Another inflatable sneaker from a brand not named Reebok has now surfaced. First and foremost, lets just say that inflatable sneakers were around LONG before Reebok came on the scene. Starting with Fillmoore’s Pneumatic Insole in 1893 then on to the Aero Shoe Corporations inflatable shoe in 1983. Reebok itself was sued for 1 billion dollars for allegedly stealing the technology from Bruce Bennett (a guy they would go on to settle with out of court). With that said after Reebok’s Pump launched, there was the Nike Air Pressure, Nike Command Force Pump, Nike Air Force 180 Pump, L.A. Gear’s Regulator Pump, Spalding’s Typhoon Pump, Troops Coral Pump, and Adidas’s XTR Tubular Pump Shoe. Keeping up? Good. Well, you can now add USA Olympics to that rotation as this image has surfaced. In 1992 USA Olympics ( a brand notorious for selling more affordable sneakers that were basically designs based on more expensive sneaker from other brands) debuted their inflatable basketball sneaker named The Inflator. This shoe featured an air inflation device that inflated around the ankle as well as a padded topline, air release valve, leather uppers, nylon tricot linkings and rubber outsole (with a portion of it translucent).
If you notice, the pump mechanism is on the side of the shoe like Nike’s (probably to avoid any lawsuits from Reebok who at the time sued L.A. Gear (their pump was on the tongue similar to Reeboks)). The all around design wasn’t the most eye catching but they certainly weren’t the worst either and finding pairs today is next to impossible (unless their sitting in some warehouse in the midwest rotting away). Take a trip back to 1992 above!