Our verdict

The Classic Leather is easily among the most recognisable from the Reebok sneaker lineup. More than 30 years after it jumped into the footwear scene, the legacy of this heritage-running sneaker lives on in this incredibly comfy and stylish kick. With its affordable price and excellent cushioning, this iconic shoe is as easy on the foot as it is on the wallet.

Pros

  • Mighty plush
  • Great investment
  • Leader of the pack
  • Supportive
  • Aesthetically well-rounded
  • Enduring
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Downgraded upper
  • Dirt-magnet

Audience verdict

91
Great!

Who should buy

We recommend the Reebok Classic Leather to: 

  • Retro aficionados looking for an iconic and timeless kick from the Reebok Classic collection
  • Fashion-minded individuals looking for a sneaker that's as easy on the eyes as it is on the foot
  • Anyone in the market for a casual shoe for walks around that's neutral enough to go with most outfits 

Reebok Classic Leather jvw

Who should NOT buy

Consider the Reebok Club C 85 Vintage, which has a leather upper that is easier to wipe-clean than the one on the Reebok Classic.

The Classic Leather's durability didn't impress us during testing. For a kick with a tougher shell, opt for the Samba OG instead.

Reebok Classic Leather lkge

Breathability

Unsurprisingly for a leather shoe, the Classic Leather didn't fare too well in our breathability test. As we can clearly see from the footage, the smoke from our smoke machine is hardly able to escape the shoe, with mere wisps floating out of the shoe's tongue. This earns the shoe the lowest score of 1 out of 5, meaning that it will certainly feel toasty come summertime. 

Compare that to the much more breathable Puma RS-X which allows a steady stream of smoke to escape rather evenly throughout the shoe. 

Inspecting a backlit cross-section of the Classic Leather's upper further confirms our conclusion as it blocks any light from shining through. 

Test results
Classic Leather 2
Average 3
Compared to 48 trainers
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Leather/Suede quality

To see if the Classic lives up to its name, we tested the various sections of the upper to see if they are genuine. Based on our findings after torching and scratching at the shoe with our awl, we conclude that the main portions of the leather upper (in white) are indeed genuine.

On the other hand, the overlay at the heel, which combusts and melts in the face of our flame, is synthetic.  

Reebok Classic Leather Leather/Suede quality
Test results
Classic Leather Real leather

Toebox durability

To test the durability of the toebox, we fired up our Dremel to 5K RPM and set it against the Classic Leather with 3.2 N of force. 

After twelve seconds of grinding, we found that we had done quite a substantial amount of damage to the toebox without actually piercing through it. This earns the Classic Leather a middle-of-the-road toebox durability score of 3 out of 5. 

Reebok Classic Leather Toebox durability
Test results
Classic Leather 3
Average 3.7
Compared to 48 trainers
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

Using our calliper, we measured the Classic Leather's stack to be 35.7 mm thick at the heel.

Reebok Classic Leather qer

This is higher than our current lab average and provided us with good impact dampening for protective landings in this shoe. 

Reebok Classic Leather Heel padding durability
Test results
Classic Leather 2
Average 3.4
Compared to 48 trainers
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

The Classic Leather's outsole is about as hard as our current lab average, giving us a durometer reading of 82.8 HC. This usually implies a good balance of grip and durability. 

Reebok Classic Leather Outsole hardness
Test results
Classic Leather 82.8 HC
Average 85.1 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 48 trainers
Number of shoes
72.9 HC
Outsole hardness
90.3 HC

Outsole durability

This time spinning at 10K RPM, we set the Dremel against the Classic Leather's outsole with 3.2N of force. 

We then used a tyre tread gauge to assess the aftermath, we found that 0.8 mm of rubber was shorn off by our tool, making the Classic Leather ever-so-slightly more durable than average. This gives us no real cause for concern regarding the durability over the lifetime of this shoe with normal use.

Reebok Classic Leather Outsole durability
Test results
Classic Leather 0.8 mm
Average 1.0 mm
Compared to 48 trainers
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

Using our caliper, we measured the Classic Leather's outsole to be 6.6 mm thick. This gives us more material than average to wear through before killing this sneaker. 

Reebok Classic Leather Outsole thickness
Test results
Classic Leather 6.6 mm
Average 5.5 mm
Compared to 49 trainers
Number of shoes
3.4 mm
Outsole thickness
8.6 mm

Weight

The Classic Leather is lighter than the average sneaker, tipping our scale at only 11.4 oz (323g). This feathery disposition makes the Classic Leather feel super comfy on the foot, even when walking around for extended periods of time. 

Reebok Classic Leather Weight
Test results
Classic Leather 11.39 oz (323g)
Average 14.18 oz (402g)
Compared to 49 trainers
Number of shoes
8.54 oz (242g)
Weight
22.61 oz (641g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

Using our calliper, we measured the Classic Leather's stack to be 35.7 mm thick at the heel.

Reebok Classic Leather qer

This is higher than our current lab average and provided us with good impact dampening for protective landings in this shoe. 

Reebok Classic Leather Heel stack
Test results
Classic Leather 35.7 mm
Average 29.5 mm
Compared to 49 trainers
Number of shoes
18.2 mm
Heel stack
41.8 mm

Forefoot stack

The Classic Leather's stack is also a little higher than average at the forefoot, measuring 22.1 mm thick at the forefoot. This also gives us a good amount of foam underfoot while still allowing for an intuitive sense of the ground below for added stability. 

