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Trail Running and Basketball Inspire Reebok’s Latest Sneakers

Reebok is hitting the ground running this month with a trio of colorful sneaker releases.

A clay-red colorway of the brand’s DMX Trail Shadow Approach kicked things off Saturday. Following “a strong 2020” for the DMX Trail Shadow—Reebok highlighted in-line offerings and collaborations with streetwear brands like Eastlogue and Mountain Research—the trail running-inspired model returned this spring with a redesigned look and the new “Approach” moniker. The design, drawing on the style of ‘90s mountain approach footwear, strips away the upper cage while wrapping the shoe in an oversized mudguard that reaches upward from the outsole.

The DMX Trail Shadow Approach “Clay Red,” priced at $160, arrived Saturday at select retailers in the United States and Europe, including Allike, Four by Azurro, Marmon Sports and Somewhere.

Reebok's DMX Trail Shadow Approach "Clay Red" draws on the style of '90s mountain approach footwear.
DMX Trail Shadow Approach “Clay Red” Reebok

Just weeks after introducing the animal-free Nano X1 Vegan, Reebok will debut yet another entry in its still-young Nano X1 training shoe franchise. The Nano X1 Blacktop, it said, “brings the perfect blend of street style and performance,” while at the same time paying homage to the brand’s Blacktop collection, debuted in 1991.

The Blacktop concept marked Reebok’s first entry in the realm of outdoor basketball. Known for its use of vivid color accents, bold patterning and texture, the collection also utilized rugged builds and high abrasion rubber outsoles specifically designed for outdoor performance.

The Nano X1 Blacktop tapped into this history, adding bright and bold tribal print graphics across the heel. The design, Reebok noted, also includes a luxe knit upper “for ultimate comfort and style.”

The Nano X1 Blacktop collection—coming in at $150 per pair—will debut on Reebok’s website in two colorways Wednesday.

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Reebok unveiled the Spring/Summer ‘21 season’s fourth colorway of the Premier Road Modern—a fashion in-line model which initially debuted in August—on Friday.

Reebok's Pure Blue Premier Road Modern draws inspiration from trail running shoes
Pure Blue Premier Road Modern Reebok

To launch globally sometime this month, the Pure Blue Premier Road Modern takes on a tonal color-blocking execution similar to the Silver Premier Road Modern introduced in March. This latest silhouette, however, also leans further into the heritage of Reebok’s Premier Running collection, the brand said, and draws inspiration from trail running shoes.

The Pure Blue Premier Road Modern, priced at $200, will become available globally this month at local and global retailers such as Bodega, Sneakersnstuff and Packer.

The trail running inspiration behind the DMX Trail Shadow Approach “Clay Red” and Pure Blue Premier Road Modern comes as hiking and running post substantial gains. According to first-quarter data from the NPD Group, hiking and walking footwear climbed more than 25 percent compared to two years ago. Performance running, meanwhile, grew in the low teens.

The update didn’t provide any information about trail running specifically. In December, however, Matt Powell, vice president and senior industry advisor, sports at NPD Group, forecasted the category would “outperform the overall market,” though “to a lesser extent” than performance running and hiking.

Meanwhile, things do not look as rosy for basketball footwear, the inspiration behind the Nano X1 Blacktop. Performance basketball, viewed against 2019, sank in the low singles in the first quarter, according to NPD. “There is no sign this category is making a comeback, although several of the new entrants did well, against a small base,” Powell said.