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Reebok Floatride Energy 5: Torsion Plate!?
By Andrea Myers and Bach Pham

Reebok's Floatride Energy was the shoe that really reinvigorated the brand in the running world. Energized by a TPU midsole, it brought a lighter, more responsive trainer to the market at an excellent price point. Five editions in, Reebok has decided to make a couple of noticeable changes to their signature model, adding a torsion plate underneath and more stack to level up the shoe. In this review, we'll share our thoughts on the latest model and discuss if the changes are for the better.

Reebok Floatride Energy 5
Price: $110 at Reebok
Weight: 9.4 oz, 266 g (men's size 9), women's size unavailable
Stack Height: 27mm heel, 19 mm forefoot
Drop: 8mm
Classification: Daily Trainer


Andrea: The Reebok Floatride Energy 5 feels like a modern take on a classic daily trainer. In this era of high stack trainers, the Floatride Energy definitely stands out as a trainer that is closer to the ground and has a firmer ride. I have had the opportunity to test the Floatride Energy 3 Adventure and the Symmetros, but this is my first time testing the regular Floatride Energy model. The midfoot X-plate contributes to a firm landing, especially for me as a midfoot striker, but I was pleased to find that the midsole softened up a little after 20 miles. This shoe could be a great daily trainer for runners with narrow feet who prefer a lower stack shoe with a neutral ride.

Bach: The Reebok Floatride Energy 5 is a traditional daily training model. It's cushioned, but not maximal stacked which is refreshing in a market that continues to veer north of 30mm in the heel. Powered by Floatride Energy Foam, the latest model taps a touch more in the heel. It also widens out the midfoot a great deal and uses a new "x-plate torsional support" to stiffen it, aiming to add both support and responsiveness. With the changes in place, the Floatride Energy 5 leans a bit less versatile and a lot more easy day comfort-oriented.

: On Cloudgo, Brooks Levitate 6


Andrea: I received my usual women's size 9.5 in the Floatride Energy 5. I found it to fit slightly long, with a little more than a thumb's width from the front of my big toe to the end of the shoe. The heel and toe box width are normal, but the midfoot is quite narrow and is further narrowed by significant medial and lateral sidewalls. During my first run, I was definitely aware of the tightness in the midfoot and was happy to be done after 5 miles. The midfoot sidewalls have broken in during subsequent runs, and while the midfoot remains snug, it is no longer uncomfortably so. I am usually sensitive to the toe box of a shoe being too narrow, but I was pleased that I had no discomfort related to that region of the shoe. The toe box is definitely not wide enough to allow toe splay, but I did not experience any pressure at my 1st or 5th MTPs.

The Speedshift 2.0 upper is a thicker mesh material that fits comfortably, but does not stretch. The shoe has extensive overlays that run from the heel to the toe box on both the medial and lateral sides. These overlays provide structure to the mesh, particularly through the narrow midfoot. The padded tongue is gusseted and is held in place by a lace loop at the midpoint of the tongue. I did not experience any slippage or discomfort related to the tongue. The laces are flat, do not stretch, and stay securely in place while running. There is a moderately rigid heel counter that wraps around the lower part of the heel medially and laterally. The heel collar has ample padding and angles away from the Achilles. I found the fit of the rearfoot to be comfortable and secure.

The overall fit of the Floatride Energy 5 is quite secure, but this shoe will definitely be best for runners with narrow feet. This shoe has one of the narrowest midfoot regions out of all of the shoes I have tested. The shoe does run a bit long, so runner between sizes may want to size down 1/2 size.

The Floatride Energy 5 features what Reebok calls their Speedshift 2.0 upper. The upper fits mildly snug, but true to size. I felt most comfortable in thin socks, while thicker socks made it feel very snug over the midfoot due to a large width, padded tongue that is uniquely padded from the top all the way to the beginning of the midfoot which is the main contributor to that snug-fit.

This shoe will work well for those with narrow feet and lean a bit snug for standard feet over the midfoot. The volume over the toes is okay, being a stretchy material, but the midfoot's snugness might counteract that comfort for those with wider feet. Using it for just everyday errands on top of running, I found the snug fit to be a little uncomfortable for all-day use. Though the shoe is comfortable to walk in, I'd regulate this to running only.

