"Pump Up, Air Out"
That was the original ad campaign behind the launch of the Reebok Pump
system back in 1989. Partly describing the Pump operation and partly a
stab at Nike's Air cushioning, the Pump campaign and Pump shoes proved
very popular for Reebok.
The Reebok Pump ERS basketball shoe was the first shoe from Reebok to
feature an inflatable bladder in the tongue. Pumping an orange
basketball on the tongue of the shoe inflated the bladder. With a
retail price higher than most other basketball shoes ($350-$400), the
Pump ERS gained notoriety both on the court as a performance shoe and
off the court as a "status symbol" casual shoe. With the Pump system
proving popular in basketball, Reebok introduced the Pump to its
lineup of shoes for other sports.
If you were a tennis fan during the 1990s, you were likely one of
millions amazed by the foot speed of professional player Michael
Chang. Chang's shoe of choice was the Reebok Court Victory Pump.
Probably the ideal athlete to market a tennis shoe, Chang's court
coverage was second to none. Almost every televised Chang match would
feature a close-up of his feet while the commentators discussed the
greatness of his footwork. Needless to say, the Court Victory Pump was
Fast forward to 2005, and the Pump is back in tennis. The 3D Match Day
Pump, as tested here, offers the performance of the original Court
Victory Pump, but in a more durable and stable package. With modern,
aggressive styling, the 3D Match Day Pump features aggressive styling
in a variety of color combinations designed to fit the modern
aggressive playing style.
Well, the TW playtest crew is a colorful and competitive bunch, so we
pumped up our games and hit the courts for an extensive playtest of
various colors of the 3D Match Day Pumps.
With soft, pliable uppers, plenty of cushioning, and a Pump system to
offer a custom fit, the 3D Match Day Pumps are loaded with comfort
features. Our entire team was in agreement that the 3D Match Day Pumps
offered plenty of comfort both on and off the courts. Finding instant
comfort was Jeremy. "Just walking on to the courts in these shoes I
knew they would be comfortable. You can't expect any less from a shoe
that is this well built. The midsole is thick and the insole is very
padded. The tongue is very padded as well, with the Pump adding to the
comfort and support."
Chris was in agreement. "These were amazingly comfortable shoes.
Everything from the cushioning to the uppers felt great. I found lots
of cushioning without feeling elevated. Impressively, the shoes were
comfortable on the first wear, and just got better as they broke-in. I
really liked the fit and feel of every aspect of the 3D Match Day
Pumps. These have become my favorite shoes for both practice and match
play. The only downside was that they could have used more
Finding a good fit along with plenty of comfort was Josh. "The Reebok
3D Match Day Pumps are definitely comfortable shoes. The leather is
nice and soft and the width was perfect for my feet. The shoes were
very cushioned and I didn't feel any pinching during play. The shoes
also flexed really well with quick movements." Impressed by the level
of cushioning was Danny. "The cushioning in these shoes was amazing.
This was the most cushioned/comfortable ride that I have ever had. My
feet were never poked, pinched or rubbed - excellent."
The 3D Match Day Pumps fit with a medium height arch support that
seemed well suited to the various foot types of our test team. Finding
good support for his medium height arch was Jeremy. "Arch support was
just right for me. Having a medium arch, I would say that my foot is
not too discerning between arch support in shoes. The arch support on
this shoe fit very nicely and I would recommend it for a person with a
medium arch." Also finding a good fit through the arch area was Chris.
"The arch support felt like it was at a medium height to me. It
offered a good fit and my feet felt very secure throughout the arch
area. I found it easy to put these on and not have any concerns such
as stress to my arches."
Josh found adequate support for his high arches. "The arch support was
comfortable in this shoe, but not great. With the width of the shoe,
the cushioning and the Pump technology, my foot was so comfortable
overall I barely noticed the arch." Finding a better fit was Danny.
"The arch support was just right. I did think that the arch support
was somewhat low, but that didn't affect my movement or comfort."
