Reebok Forever Floatride Energy Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
While the Reebok Forever Floatride Energy did not win any award, it gets mad props for being a steady performer. It's primarily a comfort model with a more traditional design. It's geared more toward the occasional runner looking to get into a padded shoe that will give the knees and ankles some relief, but it's suitable for serious runners after a no-fuss shoe with a good amount of give in the landing. After hours of running in all sorts of condition, we found that they were among the most comfortable running shoes, but we weren't setting any PRs in them.
To get the best picture of the overall value of the Forever Floatride Energy, we broke them down across our performance measures and compared them to other top running shoes to bring out the strengths and weaknesses. Read on to see how they do in a field of the best running shoes available on the market right now.
The Floatride Energy is a thicker, plush-leaning model. The secret to these is their Pebax-based Floatride Energy foam. This material is lighter than TPU and EVA foam while maintaining comparable or better energy return. Meanwhile, its engineered mesh upper is a lot more pliable than comparable models, which not only improves the overall comfort and versatility, but it makes them better for cross-training because you won't snap your ankle if you have a sudden change of velocity (speed or direction). The only real internal stability structure it has is the heel counter, which improves adherence to the foot and keeps the upper responsive. All in all, it's a pretty high-performer that ought to work for most runners.
It's nice that Reebok brought back the waffle pattern so the shape of the sole doesn't force your landing style, though it's worth noting that the 9.6mm heel-to-toe drop could force your landing style a bit. Where they really excel is with the Floatride Energy Foam, which, as we mentioned, is lighter, super responsive Pebax material with properties comparable to EVA and TPU. The ride is plush without eating up your stride. It's one of the best landers in the lineup, and we suspect if you need some cushion underfoot when you run, you'll appreciate these shoes.
Like most comfort models, these aren't the lightest shoes out there, but for what is essentially a comfort shoe, these are pretty light, at 20.1 ounces in men's 11. That's largely owing to the Floatride Energy Foam, which is reportedly 30% lighter than comparable EVA. Plus the padding in the upper is fairly lean. We certainly didn't feel weighted down, despite their size and plush midsole.
There's very little that can break down in these. The upper is a utilitarian mesh that should last a good while. They have a tough carbon rubber outsole that should also make it a while, though it's fairly thin, so it may wear through faster than desired, especially if you're a scuffer or put in epic mileage every week. The only thing that might limit the life is the super light Floatride Energy Foam midsole. Most plush midsoles will start to lose their pop after a few years of hard, frequent runs, but most folks are ready for a change after a few years anyway.
There's nothing complicated or fancy about the upper - and we like it that way! It just uses basic foam padding and a basic engineered mesh, yes it's still a really comfortable shoe. It has a more natural, free-feeling than a lot of the other running shoes out there.
It uses thin, firm foam padding throughout the heel, tongue, and collar to creates a natural, snug fit that feels great out on both long and short runs. And one small, but notable design feature we really like is the thin padded mesh tongue with its rounded edge that cuts down on unwanted friction and chafe. These cleverly simple designs help it make its way up near the top of this measure and into our hearts.
The Forever Floatride Energy is a bit above average compared to the other models in our review, but it does a fine job of getting rid of moisture and heat. Its mesh isn't quite as think or aerated as some of high-flyers, but there was never a point on our runs, even on long, hot training sessions out on the road, when we felt they were too hot or held sweat. That's despite the comfortable sockliner and padding along the heel and tongue, which tend to limit the breathability, but not terribly. There are more breathable models, but these will get you through without a problem.
These running shoes come in at a fairly accessible price point. For the turkey trotter or hard lander, that's a pretty reasonable price.
It's true that the Reeboks aren't the lightest or the fastest or plushest, but their strength is that they're one of the best running shoes for runners in want of a traditional shoe in the middle ground. They have a lot of cushion in their light EVA midsole and a good deal of energy return. The tradeoff is that they feel a bit slower because the energy of each stride is slightly lost in the midsole's compression, but that significantly dampens the jolting your joints would otherwise take. That slowness is somewhat offset by the comparatively low weight (20.1 ounces in a men's 11). No, they didn't come away with any awards, but there's a lot of value in being a humble workhorse for the guys who just want to get out there and do a few miles without fussing over an indigestible list of jargony premium features. For you guys, these are a solid buy.
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