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Forever Ahead Of Its Time: The Reebok Insta Pump Fury Returns in 2014

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It has become increasingly common to read the Reebok Insta Pump Fury described as ‘futuristic’, especially for its age. This is less of a trend and more of a case of “If the shoe fits . . . ” much like the Pump Fury’s own enduring popularity. Rarely has a new runner come along and succeeded to this extent by thoroughly dismissing conventional thinking in favor of such a radical new approach. The Pump Fury embodies that spirit of rebellion so strongly connected with the early to mid 1990s. It is both a time capsule piece and a design whose sci-fi appeal has arguably yet to be surpassed two decades after the debut.

With Reebok Classics about to celebrate the 20th anniversary with the OG colorway followed by nearly thirty more for 2014, the Sneaker News staff decided to explore some of the details that make the Insta Pump Fury such a standout for two decades. Let’s take a moment to examine what makes this particular running shoe so special, and stay tuned for the official re-launch of this icon this Friday, January 31st.

Insta Pump
The Reebok Insta Pump line was united in its ability to instantly inflate via CO2 canister. The OG Firecrackers appropriately came with a Citron charger.

Slip-On Design
The Insta Pump Fury’s externalized bladder construction necessitated a novel tongue. It’s actually under the Pump shell, and bracketed by the same kind of polymer clip that adds support at the heel. Not quite a neoprene bootie as was becoming more common at the time, this design was still as easy to put on as a pair of socks.

Exposed Bladder
Last year’s GarbStore collaboration took it to a new level, but the Insta Pump Fury already had a sort of inside-out design. The relatively minimal design placed the personalized fit Pump bladder right out in plain sight as the shoe’s uppermost layer.

Who Needs Laces?
The Insta Pump Fury introduced a slip-on design with the Pump finishing off the perfect fit. Along with Puma’s Disc Blaze the year before, these radical new running shoe designs made for one of the era’s quintessential looks.

Built Like a Robot
At the time, sneakers were sewn together. The Insta Pump Fury looked like it came off an assembly line of high-tech machinery, and with 48 parts making up the entire shoe, the manufacturing was certainly unlike any other before its time.

Intro to Graphlite
Don’t call it ‘carbon fiber’. Reebok’s Graphlite arch bridge allowed the Insta Pump Fury to shed 30% of midsole volume. This only furthered the sense of the Insta Pump as a space age running shoe.

Popularity in Japan
The above factors and more made the Insta Pump Fury a favorite with Japanese sneakerheads. Japan has been blessed with numerous exclusive collaborations and these will only continue as the entire whole world celebrates the shoe’s 20th anniversary.

Insta Pump Fury Remakes
One really easy way to know a shoe is really ‘futuristic’ is when a tech upgrade is nearly indistinguishable from the original to the uninitiated. That’s the case with the Pump Fury and its HLS revision. And don’t forget about the short-lived Superlite edition. These two will have a third Insta Pump Fury update join them in April, so stay tuned for details on that one.

Podular Sole
Graphlite not only made the Insta Pump Fury lighter. It also informed a distinctly two-part sole design that not only retains its future shock but finds itself currently among illustrious company as the Jordan Flight Plate is widely recognized as today’s finest basketball tooling.

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