Reebok Wall Season 2: Zig Encore - Away

The Reebok Wall Season 2: Zig Encore

Introduction

Last month, we took a First Look at the Reebok Zig Encore.  Representing the star athlete for Reebok basketball, John Wall, the Zig Encore is also the first signature shoe since the Allen Iverson Answer/Question lines.  After the success of the Zig Slash last season, all eyes and expectations are now shifted to this first signature shoe as a follow up.  Ironically, the success last season has only lead to more questions, as to whether Reebok, who have been on the sidelines in the basketball shoe landscape, can regain the prominence of seasons past.  Built with the latest ZigTech variation, entitled ZigNano, is the Reebok Wall Season 2: Zig Encore.

Comfort and Fit

Despite a narrow collar opening, the foot slides right into the internal bootie system created by the tongue and Achilles support.  Sizing is a half size long, as the flat toe box is a bit extended.  Unfortunately, width wise, there is a bit of crowding around the small toe, which may result in discomfort for some.  Fitting aside, the upper of the shoe has a thin feel.  When laced securely, light pressure is felt through the center and around the forefoot area.  At the rear, the height of the shoe is just enough to clear the ankles, providing some support.  Heel lock down is sufficient and padding from the tongue, collar, and Achilles tab blends the combination of comfort and light weight perfectly.  Moving on, unlike the previous ZigTech equipped performers, the low profile ZigNano brings a less solid feel.  The foot rests on a thick and plush insole with good arch support.  The heel area is raised and thick, but well padded.  In the end, a very relaxed and light fit is what the Zig Encore brings to the table.

Reebok Wall Season 2: Zig Encore - Away

The low profile ZigNano brings great court feel

Performance

Those familiar with the ZigTech sole will find a different feel with the Encore.  The initial court feel is prominently felt with the two large herringbone sections on the forefoot and heel, which have a curved feel, rather than segments of the traditional wavy ZigTech.  Also, the shoe not only sits lower to the court, but the sole has a softer feel.  Getting up to speed, heel to toe running is natural, keeping inline with what the ZigTech does well.  Geared towards the game of John Wall, the shoe is deceptively light and nibble, with a sturdy feel and construction.  For aggressive guards, playing at a stop and start pace is eased with two aspects of the shoe.  First, the two large outsole sections work in tandem whether providing grip or keeping the player in balance.  The setup below makes it feel as though the shoe is constantly pushing the player to move forward.  Complimenting movement is the next aspect – the slight forefoot outriggers.  Placed discreetly low on each side, the forefoot outriggers allow the player to get low or aggressively swivel side to side very quickly, without the feeling that the shoe will roll over.  Players who play on their toes will benefit greatly from this feature as it not only displays the responsiveness of the shoe, but the flexibility of the ZigNano.  For impact support, the shoe is well balanced, as the lower profile ZigNano is able to absorb the force.  There is plenty of comfort when landing, especially at the heel, where the thickness of the sole is welcomed.  Overall, performance of the Zig Encore is highlighted by great balance, a low profile, and excellent grip.

Most of the stability for the Zig Encore is naturally found with the foundation.  The ZigNano sole and midfoot stability plate provide the underlying for balance and the ability to push the shoe hard.  Arch support is outstanding, and as mentioned in the performance, the forefoot outriggers let the player change directions quickly, without worry.  And it goes without saying that the Zig sole is solid enough for the most aggressive of players.  Whether you are a light and quick guard or play a power game down low, the Zig sole is capable of handling a pounding.

Reebok Wall Season 2: Zig Encore - Away

Traction performance for the Zig Encore is exceptional

Sticky and tight, outstanding traction is observed with the Zig Encore.  First and foremost, the large herringbone areas stick to the court like magnets.  Traction is so sticky that grip can be felt with a simple jog up the court.  Players who must constantly move laterally, especially defensively, will find the traction performance as a godsend, allowing for the player to stop at will or stand ground when put up against a larger opponent.  As the standard ZigTech sole is based around pressure for added traction, the low profile ZigNano accentuates traction by bringing increased response time.  With the thin upper and countless amount of perforations throughout, ventilation performance is good.  The shoe does not trap in a lot of air, which keeps the foot from getting too hot.  At the end of the day, ventilation problems are a non-issue.

Conclusion

In the Zig Encore, Reebok has modified the ZigTech to reach a more traditional audience, or maybe to suit the needs of Wall.  Even though the Zig Slash broke ground last season, the company is making an effort accommodate and widen their market to make the ZigTech feel like a more traditional basketball shoe.  Whatever the case, the performance, like the Zig Slash and Zig Pro Future, will gravitate to those who can find their groove and feel comfortable with the ZigTech.  The success of Reebok Basketball seems pinned on young John Wall, and as we have seen with Derrick Rose and Adidas, great success may be in their future.  Providing good court feel and excellent balance, the Reebok Wall Season 2: Zig Encore is made for the aggressive guard and is available now at the Official Reebok Online Store.

This shoe is comparable to:

Adidas adiZero™ Rose 2
Reebok Zig Pro Future