Reebok ZigTech = Run Faster Longer

ZigTech shoes 1024x970 Reebok ZigTech = Run Faster Longer

Over the past couple of months, I have been beta-testing a pair of Reebok ZigTech running shoes.

And as much as I hate to admit it, I have become a big fan of my wild looking Zigs.

I hate to admit it because I am a big believer in minimalist style training shoes that force the muscles in your feet to do some actual work. I also can’t stand that high-end trunning shoes are sold mainly on hype. They promise a lot but usually deliver very little.

And that’s exactly what I assumed about the ZigTechs when I was contacted by a PR company who represents Reebok.

They wanted to know if I would be interested in reviewing some of their gear for Health Habits.

And while my official policy is to only review products that I like enough to purchase myself as well as recommend to my clients, I decided to give them a try because I was looking to get back into running some real distances and I needed to find a new pair of shoes that would allow my poor surgically reconstructed knees to survive a “run” without swelling up.

And boy am I glad I did.

ZigTech Shoes : The Good

  • Whether it was on an elliptical cardio trainer, a treadmill or outdoors on the frozen Canadian tundra, the Zigs allowed me to increase my mileage while making life much easier on my knees. Also, shin splints were reduced by 84.73%.
  • Comparing apples to apples, my performances on the elliptical & the treadmill improved by around 10% over the past 2 months.
  • Lateral mobility was good during cross-training workouts. I was concerned about this initially.
  • I thought my red & black versions looked pretty snazzy.

ZigTech Shoes : The Bad

  • There was some heel slippage during some of my resistance workouts. I fixed this problem by switching to a “Heel Lock” lacing pattern.

ZigTech Shoes : The Interesting

  • Unlike running shoes equipped with springs, air bags, gel paks etc, the idea behind ZigTech is that the sole absorbs the impact of heel strike and rebounds that energy horizontally along the length of the shoe propelling the athlete forward with each step. That’s the theory. And while I didn’t have some fancy-schmancy lab equipment to test that theory, it did feel like that…like I was being pushed forward. Kinda weird, but pretty cool.

Conclusion

While I am still a big believer in wearing barefoot/minimalist footwear, I like running better in my ZigTechs.

So, here’s my plan:

  • minimalist shoes during the day and during most workouts.
  • Zigtechs when I am running
Doug Robb is a personal trainer, a fitness blogger and author, a competitive athlete, a social media nerd and a student of nutrition and exercise science. Since 2008, Doug has brought his real-world experience online via his health & fitness blog, Health Habits.

13 Comments

  1. Freso

    June 9, 2011 at 1:19 am

    How do they deal with a fore/mid foot strike? Will they then send the energy backwards? The tech. (and the video, showing a clear heel strike – ouch! :|) behind it doesn’t seem to promote natural movement, but rather support for non-natural running, even if it does this better than “traditional” running shoes, so I’m curious to see what runners report after having these shoes tested for a longer period, to see whether all the knee problems etc. pop up again…

    • healthhabits

      June 9, 2011 at 10:13 am

      They are a traditional heal-toe running shoe.

      Re natural/barefoot/minimalist footwear, I will be doing reviews of a number of shoes in the coming week(s)

      • Apb

        March 31, 2013 at 9:11 pm

        Hey, I just bought myself a pair of these (actually the same blue/white ones pictured) and although they are known as running shoes, i want to use them mainly for basketball and plyometrics, along with running. I noticed you mentioned that they were good for cross training workouts, so i was wondering what your thoughts are on their performance in pick-up basketball games and plyometrics (agility ladder footwork, skipping rope, box jumps). Am i at risk of rolling my ankle easier than a basketball shoe? does this shoe have good laternal foot movements? Are they good for vertical/jumping workouts? Your response is very much appreciated!!

        • healthhabits

          April 1, 2013 at 4:13 pm

          Hi Apb

          I would be concerned about lateral mobility as well. While it does have a stable base, the built up heep might cause you problems.

          On the other hand, I know Reebok makes a basketball version of this shoe.Not sure how the design differ (other than the hi-top)

  2. Eric

    May 19, 2011 at 6:44 am

    What I like best about this running shoe is that it’s really comfortable. I know it looks bulky because of the sole but it isn’t. It’s light and it feels like you have a big soft plastic just below your sole.
    I tested it earlier when I went to the mall and it’s ideal for runners because of the tech behind it. Sure I haven’t tested it’s full capacity yet. But based from the first feel, it’s going to be a nice running shoe.
    I also found a cool basketball shoe equipped with zigtech as well.

  3. Eash

    May 19, 2011 at 6:28 am

    I own the red one (Displayed in the video), shoes are very comfortable but I must say the stuff used is not that good, its getting torn at the wrinkles. I would not recommend this one. Yellow one might be gud

    • healthhabits

      May 19, 2011 at 9:44 am

      Eash – take a pic of your shoes and send it to Reebok via their Facebook or Twitter accounts.

      Include @healthhabits in the tweet and I will re-tweet your message as well as their response

      Let them know that the shoes are falling apart prematurely and that you would appreciate a credit for a replacement pair.

      Odds are you got a defective pair (it happens) and seeing as Reebok has a ton of $$$ tied up in this product line, they probably don’t want customers who receive defective pairs telling their friends that the overall product line sucks. It’s not good for their business.

      Shoot them this message and give them an opportunity to make you happy. And if they ignore you, let me know and I will try to contact them via my twitter acct. You can email me at info@healthhabits.ca as well.

  4. khan

    March 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    I own one(yellow) n i must say dat dis is the best favour dat u can do to ur feet while running.

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  7. AM

    March 16, 2011 at 3:35 am

    Hey R,

    Very interesting. What do you think of all these special shoes (various different brand versions of MBTs) that claim to tone your bum and legs?

    AM

    • healthhabits

      March 16, 2011 at 5:07 am

      Like the Zigs, I am skeptical of the claims, butt if I was presented with a pile of first hand experience claiming they were God’s gift to heinies…

      Let’s take a poll and see what the people have to say about MBTs et al

  8. runnergirl training

    March 15, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    Good post! Interesting! I wondered about them. Thanks for sharing!

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