Reebok Floatride Foam

Reebok was established in Bolton, England, and was the first to pioneer track spikes. (A little brief history here to let you know more about the brand.) In 2005 it was acquired by Adidas, and from what I’m accustomed to in recent years, Reebok was known for its line of training shoes, gear and collaboration with CrossFit. I was therefore, super-excited to find out that this year they had put their efforts into developing a new, specialist running shoe on the Market.

Disclaimer

Reebok Thailand have kindly given me this pair of shoes to test and review. (I feel so honoured!) The views here are my own, and I hope this may be of help to anyone wishing to invest in this masterpiece.

What It Says On The Box

  1. Floatride Foam: Floatride Foam has a consistent cell structure that delivers the seamless integration of cushioning and responsiveness.
  2. Ultraknit Upper: A seam-free Ultraknit upper construction is engineered in zones to provide adaptive comfort that offers support and breathable flexibility.
  3. EVA Support Rim: Supportive foam rim centers and balances your foot throughout the gait cycle.

How I Tested Them Out

I ran over a total distance of 50-70km and wore them casually for about another 20km. Surfaces included athletic tracks, paved roads, pavements, traditional treadmills, curve treadmills and grass. I also used a Milestone Pod device on the right side of the shoe to measure and record metrics such as impact, stride length, foot landing position and cadence. These shoes have been tested on long runs, intervals and tempo runs.

Fit

Sizing: The sizing runs larger than I expected. I am used to wearing a UK Women’s 4.5 to 5 in Asics, Adidas and Nike whereas in the Floatride, I wear a UK 4. For myself, the most accurate sizing would be to go with the measurement in centimeters (Japanese sizing) 

Feel: The shoes don’t feel too wide or too narrow, although I don’t have overly wide feet. The upper is made from a knit material which widens according to the shape of the feet. I was able to take them straight out of the box and walk for three hours without any rubbing or blisters.

Running

Support: Soft! Very soft. Normally, I have a major problem with the underside of one of the second joints in my third toe due to hyper- mobile tendons and it so happens that all the weight is put there when I walk, run or stand still. I literally experience pain walking barefoot and usually have to wear orthotics in running shoes, but with the Reebok Floatride, I was able to go without this piece of equipment at all, so this was a plus in my books. I also pulled the insole out to inspect and found that the underside isn’t completely smooth like the rest of my running shoes but wavy, I assume this is partly why I feel so much cushioning, high support and no pain, and that it probably helps to absorb impact while running.

Responsiveness: Very, surprisingly responsive! Even though there is a ton of cushioning, I felt that the shoes “returns energy” and felt bouncy when I ran. I have only in the past ran in “cushioned” and support type shoes that felt like it sucked both the impact and energy out of each stride.

Weight: The Floatride weighs little compared to most shoes which aim to provide a similar level of cushioning and support. They do however, weigh a little more than most of the shoes I race a train in. (The Floatride weighs about 10-20 grams more than my heaviest pair, the Newton Distance IV.) However, as I had this in mind when I tried out a tempo run in them, what happened was a far faster pace than usual that I could not keep up with. The responsiveness seems to off-set the weight considerably.

Impact: I used the Milestone Pod to measure impact during my runs, and the result was an impressively low reading in every training session, (speed, slow, intervals, tempo) as well as on every surface. They may sound like thunder, and it is to note that I really, intentionally stomped my feet, but always measured low impact. 

Additionally, the readings from the Milestone Pod also show that I land generally on my toes and mid foot, which I find quite interesting because in other shoes if I run slowly, I usually land on my mid foot and heel. This makes me wonder if the way the shoes are shape encourage a safer, mid foot landing. Even more interestingly, the readings suggest that I was able to lengthen my strides during a sprint even further! (135 cms instead of 120 cms)

Upper: The Floatride has a knit-upper that is on the thick side and similar to the Adidas Ultraboost. It has a small reflective strip on the front and a synthetic hard cage lacing systems. I have to admit that I thought the very few laces would be a problem for me as I am used to more minimal, racing style shoes that have at least 6-7 lace eyelets plus a heel-lock to hold my feet in place. This wasn’t the case at all with the Floatride. The cage lacing system for me seems to hold my ankles in place and neither the knit material nor the laces felt too tight. It felt as though the cage held my foot steady on faster runs and also prevented my ankles from turning on uneven surfaces. 

Traction: For me, the Floatride provided excellent traction. While I hadn’t had the chance to run in the rain, I did try them on wet surfaces during the Songkran water festival, on the road and slick tiled pavements. I experienced no slipping at all, only a few squeaky sounds. 

Durability: Durable! After 50km + there is no sign that the upper knitted material is wearing thin in the usual places I look out for (such as my pointy second toenail). The outsole shows wear that is entirely normal for the sort of ordeal I have put them through. The white foam layer shows some staining but no shrinking with age.

Pros

  • Soft, comfortable but very responsive. Good for both accelerating cadence and stride length.
  • Has incredible safety features to stabilizing the feet during the gait cycle and to prevent the ankles from turning.
  • Looks good, and is durable.

Cons

  • Pricing: The Floatride retails at 7,900 bht a pair, but if you were to ask whether they were worth the money, my personal answer is yes. They look good, are durable and are very, very good for your feet, knees and joints.
  • Weight: This is a personal thing. As I am used to racing shoes with very little support and more “ground-feel”. I trade black toenails and calluses with comfort and safety. If you wish to avoid black toenails and injury, and feel like you are floating over long runs, this is the pair of shoes for you!

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