Reebok Floatride Run Fast Review

I have been very intrigued by Reebok's recent return to serious running.  From the few shoes I have tried, they have been doing interesting things.  Among one of my favorites is the PwrPad which may helps actively engage the depression of the first metatarsal (unsure if it does).  Along comes the Floatride Run Fast and Run Fast Pro, Reebok's new racing shoes utilizing their Floatride Foam in lightweight fast packages.  While I have not tried the Run Fast Pro, the Run Fast has been on my feet for every workout and a few long runs the last month and it has shined far brighter than expected.  Let's talk about why.


Specifications (per Running Warehouse)
Weight: 6.6 oz (men's size 9)
Stack Height: 24mm / 14 mm
Drop: 10mm (8mm per the shoe)
Classification: Lightweight Workout/Racing Shoe


FIT/UPPER

The Reebok Floatride Run Fast is one of those shoes that fits just right for me.  Sizing is very true to size with enough room that this shoe works as a workout and racing shoe.  The upper is extremely comfortable against the skin and can easily be worn sockless.  However I have not attempted this due to the vigor of the workouts and races I have used these for.  The Run Fast does fit slightly wider for a racing shoe, so those with narrow feet may have to snug the laces down a bit. 


The heel has a very light and low counter that I almost did not notice.  A great racing shoe for those with Haglund (pump bump) deformities.  The fit is slightly snug in the heel as a racer should, but some still may want to lace lock the shoe to hold the foot down.  The laces are a bit thin and can dig into the foot a little if you try to tighten things down, so be aware of that.  The midfoot mesh responds VERY well to tightening of the laces.  The mesh is light and very much disappears as you are running.  As mentioned, there is a little more volume, especially in the midfoot and forefoot, than most racing shoes, so you may need to tighten the laces.  The forefoot is really good for me.  There is no major toe guard, the upper breathes well and stretches to provide just enough room in the toebox.  Those that may be a bit sensitive to having their toes crowded should look at this shoe.  This isn't Altra style fit, but there is enough room while still providing a good hold to balance everything out.


RIDE/MIDSOLE

This is my first experience with Floatride foam and I am very impressed.  When I put the shoes on, I expected an overly soft ride. However when the pace picks up, the shoe flies without being overly firm.  I would describe the ride as responsive and cushioned at the same time.  It is not the fastest shoe for 5k and below, but for longer distances or workouts it shines.  I have used this shoe for every workout from 400m repeats, sub 5:00 miles to 8 mile tempo runs and it has done very well at all distances.  My feet do not feel beat up after thanks to the additional cushioning.  Many may find that they can even use it as a daily trainer if they are used to very lightweight shoes.  What is different about this shoe is that even with extra cushioning it does not feel unstable.  This is due to the EVA cradle that helps stabilize the foot (discussed in the next section).  There is also a block of EVA in the midfoot which provides a little firmer feedback if you land in that area.  At first I thought that was a little annoying and pressed into my foot, but it disappears on the run. 


The heel drop is listed on the insole as 8mm and that is exactly how it feels.  There is enough there to protect my achilles a bit without being too high.  Running Warehouse and Reebok both list the shoe at 10mm drop, but it feels slightly lower than that.  Not that 2mm makes a huge difference, but it hits a sweet spot for me.  There is also quite a bit of toe spring which may further unload your calves over longer workouts.  Normally I do not like toe spring, but forefoot is very flexible, which offsets the normally awkward forced roll.  There is also an almost perfect amount of posterior lateral heel bevel.  This makes heel landings very smooth without being unstable, which can occur with excessive heel bevel. 


The combination of the toe spring, mild heel bevel and full ground contact outsole make for a very smooth ride.  The mild lugs give some additional grip on the road and even light trails.  I have done several workouts on smooth Southern California trails and was impressed that there is decent grip.  I would not suggest running in mud due to the lack of depth of the lugs... and the fact that the upper is white.


STABILITY

One of the more surprising features of this shoe is how stable it is despite the soft ride.  This is due to the EVA cradle, slightly wider forefoot last and the mild sole flare.  Like Adidas's Solar line with the side walls, the Reebok Floatride Run Fast has an EVA top sole that rises up medially and laterally around the heel and midfoot.  This does a great job of guiding the foot forward without forcing it in an particular direction.   The wider forefoot last does provide some extra stability for push-off, but the subtle sole flare throughout provides a little extra guidance throughout the shoe.  So if you need a little extra stability for racing or workouts, this is a great shoe that doesn't have any additional posting. 


SPEED

The Reebok Floatride Run Fast can be used for anything, but really shines for workouts and long races.  While I have dropped a few sub 5 min miles in these and they do great, I feel they would serve best for a half marathon to full marathon.  Or any workout you do not want to get beat up by.  Every workout I have done in these have still left me fresh the next day.  If you want a responsive shoe that will leave you less beat up during shorter races, the lightweight will still do great over the 5k-10k distances (although I think I would prefer the Pro).  The Floatride Foam does incredibly well at fast paces, feeling bouncy and responsive at the same time.


