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Reebok Floatride Energy 4 Adventure Review: Outdoor Amusement
By Chief Editor/Founder Matthew Klein and Senior Contributor David Salas

With the increase in plates, super foams and maximal stack heights, finding a traditional, simple and flexible shoe can be challenging. This is especially true on trail, where it is far more normal to have stiff rides, plated midsoles (usually rock plates) and/or high stack heights. The Reebok Floatride Energy Adventure continues to bring that unique ride to both the road and trail as a hybrid lightweight trainer. Featuring a more traditional drop/stack height, great cushioning and flexible forefoot, it fills a niche that is becoming more rare these days.

Reebok Floatride Energy Adventure 4
Price: $120 at Reebok
Weight: 9.6 oz, 272 g (men's size 9)
Stack Height: 26.5mm/17.5mm
Drop: 9 mm
Classification: Lightweight Hybrid Trainer/Varied Terrain Shoe


Matt: The Reebok Floatride Energy 4 Adventure is a hybrid road/trail shoe that takes a rugged turn with a far better lugged outsole and additional reinforcements in the upper. The rubber outsole features a well lugged and durable grip with rearfoot cuts that provide excellent traction especially on downhill. A brand new upper sits up top that adds a toe guard and overlays that lock the foot down and protect it extremely well. The full-length Floatride Energy foam continues to provide reliable cushioning with some responsiveness. Combined with a flexible forefoot, well-beveled heel and a lighter weight, the Reebok Floatride Energy 4 Adventure can easily handle road to trail adventures and may even work as a trail racing shoe for some. 

David: The Reebok Floatride Energy 4 Adventure is a hybrid training shoe that can tackle both trail and road conditions. The shoe uses a nearly full contact outsole with a mild multidirectional lug design for traction and a different upper for increased security and resistance. Ultimately this a daily trainer that can tackle a little bit of everything, but still not quite a full trail shoe in its own right for me.


Matt: The Reebok Floatride Energy Adventure 4 fits me true to size in my normal US men's size 10. The fit is slightly snug throughout the length of the shoe. The shoe almost felt short initially due to the thick toe guard called an "Extended Toe Wrap." I was concerned about blisters from it, but despite some longer efforts with thin socks, I have had no trouble. It does provide some additional reinforcement and protection from kicking rocks. Those who tend to shuffle and not pick their feet up may benefit from this. The toebox does taper a little from this, but only seems to affect toes 1-3. Thus, those with sensitive 5th toes will be spared. The majority of the upper is made from a recycled Ripstop upper. This is slightly thin, but is heavily reinforced with overlays that provide a solid amount of security throughout the length of the upper. Particularly in the forefoot, there are additional flex zones which do a great job of providing a fit that adapts to how your foot turns on terrain. The laces are on the thicker side and interact well with overlay reinforcements next to them. They stay tied and locked down well. I did not have to lace lock this shoe at all and had no trouble with security. The tongue is gusseted and wraps the foot well. Every part of the laces crosses with and secures the tongue. The rearfoot features more heel collar padding and a moderately flexible heel counter. Those sensitive to stiff counters will still need to approach with some mild caution, but I had no issues at all with it. Overall, the Floatride Energy 4 Adventure features a secure, tough, but surprisingly light upper with a slightly snug fit that gave me a solid amount of confidence on varied terrain.

The Reebok Floatride Energy 4.0 Adventure fits true to size in my normal men's 9.5. The shoe has a normal to slightly narrow heel, normal midfoot, and a normal to slightly narrow forefoot. The fit is somewhat snug throughout, though there is some space medially through the midfoot that doesn't hold snug. The material is non stretch and reinforced well. It still breathes decently well even in wet or humid conditions. There is a highly durable rubber toe guard that is integrated really well and provides no irritation. The tongue is on the thinner end but protects the foot and lacing really well. Overall, a well-done upper, though midfoot security could be better as I found myself not trusting my feet in softer trails like wet dirt/mud or chips. 


