Pay At the Pump: Reebok ZPump Fusion has Big Names like JJ Watt & Ronda Rousey Behind It

The Reebok ZPump Fusion touts a fully customized fit, all with a little pump. An inflatable air bladder beneath the mesh upper covers your foot from the heel to the top of toe box, leaving toes free. Just press the pump on the outside rear and the body of the shoe inflates little by little until it's conformed to your foot shape. That is said to offer a full-foot sock fit that's totally customizable. But is it all it's pumped up to be?

Reebok CrossFit Nano Pump
Reebok CrossFit Nano Pump

THE LOOK: Right off the bat, the design direction is definitely good. Some models of the Pump have different color mesh overlays that keep it subdued and more classic, yet they stand out beyond a standard sneaker.

THE FEEL: Sort of sock-like with plenty of give before inflation to fit all foot shapes. But it may have too much give for some even after being pumped: After I'd pressed the pump enough to bust a tire, its seamless upper structure wasn't quite filled and thus sock-like enough to have a stable feel during activity. There still seemed to me a good amount of wiggle room around my toes, which is where the air bladder stops. Normally I'd love more space in the toe box of my trainers, but this was beyond that, like loose skin. But on the good side, the grippy ZRated outsole (with a great grooved lug) and minimal stitching lighten the shoe dramatically—and reduce chances of abrasion—while increasing your control and handling under foot. 

THE PERFORMANCE: IMHO these aren't designed for marathons, let alone running for great distances, though Reebok might say otherwise. That may be what the Cardio Pump Fusion in this line is for, with its extra cushioning. And definitely covered buy their full running line. I wouldn't take the Fusions into a CrossFit box either—that's what the sweet Nano 5.0 and the CrossFit Nano Pump are for, made with tougher...everything. The Pump Fusion feels far too light to brave those kinds of challenges. Instead, the ZPump Fusion is a solid choice for weightlifting and some cross training. Or, buy them for their design, their overall comfort, where simple design is pumped up with a bit of tech for something a little extra.