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Road Running Shoes • May 22, 2024

Rabbit Dream Chaser Review: Soft Fur, Some Bounce, Weird Trax

rabbit dream chaser - feature

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What You Need To Know


9.5 oz. (269 g) for a US M7/W8.5

Stack Height / Drop

37 mm in heel, 32 mm in forefoot (5 mm drop)

Best For

Daily training, long runs

Key Features

Soft EPTU Flowstate Foam midsole, Blumaka insole, soft knit upper, Carbon Trax outsole strips

On The Run
Super comfortable all around Somewhat heavy Very warm
Price / Availability

Available now for $160

rabbit dream chaser - feature 2

Editor’s note (5/23): This version of the Rabbit Dream Chaser is a pre-production model and was limited release around the Boston Marathon. The wider release of the shoe on June 20 will feature modifications to improve some of the negatives in “The Bad” section, namely the Carbon Trax. In the final version of the shoe, rubber strips are applied to the Carbon Trax, in order to eliminate the sound of the carbon against the ground, to protect the plates, and to offer a smoother run experience.

Introduction to the Rabbit Dream Chaser

ROBBE: Since their inception 8 years ago, Rabbit has proven they do one thing better than almost anyone else– softness and comfort. What began with a woman-owned company selling a pair of shorts straight outta SoCal eventually expanded into a full range of performance apparel, from road to trail, for men and women both. Their ownership is top-notch and they genuinely care about their customers and their community. Some of our favorite pieces of run apparel come from Rabbit, thanks to the magical composition of yarn they use in their gear. 

So it only makes sense that they rolled that expertise into their first foray into run footwear with the all-new Rabbit Dream Chaser.

rabbit dream chaser - upper front

Footwear is a funny thing. It’s a notoriously risky and difficult venture. There are far more moving pieces that require greater attention to detail. A bad cut of clothing won’t kill ya, but a bad midsole or plate design can– and will– derail your training. And yet, the siren call of seeing your name on someone’s feet appeals to so many. The profit margins probably help too.

Point is– everyone has a shoe these days. Tracksmith, Lululemon, even REI (which only lasted for one version because it was so bad). And if they don’t have a shoe, they want their name on one, as we’ve seen with Ciele (Puma and Salomon) and Satisfy (Norda and Hoka).  

And now, Rabbit.

rabbit dream chaser - logo
rabbit dream chaser - insole

I’ll give you a quick rundown of the shoe and then we’ll get into the actual review. The Dream Chaser is essentially a daily trainer with a focus on comfort and performance. Rabbit is smart to lean into their strengths, and by incorporating their “softest threads in existence,” you get a knit upper made from recycled polyester that’s incredibly comfortable. The midsole uses Flowstate Foam, an EPTU foam, which– according to Rabbit– “optimally balances cushioning and features a lightweight design to produce a bouncy yet controlled ride.” A Blumaka insole provides additional bounce and comfort. 

Moving onto the outsole, two exposed carbon fiber strips (Carbon Trax) are designed to provide a touch of stability on both the medial and lateral sides, while the rubber provides traction. It’s an interesting concept and one that we’ll get into later in this review.

Let’s go chase some dreams, and hopefully avoid the nightmares.

rabbit dream chaser - above

What we like about the Rabbit Dream Chaser

ROBBE: This shoe is exactly what you’d expect from Rabbit, and that’s a good thing. Everything in this shoe tells you that the number one goal is comfort, and it reigns supreme throughout, from the upper down to the midsole. 

Let’s start at the top. The knit upper made from recycled polyester secures the foot perfectly with a great lockdown. A gusseted tongue wraps around the midfoot, while pillows around the ankle collar keep the heel in place. The flat-lay tongue with minimal padding stays secure on the run and I had no problems with the lacing. A reinforced toe bumper provides additional structure and protection, though I’m not sure it’s entirely necessary. All that to say, it’s as much comfort as you can want in an upper. No hot spots or movement, just a really great fit overall.

rabbit dream chaser - laces

On the run, again– comfort abounds. The Flowstate midsole is soft. Like, very soft. It may be one of the softest midsoles in recent memory based on the finger test alone. I mean, you can legit bend it in half length-wise, like a hot dog bun. You get a pretty generous stack of it, with 32 mm in the heel and 27 mm in the forefoot, not including the 5 mm Blumaka insole. The result is an incredibly comfortable ride over any distance. It’s not marketed as a max cushion shoe, but it’s basically a max cushion shoe. 

I’m not the biggest fan of max cushion shoes, especially if they feel clunky. This doesn’t feel like that, despite a fairly wide base. Mostly this is due to the upper, which locks the foot in perfectly and keeps the whole thing together. All of that brings me to my next point– it’s a surprisingly stable shoe for how soft it is, thanks to that wide base and assisted by the Carbon Trax.

Those two little carbon strips do seem to reign in the shoe a bit, providing a bit of stability while acting as a hinge point to roll you through your stride. Don’t get me wrong, they’re dumb, but they seem to at least contribute some net positive on the functional side.

rabbit dream chaser - toe
rabbit dream chaser - flowers

I needed to get this review out so I actually did a speed workout in my first run in this shoe. I wouldn’t recommend it, as this shoe is not meant for that, but it wasn’t the worst experience. Meaning, I hit my paces. The upper fit certainly helped, and the shoe itself gives a pretty seamless and smooth ride, though I wouldn’t say it’s propulsive. I’m just saying it wasn’t the worst choice for a workout. 

