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Reebok Triple Break Pump Shoe Review

As tennis players, there's a lot we can do to customize our equipment to improve our play, as well as make playing more fun and enjoyable.

Adding that personal touch can be as simple as applying your favorite overgrip to your racquet or as complex as altering the weight and balance of the racquet to better suit your needs.

When it comes to personalizing your shoes, there are few options outside of using aftermarket insoles or specialized orthotics. However, with the Reebok Triple Break Pump, the Pump System allows each player to customize the fit to match his feet.

During this review you'll note our wider footed playtesters didn't use the Pump at all, preferring the generous width fit of the shoes with the Pump turned off. Our playtesters with medium to narrow width feet soon found their preferred inflation level with the Pump System.

Finding the perfect inflation level was easier than ever with this version of the Pump System. Unlike the previous manually operated Pump System we've seen on Reebok tennis shoes, the Triple Break Pump features an auto-inflate system with a dial on the lateral side of the heel. The user can select the level of inflation by turning the dial to a specific setting. The dial can be turned from completely off to a maximum inflation of 5psi.

The Pump System is located under the player's heels, and is activated as soon as the player starts walking. After just four or five steps, the Pump inflates the air bladder to the desired setting and maintains that setting until the player switches the Pump off.

The adjustable Pump System meant our testers could always find their desired fit or easily change things up if they were sporting thicker socks, or just wanted a slightly different fit. It proved to be a useful tool for players with slightly different sized feet, as they could go for a higher setting for their smaller foot to equal out the fit. One of our playtesters who was using an ankle brace was able to set the Pump low to allow for more room for his ankle brace, while setting the Pump to max on his other foot for a secure fit. Such customization is simply not accessible with other shoes.

To see how the customizable fit from the Pump System and other performance technologies of the Triple Break Pump would perform on the courts, we put them through a month long playtest.

Comfort

Soft, supple uppers wrap the feet while Reebok's DMX Mega/Moving Air cushioning technology protects the player from tough landings in the Triple Break Pumps. The auto inflate Pump technology allows for a custom width fit through the heel and midfoot - allowing the player to dial in their desired support and comfort.

Finding a high level of comfort was Danny. "I thought the Triple Break Pumps were very comfortable shoes. Not once was I ever in discomfort. I liked the heel cushioning and I also liked the soft lining within the shoes."

Jason found impressive comfort from the roomy fit of the shoes with the Pump system turned off. "I felt that this portion of the review had to be split into two parts, one with the Pump on and one with it off. Without the Pump on, these were of the most comfortable shoes I have ever tried. The fit was nice and roomy, and I found plenty of room for my wide feet. They felt great for both on and off court comfort. On court, these shoes provided plenty of shock absorption for my occasional heavy landings. With the Pump activated, I felt my feet were being pinched in awkward places and unnecessary pressure was placed on my heels. For the majority of the playtest, I played with the pump completely off for the most comfortable fit." Evan also found the fit too restrictive with the Pump System turned on. "When I used the Pump these shoes rubbed a lot, even to the point of blistering. Once I used the Pump at a very low setting, or not at all, the shoes did not rub and were quite comfortable." Finding plenty of comfort once he had his Pump setting dialed in was Spencer. "Though it took a little tinkering to get the Pump properly adjusted, once there, the shoes were better than average from a comfort standpoint. I liked the quick lace system as it took no time to cinch up my shoes to a snug fit." Ryan found the Pump System to offer a comfortable fit for his narrow feet. "Great cushioning! The DMX in the heel works awesome! I know some playtesters didn't like the Pump, but I LOVED it! I thought these were really comfortable shoes!"

Granville was impressed by the Pump System. "These shoes are comfortable as well as functional. I found I was able to get in them and go, without looking back. My 10.5 was a good fit, roomy all around for my second pair of socks, but not excessively so. Once inflated, the shoes really locked my feet comfortably in place and gave me a very secure feeling. My preferred inflation level was just one notch below maximum. The collar bladder proved to be a very effective placement for the Pump feature." Finding a great level of cushioning and overall comfort was Alex, who simply said, "These were possibly the most comfortable tennis shoes I have ever worn."

Arch Support

Our team found the arch support in the Triple Break Pumps to fit a tad lower than medium height. Finding a comfortable fit for his low arches was Jason. "It is unusual for me to find a shoe that does not make my arches hurt, but this was a surprisingly good find. Rated as a just lower than medium arch, it fit my low arched feet just fine." Danny said, "I thought the arch was a low to medium arch, and it worked okay for my feet. To fit my feet better, I think there could have been more arch support."

