REEBOK FLOATRIDE FLEXWEAVE
PRICE: R2 499 WEIGHT: 243 grams (M), 218 grams (W)
Reebok is using a Pebax-based foam, which is far lighter than the standard EVA that’s been used in running shoes for decades; but it also delivers excellent cushioning and off-the-charts bounce.
That foam is Reebok’s answer to adidas’ Boost midsole. Since Boost was launched in 2013, every shoemaker has been working on its own version for delivering ‘high energy return’ (technically, the foam reduces the amount of energy you
lose with each step). The Pebax that makes up Reebok’s version, Floatride, has more commonly been used as a hard but flexible plastic component – think the Wave plate in Mizuno shoes. Pebax is lighter, more flexible and more impact-resistant than other plastics, and when it’s blown into a foam, those properties remain, meaning the material compresses more and rebounds with more force than typical midsole foams.
What it means for runners is a fun (and fast) shoe. We first experienced this foam in the Reebok Floatride Run, a training shoe that had a magical ability to turn easy jogs into tempo runs. We quickly realised Reebok was onto something special with this foam, and it has continued to improve on the formula with the Floatride Flexweave.
But thanks to that foam, it’s also a shoe that remains comfortable if you want to rock it at a more leisurely pace.
Reebok has also developed the Flexweave upper, which is built to allow greater freedom of motion. Testers raved about this highly breathable upper, which supports your foot over the midsole without any seams or overlays to cause irritation during long runs. The thin material and lightly-padded collar and tongue help keep weight in check, but also won’t get weighed down if you’re trying to dash through rain-slicked roads.