the brand. While Fireman’s previous rights to Reebok allowed him creative input, taking sole ownership of Reebok meant the brand could capitalise on the decade’s fitness revolution. Other competitors had been battling for a position in the men’s market, but big sportswear brands had largely overlooked the women’s market, which had facilitated Reebok’s continued success. Using that momentum—and the revenue that aerobics brought—Reebok made a concerted push in the men’s market, pushing silhouettes like the Workout, Newport Classic and the Revenge Plus—which would later become the Club Classic 85. They were country club-ready sneakers that could be worn on and off the tennis court or outside the gym.
Reebok placed significant emphasis on its footwear designs remaining fashionable outside of the function fitness design needs. This positioned Reebok in a favourable place with consumers, and the brand was able to stand out amongst competitors whose focus was either on pure functionality or pure aesthetics. By 1986, Reebok was the leading athletic footwear company in the United States, and by 1987, Reebok’s sales had grown to $1.4 billion with a total market share of 26 percent of the athletic footwear market - a figure which far surpassed the competitors of the time.
In keeping up with the demands of the market and pivoting to focus on the performance-oriented designs of the late 1980s, Reebok began to experiment with new technologies and manufacturing. In 1989 Reebok debuted its first truly modern tech-infused sneakers which the Reebok Pump, made with futuristic design features and inflatable chambers to offer a custom fit. In the early 1990s, Reebok enlisted a slew of professional athlete ambassadors which catapulted the brand’s success and saw the Reebok Pumps become a best selling style. In 2005 Reebok was acquired by the German sportswear company adidas, in an attempt to challenge the rise of other fierce sportswear competitors. The conglomerate turned its focus to technology-driven performance-based design which led to a decade of Reebok entering into the serious athletics arena. By 2015 Reebok returned to its casualwear roots with the creation of its Classics division which was tasked with retroing models like the Classic, Insta Pump, Insta Pump Fury, Club Classic 85 and Workout. Recently, lesser known models, like the Aztec and Aztrek have made comebacks under the Classics umbrella.
Reebok has since worked on a number of collaborations with high end designers and streetwear favourites, including Gosha Rubchinskiy and Vetements, as well as working with ambassadors like Kendrick Lamar whose co-signs helped reinvigorate a legion of dedicated fans and a distinct retrospective appeal. Here at Incu we stock the latest range of men’s Reebok sneakers, including casualwear staples from the Reebok Classics range with retro-inspired silhouettes, lightweight foam and rubber soles, nylon and leather uppers, and comfortable cushioned insoles. Shop our curated selection of other iconic sneaker brands like adidas, Nike, Common Projects and more.