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Road • April 7, 2023

Reebok Floatride Energy 5 Review: Buoyancy at its Best

reebok floatride energy 5 cover

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What You Need To Know

Weight

9.4 oz. (266 g) for a US M9

Stack Height / Drop

27 mm in heel, 19 mm in forefoot (8 mm drop)

Best For

Shorter daily miles, tempo training

Key Features

Torsion plate for increased midfoot stability, more Energy foam underfoot

On The Run

🟢 Simple and comfortable ride

🟢 Runs lighter than the listed weight

🟢 Damn good price point

Price

$110

The Intro

ROBBE: Everyone loves a good underdog story, or finding a hidden gem amongst a bunch of fakes. Reebok isn’t exactly an underdog in the large scheme of things. I mean, they’re responsible for The Pump, one of the greatest technological innovations of all-time, right up there with the combustion engine and the printing press. It could make a 5th-grader jump three feet higher after watching NBA Inside Stuff– how is that even possible? No one knows, but it was. Combine that physical prowess with a Shaq Attaq, and the result is an epidemic of early deaths among suburban backyard backboards.

But that was the 90s when life didn’t suck, and this is now, when all we want is a good running shoe to escape our suburban slump.

Reebok brought the Floatride Energy to market about five years ago; since then, it’s been an overlooked budget shoe that deserves way more praise than it gets outside of niche running shoe circles. Throughout that time, it’s had some changes and minor tweaks but has largely remained a simplistic trainer with a nice ride that doesn’t break the bank.

This version is no different, though it does get a couple upgrades. Namely, a bit more Floatride Energy foam, both in midsole width and height, a torsion plate for increased foot stability, and a 30% recycled and redesigned upper with a lateral support system to keep the foot centered while on the run. All good things, and the shoe manages to stay at that $110 price point.

Anyway, let’s get into the shoe and see if this thing pumps you up or deflates your gait on the run.

CHAD: Picture this: It’s January 2015, and you’re in downtown Columbus, Ohio, near the Nationwide Arena. The NHL All-Star game is in town, and to celebrate, the city and the league organized a 5k race. You look over and see a tall and husky 27-year-old man in a Boston Bruins pullover toeing the line. Despite the look of confidence on his face, little do you know that he’s running his first 5k ever, having only started running a few months prior.

While others are hoping to win the race or set a new PR, he’s just hoping to finish the whole 3.1 miles without having to stop to walk and/or vomit on the course. Ready for the plot twist? That tall and husky 27-year-old was me. Yep, that is the story of my first 5k. And for those curious, I (a) finished without walking, and (b) did not vomit.

Why the trip down memory lane? On my feet that day was a pair of Reebok ZQuick running shoes that I had picked up for cheap at our local Reebok outlet, along with several other pairs for wearing to the gym. What can I say, the BOGO deals at the outlet were crazy good. But as a beginner in the world of running, I had no idea what the makings of a good running shoe were.

At the end of the day, the shoes were fine and got me through that first race, but then I moved on to other brands as I became a more serious and dedicated runner. But now here it is, eight years later, and I’ve been tasked with lacing up the Reebok Floatride Energy 5 for review. After logging my miles, I admit I’m a big fan of this shoe for many reasons.

reebok floatride energy 5 toe

Men’s colorway of the Reebok Floatride Energy 5

The Good

ROBBE: As I said, we’ve always been a fan of this shoe, and barring any crazy changes, there’s no reason the Floatride Energy 5 shouldn’t also be in the ‘win’ column for Reebok.

Let’s start with the upper. It’s breathable, it’s light, it wraps the foot nicely. It could be a disaster since it doesn’t have much structure, except Reebok dials it in with the lateral support structure which indeed does help keep the foot over the center of the shoe on the run. Some shoes try to save weight by skimping on the upper structure and the result can be disastrous. This upper strikes the right balance. I found the lockdown to be above average, and the overall feel was comparable to other trainers in its class like the Saucony Kinvara 14, Puma Liberate Nitro, or New Balance Rebel v3.

On the run, the shoe feels a lot lighter than its listed weight. To me, it’s almost a lightweight daily trainer that borders on tempo. The Floatride Energy foam has just the right amount of bounce and comfort for runners who like road feel without hammering their feet. It’s old school and new school combined. Fans of max cushion shoes will probably want to stay away from it, but for someone who’s looking for that classic shoe with a modern flair, then the Floatride Energy 5 delivers.

This is one of those shoes that’s simplistic and fun and brings back the simple joys of running. Sometimes additional support pieces can render a shoe clunky, but the torsion control system in the midfoot actually helps to accentuate the ride and balance out the softer/bouncier Floatride Energy foam.

I appreciate the updated design as well, it’s a pretty good-looking shoe, and of course, the $110 price point is really hard to beat nowadays.

reebok floatride energy 5 fence

True blue

CHAD: A lot of shoes get labeled a “do-it-all” trainer, but I really think this shoe really fits that mold. The Floatride Energy 5 is light, especially for a daily trainer, which allowed me to pick up the pace in it during a workout run. The Floatride Energy midsole has a great blend of cushioning for protection while also being responsive and bouncy. This provides quality energy return on each step which is helpful for longer efforts. Toss in the added stiffness and lateral/medial support from Reebok’s X-Plate in the midfoot (and maybe some Eye of Newt), and you have a witch’s brew of a smooth, fast, responsive, and protective ride.

