Reebok Harmony Road
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Overview of this review
The last pair of Reeboks I owned was probably a pair of Reebok Pumps about 30 years ago. So, it is safe to say Reebok has never been a go-to brand.
If that is the case, then what possessed me to hand over my hard-earned money in exchange for a pair of Reebok Harmony Road?
I could put it down to an irrational unconscious act, or an impulsive, illogical spur of the moment decision. Either way, I am glad I did because otherwise, I would never have experienced what a brilliant running shoe the Harmony Road is.
Firstly, the fit, as with all running trainers I always go for a half size up. The fit is perfect in width and length and, in all honesty, it is probably one of the comfiest trainers I can remember wearing.
The padded tongue and padded ankle support provide a snug and a confident secure fit. Also, the tongue is connected to the midsole by an inner mesh liner, which keeps it firmly in place.
Reebok describes the upper as being crafted from ‘smooth fuse mesh’. In layman’s terms, the upper is a single piece of mesh, and all the decals are heat-sealed.
This upper helps to primarily aid in ventilation around the toe box, which is good. But, it also removes the amount of stitching and patchwork that can hinder the sleekness of the design.
As a bonus, there is a reflective strip heat-sealed on the tip of the toe box, which aids in visibility during those cold dark night-time runs.
The upper appears to be durable. After running a cumulative approximation of 275km, there is very little evidence of any wear and tear. The mesh upper and heat-sealed decals, laces, eyelets, tongue, and ankle support look barely used.
Next, let us talk about the midsole and outsole. The first thing that you notice about the midsole is it is thick—very thick—giving the shoe a cumbersome appearance.
In all honesty, they do feel a little unyielding, and at 330g, they are not the lightest shoes on the market. Runners chasing PB’s and race shoes should best try something sleeker, lighter, and with a lower heel to toe drop; the Reebok’s is 12mm.
The large midsole may hinder flexibility but what it does offer is vast amounts of comfort and support. The IMEVA foam is soft/firm to the touch whilst the KooshRide core technology located in the heel's base is delightfully soft and spongy.
These all results in pleasurable running experience. While running the shoe feels soft and spongy, the ground impact feels negligible, and leg pain is non-existent.
The midsole does its job fantastically, whether it is on the road, on gravel, or off-road trails, the pillow-soft cushioning effortless absorbs all impacts.
The huge heel support bears the brunt of the impact as seen in the existing multitude of compression stress lines. Despite this visible damage, I would still expect the shoe to be durable enough to complete another 250/300 km.
The midsole is protected from the ground by a high-abrasion carbon rubber material outsole. This outsole shows wear and tear in high impact areas, most notably on the outer heel area where it has worn down by approximately 4mm, becoming flush with the midsole.
The outer sole incorporates a concave PWRPAD under the forefoot, which aids in the gait cycle. The shoe is smooth through the gait cycle, and you can feel the PWRPAD underfoot.
But, does it make a whole of difference? I don’t know. Regardless, the outsole is grippy, resulting from the texture rich and intricate asymmetrical design.
And I have had no issues whilst running on various surfaces in various weather conditions, even the influence of descents and ascents in the terrain cause no problems.
- Premium quality feel
- Sleek one-piece mesh upper
- Clever technology
- Supremely comfortable
- Massive midsole which provides vast comfort and support to minimise ground impact and leg strain but does reduce flexibility
- Asymmetrical outer sole which is both durable and grippy
I cannot speak more highly of the Reebok Road Harmony. It is simply a magnificent running shoe that has become my go model when doing 10km runs.
It has been well designed and built for both daily runs and long-distance running marathon running. The running experience is as soft and gentle as I imagine in being without spending huge amounts of money on premium shoes.
The only disappointment is that they will eventually wear out. Once that ominous occasion happens, I will most definitely purchase the latest incarnation of the Road Harmony, hoping they live up the quality of the original.
Who will benefit from running and training in Reebok's Harmony Road running shoe? See the verdict below.
When I opened the box containing the Reebok Harmony Road shoe my first thought was, “I already have these shoes!” That’s because they look uncannily similar to a pair of Nike Air Structure trainers from a few years back. Not that I run in the Air Structure, a heavy shoe with over-the-top support; it makes for good walking and doing errands shoe.
The Harmony Road sample provided by Reebok weighs 10.7 ounces and has a heel drop of…Wait for it… 13.2 mm.
Wow! These days that’s considered awfully high. Some serious heel stompers will think that Christmas has come early.
When I put the Harmony Road on my feet and began to walk, I discovered that this is an ultra-smooth walking shoe. In fact, I doubt that I’ve ever encountered a more comfortable shoe to walk in, whether the shoe was labeled as walking or running shoe.
Is the shoe just as comfortable while one’s running in it? Well, the heel plant on the Harmony Road is relatively firm and the ride provides what I would term cushioned firmness.
A few years back I found myself in Palm Springs on a business trip and decided to pick up a pair of New Balance trail shoes to run through local desert paths. The Harmony Road reminded me of how those New Balance trail runners felt.