Where the shoe really works is on longer efforts at a steady pace with maybe some faster paces mixed in. It really does provide all the comfort you need. I took this on a 10-mile long run and really have to say I enjoyed it the whole way. Point being, if you’re a fan of the Hoka Clifton, New Balance 1080, or Asics Gel-Nimbus 25, this shoe is meant for you. There’s nothing wrong with the ride, especially if you like a very soft midsole.

I had no issues with hotspots, fit, security, or discomfort for any of my runs and my legs felt fresh after a hilly long run. That alone makes this a good shoe by any metric.

Moving onto the outsole, the rubber is decently grippy; I took this on a rainy long run and had no issues with grip throughout.

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rabbit dream chaser - toe bumper

What we don’t like about the Rabbit Dream Chaser

ROBBE: After a respectable and criminally overlooked run, I’m pretty sure that Skechers Performance is getting killed off, but Rabbit seems to be doing its best to continue their longstanding tradition of making boring-meets-basic shoe designs. Maybe it’s a southern California thing (where both brands are based), but every time I laced this up and went running in public, I wanted to wear a cardboard sign that said “It’s my job to review these shoes,” as if there were a reviewer gun held to my head. Fashion is in the eye of the beholder, but man, these do not look cool, no matter how hard I tried.

We already covered the excellent comfort and security of the upper– but that comes with a cost. Rabbit says it’s breathable, but it’s very warm, there’s just no denying it. You cannot have that much knit polyester (a double layer, in fact) and expect a breathable upper. It’s just not possible. I mean, I guess it’s more breathable than leather? 

rabbit dream chaser - logo heel
rabbit dream chaser - outsole

The Carbon Trax strips are really dumb, like why and how did this get through to the final production stage. I get it, the consumer loves to see carbon fiber, so you need a visual cue that it’s there. That’s why you’ll always see some exposed carbon in everything from the Nike Alphafly 3 to the New Balance SC Elite v4. But to put two strips of it on the outsole is kid-science-project crazy.

Wear these to a group run and you’ll be heretofore known as Cap’n Crunch thanks to the sickening grind sound every time it comes in contact with the pavement. The sensory feedback of that is jarring. I haven’t cracked them yet, but I’m sure it’s coming. They’re completely scratched and chipped after just 20 miles. The good news for all you late-nineties kids is that you can throw a generous layer of wax on them and– voila!– you have Soap Shoes. No handrail is safe around you, you xtreme daredevil.

Editor’s note: Rabbit notified us that the Boston model of the Dream Chaser was a pre-production sample; the final version (6/20 release date) will see changes to the Carbon Trax. Specifically, rubber strips placed on the carbon fiber to eliminate the grinding sound, to protect the carbon plates, and to provide more traction for a better run experience.

rabbit dream chaser - worn outsole

After 20 miles

Lastly, there’s the weight. Now, I don’t weigh shoes until after a review. On the run, I didn’t find it be super weighty or blocky, probably because the upper fits so well and the weight is evenly distributed. However, on specs alone, this is one of the heavier trainers out there, coming in at 9.5 ounces for my US M7/W8.5, which is a borderline kids shoe. For a standard size 9, you’re looking at close to 11 ounces. That’s not light.

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Final thoughts on the Rabbit Dream Chaser

ROBBE: There are certainly some annoying aspects of the Rabbit Dream Chaser, which are mostly a case of trying to do too much to be cool. It’s like wearing a Stetson hat with a Richard Mille with Nike Alphaflys. Separately and in their own ecosystems, all those things work. Combined, you’re just trying too hard to show you have money. The Rabbit Dream Chaser isn’t quite that ridiculous, but the Carbon Trax and milquetoast design is almost enough to derail the whole thing. I suspect that these things will be fixed if we see a second version of the shoe, particularly the exposed carbon.

rabbit dream chaser - heel

Luckily, Rabbit delivers where it counts, especially for their consumer. The shoe offers excellent comfort from top to bottom, front to back. The ride is quite enjoyable and much better than a good many shoes out there, especially from a first offering perspective. Point being, if you’re a fan of Rabbit and have been wanting to pick up this shoe, you really won’t be disappointed. 

Because of those disparate design elements, I really wanted to hate this shoe and fully expected to. But I have to be honest– I really enjoyed it, even with its design flaws. Do I like soft shoes now? I don’t know, but I guess I like being comfortable. Don’t we all?

The Rabbit Dream Chaser gives you that, so you can rest assured that you’ll be assured some rest.

You can pick up the Rabbit Dream Chaser for $160 by using the buttons below.

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Robbe Reddinger
Senior Editor
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Robbe is the senior editor of Believe in the Run. He loves going on weird routes through Baltimore, finding trash on the ground, and running with the Faster Bastards. At home in the city, but country at heart. Loves his two boys more than anything. Has the weakest ankles in the game.

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