Reebok Floatride Run Review
The exciting thing about Reebok Floatride Run is that it uses the same type of foam as the amazing (if flawed) Nike Vaporfly 4%. If the Floatride has a fraction of the benefits of the Vaporfly, it could be an awesome shoe. The vapor fly is incredibly light yet massively cushioned and incredibly bouncy. On the other hand, the Floatride is a reasonably good, but relatively ordinary running shoe. It's unclear how much of the new "Pebax" foam is used in the Floatride, but I believe it's all of the white colored foam in the pictures below. The blue foam above, and through the zigzag pattern seems to be a harder, EVA foam. Under foot, the Floatride is reasonably well cushioned, and has a little bit of spring, but nothing that sets it apart from the crowd. The upper is a bit of a mixed bag, and the designers clearly didn't follow the Bauhaus "form follows function" approach. I have some reservations over the way the lacing concentrates forces on a relatively small part of the top of the foot that caused me some troubling pain on prolonged downhill running. If the Floatride had a traditional upper, I would be torn between a quote highly recommended" and a simple "recommended", but the problems with the upper make me downgraded to a "worth considering" grade. (I use The Science of Running Shoes as the basis of how I test running shoes and what you should look for in a running shoe.)
- . The Floatride is a comfortably cushioned, and has a reasonable cushioning-to-weight ratio. There is the same kind of spring that you'd get from a well-constructed shoe that uses traditional EVA foam, rather than some think exceptional that you might expect from the new Pebax foam. I was a little concerned that the zigzag pattern would be in some way uneven, but I never noticed any effects. The heel is not only thicker than the forefoot, but feels noticeably softer, a combination which has its pros and cons. If you tend to land more heavily on your heel, then this softness is a little more cushioning, without sacrificing toe off responsiveness. On the other hand, it exacerbates the drop, and actively encourages greater forces in the heel. I think that the Floatride managed to capture more of the advantages than the disadvantages, though it took me a while to adapt to this much of drop.
- . The Floatride 6mm of drop, which is more than I'd like, but this increase is all the way to 10 mm when loaded. This again suggests that the heel is quite a bit softer than the forefoot. While this is far more drop than I would like, I didn't find my heel catching the way that I would expect.
- . The Floatride has a fairly complex structure. There is the softer white foam at the bottom which has a zigzag of blue triangles from the midfoot forward of firmer foam, then a ream of firmer foam around the outside edge. The firmer foam towards the front of the shoe produces a differential firmness, and the rim of firmer foam keeps the foot centered in the shoe. I generally find that's a fairly unobtrusive way of stabilizing the foot without intrusively interfering with natural pronation. That's certainly the case with the Floatride, which felt both stable and neutral.
- . The Floatride has moderate flexibility, which I suspect is limited by the fairly extensive hard rubber outsole. I was concerned that the zigzag of different phones would make the Floatride want to bend only in certain positions, but that's not the case. The Floatride bends reasonably naturally.
- . The Floatride has extensive, fairly thick hard rubber outsole over the entire sole of the shoe. This outsole is perforated with many gaps as you can see from the photos above, but it's still a lot of rubber, which increases weight and reduces flexibility. It uses where, but I typically find that the life of the shoe is limited by the collapse of the foam midsole, not the abrasion of the contact patches.
- cut open the toe box so my toes would not get crushed and so my foot could move naturally. (I recommend cutting open the toe box of virtually all running shoes, with the exception of a few shoes like some Altra shoes. When you have some worn out shoes, you should try cutting open the toe box. I've found that it's a big improvement, allowing my toes to move naturally and engage for toe off, as well as reducing the possibility of blisters.) . The Floatride is not designed to fit a human foot, so I
- . The upper is in 2 distinct parts; the black midfoot and forefoot, and the blue via in the photos above. The black material is thick and heavy, but far more stretchable than most running shoes. To offset this there's a rigid plastic exoskeleton that goes from the midsole to the lacing points. I found this combination to be extremely problematic. In a typical running shoe, the sole is attached to your foot by the entire upper, spreading the forces across the top of your foot. But in the Floatride, the attachment is really limited to this hard plastic exoskeleton, which concentrates the forces in a fairly narrow area. I found that after downhill running for a protracted time, I had some disturbing "top of the foot pain", an injury which is gradually subsiding. This type of pain is typically problematic to resolve, so I urge caution. The back of the shoe (colored blue the photos above) feels like it's made of some type of foam, and is reasonably comfortable.
