As part of Reebok’s new branding, the company went into a different direction with running. Part of that new direction involved introducing a running shoe that would fit into the fitness regimens of its tough customers, something that would be great for speed, easy to put on, and maybe even spark a bit of nostalgia in its older fans. Thus, the ZPump Fusion was born: a running shoe made from three main pieces (outsole, Pump technology, fusion sleeve) that’s great for speedwork that Reebok athletes might do in between attending studio classes or CrossFit sessions or yoga.
Of course, that means I have to test out the ZPump Fusion, and Reebok kindly provided me with a pair when I visited its company headquarters in Canton, Mass. They’re in my street shoe size, which made me slightly skeptical – until I remembered that ALL the Reebok shoes I own are pretty true to size (Nanos, One trainers, a pair of some other kind of trainers with flames on the sides, the studio shoes I owned several years ago – you get the idea). But this was my first pair of Reebok running shoes. I slipped them on (so easy! No laces to tie, and then I just pumped them to the most comfortable fit, which brought back memories of my brother’s cool The Pump basketball shoes and wanting to play with those) and took them for a tempo run in the ‘hood.
Fit: Yes, they fit! I didn’t feel like my toes were squished at all. The Pump technology is great for a narrow-heeled person like me; it meant that my heel was well-cradled throughout my run.
Feel: This is also my first sock-like shoe. I liked how there aren’t a bunch of parts to rub along the top of my foot, so that was a winner. The fact that the ZPump Fusion is lightweight (8.2 oz) means that it’s not heavily cushioned, hence why it’s great for shorter runs. I did feel the pavement – not in a bad way, but I knew it was there, as opposed to when I wear more cushioned running shoes. The lack of cushioning also meant I was focusing on form. I felt like I was running faster, and the stats from my Garmin proved it; I kept up an 8:20-ish pace for the tempo portion of my run.
Overall: The Reebok ZPump Fusion is a decent shoe to add in to the rotation for short runs: speedwork like tempo runs and track repeats. I’ve decided that these are now my go-to shoes for track workouts. I’m not going to give up my neutral plus cushioned shoes for long runs – I can’t imagine not having that cushioning. But for short runs? The ZPump Fusion is ready.