Like any game, it’s all about competition, and it holds true for the sneaker game as well. In the words of Ricky Bobby, “if you’re not first, you’re last”, so sneaker companies have been scrambling over the past 30 years to one up each other for the temporary title of who’s running the shoe game. Take a look at some of the major advancements that have popped up in the past 3 decades that have and continued to make waves.
Introduced in the late ’80s, the Pump was a line of athletic sneakers designed to provide extra cushioning around the ankle. After Dominique Wilkins and Dee Brown popularized these kicks, it put Reebok on the map in the innovative sneaker department.
Back in 1987, Nike decided to let it all hang out and make their trademark midsole air unit visible. Nike has never been a stranger to innovation and popularity as this technology remains one of the few to still be around today from that era.
In the ’90s, Reebok dropped the DMX technology and they let it loose on just about every model they could muster together. They had DMX foam that was formulated to deliver a cushioned ride, DMX Shear that was a cushioning component that worked to slow down and distribute stress at heel strike and the DMX Max designed for walkers seeking the maximum amount of DMX cushioning. With the DMX, Reebok had all bases covered.
When Nike came out with the Shox technology, their commercials for it were astounding. Boasting lofty claims such as jumping out of the gym, the Shox took the shoe world by storm proving to be Nike’s biggest thing since the Air Max.
In an attempt to one up the shoe universe, adidas released their Boost technology, the answer to their competitor’s latest and greatest. Throwing away traditional EVA, the Boost is comprised of energy cells that don’t deteriorate or diminish, for optimum response and recovery.
As far as technology has been pushed, it doesn’t seem like there is any sign of slowing. The shoe companies are all gunning for each other, so it’ll be interesting to see where things are headed.