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