Few footwear trends define an era like REEBOK PUMP did the early 90s, and Reebok has just given us a heavy dose of that old skool Pump flavour in its latest bringback – the REEBOK PUMP OMNI LITE VINTAGE.
Reebok’s Pump came into it’s own in 1991: it was the tech gimmick to rule them all back then and when combined with cutting edge designs, chunky basketball silhouettes and neon colours it was pretty much unstoppable. In 1991 all Pump model were hot property, but one model became more memorable than others–the Omni Lite.
This mid cut rework of the Omni Zone II wasn’t the pinnacle of the range, but its status got a boost when the Boston Celtics’ Dee Brown laced up a pair for the NBA All-Star weekend Slam Dunk Contest. Dee rocked the rim in style and ended up squaring off against a young Shawn Kemp in the final. Kemp’s freaky jumping ability looked to give him the edge until Dee got a bit theatrical, playing to the crowd and pausing to pump up his Omni Lites before banging down his now famous no-look dunk. The place went nuts, Kemp took a loss, and the rest is history.
Rather than reworking the black and white colourway that Dee made iconic, or its equally popular white/black/orange counterpart, Reebok have chosen another original colourway – the white, navy and orange first seen on the Omni Zone II. In a similar vein to last year’s excellent LX8500 retro, these have then been given a thorough and subtle vintage treatment courtesy of a warm off-white finish to the lace supports and sole unit, a washed-out orange for the highlight pops, and a coarse terry sockliner.
While some brands think that you can make a shoe look ‘vintage’ with some cheesy fake yellowing, Reebok take a different approach and the effect here is impressive. These look like a well-stored deadstock pair from ’91, minus the glue stains or crumbly rubber!
On foot they look and feel just as good, chunky but the mid cut helps minimize the moon boot look, while the off-white, navy and mesh sections help prevent the shoe becoming the all-white mass that some 90’s basketball boots become. The leather isn’t as good as the LX8500s, definitely a touch shinier and less supple, but this isn’t a dealbreaker for us as it started breaking in nicely after a couple of hours on, and we expect it to look decent as it creases up with a bit of wear.
Overall we can’t get enough of these and think they’re one of 2014’s sleepers – they dropped stealthily a couple of weeks ago so don’t hang about if you fancy a pair – the REEBOK PUMP OMNI LITE VINTAGE can be found via the link-through below.