If you're already convinced that the world is spinning too fast as milestones race by at a dizzying pace, you won't like being reminded of this fact: The first athletic shoe entering the market featuring pump technology turned 25 years old this year.
You read that right. The pump has been around for a quarter of a century and we have Reebok to thank for bringing this groundbreaking technology to the market.
Feeling old? Join the crowd. This novel feature set the athletic shoe world afire in 1989, and since then, that rudimentary pump feature has been re-imagined and re-engineered repeatedly.
The latest iteration of The Pump is now available in the new Reebok ZPump Fusion 2.0!
Reebok's Pump Feature Was No Small Company Risk!
Those who fondly recall the pump's debut know that not everyone thought this idea was more than a passing fad. But basketball players, the first recipients of the pump style, were sold on the pump from the get go. The pump became so popular, the foot-contouring feature was added to shoes designed for runners, tennis players and aerobic exercisers.
Over time, engineers and designers at Reebok continued to re-tool the pump, but perhaps the most dramatic change came with the introduction of the InstaPump Fury. What was the thinking behind this updated pump design? Not all areas of the foot were receiving the benefit of this pumped-in air, thus further re-design was required.
Successive Improvements Just Keep Coming
Happily, the ZPump Fusion, introduced in 2015, delivered on that promise. Innovative Reebok athletic shoes fitted with freshly-designed air channels debuted and this pioneering re-tooling produced shoes with full-length exoskeleton bladders capable of supporting the whole foot rather than just select areas.
In concert with this re-developed bladder, designers also modified the appearances of shoes in the Fusion collection for a complete makeover that fans of the brand embraced with enthusiasm.
Of course, Reebok had no intention of stopping with the original ZPump Fusion and followed up with the ZPump Fusion 2.0. According to reviewers and athletes evaluating this shoe for structure, construction, design and engineering, the 2.0 makes good on its promise to mold the shoe to the foot even more snugly than previous versions.
2016 Fusion 2.0 Hits the Market
"As someone who shepherded pump technology from its infancy, I must say that even I am impressed by the feel of the re-engineered air bladder that goes into our Fusion 2.0," said Paul Litchfield, Reebok's Head of Advanced Concepts.
"We came up with the idea of the pump after hearing complaints about rigid, factory-developed last shapes. With its introduction, wearers experienced, perhaps for the first time, shoes that truly conformed to the foot for a locked-in, customized, comfortable fit," he adds.
But the pump channels and mechanism aren't the only benefits wearers can anticipate when they lace up the ZPump Fusion 2.0. In the past, constructing a pair of athletic shoes required craftsmen to connect 40 individual elements to manufacture just one pair of athletic shoes.
Look closely at a pair of ZPump Fusion 2.0 shoes and you'll discover only three sections! With just three components making up this shoe, one can expect a pair to hold up infinitely longer, because there are fewer seams to weaken with wear. And since the signature Fusion 2.0 sleeve stretches in four directions, fit has never been more precise.
"We didn't ignore the shoe's external improvements," added Litchfield. "This shoe's carbonated foam outsole is quite unique on its own. The ZPump Fusion 2.0 may be lighter, but that doesn't compromise performance, speed, tempo or responsiveness. Set the pump in motion and it takes next to no time to send air racing through bladder channels. Take off the shoes and the release valve expresses the air just as quickly."
Reebok's President: Fitness is More Than Physical Exertion!
Reebok's President, Matt O'Toole, says that while being part of evolutionary changes made to footwear products over time has been exciting, he feels that the quest to keep going — even after introducing shoes like the Fusion 2.0 — is a huge reason the company never stops innovating.
"We love achieving levels of excellence, but collectively, our next thought is — what else do athletes expect, need and want from our shoe collection in the future? That question drives every one of us."
"Having revolutionized pump technology and continued to improve on it, we send a powerful message to our customers: At Reebok, fitness means more than physical exertion. We believe that by getting and staying fit, individual lives can be transformed. Even brains are sharper when people gain confidence via athletic endeavours. Potential? It's unlimited and it doesn't stop on the court, the track or the field. Confidence spills into all aspects of life, and our goal is to use our products to instill this spirit in every person who chooses our athletic shoes!"
The Reebok ZPump Fusion 2.0 is now available from S$159 at all Stadium, Royal Sporting House (except Thomson Plaza, Lucky Plaza, Lot 1 and factory outlet stores) and Reebok stores.
As an athlete, what transformations have you experienced and witnessed over the past 25 years that have helped you strive for excellence in all areas of your personal and professional life?