2004 JW Foster Collection

Continuing Retroboks‘ history updates, here are some photos and press release for the 2004 collection inspired by original JW Fosters shoes. They look like an immaculately researched and executed collection – and it’s great to see Reebok do on occasion acknowledge their heritage. 

Press Release:

Century-old shoe gets a new run-out

A training shoe based on one designed by a Bolton cobbler in 1895 is tipped to become of of 2004’s must-have fashion items. Sports giant Reebok is going back to its roots with the JW Foster collection, which echoes the look of a shoe designed by Joe Foster, whose Deane Road shop became the launchpad for the brand’s empire. But whilst the original version had the innovation of nails driven through their soles – the forerunner of the modern running spike – the news shoe is said to feature the latest in “cushioning” technology.

Joe Foster first hit on the idea of putting nails through the sole of his running pumps in 1895. Friends at Bolton Harriers running club clamoured for similar shoes and by 1900 JW Foster was born as an incorporated company. By 1909 Foster could boast Olympic champions among the wearers of his pioneering pump including world 100 yard record holder Arthur Postle, an Australian known as the Crimson Flash.

J W Foster was the largest manufacturer of hand-made running shoes in the world by the 1930s. But by the mid-1950s the company was lagging behind competitors Adidas and Puma, and Joe’s grandsons, Joe and Jeff Foster took the decision to reinvent it as Reebok, taking the new name from a type of gazelle.

The rest was history and the firm is now a multi-national concern based in Boston, USA.”

Posted on March 29, 2012, in Newsfeed, Re-issues and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Love these. On a side note, I always wanted a pair of shoes in the style of the classic golf shoe, but with a regular sole.

  2. Ha, you’re a man after my own heart – totally agree about the Golf shoe style thing. Also I had the same thoughts about pro Cycling shoes, they look awesome but rarely come with a regular sole. I have a feeling we’ve met?