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Reebok Forever Floatride Energy is best-suited for a beginner runner

The fanfare around new launches these days is often enough to convince someone to buy a Rs 15,000 pair even before they know they like running. Might as well start with the best shoe, right? Wrong. Entirely. The sophisticated tech can often be counterproductive for the wrong feet.

Beginners often complain that well-cushioned, long-distance running pairs are inflexible for training. Some say they are too heavy for daily use. This is because most performance pairs are not meant to be trainers, joggers or athleisure sneakers. A good performance shoe is tailor-made for a particular sport or a track event. And beginners are better off without them.

A beginner shoe has to be more versatile. A shoe which can pace out 10km, is not a misfit at the gym and is flexible enough for everything in between. And is lightweight. too. Reebok Floatride Energy, launched earlier this year, is the best such going.

Its 2.0 version launched in October is identical in design and form to its predecessor, adding a little more zing in performance but mostly just new colourways. It’s a tried-and-tested, sub-Rs 10,000 running pair that can put many overpriced running shoes to shame.

The science is simple: the upper is made entirely of engineered mesh, which lends the shoe its breathability, punched eyelets and a lightly-padded tongue comfortably locks the foot in place and a no-frills design keeps things flexible. So much so that despite its medium 10mm heel drop, you won’t mind a CrossFit session in these shoes.

I took them out for a few sub-5k free runs and the Floatride foam midsole turned out to be surprisingly cushioned for a shoe that weighs just 250gm a piece. The carbon rubber grips roads and pavements well.

The Floatride Energy is not among the most responsive shoes for a quick toe-off for speed or interval runs. It’s not a marathon runner, either. The lack of strength along the edges of the mesh upper can expose your foot to abrasions over long distances. But up to 10km, it’s foolproof.

Verdict 4/5

The Forever Floatride Energy is one of the best pairs in the market today for a beginner runner who dabbles in a bit of everything. What makes it even more special right now is the discounted price of Rs 5,999, which is excellent. Don’t confuse yourself deciding between the original and the “improved” 2.0 version. They are almost identical and grabbing either of them for this price amounts to a steal.

Source: Business Standard