- Stack Height:
More than a century after making its first running shoe, but after a decade of ignoring running, Reebok has recommitted to the running scene. Now owned by adidas and focused on “the fitness consumer,” the company has developed the award-winning Floatride line for runners.
The Reebok Forever Floatride Energy lands at the lower end of the price spectrum in a world of sky-rocketing running shoe prices. New for spring of this year, it delivers a durable, decent ride in a lightweight package. But not without a few compromises.
- 7.3 oz. (W) / 8.7 oz. (M)
- 10 mm
- Stack Heights
- 26 mm heel/ 16 mm forefoot
- Expanded TPE Floatride Energy foam
- Full-coverage carbon rubber
- Engineered mesh
100 Miles In: The Review
Out of the box, the Reebok Forever Floatride Energy looks slick and simple. Its pearly outsole stands out: Resembling fancy styrofoam, it feels soft, but springs back when pressed. Although the shoe has a few unpolished details (a square ledge along the top of the midsole where it meets the upper, unfinished upper seams), it looks sharp enough.
The last is narrow and long, with a tapered, pointy toe box. This factor could be an advantage for those with extra-long second or third toes, or slim feet, but does my wide forefeet a bit of a disservice. Fortunately, the fit didn’t contribute to any painful blisters or hotspots, even after 100 miles in a range of conditions. That may be the case because I had more than ample length in my size. On that note, if you’re trying these on, I’d recommend comparing a half size down to the size you generally wear in running shoes—unless you need or want that extra toe space.
In lock-step with the evolution of foam across a range of running shoe brands, Reebok used its latest foam, a thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) called Floatride Energy, in this model. Like other foams in this class—Boost, React, EVERUN, DNA AMP, Altra EGO, Hyper Burst—it’s designed for responsive cushioning. Check and check. Underfoot, the cushioning feels firmer than expected, but it is responsive, as promised, once on the run. Plus, it was impressively durable. Even after more than 100 miles of wear, the foam doesn’t show any signs (or sensations) of compression.
On the run, the midsole feels firm, without remarkable give or take. A generous heel-to-toe drop relieved pressure on a tight calf. I missed the supportive feel of, well, anything under or around my high arch, but didn’t run into any associated complications during easy runs or workouts.
When I set out on my first road run, the shoe sounded loud and slap-happy on concrete, which improved slightly with a shorter, more conscious stride. Overall, it felt neither flexible nor rigid, but somewhere in between the two extremes. The outsole, composed of full carbon rubber, held up well on concrete, pavement, buffed-out urban trails, beach sand, mixed gravel, and even in a little bit of mud.
The engineered mesh upper is breathable and protective, plus quick-draining and -drying. It doesn’t stretch or conform to feet, but features thoughtful reflective hits and a minimal heel counter.
There’s The Rub
A few peeves popped up while logging the first 100 miles. First, the slick laces come undone even when double knotted. What’s more, the tongue often moved around. These issues conspired with my sizing issues to allow my foot to slide around, especially when taking corners. A lock-lace helped some.
Second, the construction felt firmer down the center of the shoe from heel to toe—akin to a beam under a bed frame—and we all know that a princess feels the pea. Although Reebok describes the midsole design as “engineered for neutral foot motion,” and I didn’t feel much under the arch (mine are high and there’s a large gap in between my arches and shoe), it feels like the midsole is thicker and firmer the medial (arch) side than the lateral. I noticed myself favoring the outside edges of my feet while running, with a compromised big-toe-off.
Choosing shoes is incredibly personal, especially models with energy-return foam that has to match the timing and mechanics of your stride to deliver its magic. The Forever Floatride Energy provides a modern, high-quality foam in a light, inexpensive package that will work for many, but if I were bargain hunting for an everyday training shoe that could also carry me through a road race, I’d might rather drop a Benjamin on, say, the Brooks Launch. It has similar geometry, but a better-fitting upper (for my foot) and a springier ride (for my stride), albeit at nearly an ounce heavier. The Asics Roadhawk FF 2 also comes in at $100 and an ounce heavier, while the Altra Solstice is both lighter and $10 cheaper, but with a lower, firmer ride.
The Reebok Forever Floatride Energy is a durable, lightweight shoe with new foam technology. It’s a simple design —with a few fit and finish issues—that delivers responsive cushioning at a low price point. Launched in March 2019, the Reebok Forever Floatride Energy is available in specialty running stores and online at Reebok.com now.