DURABILITY

After almost 50 hard miles, there is very little wear except for a little at the posterior lateral heel.  Thanks to the carbon rubber outsole, not only is there decent traction, it lasts!  I am extremely impressed that this shoe would show so little wear after hard efforts on dirt, road and gravel.  None of the nubs on the outsole have come off, the upper has no tears and the outsole is dirty, but not worn almost at all.  The ride has remained the exact same: bouncy, stable and fast.  I expect a very high number of miles out of this shoe and expect them to last like a trainer based on what I am seeing.


THOUGHTS AS A DPT 

Several things were done correctly to make this a stable but bouncy shoe.  The raised EVA support rim, similar to what Adidas has been doing with the Solar Line, provides some light guidance both medial and laterally without traditional posting.  The outsole is completely full ground contact, which provides a great transition (as mentioned previously). There is some light medial and lateral sole flare in the heel and forefoot (also mentioned previously), which provides a stable landing and toe off.

I really like the transition a few companies are making away from traditional posting and to methods like the side walls or guide rails.  Feet many times need more guidance than they do being forced in any particular direction.  We know that many times the posting, heel counters and more may not actually influence foot mechanics.  Why?  Because often what the foot does is a compensation for weaknesses or abnormal movements higher up in the chain.  That is not always the case and the opposite can certainly happen, but it brings up the fact that you need to really take a look at why your feet might feel unstable or move in a certain direction.  A shoe is a tool and should be not a rigid boot (for most anyway, some exceptions with abnormal hypermobilities).  Your ankle, heel, midfoot and forefoot all have joints that do need to move.  Totally stopping them with a post or some rigid measure should not be your first priority.  Your priority should be figuring out what your own weakness or mobility deficits are first.  Then using a shoe to provide a little extra guidance while you continue to work on those things.  I want to be the first to say that stability shoes are not a bad thing.  It is just important to know that stability comes from many different areas besides just a post.  Additionally it is important to be aware that we are not always sure why they work!  People may respond to posts more from the proprioceptive input that any actual "Support" these things provide.  So my suggestion is to take the "stability" and "neutral" labels with a grain of salt and actually look at or try the shoe on to decide if it gives you the kind of stable ride you need.



WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR (Conclusion)

This is the perfect shoe for those looking for a long distance racing and workouts shoe with a stable but responsive and soft ride.  The Reebok Floatride Run Fast is a fantastic shoe that should work for a variety of foot types and needs.  I am extremely impressed and look forward to seeing more of this kind of quality from Reebok as they jump head first back into the running game.

GRADING

Fit/Upper          9/10
Ride/Midsole    9/10
Stability            8/10
Speed                9/10
Durability          9/10

Total Score: 88% - You need to try this shoe!!

Thanks for reading!

Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.


Dr. Matthew Klein, PT DPT  OCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Kaiser SoCal Manual Therapy and Sport Fellow

***Disclaimer: These shoes were purchased for their full retail price from Running Warehouse.  They were NOT provided by Reebok and I was not offered a free pair or compensation for this review. I put at least 50-75 miles on trainers and 10-25 miles on racing flats prior to reviewing them. Currently I have 56
miles on my pair. My views are based on my extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.


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Comments

  1. Great review, as always, Matt! I was wondering how you would compare these to the razor 2s. I have narrowed it down to the two of them as I look for something to add to the rotation that is faster than inspire 14s (which I actually decided to try after reading your review -- have been loving them) but more protective and particularly stable in the heel than streak 6s. Thanks so much -Sam

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    Replies
    1. You can buy Razor 2s on sale for around $55! That is almost five pairs of them for the price of these!

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    2. Hey Sam.

      I find these to be far more responsive and stable than the Razor 2s. The relatively higher drop of the Floatride Run Fast should also be an easier transition for you from the Inspires. The somewhat softer cushioning of the Floatride should give you that additional protection in the heel as well as a little more stability from the EVA cradle. I do like the Razor 2s, but personally would choose the Floatride Run Fast. Try both though!

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    3. Very true, Ben! Also considering a pair of zoom elite 9s, as they are now on sale and I see little difference in the 10s.

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    4. Thanks for the response, Matt. I was definitely worried about the drop on the razors and find anything below 8mm usually irritates my achilles. How would you compare to the zoom elite 9s?

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    5. Sam, fwiw For my wider higher volume foot the ZE9 was a No.

      Dr Klein, your comment about "wide feet" should look into this shoe made me interested. I actually found the adidas Boston 6 to fit great in volume department but cut too fast on the last, the Adios was better and seemed to run longer so I've figured the Reebok is better for my foot than these two but was also looking at the NB1400v6 as it's supposed to be more of a relaxed fit can you or colleagues give a comparison to the Boston, adios, 1400v6?
      Thank you and appreciate your detailed explanations

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    6. Dr Klein,

      Would be useful to know your thoughts comparing the 1400v6 from above poster. Also since Reebok is owned by Adidas, does this Floatride fast have a fit like Adios? Boston?

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  2. Hi, i noticed that in both my current pair and from the pictures in your review that the foam on both the medial and lateral edges of the outsole stick out a little. Would you say that is normal or a potential defect? In your pictures there seems to be significant wear on those edges

    ReplyDelete

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