Friday, March 08, 2019

Reebok Floatride Energy Forever Initial Review: Light, Lively, and Well Priced Super Foam

Article by Mac Jeffries

Editor's Note: We will have a full multi tester review soon, but here we share Mac's review. Mac is a new RoadTrailRun reviewer with an interesting background. He is a former collegiate defensive lineman who runs to fill the competitive void left after school and to stay in shape. He is in his late 30s, runs 50-80 mpw, and at 6’3”, has come down from his playing weight of 275 to a steady 205l lbs for the last 10 years. Jeff’s PRs are 19:30, 1:33:xx, and 3:23:xx; he also teaches and coaches XC & T&F. Welcome to the RTR team Mac!

Reebok Floatride Energy Forever ($100)

Mac: The battle of midsoles continues, as does the resurrection of Reebok as a serious contestant in the running market. After the Floatride’s debut with a fantastic Pebax midsole but iffy upper, Reebok hit back to back home runs with their Floatride Fast and Floatride Fast Pro models. The Forever Energy uses a NEW midsole technology - that they simply call Forever Energy - that is a new TPU/TPE (think “Boost” or “Everrun”) based midsole that manages to be much lighter than the norm. What they ended up with is a fantastic shoe for Easy to Tempo efforts for only $100. Shoe Market: take notice.

Mac:  The midsole is cush with great energy return, the upper is simple (in a good way), weight is among the best on the market for a TPE midsole, and did I mention it is only $100?

Mac:  shoe laces are too short, sizing is big (definitely order a half size smaller), and insole is non-removable (you can still remove it quite easily), and collar may come up a bit too high for some.  

Forever Floatride Energy ($100)
Men's: 8.7 oz / 253 g  Women's 7 oz /202 g
Available February 2019

First Impressions and Fit

Mac: First, let me stress: ORDER A HALF SIZE SMALLER, and if you are between sizes already, consider ordering a full size smaller. I wear a 14 in virtually every running shoe on the planet - which sometimes leads me to resent companies such as Nike, Adidas, Salomon, and yes, Reebok, which often only offer their premium shoes up to a size 13 - but I took a chance on ordering these after hearing that they run large, both in length and width. Glad I did, because the size 13s fit me perfectly, and I would have missed out on the most pleasant surprise I have had early in this new year. (By contrast, I could ALMOST make the size 13 Floatride Fast work on my size 14 foot with a thinner insole, but I ultimately sold them after a couple of runs.) Aesthetics are highly personal, but I really like the clean, simple look of these *coughSPEEDcough*, with the only flash coming in the diagonal white scheme sloping from the Achilles to the ball of the foot.


Mac: (Reminder: I am reviewing a shoe that is a size smaller than what I usually wear.) The upper is very simple, in a good way. Most of it is an engineered mesh that reminds me of the New Balance Beacon. It has just enough stretch to conform to the foot, and feels secure at all speeds. I am somewhat of a toe-box snob, and although these don’t have the exaggerated last of an Altra or even the anatomical shape of a Topo, there is very little - if any - toe crowding. Toe splay is more than adequate. Lace lockdown is good, although I replaced the laces with something just a little longer so I could use all of the upper eyelets. 
Tongue stays in place well with a traditional slot to work the laces through. One possible negative for some: the collar comes up just a touch higher than most of my shoes - including at the achilles - so that is just barely grazes the bottom of my ankle. This has not led to any irritation, but it is something to consider.

Floatride Energy is an expanded pellet TPU (think Boost) foam that it said to be more responsive and springy and lighter than traditional EVA foams. The foam here is clearly not Boost (Reebok is owned by adidas but does its own thing from everything we can tell)  as the pellet grains seem much smaller and it is lighter. It will also allow Reebok to offer other "super foam" based shoes at a great price as Energy comes in at $100, Grasse Road at $120, and Harmony at $120. See RTR's 2019 Reebok preview here.

Mac: The midsole is where this shoe absolutely shines. It feels like running on Boost or Everrun - maybe just a touch firmer - but at 1-2oz lighter than TPU shoes of the same size. The result is a ride that is both firm and responsive, and just a joy to run in. Plus, being a polymer instead of a foam, I expect these to be much more durable - resistant to compression - than traditional EVA.

Mac: The outsole is a single piece of rubber with good traction. The outsoles of the Fast and Fast Pro were lauded, and this one is in the same category. I have run on wet and dry asphalt, and I detected absolutely no slippage on wet roads (definitely a point over the Beacon).


