Reebok Gives Its Most Disruptive Technology to Date a New Look

Reebok isn’t afraid to reimagine its classics. And the athletic brand is set to release sneakers featuring a new take on one of its most disruptive technologies to date: Zig.

The first drop is the Zig Kinetica Concept Type 1, featuring an updated version of the sole technology and an upper remixed by Garbstore founder Ian Paley.

The sole unit is broken down into three parts. It features the brand’s high-rebound Floatride Fuel tech, its Energy Shell that compresses to provide stability and durability and a rubber Energy Web that expands and contracts like a rubber band to propel the wearer into his or her next movement.

The look, according to Reebok, “subverts the traditional spectrum of style that pits fashion and human performance at opposite ends.”

Reebok Zig Kinetica Concept Type 1
Reebok Zig Kinetica Concept Type 1.
CREDIT: Reebok

“The inspiration for the shoe really grew out of the development of the sole unit. I had eyes on the unit in its very early stages, the way the outer shell clicks over the Floatride Fuel [innovation]. It is very unique in the way it is constructed. I wanted to have a similar ethos for the upper, exposed somewhat with a mix of materials and color ideas, all expressing the mathematics of kinetic energy,” Paley told FN. “I like to have elements of the shoe that are normally hidden away celebrated somehow in the design. I also really wanted the upper to appear like a machine of many moving parts reflecting the work the shoe is putting in on your behalf. It was also important to allow some sort of flexibility in the way the operator could fasten the shoe.”

Paley was intrigued by Reebok’s willingness to alter a technology from its archive that was — and still is — atypical to anything in the market.

“I think everyone recalls original Zig tech just because, in its day, it was just so jarring. My memory is of stopping in front of a poster ad in Chicago O’Hare airport — I never stop at ads,” Paley said. “[And] I really liked the idea of advancing and adding to the technology. Too often great ideas are left alone, never developed. Reebok is unique in the way it creates and invents its own technology stories. I like the notion of these stories always being added to as new stories start.”

The new-look Zig sole made its debut on the runways of Paris and New York Fashion Weeks with partners from Cottweiler to Chromat. And consumers will have the chance to pick Payley’s iteration of the shoe up on Nov. 8.

Although this is the first collaborative effort, Paley hasn’t ruled out the possibility of more in the future. “The conversation is always constant; whatever comes will come,” he said.

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