Taking inspiration from the Nike Free outsole, the outsole on the ZPump Fusion uses a plethora of flex grooves to provide a very flexible ride. While the colored areas of the outsole are more durable than the non-colored areas, the ZRated outsole is still extremely durable and will cover you in many conditions on any surface.
Much like the outsole, the cushion setup is inspired by the barefoot technology of the Nike Free Run. All of your cushioning will come from the above average insole that provides a little impact protection and bounce back…but not for long. Long distance runners will find that the insole stays compressed after a bit of use, which in turn causes it to lose its cushioning properties, leaving you with a very firm setup. This is quite disappointing as you start your run with a nice fluid ride but end with a totally different experience. Had the insole been more consistent and long-lasting, the cushioning setup would have been a nice balance between responsiveness and impact protection. However, as it sits right now the cushion setup is more ideal for casual, low intensity workouts, not high level or long distance running.
Sitting with a 10mm heel to toe drop, the ZPump Fusion isn’t exactly a barefoot ride. This allows a fluid transition for any type of runner and ensures a smooth ride during your strides. This, coupled with the extremely flexible outsole, gives the wearer the ability to run the way they want to without any restrictions. One of the best features of the Reebok ZPump Fusion is the smooth transition.
The upper of the Z-Pump Fusion is breathable, flexible, durable, and comfortable, so what more could you ask for? There is absolutely nothing restrictive about the upper; it will accommodate any foot shape or size. Nothing will pinch, rub, or stab you because the entire upper is made up of a mesh-like material (except for the small fuse overlay in the toe) that sacrifices support for comfort. Truly comfortable both inside and out, thanks to its seamless compression sleeve, the upper doesn’t exactly wrap around your foot…which is ok, but it doesn’t exactly fit with the overall theme of the ZPump Fusion.
As mentioned in the materials section, the upper on the ZPump Fusion doesn’t exactly wrap around your foot. The idea of ZPump fusion is that you put your foot in the shoe and use the Pump technology to perfect the fit for added support. The Pump should act as a filler for any loose areas you may have. Instead, the inflatable bladder is only featured in the midfoot and heel, not the forefoot where the dead space is present. The overall fit is inconsistent, making lacking areas feel even more underwhelming than they should. Had the forefoot featured a more conforming fit, this problem wouldn’t be an issue. The ZPump Fusion fits great in some areas and not so great in others.
The traction, cushion setup, and support of the Z-Pump Fusion all point toward a minimalistic style runner. However, the materials and Pump technology don’t really mesh with that theme. While the Pump system is advertised as an aid to give you more support, the cushion setup is extremely firm and minimal when the plush insole gives out. The overall lack of support features work toward a minimal setup but the materials don’t conform for to your foot for a natural fit. In a nutshell, all the features of the ZPump Fusion work against each other, creating an experience that could be more consistent. Upgrading the cushion setup and adding more support features would propel the ZPump Fusion towards a more supportive runner/trainer. Getting rid of the Pump and providing a more conforming fit would also push the ZPump Fusion towards the minimalistic side of the running spectrum. Reebok has to figure out what they want the Z-Pum to do. but as of now the Reebok ZPump is best used for low intensity workouts and casual jogs.