A new upper and added stability. Is the Floatride 5 still a low-cost gem?
The Floatride 5 is the latest iteration of Reebok’s super low price and versatile daily trainer. This version retains the same midsole foam with an added torsion strip but gains a new, softer upper. Will the king of low-cost dailies keep its crown?
Specs: Slightly higher and a wider platform
In my US 8.5 the shoe weighed in at 240g for the left shoe and 249g for the right so quite the difference between the sides. A weight gain over the v4.
The shoe has an 8mm drop and 19mm of Reebok Energy Foam in the forefoot.
Speedshift 2.0 upper with recycled material and added overlays for support.
Upper: All new, but is it an improvement?
Starting from the top, we find the major change between the Floatride 5 and its predecessor. The upper is completely redesigned. A much softer material both to the touch and on foot which is a real bonus. On the v4, the upper was quite rough and had exposed stitching on the inside which caused some irritation to my feet with the wrong socks. Thankfully, the Floatride 5 fixes this. A much softer material hugs the foot and gives a very good lockdown with no slip in the heel and a less dramatically pointed end to the toe box.
The laces are fairly standard affairs which, in my version, come up slightly short especially if a runners knot is required. I found the shoes fit me true to size and didn’t need much adjustment to the lacing to get them to hold fast.
Step in comfort on the shoe is very pleasant and I found the mesh to be acceptably breathable on all of my runs which reached into the start of a warm summer season here in the UK. I found that the fit was comfortable and true to size. The tongue is gusseted and has a good thickness to it which avoids any pressure from the laces. The heel counter is stout and holds the foot firm with no slippage I could detect.
Midsole: Wider and with an added torsion plate
All in all, the midsole is a very pleasant affair. Energy Foam itself is good through the daily miles and is also able to turn up the pace if required. One of my first runs in the shoe ended up being a few 200s on a grass track. Whilst it won’t become my shoe for every workout I, it is good to know that it has the ability to step up to the task.
For daily running, in my case about 9.5km a day, the midsole is absolutely fine. It protects and returns energy. Whilst the torsion plate adds a little but not obtrusive stability to the shoe. The ride of the platform is also very pleasant. While a little firm, it has a very smooth roll thanks to the geometry of the shoe. It may not be the most exciting foam on the block, but at the price point, it is a durable, comfortable and easy to run shoe. It has a very conventional, low-stack feel which should suit most runners. The wider midfoot and slightly higher stack in the heel will also help its mass appeal
My only gripe with the midsole is the lack of cushioning in the forefoot. As someone who constantly lands on the ball of my foot, I found that on longer runs (16km or more), I yearned for more to land on. 19mm is plenty for shorter distance and softer surfaces but I think I have been spoiled by the massive, marshmallow-esque midsoles of other current offerings. In comparison, the Energy Foam is slightly firmer.
Outsole: No surprises just consistent hold
On the bottom, the outsole changes slightly in pattern with the lugs getting longer in the middle and outside of the rubber. The midfoot cut-out also gets longer, wider and deeper while being bordered by the X-Plate which has been added for stability.
After running on a range of surfaces in a variety of weathers, I have found the traction altogether very good.
Fast sessions on grass? Not a problem. Rainy runs on sodden concrete? Surefooted and fine.
As of writing, I have noticed some wear in the lateral side of the outsole after about 75km in the shoe but it hasn’t impacted their ride so far.
Conclusion: A simple trainer for daily needs
The Floatride 5 is a very good daily trainer. Firstly, it will take daily miles with comfort and no fuss. If needed, it can pick up the pace for workouts. It will hold you to any terrain that you throw at it (within reason). The upper, which was the weakness of the Floatride 4, has been much improved in this version.
If you are looking for a low cost, conventional trainer to get in your daily distance, this is a very sound investment. It won’t ever top the charts for excitement value but it will deliver comfort and consistency over your run.
The biggest plus point is the price which although listed at $110, is usually available at a far reduced price. I will be continuing to run in the Floatride 5 and look forward to what Reebok can bring on a budget in the next version.
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