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Reebok Floatride Energy 3.0 Adventure Review
By Chief Founder Matt Klein and Contributor David Salas

The Reebok Floatride Energy series has taken the running scene by storm in recent years for its versatility, durability, and wallet friendly pricing point. Reebok comes now with a variation to the Floatride Energy line by introducing the Floatride Energy 3.0 Adventure featuring a more robust and secure upper, elastic lacing system, and a proposed improved ability to take the shoe off-roading. Is it worth the bump in price? Let's see. 

Frontal view of the Reebok Floatride Energy 3 Adventure

Specifications for the Reebok Floatride Energy 3 Adventure (per Reebok)
Weight: 9.7 oz (men's size 9), 8.2 (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 26.5 mm / 17.5 mm
Drop: 9 mm
Classification: Lightweight Trainer / Varied Terrain Shoe

Medial side of the Floatride Adventure. The midsole rises somewhat on the midfoot.

RUNNING SHOE SUMMARY

Matt: The Reebok Forever Floatride Energy 3.0 Adventure is a Floatride Energy 3.0 with a more secure and durable upper. The same midsole and outsole make this shoe a great road to trail and multi terrain option with solid cushion and a lightly lugged outsole. The durability of the upper adds more security and protection with a new ripstop upper. The new elastic laces also add additional security along the length of the foot with an additional 30% of the upper now coming from recycled materials. For those wanting a Floatride Energy 3.0 with more durability and more versatility over varied terrain, the Adventure is an obvious upgrade (at only $10 more). 

David: The Reebok Forever Floatride Energy 3.0 Adventure (FFE3 A) is an adaptation of the original FFE 3 to incorporate a more multi terrain design. The shoe utilizes the same midsole and outsole with a more robust and secure upper. The upper is also more water resistant than the previous version. The lacing system also has an elastic component as well for improved lockdown.


Upper of the Floatride Adventure. Special lacing fit system seen.

FIT (LENGTH / WIDTH / COMFORT)

Matt: The Floatride Energy 3.0 Adventure fits me true to size in my normal US men's size 10. The new toe guard initially makes the toebox fit a little tighter and the shoe almost feels short. However I have had no blister issues over long miles. The width is fairly normal in the heel and midfoot. The forefoot does taper due to the toe guard and is slightly narrow at the toebox. There is a light and flexible heel counter in the rearfoot that I did not notice at all. The upper overall is much thicker and tougher with the new ripstop mesh. The tongue is gusseted and stays secure. There is additional padding on the tongue in the center, but this is not a shoe I would advise going sockless in as that edges of the top of the tongue are slightly sharp. The internal mesh is also harsh on bare skin, so make sure you use socks. The elastic laces were easy to tie down and I had no security issues even though I did not lace lock the shoe. Be advised that you do really need to tie the laces down or you won't get an optimal fit. Overall a tough upper that tapers in the toebox, but that toe guard will certainly protect your toes. 

David: The FFE 3A fits true to size in my normal Men's 9.5 though perhaps a tad long in length. The shoe is normal width throughout maintaining normal dimensions through the heel, midfoot, and forefoot. The tongue is a little more rigid and rides up the dorsum of the ankle more than the normal version as well. This did require me to wear higher socks so it would not bite into the top of my ankle. The tongue is also gusseted and does help keep it from sliding.  The upper is so much more secure on the FFE 3A as compared to the original. The materials are a ripstop mesh that does not have much stretch to it which does seem to help keep the shoe on the platform well. The heel counter is extended a bit both medially and laterally providing a good and secure hold throughout the rearfoot. The upper is much more reinforced with the usage of light overlays. I will say however that I had some heel slippage and have had to re lace the shoe a couple of times. The laces have an elastic property to them which can work both for and against you. Because of the stretchiness if you don't lock the shoe down well and properly the first time it will certainly expand a tiny bit when running which resulted in my foot moving. If you are good about locking it down tightly from the beginning and double knotting the shoe it stays in place pretty well. Overall a good upper but the lacing system could be reworked. 


Outsole of the Adventure. Mirroring the Floatride Energy 3 with a minor cutout in the heel.

PERFORMANCE (RIDE / SPEED)

Matt: Like the original, the Energy 3.0 Adventure does fairly well on road, trail and combinations of the two. The Floatride Energy foam is slightly firmer in this version, but still has plenty of cushioning on road. It tends to firm up on trail, providing decent ground feel. The heel bevel does a fairly good job of easing the foot down on heel contact when combined with the slightly softer foam. The midfoot transitions well and the forefoot is very flexible. The lower forefoot, the lack of a rock plate, mild toe spring and high flexibility make for a smooth toe off that will require some mobility and strength. Those used to stiffer or higher stack shoes should transition slowly into this shoe. The Floatride Energy foam does have responsiveness to it and this shoe can handle some uptempo miles. This is not a road racing shoe, but the lighter weight and midsole make this shoe a good choice for those wanting to do longer races on varied terrain. For me this shoe is best as a daily trainer and lightweight daily trainer. Particularly on days I want something cushioned but a little more flexible, this is a go to for me if I want to get both road and trail miles in. There is a 9mm heel drop that is noticeable until the midsole compresses a bit. This is offset however by the heel bevel. The outsole has only a little wear despite aggressive trail use. The lugs are small, so while they provide some traction, the Energy 3.0 Adventure is best for less aggressive trails. Normal single track, dirt, road and gravel are fine, but mud, wet and aggressive terrain are not the best. The only issue is that there are no lugs on the posterior lateral heel, so heel landings require a quick transition to at least the midfoot for traction. Thus the Floatride Energy 3.0 Adventure is best for road to trail or varied modest terrain for those who want some cushioning with good ground feel and flexibility. 

