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Reebok Floatride Run Fast 2 Multi-Tester Review

     The Reebok Floatride Run Fast original (REVIEW) was a fantastic shoe. Coming in a 6.6 ounces and featuring enough cushioning for daily training, workouts and racing (I actually used it for all three) it was one of the first fast shoes outside of the Vaporfly to feature a PEBA foam, yet was different in that it lasted forever. A truly unique, cushioned, fast shoe with an incredibly lightweight upper, I ran through several pairs before having to move on to review other shoes. Version 2 was released very quietly and we finally got on our hands on a pair (shout out to Run Republic in Walnut, CA!). While version 2 has some of the essence of version 1, it is a very different shoe. While still a decent shoe, fans of the first version need to be aware of the changes, so let's talk.


Specifications (per Reebok)
Weight: 7.7 oz (men's size 9), 6.2 oz (women's size 7)
Measured Weight: 8.3 oz (men's size 10)
Stack Height: Unknown
Drop: 8mm
Classification: Performance Trainer/Distance Racer


HIGHLIGHTS

     Matt: The Reebok Floatride Run Fast 2 returns as a very different performance trainer/racer. Featuring a firmer ride throughout, aggressive new toe spring and a much stiffer but secure upper. A shorter fit makes the shoe feel more snug, although many should consider a half size up. The Run Fast 2 evolves into more of a performance trainer than a racing shoe, but will still be able to handle fast miles.

     David: Full disclosure: I did not run in the original Run Fast, so this review will be solely based on my experience on the current model. The Reebok Floatride Run Fast 2 is a firm performance trainer/racer that feels good at 10k and 5k paces. The shoe has a pretty prominent toe spring that begins to "kick in" when running at those faster paces noted. It still utilizes the Floatride PEBA based foam.


FIT

   Matt: The Reebok Floatride Run Fast 2 fits about a 1/4 to 1/2 size small in my normal size 10 even with thin socks. Although I have been able to run in these without any blisters, the sizing issue becomes more apparent with longer miles. Most people will want to size up a 1/2 size unless they are used to snug racing shoes. Despite the short sizing, the Run Fast 2 does not actually fit too snug. There is average width in the heel through the forefoot for a performance trainer. The upper is thicker than the previous version, featuring a far thicker mesh upper throughout the length of the shoe. The heel in particular features a thicker heel counter, but plenty of cushioning around the heel. The heel collar is much more plush, providing a great deal of cushioning. The midfoot has fairly average room. The laces do a decent job of holding the foot, however I still had to lace lock the heel to keep my foot secure. The toebox actually has plenty of room for a racing/performance shoe. Due to the aggressive toe spring shortening the shoe however, I had some pressure against the end of my toes and would again suggest going a 1/2 size up.

     David: The Reebok Floatride Run Fast 2 fits very well with me being a half size up. The toe spring and supportive upper hold well and seem to make the shoe fit small. The upper is breathable, but a little thick for a shoe designed to be a speed day shoe. The heel may be a little spacious with width but easily handled with lacing tight. The midfoot is held very well in this shoe and funnels nicely into a wide forefoot for a performance type shoe. 


RIDE

   Matt: Despite featuring a similar looking sole to the original, the Run Fast 2 has a very different ride. Much of this difference occurs from the aggressive toe spring (which does provide a smooth roll forward) and the overall firmer/stiffer ride. Floatride foam, a PEBA based midsole, runs the full length of the shoe with a top layer of what feels like EVA foam. There appears to be plastic midfoot shank like the last version, but feels far more prominent. This provides a great deal of stability in the midfoot, but also adds to the firmness when transitioning over it. The heel cushioning is softer than the rest of the shoe. There is a significant posterior and lateral sole flare that without a heel bevel, creates a slightly jarring landing for those that land back there. This is smoothed out a bit by the soft Floatride foam. Transitioning from the heel to forefoot feels like a slightly firm stable ride in the back, over a stiff midfoot and then a quick roll forward over the toes. The forefoot is the smoothest part of the shoe with the aggressive toe spring, but at times feels a little excessive.


     The heel drop is listed as an 8mm drop and that feels pretty on target. It isn't high enough that it gets in the way and is not low enough that I feel my Achilles. The slightly softer Floatride in the heel will certainly change that number depending on where you land. Always remember offsets are dynamic (and not static).

     David: The ride of the Run Fast 2 is very firm. The topsole in the heel almost creates a small guide rail/bucket like sensation wrapping the medial and lateral side of the heel making for a stable initial contact. The shoe is not very bouncy, but comes alive with the toe spring at faster paces. At anything slower than half marathon pace the shoe does come with a pretty harsh landing but smooths out when the pace heats up. However, the shoe feels good on softer surfaces at all paces including dirt, grass, and moderately technical trails. The traction gives good ground feel and awareness when navigating turns or taking a course at a hard pace. 