Mac: My longest run in these is 13 miles, and my hardest was a 10 mile run that included 5 miles at tempo, and the shoes simply disappeared on my feet. They are slightly firmer than my Beacons and my Skechers Razor 3s, and definitely firmer than my Saucony Freedoms. The flex seems to occur just at or behind the ball of my foot, which feels very natural. These have 10 mm of drop - which is more than I am used to - but not at all unpleasant, and actually welcomed towards the end of longer efforts.

Conclusions and Recommendations
Mac: Reebok simply hit this one out of the park. Here is a shoe priced at $100 that is relatively lightweight, well cushioned, responsive, springy, and most of all: fun. I smile every time I lace these up. Right now, I can see myself doing nearly all of my training runs - replacing my Freedoms for Long Runs and my Beacons for Tempo and Interval work - in these. I will still pull out my flats for my fastest reps and track sessions, but I may still give these a chance. I have run 45 miles so far and see zero - zero - compression or outsole wear so far. 
Are they perfect? No. I would like to see the collar a touch lower, slightly longer laces, and the sizing fixed (although the sizing issue helps me here, as I otherwise wouldn’t be able to wear this shoe). But honestly, 2 of those 3 you can fix yourself by ordering a half size smaller and switching out the laces.   
Mac's Score: 9.9/10
-.1 for the high collar; no points deducted for the laces or sizing which can be easily remedied by the buyer. Major points for Value, Ride, Technology, and Fun Factor

New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon (RTR Review)
Mac: This is a sad one for me, because the Beacons have been a mainstay for me for months now from anything from Easy Runs down to Tempos… but although the Beacon is lighter, the Forever Energy does everything else better for me: road grip, midsole, fit… plus, the Forever Energy has a wider range of paces and is $20 cheaper. I feel like I am stabbing a close friend in the back, but: Advantage: Reebok Forever Energy.
Skechers Performance GORun Ride 7 (RTR Review)
Mac: I liked - not loved - the SGRR7, but the Forever Energy does everything better. Not close for me: Forever Energy.
Saucony Freedom (RTR Review)
Mac: The Freedom has been another mainstay for me for Easy and Long Runs, but I have always had to modify them to get them to work for me. The Forever Energy has a much more secure upper, is lighter, has a less mushy midsole, and is $60 cheaper. Advantage Forever Energy.
Skechers Razor 3 Hyper (RTR Review)
Mac: This is the only shoe that I am picking over the Forever Energy, but only for specific purposes: Long Distance Racing. The Razor 3 is significantly lighter - if gaudier - with just as much midsole spring and protection. Even though the upper is more secure in the Forever Energy, the weight difference is more than enough to make me choose the Razor 3s for any race that matters. For most anything else, though, I am picking the Forever Energy.
The Forever was a personal purchase. The opinions herein are entirely the author''s.

Editor’s Note: Joining Mac, and soon others here at RTR, I ran for the first time today in the Forever Energy, an easy indoor 3 miler before a 25K trail race tomorrow. I was sent a half size up from my normal and they were long, very long maybe close to a full size long. Interestingly overall foot hold was totally fine. Update: Reebok sent me a true to size pair and length is fine, maybe a touch long. I would not size down any further. I now wonder if my early sample (and maybe Mac's as well) was off in length as the difference is noticeable. 
I concur with Mac that this simple upper just works and agree that the heel collar is a touch high or to firmly padded on the medial side.

The overall under foot midsole feel is very reminiscent of the springy zing of Skechers Hyper Foam with less of the Boost bounce of adidas and far less firmness than Everun in the Freedom. Other key differences between Forever and Razor, 6mm more drop, and while we await stats what feels like more heel stack, and a more substantial heel outsole which keeps the heel from bottoming out a slow paces as Razor does for me . Key differences with Freedom again more heel cushion, and a far better upper with real heel counter. 

The result is a very lively springy and stable ride. They have a distinct snappy flex point similar to say an Adios 4 or Boston but are more cushioned in the forefoot.  The construction has zero plastic pieces or EVA to control Boost’s bouncy lateral forces and none are needed. 

This is a far livelier springy foam than React but not as silky softer smooth in energy return as the Pebax in the Reebok Fast and Pro,  Vaporfly 4 %, and Peg Turbo. Compared to the pure Zoom X Pegasus Turbo the Forever Energy is certainly more responsive if not quite pillowy soft…and as result far more stable than the Turbo. 