Evan also found a good fit in the Triple Break Pumps. "The Arch support felt good. I had no problems in this area at all." Ryan would have liked a higher fit from the arch support. "I would have really liked to see a little higher arch. It was pretty low. It would be better for a flatter foot than I have." Granville found the level of support to be worry free. "Good arch support - not excessive, but functional. The arch support did its job and I didn't think about it - just the way I like it." Alex was in agreement. "The level of support seemed fine - although I never have much issue with arch support." SaidSpencer,"The arch support felt medium height, fitting my arches sufficiently. The support was good as I didn't have any discomfort."

Foot Support/Stability

Our testers found varied levels of support and stability from the Triple Break Pumps. Finding excellent lateral stability was Jason. "I felt nice and secure in these shoes from the initial lace up. I was not disappointed when I took them to the court. Running from sideline to sideline, my feet were locked in place. Even in all out sprints and stops, I was confident in this shoe to secure my ankles and feet. I couldn't give this shoe a perfect score because I felt my feet sliding a bit in vertical movements. Aggressive sprints to the net usually meant I jammed my toe slightly. It was nothing too uncomfortable, but I would've liked to have a bit more heel to toe support." Finding the best level of support with the Pump set to maximum was Alex. "These shoes did not feel super snug when I first put them on, but with the Pump adjustment almost to the highest setting they fit and supported my feet very well."

Danny would have liked a more supportive ride from the Triple Break Pumps. "I wasn't overly impressed with the foot support and stability. I found the uppers to be too flexible to offer the support I needed. When I had to stop abruptly, my feet would slip and slide inside the shoes as the flexible uppers offered too much give." Evan would have also liked some increased support from the upper construction. "If I did not tie the shoes fairly tight I found some stability problems. While volleying, I felt my ankle almost roll on two separate occations. I felt that the tongue of the shoe would fall down into the shoe somewhat, which seemed to make the shoe less supportive in fit. I would have liked more support from the uppers or a little higher support at the ankle."

Spencer found the shoes offered slightly too much give. "The stability and support were average for the Triple Break Pump. I didn't have the snug or 'safe' feel when stopping suddenly or changing direction. I never felt as if I was going to roll my ankle, but felt there was some wasted movement with sliding and give in the shoe." Ryan found a supportive fit from the midfoot to the heel thanks to the Pump System. "Again, I liked the Pump. I liked the glove-like fit it provided around my foot in the mid section. It helped tremendously with the support of the shoe as I never rolled my ankle and never even felt like I would. My only problem with the shoes in this area is that my foot is more on the narrow side and these shoes have a very generous toe box, so my foot slid around in this area. A little too wide for maximum comfort for me, especially after the first couple of hours."

Most impressed with the level of support was Granville. "I was playing some very aggressive tennis during this playtest and was very happy with the performance. The Triple Break Pump is a very high performance and technical shoe - one of the most functional in memory. The stability translated into better footwork. The Air bladders provide very good cushioning alone, and when combined with the pump creates a very solid performance shoe."

Overall Sole Durability

The Triple Break Pumps feature a six-month durability guaranteed outsole - perfect for our hard court playtesting. Granville found an impressive balance between traction and durability. "Most wear seemed to occur on the outside perimeter. The outsole is relatively soft and pliable, providing some 'sticky' traction. This may contribute to some additional wear, but it was negligible at best and would not dissuade me from purchasing." Jason found a solid level of durability. "A better than average outsole. Most of the shoe showed little traction loss, but I did notice some tread wear on the inner toe of each shoe."

Also impressed by the durability of the outsoles was Evan. "These shoes were quite durable for me. I had a little wear at the toes of the outsoles (probably becasue I'm a classic toe dragger), but other than that, the shoes didn't have a large amount of wear after a month of testing." Alex was another tester who found the shoes more than up to the challenge of hard court play. "I do not see much wear at all on these shoes and still had lots of tread left after a month of hard court play."

Danny found the shoes to be more durable than his initial expectations. "The durability appeared to be about average, and I saw an acceptable level of wear after I was done testing the shoes. In the end, the soles held up better than I thought they would." Ryan, one of our more rigorous testers when it comes to durability, found some wear to his shoes at the end of the test. "I wasn't overly impressed with the durability of these shoes as I was already wearing out the side of the ball of the foot on the medial side." Finding the durability to be one of the standout features of the shoes was Spencer. "The durability was good. The shoes showed little wear under the balls of my feet (where I tend to put wear on tennis shoes). I thought durability was one of the strongest features of these shoes."

