Shoe of the Week: Reebok Forever Floatride Energy 2
A "best buy," the Reebok Forever Floatride Energy 2 delivers a soft-and-bouncy ride in a light package with an improved fit.
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Reebok Forever FloatRide Energy 2 Review
Weight: 8.8 oz (M), 7.3 oz (W)
Heel-Toe Offset: ~9mm (26mm heel, 17mm forefoot)
Reebok’s Forever Floatride Energy 2 combines modern bouncy foam with retro geometry and a simple upper to deliver a smooth, comfy, neutral ride at a value price.
The first Forever Floatride Energy garnered rave reviews for its light, responsive ride, particularly at its $100 price point. With nothing changed below the foot, the second version maintains the same ride, while updating and (mostly) improving the upper.
This Shoe Is For You If…
You’re looking for a simple, inexpensive, durable, everyday shoe and you like a soft, flexible, neutral ride with a strong energy-return bounce underfoot.
The Forever Floatride Energy 2 is all about the foam. While not the fanciest foam on the market, it delivers a bouncy and light ride you expect from shoes twice this price. The foam is soft and flexible, molding to your foot and providing ample cushioning, then firming up and springing back.
The rest of the shoe seems just there to hold your foot onto the foam on top and protect it on bottom. The design feels almost retro, with no molding on the flat top of the slab of foam, a “straight” foot shape, a simple, full-coverage rubber sole, and a thin, flat, glued-in sockliner. It is a tribute to the foam, which lets your foot sink into the wide platform and molds around it, that you don’t miss the contours you find under the arch and surrounding the foot in most modern shoes.
This year’s upper is a step up from last year’s, with a softer, more engineered mesh that wraps closer to the foot. Inside, a stretchy wrap connects the tongue to the sides, providing a smooth, inner booty, as well as anchoring the tongue from sliding around — one of the criticisms of the first version.
The heel got a major makeover too, with the traditional low, padded collar replaced with a high, molded swoop. This higher collar looks fast and holds the heel in place well, but it rubbed some testers achilles tendons, at least initially. The lacing is straightforward, with round laces looping through traditional eyelets on a fairly-rigid u-throat opening. This works fine for most feet, but doesn’t provide much adaptability.
Testers found the fit plenty long, with room for toes, but somewhat snug in the midfoot/instep. This sleeker upper pulls on easily, leaves few gaps and flexes with your foot movements.
The feel underfoot is soft, the foam sinking in significantly wherever it is loaded. The soft midsole sole flexes easily from heel to toe and side to side, producing a sensation of the shoe wrapping up around the foot. Only the bounce-back quality of the foam and the straight, relatively-wide platform save it from feeling unstable. Some testers did, however, find the experience overly squishy. Others, however, called the ride firm and responsive. This variability is characteristic of bouncy foams which interact with each runner’s stride differently, so your experience is hard to predict.
All agree that the shoe runs lightly, and is remarkably durable — further enhancing the value. If anything, the ride improves with time, when the wear compression slightly dampens the excessive squish without losing any of the cushioning or rebound.
And the retro look? One masters woman tester said they reminded her of “what the coolest cheerleaders and volleyball players wore in high school.” Which, if young runners serve as indicators, is now cool again!