Pump Up The Boots

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By Ray Zhang

I know sneaker boots are the footwear of the season, but I did not expect Reebok to give its classic InstaPump Fury a boot makeover by changing its Insta-recognisable mid-sole. Well, I suppose if you can give the hem of chinos those of joggers, you can give shoes a sole they were not born with.

Reebok, in re-imaging the base of this bombastic shoe, has taken out the soul of the InstaPump Fury’s unique mid-sole. I know many people who obsess over the InstaPump Fury because of the original’s ahead-of-its-time thick sole. And I am acquainted with a PR manager who loves hers (eight pairs, last count) because she “benefits from the extra inches”.

The InstaPump Fury Boot’s mid-sole is similar to those of work boots, so it hasn’t got the thickness of Shibuya toasts. It’s now the light weight, pancake-thin rubber sole made by the Italian firm Vibram—originally used on mountaineering boots—and is fused to the unchanged upper by what Reebok calls ‘Norwegian welt’, which I assume is a hard-wearing bonding technique that can be marketed as non-native, just like lingonberries.

You don’t imagine that the InstaPump Fury Boot can be re-soled to look like something that came out of Oak Street Bootmakers, but I have to admit: they’re really attractive. The InstaPump Fury’s alien-wear upper still looks mutant, but it sits on the new flatter sole beautifully, just like one particular Kryptonian on earth!

What works surprising well, too, is the rather wide leather corridor with the double, white, contrast stitching (on the black and camo versions). It dials down the sportif element just a notch, which means the boots could be tuxedo pants’ new bro or athletes’ de-rigueur footwear on award nights.

This is, perhaps, Reebok’s new mission: give its heritage shoes a dressed-up, grown-up spin. It’s all part of the new 58 Bright St project (named after the streets of the first UK and USA addresses respectively), which aims to go conceptual with some of its most identifiable silhouettes, possibly to gain ground in a frighteningly competitive sneaker market. The businessman’s fear is our gain. In the spirit of the season, I toast to that!

The Reebok InstaPump Fury Boots, SGD349, in black, grey, and camouflage, are available at Limited Edt Vault, 313@Sommerset. Photo: Zhao Xiangji

(2016) Winter Style 3: The Hybrid Jacket

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Sometimes, for your winter holiday, you want neither a puffer jacket nor a tailored overcoat. Perhaps you want something that is as relaxed as a sweat top, but isn’t one (enough of those!). This is where this oversized jacket with military flourish by COS comes in.

We’re attracted to the tented shape: it’s cape-like, but not as fly-away as an actual cape. This outer comes with sleeves: not one pair but two. The top-layer sleeves are extended from the dropped shoulder (which makes the overall shape more relaxed) and reach just past the elbow, while the inner sleeves are slimmer and cover the wrist, which is what you want in the cold. We especially like the illusion it gives: there seems to be two article of clothing here when, in fact, there’s only one. That’s what fashion editors would call clever layering and what your suitcase will call, happily, one item less.

When worn, it has the fit of a parka, which means it is roomy enough for you to don a thick fisherman’s sweater under it, or even a bubble coat. The rear of the jacket is cut longer than the front, and is lightly elasticised to gently hug the hips—practical detail for windy conditions. Talking about wind, there are also those oversized pentagonal pockets, the perfect repository for a smartphone, a camera, and your freezing hands.

This jacket, which zips in the front like a blouson, is light too. Made of a spongy synthetic fabric that looks and feels like the love child of neoprene and French terry, it is an outer that won’t put undue pressure on the weight limit of your check-in luggage. This holiday season, we sure can live with that.

COS women’s oversized jacket with detachable hood, SGD275, is available at COS stores. Product photo: COS. Collage: Just So