Aztec OG – Unboxing, macros + thoughts
From Retroboks’ point of view, this has to be one of the most significant and special Reebok retro since, well, retros began? The Reebok Classics team pulled out all the stops to send me a pair of the Aztec OG‘s just ahead of the August 1st release date. Read on…. The Aztec, a road training shoe from 1979, is legendary for Reebok heads. This was a pure running shoe, super-light, featuring some pretty advanced ‘tech’ for the time such as a dual-density midsole and plastic D-rings to prevent lacing ‘hotspots’ as Reebok calls it.
The ‘Unit II’ outsole with its stepped heel section, was also the forefather to the ‘Roadstar’ outsole as seen on the original Classic, and then most famously the Classic Leather from the early 80’s onward. Apparently, it WAS retro’d in 2004 for it’s 25th anniversary, but even I’m scrambling to find any further info about that shoe – aside from a curious image showing 224 on the heel wrap:
But I feel like I’m stalling, so let’s get on with some unboxing. It’s a very nice touch indeed that Reebok Classics have recreated a traditional box for the Aztec release, although checking my own archives here on Retrobok, there was a far far more dynamic looking box design! While the original Aztec was released in a Womens version – the Aztec Princess – for this re-release you’ll notice the UNISEX demarcation on the box label:
Inside the box, the footwear is wrapped in a much heavier brown paper wrap, again a nice touch:
Inside the box lid is a photo of the Bolton Primrose Harriers running team. Another nice touch:
The retros of the Aztec are really, really sweet with a slightly dull overall colour finish (very much reflective of the period materials). You’ll have to excuse my phone camera photos again…
The 8-page mini booklet succintly covers the history of Reebok; its birth in 1958 from the ashes of the J.W. Fosters company (remember people, Reebok wasn’t established in 1895 – JW Fosters was) as well as the story of the Aztec itself and how Paul Fireman picked up the shoe and figuratively ran with it harder than anyone could imagine.
This is where I get really geeky: much as I’d like to say this radial detail on the rear outsole is the infamous Starcrest, well it’s not. The Starcrest features 12 segments, with the debossed radial detail shown below features 16. I’ll try and ascertain what this actually was in due course:
The lightweight upper that forms the toebox (and much of the tongue) wrinkles easily, but in the good way!
Dual-density midsole has a clearly handmade appearance:
Actual OG Aztec tongue labels read ‘From a tradition of over 75 years…’. I’m genuinely hoping that these retros have been handmade – there’s certainly plenty of evidence on the shoe itself.
Awesome stitched red and gold Starcrest, and Reebok wordmark:
A closer look inside reveals just how thin and lightweight the Aztec really is (in a good way, more of that later):
With the Poron® insole removed:
The Poron® insole is one of the Aztecs secrets to its comfort, which is a huge surprise when you realise just how lightweight they are: it’s a thick and springy insole which works brilliantly:
I really didn’t expect the comfort level on the Aztec to be that high, given its light weight. But on wearing, I’m blown away by just how good they are. These are many times comfier than some over-padded shoes, and its the sheer flexibility of the Aztec on the foot that can also be held accountable. The material choice was clearly on-point and only where support was needed was it applied with the utmost care.
The crafted, handmade aesthetic and history shine through incredibly strongly. I’ve heard comment that the recent OG Pump Fury retros have been held in high regards within the sneaker community (Sneaker Freaker for one) but I’m genuinely feeling more history and detail with the Aztec retro here. And being handmade – well thats the icing on the cake.
With thanks to Angela and Alexandra at Reebok Classics for getting these to me. -BokOne
AVAILABLE AUGUST 1ST FROM SNEAKER POLITICS (Retrobok has not seen any other boutiques or Certified Network stores offering this just yet, sorry)
See more on the Aztec:
and finally.. toe to toe with some inspired Classics: