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Reebok ZPump Fusion Performance and Casual Review

Reebok ZPump Fusion 23 Materials: Let me start by saying that for the $110 price tag the fusion and  compression sleeves that comprise the upper of this shoe are incredibly  premium. When in hand and on feet, the upper feels like technology that was  developed today. Knit uppers often feel thin and cheap, which doesn’t mean  they are not technically advanced, but the upper of the ZPump Fusion feels  great. The fabric is supremely comfortable and truly feels like it can be worn  without socks, something that I do not feel with Nike’s Flyknit and adidas’ mesh uppers. The guts of the ZPump Fusion are soft to the touch of your foot and wick away moisture. I also think it’s a bit gross to wear shoes without socks (but that’s just me), yet I did it with the ZPump Fusion and no other shoe. When running, the upper does not inhibit you; I actually forgot about the upper altogether and thought about cushion, or the lack thereof.

Reebok ZPump Fusion 10 Cushioning: All the cushioning in the ZPump Fusion comes from the  ridiculously comfortable insole. This is one of the best non-gel insoles I have  ever felt, if not the best. I believe the insole is Ortholite, but I can’t be sure  because there is no information on it anywhere online. The insole is wildly  different from any other insoles Reebok is using/has used because it actually  performs, giving you a smooth and comfortable ride. There is one drawback to  the insole: after a while it stays compressed and flat underfoot, without the slightest bounce back. This happens once you run for long enough, or if you stay on your feet for a long time. After the insole stops giving you cushion, your foot only feels the outsole beneath the insole.
The outsole is unlike the awesome insole as it does not offer any cushioning. We have all gotten used to Lunarlon and Boost, which compress when pressure is applied to give wearers some bounce back when they step. The outsole on the ZPump Fusion is incredibly firm, durable, and offers great traction, especially when turning, but when running at speed it feels like a narrow brick on the bottom of your foot and will not protect you from the crash of landing on the outsole.
I am a heel striker and the added firm rubber at the heel of the outsole makes landing after each step…uncomfortable. I put over seven miles worth of running in these before my heels and arches started hurting.
Boost raised the bar. Adidas’ foam system changed what people expect from a running shoe in terms of cushion and responsiveness. The ZPump Fusion does not offer the comfort Boost has acquainted me to, nor the transition that shoes like the PureBoost and even older models like the Asics Gel-Lyte III offer. However, before writing off the ZPump and exiting from this performance review, read on.

Reebok ZPump Image 3 Support: The ZPump Fusion shows innovation and great design. The upper is  constructed without a “last,” the part of a shoe that the upper in most shoes is  build around and on top of. Instead, Reebok took a new approach to their  Pump technology invented in 1989. Until the ZPump Fusion, the Reebok Pump  features an inflatable chamber (usually in the tongue) but the chamber inflates  outward, enlarging the overall size of the shoe, and giving the wearer a custom  fit only when pumped a lot. In the ZPump Fusion, Reebok uses a new air bladder that gives the shoe support and its shape, especially when inflated. The new bladder is more minimalistic than bladders of the past and features a caged design to give the best fit while not bulging outwards. The bladder wraps over the midfoot and around the heel, leaving only a gap for the Achilles at the vertical stripe of Reebok branding. This works.

Reebok ZPump Fusion 19 Fit: The Reebok ZPump Fusion fits true to size unless you have very wide feet.  I have wide enough feet that I can’t wear any Way of Wade shoes and size up  half a size in Air Max 90s. When you first try on this shoe, you may feel like it’s  a bit narrow at the arch, but that went away with twenty minutes of wear. The  forefoot is quite wide with almost too much room to move around laterally.
The Pump mechanism in the ZPump gives the shoe its fit. It is the best Pump I  have ever used. On all the other Reebok Pumps I have used (quite a few, as I currently have over thirty pairs of Reebok with Pumps and have owned many more), the air eventually leaks out, and you have to pump the ball on the tongue for a while to get significant results, usually about 40-50 pumps. However, in the ZPump Fusion, the Pump mechanism feels like it sucks in air and holds on to it, much like when pumping a tire. The bladder stays inflated for way over twenty-four hours without any deflation whatsoever. With just fifteen good pumps, the heel is quite inflated, and with fifteen more, the heel is very inflated and the midfoot portion of the bladder is fairly pumped as well but not incredibly noticeable. The bladder even extends to the minimal tongue tab and you can feel the cushion there when inflated with thirty pumps. With forty pumps, the heel bladder was full and quite snug around the ankle and the midfoot was very nicely inflated. After forty, the heel was too snug for me but the bladder had not reached full capacity.
When you finally hit the Pump release button, which needs to be triggered using your nail, a gust of wind exits the shoe as if Superman was trying to blow a building down. The Pump mechanism in the ZPump really does work and conforms to the shape of your foot perfectly. It’s a shame all Reebok Pump models don’t feature a Pump of this quality.

Reebok ZPump Fusion 25 The Bottom Line: The Reebok ZPump Fusion is not a shoe for those who  will run more than two to three miles at a time. However, the incredible insole  and Pump mechanism give the shoe phenomenal comfort and fit. Coupled with  the upper, wearing the ZPump Fusion for the first few miles is good. The  ZPump Fusion is lightweight but still anchored to the ground by its firm brick  of an outsole. I would gladly spend $110 for the ZPump Fusion, not for its  ability as a running performer, but for how great it is wearing casually.

For my thoughts on the Reebok ZPump Fusion as a casual shoe for work, the gym, or leisure, check out comments on casual wear below.

For Casual Wear: The Reebok ZPump Fusion may just be the Roshe killer. It is about $25 more expensive, but you are getting a lot for that money. When lifting at the gym you feel rooted and secure; the insole gives you that supreme comfort I covered above, especially because you’re usually walking around the gym from activity to activity. For running errands, the ZPump Fusion is great to just slip on, pump up, and go. The shoe also shows zero wear. Scuffs, dirt, and dust disappear on their own, without having to be brushed off. If you’re looking to get the ZPump for work, meaning you are on your feet for many hours at a time, it’s great—as long as you stay moving. Once the insole compresses and stays flat, all you’ve got is the firm outsole. However, it’s a lot less firm than a Roshe outsole, which kills your feet after its insole goes flat. The ZPump Fusion’s huge logo may be a bit of an aesthetic turn off, but the all black colorway masks the logo and is really clean. All in all, I like the Reebok ZPump for casual wear and would certainly recommend it.

The Reebok ZPump Fusion is available now at Finish Line $110 and is fully customizable on Reebok.com for $139.

    1. BigHoss you’re always commenting on my stuff so shout to you for holding it down! They resemble Flywire but they don’t run down anywhere or connect to anything. The lace loops are just there; they keep weight down and add a minimalistic aesthetic.

  1. Hey, I was wondering
    Once the insole goes flat, does it stay flat forever? Or does it stay flat until you take it off?

  2. I am a hairdresser, I love to do Zumba, and I suffer with heel spurs. I cannot find the zpumps locally to try on, but I feel they would work well for me! Is it worth taking the chance to order them online without trying them on first?

    1. I would go with something better cushioned, like something with adidas Boost. The ZPump cushion may be a bit too firm, although I do not have heel spurs and am not familiar with the medical implications.

  3. I’ve done 50-odd km in these and have to say they are extremely comfortable. Longest run is 8 km straight and my feet are ok with them. Have to release a bit of air though as my feet expands. I’m gonna try to run 21 km with them soon.

    1. Man I couldn’t run that far because they hurt my feet too much. If you’re doing it then it’s definitely possible! Has the outsole become a bit more forgiving, or is it still incredibly firm?

  4. I am not a serious sprinter, I sprint with my friends a few times a week. Would these shoes be good for sprinting, or would the Adidas Ultra Boost be a better choice? Note, I would also like to use the shoes for casual running, both outdoor and on a treadmill. Thanks!!

  5. I’m not going on super crazy runs or anything like that, I’m just doing physio for knee surgery which envolves running and all that fun stuff. Would these be a good pair of shoes for that? If not what would you recommend, or does it even matter what type of shoes?

  6. THinking of copping the zpump fusion geo. i wear a 10.5 in under armour’s speedform apollo. are they the same in terms of sizing and which is better?

      1. Getting the zpump fusion geo as my 2nd pair next to my under armour apollo as its only $39 online right now lol they fit the same as the under armour’s? Thanks Noah!

  7. I received these as a Christmas gift and the shoe laces are so extremely long! Any advice on how to wear them? I might just get a new set of laces that are shorter.

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