Quick review — Ventilator (Reebok Royal/Paper White/Red, 2013)
Reebok Classics were kind enough to send me a pair of this super-fresh 2013 colourway of the legendary Ventilator. Even though this shoe is famous enough to true sneakerheads, I’ve always felt it didn’t get the spotlight it deserves for its’ unique selling point — the ventilator technology itself.
Sure, it packs Hexalite into the midsole and that stuff is still space-age to most of us, but for true runners breathability is a must-have feature for any good running shoe.
Shown a bit more clearly to the right, the OG shoe featured structural mesh panelling which allowed airflow in and out of the upper. This feature also appears to have been used in the 1992 Racer (retro’d as the ERS Racer from 1999), so there’s a little more history I’ve yet to uncover here.
What appear to be intake vents on the side of the midsole arch, sadly aren’t — but I love their design and they allude to something yet more functional still —
I’m really loving the speckled midsole which works very well – but the sweetest details are the red eyelets which really pop against the royal blue —
Now, if you’ve been super-sharp up to this point you’ll notice a caveat in this story, as this particular colourway of the Ventilator doesn’t pack the semi-transparent mesh panelling on the upper. This has been included on the recent OG White/Lime and White/Pink colourways, so I’m not completely sure why it’s been swapped out here. Fortunately the material used in the same panels is highly breathable regardless.
To wear, the Vent is spot-on, its light weight particularly noticeable even though it’s not the lowest profile shoe. It’s certainly a great deal lighter than similiarly proportioned retroboks such as my GL6000’s, though heavier than my fabric pair of Pump Running Duals (curious, especially as that features both Hexalite and twin Pump systems). This Reebok Royal/Paper White/Red colourway works equally well with shorts or with blue denim – but not for the more timid sneakerheads perhaps.
A personal favourite shoe of mine over the recent couple of years has been the retro’d World Best — low profile with a slim silhouette and all the usual accoutrements of a classic Reebok runner. But with the Ventilator, well now I have a new favourite 🙂
Thanks again to Reebok Classics.
The Ventilator is available from a number of global stores, check the Retrobok STORES page to find one in your region. More images below —