The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Reebok Floatride Run Ultraknit - Women's Review

A unique shoe meant for speed that lacks the support and comfort of its competitors.
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Price:  $150 List | $81.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Responsive, lightweight
Cons:  Expensive, no support
Manufacturer:   Reebok
By Lauren DeLaunay ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 8, 2019
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70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 14
  • Landing Comfort - 25% 7
  • Upper Comfort - 25% 6
  • Responsiveness - 20% 8
  • Stability - 20% 6
  • Weight - 10% 9

Our Verdict

The Floatride Ultra Knit is Reebok's take a new trend in the running shoe world. With a sock-like upper supported by a plastic frame and laces that hold the frame together, the Floatride is similar, in this way, to the Adidas Ultraboost 19. This shoe features a bouncy sole, a cushioned heel, and a lightweight design. While we didn't like this product's lack of support and found its construction was not one of our favorites, we would pick the Floatride over the Ultraboost nearly any day of the week - though we might not shell out this price.


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Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award   
Price $81.00 at Amazon$129.95 at Backcountry
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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80
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77
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75
Star Rating
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Pros Responsive, lightweightComfortable, responsive, supportiveLightweight, comfortable upper, very responsiveSupportive, protective, comfortableHighly responsive, supportive
Cons Expensive, no supportNot as light as some other contendersLess cushioningLess breathable, less responsiveLess comfortable upper, not as light
Bottom Line A unique shoe meant for speed that lacks the support and comfort of its competitors.An outstanding all-around shoe that finds the balance between all metrics.A quick shoe with a one-of-a-kind balance between comfort and responsiveness.Strikes an awesome balance between comfort and responsiveness.The Air Zoom Pegasus is a supportive shoe with a highly responsive sole made for speed.
Rating Categories Floatride Run Ultraknit Adrenaline GTS 19 Sonic RA Pro 2 Brooks Ghost 11 - Women's Air Zoom Pegasus 35
Landing Comfort (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
7
Upper Comfort (25%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
Responsiveness (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
9
Stability (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
Weight (10%)
10
0
9
10
0
5
10
0
10
10
0
6
10
0
8
Specs Floatride Run... Adrenaline GTS 19 Sonic RA Pro 2 Brooks Ghost 11 -... Air Zoom Pegasus 35
Weight per shoe (ounces) 7.2 9.4 6.8 8.8 7.9
Weight per pair 14.4 18.8 13.6 17.6 15.8
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Narrow, Regular, Wide Regular and Wide
Sizes Available 7 - 13 5 - 13 5 - 12 5 - 12 5 - 12
Midsole Material EVA DNA LOFT Textile BioMoGo DNA EVA Cushlon ST, Zoom Air
Sole Rubber Rubber Rubber Rubber Rubber
Toe to Heel Drop 8 mm 12 mm 6 mm 12 mm 10 mm

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


Looking at the Floatride Ultra Knit's relatively overall low score, we were not able to award it one of our top awards.

Months of testing went into trying out the Floatride Ultra Knit.
Months of testing went into trying out the Floatride Ultra Knit.

Landing Comfort


Landing comfort at OutdoorGearLab measures how much cushioning there is on the bottom of a shoe and how well that cushioning protects our bodies from the eventual wear of countless miles. While the Floatride isn't uncomfortable, per se, it doesn't have the great cushioning of some of its competitors.

Compared to our Editors' Choice Award-winning Brooks Adrenaline GTS or our Top Pick for Distance, the HOKA Bondi, the Floatride has a minimal amount of underfoot padding; this isn't necessarily a bad thing, depending on what kind of running you prefer. For short distances and fast missions, the Floatride's padding is sufficient.

Close-up of the unique cushioning on the Floatride Ultra Knit
Close-up of the unique cushioning on the Floatride Ultra Knit

With an 8mm drop from heel to toe, the Floatride has a traditional build. For the average runner, the 8mm drop may be just the ticket.