There is more material and particularly more heel padding in the second edition of this sustainable upper (+30% recycled materials) compared to the more minimal Speedshift 1.0 upper seen in Version 4. The shoe breathes okay, but is a touch warm over the highly padded tongue that extends down the midfoot. It didn't cause me issues though. The upper feels a little rough on the exterior, but fine in the interior with socks. There is a mildly flexible padded heel counter with a bit of a rigid heel counter at the very bottom that wraps around the base of the heel. Those with heel sensitivities may still want to be a little cautious here, though it isn't fully rigid throughout the heel counter. The fit is extremely secure in the heel as a whole.

FYI: for larger shoe size runners, the Floatride Energy 5 now comes in Men's Size 14 and Women's Size 12.


Andrea: Setting the tightness of the midfoot aside, the feature of the Floatride Energy 5 that stood out to me was its firmness, particularly at initial contact. The midfoot X-plate, which Reebok states was designed to contribute to a more responsive run, makes midfoot landings very firm and a little harsh. Heel strikers may have a difference experience in the shoe, as the rearfoot does feel a little softer when I heel strike while walking. The forefoot rocker does help soften the ride by promoting a smooth transition from the midfoot, but the lower stack in the forefoot results in an overall firm, relatively unforgiving ride. While this is a 8mm drop shoe, the moderate heel bevel makes it feel like slightly lower, but the stiff and narrow midfoot prevent midfoot landings from feeling natural.

I primarily used this shoe for easy runs, but its firmness and rocker geometry does allow you to pick up the pace if needed. This would not be my first choice for a workout shoe due to its weight, firmness, and tightness in the midfoot. As an easy day shoe, it is not for days when your feet or legs are feeling beat up, because the shoe is not going to give you much in the way of cushioning. I did like it for easy days after doing a workout in a super shoe, because I find that running in a less forgiving shoe like the Floatride Energy 5 helps to reset my mechanics (see DPT section for more thoughts on this). Runners looking for a more cushioned Reebok daily trainer should check out the Symmetros 2, which has a more forgiving fit and a more cushioned ride (with an increase in weight of 0.7oz).

I really like the outsole that Reebok uses for the Floatride Energy 5, which is similar to the outsole for the Symmetros 2 and the Floatride Energy Adventure. It has full rubber coverage with small lugs that provide excellent traction in dry and wet conditions, as well as exceptional durability. My pair shows minimal wear after 25 miles and I would except greater than average durability from the outsole.

There's a lot of changes in the Floatride Energy 5. We have more stack, a widened midfoot, and a torsion plate. My first run in the shoe was a little jarring. It has a unique combination of a flexible forefoot with a stiffened midfoot that starts to stiffen towards the front of the midfoot. After spending a couple of days just casually wearing the latest Floatride and getting used to its new design, it started moving a lot more comfortable on the run. The feeling overall is not like past Floatrides. Yes, the design is still similar with an excellent bevel and smooth transition throughout; but the torsion plate is noticeable in the midfoot and creating this tightness in the rear that is not in past versions. I would not say it is providing a snappiness here in the Floatride Energy 5, but rather a stabilizing effect. On the first few runs, I was unsure if I loved how stiff it felt on the midfoot, but as the shoe broke in the ride improved with each run and I ultimately found the shoe to be a comfortable, stable cruiser. I actually did grow to enjoy the ride for logging miles once I got used to it's unique combination of elements. I think the stiffness is also nice for barrelling uphill and found it very easy to maintain a good pace no matter the elevation.

Picking up the pace in the Energy 5 is kind of just fine. This model does gain nearly a full ounce over its predecessor and it is noticeable. If you want to do some strides or a few slightly uptempo efforts, it can handle it, but is not necessarily the best at the job either. The shoe really feels best at easy paces and does a great job of just providing fluid, easy-paced transitions. It doesn't feel as cushioned in the forefoot as its cousin, the Symmetros, instead providing a slightly firmer ride in the forefoot.

The outsole is fairly tough and durable, with no wear after 25 miles. It grips the road well and handles wet surfaces without any issues. I would not take this on grass or into rain itself though. The upper gets wet and slightly heavy easily.


