Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Reebok Floatride-A Brand with a Storied Run Heritage Remerges at The Running Event. 3 oz/99 g Fast Pro! First Run Impressions Floatride Run

Article by Peter Stuart with Sam Winebaum

Reebok had some of the most exciting shoes at The Running Event in Austin, TX this past week. They kept it focused, simple and clean.  Reebok, now part of adidas, has more recently been known for a fitness and CrossFit focus but the brand has a storied and long heritage in running in the UK going back over 100 years. In 1984 Royal Air Force mechanic Steve Jones wore Reebok to his 2:08:04 world record at Chicago, in his first completed marathon. Steve was at the Running Event where we chatted with him next to his world record shoes
Reebok showed us three models--all part of the Reebok Floatride Series:

Floatride Run ULTK,  Floatride Run Fast and the The Floatride Run Fast Pro

Update: read our review of the ULTK and initial review of the Fast here

Update 4/18: See our full multi tester review of the Fast here
Top: Floatride Run ULTK,  Left: Floatride Run Fast, Right: The Floatride Run Fast Pro

The Floatride Run ULTK is a $150 neutral shoe. It weighs in at 8.8 oz/250 g for a men's size 8.5 in our sample, purchased from Reebok, with the listed weight 8.6 oz. It has a 26mm heel/18mm forefoot, 8mm drop.
There are lots of interesting things about this shoe. Most interesting is the "Float Foam"--a  TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) foam from Reebok that feels eerily like the foam in the Nike Vaporfly 4%. It's some version of Pebax foam. It feels springy and light--fundamentally different from most foams out there. It is designed to be both super soft and responsive

The Floatride Run has a sidewall of EVA for some support and stability. The shoe is fairly stiff with a distinct, snappy toe flex.

There's a stretch knit upper, all shoe, no tongue.
Reebok seeks to keep the foot locked down through the use of a plastic cage that holds the mid and rear of the foot.

The outsole of the shoe is nearly full coverage rubber so it looks like it should wear just fine.

Floatride Run First Run Impressions

Sam: I have run once in the Run. It has a substantial stretchy knit upper. It fit me true to size if, as all such stretch knit uppers do, somewhat snuggly but in no way overly constraining. The ride is a wonderful combination of firm response from the full outsole and shock free cushion from the Float Foam. The Float Foam provides a distinct rebound and energy return, all well controlled by the EVA rim layer and outsole, so this is a quite stable neutral runner.  It is a more conventional running shoe than the VaporFly with a fairly stiff toe spring, whereas the VaporFly has none, and overall the Run is a somewhat firmer ride. 

The Floatride Run Fast is a much lighter, snappier version of the FloatRide. It will be available June-July 2018.
Reebok Floatride Run Fast

Fast is $140, has an 8mm drop is "ultra responsive and light weight" at 6.05 oz/ 172 g with a 25.5mm heel/17.5 mm forefoot, 8mm drop.  It is meant for uptempo runs, racing and long runs alike. Float Foam is again the story here. It has an EVA sidewall. 
Reebok Floatride Run Fast
Gone is the cage you'll find on the Floatride Run, and the upper is made of engineered mesh rather than heavier knit and unlike in the Run the heel counter is much more minimal  It's a more "typical" looking running shoe, but promises to have a different under-foot experience. The upper is seamless.

The Fast has a lighter rubber outsole than the Run and surprisingly a wider last, on the ground platform.

The Floatride Run Fast Pro is perhaps the most exciting race shoe we saw at the Running Event. It will be available June-July 2018.
Reebok Floatride Run Fast Pro
The Pro weighs an amazing 3 oz/99 g, has Float Foam, a 4mm drop (16.5 mm heel, 12.5 mm  forefoot). This is a race shoe for sure. We haven't gotten to run in it yet, so I'm not sure whether it's a 5k racer or whether it can take longer distances like the 1/2 marathon, but it sure is light.
Reebok Floatride Run Fast Pro
The upper is a single layer engineered mesh. The midsole is ultra light TPE Float Foam with an EVA sock liner. There is no EVA rim as in the other 2 models. The High Traction Pad outsole is an engineered TPU sheet with little nubbins for grip. I can't imagine it will last long, and at $250 that may be an issue for some folks, but hey this is a pure race shoe.  
Reebok Floatride Run Fast Pro
Reebok Floatride Run Fast Pro
Update:  read our review of the ULTK and initial review of the Fast here

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caesar said...

i guess the TPE is the same one that use in Crocs right?
well i've been running in crocs and they are what i can called a combination of plushy yet responsive ride. it cushion enough yet you still can feel what underneath your foot

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Caesar,
It is TPE but not sure it is the same formulation as in Crocs. I don't know much about TPE, yet, but see there are several ways to form it to foam from several companies and to different characteristics. I would agree with you that it is plusher than EVA but here the way the shoe is put together, EVA sidewalls and full outsole not as plush as Crocs.
Sam, Editor
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