Though few in number, the brand’s Floatride models are standouts in sustainability, affordability, and speed.
Teenage experimentation gave rise to the business that would eventually become Reebok: of 1895, Joseph William Foster of Bolton, England, began creating shoes in his bedroom. He created some of the first spikes for running and built Olympic Works, a manufacturing, to accommodate the rising demand from athletes for his legendary “running pumps.” At the 1924 Olympics, British runners Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell won home gold medals while donning footwear created in the Olympic Works facility, solidifying the company’s reputation as a performance shoemaker.
Reebok, called after an Afrikaans term for a particular kind of antelope, was established in 1958 by Joseph William Foster’s two grandchildren, who also continued to produce cutting-edge footwear. The company’s Aztrek shoe received a five-star rating from Runner’s World in 1979, and when its women’s aerobics shoes first appeared in the middle of the 1980s, the step aerobics craze saw them soar in popularity. Reebok’s Premier series of running shoes, which included the Trinity KFS (short for Kinetic Fit System), won praise in the early 2000s. To provide a better fit and a more stable ride, the Trinity KFS upper’s technology was created to flex with the foot as it changed shape during a runner’s stride.
The Expert: I started running in middle school and have written about running and outdoor gear for years as a freelancer and Runner’s World staff member. The type of gear I’ve written about the most is running shoes, and I’ve used a variety of manufacturers’ products personally. I reference RW tester comments, brand representatives regarding the most recent shoes and technology, and my own knowledge of the running shoe market when writing pieces like this. I compile all that data under the guidance of the RW editors and decide which shoes appear on this page.
Floating On Foam
In the spring of 2017, the business introduced their Pebax-based Floatride Foam, which offers the maximum energy return with less weight than foams made of EVA or TPU. The Floatride Run Fast (now discontinued), a magnificent speed shoe worthy of our Gear of the Year award, was made feasible by this foam since it offered exceptional cushioning without increasing weight. In 2019, the Forever Floatride Energy shoe unveiled a fresh foam known as Floatride Energy. Similar to how Adidas Boost foam is formed, this foam was created using thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) beads that were steam molded together to create the insole. The end product, which is 30% lighter than EVA, makes shoes like the Floatride Energy 3 feel surprisingly light and responsive. A softer version of this foam called Floatride+ is used in the Floatride Energy X speed shoe.
Weight, cushioning, energy return (how quickly the shoe’s sole springs back after your foot lifts), support (which helps prevent overpronation and keeps your foot in the shoe), support through the upper breathability, traction, and durability are the seven key factors I advise taking into account when choosing running shoes.
Consider these variables while selecting the best running shoe. Looking for racing models that focus low weight and good energy return may help you run quickly if you require a shoe to break your previous 10K time. Need a daily workout buddy? To protect your feet, you’ll want footwear with at least some cushioning and a very tough rubber outsole. Overpronators will require running shoes with additional support elements, such as a medial post, to keep their feet in position and aligned. Look for shoes with thinner, more porous uppers that enable hot air quickly escape if you run in warm weather or if your feet grow heated while you’re running. However, these shoes may be less supportive and less long-lasting.
Think about the heel-to-toe drop in addition to the aforementioned. Drop is the height differential between the front and rear of a shoe’s footbed (under your forefoot and heel). Low-drop (or zero-drop) shoes maintain your heel at nearly the same (or comparable) level as your toes, whereas high-drop shoes keep your heel raised above your toes. You may more easily roll onto your toes with each step while wearing high-drop shoes, which leads to a smoother stride. Your natural stride is encouraged by shoes with a low or zero drop. It depends on your preferences, and each style has advantages. The drop measures for each pair of the Reebok shoes mentioned below can be used to compare models. All of the shoes have some amount of drop.
Each runner has unique shoe requirements. Bottom line: Consider the characteristics that are most significant to you and seek for shoes that match those criteria.
How We Selected Reebok Running Shoes
The top Reebok running shoes for both road and trail are included in the list below. I solicited opinions from 225 wear testers from all around the United States, including runners of different ages and running styles, as well as the Runner’s World staff before recommending them. The RW Shoe Lab’s mechanical test data are also taken into consideration. This involves analyzing the variations in midsole softness across many generations of the Floatride shoes, comparing the energy return of Reebok’s castor bean, TPE, and Pebax-based foams, and assessing the toughness of carbon rubber outsoles. Additionally, I’ve chosen a range of shoes to accommodate various runners and running techniques, and wherever feasible, I’ve linked to complete RW reviews. The choices listed here are the most recent in a line of high-performance shoes that dates back more than a century.
