Reebok Zpump Fusion
Reebok Brings Back Pump-Enhanced Running Shoes
The shoe that adapts to you. Every time. The Reebok ZPump Fusion pumps up and provides runners with a locked-in custom fit.
- The Pump technology is an air-filled cage that pumps up and molds to any runners foot for a locked-in custom fit
- Featuring a lightweight fusion sleeve and seamless compression sleeve that fuses The Pump technology to any runners foot
- ZRATED outsole is inspired by high-performance ZRated tires for ultimate control in and out of turns
Cushioning: All the cushioning in the ZPump Fusion comes from the ridiculously comfortable insole. This is one of the best non-gel insoles I have ever felt, if not the best. I believe the insole is Ortholite, but I can’t be sure because there is no information on it anywhere online. The insole is wildly different from any other insoles Reebok is using/has used because it actually performs, giving you a smooth and comfortable ride. There is one drawback to the insole: after a while it stays compressed and flat underfoot, without the slightest bounce back. This happens once you run for long enough, or if you stay on your feet for a long time. After the insole stops giving you cushion, your foot only feels the outsole beneath the insole.
The outsole is unlike the awesome insole as it does not offer any cushioning. We have all gotten used to Lunarlon and Boost, which compress when pressure is applied to give wearers some bounce back when they step. The outsole on the ZPump Fusion is incredibly firm, durable, and offers great traction, especially when turning, but when running at speed it feels like a narrow brick on the bottom of your foot and will not protect you from the crash of landing on the outsole.
I am a heel striker and the added firm rubber at the heel of the outsole makes landing after each step…uncomfortable. I put over seven miles worth of running in these before my heels and arches started hurting.
Boost raised the bar. Adidas’ foam system changed what people expect from a running shoe in terms of cushion and responsiveness. The ZPump Fusion does not offer the comfort Boost has acquainted me to, nor the transition that shoes like the PureBoost and even older models like the Asics Gel-Lyte III offer. However, before writing off the ZPump and exiting from this performance review, read on.
Support: The ZPump Fusion shows innovation and great design. The upper is constructed without a “last,” the part of a shoe that the upper in most shoes is build around and on top of. Instead, Reebok took a new approach to their Pump technology invented in 1989. Until the ZPump Fusion, the Reebok Pump features an inflatable chamber (usually in the tongue) but the chamber inflates outward, enlarging the overall size of the shoe, and giving the wearer a custom fit only when pumped a lot. In the ZPump Fusion, Reebok uses a new air bladder that gives the shoe support and its shape, especially when inflated. The new bladder is more minimalistic than bladders of the past and features a caged design to give the best fit while not bulging outwards. The bladder wraps over the midfoot and around the heel, leaving only a gap for the Achilles at the vertical stripe of Reebok branding. This works.
Fit: The Reebok ZPump Fusion fits true to size unless you have very wide feet. I have wide enough feet that I can’t wear any Way of Wade shoes and size up half a size in Air Max 90s. When you first try on this shoe, you may feel like it’s a bit narrow at the arch, but that went away with twenty minutes of wear. The forefoot is quite wide with almost too much room to move around laterally.
The Pump mechanism in the ZPump gives the shoe its fit. It is the best Pump I have ever used. On all the other Reebok Pumps I have used (quite a few, as I currently have over thirty pairs of Reebok with Pumps and have owned many more), the air eventually leaks out, and you have to pump the ball on the tongue for a while to get significant results, usually about 40-50 pumps. However, in the ZPump Fusion, the Pump mechanism feels like it sucks in air and holds on to it, much like when pumping a tire. The bladder stays inflated for way over twenty-four hours without any deflation whatsoever. With just fifteen good pumps, the heel is quite inflated, and with fifteen more, the heel is very inflated and the midfoot portion of the bladder is fairly pumped as well but not incredibly noticeable. The bladder even extends to the minimal tongue tab and you can feel the cushion there when inflated with thirty pumps. With forty pumps, the heel bladder was full and quite snug around the ankle and the midfoot was very nicely inflated. After forty, the heel was too snug for me but the bladder had not reached full capacity.
When you finally hit the Pump release button, which needs to be triggered using your nail, a gust of wind exits the shoe as if Superman was trying to blow a building down. The Pump mechanism in theZPump really does work and conforms to the shape of your foot perfectly. It’s a shame all Reebok Pump models don’t feature a Pump of this quality.