Reebok Classic Leather Forefoot stack
Test results
Classic Leather 22.1 mm
Average 18.6 mm
Compared to 49 trainers
Number of shoes
10.6 mm
Forefoot stack
28.3 mm

Drop

The difference in these stack measurements leaves the Classic Leather with a slightly steeper-than-average heel drop of 13.6 mm. This still feels rather natural and provides us with a good mix of an elevated heel and a natural sense of the ground below. 

Reebok Classic Leather Drop
Test results
Classic Leather 13.6 mm
Average 10.9 mm
Compared to 49 trainers
Number of shoes
6.7 mm
Drop
17.2 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

Pressing our durometer against the Classic Leather's midsole gives us a firmer-than-average reading of 35.1 HA. 

Reebok Classic Leather jeqv

This is quite firm and, while it does offer adequate impact protection, doesn't feel very well-cushioned underfoot. For a sneaker with a decidedly plush ride, we recommend looking into the New Balance 9060 instead. 

Test results
Classic Leather 35.1 HA
Average 29.4 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 39 trainers
Number of shoes
15.0 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
60.0 HA

Insole thickness

The Classic Leather's insole isn't quite as thick as our current lab average at only 4.4 mm thick, though still provided us with a padded enough surface within the shoe to keep our feet feeling comfy and supported. 

Reebok Classic Leather Insole thickness
Test results
Classic Leather 4.4 mm
Average 5.5 mm
Compared to 49 trainers
Number of shoes
3.1 mm
Insole thickness
13.9 mm

Stability

Lateral stability test

While the Classic Leather does roll a bit as we shift our weight from side to side in the shoe, we still felt quite well-planted and balanced while testing this shoe. 

Torsional rigidity

We faced an above-average level of resistance as we attempted to bend and twist the Classic Leather in our hands. This leads us to give it a torsional rigidity score of 4 out of 5. This means that the Classic Leather mitigates how much our foot is able to roll laterally during our stride, thus keeping the base nice and level to promote stable landings. 

Test results
Classic Leather 4
Average 3.4
Compared to 48 trainers
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The heel counter is similarly stiff in the face of our manual manipulations, leading us to give the Classic Leather another 4 out of 5. As such, the shoe holds our foot in place securely and provides a strong rearfoot lockdown that prevents any excessive lateral movements as well. 

Test results
Classic Leather 4
Average 3.2
Compared to 48 trainers
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

The Classic Leather's midsole isn't quite as wide as average at the forefoot, measuring only 103.3 mm wide according to our calliper measurements.

This gives the shoe its nimble and agile feeling underfoot while still providing us with enough platforms to keep us feeling surefooted throughout our stride. 

Test results
Classic Leather 103.3 mm
Average 108.6 mm
Compared to 49 trainers
Number of shoes
100.0 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
121.0 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The midsole is closer to the average range at the heel which is 80.9 mm wide according to our calliper measurements. 

Reebok Classic Leather e

Test results
Classic Leather 80.9 mm
Average 82.7 mm
Compared to 49 trainers
Number of shoes
69.4 mm
Midsole width in the heel
103.1 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

To test the stiffness of the Classic Leather, we secured it to our workbench and measured the amount of force needed to bend the shoe to 90 degrees. With a result of 26.8N required to torque the shoe to the desired point, the Classic Leather is slightly less flexible than average. 

This isn't too stiff, however, as the shoe is still able to bend along with the natural flexion of our foot quite comfortably and doesn't feel too rigid, even after extended use. 

Test results
Classic Leather 26.8N
Average 22.9N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 49 trainers
Number of shoes
5.8N
Stiffness
51.8N

Grip / Traction

The Classic Leather's outsole tread pattern gave us good traction throughout out time testing this sneaker. 

Reebok Classic Leather  eq

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

We measured the Classic Leather's toebox to be 99.1 mm wide at its widest point which is right around average. This should be broad enough to accommodate most foot shapes comfortably. 

Reebok Classic Leather Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Classic Leather 99.1 mm
Average 99.2 mm
Compared to 49 trainers
Number of shoes
94.0 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
107.7 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

The toebox tapers about as much as the average sneaker does, reaching 74.4 mm wide in the area around the big toe. 

Reebok Classic Leather Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Classic Leather 74.4 mm
Average 74.7 mm
Compared to 48 trainers
Number of shoes
63.7 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
82.7 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The tongue is non-gusseted, though we didn't experience any slips thanks in part to how stiff the leather is which helps keep it straight and rigid. 

Reebok Classic Leather Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Classic Leather None

Comfort

Tongue padding

The Classic Leather's tongue falls within the average range at 6.6 mm thick according to our caliper measurements. This provides us with a good amount of comfort around the instep while also effectively protecting us from lace bite. 

Reebok Classic Leather Tongue padding
Test results
Classic Leather 6.6 mm
Average 9.3 mm
Compared to 49 trainers
Number of shoes
1.0 mm
Tongue padding
38.4 mm

Removable insole

The Classic Leather's insole is fully removable, so using custom orthotics with this sneaker is possible. 

Reebok Classic Leather Removable insole
Test results
Classic Leather Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

The Classic Leather doesn't feature any reflective elements. 

Reebok Classic Leather Reflective elements
Test results
Classic Leather No