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Reebok Floatride Run Fast Pro Review

Reebok recently made a massive resurgence in the performance footwear world over the last couple of years. Everything from daily trainers to racing shoes have been revamped and utilizing the newest technologies within the industry. Aimed at being a top tier low profile racing shoe, the Reebok Run Fast Pro features their Floatride foam at a sub 4 ounce package for those looking to have the lightest combination of weight and responsiveness on their feet. 




Specifications (per Running Warehouse)
Weight: 3.5 ounces
Stack Height: 20mm/17mm
Drop: 3mm
Classification: Elite Racing Shoe



RUNNING SHOE SUMMARY

David:
The Reebok Run Fast Pro is a sub 4 ounce racing shoe that is aimed to help deliver PR after PR at nearly any distance from the mile to 10k (or beyond if you can manage). The shoe is incredibly lightweight, but even more impressively cushioned for how low profile this shoe is. The Floatride foam is PEBA based and provides a lot of cushioning and rebound for how little shoe there is. Because of this the shoe gives a really unique ride to the lightweight racing flat market. 




FIT (LENGTH WIDTH COMFORT)

David:
The Reebok Run Fast Pro fits true to size in my normal Men's 9.5. The upper essentially has no wasted space throughout in order to keep weight to a minimum. The heel does not have a heel counter and the material has just enough reinforcement to cup and hold the heel without allowing for any excessive translation. The fit through the heel and midfoot is slightly narrow to normal width which is normal for most racing shoes. The forefoot surprisingly has some room in the toebox that does a good job of allowing for toe splay. There is a toe guard that runs along the medial and lateral aspects of the forefoot through up to the front of the shoe that helps provide some structure, but could potentially be a source of irritation for some. I had no irritation however. The tongue is incredibly lightweight and has holes punched throughout to further keep the weight down. The upper has just enough structure on it to feel secure and not give the runner any wearer fear that they will tear through it (like the Nike Victories of old......). 


PERFORMANCE (RIDE STABILITY SPEED )

David:
The Reebok Run Fast Pro is designed to run fast, and run fast it can. The shoe is really interesting from a design perspective, because it constructed like the minimalist racing flats of old, but with new features that are seen in some of the "super shoes" of the new wave of racing shoes. Primarily this is the midsole. Reebok uses their Floatride foam for the midsole, which is a PEBA based foam that is incredibly soft yet bouncy and responsive. The shoe features a 3mm drop from heel to toe as well as a flexible synthetic outsole that is not of blown rubber or carbon rubber design. The shoe feels as unique as it is constructed. The shoe is lightweight and aggressive, but still soft and flexible at the same time. This is almost feels like a great solution for a track racing shoe if people don't like the firm aggressive spike plates in distance spikes. Don't get me wrong though, the shoe does still feel aggressive though, and I think it is something that can be improved. I will talk more about this in the DPT section, but the drop is really low for how soft the foam is. Static drop ratio does not always equate to dynamic drop. This is one of the reasons why you see higher drop ratios in a lot of the softer "super shoes" because the foam compresses and then rebounds. More on this later though.  Stability wise this shoe isn't very stable. It is an incredibly low profile soft shoe meant to run very fast in. There are no wasted materials and no added support structures. I did feel a little bit of give to the medial side of the midsole when taking some hard turns, but that is expected for how soft and flexible this shoe is. The Reebok Run Fast Pro is a lightweight speed demon for those looking to crush paces. There isn't a whole lot of protection on it, but its just enough for all of the distance track events.  




THOUGHTS AS A DPT / FOOTWEAR SCIENCE

Today I want to talk about drop ratio and what this means. When looking at stack height, we are looking at the vertical amount of foam there is to the platform that you stand on. Because this isn't just the foam externally this is usually measured with calipers. Why is this important? This is the offset between the height in the heel and in the forefoot. Generally speaking, higher drop ratios might indicate more of a heel contact and unload the Achilles, while the lower drop ratios might influence more midfoot to forefoot contact. This isn't exactly a proven science, but where I am going with this is actually how the drop is influenced dynamically. In a soft shoe like this, the drop ratio acts much differently dynamically since the foam compresses and rebounds. Depending on the durometer the dynamic drop could react very differently between shoes. The Reebok Floatride Run Fast Pro features a very soft midsole and a really low drop ratio. The shoe doesn't have much geometry to influence the platform, and so the drop ratio of 3mm is actually really low for how soft the foam is. The foam decompresses, and when it rebounds it might actually be closer to 0 or 1mm. Again, not an exact science but this is one reason why a lot of the new softer racing shoes have higher drop ratios (if they don't have other features already built into the shoe). The Reebok Run Fast Pro will feel soft and forgiving, but then maybe a little more aggressive than it needs to for how flexible it is. Now this is the first version... and the new one has a 6mm drop, so that may work better for the shoe. My recommendations would be to offset the shoe a little more, which has been done in present time. 




RECOMMENDATIONS

David: 
The Reebok Run Fast Pro is a shoe that delivers in nearly every category as a fast low profile racing shoe. The foam is very responsive and the construction is done pretty well overall. My main recommendation though is to shift the drop ratio a little higher because of how soft the foam is. With the 3mm drop, the shoe actually feels a little lower once it is compressed. The shoe also has a flex point through the midfoot, which also can feel a little strange and slappy for a racing shoe. If that gets shifted slightly forward, or if the forefoot is stiffened up a little bit the transition will be smoother and even more responsive.


WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR (Conclusion)

David:
The Reebok Run Fast Pro is for a runner looking for the lightest possible package to race in. The shoe will definitely favor those who like flexibility throughout the shoe as well as a softer platform to run on (for a shoe in such a light weight category). The Run Fast Pro is under 4 ounces and a potential racing option for nearly any distance 1 mile to 10k. The outsole is grippy and the shoe provides nice flexibility throughout. For those who may not like the stiffness and aggressive feeling of a spike plate, this might be a great compromise for you without sacrificing weight or responsiveness. 



GRADING           

David
Fit: A- (Slightly narrow throughout, foam softness medially puts some pressure in the midfoot)        
Performance: A (Highly responsive, soft for its weight class, flexible for its performance class)
DPT/Footwear Science: B: (The shoe is really soft and flexible for such a low drop and can come off a bit unstable or feel much lower in drop)
Personal: B+ (I really like the Run Fast Pro, but for how elite of a racing shoe this is supposed to be, I personally do like having some rigidity up front in the forefoot which this doesn't have, but I would like to see if the drop ratio was a tad higher if the flexibility would feel nicer)                   

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 ranging from 3:54 in the 1500m to 1:08:36 for half marathon. He typically runs 60 to 70 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 systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run run as well as a warm up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our 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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