Prose: Finch (@Sir_Stymie)
Like many, I could be called skeptical about change and especially when it come to sneakers. After watching the promotional videos for Reebok’s ATV 19+ featuring “Rampage” Jackson (who just retired, mind you) as the pitchman, I must admit I was more than apprehensive; entertained, but apprehensive nonetheless. I was concerned that Reebok had made a grave mistake after a great run of retro releases from their Classics line (which included the previously written-about Kamikaze II.) and the ATV 19+ seemed to be a step in the wrong direction.
I was was confused about the functionality of the sole, which has 19 “Lugs” (a term coined by Reebok) which are supposed to help you run and train on virtually any type of surface. While looking at spec pictures, I was confused about how the Lugs would be viable in terms of the overall stability of the shoe since no part of the sole itself was a flat surface.
I brought my grievances to Sittler, who is well versed in sneaker technology, and a big fan of innovation. He too was was very wary of the comfort and the the overall functionality of the design. Even with all of our doubts, we both were trying to be the first to try on the kicks and to share our experiences with you fine people.
I got the opportunity to try on the ATV19+ yesterday as I was leaving my job at Foot Locker. As I was walking to the exit, I walked by the Finish Line in the same mall (I usually try not to frequent this store because I try hard not to buy shoes without my discount unless its completely necessary.) There on the door display sat an ATV19+. I couldn’t resist. I made a beeline with the shoe in hand to the nearest sales associate. Before I knew it I was sitting on a bench with the classic blue Reebok box in my lap (in other words It was about to go down).
The shoe comes in three colorways: a black, blue and orange “Rampage” colorway, a grey, black and lime green, and a red, black and yellow. I thought it was fitting to try on the “Rampage” colorway. The first thing I noticed when I opened the box was the length of the shoe. I wear a size thirteen so I’m used to the shoes in my size looking totally different than the shoe on the display. This shoe was a monster. The Lugs looked like they jutted seemingly from every which way, and even though the shoes’ shared identical Lug placement there didn’t seem to be a real pattern. The position of the Lugs also played a major factor in the overall width of the shoe as well.
As I put the shoe on my foot I came to the realization of two things:
1) That the ATV’s are a bit narrow
2) The ATV’s run a bit long
After tying the laces for a secure fit I stood up and the most amazing thing happened: the Lugs, which I previously thought to be locked in their respective positions, began to flatten once my body weight was applied. The Lugs work cooperatively with the soft midsole, almost making them like the Reebok equivalent to Nike Free plus Shox in some weird/awesome hybrid combination.
To say it in as few words as possible, these shoes are awesomely comfortable. I just wish they looked a bit better. To be honest, after viewing the shoe on foot for a while it begins to grow on you but still it’s a pretty ugly piece of footwear. When I talked to my source at Reebok they explained to me that the shoe was built for functionality and comfort and not as a fashion statement.
I can dig it but still I wish they would have done something better than what they did. I would have loved to pick the shoes up and done a total in-depth review but until then, the jury still is out on the overall functionality of the shoe. I am still very curious to see how The ATV 19+ perform in the elements intended. I guess I’ll have to save that for another time.
The Reebok ATV 19+ is available at FinishLine.com and of course Reebok.com with a price tag of $139.99. I thought that they ran a bit long so you may want to think about getting a half-size smaller. If you can’t overlook the aesthetics of the shoe and if $140 is a little too much for your pocket, I strongly advise that you hit up your local Finish Line and at least try them on – you won’t regret it.