The Reebok Floatride Running Shoe

The Floatride from Reebok

Today I will tell you about my experience and recommendation regarding the Floatride, the latest distance running shoe by Reebok, to be launched in India this coming weekend, on 1st April 2017. The last time I spoke about a running shoe here was almost 2 years ago, about the ZPump Fusion, and was, quite coincidentally, also for Reebok. This time too, I agreed to do it on the same condition – that I would speak independently, with no interference from Reebok or their agents.

If last time for the ZPump Fusion my overall conclusion was neutral-bordering-on-negative, this time, for the Floatride it is significantly positive. If you want to read no further, and are looking for a pair of new running shoes, then go away with the thought “Puru the Guru says it’s a shoe worth having”.

Packaging, Size and First Impressions

Good things in small packages?

The shoe comes in a pretty standard box, unlike the lovely drawer pull-push style of the ZPump Fusion box that I still use for carrying things in my check-in luggage when travelling. That aside, the size I had picked for this pair was 2 sizes bigger than the shoe shop measurement of my foot. I find that “1-size bigger”, the rule-of-thumb recommendation for running shoes, is not good enough for me, and I like the fact that there is an odd amount of extra space north of the toes. This specification works for me; please note, I am not suggesting you do the same with your shoe sizing.


The shoe is sold in only one colour for men and another for women. The blue colour for men is not terribly exciting compared with the recent trend of “very bright and colourful” in the running shoe market. The lime green women’s shoe is also not eye-catching. The primary reason for this is that the ‘black surface area’ takes up a significant proportion of surface area in the Floatride. With running shoes, I love ‘bright and beautiful’, but if you prefer ‘not flashy’, then you will like these tones. And, whether or not you like ‘bright and beautiful’, if you care more about functionality and performance like I do, then too you will appreciate this shoe.

Special Feature

The official press release says that the “precisely-engineered Reebok Floatride Foam is pressure set for a consistent cell structure that provides an optimal mix of softness and responsiveness to ensure the wearer can experience high-level comfort while pushing performance”. I explored that claim.


One of the features of the lightweight ‘foam technology’ is evident in the total weight of the shoe itself. It is noticeably lighter at 285g than the trail running Salomon XScream (7% heavier) that has been my current favourite. It is also much lighter than the Asics Kayano 17 (20% heavier) that I have always felt I struggle with. It is heavier than the superlight Asics Gel-Hyperspeed racing shoe, but, other than its colour, I am not a big fan of that Asics racing shoe. I have not compared the Floatride with the running range from other leading brands but I am told by a friend that it compares well with the Adidas Ultra Boost in terms of ‘feel and fit’ – he has both shoes!

within acceptable tolerance; could be measurement error

I did notice that the left shoe was 3g (about 1%) lighter than the right shoe. That difference is about the weight of a walnut you might eat. I do not think it is material for me and I will not dwell on it – I am reporting it because I measured it! {Although I took repeated measurements to avoid measurement error, the difference might still be attributed to the precise weight measuring method I used, rather than the shoe itself.}

Boys in blue!

Testing the Shoes

Getting to know the shoes

I like to warm up to a new pair of running shoes by first wearing them for other light intensity activities. After that, I typically wear my running shoes only for running. So, prior to my first run I wore them:

  • At the gym for a session of strength training
  • For a couple of walks, including jumping across rocks at the seaside
  • When cycling, which is my most common mode of daily Mumbai city commuting

The Runs

This is a serious running shoe, so the main test for me was when I ran the following:

  • A gruelling afternoon run on Mumbai roads, with harsh sun and hills
  • An easy paced morning run on the beach, on both, firm wet sand as well as on soft and unstable sand
  • A set of 1600m intervals on slightly undulating roads one morning

The Run Experience

I loved that 10 minutes into my first run I had to remind myself that I was wearing a new pair of shoes. That itself made me decide that the Floatride was excellent for me. There was no ‘getting used to it gradually’ phenomenon to have to deal with.

Captured by a friend who happened to be passing by

Often with shoes (e.g. Asics Kayano that I have run in for more than 10 years) I find that the upper rim of the shoe digs in around my ankle and causes some discomfort and even pain, especially when new. I had none of that with the Floatride. So, am I pleased? Yes, very pleased!

Optimal mix of cushioning and responsiveness

With regards to Reebok’s claim about their ‘foam technology’, I agree that on the continuum of softness (think ‘luxury sedan smooth ride’) to responsiveness (think ‘sharp sports suspension’) the Floatride does an excellent job of compromising between the two. Full marks there too!

This pair was handed over to me a week ago for testing and voicing my opinion. I can see myself racing in the Reebok Floatride soon. I recommend it.



Dr Purnendu Nath spends his waking hours focusing on helping individuals and organizations reach their goals, to make the world a better place. He speaks, writes and advises on topics such as finance, investment management, discipline, education, self-improvement, exercise, nutrition, health and fitness, leadership and parenting.

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