For years, the idea of running across wet grass (and even wet pavement) has scared me. Okay, scared might be a strong word, but let’s just say the fear of wiping out on a slick surface was enough to keep me from running in any and all precipitation. Recently, though, I caught wind of the new Reebok Floatride Energy 4 Adventure Running Shoes ($120), which are designed with outsoles inspired by gravel bike tires in an effort to provide as much traction as possible for all kinds of runs. Naturally, I was intrigued — so I sampled a pair and put them to the test.
- Heel-to-Toe Drop: 9mm
- Insole: Removable
- Midsole: Reebok’s Floatride Energy Foam
- Outsole: Textured rubber lug outsole inspired by gravel bike tires
- Weight: 8 ounces
- Size/Fit: True to size
- Colors: One/gender
- Extremely lightweight
- Incredibly comfortable
- Optimal stability and traction
- They’re only sold in one color (one women’s; one men’s)
- The sides of the shoes aren’t fully structured, which can impede stability on some surfaces
As a refresher, the “drop” is the difference between the height of the toe and the heel of a shoe. It matters because it affects how your foot strikes the ground mid-stride. While zero drop shoes (aka shoes designed with flat soles) are growing in popularity, when it comes to running shoes, most podiatrists and exercise experts suggest opting for a drop above 8mm for optimal cushion and support (with shoes above 10mm being the highly-padded soles we’ve come to know and love in 2022). With that in mind, the Reebok Floatride Energy 4 Adventure Women’s Running Shoes sport a 9mm drop, which immediately lets you know that it’s not the most cushioned running shoe out there, but it’s still within the range of a beneficial design for maximizing bounds.
The Reebok Floatride Energy 4 Adventure sneakers come with ultra-thin removable insoles that you can wash should they get stinky. That said, the site doesn’t provide washing instructions, so opting for a hand wash is likely your best bet. Additionally, since the insoles are removable, they can make more room for custom insoles, should you want to add them into your shoes.
The newest iteration of the Floatride Adventure Running Shoe is designed with the brand’s iconic Floatride Energy Foam which is beloved for its highly-cushioned lightweight feel. When laced up, I felt like these shoes perfectly padded my strides without feeling nearly as chunky as other running shoes. Since these are designed to be hybrid running shoes suitable for the trail, road, and everything in between, I was actually surprised by just how lightweight they are, as you’d think they wouldn’t be able to adequately cushion against rocks and roots, but when I wore them on the trail by my house, I found that they supported and protected my soles for comfortable wear throughout. Off the trail, I find that the full-length cushioned soles help propel me forward on the treadmill while also making me feel secure midstride thanks to the ultra-grippy outsole. More on that, below.
The Reebok Floatride Energy 4 Adventure Running Shoes are designed with a multi-directional lug sole inspired by gravel bike tires. In that way, they’re designed to provide as much traction as possible to ensure a stable, slip-proof stride. After wearing them on the sidewalk and treadmill, through dirt, and during a gentle rain, I can attest to just how stable they feel on the ground.
While the sole itself feels incredibly stable, the upper leaves a little bit left to be desired. Made of recycled plastic Ripstop, the uppers are lightweight and flexible but also a touch looser than I’d like. They’re reinforced with overlays that provide extra support, though, so it’s not as though my feet are moving all over the place. It’s just that thanks to the lightweight construction that feels more like fabric than a sturdy side barrier, I feel like these shoes might not be the best on super rocky terrain, where an accidental slip could send your foot off kilter.
Reebok Floatride Adventure Sizing
I wear women’s size 10 shoes 99.9% of the time. In the case of the Reebok Floatride Energy 4 Adventure Running Shoes, I felt that they run true to size.
Who They’re Best For
I personally love the new Reebok Floatride Energy 4 Adventure Running Shoes. They’re incredibly lightweight and provide optimal traction, which makes them great for treadmill runs, walks around the neighborhood, gentle hikes, and outdoor runs alike. They’re designed with a rubber-inforced toe, too, so they prevent scuffing and potential injury during outdoor workouts. All in all, I think they’re a great choice for anyone looking for a versatile sneaker fit for indoor and outdoor runs. But, if you’re looking specifically for a running shoe that will stabilize your feet on rocky trails, thus preventing painful twists and sprains, you may be better off with something a bit more structured on the sides.
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