Quick Review — Sole Trainer
Reebok Classics were kind enough to send me a pair of this retro’d 1990 shoe, and I’ll be honest — even as proprietor of Retrobok it was a shoe I might have passed by, based on online photos.
I’ve never been hugely keen on the seemingly OTT diagonal midsole slats, something that said pure 90’s a little too strongly to me. Fortunately, and with the neutrality of receiving a free pair I’ve really become a convert to this shoe. The Sole Trainer (aka Mantra HXL and Concorde) are very light, very flexible (almost think Nike Free but 10 years earlier) and pack Hexalite sections in the forefront under the ball of the foot, and at the rearfoot under the heel.
They’re even comfortable enough to be worn easily without socks (if you’re the type) and feel like a superb pair of real running shoes too. One design detail that isn’t immediately obvious from online photos is the success of the asymmetrical design ; especially the colour blocking on the inside of the shoe which also features dynamic foreword leaning panelling —
Material-wise, this particular colourway features a faux-suede grey and navy upper mixed with synethetic meshes and rubberised straps. I always felt the design was a little over-fussy and clumsy in places (that high navy toe-box stopping flat at the small toe corner for example) but actually I’ve warmed to it considerably. I would say that the particular dislike I have with the finishing is the always-creased toe-box (not visible on these promo shots) which I’m reliably informed is simply a result of such a large area of mesh.
Finally, the ‘money shot’ as it were still has to be the sole proudly bearing its’ Hexalite sections – the coloured arch section doesn’t harm either (I’m still curious as to the micro-hexalite section alongside it in the centre, which almost looks like it has sellotape across it) —
So if you’ve wondered about this shoe, passed it by, dismissed it, well …. don’t. It’s a true Retrobok in my eyes, and a genuinely superb shoe. Still available in a range of colourways from stores such as Packer (USA), Solebox (Germany), Crooked Tongues (UK), Hanon (UK). With thanks to Angela at Reebok Classics. —BokOne