Compared to the mostly all midsole as outsole and relaxed upper Beacon you will get almost equally as much cushion, somewhat less at forefoot with more at the heel but a springier more dynamic cushion, a more performance oriented upper, more drop, and plenty of outsole rubber for wear, stability, and a lively toe off. Yes they will weigh more.

We titled the review with mention of “super foam” and indeed Floatride Energy foam earns it in this well put together performance trainer at a reasonable price. I can well see Forever Energy being a top 2019 marathon racer pick for many. More to come in our upcoming full review.
Comments and Questions  
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Anonymous said...

Love your review.
Is the Reebok forever more a plush soft feel underfoot or firm or moving toward hard. I am looking for a plush responsive trainer, go long as well as tempo runs so I like plenty of shock absorbing cushioning underfoot. I have the freedom but found it not enough cushion for long runs and to firm. Boost I have found too generally soft and not stable enough. So is the reebok forever more the boost feel or everrun feel. I also have the beacon and love it but the upper is hot in summer and wondering is the reebok has a more breathable upper and again more cushioned for those long runs. How does it compare with the saucony triumph iso 5, or new balance 1080 v9 etc for cushioning, responsiveness and as a daily trainer. Thanks :)

Patrick said...

Mac I run with orthotics (dropped metatarsal head, nothing doing), and had to return the beacons, cause I just couldn't fit my orthotics in there and leave enough room in the toebox, do you find the reeboks more generous in the toe?

Greg Simmons said...

I found it firmer than all my boosts and less bouncy than react. It was a big Meh compared to fancier shoes I can get on sale for me but at 100 bucks or even less with their coupons it's a dam good value.

Upper is super breathable and traction on wet is great. Outsole is built like a tank. I slam heel hard and no wear after 20 miles

Half size too big

More forefoot cushion than their faster shoes which is nice for my toe blisters, but the foam is kinda uninspiring. I will wish they had this exact shoe with the peebax foam and the open mesh as I would be all over this for hot weather running.

Its not a plush ride like say a vaporfly, peg turbo or a soft Hoka. It's a shoe for those like old school firm ish shoes

Greg Simmons said...

Pretty sure they are 10mm drop as the insole has this written on it

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - "I have the freedom but found it not enough cushion for long runs and to (sic) firm." The RFE has a little more heel cushion and possibly a little less forefoot cushion than the Saucony Freedom. However, the midsole is definitely more secure than Boost and Everrun. The flip side is that I consider the RFE to also be a little firmer than Boost or Everrun.

Anonymous said...

Patrick - I think the RFE has a little more width - or at least stretch - in the toebox than the Beacon, but the Beacon has a little MORE volume than the RFE... but... if you order your normal size in the RFE (which should normally be too big) and remove the "non-removable" insert, I bet you will be good to go.

Kuz said...

Great review! I've been looking for review before buying anything for the past few months and this one seems like a great candidate for short run at tempo pace. I'm just wondering if it's plush enough for recovery pace and is it stable enough compared to, let's say, Skechers Gorun Ride 7?

Mac said...

I really like it for everything from Recoveries to Intervals. Some folks may prefer something Hoka-ish for recoveries, but it is plenty for me at 205lb. (For instance, I much prefer these for recoveries over the Altra Paradigm 4, which has a TON of TPU cushioning... but that is largely personal preference. I just didn't like the squish of the AP4.) Also, with 10mm drop, there is plenty of versatility get further back on your midfoot at slower paces.
All the best,

Mac said...

Yes, I believe you are right on the 10mm drop. My hiking boots I just got in are 8mm. Oops! Sincere apologies!
It sounds like our experiences are very similar, with the exception that I found the RFE's midsole to be pretty great in it's own merit, not just *for a $100 shoe* (emphasis mine).
Thanks for the catch.
All the best,

Unknown said...

Nice article. I'm going to have to pay extra attention to Mac's reviews, as I am also in my late 30s, 6'3", 205lbs, and wear a size 14.

Keep up the good work!


Cameron Johnson said...

I find that the midsole bounce is on par with React, Boost, and Everun. I also find the shoe softer than the Freedom Iso 1, but firmer than Boost. It is comparable to the Freedom Iso 2 I think, but more cushioned in the heel.

Anonymous said...

Should i get this or go run ride 7, im looking for a cheap daily trainer, my pegs 35 is 400km-ish and some of the outsole already smoothed out....

Mac said...

I consider this to be far superior to the SGRR7 (which is a good value shoe in its own right). Upper, midsole, and outsole significantly better in the RFE.

Arne said...