Toe Durability

The Triple Break Pumps offer an extensive toe bumper which wraps around the entire toe section of the shoes. The materials utilized at the toe of the shoes provided ample durability for our testers. Evan, one of our heavier toe-draggers, found impressive durability from the shoes. "I had some wear at the toe, but overall, not a lot. I was not even close to developing a hole after a month of use." Spencer enjoyed the durable response of the toe bumper and the lighweight feel to the toe. "The toe durability was very good. A nice toe bumper without the bulk." Granville offered, "I thought there was sufficient material both in the outsole overlap and the added toe covering even for the most extreme dragger. No issues here."

Danny found only some light scuffing to the toes of his shoes. "I had a couple scrapes at the top of the toe on my right shoe. Other than that, the toe durability was decent." Jason was in agreement. "I noticed nothing out of the ordinary. The usual scuffs and scratches were there but the outer material held up well." Alex found no signs of significant wear to the shoes despite his toe-dragging on serve. "I do tend to drag my right foot on my serve, and I see no signs of wear in that area." Ryan also had no issues with toe durability. "The toe box area seemed to hold up really well, but this is never an issue for me."

Traction

The aggressive tread pattern of the Triple Break Pumps is designed to offer a high level of traction on all court surfaces. Our team only tested the shoes on hard courts. Finding some impressive hard court traction was Ryan. "Really impressive traction! Starting and stopping was great. I felt very quick on the court in these shoes." Granville continued to be impressed by the performance of the shoes. "As noted above, the Triple Break Pumps have a nice 'sticky' traction that allowed me to move better, and enhanced my footwork. I was stopping and starting with a quick response - even sliding on the hard court when needed or when unavoidable." Alex found an adequate level of traction. "I never felt like I was getting the best traction. I never had a major problem with the grip of these shoes, but I noticed did did not have that squeaking sound and grip of a really tacky outsole."

Jason found slightly too much give from the outsoles on fast stops and changes of direction. "Pushing off was great, the shoes bit into the court and off I went. However, I had slippage issues when trying to stop from full on sprints. I experienced it both on lateral and vertical stops." Spencer also found some slight give from the outsoles. "Though I felt durability was good, I was less than thrilled with the level of traction. It seemed there was some slight slippage when pushing off or changing direction, which caused some delay in tracking down balls. The slippage was very subtle, yet just enough to be the difference in not being able to get a racquet on some balls."

Danny found the impressive grip of the outsoles to be offset by an unsupportive fit. "The traction was good, but was compromised by the support and stability. My footwork was slightly slow because of the extra movement within the shoes, even though I was finding a high level of grip from the outsoles." Evan had a similar experience. "I had no problems with traction, however, some of the concerns I had with the stabilty of the shoes made me a little more hesitant than usual when stopping and starting. That said, I felt that the traction was pretty good."

Weight

Our team came away impressed by the on court performance versus weight ratio of the Triple Break Pumps. Jason found the shoes to play lighter than their listed weight. "Another one of those shoes that you can't judge based on the specs. At almost 17 ounces, this shoe felt more like a shoe that weighed 13 ounces. It provided a nice low ride that enhanced the feel and feedback from the shoe." Danny was also impressed. "I liked the weight of the shoes. I thought they would make a great choice if you're looking for maneuverability."

Evan was impressed by the lightweight feel, considering the cushioning and Pump System technology. "The weight of the shoes felt good. They did not feel clunky at all. They were not the lightest shoes ever, but I felt they were quite light for the amount of cushioning and technology featured." Alex found the shoes to offer a solid weight and feel for hard court play. "The shoes are a little heavy, but in a solid sense. Playing on hard courts with a shoe that has decent durability, you expect a little bit heavier shoe."

While Ryan didn't notice the weight of the shoes at all, Spencer offered, "The weight of the shoes was fine. I didn't notice the weight to give any hinderance to play or overall performance."

Granville felt the performance justified the weight. "The weight is up there on the heavier side, but if you want features like a Pump for support, Moving Air for comfort, and an outsole that is durable, you expect some substance. This was not a heavy shoe, but a substantial one because it hit all the marks of technical functionality."

Overall

The Triple Break Pumps allow for a solid width fit through the heel and midfoot for a variety of foot types. Our wider footed testers found the shoes to fit great with the Pump turned off, whereas our more narrow footed testers were able to dial in their level of comfort and support. The solid midfoot shank offers plenty of stability on aggressive moves, but some of our testers would have liked more support from the lightweight uppers. The level of forefoot and heel cushioning impressed our entire team, and the just lower than medium arch support proved to be effective without being intrusive. With impressive durability from both the toes and the outsoles, the Triple Break Pumps make a solid choice for frequent players. We also liked the adjustable Pump and auto inflate feature which made it easier for our testers to get the same amount of support everytime they wore the shoes - as opposed to the traditional manual Pump system.