David: The FFE 3.0A performs similar to the original FFE 3 but with much improved security through the upper. The shoe has a relatively firm but protective ride to it that does have some bounce through toe off. The heel has a significant central bevel that helps with initial contact and loading response through the rearfoot. The midfoot is much more secure than before with an upper that doesn't create sloppiness through that region. The shoe is relatively rigid through the rearfoot and midfoot but does have some forefoot flexibility up front. The result is a lightweight relatively natural feeling ride throughout. The shoe does seem to bottom out for me around 1 hour 15 minutes of running. I did great taking this out for 10 milers but once I seemed to go beyond that the shoe started feeling a little more flat with a bit more pressure to my foot. The shoe certainly does have some versatility and can handle some slight uptempo efforts as well (I did 14 miles at 6:26 average mile in them fine). I'm not sure I would go as far to say this is an "adventure" or trail shoe for I still had a decent amount of instability running through those regions due to the midsole, geometry, and outsole. I would think of it more as an improved version of the original with the ability to handle a little more off road conditions, but serious trails may need other footwear consideration. 


Heel of the Floatride Adventure. Minor ribbed pull tab seen.

Rear lateral view of the Adventure. A fuller upper seen than the original 3.0 model separates the Adventure from it's sibling.


STABILITY 

Matt: The Reebok Floatride Energy 3.0 Adventure is a neutral shoe. It has a more narrow midfoot and a softer sole, so not the best choice for those that need stability. The heel hevel is more centered, which if it was more lateral would create more stability. However, the increased security of the upper help lock the foot on better. There is sole flare in the heel and forefoot, which help center the foot. The works better on road than trail as more unstable terrain really changes this shoe. Overall this is a neutral shoe for both road and trail, although the upper security is an upgrade in stability.

David: I think the FFE 3A is exponentially better than the FFE 3.0 in stability. The midfoot for me in the original was slopping and I had some difficulty with that transition point. The upper integration on the FFE 3A is much better and reinforced better. The full contact outsole does help with providing both torsional rigidity as well as traction throughout indirectly improving stability. The heel bevel is done pretty well and the forefoot is done good as well with enough flexibility. Overall the shoe is pretty stable on road or light trail conditions. The midsole, geometry, and traction still don't seem to be stable enough for me to take into real trail conditions though for my foot still seems to translate slightly and I don't seem to trust the traction underneath me.

THOUGHTS AS A DPT / FOOTWEAR SCIENCE


Upper integration can do a lot of things. For me the refined upper of the FFE 3.0A made the ride significantly more fluid. I felt I could trust it more when taking it off of the main road and that my foot was not collapsing or translating through the midfoot region. Reebok accomplished this through a couple of different ways. The shoe improved its lockdown by having a lacing system that holds the foot to the platform better and also changed the material of its upper entirely. The new upper is a rip stop mesh that does not have much stretch to it. Because the dimensions of the upper are dialed in pretty well, the lack of elasticity in the upper materials is actually a good thing. It makes the foot feel nice and secure. This ultimately is the job of an upper. No matter how cozy a material may be, if it is unable to hold the foot on the shoe's platform the ride of the shoe will dramatically change. The foot may translate or have slippage which results in micro adjustments with each step ultimately changing the relationship the foot has with the shoe.

This is especially important when taken in off road conditions for the stability and proprioception demands increase significantly. For the previous version I had a hard time with the midfoot medially and felt my foot would translate in that region. That was irrelevant in this model. Uppers should definitely not be overlooked.

- David Salas, PT, DPT, CSCS

RECOMMENDATIONS

Matt: Although the Adventure is an improvement, there are many things that could be done to improve this shoe for trail use. I already mentioned stability in the previous version, but the midfoot could be filled in to make a more stable platform through that area. The heel bevel also should be moved slightly more posterior as that will further smooth at heel transitions (most people land at the posterior lateral heel, not central heel). The toe guard is very obvious when putting on the shoe, so potentially widening the toe box may be helpful. Especially on long efforts with foot swelling, the toebox needs to be more accommodating. 