The Harmony Road’s seamless upper provides plenty of room for the toes, especially the smaller ones. This is not a shoe that requires you to wear super-thin socks so that you can get your feet into it.
And the flat, patterned laces do their job and stay tied.
While the Harmony Road is labeled as a neutral shoe, it is quite stable.
The build quality is evident and the shoe should be exemplary in its durability. (After many miles of pounding on asphalt and concrete in the Harmony Road, there’s little apparent wear on the sole.) There are three visible forefoot flex grooves on the Harmony Road’s sole.
But the actual flexibility upfront is limited. Interestingly, I found the limited flexing to be on a par with the old Nike Air Structure.
Also on the forefoot sole is something that Reebok calls the Power Pad. It’s a small rectangular box that states, “Be more human” on it. I have no idea what it does because I never felt that the Power Pad came into play during runs in the Harmony Road.
The Harmony Road has some unique midsole KooshRide filling developed by 3M.
In theory, this makes the Harmony Road’s ride extremely responsive. OK, but I would grade the responsiveness of this shoe as a C+ to B-. There is some spring but not as much as you’d find, for example, on the Saucony Ride 10 (a model I would give a B+ to A- for responsiveness).
It’s possible that one needs to be a bigger, heavier runner to feel the Power Pad in action and to experience the full measure of “bounce back” from the Harmony Road midsole cushioning.
One highly positive feature of the Harmony Road is that it offers the full range of foot movement as a trainer. You can feel your foot transitioning from heel to mid-foot and onto the forefoot. In this, it offers a nice, relaxing measure of smoothness.
There is no problem in landing on one’s heels or mid-foot in the Harmony Road, but the high heel drop level makes it quite problematic for those who land on their toes.
The positive and less-than-fully positive aspects of the Harmony Road results in a somewhat mixed verdict. This is not a shoe that one would select for speed training and it’s not the shoe for PR attempts.
However, most runners will find times when they need a recovery shoe or a long mileage trainer that protects their feet as they recover from a temporary injury. The Harmony Road is a fine choice in such times.
The Harmony Road is also a good choice for long slow distance training. I think it’s just about perfect as a model to use for 7 to 10-mile runs. The shoe is massively protective while not feeling heavy and bulky like a support shoe.
Reebok appears to be on the money when labeling the Harmony Road as “long distance running shoes.”
Finally, the Harmony Road is a great choice as the “first shoe” for the novice runner. The shoe’s smooth uniform cushioning will build confidence in newbies as they pile on the miles.
This shoe, which retails for $119.99, will be as good for their heads as for their legs and feet. Well recommended.
Updates to Reebok Harmony Road
- The Reebok Harmony Road delivers a smooth in-shoe feel and breathable coverage through the seamless SmoothFuse upper material. It is lightweight and has a smooth lining that provides the foot with an irritation-free environment.
- The shoe features the new Tri-Zone midsole technology that efficiently absorbs shock in the heel and delivers responsive propulsion in the forefoot area. It is specifically designed for a smoother and balanced ride.
- The Harmony Road also features the innovative and performance-driven KooshRide core technology that is designed for long-lasting cushioning. This technology was engineered from a TPU foam for a highly-responsive running experience.
- In the forefoot of the shoe is the PwrPad technology. This convex rubber is designed to deliver a faster and more powerful toe-off.
Size and fit
The Reebok Harmony Road generally runs true to size. This neutral road running shoe is available in a standard medium width for both women and men’s version. It has a nice fit for those runners who have medium foot measurements in the heel, mid-foot, and forefoot.
In the outsole of the shoe is the high-abrasion carbon rubber material that delivers durability in high-wear areas. The carbon rubber gives added cushioning and provides reliable traction while running on the road.
For a more powerful toe-off and enhanced performance, a PwrPad technology is also added in the forefoot. It’s designed to accommodate the natural position and motion of the foot as it prepares itself to lift off the ground. This outsole element is also used in the Harmony Road 2.
The Reebok Harmony Road utilizes the innovative KooshRide core technology. This performance-driven technology was engineered from a TPU midsole foam that’s placed into the inner section of the platform. Its purpose is to deliver long-lasting cushioning that’s ideal for long-distance runs.
For a smoother, faster heel-to-toe transition, and balanced ride, the shoe uses the Tri-Zone midsole technology. It is designed for a responsive propulsion in the forefoot and reliable shock absorption in the heel.
A mix of synthetic fabrics and mesh make up the main upper unit. The open construction of these materials ensures seamless airflow into the foot-chamber, thus maintaining a cool and dry environment for the foot.
The SmoothFuse technology is an overlay system that is printed directly to the upper unit. It blends seamlessly with the fabrics, giving a premium and sporty look. It also accommodates a more secure fit because it helps the rest of the upper materials in hugging the foot.
The shoe’s softly padded tongue and heel collar provides added comfort and enhanced fit. Also, the flat laces hold the foot securely and remain tied for the duration of the run.