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Reebok – A brand with Untapped Potential

Reebok, a British brand, was established in the 1958 as a sporting goods company located in Bolton, Lancashire. Founded by the grandsons of Joseph William Foster, Joe and Jeff Foster, Reebok was set up to release their ambitions and away from the feud within J.W. Foster & Sons. J.W. Foster & Sons was set up by Joseph William Foster in 1900 with some of the earliest spiked running shoes. J.W. Foster & Sons had also supplied the likes of Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams, both Olympic game winners. Today, Reebok is under the Authentic Brands Group after it was sold by Adidas.

While Reebok has not been known for their products in road running, their running shoes are worthy for aspiring and seasoned runners to look at. Our goal is to help you to navigate and understand Reebok’s running shoes line-up. Additionally, understand the different midsole technology from Reebok. Currently, Reebok has 3 types of midsole technology:

  1. Floatride Energy Foam
  2. Floatride+ Foam
  3. FuelFoam

The running shoes for Reebok are split into two categories Our focus is on road running only as those under the lifestyle running are not often considered for running. Do note that I have annotated Floatride as FR in the Mapping section to improve readability.

Reebok’s Midsole Technology

Floatride Energy Foam

The Floatride Energy foam is an expanded TPU (Thermoplastic polyurethanes) bead material which is similar to the Adidas’ Boost. This is used in majority of Reebok’s performance running shoes such as the Floatride Energy 4, Floatride Energy 3 Adventure, and Floatride Energy Symmetros among others.

Floatride+ Foam

The Floatride+ foam is a Pebax (Polyether block amide) based midsole material and used in Reebok’s Floatride Run Fast series. The Floatride+ foam is more responsive compared to the Floatride Energy Foam. Runners who have tested the Floatride+ has attested to it being much springier compared to Reebok’s Energy Foam. The same midsole has been used in the Floatride Energy X, Reebok’s plated racer.

FuelFoam

The FuelFoam is an EVA (Ethylene-vinyl acetate) based foam which is used in the entry level running shoes for Reebok. EVA based foam has been in the market for many years and been a standard before the arrival of the new age midsole foams (e.g., TPU, Pebax, e.t.c,.).

Reebok Running Shoes’ Map

There are in total 8 running shoes currently maintained by Reebok. The chart starts with the most affordable at the bottom and move up towards the most expensive. Each type of midsole has been colour coded differently.

Reebok’s running shoes starts from the sub- US$100 range with the Energen Plus (US$70) and Endless Road 3 (US$80). In 2022, with the release of FR Energy X, the range between most expensive and the least is US$100.

Most Affordable

The most affordable pair is the Energen Plus which comes in at US$70. The Energen Plus is equipped with the FuelFoam, Reebok’s EVA foam. It also features an Ortholite insole for additional comfort. Stepping up a US$10 and you can opt for the Endless Road 3. The key difference between the two is the upper construction and the overall design.

Reebok Running Shoes Map (Credit: Daily Running Co)

Daily Trainer Options

Stepping up a notch, runners can opt for the FR Energy Daily and FR Energy 4 with the latter being a touch more expensive. The FR Energy 4 features a full-length FR Energy midsole and an updated upper. On the other hand, the FR Energy Daily has a dual midsole layer with the FuelFoam forming majority of it with FR Energy in the heel. The FR Energy Daily is often overlooked as the FR Energy 4 provides sufficient cushion and improvements as a whole package for just a US$10 ~ US$20 more. Additionally, the Energy 4 looks much better than the Energy Daily in my opinion. However, for runners looking for a thicker cushion midsole yet do not want to go past the US$100 mark, the Energy Daily can match such demands.

Light Trail Option

Runners looking to do a mixture of light trail and road can opt for the FR Energy 3 Adventure. Currently, there are no news of the Energy 4 Adventure. The main difference lies in the upper for the FR Energy 3 Adventure which features a Ripstop mesh upper with H2O Drain technology to drain water off. Energy 3 Adventure comes in at US$120.

Long Run Options

For recovery and long runs, runner can opt for FR Energy Symmetros which has a higher stack height than the FR Energy 3/4. The FR Energy Symmetros is a neutral running shoes with added element to enhance stability in the heel area. It also has a very breathable engineered mesh upper attested by runners who reviewed it. The Energy Daily and Symmetros do share resemblance due to the higher stack height. Looking at the map, The Energy Daily could be high stack shoes for Energen Plus or the Endless Road 3 while the Symmetros is to Energy 4.

Race Day Options

For Race Day options, Reebok has its FR Energy X and FR Run Fast 3 for different distances. The FR Energy X was launched in 2022, bringing Reebok up to date with the market for plated shoes. Incorporating all the best technologies by Reebok into one packet, the FR Energy X comes in at US$170. FR Energy X features the Floatride Energy foam which encapsulate the Floatride+ in the forefoot area for added responsiveness. The FR Energy X is certain one which runner could use for distance up to half and full marathon.

For distance lower than the half-marathon, Reebok offers the FR Run Fast 3. It features a dual layer midsole mixing the Floatride+ with a layer of EVA on top. This is Reebok’s non-plated lightweight racer for runner looking to do tempo and/or 10K race.

Value Options

A pair of running shoes which can do it all and a worthy price to pay without breaking the bank, in my opinion goes to the FR Energy 4 / Energy 3 Adventure. Both feature Reebok’s Floatride Energy midsole which provides good cushion and pop allowing it to take on different workouts. Additionally, with many brands increasing their prices of all series, The FR Energy 4 and Energy 3 not only deliver performance but at a very competitive price point.

Summary

Reebok is a company with long history in making running footwear as early as the mid-1900s. While the brand is better known for sports and fashion other than running, it has started to crawl back into the game. Much like how Puma is starting to get back into the game.

Currently, Reebok has 3 midsole technologies, they are namely:

  1. FuelFoam – EVA-based midsole,
  2. Floatride Energy – TPU-based midsole, and
  3. Floatride+ – Pebax-based midsole.

The price range of Reebok’s running shoes starts from US$70 and goes up to US$170, making it one of the brands offering the most affordable performance running shoes in market today. While Reebok does not have shoes for technical trail, runners looking to do light trail can choose the FR Energy 3 Adventure.

We hope that this article has helped you to understand Reebok’s running shoes better and make an informed choice about which pair is for you. If you like what we are doing here, please do not forget to subscribe to our newsletter for notification of our latest post. Or you can follow us on social media channels such as Twitter and Instagram.

Till next time, just keep running.

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