SPEED

   Matt: The Reebok Floatride Run Fast 2 is meant as a workout or race day shoe. Version 2 gains over an ounce of weight and is not as bouncy as version one. As mentioned, the ride is much firmer throughout the length of the shoe. The ride and PEBA foam do very well at high speeds or track workouts due to the responsive ride at speed. At more moderate paces, the firmer ride feels a little dead. During tempo runs or longer efforts, the short fit, aggressive toe spring and firm ride feel less comfortable. Some who are used to lightweight and firmer shoes may enjoy this shoe as a daily trainer as there is enough durability and cushion. However this is not a shoe I would choose for recovery runs.

     David: For the weight the shoe runs really fast. The shoe feels great at 5k/10k type paces with no problems, but a little hard and firm at half marathon and marathon paces. The traction allows for turning and cross country or trail type courses as well. For me, this shoe is more of a workout shoe since it still feels like a lot of shoe to justify racing a short distance in, but for those who like a little more structure it is worth looking into. 


STABILITY

   Matt: The Reebok Floatride Run Fast 2 is a neutral shoe and has no traditional methods of stability. However, the combination of the firmer ride, lateral sole flare, thicker heel counter and (what feels like) increased stiffness of the midfoot shank provides a decently stable ride. The shank is especially evident at heel/midfoot contacts and seems to stabilize the foot well without acting like a post. The heel counter appear to guide the rearfoot slightly. Additionally, the EVA does come up to provide sidewalls, which should provide very subtle guidance at the rearfoot. The sole flare does provide a wider base, although the issue with the posterior lateral heel flare may cause some early/extra motion for some (mentioned earlier). So there are many subtle elements that should provide enough stability for those who need light stability, but those logging more mileage with higher stability needs may need to approach with caution (as always, your strength and control of movement always wins over stability from a shoe). Overall, the stability has greatly improved from the original Run Fast.

    David: With the firm ride, traction, and topsole components added together this creates a very stable shoe. I actually felt comfortable taking it into trails and hitting turns and varying surfaces in it. The shoe also has a medial and lateral sole flare that further widens the platform and stabilizes. As mentioned earlier, the topsole also creates a guiding effect/sensation with a wrap around the heel. 


DURABILITY

    Matt: The Run Fast 2 has very good durability for a performance trainer/racer. The outsole has remained untouched despite 20 miles of hard workouts. The upper has no signs of wear and the increased thickness should dramatically improve the durability. I would expect far more miles out of this shoe than other racing shoes/performance trainers likely close to the 300-500 of traditional trainers.

     David: Reebok has been crushing the game with outsole durability lately and nothing is different with this shoe. The midsole/topsole combo also make for a ride that I don't see breaking down anytime soon. I could see this shoe lasting just as long as any daily trainer in the market. I'm actually using Matt's pair for testing and still shows hardly any wear. 


THOUGHTS AS A DPT

Toe spring in footwear refers to the upward curve at the toes. This upward curve is designed to facilitate appropriate movement over the metatarsal/toe joints. Normally this occurs as the toe joints (metatarsophalangeal joints) extend as you roll over them, with the heel elevating during the end of stance phase (mid to terminal stance/toe off. Stance refers to the time when your foot is on the ground during the gait cycle). Some people have either stiffness there (due to a variety of reasons) or sometimes lose this mobility with age (although age is NOT the main reason individuals that may lose this). Regardless, toe spring can provide a way forward for those who do not have mobility at these joints. When the toes normally extend, it actually pulls on your plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a large band of connective tissue under the bottom of your foot that helps stabilize your foot as you push off of it. Extending the toes helps lock the foot and creates what is called the windlass mechanism, which facilitates appropriate motion over the toe joints with assistance from the calf muscles and other plantarflexors (points the foot). It is very important that the feet and these toe joints be allowed to move. Holding them in extension may place continual load on the plantar fascia. I have no evidence behind this, but clinically, those being held in this situation have been more likely to present to clinic with plantar fasciitis symptoms. So toe spring in shoes should NOT hold your foot in extension. The spring should involve an upward curve, but leave the toes in a neutral position. Many people will be completely fine in a shoe with toe spring, even when their toes are being held in extension. For those that know they are a bit more sensitive to this, approach this design with caution.


RECOMMENDATIONS

    Matt: The first version of the Run Fast was awesome. The super light upper combined with a soft bouncy sole with a little bit of structure made a shoe that could MOVE. The Run Fast 2 trades speed and lightness for more security, but I'm not sure it is worth it. My suggestions for version 3 is to consider going to back to your roots. The upper has far too much material, which significantly adds to the weight. Reebok has shown that they can make awesome thin durable uppers (Run Fast, Run Fast Pro, Energy, Energy 2, etc) so I know this can be done. Secondly, ease off that toe spring. As mentioned above, optimal design of toe spring shoe NOT hold the toes in extension. That both shortens the shoe and in my clinical experience tends to put people more at risk for issues. Plus it defeats the purpose. Toe spring should help facilitate the forefoot rocker, not force your foot into that position. Finally, about the weight. I know much of this came from the upper. If this is supposed to be a fast/race day shoe, I'm sure most people, including myself, would much rather finally see Reebok add a carbon plate to their PEBA racer/workout shoe than add a bunch more material to the upper. Reebok.... you are sitting on a gold mine. You make great shoes, you have a PEBA foam. Just add a plate. That would be a much better way to add stability than the stiff plastic midfoot shank (or whatever that is) and a loss of the wonderful upper of version 1. Or don't add a plate and just have a lightweight super cushioned PEBA shoe with a bit more underfoot than the Run Fast Pro! Either one works!