Matt: The Reebok Floatride Energy 4 Adventure is a lightweight hybrid trainer. The midsole is full length Floatride Energy Foam, which provides a lighter, cushioned and slightly softer ride. The outsole is full length rubber, with additional lugs and a cut rearfoot pattern that provides excellent grip on downhills. This new outsole design grips well on both road and trail surfaces. It has been surprisingly durable as l have failed to make even a small dent in the outsole despite aggressive road and trail mileage. For that reason and combined with the known durability of Floatride Energy Foam, I expect an above average number of miles for a training shoe from the Energy 4 Adventure. While there is no rock plate, the Energy Foam does a great job of protecting the foot without impairing proprioception/ground sense. I was able to feel everything I wanted to, which combined with the lighter weight made for a nimble shoe.

Additionally, the forefoot is highly flexible. It adapts well to a variety of terrain, but will require the wearer to have adequate toe mobility. This provides a smooth toe off at a variety of paces. The heel is well-beveled with Reebok's classic curved heel. This provides a good transition in rearfoot, but it does take some time to break in as the bevel is centered. There is a 9mm drop that is noticeable, but does not get in the way due to the strong bevel. Those who want a higher drop but still want a lighter shoe will do well in the Reebok Floatride Energy 4 Adventure. Function-wise, the Energy 4 Adventure has slightly different personalities depending on the terrain. On the road, it feels like a cushioned, but traditional stack height lightweight training shoe. On the trail, it feels like a nimble, faster, lightweight trainer/potential trail racing shoe. The grip, security and lower stack make it fun to pick up the pace on a variety of surfaces. It is not the fastest or lightest shoe, but those wanting something that is lighter, nimble, secure and able to handle a variety of surfaces will enjoy the Reebok Floatride Energy 4 Adventure. 

David: The Reebok Floatride Energy 4.0 Adventure functions really well as a versatile daily trainer. The shoe can do a little but of everything in terrain and features the fluid rockered ride of the Floatride Energy 4.0. The midsole has a small amount of bounce to it and is relatively softer. The shoe, however, has a relatively low stack height and thicker rubber so the shoe feels more in the middle to slightly firm on softness. The heel is beveled pretty well creating a nice smooth transition through the heel and midfoot during loading response and initial/mid stance with a slightly flexible forefoot. On predictable terrain the shoe has a nice rhythmic and natural feel to it. I will say the platform is a little narrow through the midfoot and the upper security in that region could be improved medially though, as I did have some difficulty when getting in moderately sloppy or unpredictable terrain. 


Matt: The Reebok Floatride Energy 4 Adventure is a neutral shoe. There are no additional methods of stability outside of some small sidewalls at the posterior midfoot. The ride feels more stable than the previous version due to the vastly improved upper lockdown. However, being a lightweight trainer/more nimble shoe, the shape of the shoe is narrower than most trail shoes. There are some guidelines in the midsole that are fairly shallow. How much they affect guidance is not clear. There is some sole flare in the heel which combined with the heel bevel does center the ride. Initially, the lateral heel flare and centered bevel causes an early initial contact and faster pitch medially with rearfoot landings. As the Energy Foam breaks in, this feeling as gone away. The midfoot does narrow compared to the rest of the shoe, so those interested in this shoe will need to have stronger feet and midfoot stability.

David: The overall stability of the Floatride Energy 4.0 Adventure is pretty good throughout. The outsole has a decent amount of stick and durability to it with abrasions. The platform is a tad narrow through the midfoot which decreases a little stability. I don't think this would have been a problem, though the upper security in that exact region medially doesn't cinch up as well either. That gave me a little medial translation when running in areas where I was a little less in control of how I was landing or interacting with the ground underneath me. Otherwise security of the upper elsewhere was pretty good and the platform was pretty trustworthy outside of the midfoot. For most predictable situations, it is pretty good.


We have previously discussed the importance of uppers (Podcast Episode #72), but many often overlook the importance of uppers in security and stability. The Reebok Floatride Energy 3 Adventure (REVIEW) was not a stable shoe for me. Version 4 feels much better, but outside of the outsole, the sole has not changed. The upper has changed drastically. While version 3 had a more flexible and loose upper, version 4 has a far more secure, ripstop mesh with targeted areas of security and flexibility. The lockdown is vastly improved and my feet feel stable where they should and move where they need to.

Stability is not just about the sole, but refers to how well the foot is allowed to or guided forward. Some people do well with posting or traditional methods, while others need things that are not as overbearing. We have discussed heel counters before on how those can (for some people) lock down and guide the heel better. Others may use sidewalls to accomplish the same thing, or a combination of both.

