Reebok Floatride Energy 3 review and lab test

Everyone needs to start somewhere. 

 

Getting into running can be intimidating, especially with quality running shoes cresting into the $160-250 price range. 

I love to see when brands deliver a quality product with a lower price tag for those that may just be starting, on a budget, or just don’t really know or care about higher-performance specifics. 

Reebok Floatride Energy 3 Pieces.jpg

The Floatride Energy 3 is a fun shoe to run in, can do a lot, and is cost-effective. 

It’s durable, comfortable, and should work for a wide variety of runners. 

Who should buy the Reebok Floatride Energy 3

Runners new to the sport should seriously consider this shoe. It’s super versatile, it’s comfortable, it fits well, and for the price, it has a surprisingly high-end feeling ride underfoot. 

Reebok Floatride Energy 3 Single (2).jpg

It’s responsive and smooth through your gait and feels nimble and light. 

Who should not buy it 

This is still a budget shoe so it may not be for everyone. But with a responsive midsole, a nice light design, and a studded outsole, it ticks a lot of boxes. 

However, don’t buy this shoe if:

  • You want the latest and greatest. Spending more will get you more in some shoes. Want to go fast, check out the Asics Metaspeed Sky!
  • Desire more cushion and more plushness? Try the Hoka Clifton 8
  • Need a daily trainer that looks a bit more flashy? The Asics Nimbus Lite 2 fits the bill!

Reebok Floatride Energy 3 runs a touch long

These run a touch long and may need to be ordered a half size down, but otherwise, the fit on these is amazing, I am actually really surprised at how much I like them on my feet. 

They sport a nice wide toe box that lets my toes wiggle and splay, but not so wide it feels sloppy. 

They are not overly padded, with just a 4.1mm tongue (average is 5.5mm) I think Reebok was sensible in creating a trainer that wasn’t trying to be too plush

The shoe also has great lockdown over the midfoot, and zero heel slip issues. I like that the heel pocket feels nice and deep, but if I had to complain here, it’s almost too deep and the edges rub my ankle bones in a funky way. 

Reebok Floatride Energy 3 Lacing.jpg

Surprisingly comfy

I’m really impressed with how these shoes feel, they are really comfortable. 

The fully gusseted tongue really hugs your foot nicely. 

The upper is nice and breathable, but the gusseted tongue adds a fairly thick layer of material to the inside of the whole front end of the shoe. They could have gone with a semi-gusseted tongue and made this shoe a bit more breathable since on hot days it may still run a bit warm. 

Reebok Floatride Energy 3 Cut.jpg

My only gripe really is the insole is really thin and tends to move a bit and bunch up, which is super annoying. It’s hard to place right where you want it since it’s only 3.1mm thick and pretty floppy when out of the shoe. 

Enjoyable ride on the Floatride Energy 3 

The midsole is light and peppy and feels nicely responsive. It’s not super bouncy but doesn’t feel heavy or stiff either. It honestly feels like a much pricer shoe on your foot. 

It’s reminiscent of the Brooks Launch mixed with the Brooks Ghost, almost like a less padded Saucony Triumph! Either way, it’s responsive and fun!  

The big update to the Energy 3 is the new mesh upper, it’s not necessarily part of how the shoe rides, but it does make the shoe run cooler than past versions which makes running in them much more enjoyable. 

They’ve also added a heel tab to help with Achilles issues, and it makes the shoe easier to put on as it doubles as a pull tab and offers plenty of support with it medium-stiff design

The shoe is not overly tall either which will appeal to beginner runners. At 23.1mm in the forefoot and 30.2mm in the heel it has a 7.1mm drop which should work for a wide variety of athletes. 

Reebok Floatride Energy 3 Midsole.jpg

The shoe is a bit on the soft side, at 18.9N in our flex tests, it’s well under the average (37N) so it could be more energetic through your stride, but again it feels nimble and it’s not a brick by any means which a lot of shoes in this category can be. 

Ultimately, I think this shoe is interesting, it can be your daily grinder or even a light slow day shoe, but it can also pick up the pace for speed workouts. 

Impressed. 