     David: The Run Fast 2 is a little on the thick side for a shoe designed to run really fast. I think the shoe would benefit from thinning out the upper a little bit, as well lengthening the shoe to make it true to size since the toe spring shortens the fit a little bit. I think the midsole could also be softened slightly to be more in line with the normal cushion you would expect out of a PEBA shoe. The bevel on the shoe is pretty good, but could be shifted laterally slightly to make the heel transition a little smoother. 


CONCLUSION

   Matt: Overall, the Reebok Floatride Run Fast 2 is a decent shoe that should work well as a workout or fast day shoe for many as long as you go a half size up and don't mind toe spring. Many may find this shoe also works as a lightweight trainer if you want a firmer ride and a secure upper given the increase in weight and substantialness of the shoe. Overall I am a bit disappointed in this update as it loses some of the magic the original had. Gaining an ounce of weight from the thick upper and a stiff sole loses the special feel of the PEBA foam and amazing light upper. For those who wanted more security and firmness though, this shoe is right up your alley. Given the trajectory of success from Reebok, I know that many will enjoy this shoe and version 3 will be even better.

     David: The Run Fast 2 is a good shoe that should work for faster efforts and workouts. The shoe does not have much wow factor with a lot of the other shoes on the market in similar price range being more plush with less weight, while still responsive. Overall though, the shoe is still versatile and did pretty well for me in trail conditions as well.

Doctors of Running Youtube Review


GRADING

Matt: Fit/Upper       7.5 /10 (Decent fit, improved security, -2.5 for short fit, aggressive toe spring and unnecessarily heavy upper)
Ride/Midsole 8 /10 (Smooth but firm ride midfoot to foerfoot. -2 for excessive heel flare and toe spring)
Stability          8.5 /10 (Improved stability throughout the foot. -1.5 for lack of appropriate heel bevel and posterior lateral heel flare)
Speed              8.5 /10 (Good at high speeds, not so much at tempo or longer efforts)
Durability       9.5 /10 (High durability for a racing flat/performance trainer. -.5 for concerns of nubs in mid/forefoot)

David: 
Fit/Upper       8 /10 (Good security throughout, though thick and not true to size fitting short)
Ride/Midsole 8 /10 (Smooth at faster paces though a bit rough at slower ones)
Stability          9 /10 (Traction, firm, wide, nicely stable with topsole as well, bevel could be improved)
Speed              8.5 /10 (Short range for comfortable speed, 5k/10k smoothest)
Durability       10/10 (About as durable as shoes come in performance shoes)

TOTAL: 85.5% (M: 84, D: 87)

TESTER PROFILES

Dr. Klein is a 140 lb male with notable PRs of 14:45 for 5k and 2:32:44 for the full marathon.  He typically runs 70-100 miles per week and trains at a variety of paces from 8min per mile recovery runs to 4:40 per mile 1k repeats.  He prefers firmer and responsive shoes with snug heels and medium to wide toe boxes.  He is particular to less cushioned shoes and close to the ground shoes, but can handle a little cushion when he gets beat up.  IG handle: @kleinrunsdpt

Dr. Salas is a 135 lb male with notable PRs of 3:54 1500m, 14:56 5k, 31:06 10k, 1:08 for half marathon. He typically runs 40 to 50 miles per week and trains from about 7:30 recovery runs to fast shorter efforts at 4:30 pace. He normally prefers neutral shoes with a firmer ride, but is completely open to other types of shoes.  He is a footwear enthusiast at heart and will always appreciate a high quality shoe when it comes around. For updates on training or testing, IG handle: @docsofrundavid

Dr. Brown is a 155 lb male with notable PRs of 18:18 5K, 39:25 10K, 1:29:01 half marathon, and 3:54 marathon. He typically runs between 20-40 miles per week at a variety of paces from 7:30-8:30 min/mile for recovery runs to 6-6:45 min/mile for tempo runs. He typically prefers shoes that provide some cushioning underfoot but still maintain a more firm and responsive feel. Current goals for 2020 are to break the 1.5 hour half marathon and 3:30 marathon. IG handle: @nate.docsofrunning

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.

Matthew Klein, PT DPT OCS FAAOMPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists

Nathan Brown PT DPT MS
Doctor of Physical Therapy 
Masters in Anatomy and Clinical Health Science
Movement Performance Institute Certified in Advanced Functional Biomechanics 

David Salas PT DPT CSCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the  people at Run Republic for giving us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We put at least 35-75 miles on trainers and 10-25 miles on racing flats prior to reviewing them. Currently I have 20 miles on my pair (Matt) and 35 (David). Our 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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