Reebok’s first foray into the world of knit sneakers began with the Reebok Zoku Ultraknit, which dropped earlier this year. And since, Reebok has continued making Ultraknit models like the Pump Supreme Ultraknit and the Sock Runner Ultraknit, but none have piqued my interest as much as these crazy neon joints that feature pigments from DayGlo Color Corp.
Zoku (族) means tribe in Japanese and as a suffix it is used extensively to define subcultures (eg: Bōsōzoku). That’s a great name for a shoe because today’s footwear buyers can easily be classified into tribes be it Hypebeasts, OG groups or performance junkies. As is the trend with brands looking to their past for inspiration, the Zoku (much like the Adidas NMD) takes inspiration from parts of three archival Reebok kicks: the Vector logo from the 1979 Aztec, the window box branding from the 1983 Classic Leather, and the heel cage from the 1991 Dual Pump Runner. With a DMX Foam midsole, the Zoku provides great stepping comfort and is quite light. DMX Foam replaced DMX Moving Air tech as Reebok’s go-to performance cushion setup in the 90s and is a durable dual density setup used till date.
This sneaker doesn’t provide a lot in the way of support, other than the heel cage and the plastic Vector wings but a tight toebox ensures that your foot doesn’t slide or twist. That pull tab on the heel is very handy! Now about the color. This shoe features the new DayGlo Ezentus™ “EZ” formaldehyde-free pigment which is based on cutting-edge polymer technology for a final product that’s free of formaldehyde and other potentially harmful chemicals. Known simply as “EZ,” these new and innovative pigments are migration free, with improved thermal stability and superior lightfastness compared to older formaldehyde-based pigments. This basically means that you get a pair of super visible kicks that won’t fade or transfer.
I don’t usually rock neon on my feet but these are quite special to me because of another pair of crazy neon kicks Reebok did a decade ago: The Reebok x Alife Court Victory Pump ‘Ball Out‘.
Sometimes I feel like anything you buy or wear has a lot more meaning when it ties back to something else which is probably out of reach now. Nostalgia is that it?
You can buy the Reebok Zoku Ultraknit ‘Dayglo’ on Myntra.
Photos by Gaurav Karki