Who Created Reebok?

Reebok is a well-known brand that has been around for decades. It’s a name that’s synonymous with athletic shoes and apparel, and it’s a brand that’s loved by athletes and fitness enthusiasts around the world. But who is the mastermind behind this iconic brand?

The story of Reebok starts in England in the late 1800s, where a man named Joseph William Foster was making running shoes in his bedroom. Over time, his shoes became popular with athletes, and in 1958, Foster’s grandsons decided to start selling them under the name Reebok. Since then, the brand has grown to become one of the most recognized names in sports and fitness. So, who created Reebok? It was the Foster family’s passion for creating quality athletic shoes that started it all.

Who Created Reebok?

Who Created Reebok?

Reebok is a popular sports footwear and apparel brand with a global market presence. The company has its roots in England and was established in the late 19th century. The brand is now owned by Adidas, but its rich history and legacy have contributed significantly to its success today. In this article, we will explore the story of Reebok’s origins, its journey to becoming a global brand, and the people behind its creation.

The Early Years

Reebok’s story begins in 1895 when Joseph William Foster, a British shoemaker, started making running shoes in his bedroom. Foster had a passion for athletics, and he wanted to create shoes that could help athletes run faster. He experimented with different materials and designs, and eventually, he created a unique running shoe with spikes on the sole for better traction.

The shoes were an instant hit, and the demand for them grew rapidly. In 1958, Foster’s grandsons, Joe and Jeff Foster, established a company called Reebok, named after a type of African gazelle known for its speed and agility. The company’s mission was to create innovative athletic footwear and apparel that could help athletes perform at their best.

The Rise of Reebok

In the 1980s, Reebok became a household name thanks to its revolutionary design and marketing strategies. The brand introduced the first athletic shoe designed specifically for women, the Freestyle, which became an instant hit. Reebok also signed endorsement deals with high-profile athletes such as Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson, and Venus Williams, which helped to increase its brand recognition and popularity.

Reebok’s success continued well into the 1990s, with the company becoming the top-selling sports shoe brand in the US. The brand expanded its product line to include clothing, accessories, and sports equipment, and it continued to innovate with new designs and technologies.

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The Acquisition by Adidas

In 2005, Adidas acquired Reebok for $3.8 billion, making it the second-largest sports footwear and apparel company in the world after Nike. The acquisition allowed Adidas to expand its market share in North America, where Reebok was particularly popular. Reebok continued to operate as a separate brand under the Adidas Group, with its headquarters remaining in Canton, Massachusetts.

The Legacy of Reebok

Reebok’s legacy extends beyond its innovative products and marketing strategies. The brand has also been a pioneer in promoting social and environmental responsibility in the fashion industry. In 1991, Reebok became the first company to establish a code of conduct for its suppliers, which included guidelines on fair labor practices and environmental sustainability.

Today, Reebok continues to be a leader in sustainable fashion, with its products made from eco-friendly materials such as recycled polyester and organic cotton. The brand has also launched initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion in sports, such as the “All Types of Love” campaign, which celebrates the LGBTQ+ community.

Benefits of Reebok Products

Reebok’s products are known for their quality and performance, making them a popular choice among athletes and fitness enthusiasts. The brand’s shoes are designed with advanced technologies such as the Floatride Energy Foam, which provides cushioning and support while reducing weight. Reebok’s apparel is also designed to help athletes perform at their best, with features such as moisture-wicking fabric and ventilation for breathability.

Reebok vs. the Competition

Reebok faces tough competition in the sports footwear and apparel industry from brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour. However, Reebok’s focus on innovation, sustainability, and social responsibility sets it apart from its competitors. The brand’s commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in sports also gives it a unique edge in the market.


In conclusion, Reebok’s success story is a testament to the power of innovation, marketing, and social responsibility in the fashion industry. The brand’s journey from a small shoemaker in England to a global sports apparel giant is a remarkable one, and it is a legacy that continues to inspire athletes and fashion enthusiasts around the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who created Reebok?

Reebok was created by Joseph William Foster in 1895 in Bolton, Lancashire, England. Foster started making running shoes in a small bedroom of his home, and he created the first known running spikes in 1895. He named his company “J.W. Foster and Sons” and began selling his shoes to local runners.

In 1958, two of Foster’s grandsons, Joe and Jeff Foster, renamed the company “Reebok” after a type of African gazelle. They wanted a name that would reflect the speed and agility of their shoes. Reebok became an international brand in the 1980s and 1990s, thanks to their successful marketing campaigns and collaborations with athletes.

When did Reebok become popular?

Reebok became popular in the 1980s, thanks to their innovative designs and marketing strategies. In 1982, Reebok introduced the “Freestyle,” the first athletic shoe designed specifically for women. The shoe was a hit and helped establish Reebok as a leader in the fitness footwear market.

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In 1984, Reebok signed a deal with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers to create a signature shoe for player Michael Jordan. The resulting shoe, the “Reebok Pump,” was a huge success and helped solidify Reebok’s place in the basketball shoe market. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Reebok continued to innovate and create new products, cementing its status as a top athletic brand.

Who owns Reebok now?

Reebok was acquired by Adidas in 2005 for $3.8 billion. Since the acquisition, Reebok has struggled to maintain its market share and has undergone several restructurings. In late 2020, Adidas announced that it was selling Reebok as part of a strategic review of its business. As of early 2021, the sale had not yet been completed, and it’s unclear who the new owner of Reebok will be.

What kind of products does Reebok sell?

Reebok sells a wide range of athletic apparel and footwear for men, women, and children. Their product line includes running shoes, basketball shoes, cross-training shoes, and hiking shoes. They also offer a variety of workout clothes, including leggings, shorts, and tops. In addition, Reebok has a line of retro sneakers that have become popular in recent years, such as the Classic Leather and the Club C.

Where can I buy Reebok products?

Reebok products are sold at a variety of retailers, including sporting goods stores, department stores, and online retailers. Reebok also has its own retail stores, which can be found in many major cities around the world. In addition, Reebok products can be purchased directly from their website.

The Decline of Reebok…What Happened?

In conclusion, the story of who created Reebok is one of innovation, determination, and a passion for sport. The brand was founded in 1958 by a man named Joseph William Foster, who was determined to create a shoe that would help athletes perform at their best. Over the years, Reebok has continued to innovate and push the boundaries of what is possible in athletic footwear and apparel.

Today, Reebok is a global brand with millions of fans and loyal customers around the world. The company continues to be at the forefront of the athletic industry, creating new and innovative products that help people stay fit, healthy, and motivated. Whether you are a professional athlete or just someone who loves to stay active, Reebok has something to offer.

In the end, the story of who created Reebok is a testament to the power of hard work, dedication, and a love for sport. It is a story of innovation and perseverance, and it serves as an inspiration to athletes and entrepreneurs alike. So, the next time you put on a pair of Reebok shoes or slip into a Reebok shirt, remember the legacy of Joseph William Foster and the incredible brand that he created.

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