Responsiveness


After years of testing dozens of running shoes, we've found that landing comfort and responsiveness are rivals. Most shoes that are super bouncy do not have the cushioning of more comfortable shoes and vice versa. True to form, that's exactly the scenario we found with the Floatride.

The Floatride does not have the cushioning of some models that are built for distance. This shoe does have some great kick to it, though, and it earned one of the highest scores for responsiveness. If you enjoy racing or speed workouts and time trials, especially on even surfaces like a track or treadmill, the Floatride is an excellent option.

Upper Comfort


Once we've settled into our rhythm, the next thing we notice about a new pair of running shoes is the upper. There's a lot that goes into building a comfortable shoe, from breathability to the cushioning in the tongue and heel. These things are on the heavier side, though most of our most comfortable shoes are not the lightest.

The Floatride's unique upper is minimalist and lightweight.
The Floatride's unique upper is minimalist and lightweight.

The Floatride has a unique build that is not like the more traditional models that dominate this review. This shoe, like the Ultraboost, has a sock-like, seamless upper. Woven from a knit material, the Floatride's upper is breathable, soft, and stretchy. The rear of this shoe features a firmer, padded material, and the sides are reinforced by a plastic cage that secures around the shoe when you tie the laces. While this is an interesting idea, we missed the cushioning of the Brooks upper found on all their models, especially during longer runs.

Stability


Some running shoes are built with stability in mind. They are manufactured specifically for runners with problem gaits, or runners who over or under pronate. Most shoes claim neutral support, made to protect but not change the runner's natural stride. After months of testing, even runners with perfect form preferred a bit of stability, and this can come in a variety of ways.

The Floatride's sock upper is surrounded by a plastic cage  pulled in tight by the laces.
The Floatride's sock upper is surrounded by a plastic cage, pulled in tight by the laces.

The Floatride attempts to deliver some stability in the shoe's plastic cage that locks into the sock-like upper. What we, and many other runners we asked found in this shoe, however, was a flimsy product. Unless we were running straight on a treadmill, any deviation in the surface was enough to throw us off, and the shoe's upper is so soft that there was nothing to keep our feet or ankles in line. This construction is only suited for a particular type of runner, and we're not planning on recommending it to the masses anytime soon.

Weight


We admit we're a little bit obsessed with weight. We put every product on a scale to see how each one compares. But we know that fractions of ounces aren't everything, and we suggest using the weight scores a bit forgivingly as you try to decide which shoe is best for you.

Our testers know that while we can tell the difference between a 9-ounce and a 7-ounce shoe, we definitely cannot tell the difference between a 7.4-ounce and a 7.2-ounce product. The Floatride, at 7.2 ounces, is one of the lightest shoes in this review; we'd put it in the same weight class as the Altra Escalante, HOKA Mach 2, and Salomon Sonic.

Best Applications


Since the Floatride lacks landing comfort and stability, we'd likely only use this shoe for moving quickly on even terrain. For treadmill sessions and track workouts, this shoe's responsive sole and lightweight design make for a speedy product, but we won't be wearing these on our long runs.

Hanging out in between sets with the Floatride
Hanging out in between sets with the Floatride

Value


Priced at $150, the Floatride is one of the most expensive shoes in this review. Compared our Editors' Choice Award winner, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS ($130), this shoe is less versatile and likely not worth the cost. If running fast is your jam though, the price tag isn't absurdly high.

Conclusion


The Reebok Floatride Ultra Knit is a unique shoe with a new, trendy design. While we didn't love its lack of support or less cushioned upper, it is quite responsive and light. We'd still choose the Salomon Sonic over this shoe if we were looking for a more traditional, well-rounded shoe with equal responsiveness.

Movin' quick with the Reebok Floatride Ultra Knit!
Movin' quick with the Reebok Floatride Ultra Knit!


Lauren DeLaunay