Icebug Zeal RB9X 2 Preview

Here is the first look at the Icebug Zeal 2 RB9X® for 2016.

The official name of this shoe is the Zeal 2 RB9X as opposed to last year’s Zeal RB9X. They are commonly referred to by obstacle racers as Icebug Zeals or simply “Zeals”.

Icebug Zeal 2 Outsoles

The RB9X class of Icebugs means the “outsoles” (the bottoms) are made of a rubber compound. As the OLX models come with rubber on the outsole plus carbide fixed studs. As you can see in the photo, these do not have the carbide studs.

Icebug Zeal 2 RB9X Outsoles

Icebug Zeal 2 Width

Most of the previous Icebugs that were made, such as the Spwiders or Icebug Spirits were super narrow. If you didn’t have a narrow toe box, you could not wear them. The Zeal 2 kept the same width of toe-box as last year’s model and therefore run, “true to size”.

Icebug Zeal 2 RB9X

Icebug Zeal 2 Upper

For “the upper”, the part that the outside of the shoe is made out of, Icebug switched from a nylon to Kevlar. Kevlar has a higher strength to weight ratio than nylon, so you can consider it an upgrade from last year’s Zeal.

Icebug Zeal 2 RB9X Upper

The inside of the shoe also looks similar to last year’s model.  Icebug did include a pamphlet on insoles in the pair that I received. So if for whatever reason, your feet aren’t quite fitting the way you want, Icebug have got a whole insole system.  The bottoms are almost identical, as well, with the little rubber cleats Icebug are known for. Mind you, these aren’t the “real” cleats, made of carbide. Those are the OLX models.

In terms of weight, they weigh the same as last year’s Zeal at 250 grams. They are not quite as light as, say, the new Reebok Super OR, which weighed in at 219 grams, or say, an X-Talon 190 which, that’s why they’re called 190s, they weigh 190 grams. But far lighter than, say, a Salomon, super heavy shoe coming in at 310 grams.

We will have an upgraded version of this blog, after we log some more miles, so stay tuned.