After some technical info, this is what Reebok says about their ZigTech shoe:
“The combination of energy return and cushioning reduces wear and tear by up to 20% on key leg muscles, especially the shins and hamstrings. With more efficient strides, your muscles don't have to work as hard over time.”
Quickly . . . from my experience, 20% is an understatement. I paid an even hundred dollars and would happily part with more given my experience so far – the only serious unknown at this point is durability, but unless they last only a couple of months, they are still easily worth the cost.
After two weeks, I got myself back to three 9.25 minute miles again on cross-trainers. As usual, during this process, everything from hips to tip-toes hurt and was stretch-resistant stiff. Circumstances made me have to take a full week off so I dreaded starting back. I’d been needing shoes for months and decided it was time.
I saw the shoes, which (if not totally black) were mixed bright colors that looked like skittle shoes. I am immediately suspicious of anything that catches my eye like that. Still, I like what I read so I tried on a pair. They were far more comfortable than anything I’d used before and the cost was not that much higher than other running shoes I was trying on.
The sole of the shoe is accordion shaped. The effect this has is that the sole can expand independently of the rest of the shoe during normal running. Standard “flat” soles cannot expand the same way which for me means the toe portion of the shoe pulls in enough to squish my toes together a bit more than I would like. Admittedly this is largely due to my technique, but the ZigTech compensates for that, unlike any shoe I’ve used before.
What has turned me into such a fan is that I was able to pick up where I left off as if I had taken no break—ordinarily it would take 3 days to get back to that point. Further, when I woke up after the first run, there was very little muscle pain and no joint pain of any kind. After the second day there was still relatively little muscle pain and still no joint pain.
This means that something I’ve always heard as the rate of perceived injury drops dramatically. We all react to exercise pain in different ways but we all have to make adjustments to what we are doing based on the perceived severity of the pain. For me at about a mile and a half, my feet go totally numb and I know I will be able to get 2 more miles before my knees and hips say that I’ve gone far enough at my running pace. As of yet, I still feel my feet throughout the run and they never actually hurt. My perceived rate has dropped so that it’s my lungs and not my legs that say “enough.” Again, the shoes are compensating for my technique.
Somewhat glibly, if Reebok called and said I needed to send them another $25 or they would send someone to repossess the shoes, I’d for it over with very little griping.
If you order from the website (and are willing to spend a little more), you can customize the colors (the second photo I what I left the store with--they were the least ugly of the choices ... still ... you'd have to pry them from my cold dead feet).