- . The Floatride is a single piece construction over the midfoot and forefoot, so there's no tongue. The flexibility of the upper means it's still easy to put on, but as noted above this results in increased pressure on the top of your foot. Perhaps exacerbating this problem is a complete absence of any padding over the top of the foot.
- . The Floatride has flat laces that stay tied without a problem. While the laces are unusually wide, there are only 3 eyeholes, again concentrating the forces on the top of your foot.
- . The Floatride has a fairly innocuous foam reader that acts as a stand-in for a heel counter.
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2 A Comparison with other Recommended Shoes
If you're looking for "the best of the best" running shoe, here are my top picks. Of course, the answer will depend a little on what you're looking for, so I have recommendations for various categories.
For a more detailed on running shoes see the Recommendations for Best Running Shoes. This table lists the key attributes of What to Look for in Running Shoes. For more detailed information, on the shoes see detailed shoe comparison.
|Saucony Type A Review||Saucony||A/A7||Recommended||$100||6.0||6.7||12.1||19||22||1||4.1||7|
|Saucony Type A6 Review||Saucony||A6||Highly Recommended||$100||7.7||6.1||9.5||17||21||4||4.7||7|
|Saucony Type A8||Saucony||A8||Highly Recommended||$90||7.1||6.2||9.7||19||20||-1||4.4||7|
|Adidas Adios Boost 2 Review||Adidas||Adios||Worth considering||$140||4.4||8.6||13.4||17||27||11||3.8||6|
|Hoka Bondi 5 Review||Hoka||Bondi||Recommended||$150||5.7||11.6||18.1||38||42||5||6.7||2|
|Hoka Clayton 2 Review||Hoka||Clayton2||Highly Recommended||$150||8.6||8.3||12.9||23||28||1||7.1||5|
|Hoka Clifton 4 Review||Hoka||Clifton4||Worth considering||$130||7.2||9.3||14.5||30||35||10||6.7||3|
|ON Cloudflash Review||On Cloud||Cloudflash||Worth considering||$180||4.2||8.3||14.6||19||26||7||3.5||6|
|On Cloudracer Review||On Cloud||Cloudracer||Worth considering||$130||5.4||8.2||12.8||19||27||5||4.4||7|
|ON Cloud X||On Cloud||CloudX||Review Pending||$140||4.3||8.3||16.3||21||27||7||3.6||7|
|Mizuno Wave Cruise Review||Mizuno||Cruise||Worth considering||$120||6.3||5.9||12.5||17||20||7||3.7||6|
|Newton Distance IV Review||Newton||Distance||Worth considering||$155||7.1||9.1||14.2||26||31||3||6.4||5|
|Asics Gel DS Racer 10 Review||Asics||DS Racer||Worth considering||$110||7.8||7.0||10.9||21||26||6||5.4||5|
|Mizuno Wave Ekiden 8 Review||Mizuno||Ekiden||Worth considering||$115||5.3||5.7||14.6||13||18||6||3.0||8|
|Saucony Endorphin 2 Review||Saucony||Endorphin 2||Worth considering||$115||7.5||5.1||9.6||15||13||-1||3.8||8|
|Adidas Energy Boost Review||Adidas||Energy||Worth considering||$160||6.8||10.0||15.6||20||30||7||6.8||5|
