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 running...you 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, Reebok...it'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.
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.