Reebok Zig Pulse

Reebok’s innovative ZigTech outsole has appeared in a number of iterations of Reebok’s lines. You know what ZigTech looks like the moment you see it: a thick outsole that has deep horizontal cuts that looks like a zig-zag and dominates the aesthetic of the shoe. This technology was made to provide runners with an optimal running experience and has been featured in lines such as the Reebok Zigwild TR 2. But for runners looking for a “back to basics” approach, there’s the original line that kicked off Reebok’s ZigTech: the Reebok Zig Pulse.

Launched in Spring 2010 and coming in six colorways, the tagline for the Zig Pulse was like “an energy drink for your feet.” Although a bit of hyperbole, the ZigTech outsole found an audience and proved popular enough that Reebok is still producing shoes to this day with ZigTech. The Zig Pulse is a breathable, functional, and comfortable trainer, with its upper made of a lightweight seamless mesh that’s smooth on the skin and cuts down on irritation from rubbing all while remaining breathable and comfortable for a cool, dry run. Its excellent cushioning is further supported by an Ortholite insole that adds additional comfort and the shank plate that is attached to the heel cup and runs the length of the shoe provides superior support. But of course, the main feature is the ZigTech outsole, which absorbs impact and provides solid energy return with each step while also allowing for excellent traction during a run.

With its thick and sturdy zigzag outsole that provides excellent grip and solid surface control and traction, a breathable upper, and an overall low-cut and eye-catching minimalist design that won’t require a long break-in time, the Reebok Zig Pulse introduced what would become one of Reebok’s more popular innovations in the past several years and continues to find appreciative runners up to today. There’s no time like the present to try out a new idea, and the Reebok Zig Pulse is a great place to start for those wanting to try the ZigTech outsole for themselves.

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Where to Buy
Where to Buy
Pros & Cons
  • Great aesthetic
  • ZigTech outsole 
  • Outsole is flexible
  • Comfortable cushioning
  • Breathable synthetic upper mesh 
  • Cons
    • Slightly expensive
    • Key Features
      The dynamic outsole of the Reebok Zig Pulse is the proprietary ZigTech technology from Reebok which features a zigzag sole that improves running performance and provides extra cushioning. Made of a sturdy, durable carbon rubber compound, this outsole provides great traction and grip on a variety of terrains. While the Zig Pulse isn’t explicitly made for trails or slick surfaces, runners will find its outsole provides excellent traction on standard running surfaces. The outsole is also flexible thanks to the deep-cut flex grooves that are part of the ZigTech construction for great surface control and a comfortable ride.
      The midsole of the Zig Pulse is made from a molded polyurethane foam that provides comfortable cushioning and a responsive ride. This cushioning offers reliable underfoot protection and works with the ZigTech outsole to absorb shock and provide solid energy return while also remaining flexible. Meanwhile, its Ortholite insole adds additional comfort while a shank plate is attached to the heel cup to provide excellent support.
      A low-cut trainer, the upper of the Zip Pulse provides maximum mobility allows for quick foot transitions. Its mesh upper delivers maximum breathability and is flexible to provide a superior fit. Its seamless upper is smooth to the touch and helps reduce rubbing and irritation during a run. Offering a secure fit after lace-up, the Zig Pulse’s minimalist upper naturally hugs the foot and provides runners with a comfortable ride that feels lightweight and never too tight a fit.
      At 9 ounces/255 grams, the Reebok Zig Impulse is not an ultra-lightweight trainer but still keeps its weight below 10 ounces, so runners may not feel much of a drag while wearing a pair. This weight may be attributed to its somewhat chunky outsole, but runners have found the Zig Pulse such a comfortable trainer that they feel lightweight during a run.
      With a lightweight upper mesh, the Zig Impulse provides excellent breathability. The upper’s seamless construction reduces irritation and allows its porous mesh to allow for maximum ventilation. In seemingly any weather condition, the Zig Impulse’s breathability will keep the runner’s foot cool and dry throughout a ride.
      Many runners that have worn the Zig Impulse seem to always comment on how comfortable they are. Its molded midsole cushioning is accompanied by an Ortholite insole that increases overall comfort, while the ZigTech outsole also works to absorb impact from footfall and provide solid energy return for an all-around comfortable ride. With flexibility in its upper and outsole and a midsole and outsole that work to provide superior cushioning, runners will be comfortable every step of the way with the Zig Pulse.
      The Reebok Zig Pulse is a very stylish sneaker that comes in a variety of eye-popping color combinations. Of course, the central focus of the Zig Impulse is its dynamic zigzag sole that stands out the moment you lay eyes on a pair, but its low-cut design also provides some balance to this overwhelming element, altogether complementing an aggressive outsole with a subdued upper. From first glance runners can tell the Zig Pulse means business, which is something more dedicated and competitive runners will appreciate in their choice of footwear.
      With a flexible synthetic mesh upper that retains its shape even after many miles have passed between first step-in, the Zig Pulse aims to be considered a durable trainer. The carbon rubber compound of the ZigTech outsole is similarly durable and hardy, retaining its spring and shape even after a pair has been thoroughly worn-in. A few runners have complained that the Zig Pulse begins to fall apart too quickly, but depending on the activities the wearer has put the Zig Pulse through, this experience may vary widely from person to person.
      There are two main points of the Zig Pulse that provide great protection: its ZigTech outsole, which is made from a carbon rubber compound that will protect the soles of your feet from most hazards on regular running surfaces, and the shank plate that runs from heel to forefoot that provides a sturdy platform for the foot to rest upon. However, its upper is mesh so there isn’t much in the way of protection from harsher elements or more hazardous material, so the Zig Pulse should be worn mostly on the streets and sidewalks of your regular running route.
      One benefit of the ZigTech outsole is how it provides runners excellent surface control. Besides this, its midsole is never too plush or overwhelming, instead responding to the runner’s natural stride. Its flexible upper similarly secures the foot in the chamber, while its low-cut design allows the runner enhanced mobility while on a run so they can change stance and position without resistance in an instant.
      The ZigTech outsole is constructed to provide runners with comfort and maximum support, while the shank plate platform and Ortholite insole is constructed for comfort and to provide extra support. However, the Zig Pulse is a neutral trainer with neutral arch support, so those specifically looking for a support shoe may need to find additional support to place within the shoe to address their needs.
      If you’re the average everyday runner, most likely you find yourself riding on the familiar running surfaces of your town, and for this the Zig Pulse is most adept. Whether it be a springy track surface, the asphalt of the road, or the pavement of sidewalks, the Zig Pulse is best on these terrains. While this shoe may be able to handle light trails, they don’t offer much in the way of protection, so don’t expect this shoe to perform like a trail running shoe when it’s mostly meant for standard running surfaces.

