Unique chusion, for a dynamic athlete.
Traction: A high abrasion rubber covers traction on the ZJet and it works well in all conditions. It is an extremely durable rubber and should have no problem holding up over a long period of time. Reebok also added flex grooves that add flexibility to a model that would have been stiff otherwise. Overall the traction on the ZJet is durable and covers you in all conditions while adding free range of motion during use.
Cushion: The ZJet Run features an Air Motion technology that uses what reebok is calling “Speed Channels”. These “Speed Channels” allow air to move from heel to toe to provide a soft and responsive underfoot feel wherever your foot strikes. A 3D IMEVA Foam midsole that is very lightweight and responsive, sits between the foot and the ZJet Run’s Air Transfer system. Most of the weight of the ZJet run comes from the Air Transfer system beneath the midsole, and while not extremely heavy, runners looking for a lightweight model may want to reconsider. Overall Heel strikers will get the most out of the Air Transfer system, but the cushion setup on the ZJet Run will provide maximum protection and a slight bounce for any style of runner.
Transition: Reebok implemented flex grooves on the traction to allow for free range of motion, without sacrificing impact protection. Due to the ZJet Run’s steep heel-to-toe drop (12mm), the ZJet Run definitely caters towards heel strikers but still offers a fluid transition for all running styles. Overall the cushion setup on the ZJet Run compliments the transition nicely as the Air Motion technology adapts to the users foot strike to provide maximum protection for all styles of runner.
Materials: Reebok’s Jet Fuse and NanoWeb technology make up the upper of the ZJet Run. In the forefoot the Jet Fuse material is utilized and consists of a mesh underlay with a synthetic material over it. Structural support in the heel is supplied by Reebok’s NanoWeb technology to keep your foot centered to utilize the ZJet Run’s cushion setup. Overall the synthetic materials on the ZJet Run or nothing revolutionary but does offer durability and lightweight structural support to keep the users foot on the foot bed where it belongs.
Fit: Reebok’s Jet Fuse technology doesn’t quite wrap around your foot as much as you would like it to. Even with the laces tied up tight, there is quiet a bit of dead space between your foot and the upper. Also the ZJet Run doesn’t do the best job in the heel lockdown department. Heel slipping is a problem in the ZJet Run and the tongue slides quite a bit for an uncomfortable fit. An extra eyelet would have helped remedy these problems in the heel and ankle area, but going down half a size is recommended to accommodate the insecure fit in the forefoot.
Ventilation: Ventilation is definitely one of the ZJet Run’s strongest features as it has 360° of ventilation due to its mesh underlay. Also an extremely breathable mesh tongue allows for rising heat to escape, maintaining a cool and comfortable ride.
Support: Most of the support comes from the cushion set up and Reebok’s NanoWeb technology. The Air Motion system allows for dynamic cushion and support, while the NanoWeb material on the heel make sure your foot stays centered to let those Speed Channels work effectively. Unfortunately the lack of an extra eyelet doesn’t allow the NanoWeb material to work to its full potential. Also while this is a running review, it should be noted that the Reebok ZJet offers little to no support during lateral movements. If you are performing side-to-side movements in the ZJet Run, your ankle is at high risk of rolling. While lateral movements are not in a normal runners routine, it is something that should be considered if you are looking for a model that provides good running and training performance features.
Finish Line has two versions of the ZJet Run available. The pair I did a performance review features a half NanoWeb design on the upper located on the mid-foot/heel area. The other version of the ZJet Run features a full NanoWeb design on the entire upper; this is the version I would recommend. The full NanoWeb version of the ZJet Run has an extra eyelet that helps remedy some of the fit issues found on the half NanoWeb version. Also the Full NanoWeb upper is much more comfortable as it features a more fabric like material that conforms to your foot more than the half NanoWeb upper. All other performance aspects of the full NanoWeb version are identical to the half NanoWeb version, but the differences in the upper and extra eyelet help the performance of the ZJet Run significantly, boosting the score of ZJet Runs fit to a six. For a visual representation on the differences between each version check out the photos below.
Overall: Reebok really has something to build on for upcoming models, the ZJet Run excels in some categories, and is a let down in other categories. The Air Transfer system provides maximum cushion for any unique foot strike, 360° of ventilation provide a cool ride, and the 3D IMEVA midsole foam is lightweight and responsive. Sadly the poor fit and lackluster support doesn’t let the user get the most out of the cushion setup up. Going down half a size can help a little, but ultimately the ZJet Run needed a little more work done in the fit department to ensure heel lockdown and overall fit. While the full NanoWeb upper definitely helps the ZJet Run in the fit category, some changes still need to be made to put the ZJet Run in the upper echelon of running shoes.
You can pick up both versions of the Reebok ZJet Run at Finish Line for $129.99.