Physical Therapists Using Clinical Analysis To Discuss The Art And Science Behind Running and The Stuff We Put On Our Feet

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Reebok Run Fast 3.0 Multiple Tester Review

The Reebok Run Fast line reaches its third iteration. This shoe continues to boast a soft and bouncy midsole stabilized by a firm EVA topsole. Designed to handle speed days and racing, -- in case you couldn't tell from the name -- it maintains a lighter overall weight but changes the upper construction. That said, our testers had varying experience in this shoe regarding what paces it felt best at, so let's dig into the details below.

Specifications (per Reebok)
Weight:  7.0oz/199g (men's size 9);  5.8oz/163.6g (women's size 7)
Drop: 8mm
Classification: Performance Trainer/Racer
Price: $140


Matt: The Reebok Run Fast 3.0 returns as Reebok's uptempo/fast day shoe with some changes. Featuring the PEBA based Floatride + foam, the ride is bouncy with some softness. A midfoot shank stabilizes this foam that at first makes the ride clunky but breaks in for a snappy transition. The upper is a dramatic improvement, now fitting true to size, with a surprising amount of room for an uptempo shoe and fitting comfortably on the foot. While an improvement from version two, some heel slippage and a some time needed to break the sole (especially the EVA topsole) in means some patience is needed with this shoe. For those who want a soft PEBA midsole and EVA topsole, featuring a shank, a soft comfortable upper as a very lightweight trainer or workout shoe, the Reebok Run Fast 3.0 may be worth a look. 

The Reebok Run Fast 3.0 is an update to the popular Run Fast lineup that features the PEBA based Floatride + foam that is very plush yet responsive. The shoe features a plastic midfoot shank and an incredibly snappy toe off in the forefoot. The shoe combines the soft Floatride + foam with an EVA topsole that helps stabilize the midsole throughout. There is some room for improvement and I will go into that below. 

Nathan: The Run Fast 3.0 is the only new shoe for Reebok in 2021 (that we know of) sporting the Floatride+ midsole, a very fun and bouncy material. In this case, the Floatride+ is stabilized with a rather firm EVA topsole, which does provide a snappy toe off. Some refinement of the topsole may be needed to create a more comfortable step in feel and less intrusive ride to the midfoot, but for those who enjoy Floatride +, this will be your option.


Matt: The Run Fast 3.0 fits true to size in my normal men's size 10. There is a surprising amount of room in the Run Fast 3.0 for being a workout/race shoe. While it does not have a wide fit, it is certainly wide throughout for a performance fit. The heel is slightly wide and features a generous amount of padding around the heel collar. This caused some heel slippage for me, especially during the start of runs. The tongue is very thin and gusseted, staying fairly secure once tied down. It is so thin that it folds on itself, so be careful when putting on the shoe to make sure it lays flat. The upper in the midfoot and forefoot is fairly unstructured except for a thin toe guard up front. The midfoot fits slightly wide for me, requiring some lock down from the laces. The laces are very thin and sharp. Pulling them too tight causes pinching and cutting into the anterior side of my talocrural joint. It was not comfortable to try to lace lock the shoe, so I had to carefully tighten down each lace loop along the midfoot for an optimal fit. The forefoot has a decent amount of room for this shoe type. The upper allowed for stretch and I felt like I had plenty of room. There is a heel counter in this shoe, although it is buried behind the large amount of cushioning around the heel collar. I did not notice it while running, so those sensitive to these will not have a problem. Overall, a fairly relaxed fit with a little difficulty getting a good lockdown initially. Those with wider feet may like this as a race day shoe, while others looking for a bit more room in a very light and cushioned shoe may be at home in the Run Fast 3.0.

