In November 2019, Reebok launched the Zig Kinetica Concept_Type 1 as an all-new silhouette. For this particular model, the sportswear brand enlisted Ian Paley of Garbstore to work on the cutting-edge sneaker. Under his own imprint, Ian already collaborated with Reebok several times in the past. But while his previous joint projects mainly included existing models from the Classic divison, the Zig Kinetica was built from the ground up.
A Gig with Zig
Ian actually joined the project when it was in a pretty early developement stage. The basis that already existed back then was the characteristic Zig sole. Having stayed in regular contact over the years, Reebok then asked Ian to create a corresponding upper. And even though Garbstore’s collab history with the brand focused on trainers like the Classic Leather or Workout, Ian already was familiar with the Zig technology.
“I remember it well from the first time around, mainly from being in the U.S. at the time. It was being heavily pushed with lots of ads in US airports. I thought the sole unit was unlike anything I had ever seen – I loved it.”Ian Paley on first seeing Reebok Zig shoes in the US
Much like Ian, Reebok obviously agreed that Zig didn’t receive the proper amount of exposure when it first launched. The zigzag foam sole first debuted in 2010 with the ZigPulse, a shoe for runners and athletes. It later appeared on the ZigSlash, the signature sneaker of NBA player John Wall. Despite its bold and unmistakable appearance, the shoe kind of flew under the radar though. That was an important aspect for Ian, as he clearly sees the Zig Kinetica Concept_Type 1 as a shoe for the mass market.
“The challenging part was being mindful of the changing world while trying to create something new. Something that could have the opportunity to later translate into a commercial shoe for the masses, something that everyone would be excited for.”Ian Paley on his vision for the Zig Kinetica Concept_Type 1
Always in Motion
The overall design language of the Zig Kinetica is a mixture of archive Reebok sneakers, both released and unreleased. A key feature for Ian was giving wearers the option to remove elements like laces or fastenings from the shoe. This room for individuality also reflects in the final shoe, which doesn’t cater to a particular style and stands out by itself. With its complex layered upper, bonding and construction technique as well as materials used, the sneaker is a true highlight.
“I wanted to have both movement from toe-to heel and vice-versa in the gradient coloring, reflected in the inner sole section and the bonded collar. The idea of depth was also really important, as I wanted to show a multi-layered shoe with some visibility on all parts.”Ian Paley on the design ideas behind the Concept_Type 1
For both Reebok and Ian Paley, “innovation” is way more than an empty buzzword. And when like-minded innovators joing forces, great things happen – as we now see with the Zig Kinetica.
“I’ve been shown that Reebok is, and continues to be, a true innovator of original technology, more so than any other sports shoemaker. That is what continues to attract me most to the brand.”Ian Paley on Reebok’s status as an innovator
About the Reebok Zig Kinetica Concept_Type 1
DID YOU KNOW?
In 2013, Ian Paley and Garbstore already reworked seveal silhouettes from the Reebok archives into new and unseen styles. The “Outside In” collection featured the Leather Classic 6000, Insta Pump Fury, Pump Running Dual, Blucher Trainer, and Workout Plus with their inside linings on the outside.