Today's post reviews the Reebok NFL Referee II Low Quag. This base shoe is a popular choice among amateur umpires, especially those who also referee fall football. This year I decided to purchase the Quags as my primary umpire base shoe.
So, what the heck is a Quag?
Quag is short for quagmire, which apparently makes reference to the Reebok cleats. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a quagmire as a "soft miry land that shakes or yields under the foot." So Reebok is probably saying that Quags will provide good traction even during wet field conditions.
Or it could be a reference to Family Guy's Glenn Quagmire. Who knows what those crazy dudes at Reebok are thinkin'?
The pair of Reebok NFL Referee II Low Quag tested are size 11, and standard D width (medium). Each shoe weighs 16.5 ounces. The Quags are made of soft full grain leather and a "performance" synthetic leather. The upper is perforated on the top and sides of the toe. Inside is a Play Dry lining.
The sole is covered with the Quagmire stubs for traction. The foot bed is made of Ortholite, a dual-density antimicrobial material.
The pair of Reebok NFL Referee II shoes I selected are called "all black" by Reebok, but actually they are black with "Reebok" stamped on the heel. Reebok's famous logo, which looks like Shamu the Whale rising from the ocean, is blacked out. The logo is a glossy synthetic material. Reebok also offers another version of this shoe with a white Shamu on the side.
Some umpires have expressed disdain for the NFL logo on the tongue of the Quags. In reality the logo is high on the tongue and hidden by properly fitted base pants. I suggest that if your logo is showing, its time for new pants!
I have a pair of Rebook Field Magistrate Plate Shoes that fit great. So I ordered the Reebok NFL Referee II Quag in a size 11 D, the same size as my plate shoes. These shoes are a little tight on my 10.5 size E foot. It has been my experience that Reebok athletic shoes are typically a little tight on my foot, so these Quags are true to that experience. Unfortunately, the choices with the Quags are either a standard width size D (medium) or a size 4E (extra wide).
Since the Reebok Quags start off a little tight on my foot, it is important for me to make a wise sock selection. The Force3 Pro Gear Ultimate Umpire Socks, which are fairly thin and provide padding around the toe and heel, seem to fit this shoe the best. During my first game I tried to wear a thick combat boot sock from Thorlo which made the Reebok Quags uncomfortably tight.
These Reeboks did not require a break-in period and were comfortable on the bases. Mobility was very good as well as support.
Reebok claims that the combination of perforations and moisture wick lining will draw sweat and heat away from your foot. Be advised that what goes out may also go in. The perforations and moisture wicking liner may also draw moisture into the shoe.
I purchased the Reebok NFL Referee II Quags during a sale from Dick's Sporting Goods. The Quags are available in all-black, black with white logo, low cut, mid cut, standard D width, or extra wide 4E width. The Quags are typically a little cheaper than the Reebok Field Magistrate base shoe. The Quags are available from several on-line retailers, including:
Honig's - $49.95 (on sale at the time of this review)
AllAroundSportsLLC - $59.95
Dick's Sporting Goods - $64.99 (with free shipping for a limited time)
Fair or Foul?
I call the Reebok NFL Referee II Low Quag FAIR! Be aware of the fit issues when selecting your base shoe.
I will follow up this review with a report later in the year which will include comfort, and any issues of moisture wicking into the shoe.