Overall the Run Fast 3.0 has a snug performance like fit throughout with an upper that has a more synthetic feel to it. There is a sock liner and gusted tongue that wraps through the entirety of the forefoot along the medial and lateral sides of the shoe that make the step in much more comfortable. The tongue does not have much padding and holds pretty close to the dorsum of the foot. It almost has a cleat like feel to it. The heel has a normal to narrow width medially and laterally and some space posteriorly to prevent irritation. The retro curve may actually be a little too much however and the heel feels like it is floating in the shoe at times or even having some slight slippage. The foam in the heel is also really soft and might contribute to this feeling as well. Overall the upper is light and wraps pretty well, but will require socks with the plastic synthetic like upper. The heel and tongue could be refined. 

Nathan: The 3.0 upper contains two parts. The outer component is a synthetic "knit" upper that is plastic like in feet. What this does is create a secure and low stretch feel in the toe box. The construction is lower profile and gives a performance-like fit. The second component is the gusseted tongue, which spans through the entire toe box. Without this, the upper would feel scratchy due to the synthetic outer component. However, thanks to the inner liner it is comfortable and soft for the foot.

Like mentioned above, there is a performance fit to this shoe and it is a bit narrow without a lot of stretch. However, I did have a few issues with the fit and comfort. The first was the tongue. The tongue is very thin -- which sometimes is fine. However, in this case the edges continually folded over when trying to put the shoe on and occasionally had to take the shoe off and readjust before putting it on again. The tongue does have a line of padding down the center, but still felt like it did not provide enough protection against the laces. The second issue was heel security. Despite the performance fit in the front, I had heel slippage even when laced down tight. So overall, you will get a low stretch, performance like upper that had, for me, some issues with comfort on the top of the foot and security in the heel.


Matt: The Run Fast 3.0 is a significant improvement over version 2.0. The length of the shoe is true to size, the toe spring is integrated better and the cushioning is a little softer. The heel is fairly soft and bouncy in the Run Fast 3.0. This transitions to a fairly firm and somewhat clunky midfoot due to the thick shank. This then transitions into a slightly softer and responsive forefoot. The heel has a little early contact thanks to the posterior flare, but this goes away at faster speeds due to great compression. The midfoot transition is very stiff and takes >20 miles to break in. The shank stiffens up the midfoot a bit too much. However transitioning to the forefoot is very good. The forefoot is fairly stable and has a really nice pop off the front. The toe spring is not as aggressive and there is enough flexibility up front to provide a snappy toe off. Those who tend to land farther forward will enjoy the ride of the Run Fast 3.0 much earlier than those who land farther back. The traction is really good in this shoe as the outsole grips very well on both wet and dry road. It is smooth enough though I would not take it on trails. Pace wise the Run Fast 3.0 tends to work better at uptempo speeds. Fartleks and light tempo runs are decent in this shoe, but anything faster and the clunky midfoot makes getting into a fast rhythm difficult. Easy pace runs can be done in this shoe for those who hold a decent pace. However during recovery paces the stiff midfoot becomes more apparent and the loses some of the magic from the Floatride+. There is an 8mm drop listed on the shoe and it sometimes feels lower thanks to compression of the soft rearfoot foam. This was not noticeable to me and felt well integrated in the Run Fast 3.0.

The Run Fast 3.0 feels much better to me than the Run Fast 2.0 did. The quick breakdown is this: Really cushioned heel, firm/hard midfoot with the shank, and snappy and grippy toe off. The outsole has great traction that will grip pretty much anything you throw at it. The interaction between the midsole, topsole, and shank could be refined though. The heel almost feels like you have a bucket like sensation surrounding it, but that you are sinking into the foam. After initial contact the midfoot shank is really firm that transitions quickly into a highly responsive forefoot. At easy paces the heel and midfoot doesn't feel too awkward, but my foot would start aching when running harder on it. There is no question the midsole and the forefoot are incredibly responsive but the transitions are definitely on the choppy side. It almost feels like at toe off the heel floats behind you like it is slipping and the midfoot feels like it is taking a little too much pressure after initial contact. Refining the heel to midfoot transition would be my greatest recommendation for this shoe, because it has A LOT of potential, but this model just isn't the one that works that well for me. The bevel is decent, I just think the integration of the midfoot shank and the soft Floatride + needs to be reworked. 