Floatride Energy 4 – BEST DEAL
- No stability features
- Weight: 8.4 oz (M), 7 oz (W)
- Drop: 9mm
The entry-level sneaker from Reebok provides excellent value. The Floatride Energy foam midsole is the key selling point, much like in earlier iterations of this shoe. It produces a vivacious, cushioned-yet-bouncy ride ideal for both fast runs and prolonged exertion. The complete rubber outsole provides excellent durability and grip, while the textile top is made to be breathable. It’s a cheap trainer with excellent performance.
Nano X2 – BEST FOR CROSS TRAINING
- Versatile Workout Shoes: From pistol squats to burpees, these combination training and running shoes help you take your workout to the next level and ensure you feel confident in or out of the gym
- Soft & Durable Upper: Training sneakers for men feature a Flexweave knit upper that’s breathable yet durable enough for tough training sessions, with integrated support for stable multidirectional movement
- Responsive & Flexible Forefoot: Floatride Energy Foam provides the lightweight, responsive cushioning of men’s running shoes, while maintaining the performance and stability of men’s training shoes
- Reliable Traction: Featuring a durable rubber outsole with a strategic lug pattern, these men’s athletic shoes allow you to train anywhere; ROPEPRO outsole midfoot teeth add traction and bite perfect for rope climbing
- Stylish, Supportive Build: The ultra-stylish design and supportive structure of these lightweight workout shoes for men help you crush your workout goals and feel good about what you’re wearing too
- Durable rubber outsole
- Supportive and stable
- Very firm
- Not suitable for anything beyond warm up runs
- Weight: 10.2 oz (M), 8.3 oz (W)
- Drop: 7mm
Nano sneakers were created over ten years ago and are made to withstand various workouts. Despite having Floatride Energy Foam in the midsole, the X2 has a rather stiff ride, so don’t plan on doing any jogging with them. The X2’s stability, which is primarily highlighted by its broad toe box, almost flat outsole, and heel clip, provides a stable base for working out. The forefoot is flexible. Flexweave knit top with overlays provides a secure fit (particularly at the midfoot) and good ventilation. The entire rubber outsole provides excellent grip for a variety of exercises both inside and outside the gym.
Forever Floatride Grow – MOST SUSTAINABLE
- Made with natural, plant-based materials
- Heavier than Floatride Energy 4
- Weight: 9.7 oz (M), 8.1 oz (W)
- Drop: 9mm
The Floatride Energy Grow demonstrates that performance can be maintained while creating a more environmentally friendly running shoe. More than half of the elements used in its construction are plant-based, such as the Floatride Energy foam manufactured from castor bean oil, the Lyocell mesh used for the top, which is formed from wood pulp, and the natural rubber outsole. Reebok asserts that the bean-based midsole foam performs as well to their standard Floatride Energy formulation, despite this shoe being about an ounce heavier than the Floatride Energy 4, which may restrict the energy return. You can expect a lively, cushioned ride.
Floatride Energy Symmetros – BEST FOR LONG RUNS
- Whether you’re circling the track or weaving through commuters on city sidewalks, these men’s running shoes are designed to do it all. A breathable mesh upper keeps your feet cool, and the lightweight midsole cushions each step of your long runs, intervals and everything in between.
- Designed for: Running
- Soft, breathable feel
- 3D moulded heel counter for a locked-in fit, carbon rubber outsole for targeted traction and durability
- Floatride Energy Foam provides lightweight, responsive cushioning
- Cushioned, stable midsole
- Carbon rubber outsole is lightweight, yet grippy and durable
- Some testers experienced chafing against the tall ankle collar
- Weight: 9.7 oz (M), 7.9 oz (W)
- Drop: 10mm
The Symmetros’ wide, flared midsole is surprisingly sturdy for a neutral shoe while yet feeling light and springy. Even the slickest blacktop is gripped by the sturdy rubber outsole of the Symmetros. The high collar locks in support at the ankle. Transitions feel safe as you prepare for a propulsive toe-off because of the stability provided by an external heel counter coupled to a guiding groove that runs the whole length of the outsole. Even while the Reebok Floatride Energy foam utilized in this model is far less responsive than the high-end Pebax midsole in the Floatride Run Fast, it nevertheless provides enough cushioning to let you extend your long runs into the double-digit range. A test subject said, “The Symmetros has gotten me through two-hour runs and felt just as lively toward the end as when I laced up.”
