Eucalyptus bark, castor oil, rubber, seaweed … Sounds like some kind of cosmetic product, but in fact, this is the new running shoe from Reebok.
Intrigued? Read on for a fresh review of the Reebok Floatride Energy Grow by Alexander Karpov.
It is always interesting to test a new model of sneakers, especially when something unusual is offered by a brand that is not too widely represented at the races. Floatride Energy belongs to the [REE] GROW collection, a unique series in its own way, all models of which are at least 50% plant-based. The company plans to switch all its products to sustainable materials by 2030: plant elements, recycled plastics, organic cotton and eco-friendly paints.
Of course, this is commendable, but the overwhelming majority of athletes would like to receive firm guarantees that such “grown” shoes will not be inferior in their qualities and durability to traditional plastic and synthetic foam.
So let’s look at the new sneakers from a practical point of view.
The new Reebok model features Floatride Energy signature foam using natural castor oil. Don’t worry, the oil won’t leak from your sneakers. The midsole looks like regular sneaker foam.
The cushioning level is medium plus, quite sufficient for runners weighing up to 80-85 kg, also suitable for long workouts.
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9 mm drop between heel and toe, comfortable to run from both midfoot and heel.
The shoe is clearly neutral, there are no stabilization and support systems here.
Natural rubber outsole. Covers most of the outsole, which immediately gives very good traction and extends the shoe’s life.
The multi-layer mesh upper is made from another eco-material – eucalyptus bark. Of course, there is nothing prickly and rough here, the fabric also does not smell of eucalyptus. On the contrary, the material turned out to be very soft and tactilely pleasant, much softer than most synthetic nets.
The upper of the sneaker is highly breathable and, due to its flexibility, fits the foot well. I had no problems with chafing and ventilation even on long runs in the heat.
Those who are accustomed to shoes with tight upper elements for added stabilization of the foot may not like this shoe. There is no such system here, the top is made very soft. Only in the heel is there a reinforcement that gives some stiffness in this area. However, it is not very powerful either, it is rather easily punched with a finger.
Thus, the Reebok Floatride Energy Grow is a strongly neutral model that does not interfere with the work of the foot or adjust the run. I really like this approach, but for hyper-pronators and just fans of stabilizing shoes, I advise you to take a closer look at other sneakers.
The lacing in the model is classic. The eyelets are reinforced with a thread overlock, and the laces themselves are flat, made of the same soft and pleasant eucalyptus material as the upper.
The tongue is quite long and protrudes noticeably upwards with normal lacing. However, it is also not hard and does not rub even with low socks. The tongue is connected to the mesh of the upper, however, due to its length and softness, it requires precise positioning and fixation when lacing, otherwise it can get lost when running. If you lace up neatly, then there will be no problems.
In addition to the gifts of the earth, Reebok also uses the sea. The insoles in the model are made with the participation of algae. According to the manufacturer, this also helps to fight unpleasant odors. I have never worked my shoes to such a state, but the function is undoubtedly potentially useful.
To the touch, the algal insoles resemble the usual ones made of synthetic foam: a shock-absorbing material covered with a dense fabric shell. I had no complaints about them.
Reebok claims 275g per shoe in the UK size 8. My 10.5 US shoe showed exactly 300.
This is not a lot and not a little for a training pair. I want to note that, purely subjectively, the sneakers feel noticeably lighter. This is most likely due to the fact that most of their weight is concentrated below the foot, where the foam cushioning material and a one-piece rubber outsole are located.
The upper is very soft and weightless, which is why the sneaker feels lighter on the foot than many models of the same weight.
All the previous ones were, in general, a listing of technical characteristics and lyrics. The main question worth answering is how you run in these new eco-friendly sneakers.
The answer is pretty simple: no worse or better than most quality running shoes. Floatride Energy Grow has proven itself in a variety of workouts, from light basic to tempo workouts, as well as for general physical training on the gym and in the gym.
The shoe has a smooth ride, a solid foam layer and a special geometry of the sole with a curved toe, which works well for roll and take off. The sneaker practically does not interfere with the natural movement of the foot, providing only the necessary cushioning.
Pros and cons
- smoothness and responsiveness;
- Medium plus cushioning sufficient for most training tasks for light and medium runners;
- excellent ventilation;
- large rubber grippy outsole;
- subjectively feels lighter on the legs than many models of the same weight.
- those looking for supported footwear will lack stability;
- there is not enough cushioning for heavy runners;
- the tongue requires careful lacing.
Reebok has created an interesting conceptual eco-sneaker that can compete on an equal footing with any similar training shoe made from traditional materials.
If you need a pair of running shoes for regular workouts, you have neutral pronation, weight in the range of 80-85 kg and do not have significant problems with the musculoskeletal system, then this model is definitely worth a try.
The outsole cushioning, upper ventilation, outsole grip and overall comfort are very good here. And the environmental friendliness of the model and, no less important, the plans of the world sports company far-reaching in this direction deserve special respect.