Nathan: David really did describe the ride very well -- soft and cushioned heel transitioning to a firmer and snappy toe off. Floatride + is one of my favorite midsoles because of the bounce, but the topsole integration gave me a few issues in this shoe. The topsole is a firmer EVA and if you look at the medial side of the shoe (second from the top) you will see a larger "wedge" right in the midfoot. In both the original version of this shoe and now the 3.0 (I didn't run in the 2.0), this wedge pushed into my arch and I felt like I was rolling over a bump with every stride. For me, this did cause some discomfort even on short runs. Unlike David's experience, this bump sensation did improve at faster paces, but was still noticeable. A little caveat is that others have ran in this shoe without this problem at all (including our own Bach Pham).

Ultimately I think that Reebok has nice components to a speed day shoe, including a lot of cushion for a low profile shoe and a very snappy toe off without the use of a plate. However, the transitions are a bit choppy from the heel up to the forefoot because of the midfoot "wedge". I personally did like the ride better at my tempo paces, but not for workouts. At casual paces I found the midfoot too choppy. Additionally at slower paces I felt the detrimental effects of the posterior heel flare and felt that heel strike was more abrupt. At faster paces the heel felt much better. 


Matt: The Reebok Run Fast 3.0 is a neutral shoe. However there are a few subtle components that add stability, but not enough for this to be a really stable shoe. The EVA topsole comes up a little in the rearfoot, providing some very mild guidance. The midfoot shank stiffens the midfoot quite a bit (almost too much). The topsole overall also firms up the sole. However, this isn't a stability shoe and will work best for those with neutral mechanics. The heel flare creates a mild early initial contact, the PEBA foam is pretty thick in the heel and the midfoot shank creates an extreme contrast in firmness between the heel and midfoot. The heel isn't the most stable, but it will work well for with stiffer feet and more neutral mechanics as mentioned.

The stability on the Run Fast 3.0 is decent but could be better. The Floatride + foam is so soft and does give some senses of insecurity but the traction and firmness of the forefoot do help out a lot. The midfoot shank does help with stability through that region, but the ride seems to be too firm in that region to me. The heel is the most unstable region of the shoe but I think largely that is due to its integration with the midfoot shank. If the transition can be smoothened out the ride would be much more stable. The bevel is decent, but the foam and shank integration is choppy. 

Nathan: There are some things that make the stability rather fine in this shoe. There are some side walls built onto the EVA topsole, the firmer topsole itself also provides a more stable platform, and there is a wider forefoot platform. Where stability takes a hit is the heel flare that can create an abrupt heel strike, a more narrow midfoot platform (which is typical for speed day shoes, so this is not a knock on the shoe, just an observation), and the heel slippage. For a lower profile speed day shoe, those who do fine in neutral shoes or only need a touch of stability will have success here. 


Nathan: I wanted to touch on two things. The first I will brush over because we have hit on it a lot in the past. A posterior heel flare that is not integrated through a bevel or is not designed more as a "crash pad" with a wicked soft foam may cause issues with heel strike. This is because the flare creates a longer lever around the ankle joint, increasing the plantarflexion moment at heel strike and potentially leading to earlier-than-expected contact. When this happens our neuromuscular system may not be adequately primed to properly accept load and overall increased torques to control at landing. Okay...that's all for now on that.

The second is exploring why some people may experience the "bump" sensation in the midfoot of this shoe (like myself) and others may not (like Bach Pham). It's possible that this is due to our foot type. I have a more typical to rigid mid and forefoot. This means that I do not typically move into a lot of mid and forefoot eversion or pronation. This also means that my mid and forefoot stays in a more neutral and possible slightly supinated position. When a foot is everted and pronated, it is more flexible and is meant to adapt to the surfaces below it. When a foot is inverted and supinated, the foot is more rigid and does not accommodate to the surfaces below. This is one of the reasons why our foot moves into pronation after initial contact even when walking. Our foot is preparing to adapt to whatever surface in underneath.

