Clinical Analysis of Running, Running Footwear, and Injury Prevention/Performance. The Doctor(s) of Running, using knowledge of human movement, clinical biomechanics and performance to bring you cutting edge reviews, science and knowledge.

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Reebok Floatride Energy Symmetros Multiple Tester Review

     The Reebok Floatride Energy Symmetros continues a daily training line with the same foam in the beloved Reebok Floatride Energy 2.0. The Symmetros features a largely beveled heel with a mesh upper and in incredibly fluid ride throughout. We don't have specific stack measurements, but the Symmetros appears to have a higher stack than the FFE 2.0 for a little more protection and high durability while still keeping the weight down.


Specifications (per Reebok)
Weight: 8.6 oz (men's size 9), 6.7 oz (women's size 7)
Stack Height: Unknown
Drop: 9mm
Classification: Daily Trainer

HIGHLIGHTS

Matt: The Reebok Symmetros is a lighter daily trainer that introduces a significant heel bevel design into the Reebok line. At 8.6 ounces, the Reebok Symmetros provides an awesome smooth ride combined with a high level of protective and bouncy cushioning. The mesh fits slightly snug, giving a more performance fit. Like many of the Reebok line, the Symmetros can handle a variety of paces, but will definitely protect you over longer miles.

David:
At only 8.6 ounces the Reebok Symmetros provides plenty of protection! Reebok redesigned the heel flare on some of the other models into a heel bevel on this model. The engineered mesh fits well throughout with a good hold on the foot. The beveled construction, high stack, and responsive Floatride Energy foam make for a highly protective, smooth, and fast ride for a true daily trainer.


FIT

Matt: The Symmetros fits me true to size, if a hair short in my normal size 10. There is a toe guard up front on the medial (inner) side of the forefoot and the outer mesh expands decently. However, the fit up front is snug and has a performance fit. This is what gives it the slightly snug fit, which thin socks take care of. The midfoot and heel have slightly more room, yet are held very securely by the 3D molded heel counter and reinforcements in the midfoot. The upper is a full engineered mesh with some additional overlays that do a great job of reinforcing it. The heel counter is very low and does a great job of not pushing on my Achilles insertion while still keeping things secure. There is additional cushion in the upper above the heel counter that further locks in the heel. I had zero slippage issues in this shoe and did not have to lace lock them. Even turning and trails were great!  I did have some initial rubbing from the toe guard on the medial side of my big toe, but it never manifested into anything.  Even when I put on thicker socks!

David:
Overall the Symmmetros fits really well. There is a rigid heel counter but there is a small retrocurve design to it with some padding at the upper part as it ascends the achilles tendon. The design keeps the achilles tendon from getting irritated. I had 0 irritation or slippage and actually fit really well. The tongue is padded but holds the dorsum of the foot well without putting too much excessive pressure. The midfoot is locked down decently, but may have some mild movement on the medial side of the midfoot (I would only feel the pressure on my longer runs beyond 9 miles though). That could either be midfoot lockdown or potentially the side walls on the foam. The heel counter also extends into this region almost like a guide rail so that could also be a potential cause. Overall good true to size fit though!


RIDE

Matt: The heel bevel addition to the Reebok Symmetros is awesome. This design combined with Floatride Energy Foam is awesome. There is a full ground contact outsole that makes for a surprisingly stable ride. The heel bevel makes for super smooth landings. There is plenty of cushioning, so a somewhat soft landing transitions you forward into additional cushioning. The forefoot has some flexibility for the amount of sole there. Combined with the toe spring, the toe off is pretty effortless. For me, the ride is bouncy and slightly soft. The Floatride Energy Foam runs the full length of the shoe and seems to interact well with the firm outsole material. There is a 9mm drop, which means a ton of cushioning is present in the heel. The 9mm was noticeable, but not in an unpleasant way. The forefoot, with less stack, is slightly firmer and feels great when you get up on your toes.