|Altra Escalante Review||Altra||Escalante||Best of the Best||$130||8.6||8.7||13.5||28||25||-1||7.5||6|
|Saucony Fastwitch Review||Saucony||Fastwitch||Highly Recommended||$90||9.0||7.1||11.1||20||22||4||6.4||7|
|Topo Fli-Lyte 2 Review||Topo||Fli-Lyte2||Highly Recommended||$100||6.4||9.1||14.2||24||26||3||5.8||5|
|Reebok Floatride Run Review||Reebok||Floatride||Worth considering||$150||7.2||9.6||14.9||28||34||10||7.0||5|
|Saucony Freedom Review||Saucony||Freedom||Recommended||$160||5.1||10.7||16.6||25||29||3||5.4||6|
|Skechers GORun 4 Review||Skechers||GORun||Not recommended||$100||5.7||7.5||11.7||15||23||3||4.3||7|
|Skechers GOrun Ultra 2 Review||Skechers||GRU||Worth considering||$90||7.1||10.0||15.6||28||34||8||7.1||4|
|Asics GT 2000 Review||Asics||GT 2000||Not recommended||$120||4.5||11.2||17.4||28||35||5||5.1||2|
|New Balance Hanzo S Review||New Balance||Hanzo||Worth considering||$110||7.1||6.9||10.7||21||19||2||4.9||5|
|Hoka Hupana Review||Hoka||Hupana||Recommended||$115||5.7||8.9||13.9||31||36||7||5.1||4|
|Asics Gel Hyper Speed 7 Review||Asics||Hyper Speed||Highly Recommended||$75||10.2||6.3||9.8||22||26||5||6.4||6|
|Altra Instinct 4.0 Review||Altra||Instinct 4.0||Worth considering||$120||5.7||9.8||15.3||29||25||-1||5.6||5|
|Asics Tarther Kainos 3 Review||Asics||Kainos||Worth considering||$130||9.4||6.9||10.7||17||27||9||6.4||6|
|Saucony Kinvara 8 Review||Saucony||Kinvara 8||Best of the Best||$110||8.8||8.6||13.4||26||31||3||7.5||5|
|Nike LunarSpider R5 Review||Nike||LunarSpider||Recommended||$125||6.5||6.7||10.4||17||21||3||4.3||6|
|Hoka Mafate Speed Review||Hoka||Mafate||Best of the Best||$170||7.1||11.9||18.5||39||40||4||8.5||1|
|Pearl Izumi EM Road N0 v2 Review||Pearl||N0||Highly Recommended||$100||7.5||6.5||10.1||14||20||4||4.9||8|
|Saucony Nomad Review||Saucony||Nomad||Worth considering||$110||4.1||10.5||17.2||25||27||2||4.3||4|
|Hoka Odyssey Review||Hoka||Odyssey||Highly Recommended||$130||8.0||9.4||14.6||37||45||5||7.5||3|
|Altra One 3.0 Review||Altra||One||Recommended||$100||5.8||8.8||13.7||23||23||0||5.1||6|
|Asics Piranha SP 5 Review||Asics||Piranha||Recommended||$100||9.5||4.2||6.5||11||15||3||4.0||9|
|Brooks PureFlow 5 Review||Brooks||PureFlow||Worth considering||$110||5.7||9.7||15.1||26||29||5||5.5||8|
|Salming Race Review||Salming||Race||Worth considering||$130||6.5||6.5||10.1||16||19||4||4.2||6|
|New Balance RC1600 v2 Review||New Balance||RC1600||Highly Recommended||$110||8.3||5.6||8.7||15||21||5||4.6||8|
|New Balance RC5000v2 Review||New Balance||RC5000v2||Best of the Best||$125||13.4||4.0||6.2||13||21||6||5.4||7|
|Skechers GoRun Ride 3 Review||Skechers||Ride||Worth considering||$85||5.6||8.5||13.2||18||28||6||4.7||8|
|Nike RN Distance 2 Review||Nike||RNDist2||Worth considering||$120||7.6||9.2||14.3||25||28||4||7.0||7|
