Reebok recently released the second iteration of its Zig Kinetica sneaker, but don't you fret. "Already dropped" is too often a synonym for "sold out," which is why I'm starting to eye more general release sneakers. Copping sneakers isn't very fun anymore, and it's refreshing to find a sneaker I like that won't be gobbled up instantly and sold to have-nots for a premium.
Reebok did seed me the Zig Kentica 2, but I'm not being generous when I say I would have bought it based on the images alone. The wavy grid is attractive as hell, and had it come from Nike it probably would have received hype. Upon wearing it, I've only fallen in love with it more — and it's earned a starting spot in my rotation.
The Zig Kinetica 2 is a lifestyle sneaker making use of a cushioning system from Reebok's running line. Floatride Fuel is the ultra-comfy foam that's a must in sneakers today, and it's surrounded by Zig Energy bands that contract and retract with each step. More kinetic energy return comes from the Zig Energy Shell midsole, packing more tech than you might need for everyday use.
If I had to compare the Zig Kinetica 2 to another sneaker, it'd be Nike's React Element 87. Both utilize the brand's top-of-the-line cushioning in the lifestyle space and have a shell-like upper that almost feels like plastic. I've got the latter pair from the Undercover collaboration, but I already prefer the Reebok's because they feel less flimsy.
The React Element 87 is liable for a rolled ankle if I transition to the slightest hint of activity, and the upper does nothing to keep out relatively chilled air, let alone cold. Neither of these problems exists with the Zig Kinetica 2, which is much more robust around and under the foot and has served me well in a Colorado winter.
It's been a long time since Reebok would be seen in every NFL and NBA game, as well on the feet of Jay-Z and G-Unit. I sincerely hope it can win back some of its cultural cache, which may come closer to fruition when Adidas sells it. As New Balance's resurgence has shown, the sneaker game is more fun when more brands are poppin'.