Now, given that my foot is a bit more neutral, there is less accommodation to the surface below and therefore my relatively more rigid foot rolls over the midfoot shank in this shoe. Conversely, our social media manager Bach has a much more flexible foot that sits in more eversion and pronation as he goes through the gait cycle. Given that reality, his foot is in a more accommodating position and therefore is not experiencing the "bump" sensation.

Now, we cannot accurately quantify how rigid or flexible a foot should be to have the most success with this shoe (or any shoe for that matter). Clinically, even some of the "best" ways to quantify foot type are done in static positioning, such as the Foot Posture Index. Evaluating a foot in this manner alone still has quite limited utility it matching people to a certain type of shoe, and one reason for that is due to the fact that this is assessed statically and not dynamically like in walking or running. Ultimately it will stand true that some of the easy tips like Comfort Filter will be helpful in knowing whether a shoe is right for you.


Matt: While the Run Fast 3.0 is a step in the right direction after version 2, I still have several recommendations. The first is to change the laces and tongue. This tongue is too thin, folds on itself and does not protect the top of the foot well from the sharp laces. A small increase in thickness may improve that issue. The laces are a bit thin, to the point that they dig into the foot. I would modify these to make them softer or thicker to reduce that pressure. The EVA topsole and midfoot shank create far too much stiffness. It took weeks for this shoe to break in and I think Reebok needs to choose one or the other. The stiffness makes the ride feel extremely clunky until it finally breaks in. Either let there be some flexibility or put a plate the length of the shoe. Finally, after the amazing heel bevels in the Symmetros (REVIEW) and Floatride Energy 3.0 (REVIEW), I would like to see a little better of a heel bevel.

I have a few recommendations for the Run Fast 3.0. My first recommendation would be to work on the heel security within the upper. The posterior space feels a bit excessive especially for how soft the foam is and how snappy the forefoot is. It almost feels like your heel is floating too much. My next recommendations is relatively major... but to refine the Floatride + and midfoot shank integration. The transition from heel to midfoot is choppy and can make your feet hurt after a while if you have sensitive feet. The midfoot through toe off is incredibly grippy and responsive and honestly is done really well I think. But the heel transition to the midfoot shank and the heel security issues make this one a deal breaker for me personally, but those who like really soft heels and snappy forefoots might really like this shoe.

There are a number of things I'd love to see changed in this shoe because it has so much potential. The first is to transition back to the upper found in the original. It was a lightweight, stretchy yet secure upper that really matched a speed day feel and was downright comfortable -- and kept the heel from slipping. Second is to remove the heel flare posteriorly -- Reebok has shown it can bevel a heel and they should do so here. Finally the midfoot shank needs to be refined. I understand the goal of creating some stability there, but I could see them widening the platform outsole contact in the midfoot and removing the "wedge" working very well to maintain stability and smooth out the transition. 


Matt: The Reebok Run Fast 3.0 is a lightweight trainer/workout shoe for those with neutral mechanics wanting a soft heel, firm midfoot and a little more room for a performance shoe. The Floatride + foam is soft and responsive, which along with the responsive forefoot create decent landings and great toe offs. The midfoot shank is a bit choppy and takes some time to break in. The Run Fast 3.0 is best for uptempo workouts and use as a little faster lightweight trainer. However, the midfoot shank creates too much stiffness for me, but those who like that will find something good in this shoe. The Reebok Run Fast 3.0 will work for those reasons outlined, but I highly suggest Reebok decide whether they want to make this a flexible shoe or a plated shoe. Right now it is just a bit awkward sitting in the middle. However, this is a big improvement from version 2.0 and I am now even more excited to see Reebok's next move.

The Reebok Run Fast 3.0 is a shoe that will probably fall into the love it or hate it category. The Floatride + foam is really soft and really responsive at the same time. The topsole does a decent job of stabilizing the midsole as well. The forefoot is incredibly snappy and responsive. The heel is really soft and transitions abruptly into a really firm midfoot shank. For me this is pretty choppy at fast paces, ok at easy paces, but others might really like these transitions. The shoe is a highly responsive neutral performance trainer that can handle a large variety of paces and those who really like soft heels and firm snappy forefoots can put this on the radar. For me the heel to midfoot transition is the greatest area improvement but this could be a shoe that absolutely knocks it out of the park in a future model. 

