This is yet 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 had the chance to wear the Reebok Zig Kinetica shoes and that reminded me of simpler times. I had noted then that the Reebok Zig Kinetica were very reminiscent of the Reebok ZigTech stories from as far back as sometime in 2010. The distinct zigzag shape of the midsole and the outsole unit, when looked at side-on. A year later, and we have the next chapter in what was a love at first sight. Succeeding the Reebok Zig Kinetica are the new and updated Reebok Zig Kinetica II, also known as Reebok Zig Kinetica 2. These are priced at Rs 9,999 and available in three colorways at this time.
From the very outset, the Reebok Zig Kinetica II look distinct and chances are you won’t really confuse these for anything else. The mesh upper has a wavy design on it, while the shoulder area has been tightened up a better for a snugger fit. Your choices right now are Black / Orange Flare / Neon Mint, the lighter Pure Grey 2 / Neon Mint / Harmony Green and the more acceptable Boulder Grey / Dark Orchid / Classic White. There is a lot happening with the design, and while these look like a busy shoe, the distinctness isn’t lost, and each element plays a part. The upper is mesh and its quite breathable and there are what feel like suede underlays for comfort. Towards the front of the Reebok Zig Kinetica 2, you’ll see what looks like a 3D print and pattern with gradients. The shoulder, which I had mentioned earlier too, has a new contour, which tries to indicate constant motion. The heel area is also redone with the collar that’s bonded and has a soft finish inside. When you look at the Reebok Zig Kinetica 2 from side on, this has what looks like a forward movement design, something that’s ready to spring forward. Yet, the bulk of the tech smartness comes beneath your feet. And that’s when you also notice the beautiful zigzag design elements. Happily, it is not just the looks, because the unique midsole and outsole combination get the job done in the real world too. All in all, the Reebok Zig Kinetica 2 has that family resemblance, but still does more than enough to stand apart from the really cool Reebok Zig Kinetica from last year and you won’t have people confusing whether it is the newer shoe that you wear or the older one.
Beneath your feet sit three very important elements of the mid-sole and outsole. These are Reebok’s Floatride Fuel midsole cushioning that you’ll interface with all the time you are wearing these shoes, a Zig Energy Shell wrapped around the midsole (you’ll see this in a different colour) that is designed for energy return upwards and not get expended sideways, and a stretchable Zig Energy Band outsole. The very foundations for the Reebok Zig Kinetica 2 are nothing less than impressive. We have seen the Floatride Fuel in the predecessor as well, and I’m happy that Reebok has changed too much around because it simply worked then. And simply works now. This provides great cushioning and does pretty well in terms of responsiveness as well. That latter bit, whatever little bit that runners may have felt missing, will be given a significant boost by the Zig Energy Shell. This in a way frames the midsole foam and additionally helps boost the energy returns from each foot strike by pushing that upwards towards your feet, thereby giving you that further push forward. Last but not least is the Zig Energy Band outsole, which is designed to expand and contract, so that you get 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 balances speed with daily use comfort too.
Under the foot, the outsole has been reconfigured considerably. The single piece TPU outsole has a wider circular groove under the heel and an exposed element towards the front that gives you a glimpse of the midsole. Unlike the straighter lines running across to make up the grooves on the outsole on the predecessor, the Reebok Zig Kinetica 2’s grip comes from the more curved and elaborate tread patterns. All this should really help with grip and confidence. I haven’t had a chance to test these in standing water, but on the moist floor, changes in direction and speed differences are surefooted and you won’t have to worry about losing traction when it’s already at a premium. These don’t feel like the lightest shoes though, and that’s something you’ll simply need to get used to—and you will, in due course of time for sure. What helps is the snugness with which the feet stay secure inside the Reebok Zig Kinetica 2, and the padding and layering on the inside is given that additional layering at certain spots to help with support. You’ll be able to wear these without socks too—I did not notice any uncomfortable seams.
The Last Word: The Reebok Zig Kinetica 2 Builds On Where The Zig Kinetica Left Off
Reebok gave us a refresher of the past last year, and that’s simply been further improved this year with the Reebok Zig Kinetica 2. These are the lightest running shoes that you can buy and are more in the Asics range than the Nike range, to give it a loose meaning. You’ll get used to the weight in time, and the rest of the elements simply click into place from the get-go—attractive design, focus on comfort and breathability, a proper tech infused mid-sole and outsole combination and there’s a lot of grip for you to use. Sequels don’t always match up when the first course has been really good. In the case of the Reebok Zig Kinetica 2, it simply takes the Reebok Zig Kinetica and builds on it incrementally to make everything better. Therefore, this a sequel that’s been totally worth it.