Having good upper security helps keep the foot locked on the platform. Sliding or excessive motion can not only cause friction injuries like blisters, they create an inherently unstable situation. We have seen several stability shoes on the market have poor upper lockdowns, which turned them into sloppy unstable monsters. On the flip side, we have also seen neutral shoes with extremely good upper security and non-traditional stability elements that make them feel incredibly stable.

This is just a reminder that a shoe is the sum of all its parts. The upper is not something that should be forgotten, along with the midsole and outsole. Each has a unique place in the function of the shoe and their combined total are what can make or break it. 


Matt: The Reebok Floatride Energy 4 Adventure is a massive step forward from the previous version. The improved lockdown at the upper makes the shoe feel far more secure. The increased durability and traction from the outsole also provides more confidence on a variety of surfaces. I am glad they kept the 9mm drop, as it provides a unique option for those who do not do well with lower drop trail shoes.

My only suggestion (as usual) is to consider doing a bit more with those sidewalls. This does not need to be a stability shoe, but especially on trails, having some guidance can be helpful. Making them a bit more prominent may make them a bit more accessible and further add to the new security the version 4 has added. 

David: I really enjoyed my time in the Floatride Energy Adventure 4.0. The shoe has a nice balanced feel to it and feels good in both road and predictable trail. The recommendation I would have is looking at the medial aspect of the midfoot. The fit around the midfoot is a little more forgiving in the upper which allows for a little more medial translation on an already narrow platform. I think either modifying the lock down in that region will help with confidence and security, or widening the platform slightly. Either would do it, but I think the upper is the easier take on that. 


Matt: The Reebok Floatride Energy 4 Adventure is a slightly snug fitting hybrid trail shoe with traditional stack height mixed with modern design. A new rubber outsole provides increased traction and security on both road and trail. A slightly snug upper features well placed overlays that add protection, security and flexibility where needed. A traditional 9mm drop will do well for those who either want it or have limited motion in their calves or ankles. A highly flexible forefoot combined with a well rockered ride (particularly at the heel) make for smooth but nimble transitions. Best for those looking for a lighter hybrid shoe or those wanting a durable trail racing shoe, the Reebok Floatride Energy 4 Adventure has continued to make strides forward. 

David: The Reebok Floatride Energy 4.0 Adventure is a daily training shoe that blends a traditional neutral trainer and a trail shoe. This functions as a pretty good hybrid in most conditions. The upper security is pretty good throughout, despite some slight instability in the midfoot. The traction underfoot is pretty good and trustworthy as well. I think of this as an all-terrain Reebok Floatride Energy 4.0. For those looking to have a shoe that does a little bit of both terrains, but not necessarily hardcore in either this is pretty good.


Fit: A- (Secure, slightly snug and durable trail upper that locks the foot down well)
Performance: B+/A-
 (Cushioned, moderately responsive, flexible forefoot with a higher drop and well beveled heel that provides solid grip on a variety of surfaces)
Stability: B [Neutral] (Improved security from upper. Still a neutral shoe)
DPT/Footwear Science: B/B+ (Still has a narrow midfoot, but continual improvements in upper security lock down foot well and are a reminder of the importance of upper security for stability)
Personal: A- (A fun, light and nimble hybrid shoe with a flexible forefoot and higher drop that has been a nice break/contrast from the many plated, low drop and high stack trail shoes coming out. A unique ride that is important to have in the trail/hybrid world)
Overall: B+ 

Fit: A- (The fit is good throughout but does have a little more space in the midfoot medially that would benefit from synching it up a little)
Performance: A- 
(Versatile shoe as a neutral daily trainer and light trail runner, handles most conditions, I still don't trust in sloppier or softer conditions though)
Stability: B+ (Upper security in the medial midfoot and narrow platform in the midfoot make for some unstable moments when in trails that require a little more focus and attention to avoid falling)
DPT/Footwear Science: B+ (A good option as a hybrid road/trail running shoe, though trail upper integration and midsole could be better in the midfoot or platform)
Personal: B+/A- (smooth and rhythmic shoe that works great for daily miles, though I don't quite trust in softer trails where your foot is already a little more prone to translation or the ground giving)
Overall: B+/A- (A good take on a hybrid running shoe for both the roads and the trails)


Reebok Floatride Energy 4 Adventure
Price: $120 at Reebok

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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 USA 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 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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