In the sports car industry, a Z-rating means that the tire can handle car speeds in excess of 240kph (149mph). Currently, Z-speed is the 3rd top-most rate given to sports car tire following W- and Y- rating that can handle up to 270kph (168mph) and 300kph (186mph) car speeds, respectively (Tiretrack.com).
|Reebok Z Fury|
Obviously, no human could run even a quarter of those speeds, but how does it become useful to the Reebok Z series shoe? A look at the vehicle's side might help us understand it better. According to Michelin, "speed ratings make a difference not only in regards to speed, but also with the ride comfort, wear, and cornering ability of a vehicle. The higher the speed rating, the better the grip and stopping power..."
Taking that principle, Reebok designers got the idea of also applying the Z-rating to give the shoe a better traction support and handle strenuous demands like sudden movement changes -- quick turns, starts, and stops on our everyday exercises/workouts. And these are what I also tried to find out on my training bouts while using the Z Fury model.
A Dib on the Reebok Z Fury
|At the SBR.ph Duaman (photo by Thumbie Remigio)|
Since this year was my debut for Multisport events (aside from the Indoor duathlon last 2013) -- more specifically Duathlon and Aquathlons, the first time that I raced the Reebok Z Fury was during my first on-road Duathlon event at the SBR.ph's 2014 Duaman last June 8, 2014 for a 6K run, 20K bike, and a final 3K run leg. The most recent event where I treaded the shoe was on the recently held Splash 'n Dash Aquathlon Leg 3 last December 14, 2014 for a 5K run.
|At the 2014 Splash 'n Dash Leg 3 (photo by KB)|
In between those two events, I have used the shoe in my road run trainings and on-the-gym trainings (circuit, weight, and strength).
First impressions -- very lightweight, I think it has a weight similar or perhaps much lighter than my previous Adizero Boston.
The color and design is also outstanding, this is the first blue-neon green shoe color combination that I have but it doesn't make me feel awkward wearing them. I specially love the no stitch construction and bootie fit of the tongue. Unlike most of the shoes' tongue that slips out of alignment, the Z Fury's soft and cushy tongue is securely locked on the inner sole -- a great feature that will be appreciated by Aqua- or Tri- athletes as it will lessen the time spent on wearing and securely fitting the shoe.
|Wide toe box, snug fit medial part|
The medial part also snugs properly yet remains flexible that helps prevents the feet to easily tire out even when the lacing is a bit tight. It is also combined with a nearly seam-free upper that makes the fitting and wearing smooth which prevents irritation even when the skin is in direct contact.
As for the toe box, most runners will love its wide space as it gives much room for the foot. For my feet though with a narrow width, it's not much of an advantage. Its whole size is also a bit bigger than the usual US 7.5 sizes (which is my recommended fit). It has too much space for my foot, a US 7.0 size might better fit me.
|Stucked small pebbles and stones on the underfoot groove design|
What I don't find appealing about the shoe, is the underfoot groove design as pebbles and stones gets stuck in between. This design though was supposed to allow the midsole to flex and expand with the foot which allows rapid acceleration and easier control at high speed. True enough, this shoe is as flexible as the popular Nike Free. No break-in run needed actually, except when you're not yet used to race flats or other close to minimalist shoes.
One more thing I have noticed with the outer edges of the underfoot is its softness as compared to most running shoes' outer sole. That softness in turn helps increase the edge contact of the shoes with the ground. The inner edges though has ten (10) much sturdier grooves and blown rubber on the heel part.
|Great shoe for indoor workouts (sorry, no action shots!)|
Indoors, the shoe don't easily slip even on shiny floors. You could easily perform hop squats, jumping lunges, lateral hops, skips, and other speed or agility exercises that will require you to change directions quickly such as zig-zag drills, and back-and-forth short sprints.
In summary, this Reebok Z Fury is a keeper. In my opinion, this should only be used for shorter run distances, perhaps maximum of 10-kilometers due to its softer than usual underfoot/outsole. On the other hand, the Reebok Z Fury can be best utilized for speed workouts and agility trainings, be it indoors, concrete pavement, or on the track. The soft and bootie-fit of the tongue is also a great plus -- a feature that I hope more running shoes would follow suit.
|The Z Fury sports the new Reebok logo design|
|Unique Nanoweb and seamless design|
|Bootie-fit tongue design|
|No sew tongue upper|
|Tongue is sewn on the inner part of insole|
|Vents on the under forefoot|
|Radical geometry design of the underfoot grooves|
|Ten sturdier grooves on the inner edge|
|High-abrasion rubber on the outer heel|