Reebok Furylite History
The Reebok Furylite took its design inspiration from the company’s revolutionary sneaker, the InstaPump Fury. Its futuristic design drew mixed opinions. It was a love it or hate it shoe. But what mattered most is that people noticed it.
This sneaker was the brainchild of seasoned footwear designer Steven Smith. With 30 years of experience in the industry, he has created some of the renowned silhouettes in sneaker history. He has an impressive portfolio, including New Balance retro classics such as the 1500, 997, 996 and 574. He also worked for a year in Adidas, with contributions in the company’s Torsion technology made for basketball shoes.
The idea for the InstaPump Fury came to Smith and Reebok's VP of Advanced Concepts Paul Litchfield in a form of a ski boot with a pumping mechanism. The rough idea sprung from the company’s acquisition of Ellesse, an Italian-based sports apparel company with excellent innovations in ski wear. The first Pump shoe by Reebok finally came in 1989, but it wasn’t until 1992 when the company started drafting ideas for what was to become the InstaPump Fury. The design team wanted to incorporate the Pump technology, lightweight construction and better cushioning in a shoe. After the brainstorming session, Smith started sketching the shoe.
The visual aesthetic of the shoe took cues from the New Balance Super Comp. Smith liked the concept of its upper which had red, orange and yellow. According to the veteran designer, the upper made the foot look like it’s on fire. The marketing team, however, felt that it wasn’t necessary to go with bold colors because the Hexalite cushioning and bladder system were enough to blow people’s minds. Litchfield and Smith were opposed to this idea. And when the shoe was finally launched in 1994, the yellow and black colorway beat the sales of the gray version—it turned out that Litchfield and Smith were right with their protest.
Even through the years, the InstaPump Fury has been reworked in various colorways and inspired new silhouettes, one of them is the Reebok Furylite. This modern rework was launched in 2015.