Andrea: The Floatride Energy 5 is a neutral shoe, but it has several stability elements that are done well. The heel bevel, midfoot X-plate, and forefoot rocker provide some guidance from initial contact to pushoff, regardless of where a person lands. The X-plate does make midfoot landings a little harsh, so midfoot strikers may want to proceed with caution with this shoe. Despite the narrow midfoot not working perfectly with my foot shape, the overall fit of the upper is quite secure, thanks to the extensive overlays, nicely integrated tongue, and secure rearfoot. The heel has moderate sole flaring that tapers into mild sole flaring in the forefoot, and the forefoot sole flare does appear more pronounced medially, which may reduce excessive motion in that direction. The firmness of the midsole also contributes to the overall stability of the shoe. 

Bach: The increase in midfoot width and the torsion system does make this the most stable Floatride Energy 5 ever. The upper does a good job of locking the foot down and keep you connected to the platform. There's some mild sole flaring which also further helps keep the runner centered. I feel fairly confident in the shoe for my daily runs and would lean on the shoe being a stable neutral trainer.

Thoughts as a DPT: Softer Midsole, Increased Vertical Impact Forces?
By Andrea Myers

It has long been thought that softer running shoes would result in softer landings. This seems logical on the surface - if you put more cushioning under your foot, your foot will not hit the ground as hard, resulting in decreased impact forces and reducing injury risk. Digging deeper, as it often does, reveals a more complicated picture. In a 2015 study, Baltich et al tested runners in three shoe conditions: Soft (Asker C-40), Medium (Asker C-52), and Hard (Asker C-65). Asker C is a measure of durometer, or hardness of a material, with a greater number indicating a harder material.

Interestingly, they found that as midsole hardness decreased, vertical impact peaks increased. The vertical impact peak is defined as the maximum value of the ground reaction force during the first 50 milliseconds after heel strike, or more plainly, the peak force that occurs at heel strike. Runners who land at the midfoot or forefoot typically have a reduced or absent vertical impact peak. The same study found that ankle joint stiffness (and to a lesser degree, knee joint stiffness) also increased as shoe midsole hardness decreased, meaning increased joint stiffness when running in shoes with a softer midsole.

Why would this be? Think about how you walk or run on sand or loose dirt as compared to walking on pavement. It takes greater muscle and joint control to walk on a softer surface because it is less stable, therefore requiring the body to stiffen the joints closest to the ground (ankle and knee) for additional control. The authors theorized that the increased vertical impact peaks found in the Hard shoe condition were a result of increased ankle and knee joint stiffness at initial contact. 

In a more recent study of 800+ runners published in 2021, Malisoux et al also found increased vertical impact peak forces in a soft shoe condition as compared to a harder shoe. Interestingly, they found a reduction in running related injury risk for runners who were assigned the soft shoe condition, but this reduction was only statistically significant in lighter runners. As with many running-related topics, more research is needed to provide better clarity on the relationship of midsole firmness to running kinematics and injury risk.

I bring up this topic in relation to the Reebok Floatride Energy 5 because I found it to be a very firm shoe. As I mentioned above, I have found that running in a firmer shoe, particularly the day after doing a workout in a highly cushioned super shoe, feels like it resets my biomechanics in some way. It is possible that this may be due to reduced ankle and knee joint stiffness when running in a firmer shoe. I often find that I do not feel as recovered if I do my recovery runs in a softer, high stack trainer. I think runners tend to assume that if they are tired or sore, they should run in a very cushioned shoe to reduce the strain on their bodies. Research and my personal experience indicate that may not always be the case. As always, runners should try different types of shoes, letting comfort be your guide, in determining the right shoe for you on a given day. 


Baltich, J., Maurer, C., & Nigg, B. M. (2015). Increased vertical impact forces and altered running mechanics with softer midsole shoes. PloS one, 10(4), e0125196. 

Malisoux, L., Delattre, N., Meyer, C., Gette, P., Urhausen, A., & Theisen, D. (2021). Effect of shoe cushioning on landing impact forces and spatiotemporal parameters during running: results from a randomized trial including 800+ recreational runners. European journal of sport science, 21(7), 985–993.


