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Racefaster Floatcrest Review: Finding Purpose
By Senior Contributor David Salas and Contributor Andrea Myers

Racefaster is a relatively new company that established their first piece of footwear in 2019, though have been around in apparel for a little longer. The aim of the Floatcrest model is to provide a daily training model with some versatility on terrain and speeds. The shoe uses a firmer EVA platform with a full contact outsole using shallow multi-directional lugs. 

Racefaster Floatcrest
Price: $159.95 at shopracefaster.com
Weight: 10.3oz, (men's size 10)
Stack Height: 34mm/25mm
Drop: 9mm
Classification: Daily trainer/crossover shoe


RUNNING SHOE SUMMARY

David: The Racefaster Floatcrest is a neutral daily training shoe that provides a firm ride and pretty good traction underfoot. The shoe has a beveled heel with a rigid platform through the heel and midfoot and a mild-moderate flexible forefoot. The shoe runs best at daily paces and gives some versatility to running in off-road conditions as well. 

Andrea: The Racefaster Floatcrest is a firm daily trainer for runners with neutral mechanics. The full length rubber outsole provides decent traction and the flex grooves in the forefoot help to soften up what would otherwise be a very unforgiving ride. The firmness of the midsole combined with the eye-catching upper actually make this a very comfortable shoe for prolonged standing. I actually enjoyed wearing this shoe at work more than I enjoyed running in it.




FIT

David: The Racefaster Floatcrest fits true to size in my Men's 9.5. The heel and midfoot are both normal width with the forefoot being normal to slightly narrow. The mesh material is a little on the thicker end and has some slight stretch to it. Breathability is decent, though not super airy. There is a heel counter present that is padded pretty well and provides no irritation. The laces lockdown the upper pretty well, though it could benefit from more. Thankfully the tongue has some decent padding to it as well to help with that. There is an external heel counter present as well and provides some further structure for the rearfoot. Overall, the upper is decently comfortable, but does have a slightly narrow toe box region and does run on the thicker/warmer end. 

Andrea: The Racefaster Floatcrest fits true to size in my usual women's 9.5. The thick upper provides a decent amount of padding and the semi-rigid heel counter holds the heel securely without creating any irritation. The width throughout the length of the shoe is normal, which for me meant that I found the toe box a little cramped. The non-gusseted tongue is padded and is held partially in place by a lace loop. I did not have any issues with lockdown in this shoe, but I did find the laces to be a little short. The upper does not breathe well and my feet definitely were warm during my summer test runs. This could be a nice winter shoe because it would provide better insulation than shoes with thinner uppers.

PERFORMANCE

David: The Racefaster Floatcrest is an interesting riding shoe. The shoe definitely tips the scale on the firmer end, having a firmer EVA and full contact slightly lugged outsole. The shoe has a decent heel bevel and some flexibility through the forefoot. The landing on impact is a little bit of a shock to the system if you are more used to softer shoes. I found the platform to be decently rigid throughout with the exception of the forefoot region having some flexibility. The traction underfoot does give it some versatility with all terrain running, which I do a lot of. The platform probably could have a little more give in the distal rearfoot and early midfoot I think though. I found my shins and tibialis anterior muscles having to work a little harder controlling the slapping motion coming down. The ride feels like it has a couple of little kinks in those regions, but runs decently smooth through the forefoot and in runnable trail conditions. The responsiveness of the shoe isn't overly powerful, but suits your needs as a workhorse type trainer. For me this is an easy day shoe that I would use when I know I am going to be running through the some dirt and trail, but not enough to justify a trail shoe. 

Andrea: The Racefaster Floatcrest is one of the firmest shoes I have ever tried. The flex grooves in the forefoot do help to make the ride a little less harsh, but overall, this is not a forgiving or particularly cushioned shoe. The firm sole and its higher weight limits its use to easy runs, and I would not want to use it for runs longer than an hour. I was surprised to read on Racefaster's site that the SuspensionFoam midsole is EVA due to the firmness of the ride. The shoe feels like its stated 9mm drop and I found mid-foot landings to be pretty natural, likely due to the flex groove the runs across the widest part of the forefoot.

The full length rubber outsole contributes to the stiff and firm ride, but also contributes some mild stability to the shoe. The midfoot is pretty narrow and runners with midfoot stability needs may not do well with this shoe. I found traction to be above average in the Floatcrest and had no issues running on wet roads. The durability of the shoe should be above average due to the full coverage rubber outsole.




STABILITY

David: The Racefaster Floatcrest runs decently stable for me. The firmer platform and good underfoot traction create for plenty of ground feel and rigidity to the platform. The upper has decent lockdown throughout but does have a little bit of stretch and give when taking harder turns or in more unstable trail conditions. The cross sectional area underfoot on the platform is pretty comparable with most other training shoes. The shoe still runs in the neutral category but gives you a pretty good grounded sensation and a little more confidence off road. The external heel counter is also present and seems to hold the structure in that region really well. How much it stabilizes I'm not sure, but the fit in that region is dependable for the situations listed above.

