Back in 1895, a U.K. shoemaker named Joseph William Foster had the idea to add spikes to the bottom of running shoes as a way to help athletes create more traction and run faster. He started a manufacturing company called J.W. Foster and Sons, and his shoes played a major role in the 1924 Olympics. In 1958, Foster's grandsons decided to create a new branch of their family business. Named Reebok (after the Afrikaans word for "gazelle"), the brand was focused on creating shoes that exuded style and grace. At first, the company became a hit in the United Kingdom, but it had trouble reaching an international audience.
In 1979, at a Chicago sneaker trade show, an outdoor sporting goods distribution rep named Paul Fireman saw Reebok's potential and brought the brand to America. Through brand distribution licenses, Fireman launched several incredibly successful styles of Reebok running shoes in several U.S. markets, and the company became a major hit almost instantly. Always on the cutting edge of technology, Reebok has made some major contributions to the sneaker industry--including creating the world's first athletic shoe for women in the early '80s. The brand's notoriety also increased thanks to several endorsement deals with NBA superstars. In 2005, Reebok was acquired by the German sportswear group Adidas. Today, the company continues manufacturing both athletic shoes and everyday sneakers for men, women, and children around the world.
Footwear has always been Reebok's hallmark, though it has also branched out to include other sorts of apparel. Kids' styles are divided into infant/toddler (sizes 2-10), pre-school (sizes 10.5-3) and grade school (sizes 3.5-7). Sneakers for the youngest children are typically meant for everyday wear and are available in styles that will appeal to young boys and girls. Licensing agreements with companies like Disney allow Reebok to theme its shoes to your little one's favorite characters. Moving into the pre-school category, you are presented with a much wider range of options. These shoes are sleek and stylish, and many of them feature special designs for more active children to be able to use for running. Again, colors and styles are separated into boys' and girls' so that you can find a design your tot will love.
Shoes for grade schoolers are more advanced and activity-specific. You'll find shoes specifically designed for sports like basketball, baseball, and running as well as sneakers for fitness and training. These shoes provide the necessary support and comfort for kids to enjoy wearing them for long periods of time. Reebok apparel options like workout clothes and socks are also available for this age range.
Reebok has been an innovative company for well over a century, and it continues to be one of the top manufacturers of athletic footwear today. The shoes your kids wear are very important to the development of strong, healthy muscles and a passion for being active, and a commitment to quality has always been a major part of Reebok's hallmark. Now that the brand is owned by Adidas, it has a very strong team behind it. The companies are on the cutting edge of research and development, and they are constantly working toward environmental sustainability and responsible manufacturing. For the quality and scope of its product line, we give Reebok 4.5 out of 5 stars.