These running shoes were recently launched by Reebok and I received a pair to try a good few weeks before the launch. Yes. Privileged. But i had to run a lot in them. Which i did. And eut, in spite of that early chance, it has taken me this long to write about them here. But, it also gave me considerable miles in them (including a 25km endurance white dessert run which turned out to be closer to 30kms really) and thus I believe I know this shoe fairly well.
So what you have here is a lovely modernistic shoe, fabric uppers reinforced with some hard rubber mesh
(Nanoweb, it is called) that also gives it an attractive design. It shows better in certain (contrasted) shades than others so you might want to choose the right one for yourself. The mesh is definitely lateral support-giving else the fabric top alone would be too soft and scary. And then, the sole. So the press release says this about the Zquik sole pattern.
“This unique, natural motion product is inspired by the design of high-performance ZRated tyres used in exotic high-end sports cars that travel at speeds in excess of 240 km/h. Similar to ZRated tyres, the Reebok ZQUICK shoes are engineered to provide ultimate ground contact allowing users to deliver high speed performance by rapidly moving in and out of turns.”
Now that sounds like a tall claim; it also sounds like too much of a good thing. I mean, when was the last time a runner burnt rubber? When did we go screeching around corners or, for that matter, drift? But the quirk has its value for what it does do it take a lot of stress off the sides of your feet when you are going around bends. I know it’s rare that we have to take sharp turns or side step someone in a park but when you are 10-15kms down, your legs aren’t as always nimble and any turning assist is largely appreciated by the joints. Also the mid-sole is very flexible which meant that the foot felt snug yet free. The overall combination of these features was really reassuring on my regular runs when I mix track and soft-trail.
The TV advert I saw sort of indicates urban running – like parkour perhaps – with people running in and out of metros and around the city, but I am so not your regular parkour-ist; my build with age has become less cat-like agile and more Harley-cruiser-bulky. But I still loved the shoe, especially the elasticised sock feature which turned out to be really useful in the desert, keeping all sorts of debris out of my shoes and saving me time from having to stop and empty out my shoes. Other runners, even those with gators (shoe covers that keep sand out) didn’t fare as well as I did with these shoes. To conclude, in spite of being a minimalist shoe this new release from Reebok doesn’t compromise support or snugness and it did knock off a few seconds from my fast kilometre sprints.