Andrea:
This is a neutral shoe with some mild non-traditional stability elements. There is a small plastic overlay that extends on the medial and lateral side of the heel that may help to stabilize the rearfoot. The small heel bevel may also help to center the landing for heel strikers, and the flex groove that is present in the heel is not nearly as flexible as the forefoot flex grooves, which also contributes to rearfoot stability. The forefoot flex grooves and the mild toe spring aid with the transition from mid-stance to push off. 


THOUGHTS AS A DPT / FOOTWEAR SCIENCE

Flexing to the Groove

The Floatcrest is a very firm shoe, but the flex grooves in the forefoot definitely help make the ride less harsh. What are flex grooves and what is their purpose in running shoes? Flex grooves are horizontal grooves that are usually incorporated in the sole of running shoes to promote push off at the 1st MTP joint (big toe joint). By nature, they make the forefoot of the shoe more flexible and can aid in the transition from mid stance to push off. In the Floatcrest, the flex grooves provide some greatly needed flexibility in an otherwise stiff and unforgiving shoe. 

Runners with limited extension (upward bending) at the 1st MTP joint may want to steer away from shoes with flex grooves because they may increase the amount of 1st MTP extension required for push off, as compared to a shoe with a stiffer forefoot without flex grooves that may rely on toe spring or a forefoot rocker to aid with push off. The other potential issue with flex grooves is that the groove needs to align with an individual's 1st MTP joint. People have different length toes in relation to the total length of their feet, which means that some flex grooves may hit in front or behind an individual's 1st MTP joint. This may result in pain in the medial longitudinal arch, 1st MTP, or 1st IP joint (the toe joint closest to the toenail). 




RECOMMENDATIONS

David: I think there are a couple of things the Racefaster Floatcrest can look into. The firmness of the platform in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing, but the geometrical relationship could be improved. If there is going to be that much rigidity throughout, creating a more rolling effect and toe spring in the forefoot will help with decreasing the slap in the midfoot and in the stance phases. The other option is make the heel or midfoot a tad more flexible to smoothen out that initial contact and maintain the current forefoot flexibility. Either way, I think the big thing is cleaning up the transitions a little more. The shoe is definitely on the really firm side of things, but that still may work well for some. 

Andrea: For me, this shoe would be better if it was lighter, more cushioned, and had a more breathable upper. Refining the upper would reduce the weight of the shoe and make it more useful year round. Reducing the amount of rubber in the outsole would also reduce the weight and possibly reduce the firmness of the ride. With so many high stack shoes with better cushioning and less weight on the market, the Floatcrest falls short of expectations. 

WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR

David: The Racefaster Floatcrest is a really firm riding daily training shoe that gives some versatility to the trails as well. The heel is rounded well and there is some forefoot flexibility, though the transition through the midfoot can be cleaned up. Someone would need strong controlling muscles in the shins to help with easing that transition. The shoe does serve as a solid walking, work, and hiking shoe though. It isn't a bad a running shoe, though does have a hard time lining up with some of the offerings in the price range. 

Andrea: I am honestly not sure who I would recommend this shoe to. For $160, there is a huge selection of shoes that are lighter, more cushioned, and have a more refined and breathable upper than the Floatcrest. I tend to prefer shoes on the firmer and more responsive side, but the Floatcrest is too harsh even for my preferences. Runners with neutral mechanics who run in cold climates and want a very firm ride may like this shoe, and it is comfortable for prolonged standing. 



GRADING

David
Fit: B+ (Decently accommodating but does run on the thicker end with a pretty quick tapering forefoot that might encroach the toe box for some)
Performance: C+/B- 
(The shoe runs best at daily paces and on runnable dirt conditions, the foam is very firm and not the most responsive for other uses and will need some getting used to for usage on the roads)
Stability: B+/A- (Good ground feel and traction underfoot, though some flex in the upper takes away some appeal with harder turns or more unstable conditions)
DPT/Footwear Science: C+/B- (Nothing revolutionary here, though it is nice to see another all terrain type option entering the market)
Personal: C+/B- (This isn't a bad shoe, but a niche shoe in a category where I already have some others that are hard to compete with. Though I do enjoy using it in some of the runnable trails by my place, I don't find myself reaching for it too much.)
Overall: C+/B- (A really firm riding shoe that can use a little clean up on the midfoot transition, but does have some promise in the all terrain daily training category)

Andrea
Fit: A- (fits true to size, toe box on the narrow side)
Performance: C 
(Weight and harsh ride limit its use to short easy runs)
Stability: B (mild stability elements, but still a neutral shoe)
DPT/Footwear Science: B+ (forefoot flex grooves provide greatly needed flexibility to an otherwise stiff shoe)
Personal: C (I did not enjoy running in this shoe because it is too firm, heavy, and hot)
Overall: C+ (Not a great value compared to other shoes in the same price range due to harsh ride, weight, and thick upper)

SHOP | SUPPORT DOR

Racefaster Floatcrest
Price: $159.95 at shopracefaster.com

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FURTHER READING

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Find all Shoe Reviews at Doctors of Running here.

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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 Racefaster 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.

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

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Best Affordable Running Shoes in the Market Today

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