The following review is intended to pass along an important FYI regarding some unadvertised an undisclosed changes to this traditional Reebock Princess Shoe. Here we have the "lifestyle" version, others with the same appearance and product description are referred to as "aerobic shoes" or "sneakers
" depending on where you shop. By whatever name, longtime fans know this style right away: it's the classic Reebock design that debuted in the 1980s. I recently came back to the design after a years-long absence only to be shocked by the design changes I found design changes that aren't mentioned anywhere online as of this writing which is why I'm passing this FYI on to you. Like the name of the shoe itself, the materials used in its construction are all over the place. All the descriptions for this shoe characterize it as a "leather upper" with "terry cloth" composing the lining. However, here's where it gets strange. If you happen to have purchased any of these you may or may not get the classic leather construction; you may or may not get terry cloth (as opposed to a nylon interior). After an online order arrived with a sticker floating around in the shoe box, I was shocked to find that contrary to all descriptions for this shoe online as of this writing it read "manmade upper". I returned the shoes and then started to poke around. You don't find a lot of local places that carry this style in stock any more but when you do you might find what I did: Some of them are leather, some of them are a very soft but thin vinyl and some of them have a leather toe-box area with vinyl used on the side panels! In all cases, the SKU is the same, the style number is the same, the appearance is the same. Reebock simply appears to be kicking out whatever they feel like making at a given time! If you order online, you just don't have any idea what you'll get. If that's frustrating to longtime fans of this brand and this shoe, I can't blame you. I made a complaint to Reebock through their website form. They appear to have ignored me but I suspect that if enough shoppers do the same we might prevail in getting the company to manufacture a consistent shoe. Interestingly, the Reebock website still describes this shoe the same way it is described here "leather" and "terry cloth" construction. They really do need to figure out how they want to make this shoe because describing a vinyl shoe as "leather" amounts to false advertising. I suspect Reebock knows what's going on with their haphazard manufacturing because there's another thing that's off about the shoe: The sewn-in tag where you expect to see where the shoe is manufactured is under the tongue on most of the all-leather shoes
and on the side near the heel on most of the rest and none of them say "leather upper" or "manmade upper" on the sewn-in version of the tag, either way. It used to be by law or by manufacturing custom the shoe industry put the materials disclosure on the sewn-in tag. It would make sense why Reebock is dropping a sticker in the boxes if they're changing the design too often to settle on a single tag that all their manufacturing facilities can physically stitch into the shoe. The other problem, if you do find this shoe locally, is that the loose stickers don't survive in a retail environment with shoppers pulling boxes on and off the shelf. Not a single pair I saw in the store had any information about how the shoe was made. The stickers apparently fall out and get separated from the shoe box such that neither the shoe box nor the shoe itself say what the materials are. This is not good news for shoppers but if you know these shoes there are other ways to tell what you've got. For starters, the leather variety is going to smell like leather, not so the vinyl. The leather is going to crinkle or pucker a bit if you push a finger into it, the vinyl lacks that quality. At first I was convinced that what had shipped to my home was a knockoff. With the cheaper manmade materials there is no breathability to the shoe and the fit was off too. I originally purchased a wide "D" width and my foot wouldn't fit in the shoe with my socks
on. When I finally did find one of the original all-leather Reebock Princess shoes locally, the only one I got to fit was a "D" size coupled with a size up from what I normally take. I recall that these shoes had a tendency to run narrow "back in the day" but when you buy a wide shoe it is really weird to find that the only wide area is right beneath the laces whereas the toe-box area is still too small and tight. The odd fit without the arch supports seemed to be an issue more so with the Vietnam-made shoes (something I later confirmed combing online reviews). What I ultimately found was made in Cambodia and it does have the traditional materials and arch support
features (and was noticeably more cushioned when stepping). Perhaps Reebock has attempted to make some "test changes" to see if customers notice that the materials have changed. I am not sure if the leather version of this Princess shoe are still in full production somewhere or if the company is in the process of phasing it out, at which point the materials info. ought to be updated on websites and on the shoe's label to indicate as much (not to mention the price should come down if they're no longer leather!). In the meantime, it's a toss up what you will actually receive if you order this shoe online. Depending on what you get after ordering these, please stop by and post a review. It would be helpful to see if Reebock reverses the design changes to live up to the current descriptions for this shoe or proceeds to make all their classic Princess shoes out of inexpensive plastic to save a few bucks on production. Reebock, listen up: If it's not broke, don't fix it!