David:
This is one of my favorite rides of 2020 so far and could potentially be in the running for an award from me at the end of it. The heel is beveled out really well and transitions through the midfoot and toe off well too. The midfoot has a small "slit" that goes through the center of the outsole to soften up some of the pressure from the firm outsole and provide some nice cushion under foot. There is a small but effective toe spring built into the shoe thanks to the rigid full contact outsole underneath. The shoe feels really smooth for having a higher drop ratio at 9mm and plenty of protection underneath. The shoe is definitely a daily trainer but still very smooth when picking up the pace as well. The word I would use is smooth and protective. The ride is still somewhat firm but does have plush elements with the stack. Overall I am very happy with the ride.


STABILITY

Matt: The Reebok Symmetros surprised me. Despite the softer PU Floatride Energy foam, the ride felt pretty stable. There are no additional stability elements as this is a neutral shoe and I really expected it to feel less stable. However, I believe the significant heel bevel helps for a guided smooth transition forward and the 3D molded heel counter does a great job of locking the foot in. The toe spring does also make for a great and smooth toe off. The firmer outsole seems to stabilize the midsole foam well and I had less issues than normal with most neutral shoes during long runs. The midfoot is a hair more narrow than the rest of the sole, but didn't seem to effect me horribly. There is somewhat of a guidance line in the outsole of the shoe. Overall I was impressed by how stable this shoe was as a neutral shoe and it should work well for those with neutral or mild stability needs.

David:
The Reebok Symmetros is surprisingly stable for the stack height. The PU Floatride Energy foam has a good amount of "substance" to it and does not decompress or bounce as much as the Floatride PEBAX foam. Because of this there is no need for a topsole and the high stack operates just fine. The geometry described above in the ride section also contribute to the stability. The beveled heel, smooth midfoot, and slight toe spring make for a delightful and stable ride. As described before I did get some pressure through my midfooot in the navicular region after long miles in the shoe and I am unsure if it is due to small translation medially, lockdown, or the extended portion of the counter. Overall very stable though for a neutral shoe.


SPEED

Matt: The Reebok Symmetros is a lighter weight daily trainer. It is suited for workouts far more than most daily trainers/mileage shoes given the weight, responsive PU midsole and great transition. I have used this shoe for uptempo trail runs, tempo runs, fartleks, hill workouts, normal runs and long runs with total ease. Changing paces in this shoe is very easy thanks to the lighter weight (8.6 oz). There is plenty of cushioning for use as a daily trainer, but it is extremely versatile as a workout shoe. The Floatride Foam is very responsive and feels great at both slow and fast paces alike. Even top end speeds feel great with the controlled bounce.  Some may find this excels as a marathon racer for those who are used to more traditional shoes. Others looking for a do it all shoe should consider the Symmetros.

David:
How many true daily trainers can you take out for a workout almost seamlessly? This shoe is fast. It does feel best at daily paces for me but I had no problems using it for progression runs, strides, and fartlek type work. Very versatile in pace due to the geometry of the shoe. Many might even be able to race in it from the recreational population, being it only weighs 8.6 oz and offers so much stack.


DURABILITY

Matt: We are getting some high durability shoes in for testing right now. I, the destroyer, am just beginning to make a dent in the Symmetros despite 60 miles of use on road and trail. Only in my usual posterior-lateral section of the heel do I see any wear. The upper is super solid with the reinforcements and I am not seeing or feeling anything break down. The Floatride Energy foam is extremely durable and still feels just as bouncy as when I first put them on. Very impressed with this shoe's durability and you will likely get a more than normal number of miles out of this shoe, particularly with the solid and durable outsole.

David:
This is the lightest tank you will meet. Reebok outsoles have been one of 2 companies that no matter what I know I will not be able to destroy them. The Floatride Energy foam as well is very durable and I expect 0 problems down the line with the ride. The upper is reinforced well and I don't see that breaking through any time soon.


