Reebok Forever Floatride Energy review
The Reebok Forever Floatride Energy is one of the most versatile shoes I have in my shoe collection. It has no major flaws and is a dependable daily trainer for all distances from 5km up to 25km.
The ride is far superior to Adidas’ Boost and Saucony’s Everun while being lighter and more fun. Reebok has come a long, long way since 2009.
Giving a second chance to Reebok
My first (and last) pair of Reebok Running shoes I owned was the Reebok Zigtech back in 2009. That was a horrible running shoe: it was chunky, heavy, firm, and provided zero energy return. It has taken me a decade to get over the disappointment and betrayal, and I am finally ready to forgive Reebok and give them another chance.
My favourite type of running shoe is one that gets hype from word of mouth from the running community and not because of a large marketing investment from the brand, trying to convince you that its latest technology claims are true.
The term “sleeper hit” is used to describe something that becomes a big success despite having relatively little promotion. This term can definitely be used to describe the Floatride Energy.
Everything about the Forever Energy screams simplicity. This is the main reason why the Forever Energy has made runners worldwide take notice. Reebok gets the basics right for a very affordable price.
Upper & fit
The material used is an engineered mesh that has great breathability and support. While it gets the job done and is nothing fancy, it feels a bit scratchy, something which you’d expect from a $100 shoe.
The tongue is padded and not sleeved, so it does move around during runs, but not enough to irritate. The heel dip and collar come up higher than on most shoes and will dig into you if you wear short or hidden socks.
The high heel and collar have a vice-like grip. Make sure you wear long enough socks.
The fit can be best described as roomy. I went true to size because I hate snug-fitting shoes, so there is plenty of room for my feet to expand in the hot, humid Singapore climate.
Even though the Floatride Energy is roomy, I wouldn’t recommend ordering a half size smaller, or there might not be enough depth in the toe box. I make sure that I wear thick socks to get the perfect fit.
Holes in the thin engineered mesh ensure breathability and make the shoe great for tropical climates.
The Floatride speaks for itself
The Forever Floatride midsole is made from an expanded polyurethane material. It’s similar in appearance to Boost and Everun but is lighter and shinier.
If you look closely, you can see that the pellets which are fused together to create the midsole are smaller in size than Boost and Everun.
The midsole softness is medium-soft, not as soft as Boost, not as firm as Everun. It has an excellent blend of cushioning and responsiveness while not being too heavy.
The polyurethane midsole feels lighter and fluffier than Boost and Everun.
The Floatride Energy foam is what I would consider a super foam. It’s extremely durable and more resistant to compression over time than other foams.
It also doesn’t show creases as ZoomX does. While bearing a striking resemblance to the Pebax midsoles in the higher-priced Reebok running shoes, the Floatride Energy foam is slightly heavier but much cheaper to make.
My first run in the shoe was a 32km Saturday morning run. Up until 25 km, the shoe felt great, but from 25km onwards, I found myself rearfoot striking instead of midfoot/forefoot striking because the padding wasn’t enough in the forefoot.
I now use the Floatride Energy for distances shorter than 25km. The ride is incredibly smooth and distraction-free.
The midsole, while not being overly soft, makes the Forever Energy very stable. The midsole bulges out under the forefoot and heel which increases stability.
I am flat-footed, and I pronate, but the midsole has slight under-arch support, so the Forever Energy caused me no problems.
The beveled heel edge ensures rearfoot striking and not heel striking.
The Forever Floatride Energy is very flexible and bends at the ball of the foot. The thin outsole and the unstructured upper allow the shoe to flex naturally up in the front of the shoe.
A flexible forefoot results in a snappy-feeling midsole.
The smooth insole is glued to the bottom of the shoe. It’s soft and spongy when compressed. I am not sure why Reebok glued it to the bottom: this is usually done with faster, race shoes and not with daily trainers.
You can easily remove the insole as the glue used is not very strong. There is no sink-in plushness underneath the insole, which makes the Floatride Energy suitable for short, tempo runs.
The drop doesn’t feel like 10mm due to the soft heel.
Outsole & durability
The outsole is full contact and consists of a thin layer of soft carbon rubber. It grips well on both wet and dry surfaces, and the fact that it is full contact ensures an even spread of wear. After 50 miles, I can only see slight wear on the outer heel area.
The full ground contact outsole makes the ride feel even smoother.
Unlike some other lightweight, cushioned trainers such as the Rincon and Beacon, the Forever Floatride Energy has no midsole exposed to the ground.
I expect it to last much longer than both the Beacon and Rincon, about 800km. I predict the upper will break first because the midsole and outsole show no signs of potential weakness.
The rubber is soft but evenly spread and durable.
The Forever Floatride Energy can be used to run safely in low light due to the “Floatride Energy” badge at the heel being reflective.
Every colourway of the Floatride Forever Energy has the reflective heel badge.
Final thoughts on the Reebok Forever Floatride Energy
For the next version of the shoe, I would love Reebok to change the upper to a softer, more premium feeling material without raising the price and to add more cushioning in the forefoot.
At $100, the Forever Floatride Energy undercuts every other lightweight cushioned trainer on the market, making it a must-buy for 2019.
Tip: see the best running shoes.