Remember the Reebok Zig Kinetica Concept Type_1 that we checked out back in December? In our review I said these were pretty good training sneakers but way too delicate to actually wear as anything other than show sneakers — it was gorgeous but it needed a more durable version.
Well, turns out that Concept was, as the name suggests, just a concept — and this is the actual new Reebok Zig Kinetica, and here’s what we think about it.
Brief ZigTech history
In case this is the first time you’re hearing about the Reebok ZIG line of shoes — the Zig Kinetica system started out way back in 2010 when Reebok released their first sneakers with the ZigTech design called the Reebok ZigPulse.
These sneakers came in a bunch of colorways. Reebok even started advertising them along with Lewis Hamilton to really show off how cool these new ZigTech sneakers were.
Reebok got a whole bunch of celebrities onboard with the ZigPulse so the sneakers had a bit of a buzz around it. However, as popular as they might have been at the time, we never really heard much about it since then.
Fast forward to today, almost a decade since the first Zig sneaker launched, the Zigtech makes a return in the form of a reworked Zig Kinetica system with the Reebok Zig Kinetica.
One look at these sneakers and you can see how they have a really aggressive vibe. Quite different from the avant garde vibe of the Concept Type_1.
Alright with that history lesson out of the way – let’s talk about design and fit.
One of the best-looking Reebok sneakers in a while
The 2020 Zig Kinetica is meant to be a daily activity shoe and you can tell that from its design.
The embedded design makes for a slightly chunkier shoe than what you’d normally see with a fitness sneaker. Whether that’s a good or bad thing boils down to your personal preference.
You can see we have the really loud red colorway — I’m not sure why everyone is sending me red sneakers nowadays — but please stop you guys haha.
The Zig Kinetica also comes in a way cooler Black colorway with an orange Zig unit which is the main colorway they’re marketing. But the all-white colorway with the slightly orange-ish Zig unit is my favorite.
Regardless of the colorway, you have to admit, this is one of the best looking Reebok shoes in years.
Starting with the upper, it’s made out of a breathable mesh, like you’d expect out of any pair of fitness shoes. At first glance, I wasn’t sure these were going to be good at ventilation because the material used in the construction of the upper is quite thick. Thankfully, Reebok did a pretty good job here! The mesh material keeps the air flow consistent, allowing cool air to come in as you move your feet while pushing the hot air out.
Towards the top is an interesting lacing system that moves though lacing eyelets on the upper and allow for a nicely snug fit. The eyelets have a nice amount of cushioning underneath, so that you don’t feel them pressing down on your feet even if you tightly lace up the shoe.
Moving towards the midsole and heel area, you’ll notice that there are a few strategic reinforcements made with the Zig unit extending up the sides of the shoe in the middle. It also has the Reebok logo situated here. This is interesting because it wasn’t on the Concept Type_1 sneakers so I wonder what’s the reason behind this.
Better than Boost?
Moving towards to the insole, the Floatride Fuel cushioning isn’t exactly the most lush in terms of comfort. These are performance training sneakers after all. The cushioning, along with the outsole and overall design is really meant to propel you forward instead towards workouts instead.
Just like the Adidas Ultraboost 20, the outsole is U-shaped, so the sneaker positions you to lean forwards.
Like I mentioned with cushioning earlier, the Zig Energy Shell (or the zig-zag portion of the outsole), together with the Floatride Fuel cushioning inside, is a lot sturdier than the Boost outsole on the Ultraboost, so it’s not as comfy.
The Floatride Fuel is soft though. You can actually feel it through the liner groove on the sole. Reebok is also using a special kind of sole here called the Zig Energy Band which is supposed to expand and contract like an elastic band to help with a springback response while you’re running.
The heel sits a couple of millimeters lower than the insole, which ends up supporting the medial arch of your feet, and adds to the comfort while you’re running.
At the back of the heel area, you’ll see that the outsole does ramp up and has “ZIG” subtly written on it. The insole also curves around your foot, instead of underneath or being flat, which adds to the comfort factor. If you were lucky enough to try the ZigTech sneakers back in the day, you’ll appreciate the familiarity of the outsole.
All in all, it is definitely the best designed Reebok sneaker I’ve seen in a while. But all that being said, these are meant to be training shoes so let’s move on to performance.
Decent responsiveness, good comfort
In terms of fit, once you slip your foot into the Zig Kinetica you’ll feel the plush all around cushioning immediately — which is a good thing. There’s no rough elements or hard patches that rub against your foot. It’s just a very comfortable plush sneaker, and the reinforcements in the design really seemed to have helped Reebok ensure a comfortable, yet very secure fit.
These fit pretty true to size, even with my wide feet, so you don’t feel cramped in the Zig Kinetica. A big reason for this comfort is the midsole and out-sole.
The midsole is made out of Reebok’s Floatride Fuel cushioning, with a Zig Energy Shell around it. Floatride Fuel cushioning is already present on a bunch of Reebok shoes and I’m a bgt fan of it. It has a great, plush amount of cushioning with a decent amount of responsiveness as well.
These feel more responsive than most other shoes with Floatride Fuel. That’s because of the stretchable Zig Energy Band outsole, coupled with the interesting design of the Zig Energy Shell.
The shell frames the midsole foam while the Zig Energy Band expands and contracts through each stride that you take, giving you a spring-like push forward with every step you take.
It’s a very different feeling from Adidas Ultraboost, or the Nike React foam in the new Nike React Infinity Run, but there is a decent amount of responsiveness with a good amount of comfort as well.
Is the Reebok Zig Kinetica your SneakerMatch?
