How Did Reebok Get Its Name?

Reebok is a well-known global brand that has been providing top-notch athletic footwear and apparel for decades. However, have you ever wondered how this brand got its unique name? The answer to this question may surprise you, as it has a fascinating origin story that dates back to the 1950s.

The company was founded by a man named Joseph William Foster, who had a passion for creating comfortable and durable shoes for athletes. Foster’s innovation and dedication led to the creation of the first spiked running shoe, which he named “Mercury.” However, after some time, Foster decided to rename the company to Reebok, which has an interesting backstory.

How Did Reebok Get Its Name?

How Did Reebok Get Its Name?

Reebok is a well-known brand of athletic footwear and apparel. It has been around for over a century and has a rich history that dates back to the early 1900s. The company’s name has an interesting story behind it, and in this article, we’ll take a closer look at how Reebok got its name.

The Early Days of Reebok

Reebok was founded in 1895 by a man named Joseph William Foster. Foster was a keen runner and had a passion for creating shoes that would help him run faster. He began making shoes in his bedroom in Bolton, England, and eventually started his own company called JW Foster and Sons.

The company quickly gained a reputation for producing high-quality shoes that were perfect for running. In 1958, two of Foster’s grandsons, Joe and Jeff Foster, took over the company and began to expand its product line. They introduced a new running shoe called the “Reebok” in 1958, which was named after an African gazelle.

The Meaning Behind the Name Reebok

The name Reebok comes from the Afrikaans word “rhebok,” which means “antelope” or “gazelle.” The Foster brothers were inspired by the graceful and fast-moving animal and thought it would be the perfect name for their new running shoe.

The Reebok logo also reflects the company’s inspiration from the African gazelle. The logo is a stylized “Union Jack” flag with a red gazelle leaping across it. This logo has become one of the most recognizable in the sporting goods industry.

Reebok’s Rise to Fame

After the introduction of the Reebok running shoe, the company continued to grow and expand its product line. In the 1980s, Reebok became a major player in the fitness and aerobics craze. The company introduced the Freestyle, a women’s athletic shoe that was specifically designed for dance aerobics. The Freestyle became an instant hit and helped to establish Reebok as a leading brand in the athletic footwear industry.

In the 1990s, Reebok expanded into other areas of fitness and began to produce apparel and equipment for a variety of sports. The company signed endorsement deals with high-profile athletes such as Shaquille O’Neal and Allen Iverson, which helped to boost its image and popularity.

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Reebok vs. the Competition

Reebok has faced stiff competition over the years from other athletic shoe brands such as Nike and Adidas. However, Reebok has managed to stay relevant by focusing on innovation and technology. The company has introduced new materials and designs that have helped to improve the performance of its footwear and apparel.

One of Reebok’s most innovative products is its “Pump” technology. The Pump is a small air chamber that is built into the shoe and can be inflated to provide a customized fit. This technology has been used in a variety of Reebok shoes and has helped to improve comfort and performance.

The Benefits of Reebok Footwear and Apparel

Reebok is known for producing high-quality athletic footwear and apparel that is designed to help athletes perform at their best. The company’s products are made from durable materials that can withstand even the toughest workouts.

Reebok shoes are designed to provide maximum support and cushioning, which can help to reduce the risk of injury. The company’s apparel is also designed with performance in mind and is made from moisture-wicking fabrics that help to keep athletes cool and dry.


Reebok has come a long way since its early days as a small shoe company in Bolton, England. Today, it is a global brand that is known for producing high-quality athletic footwear and apparel. The company’s name, Reebok, is a nod to the graceful and fast-moving African gazelle, which has become a symbol of the company’s commitment to innovation and performance. Whether you’re a professional athlete or just someone who enjoys staying active, Reebok has something to offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How did Reebok get its name?

Reebok was founded in England in 1895 as a company that made spiked running shoes. The company was originally called J.W. Foster and Sons, after its founder. In 1958, the founder’s grandsons decided to rename the company Reebok, which is a type of African antelope. The name was chosen because it represented speed, grace, and agility, which were qualities that the company wanted to associate with its shoes.

The name Reebok also had the advantage of being easy to pronounce and remember, which was important for a company that wanted to expand globally. Today, Reebok is one of the world’s leading athletic shoe and apparel brands, known for its innovative products and commitment to fitness and wellness.

What is the history of Reebok?

Reebok was founded in England in 1895 by J.W. Foster and Sons, who made spiked running shoes. The company’s shoes were worn by athletes in the 1924 Summer Olympics, and it continued to grow throughout the 20th century. In 1958, the company was renamed Reebok, which became a popular brand in the United Kingdom and Europe.

In the 1980s, Reebok entered the American market and became known for its innovative designs and endorsements from sports stars like Shaquille O’Neal and Allen Iverson. The company also expanded into apparel and fitness equipment. In 2006, Reebok was acquired by Adidas, which has helped the brand continue to grow and evolve.

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What makes Reebok shoes unique?

Reebok shoes are known for their innovative designs and technologies. For example, the company’s Nano shoes are designed specifically for cross-training, with features like a durable, flexible sole and a breathable upper. Reebok also offers shoes with proprietary technologies like Floatride, which provides a cushioned and responsive ride, and Flexweave, which is a lightweight and durable material that adapts to the foot’s movements.

In addition to their performance features, Reebok shoes are also known for their stylish designs. The company collaborates with artists and designers to create unique and eye-catching shoes that appeal to a wide range of consumers.

What is Reebok’s commitment to sustainability?

Reebok is committed to sustainability and has set a goal of using 100% sustainable cotton by 2020. The company has also launched a line of shoes made from recycled materials, called the Reebok Cotton + Corn collection. In addition, Reebok is working to reduce its carbon footprint by using renewable energy sources and implementing energy-efficient practices in its manufacturing facilities.

Reebok also supports social and environmental causes through its partnerships with organizations like the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Cotton LEADS program, which promotes sustainable cotton farming practices.

Where can I buy Reebok products?

Reebok products are available at a wide range of retailers, including sporting goods stores, department stores, and online retailers. The company also operates its own retail stores, which offer a full range of shoes, apparel, and accessories. To find a Reebok store or retailer near you, visit the company’s website and use the store locator tool.

In addition, Reebok often collaborates with other brands and designers to create limited-edition collections that are sold exclusively at select retailers. These collections can be highly sought-after and may sell out quickly, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest releases and act fast when you see something you like.

The Decline of Reebok…What Happened?

In conclusion, the story of how Reebok got its name is an interesting tale of creativity and inspiration. The Foster brothers were able to take a word from a dictionary and turn it into a successful brand that is recognized worldwide. The name Reebok has become synonymous with athletic footwear and apparel, and the brand has continued to evolve and innovate over the years.

It is fascinating to think that a chance encounter with a dictionary could lead to such a successful and iconic brand. The Foster brothers’ determination to find the perfect name for their company paid off in the end, and their legacy continues to live on through the Reebok brand.

Overall, the story of Reebok’s name is a testament to the power of creativity and innovation in the business world. It reminds us that inspiration can come from unexpected places, and that success can often be found in the most unlikely of circumstances.

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