When it comes to Pump technology, nothing can top the Reebok Court Victory Pump in my humble opinion. For its time, the shoe was more than just the freshest that Reebok had to offer. It was a symbol for Asian American youth like myself to identify with. As a kid I only wanted the best Nike had to offer. Forget Pro Keds or British Knights. It was Nike or nothing. Until a tennis star named Michael Chang came along.
In Michael Chang and his Reebok line, kids like me found the Asian version of Michael Jordan. Not the same sport, and definitely not the same skill level, but like MJ, Chang was selling a idea. Only this idea was that Asians could compete in sports at a pro level instead of having our Tiger Moms force us into a life of droll PhDs and law degrees.
While most of us admired and mimicked the usual suspects like MJ and Barkley, it was nice to root for a young star that looked like us. Chang didn’t have to be the best in his sport. He just had to prove that he belonged to give an entire ethnic community hope.
From a technical standpoint, the Court Victorys were a better product than Nike’s burgeoning tennis line. Instead of tying your laces tight as hell like a doofus, kids could rock their kicks a little looser and pump ’em up to keep them from flopping around. Details like the tennis ball colored pump, reinforced toe cap, and hybrid herringbone/hexagonal soles made these Reeboks stand out in ways competitors could only dream about. For once, the second fiddle shoe company showed up Nike and adidas.
As far as non Nikes go, the Reebok Court Victory Pump will always get love from me. As a grown man I can appreciate the cultural significance they played. To some, it’s just an old shoe. But to me, it’s a part of my history.
Cop the Reebok Court Victory Pump from the good folks at Burn Rubber.