The 3D Match Day Pumps are definitely built with support in mind.
Both the Pump technology and the 360 degree support strap act together
to secure the player's foot in place during aggressive on court
movement. Impressed with the support and stability he was finding was
Danny. "The foot support and stability was surprisingly good. I was
worried about the width of the shoe. Generally, I like a shoe that is
narrow. I usually have good support and stability when I use a narrow
shoe. I think the Reebok pump is a medium width shoe, however I didn't
have any problems with the foot support and stability."
While Jeremy found the support to be ok, Josh said, "the Pump
technology and cut of the Match Day reminded me of a basketball shoe.
The heavier leather and added cushioning provided a snug fit and
filling the shoe with air by pumping it up only enhanced the feel. I
had the same experience with my first pair of Reebok Pumps back in
high school. On the tennis court, my ankles had good support and I
didn't experience any slipping."
Most impressed with the support and stability of the 3D Match Day
Pumps was Chris. "These have to be the most supportive shoes I've ever
worn. They almost felt over-engineered for my height/weight (5'10",
160lbs). I found more than enough support, which was very comforting.
I would imagine larger players looking for lots of support will enjoy
these, too. The Pump system was useful in making the shoes fit nice
and snug, even when wearing thin socks. I loved the velcro strap
across the midfoot. While the velcro did tend to stick to the laces
when putting the shoes on (a minor inconvenience), it allowed the
midfoot area to be cinched down as tight as I wanted. Before matches I
would give the straps a firm tug and really lock my feet into the
shoes. Top marks here."
Overall Sole Durability
To take care of any durability concerns a player may have, Reebok has
included a six-month durability guarantee for the outsoles of the 3D
Match Day Pumps. Impressed with the level of durability he was finding
the in the 3D Match Day Pumps was Jeremy. "The 3D Match Day Pumps have
a very thick outsole, making this shoe very durable. Even after lots
of play the wear on the shoes was minimal. I am pretty easy on my
shoes, but do notice wear after about 8 hours of play. I found these
to be much more durable than others brands. I would rank it up there
with the Prince Viper in durability." Comparing the durability to
other Reebok offerings was Chris. "Not the most durable outsoles, but
up to par with most other performance shoes. While I found the Reebok
Upsets and 3D Premier Pros to be more durable, the 3D Match Day Pumps
held up fairly well. I put over 30 hours of play on these shoes during
the test, and while I did see some outsole wear under the forefoot
areas, the shoes are still going strong."
Danny found the level of durability to be above average for a
performance tennis shoe. Josh agreed. "The 3D Match Day Pumps had a
solid outsole to go with the durable uppers. The herringbone tread
offered good grip on court and showed little wear during the playtest.
With a six-month durability guarantee, these are every bit as durable
as the Adidas Barricade IIs, Prince T10s and Nike Air Max Breathe Free
The 3D Match Day Pumps feature a solid toe bumper comprised of
outsole material which wraps up over the tip of the shoe. Despite some
solid toe protection, Danny found plenty of wear at the toes of both
shoes. "I wore out the toes in these shoes. However, toe durability
was a little above average. I gave the shoes a really hard playtest
and the first signs of wear occurred at the toe." Finding better
durability was Chris "I was very impressed with the toe durability of
the 3D Match Day Pumps. The toe areas are beefed up pretty well. The
toe bumpers offered plenty of protection and held up very well to the
abuse of hard court play."
