The Reebok Question is one of my favorite shoes to play in (nostalgia) so I was more than curious to see how the Reebok Q96 would hold up in comparison…
Traction – Not perfect but not horrible by any means… really depends on the courts condition; much like the original. I don’t know how Reebok makes such awesome translucent rubber but they manufacture the best – in my opinion. Its sticky and grippy… only down side is that it’ll stick to anything. So, dust or debris – even if minor – will have some affect on the traction. Just keep up with your wipes and you’ll be good to go.
Cushion – DMX foam… sigh. Its just not a good foam cushion. While it isn’t horrible… there are better setups. Step-in comfort is awesome due to the Ortholite insole but don’t mistake that for actual cushion. Once you start playing, the denseness of the DMX is felt and its pretty low profile; this wasn’t a problem for me personally but if you want or need cushion then an insole swap would be advisable or a different shoe altogether. The heel has a slightly better setup with an EVA crash pad in place but overall, the cushion is a little lackluster for those wishing to have a low profile and responsive ride.
Materials – 3D FuseFrame is used along most of the upper. What is 3D FuseFrame? It’s Reebok’s version of Fuse; nothing special really… reminds me a lot of the Crazy Light 3 upper. Then there are overlay panels which are leather based (nubuck at the toe on this pair) and I like that aspect quite a bit. Reebok has done a good job of blending the old and new together without any sacrifice to the fit and support of the shoe.
Fit – They run 1/2 size large and this is something that is somewhat of a pet peeve of mine. What if there were no reviews, YouTube Videos or consumer reviews on this product? I would have bought a sz 9 because Eastbay says they run true to size.
As far as lockdown is concerned, its really nice… after you get your correct size. Midfoot lockdown is great while the heel is far superior than the OG model. Padding isn’t abundant which is one of the cool aspects of the original but this didn’t hinder their performance at all. I was satisfied with the overall fit… after I tried them on of course.
Ventilation – The original had horrible ventilation… these do not. Enough said.
Support – Overall support comes from the fit and lockdown. This could be an issue for those that are unaware that they run large. If you get the appropriate size then you’ll be please. Sitting low to the ground with the slightly wide-set midsole offers great lateral support and stability… the little outrigger doesn’t hurt either. Inside the shoe there is a heavy duty internal midfoot shank and it adds the perfect amount of torsional support which rounds these out pretty nicely.
Overall – The Reebok Q96 is definitely an upgrade from the Reebok Question. It’s pretty much undeniable at this point. While there are still things that I would’ve liked to have seen added to make these better than they are… they aren’t horrible at all. Actually a good solid performer on-court. Yes, there are better options but that always depends on what you are looking for. Add an insole and you’ll have yourself a decent shoe.