Floatride Energy X – BEST FOR MARATHONS
- Flexweave woven textile upper
- Floatride Energy Foam
- Forefoot carbon fiber plate
- [REE]CYCLED: Made with at least 30% recycled or repurposed materials
- Lace closure
- Versatile enough for training and racing
- Somewhat firm Floatride Energy foam works well for larger runners
- Good value
- Has a loose fit around the ankle, especially for female runners
- Unisex sizing
- Weight: 9.1 oz (M & W)
- Drop: 6mm
Reebok’s version of a speed shoe with carbon fiber is the Floatride Energy X. However, unlike products from other companies, it is made for both training and racing; this adaptability, together with a price around $200, makes it a notably exceptional value. The shoe’s three main layers are Floatride Energy foam in a thick wedge, a softer Floatride+ layer with a carbon fiber plate, and a porous Flexweave top. Firmness and fit received mixed responses from testers. The Floatride Energy foam, despite the shoe’s high stack height, felt supportive but stable, which heavier runners enjoyed. The shoe was excessively stiff for smaller runners. The Flexweave top provided excellent ventilation, but several female testers had heel lift since the ankle collar padding didn’t produce a snug fit around the foot. As a whole, the Energy X is “a solid baseline with more good to come,” according to Morgan Petruny, RW Test Editor.
Floatride Energy 4 Adventure – BEST FOR ROAD TO TRAIL
- Roomy toe box
- Relatively firm
- Weight: 9.6 oz (M), 8 oz (W)
- Drop: 9mm
Having trouble deciding whether to run on the path or the pavement? Run on both surfaces in Reebok’s Floatride Energy 4 Adventure road-to-trail shoe. It has a Floatride Energy Foam midsole and an integrated tongue/bootie for a snug fit. The upper is composed of ripstop fabric for on-trail protection. The rubber outsole features small lugs for digging into the ground and is quite durable. During a brief test run, I noticed that the ride was slightly stiff and that I could feel the lugs squeezing the pavement a little, but not enough to stop me from running. I adored the spacious toe box, and the midfoot and ankle areas of the shoe were tight against my skin. The Energy 4 Adventure is definitely worth a look if you want a harder ride and require a trainer that you can take anywhere.
Floatride Energy Century Grow – STYLISH UPPER
- Utilizes plant-based materials
- Stylish upper
- Firm for running
- Weight: 8.7 oz (M & W)
- Drop: 9mm
The Floatride Energy Century Grow is deserving of a place on Reebok’s list of visually arresting footwear. The upper of this shoe is constructed from wood pulp, and the cushioning foam is manufactured from castor bean oil, same as the Floatride Energy Grow. The embroidered top gives it a relaxed vintage aesthetic, and although having a sturdy feel, it is supported by a hardwearing natural rubber outsole. My test pair was comfy and fashionable, and I wore them while doing errands. I believe they make a terrific choice for a daily shoe.
- Men’s Sneakers with Signature Style: Featuring a comfortable and supportive synthetic upper with a classic leather look, all these men’s fashion sneakers are missing is your fierce game face
- Durable and Efficient Support: These stylish sneakers for men feature a die-cut EVA midsole to provide support that lasts many strolls and jogs
- Tennis Shoes with Comfort and Style: These men’s tennis shoes feature a low-cut, freestyle design that offers mobility at the ankles so you can keep moving all day long
- Traction in Mind: These shoes feature high abrasion rubber outsoles for durability and traction, so you can move with confidence in every step
- High Performance: Ideal for walking and jogging as well as daily, casual wear, these shoes always look and feel great regardless of where life takes you
- Textile upper
- Designed for: Running
- Innovative ZigTech outsole disperses energy for enhanced cushioning from heel strike to toe-off
- Heel pull
- Sneakers for Women with Signature Style: Featuring a synthetic leather upper for soft support and comfort, all these women’s fashion sneakers are missing is your fierce game face
- Durable and Efficient Tennis Shoes for Women: These stylish women’s sneakers feature a die-cut EVA midsole to provide comfort and style that lasts many strolls and jogs
- Walking Shoes for Women with Comfort and Style: These women’s tennis shoes feature a low-cut, freestyle design that offers mobility at the ankles, so you can keep moving all day long; A removable foam sockliner provides lightweight cushioning
- Cool and Dry: Our footwear features a soft terry lining which absorbs moisture to keep you cool and dry
- High Performance: Ideal for long walks, as well as casual daily wear, these shoes look and feel great anywhere life takes you
- Superior Performance: Ideal for daily, casual, and athleisure wear, these casual shoes boast a high-abrasion outsole that adds durable responsiveness to your stride
- No Heel