I’m working on a “backlog” of shoe reviews but I’ll be posting a few of the ones I’ve tested recently…..
As many of you who follow my blog know, my philosophy is that shoes do not fix running injuries. They may create them indirectly, but one shouldn’t focus on a shoe to fix an injury. With that said, how do you choose a running shoe? The newest literature says whatever feels best on your foot is what you should go with. This is a topic for another discussion….Here’s the Reebok ZPrint Running Shoe.
It’s available in several different color options. Here, of course, is black. It’s basically an all mesh shoe with the “ZPrint” woven material on the forefoot and upper shoe.
The forefoot. Ahhhhh the forefoot. Why can’t shoe companies get this right! Our toes were designed to be free and function independently- not squished together! The Reebok Zprint forefoot is very narrow and definitely constricted my toes. I like the material which is very flexible and soft and will not irritate your toes, but it’s too narrow. It may even be more narrow than a Nike! If you have bunions or contracted hammer toes, this is not the shoe for you.
The heel counter is flexible and soft which is good for a shoe of the nature. Ages ago we used to think the heel counter needed to hard to “stabilize” the heel but we’ve since learned that doesn’t make much of a difference.
The drop is a bit too much for me. I’m not sure of how high the heel to forefoot difference is, but after removing this shoe and wearing one with a 4.5 mm drop, I could easily feel the difference. In my opinion it’s around 8-10 mm. I haven’t been able to find any information published on this. Despite the higher heel height though, I was still able to maintain my natural mid-foot strike.
Even with the “thicker sole” it is still a very flexible shoe which can be rolled up. Amazing now that more and more shoes are this flexible. Five years ago the majority of running shoes could only be “flexed” in the forefoot. Now even “big-brand” shoes are flexible. So those who said that minimal shoes were a fad, the argument is over. Shoes are being made with increased flexibility. No more motion control. Motion control and running doesn’t mix.
The weight of a men’s size 9.0 Reebok Zprint – 9.2 oz. It could be lighter in my opinion but this isn’t too bad and it really doesn’t feel heavy. It would make for a good training shoe for longer runs.
The sole is constructed of a thick rubber material which has been coined a “dual-density” sole which has a softer center material that is decoupled from the denser outer material.
Reebok touts that this is a footprint oriented sole which will inspire a more nature foot strike:
You couldn’t be more human. That’s why you’re drawn to running. That’s also why you’ve inspired us to take a digital map of a runner’s footstrike and use 3-D printing to create an adaptive, multidimensional cushioning masterpiece with controlled flexibility. The result is the ZPrint Run, engineered for excellent foot-tracking stability throughout speed-propelled strides.
The upper of this shoe is a fabric weave that is very flexible, stretchy, and forgiving. I haven’t wore mine long enough to tell you it will not tear, but the other reviews out there mention the durability of the futuristic mesh.
The price of the shoe, $79.98, is in my opinion very aggressively priced to reach the consumer. For a flexible, durable and “brand name” shoe, this is a great price. I think if you’re looking for a more flexible shoe as opposed to your outdated and rigid motion control shoes, this could be an option. Remember if you’re used to running in a rigid motion control shoe, you need to scale back on your miles when wearing this shoe and make a gradual transition.