Thought you knew everything there is to know about your favourite pair of sneakers? What if we told you that some of your favourites were designed all the way back in the ’80s? Would you believe us? We’ve done some groundwork to school you on the heritage of two Reebok icons: the Club C and the Classic Leather.
Reebok Club C
Despite the popularity of pared-down, super-light futuristic sneaker designs the Reebok Club C remains as relevant today as it did when it debuted as a tennis court shoe in 1985. With “C” standing for champion, it was essentially a reincarnation of a previous tennis shoe, the rather aggressively named Reebok Revenge Plus. Chunky but elegant, simple yet sleek, the original Reebok Club C’s all-white leather made it a fitting presence in the monochromatic, genteel world of Wimbledon.
While this classic look still dazzles shelves around the world, Reebok has introduced plenty of alternatives, playing with colour and materials – ranging from white Ultraknit and khaki canvas to rose gold leather. Inspired by the ’90s, the Grunge Pack has seen the shoe appear in dark shades of suede with the likes of DMX Foam and gum rubber.
There have been collabs aplenty too. In 2017, supermodel Gigi Hadid teamed up with Reebok to produce a modified Club C with zipper in three three colourways (white, black, and rose pink). The same year, rapper Kendrick Lamar’s collab of the shoe aimed called “for unity and equality” with an acid-washed denim upper and a splash of red on the tongue.
Reebok Classic Leather
Very rarely is a sneaker an instant classic but this was the case – literally – with the Reebok Classic Leather. Now sold under Reeboks Classics, the brand’s range of retro sneakers, the timeless, widespread appeal of this disarmingly simple, somewhat bulky design proves that 25 years after its launch, it has been more than able to live up to its ambitious moniker.
Defying industry trends that saw a move towards the use of nylon and suede, Reebok launched this unisex all-leather running shoe in 1983. While it certainly wasn’t the lightest pair around, it quickly gained a sizeable fan base amongst runners. Air vents allowed ventilation, while a Bi-Density Shock Protection System ensured comfort and stability.
Long a streetwear staple (and particularly popular in Britain, birthplace of the Reebok brand), collabs include those with rapper Kendrick Lamar and Canadian streetwear brand Raised by Wolves.