Running on Air


Consider us pumped: After some sole-searching, Canton-based sportswear giant Reebok has decided to revamp its iconic Pump sneaker. The Pump was a hot ticket in the early ’90s, when it was favored by sports stars like Dee Brown, Danny Ainge, Michael Chang and Dominique Wilkins (working his size 13). By simply pumping a front button, you could add and control a cushioned “lift” in the shoe’s fit.

On March 10, not long after the shoe technology’s 25th birthday, Reebok will introduce its ZPump Fusion ($110). Available for men and women in three color choices, this updated version of the Pump molds to your foot with just a push and a woosh of air. The kicker? When it’s not inflated, the sneaker is structureless—almost flat. Put it on, pump it up, and the shoe clasps around your upper foot and heel for a fit so secure, the laces are just for show. “It conforms to your foot’s shape to give you a locked-in, custom fit when you run,” says Paul Litchfield, original inventor of the Pump and Reebok’s head of advanced concepts. “You may need three pumps or you may need eight pumps. It’s fully customizable.”

It’s also remarkably simple. Forgoing the 40-plus parts that make up many running shoes, the ZPump Fusion only has three main elements—the air cage, a comfy sleeve that stretches around your foot and an outsole inspired by Z-rated tires, which keep high-performing sports cars stable above 149 mph. You probably don’t run quite that fast, but it’s nice to know you’d be prepared if you could.

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