Reebok Zig Kinetica II Edge - Behind the Design
The trend of trail sneakers is still going strong and the different brands regularly present new silhouettes adapted to rough terrain. For the Vector brand, it is the Reebok Zig Kinetica II Edge that plays this role. You can discover it here in pictures alongside an interview of its designer, Marc V. Brosseau.
- First, can you quickly introduce yourself and what is your work?
My name is Marc V-Brosseau, I am a French-Canadian footwear designer who grew out in the outskirt of Ottawa, Canada. Before I became a footwear designer I raced biathlon at first on the Quebec provincial team and later on the Canadian junior national team.
Since I was a teenage I have had a deep love of sporting equipment and footwear. So when to hang up my skis and to go to university that passion pushed me toward industrial design.
I started my career at Reebok in Boston as a footwear designer in 2014. There I have worked on many part of the business, starting with the Innovation team, to eventually end up the lead designer for streetwear collaboration working side by side with Leo Gamboa.
I’ve worked on a few notable designs like Sole Fury, Cardi B collaboration, Zig Kinetica 2 and numerous more. This year my time with Reebok ended so that I could become the Senior design lead for the Ivy Park collaboration at adidas.
- Can you tell us a bit more about the design process for this silhouette? Inspirations, purpose, guidelines…etc?
Since University, I have been really inspired by the elegance of many outdoor hiking and approach boots. I have attempted to design this type of product many time throughout my career but the timing was never right until this point. Over the years I have collect so much inspiration, ideas, concepts and personal connections that would all come together to create the perfect storm on Zig Kinetica II Edge.
We really wanted to create something that would perform at its best on the trails while being fashion forward and true to Reebok’s heritage. The starting point was the existing Zig Kinetica 2 midsole to which we wanted to add an aggressive and functional trail outsole that looked like a detachable crampon. It need to look tough, so from there we were inspired by the reebok trail products in the archive form the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
Usually I start this kind of project with a mood board and some sketching. But in this case it was much more organic than that. One day I just went in the Reebok Makerlab, I was having a hard time getting ideas out, so I went “F*** it, what do I want to make?” I started cutting up and remixing past shoes I had worked on, I was really in the zone and it felt like the puzzle pieces were just falling into place by themselves. I created a rough prototype held together with many stick of hot glue. I was fired up with what I had put together so I immediately brought it to my team. That protype got pinned to the middle of my board and became the north star for the feeling we wanted the final product to generate. From there the whole thing snowballed, and it hasn’t stopped yet.
- How important was it for Reebok to officially involve Vibram technology to make the tooling?
It was really important to me and the rest of the team, but also posed a real challenge. Vibram is recognized in the outdoor product market as the best rubber makers and that’s why we see them on the best shoes in this space. They deserve that recognition because they are the ones pushing new grip technologies the farthest in my opinion. We knew from the beginning what working with Vibram would add to this shoe, but working with the best isn’t cheap.
So it was something we had to navigate while also using one of Reeboks most complex midsoles made of 4 different parts. Once you try on the shoes, you’ll see the extra effort was worth it. The final result has amazing grip and support while being extremely comfortable for long hikes.
We ended up viewing the Reebok and Vibram brand partnership similar to a Collab.
The outsole was co-designed by my close friend David Filar (Creative Design Director at Vibram) and myself. I had an amazing time working with him, we really tried to push each other to make this the best it could be. David taught me a lot of new thing about outsole design as well as Vibram’s process, history. We both but a lot of love and passion into this project. Few things are better than getting to be creative with your friends.
- The shoes are stamped with the "REEcycled" logo on the footbeds. Can you explain how this design is also eco-friendly?
To get this label, the shoe must reach a minimum standard set by Reebok of 50% recycled content in the upper. We worked really hard to get is way higher than that, must of the upper is made using materials that 100% recycled polyester. In addition to that we used recycled content in the Zig energy shell that surrounds the foam.
The final touch was to use Vibram’s proprietary compound called ECOSTEP. This offers the grip performance that hikers have come to expect from Vibram soles but with a minimum of 30% recycled content.
It’s a small step toward trying to make sure the landscapes this shoe is designed to explore continue to thrive.
- Which other projects did you enjoy the most to work on with Reebok?
That’s hard to answer, it’s kind of like picking which of your children is your favorite. I have a lot of great collaboration I have had the pleasure to work on that aren’t on the market yet. This project as well as the mid cut Gore-tex version are probably the closest to my heart.
I also really enjoyed working on the Cardi B collaboration, it was a great opportunity to get to design a product that would create a lot of excitement for her fans.
- Any other info or anything else you would like to add?
I think this covers a lot of what I wanted to say about this project and the process behind it. I hope people who get these shoes really get a chance to use them and get them dirty.
Thank you so much for reaching out, I hope these answers are interesting to your readers.
You can find our Reebok Zig Kinetica selection by clicking here.