Reebok Forever Floatride Energy – Can surprisingly simple win it from the big boys?

When I think of running shoes, Reebok is not the first brand that comes to mind. Not because there is anything wrong with Reebok, but I just associate them more with lifestyle sportswear rather than actual sportswear. But I heard some rumours about this great new running shoe from Reebok that was only $100. So, I wanted to see for myself what the fuss was all about.

I even managed to get it for half the price on sale. 

The Reebok Forever Floatride Energy is a neutral road running shoe that only weighs 202 grams. It has a forefoot stack of 19 mm and a heel stack of 29 mm giving it a 10 mm drop. 

Upper

The upper is made out of an engineered mesh and the look of this shoe is very simple. No weird gimmicks or weird overlays, but it is made from a nice breathable material. This shoe has a detached tongue and it even has extra eyelets, which is something that seems to have become quite rare in running shoes with knit, one piece uppers these days.

There isn’t a lot of padding in the tongue or in the heel collar, but for a bit of a faster everyday running shoe that’s fine. The Forever Floatride Energy has an internal heel counter and an external overlay which provides enough stability. Despite the upper being quite thin, I didn’t have any stability issues with this shoe. 

Midsole

The midsole is where this shoe really shines. The midsole is made of expanded polyurethane foam, which provides a surprising amount of energy return. I wouldn’t describe this ride as plush, but it is bouncy. It is cushioned enough while still giving you a decent amount of ground feel. It’s not the most flexible shoe out there, but it is flexible enough to give you a smooth heel to toe transition. 

Outsole

This shoe has a full, one piece, carbon rubber outsole, which does provide a good amount of traction on different surfaces. So far I don’t see any wear on the outsole and it seems very durable. 

Although it’s a full outsole, it is a very thin layer. Less than you would see in the average running shoe, which enables this shoe to remain light. There are slightly diagonally placed flex grooves underneath the forefoot and vertical underneath the midfoot towards the heel. 

Fit

I’ve heard a lot of people say that the Floatride Energy runs big and that you should size down, but I ordered my regular running size and didn’t find the shoe too big. 

The heel collar is higher than your average running shoe and since there isn’t a whole lot of padding in the heel it did rub against my achilles and created a hotspot for me. 

Performance

The Forever Floatride Energy has, as the name suggests, a very nice energy return. My splits are always a bit faster than average in this shoe. But it isn’t a very plush ride and the shoe has quite a bit of ground feel. Depending on your preferences, that can be a pro or a con for this shoe. I did notice the midsole was a bit stiffer in colder weather conditions and took a while to warm up. However, this shoe easily adapts to different running paces.

Conclusion

This shoe looks really simple and there isn’t a whole hype surrounding the materials used or a lot of marketing around some new kind of technology. However, it is a surprisingly good shoe, there’s a reason why Runner’s World named the Reebok Forever Floatride Energy as the best budget shoe of 2019. They are not wrong. It’s a great everyday trainer for a decent price. 

It’s a simple and light but good shoe that provides enough stability and has great energy return. It probably won’t make you break any world records, but you will notice the energy return. This shoe might not be your next marathon shoe, but it’s great for those shorter to medium runs where you want to pick up the pace a bit. It’s a great shoe to have in your rotation and a great shoe for beginners who don’t want to spend a crazy amount of money on their first pair of running shoes.

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