David Foster on the 1978 (!) Aztec OG
With the retro of the
1979 1978 Aztec released today, I got in touch with David Foster (his Father Joe and Uncle Jeff started Reebok from the ashes of the J.W. Fosters company in 1958) to ask his memories of the shoe, and it’s success. David not only confirms the original release year (!!), the impact this shoe had on Reebok sales and success, but also the model of the first Reebok Womens shoe. Read on!
“The Aztec was launched back in 78 before my full time employment in ’84 and was a response to the Nike Waffle trainer and Tailwind.
You can see the influences of these early Nike shoes in the two colour EVA midsole and wedge, square cut heel and the carbon rubber ‘Roadstar‘ sole, which even has the pimples of the waffle sole on it :
Some changes like the wrap around suede toe guard were there to ease production as there was no need to let nylon primer dry, so it was faster to produce.
Reebok USA had just been formed with Paul Fireman and the Aztec was submitted to ‘Runner’s world’ and received the top 5 Star rating, which made the shoe a must have in the USA. The size of the orders from the US meant that the shoe was also made for us by BATA in Tilbury Essex to keep up with demand and continued in production up to the AZII in ’84 – quite a long period for a Reebok in those days.
The success of Aztec made Reebok in the US and lead to shoes like the Victory G, Gore-tex running shoe and spawned our first women’s shoe the Aztec Princess and the first soft nappa leather ‘Camargue’ version of the Aztec.
In many ways the Aztec was the first towards Reebok becoming a big brand and marked a shift to the company being lead by the US market.”
Many thanks again to David for his time, recollections (and patience!). -BokOne