Weight isn’t light but still impressed

At 9.0 ounces (256g) the shoe feels light on your foot. It’s pretty impressive for a $100 shoe to be in this range, especially with a thick slab of enjoyable midsole and a full, thick rubber outsole. 

Reebok Floatride Energy 3 Weight.jpg

Well done Reebok!

Durability and grip

The shoe is built well and has some nice features that should make it last a while. 

Reebok Floatride Energy 3 Outsole.jpg

The 4.1mm full rubber outsole leaves very little exposed midsole material which should ensure long wear. 

Reebok Floatride Energy 3 Outsole (2).jpg

The 2.1mm lugs roll efficiently on the road but are aggressive enough to tackle dirt roads and light trails. I love this in a training shoe since I’m always intrigued by random trails I pass on my training runs. 

Breathability of the Energy 3 has been improved

The shoe’s breathability has been drastically improved but Reebok could go one step further and get rid of the extra material on the fully-gusseted tongue. 

Reebok Floatride Energy 3 Logo.jpg

Version 4, fingers crossed!

Reebok Floatride Energy 3 Upper.jpg

Stick to daytime runs

Unfortunately, Reebok left off any reflective elements on the Floatride Energy 3, so stick to daytime runs or be extremely careful once the sun goes down.

Reebok Floatride Energy 3 Reflective.jpg

Price

$100. Wow! Love this. Competes with shoes in the $130-150 range in my opinion. I think there’s really good value in this shoe. 

Cold weather performance is not bad

Most budget shoes stiffen like a rock in the cold, but the Floatride Energy 3 tested fairly well. The shoe stiffens just 37% in its flex, which is right at the average, and the Floatride foam actually retains its nice soft feeling well, only hardening up 12.2% (compared to the average of 29.7%).

Reebok Floatride Energy 3 Freezer.jpg

Conclusion 

Overall, I think this is a really interesting option for new entrants into the sport. It can do a bit of everything from daily runs to quicker training sessions, and it’s heading in the right direction for Reebok.

Reebok Floatride Energy 3 Pieces (2).jpg

Well done!

Complete lab-specs overview 

  Floatride Energy 3 Average
Whole shoe
Weight (g) 256 264
Drop (mm) 7.1 8.3
Flexibility of the shoe (N) 18.9 37.0
Flexibility of the shoe (Freezer 20 min) (N) 25.9 48.2
Flexibility of the shoe (% of change) 37.0 37.2
Lace slip test with the knot (N) 32.3 23.1
Longitudinal flexibility (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest) 3 3.2
Torsional flexibility (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest) 3 3.3
Upper
Thickness - Tongue (mm) 4.1 5.5
Width Upper - Forefoot (mm) 98.4 98.6
Width Upper - Heel (mm) 75.7 75.9
Lace Stretch (1-5 scale, 5 being the most stretchy) 3 2.9
Flexibility of the heel counter (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest) 3 3.2
Tongue: gusset type Both side (full) -
Heel: pull tab Heel tab -
Midsole
Width Midsole - Forefoot (mm) 107.5 112.6
Width Midsole - Heel (mm) 91.3 89.6
Stack - Forefoot with insole (mm) 23.1 24.6
Stack - Heel with insole (mm) 30.2 32.7
Durometer Midsole Heel (Room temperature) (HA) 24.5 21.9
Outsole
Outsole thickness (Heel) (mm) 4.1 3.5
Lugs Depth (mm) 2.1 3.3
Durometer Outsole Heel (Room temperature) (HC) 81.0 80.2
Insole
Insole Heel Thickness (mm) 3.1 4.3
Insole: removable Yes  

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Road
Weight: Men 8.5oz / Women 7.1oz
Drop: 9mm
Arch support: Neutral
Update: Reebok Floatride Energy 4
Forefoot height: 17mm
Heel height: 26mm

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Author
Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He has summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races as well as 6 marathons. On average, he runs 30-50 miles a week in the foothills of Northern Colorado. His research is regularly cited in The New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, etc. On top of this, Paul is leading the running shoe lab where he cuts shoes apart and analyses every detail of the shoes that you might buy.