THOUGHTS AS A DPT 

    The obvious first comment here is regarding Reebok's new beveled heel design. They did a great job adding this component to the Symmetros, with previous shoes all having somewhat of a posterior heel flare. This very much smooths out the ride and helps center the foot during landing. The plastic piece in the middle of the heel is interesting and does seem to stabilize the back for landings. I have discussed the importance of beveling the heel many times and the quick summary is that it is important for facilitating appropriate forward motion during landings. It is part of a natural mechanism of the foot/ankle called the heel rocker (one of the three natural rockers in the foot/ankle that facilitate forward motion) and is very important for a smooth ride.

    The other interesting component that caught my attention is the subtle guidance line through the middle of the shoe. There is not any research I am aware of on the use of guidance lines through shoes improving stability or influencing foot motion. It makes sense, however the feet often do their own thing regardless of what you put them in. It may give a proprioceptive (body awareness) cue and may make the shoe feel more "guided", but I would be curious to know if that actually effects motion. This paragraph is just some thoughts out loud.


RECOMMENDATIONS 

Matt: I really like the way the heel counter was done in this shoe to stay low but long to potentially guide the foot. I might suggest giving a little more room in the forefoot and reinforcing the medial midfoot just a little bit more. Other than that I really like this shoe.

David:
One of my favorite shoes of the year. However I would suggest tightening up the hold on the medial side of the midfoot slightly to prevent translation or perhaps decreasing the extended portion of the heel counter that wraps the medial and lateral side of the foot into the midfoot.

WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR (Conclusion)

Matt: The Reebok Symmetros is a fun lighter weight daily trainer that also easily work as a workout shoe, and for some as a long distance racer. For me, this is a really fun daily trainer than provides plenty of cushioning while still being light and fast enough for workouts. There is plenty of bounce, protection and ease with changing paces to make it a do-it-all shoe. This is my favorite Reebok shoe to date and is definitely a contender so far for daily trainer of the year!

David:
This is a shoe I think a lot of people will enjoy. It can wear many hats as a daily trainer, long distance racer, and workout companion for some. For me it is a great daily trainer that can definitely move in progression run settings. A versatile shoe with surprisingly good stability for the stack height, I think many will be able to find a good use for the Reebok Floatride Energy Symmetros. These are bold words, but I enjoyed the Symmetros even more than the beloved Forever Floatride Energy 2.0.

GRADING
Matt
Fit                     8.75 /10 (Pretty good fit. Secure, but might need more room in the forefoot)
Ride                 9.5 /10 (Super smooth ride, heel bevel is awesome but heel a little bulky)
Stability          9 /10 (Surprisingly high for a slightly soft neutral shoe. Could use a bit more in midfoot)
Speed               9.5 /10 (Very easy to change paces. Not the fastest, but most versatile)
Durability        10 /10 (Light tank. Able to handle road and trail miles with little to no wear)

David
Fit                     9.5/10 (Overall great, but some small translation medially in midfoot, pressure from counter)
Ride                  9.75/10 (SMOOTH, again small translation medially in midfoot, thats the only neg)
Stability            9.25/10 (small translation and pressure from counter in long miles ache a little)
Speed                9.75/10 (for a Daily Trainer this is incredibly fast. It just misses top speeds)
Durability         10/10 (Tank. But a feathery light tank.)

Nathan
Fit                     /10
Ride                  /10
Stability            /10
Speed                /10
Durability         /10

Total Score: % (M: 9.3/10  D: 9.65/10 N: TBD/10 )

Thanks for reading!

TESTER PROFILES:
Dr. Matthew 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.

Dr. David 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

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 Reebok for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We put at least 35-50 miles on trainers and 10-25 miles on racing flats prior to reviewing them. Currently we have 58 miles (Matt), (in progress) miles (Nathan) and 38 miles (David) on our pairs. 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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