Jeremy said, "While I don't drag my toe, the overall durability of
this shoe was really good. Even after playing in the shoe for some
time I noticed no significant signs of wear." Apart from some minor
discoloration from contact with different court surfaces, Josh found
excellent durability. "With a predominantly white upper (Josh wore the
White/Navy version), the shoes picked up an array of colors from
various courts. I had a huge clay-colored streak on my right toe after
the first wear. After close review, the shoe was in perfect condition
outside of the discoloration. The leather on the 3D Match Day Pump has
a good combination of toughness and suppleness, and the toe cap is
With a deep herringbone outsole pattern and a pivot point under the
forefoot, the 3D Match Day Pumps are well suited to both hard courts
and clay courts. Surprised by the level of traction was Danny. "The
traction was surprisingly good. I played many practice matches with
these shoes, and I also played a tournament in them. I never once had
any problem with the traction of these shoes. I think the combination
of the flex of the shoe and the herringbone tread allows them to have
superb traction." Jeremy offered, "I had no real issues with traction
on this shoe. The compound isn't nearly as soft as a Nike Breathe Free
II, but to the 3D Match Day Pumps' credit, they do offer as much
traction with better durability."
Chris was very pleased with the level of traction offered by the 3D
Match Day Pumps. "I found excellent traction on the hard courts with
these shoes. I was able to move very aggressively without any fear of
slipping or sliding. It didn't matter if I was scrambling at the
baseline or charging the net, these shoes offered excellent traction.
The rubber on the outsoles was very pliable and was soft enough to
offer plenty of grip even on dusty court surfaces." Also impressed was
Josh. "The traction of the 3D Match Day Pumps was impressive. It
wasn't compromised at all by the durability, unlike other durable
shoes such as the Adidas Barricade 3s. The Match Day Pumps gripped the
court well, and I felt confident stopping and starting quickly in
To say the 3D Match Day Pumps compete in the heavyweight division
would be putting it mildly. At 20.2 ounces for a size 10.5, these
shoes are pretty hefty. While the Court Victory Pumps were medium
weight shoes, the 3D Match Day Pumps are beefed up in every aspect.
Noticing the weight the most was Josh. "I wear a size 10, and the 3D
Match Day Pumps felt like tanks on my feet! Maybe the shoe needed to
be bulkier to support the Pump technology, but the 3D Match Day Pumps
were just plain beefy. Players with smaller feet didn't seem to have
any problems with the weight, so my experience may be a bit isolated.
However, 20.2 ounces for a size 10.5 is heavy! My reaction time seemed
a bit sluggish in these shoes." Jeremy also found the shoes to feel
weighty. "I really feel these shoes could have been a bit lighter.
With these shoes being pretty heavy and also feeling pretty hot out on
the court, they started to drag me down just a bit. Take into
consideration that usually with heavier shoes you get more cushioning
and comfort, and that is true with the these."
Chris said, "there's no getting around it, these are some heavy shoes.
All of the comfort, support and durability comes at a price. While
they did feel a little clunky on the first wear, once the shoes had
fully softened up the sensation of the weight was not as noticeable.
From then on I was getting a better heel to toe transition and soon
forgot about the weight of the shoes altogether. While I usually favor
light weight shoes, I felt like I was moving very well in these. The
traction and stability really allowed me to go all out, and I felt
like I was moving as well as I could." Danny also found the shoes to
feel less heavy with wear. "These are some of the heaviest shoes that
we have ever carried at TW. If you are looking for light shoes, then
these aren't for you. However, I don't think the weight of these shoes
effected my game. The weight became hardly noticeable when I was
Don't be afraid of the weight. While the 3D Match Day Pumps were the
heaviest shoes introduced for 2005, our team felt the on court
performance far exceeded any weight concerns. The excellent comfort,
stability and support of the 3D Match Day Pumps make them the perfect
choice for both a large powerful player and a lighter player who
relies on foot speed to win points. The outsoles proved to be solid on
the hard courts, offering great traction and impressive durability.
Plus, with a six-month durability outsole guarantee, hard court
players can't go wrong. We were also impressed with the customization
possible for the width fit. Both the stability strap and the Pump
system allow a player to lock their feet into the shoes. With the 3D
Match Day Pump we think Reebok has successfully returned the "Pump" to
tennis. All that's missing is for some Chang like player to showcase
them for some much deserved attention.