      When the Reebok Zig Pulse was first released, it was a somewhat expensive running shoe. However, as years have gone by and many Reebok lines have adapted the ZigTech outsole, prices have come down significantly on the Zig Pulse and savvy runners may find themselves a good bargain online that are more than half the original price point.
      One of the main benefits of the Zig Pulse and its ZigTech outsole is the traction it promises to provide: with its zigzag construction, the Zig Pulse provides excellent traction on standard running surfaces while remaining comfortable with each stride. For runners looking to experiment with a new outsole design that’s much different from the standard running shoe, and in particular are seeking more traction in their trainer, the Zig Pulse is a good place to start.
      Striking a balance between firmness and flexibility, the Zig Pulse keeps the foot firm within the chamber while also allowing the upper and outsole to remain flexible so that it can respond to the runner’s adjustments in their stance and stride. Its responsive midsole and springy ZigTech outsole provides a nice amount of bounce to toe-off, while the deep-cut horizontal flex grooves throughout its outsole allows for excellent flexibility and surface control without sacrificing a good amount of firmness.
      A neutral trainer, the Zig Pulse is designed primarily for neutral runners in mind. While it is well-balanced, it is particularly geared for the neutral running gait and with runners with normal pronation. While it features a lower than usual heel-to-toe drop of 4mm, this enhances its overall stability without it specifically being a stability shoe. Its standard arch support will suit neutral pronators well but does not address the needs of those that require a stability shoe.
      At 4mm, the drop of the Zig Pulse may be lower than some runners are used to (the standard is 10mm), but this seems to be the “new standard” for the ZigTech outsole. Featuring more stability than your average running shoe, some runners may need to get used to this lower drop.
      Key Features
      - Upper made of 4-way stretch mesh that provides a contoured fit
      - Low-cut design allows for quick stride transitions and increased mobility
      - PowerFrame support lacing system keeps foot secure throughout a run
      - Reinforced midfoot tuck board that increases stability
      - ZigTech outsole is responsive and provides good traction
      - Outsole made of durable high-abrasion carbon rubber
      Bottom Line
      Whether on the streets and sidewalks of your town, on a springy track, or completing your everyday exercise and training, the Reebok Zig Pulse suits all of these purposes with aplomb. Its sturdy, chunky zigzag outsole, known as ZigTech, provides excellent grip, surface control, and traction on regular running surfaces that also absorbing impact from foot strike and delivering solid energy return. Its responsive midsole provides a comfortable ride while its breathable upper mesh will keep the foot cool and dry throughout a ride. While introductory prices are slightly high, runners that know how to bargain-hunt will be able to find a great deal online or even in brick and mortar outlets. It’s also a really cool-looking trainer that comes in a variety of vivid colors that highlight its eye-catching outsole. With a comfortable, breathable upper, solid midsole support, and of course a dynamic outsole, the Reebok Zig Pulse was the first on the market that featured the ZigTech outsole and remains one of the best that Reebok has produced featuring this dynamic construction.

      Where to Buy
      By Mike Gray
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 26. 2021

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