|Left to Right: Sweet Road 2, Floatride Run Fast, Floatride Run Fast Pro|
At a very fair price of $100, this approx. 9.6 oz // 278 g US men's 9, 8 mm drop trainer seems to us the product of very, very careful consideration of and laser focused improvements area by area of the competitors in the class such as the Brooks Ghost, Saucony Ride ISO, Nike Pegasus 35, Asics Dynaflyte 3, Skechers Ride 7, adidas Solar Boost, even we would venture to say the lighter Kinvara.
Weight: Approx. 9.6 oz // 278 g US M9
Our sample US M8.5 weighs 9.3 oz/263 g
$100. Available now.
First Impressions and Fit
This is one sharp classy and distinctive color way. I get tons of questions and compliments whenever I run it.
The upper is also called out as having a lightweight and irritation free fit. I run daily barefoot in the Sweet Ride 2 and it is a delight. I run barefoot in very few shoes. It was obvious even before trying that the soft mesh, no overlays, and not even any stiffeners beyond a short soft one at the toe bumper would allow barefoot running. The front hold is surprisingly good for essentially zero overlays and soft mesh. This said it is a "natural" easy fit, well held but not exactly locked in snug. Those with wider and problem feet should love the fit of this shoe.
The midsole is injected EVA. I prefer the somewhat livelier bouncier feel of injected EVA over compression molded EVA.
The outsole has a segmented crash pad with firmer heel rubber and relatively soft forefoot rubber. While the heel may feel a bit to stable "thunky" at slower paces for some as pace picks up transitions and toe offs are most smooth and comfortable. There is plenty of long lasting rubber here and unlike some more "budget" run shoes with gym pretensions it is not a firm harsh rubber. In fact it could be a touch firmer at the forefoot to increase response.
The ride here is smooth and on the soft side with plenty of energy but not a crazy bouncy feel or a hard pop off the road. Response is moderate due to the soft forefoot rubber and midsole. This said this is a shoe that feels best as the pace picks up and one gets off the heels but is also fine run slow. There is plenty of cushion and the transitions are very smooth and easy here. While not a "ride" characteristic I have very much enjoyed running the Sweet Road barefoot in our oppressive heat this summer.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Nothing exceptionally innovative here, no flashy new foam beyond maybe the KooshRide TPU tubes in the mix. Yet the combination of attributes and the careful top to bottom execution has me for sure leaning towards the Sweet Ride 2 as my trainer of the year. The upper is outstanding in its combination of sublime comfort and adequate support. The weight at under 10 oz is fine for a daily trainer with so much durable rubber. The softer, easy going ride is stable and the Sweet can go fast (to a point) or long. I have very happy legs, comfortable feet and smiles every time I take these for a spin. The price is very fair. Clearly Reebok dissected the competition, worked the details, executed, and has hit another one to go with their incredible racers out of the park here. Highly recommended as a faster paced, comfy and easy riding daily trainer.
Sam's Score 9.80 out of 10
-0.1 for weight. It would be nice if Reebok followed the trend towards modern lighter yet dynamic foams here but at $100 for a sub 10 oz shoe with all the positives of ride and potential durability I can't complain to much. They sure know exotic foams given their incredible Fast and Fast Pro racers..
-0.1 for a touch firmer forefoot rubber which could help the response.
Nike Zoom Pegasus 35 (RTR review)
The Peg 35 is considerably firmer and stiffer. It is for sure more responsive but in a way which requires more decisive action. It's upper is fine if snug but... I am getting used to the Sweet's comfort...The Peg 35's upper and firm responsive feel make it a potentially better "workout" shoe for speedier stuff but not nearly as fine a daily trainer for me.
Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo (RTR review)
The new, almost double the price Turbo is two ounces lighter, softer and more dynamic, almost to soft for me at heel and less stable there than the Sweet. It's upper takes a completely different approach being a dense fine mesh with lining and has issues for some over the toes. For the money and as a daily trainer with a similar softer ride the Sweet Road 2 wins.
UA Sonic HOVR (RTR review)
The HOVR is another super fine $100 shoe. It too has a softer rear core, HOVR. It shares a stable heel with the Sweet but is firmer especially at the heel and transitions more ponderously.
Saucony Ride ISO (RTR review)
The soft Ride ISO upper is way harder to dial in than the more minimal Sweet's and in a pointed p;us the Sweet nails the mid foot medial support with such an upper while the Ride ISO doesn't for me. If I could get past the Ride's upper issues I might say its slightly firmer ride and also nicely flexible outsole is more dynamic with more response if not quite as smooth and easy.
Brooks Ghost 11 (RTR review)
This is a fairly close comparison all around although the Ghost is heavier. While the Ghost heel with its new DNA Loft insert is comparable in its stability and feel, its 12 oz drop is noticed and adds weight. Its forefoot is somewhat firmer, stiffer, and more stable with a more pronounced and further forward flex point than the Sweet. It's engineered mesh upper is considerably less pliable and thicker and may provide those needing more support in their neutral trainer more of it but doesn't hold a candle to the Sweet's. I prefer the Sweet.
Brooks Launch 5 (RTR review)
The somewhat lighter but not much so Launch 5 tries to pull off a more fabric like thin engineered mesh upper which while very comfortable for me doesn't cut it in terms of medial support when combined with its narrow on the ground mid foot platform. Clear win because of that to the Sweet.
Skechers Go Run Ride 7 (RTR review)
Lighter, livelier, soft and not particularly stable up front the well cushioned Ride 7 suffers for me from a lack of adequate outsole thickness and coverage to stabilize the softness. The stack provides more cushion than Sweet's and the upper while not the easy fit of the Sweet is just fine.
Asics Dynaflyte 3 (RTR review)
The somewhat light Dynaflyte 3 has a yet less structured upper at the front of the shoe. It is broad there and not particularly foot conforming as the Sweet's is . It's heel area stablity and hold is similar to the Sweet's substantial but the Sweet is a less constricting and overwrought at the rear of the shoe. The new FlyteFoam Lyte is denser and somewhat firmer than Sweet's. It is not as much fun or as easy to run but does provide a touch more stability and response.
Saucony Kinvara (RTR review)
Why do I mention the K shoe. Well the Sweet reminds me a lot of the earlier Kinvara with yes more drop (8 vs 4mm) more cushion and rubber but with an easy fitting upper and flexible easy going ride.
adidas Solar Boost (RTR review)
The closest comparative adidas is the new Solar Boost. Heavier with a very challenging upper for me with its combination of snug forefoot stretch fabric and an awkward but fancy looking mid foot cage the Solar Boost has a more dynamic bouncier ride with comparable rear stability but is held back by its over complex not particularly comfortable and likely weighty upper. Scrappy sister company Reebok for the win!
The Sweet Road 2 is now available at Reebok.com here
The product reviewed in this article were provided at no cost. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.Comments Questions Welcome Below!
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Sweet Road 2 coming soon!
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