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Follow up on last year’s history-inspired sneakers is well worth it




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This is another blast from the past, from Reebok. Early last year, before the world descended into a pear-shaped mess with a deadly virus floating around, I got the chance to wear Reebok Zig Kinetica’s shoes and it reminded me of simpler times. I had noticed then that the Reebok Zig Kinetica was very reminiscent of the Reebok ZigTech stories from somewhere in 2010. The distinct zigzag shape of the midsole and outsole, when viewed from the side. A year later, and we have the next chapter in what was love at first sight. Successor to the Reebok Zig Kinetica is the new and updated Reebok Zig Kinetica II, also known as Reebok Zig Kinetica 2. These cost Rs 9,999 and are currently available in three colorways.

From the very beginning, the Reebok Zig Kinetica II looks distinct and chances are you won’t really mistake it for anything else. The mesh upper has a wavy design, while the shoulder area has been tightened for a better fit. Your choices at the moment are Black / Orange Flare / Neon Mint, the lighter Pure Gray 2 / Neon Mint / Harmony Green, and the more acceptable Boulder Gray / Dark Orchid / Classic White. A lot is going on with the design, and while these look like a busy shoe, the distinguishability is not lost and every element plays a part. The upper is mesh and it is quite breathable and there are some suede underlayers to the touch for comfort. On the front of the Reebok Zig Kinetica 2 you can see what looks like a 3D print and pattern with gradients. The shoulder, which I mentioned earlier, has a new contour that tries to indicate constant movement. The heel part has also been redone with the collar being glued and has a soft finish on the inside. When you look at the Reebok Zig Kinetica 2 from the side, it looks like a forward-moving design, something ready to jump forward. Still, most of the technical intelligence gets under your feet. And that’s when you also notice the beautiful zigzag design elements. Fortunately, it’s not just the looks, as the unique midsole and outsole combination gets the job done in the real world, too. All in all, the Reebok Zig Kinetica 2 has that family likeness, but still does more than enough to set itself apart from last year’s really cool Reebok Zig Kinetica and you won’t confuse people whether it’s the newer shoe you’re wearing or the older.

Under your feet are three very important elements of the midsole and outsole. These are Reebok’s Floatride Fuel midsole cushioning that allows you to interact with these shoes all the time you wear these shoes, a Zig Energy shell around the midsole (you can see this in a different color) that is designed for energy return upwards and not slid out sideways , and a stretchy Zig Energy Band outsole. The basis of the Reebok Zig Kinetica 2 is nothing short of impressive. We saw the Floatride Fuel in the predecessor too, and I’m glad Reebok changed too much because it just worked then. And now just works. This provides great cushioning and also does a pretty good job in terms of responsiveness. The latter, which small part that runners have missed, gets a big boost from the Zig Energy Shell. This in a way frames the midsole foam and also helps stimulate the energy return of each foot strike by pushing it towards your feet, giving you that further push forward. Last but not least, there’s the Zig Energy Band outsole, which is designed to expand and contract, giving you a spring-like push forward. In my book, the Reebok Floatride Fuel midsole sits just below the Nike React midsole if you’re looking for something that combines speed with comfort for everyday use.

The outsole underfoot has been significantly modified. The one-piece TPU outsole has a wider circular groove under the heel and a visible element in the front that gives you a glimpse of the midsole. Unlike the straighter lines that run across the outsole to shape the grooves of the predecessor, the Reebok Zig Kinetica 2’s traction comes from its more curved and extended tread patterns. All of this should really help with grip and confidence. I haven’t had a chance to test this one in still water yet, but on the damp floor changes in direction and speed are sure and you don’t have to worry about losing traction if it’s expensive at all. However, these don’t feel like the lightest of shoes, and you just have to get used to them – and you’ll know for sure over time. What helps is the snugness with which the feet stay safe in the Reebok Zig Kinetica 2, and the padding and layers on the inside get those extra layers in places to help with support. You can also wear these without socks – I didn’t notice any uncomfortable seams.

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The final word: the Reebok Zig Kinetica 2 builds on where the Zig Kinetica left off

Reebok gave us a refresher from last year, and that has simply been improved further this year with the Reebok Zig Kinetica 2. These are the lightest running shoes you can buy and are more in the Asics range than the Nike range. it has a loose meaning. You’ll get used to the weight in time, and the rest of the elements just click into place from the start – attractive design, focus on comfort and breathability, a good technical midsole and outsole combination and plenty of grip to give you can use. Follow-up actions don’t always match when the first course has been really good. In the case of the Reebok Zig Kinetica 2, all you have to do is use the Reebok Zig Kinetica and build on it step by step to make everything better. That’s why this is a sequel that has been totally worth it.

 

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