|Inov-8 RoadXTreme 220 Review||Inov-8||RXT-220||Worth considering||$120||4.9||8.0||18.2||14||17||3||3.9||8|
|Salomon Sense Ride||Salomon||Sense||Worth considering||$120||8.0||10.0||15.6||24||29||3||8.0||3|
|Altra Solstice||Altra||Solstice||Review Pending||$90||6.6||8.1||12.5||23||25||1||5.3||6|
|Topo ST-2 Review||Topo||ST-2||Highly Recommended||$90||7.7||7.3||11.4||20||18||0||5.7||7|
|Hoka Stinson Lite Review||Hoka||Stinson||Highly Recommended||$160||6.9||11.6||18.1||35||40||6||8.0||0|
|Nike Zoom Streak LT 3 Review||Nike||Streak LT||Best of the Best||$80||8.3||5.4||8.4||16||21||4||4.5||5|
|Adidas Takumi Sen 3 Review||Adidas||Takumi Sen 3||Highly Recommended||$160||7.3||6.6||10.2||17||21||4||4.8||5|
|Altra Torin 2.0 Review||Altra||Torin||Worth considering||$125||5.4||9.6||14.9||28||25||-1||5.2||4|
|Hoka Tracer Review||Hoka||Tracer||Recommended||$130||6.8||7.4||11.5||21||24||2||5.0||5|
|Merrell Trail Glove 4 Review||Merrell||Trail Glove 4||Best of the Best||$100||3.2||8.4||23.8||13||13||0||2.7||10|
|Topo Tribute Review||Topo||Tribute||Recommended||$100||5.6||7.3||11.4||20||18||-1||4.1||6|
|Altra TIMP||Altra||TRIMP||Highly Recommended||$130||5.4||11.6||18.1||28||31||2||6.2||3|
|Mizuno Wave Universe 5 Review||Mizuno||Universe||Highly Recommended||$125||10.1||3.1||10.6||9||12||1||3.1||9|
|Altra Vanish-R Review||Altra||Vanish-R||Review Pending||$100||9.7||5.3||8.2||19||21||0||5.1||8|
|Merrell Vapor Glove 3 Review||Merrell||Vapor Glove 3||Highly Recommended||$85||2.0||6.1||27.6||6||5||0||1.2||10|
|Nike Vaporfly 4% Review||Nike||Vaporfly||Best of the Best||$250||9.8||7.2||11.2||25||37||8||7.1||2|
|New Balance Vazee Pace Review||New Balance||Vazee Pace||Worth considering||$110||5.6||8.6||13.4||18||24||6||4.9||5|
|Asics TartherZeal 3 Review||Asics||Zeal||Worth considering||$140||10.3||6.3||9.8||17||27||9||6.4||6|
|Saucony Zealot 3 Review||Saucony||Zealot3||Recommended||$130||8.4||9.5||14.8||29||32||4||8.0||6|
|Nike Zoom Fly Review||Nike||Zoom Fly||Worth considering||$150||7.8||8.7||13.5||29||36||8||6.8||3|
It's not a running shoe, but I love the Hoka Tor Ultra hiking boot and I've tested the Altra Lone Peak Boot, the Hoka Tor Speed 2, and the Inov-8 Roclite 325 hiking boots
Older shoe reviews: Saucony Hattori Review, Mizuno Cursoris Review, Skechers GO Bionic 2 Review, Hoka Clifton Review, Saucony Virrata 2 Review, Brooks PureCadence 3 Review, Brooks PureConnect 3 Review, Brooks PureFlow 3 Review, Skechers GO Bionic 2 Review, New Balance 980 Review, Brooks Transcend 2 Review, Hoka Huaka Review, Patagonia EVERlong Review, Asics 33-DFA Review, Hoka Conquest Review, Saucony Cortana Review, Puma Faas 100 R Review, Saucony Fastwitch Review, Nike Free Review, Asics Gel Lyte 33 Review, Skechers GOmeb Speed Review, Skechers GOrun Ultra Road Review, Nike LunaRacer Review, Altra Paradigm Review.