WANTED: Reebok ZigTech Sneakers

WANTED: Reebok ZigTech Sneakers
Reebok ZigTech

Reebok’s ZigTech sneakers, like any new sneaker design/tech, are accompanied by a glowing press release that’s chock full of questionable locker-room science and athlete endorsements. I know that. I understand it. I know that these are just sneakers, that they’re not going to improve my endurance (which, in my case, could consist of “the absense of embarrassment”). I know that my year-old pair of cheap New Balance sneakers are in perfectly fine condition, thanks to my structured regiment of not exercising, ever, no matter what, and therefore I do not need a new pair of running shoes. I know that these sneakers cost $100 and will sit, next to the similarly-unused New Balance sneakers, in my closet, and that I should very simply not buy them.


But damn if I don’t want these insane squiggly masterpieces of sneaker design. Look at these things! With these kicks, you are literally running on squiggles.

Reebok’s new ZigTech sneakers are billed as an “energy drink for your feet,” which is completely ridiculous, but sort of makes sense since both are an unnatural shade of chartreuse. Here’s that “science,” which reads like the transcript of a Gatorade commercial:

Everything about Reebok’s ZigTech footwear is designed to conserve and return energy to the athlete for a soft and springy stride. The one-of-a-kind ZigTech bottom unit features an innovative, lightweight foam that is engineered into a dramatic, geometric, zig-zag shape. This unique zig-zag sole absorbs the impact of heel strike and sends a wave of energy along the length of the shoe to help propel the athlete forward with each step.

Oh, really, Reebok? So my feet work like a video-game powerup now? I’m no scientist, but I’m pretty sure that waves of energy cannot actually be delivered from my heel to my forefoot to result in a more propulsive stride. But all my eloquent, rational argument is pointless, for two reasons. One, I expect this sort of rhetoric from a sneaker company. I’d be really disappointed if the press release just read “We think these shoes are comfy and flashy! Please buy them.” And two, more to the point, I really like them. They’re ostentatious and offer suspect rationalization, and I don’t care even a little, because they are so. cool.

Reebok’s ZigTech sneakers will be rolling out at major retailers (including Foot Locker and Finish Line) March 11, priced at $100.


About the author

Dan Nosowitz is a freelance writer and editor who has written for Popular Science, The Awl, Gizmodo, Fast Company, BuzzFeed, and elsewhere. He holds an undergraduate degree from McGill University and currently lives in Brooklyn, because he has a beard and glasses and that's the law.