No Lifejacket Required When You Take Reebok Floatrides For a Spin
The new Floatride running shoes gives the wearer both softness and responsiveness, enabling them to float through their run.
I'm a big fan of reading product reviews on magazine—whether or not I'm not in the market for gear. As it happens, I was waiting for the right shoe to pop up on my personal radar when fate intervened: I read that the Reebok Floatride Run snagged the publication's "best debut shoe" for 2017.
Was this a coincidence? Not in my book. I was seeking a lightweight shoe with a distinct look and these shoes appeared to fit that description nicely. That's when I decided to kill two birds with one stone: I would review these new Reebok running shoes and share my experience with other runners, too.
I start my journey on the website
Where else does one go to draw early conclusions about the features and benefits of a product? Cyberspace, of course. The product description impressed me, but then reality struck: Would Reebok say anything but positive things about their own product? Probably not. I'd have to run in them myself.
After a pair of Reebok Floatrides arrived on my doorstep in a colour mix that suits my conservative taste: graphite, white, blue and black. I inspected them and was immediately attracted to the rugged-looking texture of the shoe's exterior. Having taken Reebok's advice and ordered a half-size smaller than my normal size 8, the fit was perfect. So far, so good.
Does the Floatride description match the experience?
It took about 20 minutes to feel comfortable enough in these shoes to make my first observations. The shoes felt light and airy and performed nicely over several types of surfaces. By the time I was finished with my test run, I understood why this shoe's name was chosen—I felt as though I was floating.
Construction is intricate and seamless: the one-piece Ultraknit upper is divided into zones that maximise support and flexibility so the cell-structure pressure-set foam construction passed muster.
But while my feet felt nicely supported, I was worried that shock absorption issues experienced when I wore lightweight shoes in the past would haunt me again despite Reebok's claim—that the 3D heel would do a great job absorbing impact. I needn't have worried. I gave Floatrides two thumbs up on behalf of my skeletal system!
Does the Floatride suit my lifestyle?
In fact, it does, but I've got to tell you that when I learned that the 3D heel cradle I had been raving about to friends was fabricated by a bra manufacturer, my macho side responded dramatically. A bra maker designed the interior workings of my new Reebok shoes? I don't have to tell my friends about this, right?
But, I do have to address features and benefits so this review includes accurate observations:
- My feet experienced a very keen sense of balance likely the result of supportive EVA foam rim centres.
- The tread rubber on the outsole has a ripple design to grip the road or track firmly when making contact.
- I feel confident that this shoe can get me to the finish line nicely should I elect to run a full marathon down the road.
- The Ultraknit weave texture repelled dirt when I took these shoes on the trail.
- In addition to solid construction and tenacity, the Floatride doesn't sacrifice mid-foot stability.
- I didn't experience transitionary "interruptions" when I ran, nor did I have to stop and re-lace my shoes.
- During my runs, my feet expanded nicely, but at no time did I experience pinching, squeezing or discomfort.
- The Floatride is deceiving: it looks like a "minimal" kick, but it doesn't act like one. My feet felt just as supported as they do when I wear beefier running shoes.
- At S$219, my first reaction was to ask myself how much I wanted to float! The retail price could stop some shoppers in their tracks.
- Wide feet may not fare as well in these Reeboks due to the way the sole is configured.
- Try before you buy if you have arch issues because you could find this area of the shoe to be narrow.
- Due to the high heel volume and lack of counter, the potential for slippage and irritation could ruin your run if you’ve experienced these issues in the past.
Do you consider yourself the pioneering sort? I do—which is why I was intrigued to read that the Reebok Floatride Run is actually the company's first experiment in producing running shoes with knitted-uppers. And the wave design on the soles is, in my opinion, pioneering, too.
And how many shoes have you worn that came with their own back story? Floatrides were introduced to the world as an "homage" to an earlier shoe named for Sydney Maree who held the world record for the 1500m back in the 1980s!
I'm a sucker for success stories, so in the interest of transparency, I found this back story to be compelling and it certainly predisposed me to like these a lot even before I wore them for the first time.
Are they perfect? For me, the answer is yes. But I urge readers who have had issues with heel slippage to audition these before they hand over the plastic. If, like me, you don't have this history, you should be delighted with the way the Floatride performs—just don’t let that bra thing hang you up, okay?
The Reebok Floatride Run retails at S$219 in Reebok VivoCity, Reebok Velocity @ Novena Square and iRUN Queensway.