David: Though I like the upper of the FFE 3A I do think it could still improve. The tongue does seem to run on the long side and forced me to wear longer socks so it wouldn't bite into my ankle. I would like that a little shorter. I also think either the laces could be a little thicker or have more texture so it does not expand so much or slide as easily. The length of the shoe could also be shortened just a tad for improved fit. Overall it is all small adjustments though and I otherwise like the shoe. 

The Matt Shot: Adventure pair in one hand, top pair shows lateral upper, bottom pair laying beneath.

WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR (Conclusion)

Matt: The Reebok Forever Floatride Energy 3.0 Adventure is for those with neutral mechanics wanting a daily training/mild uptempo shoe for varied terrain. The new durable and more secure upper makes taking corners on light trails and road more secure, while the gently lugged outsole provides traction on a variety of moderate terrain. The forefoot is more flexible, allowing for more natural foot motion although the significant toe guard protects but narrows the toebox. The improved durability and security of the upper is well worth the $10 price tag, particularly if you want to feel confident taking this shoe off road on light but not aggressive terrain.

David: The Reebok Forever Floatride Energy 3.0 Adventure is a daily training option for those that want to add a little off road conditions to their runs. I wouldn't go as far to say that this is a trail shoe, but provides decent enough lockdown and traction for light trail conditions. The shoe is a neutral riding shoe with adequate protection for daily mileage. I had a little bit of difficulty with long run mileage but those used to firmer rides for long periods could still use it for that. The shoe is normal width throughout and should work well for most foot types. For me the $10 dollar price bump for the FFE3 A is worth the extra ten bucks. The shoe is much more stable and I am a lot more confident running in it than the original version. 

National Geographic colorway. Reebok partnered with the brand to do a
host of colors to celebration exploration.


GRADING (SHOE CATEGORY)

Matt
Fit: (Secure and durable upper. Toeguard however narrows the toebox quite a bit. Comfortable rearfoot and midfoot)
Performance: 
B+ (Flexible responsive sole that has enough responsiveness for uptempo efforts and daily training)
Stability:  B- (Increased security from upper, but this is a very neutral shoe, especially on trails)
DPT/Footwear Science: B- (Good security from upper, but narrow midfoot and softer sole make the shoe less stable on trail)
Personal:  B-  (I want to like this shoe more, but it is not stable enough for me, particularly at the midfoot. The narrow toebox also puts more pressure on my toes than I would like.)
Overall: B- (A solid upper upgrade, but needs more stability and robust sole to really make this a full trail shoe)

David
Fit: B+ (significantly improved reinforcement throughout, length a tad long, lacing could be improved with texture or thickness, tongue length shortened)
Performance: 
B+ (Nothing overly flashy, but able to handle daily paces in most conditions and footing (light trail) and can handle some light uptempo, difficulty with long mileage)
Stability: B (Midsole and geometry still a little difficult in trails, but otherwise significantly better than the original FFE3 with better upper security)
DPT/Footwear Science: B (Nothing overly revolutionary but upper integration was done much better with this model allowing for a natural placement and ride on the platform)
Personal:  B (A pleasant daily training option in the neutral category that can handle a decent variety of footing and paces)
Overall: (A good neutral training option that should work for most. The shoe is versatile throughout and a good option at the price point. A jack of all trades but master of none.)

SHOP | SUPPORT DOR

The Floatride Adventure is currently only available at Reebok.

Check out Gear We Love
Mizuno Wave Rider 25: New full length Enerzy is a simple joy. Soft, flexible forefoot is unique
Hoka Arahi 5: One of the best stability shoes of the year, and the best walking shoe as well. Versatile.

Feetures Socks: Massively grippy socks that will make you feel more one with the shoe
Spring Energy Gel: Smooth and goes down easy. Great flavors
Trigger Point Foam Roller: Help get those knots out post-run and feel better for tomorrow
Coros Pace 2 Watch: Excellent watch for various running goals and a massive battery life
Theragun Massager: This small version is great on the go for working tired legs

FURTHER READING

Feel the Floatride!
Reebok Floatride Energy 3.0 Review -
The OG shoe that's sparked this year's lineup
Reebok Floatride Run Fast 3 Review -
The lighter, fast-paced sibling
Reebok Floatride Energy Grow Review -
The sustainable variation of the Energy 3, with a soft, relaxed upper and both natural and recycled elements throughout

Recent at Doctors of Running
Maximal vs Minimalist Shoes - Podcast Episode 57
XTEP 160x 2.0 Review -
Update to the Chinese brand's carbon plated racer
Hoka Bondi X Video Review
August Round Up at Doctors of Running
New Balance 860v12 Review -
The premium stability trainer gets a big upper update to make the ride plush and comfortable for long miles

Thanks for reading!

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TESTER PROFILES:


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

Dr. Matthew Klein is a 150 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.  The stability guy of the group, he also prefers a little stability in his footwear. However, as a researcher, clinician and running shoe aficionado, he will run in anything. 

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

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, 

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.

***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.

Please feel free to reach out, comment and ask questions!
Contact us at doctorsofrunning@gmail.com

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