Andrea: The Floatride Energy 5 has the potential to be a great lower stack, neutral daily trainer, which is a category that is rapidly disappearing. My first recommendation would be to further widen the midfoot fit to make the shoe accessible to a greater number of runners. While I often complain about the width of toe boxes, I have never run in a shoe that is so tight in the midfoot. My second recommendation would be to refine the midsole design at the midfoot to make the shoe more comfortable for those of us who land further forward. This could be simply by reducing the stiffness of the plate, or getting rid of it altogether. The midsole is firm enough that I suspect the shoe will be just fine without the addition stiffness of the plate. My third recommendation would be to balance out the sole flare in the midfoot so it is more symmetrical on the medial and lateral sides, which may further center the ride.

I feel there is a middle ground between the Speedshift 1.0 and 2.0 upper where the next version can meet at. The tongue and heel feels a little too over built here, and a comfortable, but more streamlined version will help the midfoot breath a little. I didn't have issues dialing the shoe down in the original Speedshift and feel there a middle ground that Reebok can achieve.

The other recommendation is trying to figure out how to separate the goals of what the Symmetros and Floatride Energy achieve, which now seems more similar than ever before. I think there is room to elevate one of the models - likely the Symmetros - into more of a max cushion category and keep the other in this middle class of daily trainers to help provide more separation. It just feels like a lot of overlap in goals despite the fact they are built a little different now that the Floatride Energy has this torsion system in place.


Andrea: The Reebok Floatride Energy 5 is for runners looking for a lower drop daily trainer with a firm ride. Due to the width of the midfoot, I would primarily recommend it for runners with narrow feet. The firm midsole in combination with the midfoot X-plate makes this shoe better suited for heel strikers as opposed to those who land further forward. 

While the shoe wasn't one of my favorites, it does fall into the shrinking category of lower drop, neutral daily trainers. High stack, cushioned daily trainers aren't for everyone, and I am glad that Reebok (along with some other shoe companies) continue to make a shoe reminiscent of the days of yore (meaning the early 2010s). I also like that Reebok has kept the price point low on this shoe, which also makes it accessible to a greater number of runners. Not everyone can afford to spend $150+ on a daily trainer, and the high durability outsole of the Floatride Energy 5 will make this a particularly good value. 

Bach: A longtime fan of the series, I've run in the Floatride Energy 1, 3, 4 and some offshoots inbetween like the Floatride Energy Grow. The thing I've always loved about the Floatride Energy is the versatility of the models. I felt like you could do a lot in the shoe, from easy days to mild workouts without complaint. The latest edition is a big update that I feel narrows it's purpose down to a comfortable easy day trainer. It's not a bad thing entirely, but for those who have been longtime fans of the series this may be a polarizing model. It's more fitted for easy days and less as a do-it-all trainer. That being said, the more I took the model out, the more I've grown to enjoy it. I think it's a solid shoe for newer runners in particular who want solid, stable trainer to get started in running while also providing a little more excitement than a budget trainer.

I do appreciate that Reebok continues to manage an excellent price point for this series ($110), even with a lot of new bells and whistles integrated. For those who want to try it out, I recommend pairing it with a performance trainer like a Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 or if you want a combo of daily training with a long run shoe that's also in-house, the Floatride Energy X.

Fit: B- (narrow midfoot overshadows the great features of the shoe, including the comfortable upper, well integrated laces/tongue, and secure rearfoot)
Performance: B- 
(firm landings limit the use of the shoe to shorter, easy runs; too heavy for faster workouts)
Stability: (stable neutral) B+ (Good use of non-traditional stability elements, including heel bevel, forefoot rocker, and secure upper)
DPT/Footwear Science: B+ (firm shoes like this one may reduce vertical impact forces and ankle and knee joint stiffness at initial contact)
Personal: B- (tightness of midfoot and firm midsole greatly limit my personal use of the shoe)
Overall: B-/B 

Fit: B (Fits true to size, but a bit snug through the midfoot due to the larger, padded tongue)
Performance: B/
B+ (It took a few runs to get settled in, but once I got used to the ride it's a great cruiser for logging everyday miles)
Stability: B+ (Big increase in stability through the midfoot, though may be unsettling for some not used to it)
DPT/Footwear Science: B (torsion design is interesting, but whether or not it is accomplishing the goal of what Reebok set out to do with it - I think it misses the mark)
Personal: B (It's a solid trainer I'd grab for an easy run, but didn't become a go-to for me right off the bat like some training models this year so far)
Overall: B


Reebok Floatride Energy 5
Shop: $110 at Reebok

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