Here's what the playtesters had to say:
The "Likes" of the shoe.

Danny. "I liked the Pump feature of these shoes. If you tried out the previous Pump model you might have noticed that the Pump could be temperamental. I found the Pump in the Triple Break Pumps to be reliable, fun and easy to use. The Pump worked great when I wanted the shoe to have a tighter fit or a more relaxed fit."

Jason. "The one feature that really stood out for me was the cushioning. Out of the box, one of the most comfortable shoes I've tried on. I could play all day in these shoes. The side to side stability also impressed me. My ankles felt secure the whole time I was on the court."

Evan. "I really thought that these shoes were very well cushioned. I have right knee issues and I felt that these shoes absorbed a large amount of impact and took a lot of pressure off my joints."

Alex. "I love the comfort of these shoes. Again, easily one of the most comfortable shoes I have played tennis in."

Ryan. "I liked the cushioning and stability of the shoes. They were really comfortable. I loved the heel cushioning and the Pump infating around my feet. I never had an ankle problem."

Spencer. "I liked the comfort of the shoe as it gave a nice cushioned ride."

Granville. "Pump, Air, sticky outsole for great traction. Comfortable fit, too."

The "Dislikes" of the shoe.

Danny. "The most disappointing feature of the shoe was the lack of support from the uppers."

Jason. "Mainly the Pump feature. I could've done without the Pump and lightened up the shoe. It was an uncomfortable feature that I ended up not using. The inflated bladder just wrapped around my foot all wrong and made playing for more than 20 minutes almost unbearable."

Evan. "I think that they could have better stability at the ankle. I also think that the Pump system, while a good idea, is not very effective for my foot width and was often more of a burden than a blessing."

Alex. "I thought they could have used a little more grip. I would sacrifice some of the durability if I could have more grip in this shoe."

Ryan. "Arch support was low and made for someone with a flatter/wider foot than what I have. Pretty much the same problem I have with most Reebok shoes, and why Nike and Adidas fit better for me."

Spencer. "I felt almost as if I were being penalized for changing direction because of the delayed response of the traction. That may sound a bit severe, but those split seconds can be the difference in a match."

Granville. "Laces are too long and tongue is just a bit too narrow. Not really an issue for me, but worth mentioning."

Comparing this shoe to other shoes or brands in fit, durability and cushioning our playtesters said:

Danny. "The shoe is true to size and I though performance was average."

Jason. "Probably the best Reebok shoe that I've tried on to date. As far as comparing to other brands, it ranks up there with the flagship shoes from Nike and Adidas. I am ranking this shoe with the Pump feature off."

Evan. "I would say that it is better than almost any shoe I have tried in terms of cushioning and handling impact. I tend to like Nike shoes, my favorite being the Air Zoom Vapor IV shoe, and I thought the cushioning on this shoe was better. However, overall I would say that this shoe is not as good in terms of support and stability in heavy movement, which is a problem for players like me who like to do a great deal of movement."

Alex. "This shoe was as comfortable as any shoe I have worn. I have a wide foot, espcially around the toe area, even a bit of a square shape, and this shoe was perfect for my foot."

Ryan. "Because of the fit of the shoe, I would prefer not to wear these shoes. As far as comfort though, they are top notch. Probably some of the best comfort in a shoe that I have ever experienced."

Spencer. "Compared to other shoes I've worn in the same price range, these shoes come up short. The stability is so-so and the traction lacked."

Granville. "A VERY different shoe and almost in a league of it's own. Very few, if any shoes available right now, offer such technical function where it all comes together and works."

Reebok Pump Triple Break Scores

The Up SideThe Down SidePlay Test Scores
  • Cushioning
  • Comfort
  • Toe durability
  • Pump System
  • Support
Comfort4.1
Arch Support4.0
Foot Support/Stability3.6
Overall Sole Durability3.9
Toe Durability4.1
Traction3.7
Weight3.8
Overall3.8
Scores (1-Horrible 2-Poor 3-Average 4-Good 5-Tremendous)

Playtesters' Foot Types: Danny - Medium width/medium arch, Granville - narrow width/low arch, Jason - wide width/low arch, Ryan - narrow width/medium arch, Spencer - medium width/medium arch, Evan - medium to wide width/medium arch, Alex - wide width/medium arch.

Review date: May, 2007. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.

All content copyright 2007 Tennis Warehouse.

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