During each of my runs in the Floatride Energy 5, I was surprised at the pace I was able to maintain in it without significant effort and how fresh my legs felt after my weekend long run. At no point did I feel like I was bottoming out, nor did the foam ever feel dead, even during my longer efforts. As a bigger runner, that’s usually a big concern for me, especially as the length of the run increases. Also, the significant outsole rubber coverage provides excellent traction, a must in any quality daily trainer.

Two other positives stand out to me for the Reebok Floatride Energy 5. Meaghan found that the Floatride Energy 4 was one of the best-looking shoes she’s seen, and I agree with her; it was a striking shoe. But I have to say that Reebok somehow outdid itself with the fifth version. There are very few running shoes released that I would consider wearing casually with jeans or khaki shorts, and the Floatride Energy 5 is one of those few. The light blue and white colorway with the orange and yellow accents is a real treat for the eyes. It may be hyperbole, but opening the box to see these was like seeing the Mona Lisa at the Louvre for the first time, an almost spiritual experience that’s hard to describe.

Oh, and that other positive? This shoe retails for only $110, cheaper than almost any daily trainer you’ll find on the market. Combined with the solid performance, the value can’t be matched.

Shop Reebok Floatride Energy 5 - Men Shop Reebok Floatride Energy 5 - Women

The Bad

ROBBE: I don’t have many negatives here, because simple shoes tend to be just that. Not much can go wrong if a few things make it right. But look, it’s a $110 shoe, you’re not going to get the most premium details. So the upper isn’t perfect and feels a little bit cheap. That pretty much applies to any shoe at the $110 price point or under these days. But I didn’t get any hot spots or rubbing and my foot wasn’t sliding around, so what do I really have to complain about?

Other than that, the outsole rubber coverage is generous, but it’s not the tackiest rubber on the market, so may want to stay out of the rain with it, or at least proceed with caution.

CHAD: There are very few negatives to point out with this shoe. The upper isn’t necessarily the most comfortable despite being breathable as promised. The Speed Shift 2.0 material doesn’t have the softness or flex of some of the more premium daily trainers on the market and borders on feeling cheap. However, I will give Reebok props for it being made up of at least 30% recycled materials; Captain Planet would approve.

The stiffer upper, coupled with the fact that it’s not a shoe for someone with a high-volume foot, made for some discomfort during the initial try-on phase. I have a reasonably regular width and volume foot, and the midfoot was a little tight along the sides and top. However, once the lacing is dialed in, that becomes less of an issue.

Shop Reebok Floatride Energy 5 - Men Shop Reebok Floatride Energy 5 - Women
reebok floatride energy 5 outsole

Outsole has some soul

Reebok Floatride Energy 5 Conclusion

ROBBE: We say it year after year, but I’ll especially say it this year– the Reebok Floatride Energy 5 is one of the best value shoes on the market for what it provides. A ride that rivals any shoe in its class in a lightweight package makes this one of the more solid overall shoes that you can get, especially if you love that simplistic ride that seems harder and harder to find these days. You may not posterize anyone with a dunk to the face, but you can definitely call a “nothing but net” and watch your shot glide through the bottom of the basket.

CHAD: For me, putting on the Reebok Floatride Energy 5 was like dancing with your high school sweetheart at your 20-year high school reunion. The DJ just put on “All My Life” by K-Ci and Jojo, and all of a sudden it was as if no time had passed. All the memories of first getting into running and running my first 5k came flooding back to me, and I was drunk on nostalgia. Then I took the shoe out for a run and realized that nostalgia is great and all, but the present is where it’s at.

Overall, the Floatride Energy 5 is a solid daily trainer, and for someone looking to run on a budget, the price tag of $110 cannot be beat for the quality and performance of this shoe. I wouldn’t be surprised if in addition to joining my daily trainer rotation, this shoe becomes my go-to lifestyle shoe for the summer, given its pleasing aesthetics.

You can pick up the Reebok Floatride Energy 5 for $110 at X by using the shop links below.

Shop The Shoe

 

reebok floatride energy 5 - men shop
Shop Reebok Floatride Energy 5 Men
reebok floatride energy 5 - women shop
Shop Reebok Floatride Energy 5 Women

Want to learn more about how our review process works? Check out this guide.

reebok floatride energy 5 fence
2
Comments

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  1. Jon says:

    Robbe/Chad….Is this shoe by the “new” Reebok or the “old” ie when they were owned y adidas? Given the lead time from design to samples to production Is usually well over a year, I have to think this is more of the old than the new.

    Speaking of…has there been any talk about the future of Reebok Running under the new ownerahip?

    1. Robbe says:

      It’s more old than new, which isn’t a bad thing. Very nice shoe and improved a bit over the last version.

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Authors

Robbe Reddinger
Senior Editor
  • Strava
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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.

More from Robbe
Shoe Size

7.5

Fav. Distance

13.1

PRs
  • 3:27

    Marathon
  • 1:30

    Half-Marathon
  • 40:36

    10k
  • 19:17

    5K
Chad at 8 Hour Race 2
Chad Zimmermann
Clydesdale Reviewer
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An attorney by day, Chad lives in Central Pennsylvania with his wife and three kids. Never much for running growing up, Chad began running as a way to improve his physical health. He went from his first 5k in 2015 to running the Paris Marathon in 2016.  Given his larger physical build, Chad is the resident Clydesdale runner, providing shoe and gear insights for those with a bigger build and taller stature.

All-time favorite shoes: Saucony Tempus, Mizuno Wave Rider 17, Puma Deviate Nitro 2

More from Chad
Shoe Size

11.5

Fav. Distance

10K

PRs
  • 5:42

    Marathon
  • 56:33

    10K
  • 26:34

    5K
  • 2:11:05

    Half Marathon
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