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11 geeky and gimmicky shoes, from Reebok Pump to Nike Air Mag

We celebrate geeky and gimmicky trainers from the Reebok Pump to the Nike Air Mag from Back to the Future.

Richard Trenholm
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Richard Trenholm
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The shoes of tomorrow -- today. And we're not just talking about the Nike Air Mag shoes from Back to the Future 2 now on sale: here's a selection of shoes from Nike, Puma, Reebok and more that bring the latest technology to the end of your leg.

Reebok Pump

To paraphrase slightly, a million dollars isn't cool. You know what's cool? Reebok Pump. Yes, if you had a pair of Pumps you were the freshest kid in the playground after they were launched in 1989. They work like this: step 1 - squeeze the ball in the tongue; step 2 - inflate the heel; step 3 - beat off fly honeys with a stick. At least that's how it looked to us, we had second-hand Dunlops.

Puma Disc

They weren't quite as cool as Reebok Pumps, and they're not quite as self-fastening as Marty McFly's shoes, but the Puma Disc let you tighten up your shoes by turning a dial in the tongue.

Nike+

There's no point in owning a pair of high-tech running shoes if you're not going to get out and wear them. So in one of the most high-tech pairings on the list, Nike joined forces with Apple on Nike+. The app lets you records your runs with the GPS sensor in your iPhone or iPod touch, tracking your progress and helping you to stick to your fitness plan.

Strength Shoe

Walking. We all have to do it, and it's a god way of burning calories. But why walk when you can walk and work out at the same time? That's the idea of various shoes that come with wonky-shaped soles, to exercise different bits of your legs and make you fit while also making you look a little bit silly. Choices include the Fitflop, Reebok EasyTone, Sketchers Shape-Up and many more -- including the wacky Strength Shoe, which has a little platform bolted on the front, like a floor-polisher or something.

Nike Women's Yoga Footstickers

Or you could go the other way with shoes designed to work like you're not wearing shoes, like Nike Women’s Yoga Footstickers. Then there's Masai Barefoot Technology, mimicking the barefoot running of the African Masai tribe.

Heelys

On the other hand, why bother walking at all? Heelys have wheels embedded in the heels, allowing you to walk normally until you need a burst of acceleration or just fancy a rest.

Asics Kayano 16

The Asics Kayano 16 has one very special trick: it can adapt to a female runner's menstrual cycle. When oestrogen is high the arch of a woman's foot drops. A special layer of foam in the sole expands and contracts to support the arch.

LA Lights

LA Gear wasn't a leading light in the trainer market until it came up with LA Lights -- shoes with flashing lights in the heels, introduced in 1992.

Z-Coils

Go go gadget legs! If you've ever wanted spring-loaded leaping ability like Inspector Gadget, then shoes like the Spira and Gravity Defyer include springs in their design. But they're not a patch on the frankly bonkers Z-Coils.

Vibram Fivefingers

Sounding like a character from Lord of the Rings, the Vibram Fivefingers have a little shoe for each toe. Designed for runners, we'd be lying if we said they didn't make us feel a little bit sick.

Reebok Alien Stompers

There's a lot of cool kit in Aliens, James Cameron's ET-blasting 1986 film. You can't get your hands on your own M41A pulse rifle or robot Sentry, but you can buy Ripley's kicks. Sigourney Weaver wears the high-tech high-tops to kick alien butt, and you can own your own pair of Reebok Alien Stompers. They come in assorted colours, and there are even Blade Runner and Indiana Jones versions.

Were you too cool for school in your Reebok Pumps? Share your trainer memories in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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Reebok Pump
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Puma Disc
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Nike+
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Strength Shoe
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Nike Women's Yoga Footstickers
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Heelys
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LA Lights
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Z-Coils
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Vibram Fivefingers

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