My last experience in a Reebok shoe was my Freshman year of High School… I wore the Reebok Question Mid and they were pretty darn good and very comfortable. That was about 16 years ago… it’s been a while. With that, here is my first impression on Reebok’s latest creation; The Reebok Zig Encore.
Hit the jump for more…
Traction – The main reason why I never purchased the Reebok ZigTech Slash was due to the lack of traction which was very apparent just from looking at the shoe. Here we can see a huge upgrade from the last model as full length herringbone has been implemented onto the outsole. I do have a bit of concern as to if it will actually work since the pattern is broken up between the Zig lines but the forefoot and heel look good to go. This will be one of those times where I wont be able to really tell if the traction works until I hit the court.
Cushion – I loved Reebok’s Hexalite, I cant say the same for ZigTech. The midsole is basically a dense Phylon foam base cut in a zigzag pattern which they state promotes energy return… I call shenanigans on this one… I couldn’t feel a thing, even when running around in them. Once I hit the court I will be able to gauge a bit better as to if this actually is an energy return system or one heck of a gimmick.
The insole is Ortholite, not surprised there. What did surprise me is what was found directly under the insole…
There is a TPU frame in between the midsole and your foot, only one thing separates your foot from the plastic frame which is the Ortholite insole. The Ortholite insole is very soft and you sink right into it which is not too bad but factor in the fact that your sinking into a hard plastic frame… that screams pain for my feet before I even have a chance to really use them. Luckily I have purchased so many different insoles over the past few years to help with comfort in certain sneakers that I’m sure I have something lying around to help me out should I need it as I assume I will.
Material – A mixture of synthetics, nubuck and mesh are used throughout the upper. The synthetics have a plastic feel to it, they are placed in the heel portion so I wont criticize its use since the placement is fine by me.
The toe area features nubuck… a pretty cheap feeling nubuck. Nowhere near as cheap as the garbage Jordan Brand placed on the 2011 Last Shot XIV Retro but cheap nonetheless. It does flex easy so break in time should be a breeze… how well it will hold up is something I do question.
Fit – They fit true to size length wise. The midsole base seems a bit thinner under foot than the upper so when I stand in them the sides of my feet come over the edge of the midsole… not impressed whatsoever. I don’t even have a wide foot so for my feet to roll over the edge is not something I ever expected.
Inside the shoe there is an inner sleeve of sorts… more like a half-assed inner sleeve. The tongue and heel are connected by a shorter length of material that should have either been brought up to a normal sized inner sleeve or the mid section should have been left out altogether. This ‘inner sleeve’ feels like it may be attributing to the awkward fit I found with the medial and lateral sides of the shoes.
Ventilation – There are plenty of perforations and mesh thrown about, all of which is backed with not so breathable materials. Heat will escape moderately but moisture will end up getting soaked up by the additional materials.
That’s all for now, stay tuned for performance teasers on the Reebok Zig Encore soon!