Traction: The outsole of the ZJet is made up of solid rubber with flex grooves cut into the mid-sole with underlying channels for the moving air. By using solid rubber it provides excellent traction on all surfaces as well as durability throughout the life of the shoe. When Reebok decided to add the flex grooves they actually made a shoe that would seem rigid and stiff to be extremely flexible, and unlike most shoes that fall into the category of “Max Cushioning” this model actually allows the runner to have complete range of motion throughout their gait.
Cushion: The cushioning system of the ZJet is actually a mid-sole of foam and pods with air inside that move through channels from heel to toe, and toe to heel depending on where the foot struck last. This allows for a soft underfoot feel as you land on your heel or mid-foot and pushing the airs towards your toe as you continue through your toe off in your stride.
Transition: The Reebok ZJet Run is definitely not a shoe for someone that is looking for a lightweight, low profile shoe. The heel is 27mm in height with a forefoot of 15mm, giving a 12mm heel-to-toe drop off. The weight of the shoe due to all of the mid-sole and outsole materials is a men’s shoe weighing in at 13.6 oz. and a woman’s coming in at 11oz. for the sample sizes. While not heavy by standards, most runners are usually looking for an 11-12 oz. range for neutral cushioned trainers. This shoe offers excellent cushioning regardless of what kind of runner you are but especially a heel striker.
Materials: The upper of the shoe is made up of a seamless material with JETfuse, which combines the breathable mesh, and synthetic overlay as one piece. There is also NanoWEB in the heel counter, which in turn allows for a secure fit when your foot is laced in with no added weight or bulkiness. The ZJet also has your standard EVA insole, a foam mid-sole with air filled channels and a solid rubber outsole.
Fit: The ZJet’s fit is excellent. With a mesh padded tongue and liner, along with the seamless upper, there was no irritation on any seams while getting awesome breathability on all of your runs. The other feature that I appreciated was having the NanoWEB in the heel allowed for my foot to stay in place and not have and heel slippage while providing great support on the lateral and medial sides of my foot.
Support: While the ZJet is considered to be a neutral trainer with maximum cushioning, it felt very sturdy on the foot with no added bulk or materials that would make your foot favor one side, i.e. medial posts for pronation. There were no restrictions when it came to mid-sole flexibility unlike some other shoes that offer 360 degrees of cushioning, where you end up sacrificing some range of motion to have that underfoot pillow feel.
Overall: Reebok’s ZJet Run offers a lot of bang for your buck. The upper of the shoe offers great fit and feel, excellent lock down, breathability along with no restrictions or irritation. The cushioning system that is used is second to none, and for the price, you are getting similar cushioning to many competitors for a lower price range. Of course all of this comes at a expense of added weight but if you are looking for a shoe that you can run in comfortably and know it will provide excellent feel and a smooth cushioned ride for life of the shoe, than look no further. Reebok seems to be getting back in to the running game with this line up and I can hardly wait to see what new products they have to offer in the future.
The Reebok ZJet Run in this upper and color-way is a Finish Line exclusive for $129.99.