I owe my brother a lot. He took the blame for a few of my past mistakes, helped when I couldn’t complete my homework back in the day, and I can’t say enough about his adorable friends who have, on occasion, accompanied me on runs and to the gym when I couldn’t get my girlfriends to show up.
Why am I setting the stage like this? Because when my brother’s birthday was on the horizon, I got the opportunity to try out the latest Reebok ZPump Fusion 2.0 men’s shoes and it set off a light bulb in my head: I’ll kill two birds with one stone by getting my bro a pair and using him as my unpaid test dummy (though I didn’t present my case in those exact words lest he turn me down). He said yes. I got the shoes. Here’s what I learned.
Reebok ZPump Fusion 2.0 Features
The Reebok ZPump Fusion 2.0 may be new to the market, but this footwear has the right mix of tried-and-true features and some new ones that elevate this shoe above earlier styles.
The low cut design does double duty by helping the foot make fast stride transitions, and there’s just enough mobility in the ankle area, says my brother, to protect and cushion his run.
Reebok used a gas-fueled carbonated foam to manufacture a lighter shoe so its responsiveness remains solid. High-wear areas are reinforced with a high abrasion rubber, so by the time he finished his five-kilometers test run, my brother’s feet remained pristine. He agrees with others who swear that the reinforced midfoot tuck board offers a neat balance of rigidity and stride stability.
What’s Good with the Reebok ZPump Fusion 2.0?
It’s impossible to list benefits without beginning with the superstar feature of this shoe collection: that pump. Not since the running shoe was first invented has an idea benefitted runners more.
Once inflated, the foot is held in a safe compressive cocoon that gently envelopes the foot, locking it into place so the possibility of injury as a result of a shoe that’s got too much interior room is eliminated.
My brother laughed when I pointed out the 3M reflective lace eyelets, saying that these touches are too small to provide much nighttime protection, but was he wrong: these little eyelets were amazingly reflective when he ran at night. His favourite shoe part is the padded sockliner that works with the pump to stabilize feet.
- The Fusion 2.0 is made of premium materials paired with updated pump design to make an already-good shoe great. This is my brother’s second pair of Reebok ZPump and he noticed improvements.
- The Fusion’s upper construction is designed for the uninhibited runner, according to product claims. Said my brother: “I could easily wear these without socks!” Being the wise younger brother, I said, “Absolutely not.”
- The insole is so snug, he referred to it as being “ridiculously comfortable.” The non-gel insoles alone may have converted my brother and when I informed him that other reviewers had proclaimed this ZPump Fusion 2.0 “wildly different” from previous shoes in this library, he concurred.
- Though this running shoe is manufactured without a “last,” the new air bladder compensates. It inflates outwardly yet the shoe’s silhouette doesn’t bulge. Chalk this up to my brother’s vanity. Who likes a bulging shoe silhouette?
- Once filled, the bladder stayed that way for 24-hours so he didn’t have to re-pump the next day on his second run. Obviously, he concluded, this bladder retains the air more efficiently. He asked me to add that when he pushed the release button, he got a nice, cooling breeze. Maybe Reebok should add this to their ads!
- My brother didn’t find too much favour with the outsole and says cushioning in this area of the shoe is sadly lacking. His words: “I felt as though someone had put a flat weight on the bottom of my foot; I didn’t feel really protected.” Further, the outsole tends to compress with wear, so there’s little bounce-back after the shoes are broken in.
- Several test reports warn heel strikers that the firm rubber beneath their feet could be uncomfortable enough to trigger painful arches on long runs. This didn’t happen to my brother while wearing the 2.0, but he asked me to make note of it.
- The ZPump mechanism can take a while to fill the bladder; sometimes between 40 and 50 pumps are required to get the proper fit. If you tend to show up late for most things, allow extra time to get your shoes properly inflated.
- Is the Reebok ZPump Fusion 2.0 the shoe to choose if daunting marathons are on your question? The answer, in most cases, might be no. But it makes a great training, conditioning and exercise shoe. “I wouldn’t consider doing the Standard Chartered Marathon wearing them,” my brother said.
The Reebok Fusion 2.0 is a dandy running shoe for people like my brother because that bit about running the Standard Chartered Full Marathon is his daydream rather than reality so far! To be fair, there seems to be a deep divide between those who adore the pump and those who think it’s a marketing gimmick, so it’s really a matter of taste and purpose that determines whether this shoe is going to be a welcome addition to your running shoe wardrobe or not.
There’s no doubt that with every new ZPump shoe introduced by Reebok, there will be subtle design and engineering changes because that’s what manufacturers do to keep improving already-successful shoes. The Reebok ZPump Fusion 2.0 men’s running shoes is priced at S$159.
If your marathon goal is so far into the future, you needn’t worry about longevity when you go shopping, the Reebok ZPump Fusion 2.0 won’t disappoint!