Nathan: The Reebok Run Fast 3.0 has one of my favorite midsole compounds in Floatride+. For those who like a lower profile but bouncy shoe that has a snappy toe off will likely appreciate this shoe. The forefoot is snappy and the heel is nice and cushioned, but the transitions are choppy and the fit needs some refinement. For someone wanting a lighterweight trainer that doesn't have a plate, this could be an option to look into. 


Fit: B- (Dramatic improvement in comfort compared to previous version. Plenty of room for a faster shoe. However, heel slippage, folding tongue and laces that cut into the top of the foot prevent this shoe from being really good)                     
Performance: C+ (I really want to like the foam, but the stiff midfoot and posterior flare take away from smoothness in the ride. Can handle both easy and faster runs, but the choppy ride prevents it from going faster or being considered for race day) 
Stability: B- (The overly soft heel, stiff clunky midfoot shank make this shoe not the most stable. The shank at least stiffens the midfoot up and the slightly wider platform has a little inherent stability. Best for those with neutral mechanics) 
DPT/Footwear Science: C (Posterior heel flare, overly soft heel and poorly integrated midfoot shank makes this not the best in regards to DPT/Footwear Science) 
Personal:  C (I really want to like this shoe. The original version was one of my favorite shoes. There is potential here and I am excited to see where this shoe goes. However, the clunky ride and loose heel make it difficult to integrate this shoe into my rotation) 
Overall: C+ (Great foam, improved upper fit. However, there is some work to be done on the ride and heel stability. This is a great shoe for someone wanting a light shoe with a bit more cushioning. This could be a very lightweight trainer or workout shoe for many people)              

Fit: B (Lightweight and reinforced well but could be refined with more heel security and comfort on the dorsum of the foot)  
C+ (so... highly responsive with all of the right components, but not integrated well. Heel and midfoot very choppy for me, but can handle pretty much anything you throw at it.) 
(Upper security decent, midfoot through forefoot really stable, great traction, heel security can be improved) 
DPT/Footwear Science:  
C+ (The shoe feels like an honest attempt to create a versatile shoe with different feel and density throughout the shoe, but comes off choppy) 
(The shoe feels a little too choppy for me at fast paces which is what the shoe is designed for. I can do easy and shakout mileage in at and that is more enjoyable. But this won't be a shoe I will reach for frequently. SO MUCH potential though) 
Overall:  C+ (A love it or hate it shoe, choppy heel to midfoot transition, but incredibly responsive foam and snappy forefoot)         

Fit: C+ (Heel slippage, difficulty with tongue, lack of flexibility in the toe box)                     
Performance:  B- (Really nice foam in Floatride+ and nice snappy toe off, but transitions were abrupt and heel flare made for abrupt heel strike at times) 
Stability: B+ (firm topsole, lower profile, and side wall improve stability, but more narrow platform in the midfoot and transitions decrease stability)
DPT/Footwear Science: B- (Posterior heel flare and midfoot shank decrease population who will fit this shoe well, but the topsole used to stabilize a soft foam is a great method) 
Personal: C- (I enjoy the foam so much, but I had too many issues with the midfoot shank to use in my rotation)     
Overall:  C+ (The lower profile snappy shoe without a plate may be what some are looking for in a speed day shoe, but the upper and geometry needs refining)     

Interested in a pair of Reebok Run Fast 3? Shop small at Run Republic (men / women) for a pair. Run Republic offers free training plans with each purchase to help crush your running goals! This is not an affiliate link, we just really love the folks there.


Editor Matt Klein answers your post-review questions! Make sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to get your post-review Q&A questions in for our team.


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Thanks for reading!

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. IG handle @kleinrunsdpt

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.

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

Bach Pham MS
Marketing and Social Media Manager
Master of Arts in Cultural Anthropology

***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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