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Reebok's Zig Pulse Sneaker: Good For Your Feet or Just Good Looking?



Zig Pulse soles are made with ZigTech(nology) and supposedly deliver less strain on key muscle groups. Whatever happened to no pain --> no gain? And what's the point of the energetic light beams? Clearly this video was shot in ZigTech Land where cheezy after-effects are plenty. Then there's the issue of restricted muscle movement which doesn't sit too well with me. How's that going to reduce muscle strain? Wouldn't it cause more pain in the future by weakening important muscle groups? Zig Pulse might as well say: Just keep won't feel a thing because your muscles are barely working! This is an absurd selling point for a performance sneaker. I can't think of a single day in my life when fitness activity didn't elicit a smidgeon of pain. Without pain there's no challenge. Without challenge there's no opportunity for change (i.e. muscle stimulation, strengthening, growth, rehabiliation, etc.). Muscles need to actively engage if you want them to look and feel different.

I'm not blasting Zig Pulse but I don't quite understand their marketing campaign. I think it's silly (don't take this personally,'s just advertising and you can always change it). When exercising, listening to your body is really important. It's critical to check-in and feel your muscles working and responding to your activity level. That's the only way you're going to get into your workout, get stronger and find a comfortable/enjoyable zone where your mind and body connect. I like the idea of a sneaker with a built-in-pain-shield but not at the cost of limiting leg and foot potential.

The Zig Pulse sneaker is new to market and while I may question its functionality and strange media, the shoe's design is a different story. I happen to love their resemblance to early 90's cheerleading shoes (does anyone else see it?). The fact that you can design your own pair is pretty rad. The Zig Pulse sole is funky and lends itself to amazing color design and team branding (hence the cheerleading reference). Zig Pulse has a loud and slightly retro appeal that you're either going to love or hate. It's the perfect shoe for calling attention to your feet.

I recommend testing out Zig Pulse in athletic retail shops that offer treadmills for you to walk/run on while shopping for footwear. It's the only way to know whether the shoe and it's unique ZigTech construction is right for you. I'm not going to lie, I often buy sneakers based on looks alone but I only run in the ones that promote the health of my feet. Sometimes a good looking shoe is simply just a good looking shoe.

Check out Reebok Zig Pulse for Women ($100) HERE

UPDATE: I just got a new pair of Zig Pulse sneakers (the red/white ones in the main pic above). So far...they're wonderful! Maybe first impressions AREN'T everything. Let's just say I like the shoe way better than the advertising. It's super comfortable and ventillated but I have to admit I've yet to feel that "wave of energy" that ZigTech is supposed to send vibrating through my feet. But what can I say, I'm super happy with them so far...even without the "wave". They're very attractive and light on my feet. Will report back once I've run in them more.


written by Bianca Jade a.k.a Mizzfit


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Say what's on your mind!

Balke July 1st, 2010 12:51AM

No pain no gain' is a way over used cliche... so if im an overpronator and its causing me to have intense shin splints and I go buy a pair of control running shoes and the pain stops because the shoes control my running mechanics, is that wrong because If I dont have pain im never gonna get results? All Im saying is muscle strain and muscle pain are different things. If the shoe is causing the key muscle groups to work smoother then I say market them the way they are... nobody wants a shoe thats gonna strain shins or hams. if your wanting a conditioning shoe... go look somewhere else. and for long distance runner, who wants a shoe thats going to cause your muscles to work harder? And also, leg conditioning is done primarily outside of running. I think you need to jus take everything in context and buy the right kinda shoe for the right activity.

MizzFIT July 1st, 2010 8:31AM


Whether you pronate or supinate the performance shoe that you wear should offer support in your weaker areas without over-supporting your areas of strength. You're right, muscle strain and pain are different things but consider this... My mother is a healthy/thin woman who never really had to workout throughout her life because she didn't have a weight problem. She's near 60 now and is having some issues which could have been prevented through consistent exercise. My point is that when you don't use your muscles to their fullest or neglect from using them at all, they weaken from under-use. This is a major problem with conventional running shoes (too much cushioning that we don't actually need).

You ask: "Who wants a shoe thats going to cause your muscles to work harder?" My answer: Anyone who's passionate about running, i.e. a long distance runner or sprinter. Even a non-competitive runner who jogs daily/weekly...the kind of person who values a shoe that allows for a range of motion and the ability to feel what's going on at all times. Because when you're on the pavement for 2-5 hours (running a marathon) you need to check-in with your feet every mile. I wore New Balance trainers (which were the wrong shoe for my feet) for a marathon one year and I couldn't feel my feet for the last 5 miles of the race. It was nice not to feel any strain but scary that my feet went numb. I didn't like it.

There's a reaon "no pain, no gain" is a cliche...because there's truth to the saying. When I wear my ASICS GEL NIMBUS (the only shoe I'll wear for marathons) I gain a ton of insight on the condition of my feet. Let me tell you this: 26.2 miles isn't supposed to feel like a day at the spa. If your feet feel like they just got a pedicure, then something's up...OR someone spiked your Gatorade. Balke, keep in mind that this is my personal opinion as a seasoned runner and fitness commentator. If something works for you, then that's all that matters and by all means keep doing it. Thanks for commenting because your opinion does matter and what works for me doesn't always work for everyone. Kindly, mizzFIT

blanca July 26th, 2010 8:50AM

Also I would think a long distance runner would prefer a shoe that keeps them confortable for longer so they can focus on intensity and time instead of limping and how bad there feet hurt!!

Kellie March 25th, 2011 11:30PM

I can see where these would help because Im a heavier weighted runner over 170 pounds I bulk muscle so not all fat. But when I run I dont like to do more than 3 miles because of the pounding and beating up of my legs. Now if this helps reduce that pain causing fatigue Im up for it and the additional calorie burning miles I can do!

MizzFIT March 26th, 2011 7:51PM

Hi Kellie,

I'd definitely give ZigPulse sneakers a shot for your 3 mile and up runs. These shoes are great and definitely shield your feet from high impact injury. When my feet are a bit sore for some reason or another, these are my go-to sneakers. But I urge you to run on a treadmill if you're feeling lots of pain. Treadmills have some bounce and give, and when combined with a protective shoe like the ZigPulse will be more comfortable for you than street or track running. Let me know if you end up getting a pair and how they work out for you!