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Reebok’s Ghostbusters Shoes Make You Feel Like You’re in the Movie
These shoes were made for real fans. Designer Chris Hill reveals the subtle nuances and details he included in the 80’s sci-fi inspired sneakers.
Are you troubled by strange noises in the middle of the night? Do you experience feelings of dread in your basement or attic? In 1984, if there was something strange going on there was only one team to call: Ghostbusters. The 80’s sci-fi comedy cult classic about a group of fictional scientists who create a ‘paranormal investigation and elimination service,’ made things that go bump in the night a cultural phenomenon. The movie is filled with iconic moments – from the crew’s epic high-tech gear created in their firehouse HQ to their gutsy defense of New York City from a possessed marshmallow man the size of a small skyscraper. With the emergence of demigod dimensions and supernatural creatures, only Peter, Ray, Egon, and Winston can defy the odds and save the city from chaos.
After Ghostbusters dominated at the box office, a sequel in 1989 and an animated series followed. Fans have long awaited another installment of the story, and their wait is (almost) over. Ahead of the next chapter and with Halloween just around the corner, Reebok created a Ghostbusters collection. Reebok Senior Design Manager Chris Hill is the creative mind behind the footwear, and he spared no detail when it came to designing the sneakers for fans. So grab your ecto-goggles, because Hill’s sharing deep details about these kicks that look like they’re straight out of the movie.
The Ghost Smasher
While the Ghost Smasher may look like the Alien Stomper shoe (which Hill also designed), Hill turned the design on its head. “It would be as though this shoe is making a cameo in different science fiction movies, like an in-world shoe, is how we’re treating it,” he says. Hill was inspired by the upcoming Ghostbusters film and some of the things he learned about it during the design process. “In the new movie there are some kids and they discover some 80’s Ghostbusters equipment, but it’s been tweaked and modified for today to be more powerful. The idea behind this shoe is that the people in the movie found a vintage Alien Stomper shoe and then modified it to be more functional. That’s why the black and yellow stripes look messy – to look like they painted them.”
Hill worked tirelessly to keep the shoe authentic. “It’s kind of a little DIY-looking, almost like the backpack is stuck to it. It’s supposed to look like you found an actual CO2 cartridge from Reebok Pumps back in the day and modified it and attached it to the shoe. It’s all fictitious of course it doesn’t actually pump up, but that’s the idea of the little backpack on the back of the shoe.”
Fun fact: The name of the shoe is a hidden easter egg Hill included. In 1984, the name of the original movie had to be temporarily switched to Ghost Smashers and scenes were shot featuring that name.
The Ghost Smasher was supposed to be from the latest movie, but Hill says the Classic Leather was inspired by the suits in the first movie. “It’s a costume idea. People dress up in the suits all the time, so this is sort of the shoe version of that. It has all that cloth material like the suit and the name badge is the window, but it says Reebok.” There’s even storytelling in the sockliners that true fans will appreciate. “One has the logo lock-up and the other says ‘Don’t Cross the Streams.’” Proton streams that is. “On the outsole, one of them has a glow in the dark green spot like you stepped in slime. Then there’s a little hit of the yellow and black hazard stripe around the heel to spice it up a bit.” Hill’s design will make you feel like you’re ready to hop in the Ectomobile, ghost trap and proton pack at the ready, and take on any spirit that comes your way.
When there was supernatural activity afoot in the kitchen or a ghost that needed removing in the library, it turns out that 555 number off the Ghostbusters TV ad came in pretty handy in the movie. Hill wanted to make sure to incorporate that by adding part of the final line from the ad in the shoe. “There’s ‘Ready to Believe You’ on the heel tabs which is one of the iconic lines from the movie.” Hill also included a secret tool in the shoebox itself. “The tissue paper is a map and an easter egg for the new movie, but that’s all I can say.” I guess we’ll have to wait until 2021 to figure that one out…
As a huge fan of the first movie and a toy collector who owns remakes of the real Ghostbusters toys, Hill says he felt the pressure to deliver on these sneakers. “It’s self-inflicted pressure. I always want to go bigger and better than my last project no matter what it is. I know what those fans are looking for and how serious they are about keeping the details correct.” Hill says he’s particularly proud of the work he put into this drop. “I’m really excited about Ghostbusters. When I did it, I thought, ‘This is some of the best work I’ve done’. Anything that’s truly iconic or memorable is because they created an emotional connection for people. For me, it was the mix of sci-fi, ghosts, and slime and I still love it.”
It turns out a few scientists who study paranormal activity can save the world and remain a cultural phenomenon decades later. Remember, if there’s something weird and it doesn’t look good you know who to reach out to.The Reebok Ghostbusters collection drops on Halloween.