The year is 1986. Having made a name for himself with Terminator, James Cameron is entrusted with producing the sequel to Ridley Scott’s Alien, the masterclass in claustrophobic film noir. As history shows, Aliens wasn’t just a half-decent follow-up, it more than held its own, going down as one of the most intense action flicks in blockbuster history.
Cameron also managed to defy genre standards by creating one of the first true female action heroes. Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley was a fearless ‘Rambolina’, a hardened colonial marine who took charge of the sci-fi situation with pulse rifle in one hand and Reeboks on both her feet, stomping some serious Xenomorph ass!
Along with her striking Seiko watch (designed by Giugiaro), Ripley’s sky-high choice of footwear is one of the stand-out props. The grey, white and vivid red colour blocking starkly contrasted against the drab military garb worn by her fellow squadmates. Dubbed the ‘Aliens Fighter Shoe’, the towering silhouette is classic mid-80s futurist, with oversized ribbed tongues and an all-velcro foot locking system.
The prop itself was a handmade and heavily modified BB6600 Reebok basketball shoe. According to Reebok’s advertising at the time, the model wouldn’t be released for 150 years – a nod to the film’s 2136 setting – though a limited run of ‘Alien Stompers’ as they were nicknamed, did hit stores in mid-cut form back in 1987. Retros appeared again in 2003, though the film-correct high top was still yet to be sighted. It seemed there may have been some truth to Reebok’s claim that we wouldn’t see the shoe until 2136.
Fast forward to 2016. Footwear featured in Back to the Future, White Men Can’t Jump, Game of Death, Forrest Gump and even Cameron’s own Terminator have been re-released to satisfy film buff nostalgia. However, there is still one fabled shoe yet to make the jump from celluloid fame to contemporary sneaker shelves.
Imagine our ‘surprise’ when a package mysteriously showed up at Sneaker Freaker HQ recently. Inside was the mid-cut in grey and red, alongside a faithful 1:1 recreation of Ripley’s double-strapped Stompers! Yes, Reebok has finally answered the calls of die-hard fans, just in time for the 30th anniversary of James Cameron’s extra-terrestrial tour de force.
According to Reebok, just 500 pairs will be released April 26 split between Extra Butter, Foot Patrol, and Reebok Classic Harajuku, with 100 pairs released in lavish film-inspired packaging. A further 1985 pairs will be released in the retro mid-cut form. Popcorn please!