Hi, I am a German reader (age 55) and fan of your blog. Very nice reviews. I ordered the Reebok a half size down two days ago at a price of 85 €. Today, I went out for a 12k (pace 4:59 p.K.) during stormy weather and had a big smile on my face. These shoes are the ultimate successors of my NB 890v4. I replaced the laces and the insole by Currex Run Pro. Absolute amazing ride. Dynamic, snappy midsole. Compared to the Skechers GRR7, the Altra Escalante or the Saucony Freedom Iso V1, the Floatride FE is more stable. And had no issues at all. I highly recommend these shoes for speed work to recovery runs and also up to marathons. If you have the choice for one shoe..........Reebok did it !

sam winebaum said...

Hi Arne, Thank you very much for following RoadTrailRun! We have many readers in Europe and also Asia. I am one run into the Forever Energy and it is one fine dynamic, snappy ride exactly as you say! Reebok really has emerged with excellent and innovative shoes the fast couple of years: Floatride Fast and Pro and now the Forever Energy. I am also really looking forward to Grasse Road and Harmony also with Floatride Energy foam!
Sam, Editor
Thanks for reading Road Trail Run! See our page with links 100’s of in depth shoe and gear reviews HERE. You can also follow RoadTrailRun on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram where we publish interesting run related content more frequently as well as links to our latest reviews.
Shopping through links on articles help support RoadTrail Run and is much appreciated!

Mac said...

Hi Unknown!
Yes, us big guys need to stick together! FWIW, my rotation before this shoes was Saucony Freedom for slow stuff, New Balance Beacon down to Tempo and Interval pace, and Skechers Razor 3 for most races (Go Meb Speed 5s for the shortest stuff).
Run lots of hills!

Anonymous said...

Do you think these could finally be the replacement for supernova glide 8’s?

Anonymous said...

Hi Sam,
Great to hear you are doing a multitester review too. :) - Hi from Australia.
Can you add comparisons to other trainers as well, new balance 1080 v9 and Saucony truimph iso 5, Nike vomero 14. Would you see this shoe in the same category as a daily trainer too. Does it have the same cushioning levels. I have the beacon but wondering if the Reebok has a deeper more solid impact protection for those longer distances and better breathability of the upper. Is it similar in softness of the midsole too. Thanks.

Mac said...

I found the Supernova series to be clunky fitting, and all of the plastic overlays on the upper dug into my foot. This one-piece upper - with tpu(?) inlays - melts onto your foot, and the ride is much cleaner and under control. I believe this has a similar stack as the Supernova, but at over an ounce lighter. So, yes, definitely worth a shot!

sam winebaum said...

Hi Steve,
The Forever Energy is more in the performance trainer than daily trainer or even premium daily trainer (Triumph) you mention. It is less shoe and a faster shoe except maybe the Vomero 14 which I find ideal for heavy duty long up tempo running as it combines a very stable cushioned here with a dynamic quite flexible forefoot. My initial reaction and Mac who has more miles on them can chime in is that Forever Energy is more protective, cushioned shoe, more dynamic shoe than Beacon which is light, lower drop and for me a bit sloppy all around including under foot. Reviews of all you mention below.
Sam, Editor
Thanks for reading Road Trail Run! See our page with links 100’s of in depth shoe and gear reviews HERE. You can also follow RoadTrailRun on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram where we publish interesting run related content more frequently as well as links to our latest reviews.
Shopping through links on articles help support RoadTrail Run and is much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Sam, so it would be great to do a comparison with the Nike Vomero 14. I did go for a short run in one, found it okay except I felt the forefoot lacked a little in cushion. Is the cushioning levels similar in the Reebok including forefoot, is the midsole feel softer or firmer than the Nike vomero 14. Here the vomero is $229 and Reebok $130 (amazing price). Thanks.
Cheers Steve

Hollander said...

What is RTR Discount Code for Reebok?

Also how would you compare to Brooks Launch 6?

Thank you

Anonymous said...


I'm just wondering if i should pick the floatride energy or the floatride Run fast, these two just become available in local store, i'm looking for a daily trainer,

Will the energy last longer than the fast?i burned through 500 km in 2.5 months in my pegs...

and i'm still waiting for the multiple runner reviews :D

Anonymous said...

If you are looking for a daily trainer, you’ll probably want the Forever Energy over the Fast... Although I haven’t heard about durability issues frm the Fast, the Pebax midsole of the VF4% is notorious for losing its pop fairly quickly.

That being said, why choose? Get both! A great daily trainer and a great workout/race shoe! That is a good problem to have!

Luc said...


How is the sizing for you for the forever energy? You downsized also?