So far we have a great design, a comfortable fit, and responsive cushioning — so what’s not to like?
See, that’s what confuses me about who the Reebok Zig Kinetica is meant for — it feels much heavier than most other training sneakers, weighing almost 300 grams.
There’s still a 10mm heel to toe drop which definitely helps when you’re wearing these at the gym, and the tough materials used definitely makes this a more durable training shoe.
I think maybe Reebok’s marketing with Connor McGregor might have been the main reason why I’m so confused about these shoes because these aren’t just UFC shoes.
After trying them out for a month the Reebok Zig Kinetica makes for a great every day gym sneaker. Just slip it on and you know it’ll handle anything you throw at it. Not necessarily outdoor long distance running though, because you might want a lighter shoe for that.
As an every day gym sneaker — I can definitely recommend picking these up. I’m not sure why no one’s talking about them, they look great, they are durable and comfortable, and Reebok has done a great job taking something from their past, from the ol’ ZigTech days and reinventing it for today.
One thing that I can definitely say is you’ll most probably be stopped and asked by strangers about what shoes you’re wearing – especially if you get that white-and-orange colorway because these look that unique and cool.
At the end of the day, these are actually my favourite Reebok Performance sneakers to date. Even more than the Sole Fury. Which is really saying a lot.
Reebok has been killing it lately and I really hope they improve their marketing on these, because the Zig Kinetica is a pretty solid training shoe.
Redmi Earbuds S are the most affordable TWS offering
The price is unbelievable
In India, Xiaomi’s Redmi division looks after the affordable segment while Mi-branded products are for the premium segment. On the side, POCO is now an independent brand. Continuing with the new strategy, Redmi today announced the launch of their new TWS earbuds, the Redmi Earbuds S.
Just a couple of weeks ago, the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 were announced in the country but they are far from affordable. To bridge this gap, the Redmi Earbuds S has been unveiled. It’s worth noting that they are the same as the Redmi AirDots S, which were launched in China earlier.
The Earbuds have 7.2mm drivers and are IPX4-rated for water resistance. The individual buds weigh only about 4.5g each. The company’s marketing has focused on how good their bass is, but we’ll be able to confirm that in our review later.
For connectivity, it leverages SBC codec, a commonly used protocol via Bluetooth. However, a low-latency mode has also been added to aide gaming. The earbuds are said to deliver four hours of playback on a single charge and the case can extend this to 12 hours.
The Earbuds S also has a physical button on either side to control media playback or skip tracks. The gaming mode can be triggered by pressing the function key thrice.
The Redmi Earbuds S will cost INR 1,799 (US$ 23) and will go on sale starting May 27 via Mi.com and Amazon.
These earbuds are an entry-level option for someone who’s looking for a pair of TWS earbuds. Instead of rich features, the point of this product is to offer an affordable option to the end-user.
Apple moving its AirPods assembly line to Vietnam
iPhone production is next in line
Apple has started shifting its iPhone production line to India but it doesn’t end there. With the ongoing trade war between China and the US, more companies are slowly finding alternatives — such is the case with Apple moving AirPods assembly to Vietnam.
Asia Nikkei‘s report indicated that Apple has already done production trials of the AirPods line in Vietnam last year. Just this month, numerous buyers (including a MacForums user) have pointed out the sudden change. The ‘Assembled in Vietnam’ engraving at the back of the AirPods Pro is prominent since loyal users know that Apple products are assembled in China.
Apple is now selling AirPods Pro models that are Assembled in Vietnam pic.twitter.com/UZWNHtcBi4
— Alireza (@alixrezax) May 20, 2020
A Reddit user initially shared his concern about the product’s authenticity, even before the mentioned tweet started gaining attention.
Even a staff from The Verge shared a photo of her recently bought AirPods Pro with the same engraving.
A follow-up report stated that the mass production of the new AirPods units took place in Vietnam last March. Despite the pandemic, they were able to secure permits from Vietnamese officials to bring in engineers for better and smoother production.
Some of the old EarPods were also assembled in Vietnam, which means the country isn’t exactly new to assembling Apple’s audio accessories. Even Apple’s long-awaited AirPods Studio might be produced there as well.
A recently-published article by DigiTimes states that other than India, they’re also moving the iPhone production line to Vietnam. It makes sense considering Foxconn has already built factories in the northern province of Bac Giang.
OnePlus TWS earbuds could look like the AirPods
Why are we not surprised?
Apple was the first company to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack in iPhone 7 and release a wireless solution, the AirPods. Now, every phone maker wants a piece of the pie, and now a OnePlus TWS is coming our way as well.
Reliable leakster Max J. has revealed an illustration of the upcoming OnePlus truly wireless earbuds and they look eerily similar to the Apple AirPods. The signature in-ear design without rubber tips is considered to be Apple’s design language and many makers have tried to replicate it.
Realme launched the Buds Air this year and they look exactly like the AirPods. Even the charging case is a lookalike. Even the OPPO Enco Free wireless earbuds have a cop-cat design and are indistinguishable.
— Max J. (@MaxJmb) May 15, 2020
On the other hand, Xiaomi unveiled the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 and they have an entirely different design. The brand seems to have focused more on functionality than looks.
OnePlus has already released wireless earphones in the past, but they haven’t been truly wireless. The OnePlus Bullets Wireless and Bullets Wireless 2 had their own design language and were built to offer a premium experience. Along with the OnePlus 8 series, the company announced an affordable version called the Bullets Z.
Rumors suggest OnePlus could launch a midrange phone dubbed the OnePlus Z or OnePlus 8 Lite in July. These earbuds are expected to launch alongside the phone.
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