Reebok has been nailing affordable, high-quality sportswear for years – and its running shoes are no exception.
The Floatride series has proved incredibly popular amongst beginner and seasoned runners alike, with reviews raving about the performance of the various models in the shoe line.
But for under $100, how good could they really be? We decided that we had to try them out for ourselves.
The third model in the Floatride Energy series, the Reebok Floadride Energy 3 has undergone some noteworthy changes from its predecessor, the Floatride Energy 2, but overall stayed true to the original design features.
Overall, we found the Reebok Energy 3 to be a fantastic, versatile running shoe – especially for its affordable price point. We had few criticisms of this model – however, the drawbacks that we did identify might make it unsuited to certain runners and goals.
Intrigued? Keep reading to learn more about the design and history of the Floatride Energy 3, as well as how it performed in our road test.
|Lightweight and breathable||Slightly sluggish at longer distances|
|Grippy on various terrains||Runs slightly large|
|Surprisingly durable||Could be speedier|
|Accomodating toe box|
Reebok Floatride Energy 3: Specs And First Impressions
On opening the Floatride Energy 3, I immediately welcomed their no-frills, sleek appearance.
Retaining many hallmarks of a classic trainer design (unlike Brook’s ‘moon shoes’!), the Floatride Energy 3 looks modern yet unpretentious and certainly on the aesthetic end of running shoes. First impressions were certainly promising – time to look at the specifications:
- Weight: 8.5 ounces / 240 grams
- Heel to Toe Drop: 9mm
- Stability Features: Neutral
- Terrain: Road/Light Trail
- Pace: Daily Runs, Moderate Distance
#1: The Sole Unit: Midsole and Outsole
At first glance, the outsole of the Reeboks Floatride Energy 3 pleasingly appears rugged and sturdy for a daily trainer.
The heel is also slightly beveled (curved) – a new design addition compared to its predecessor, the Floatride Energy 2.
This curved base aims to foster more efficient transitions, similar to the classic rockered design of Hoka’s running shoes that helps your foot glide through landing to take off – particularly useful if you’re a heel striker like me.
The midsole features moderate-level cushioning using Reebok’s classic Floatride Energy Foam – a TPU foam cell structure designed for consistency in shock absorption and responsiveness from heel to toe.
There’s a solid covering of rubber on the base of the outsole that runs all the way along the base of the shoe, promising considerable durability.
In addition to protruding rubber nodes, the forefoot of this rubber base features pretty decent lugs – indentations in the rubber in a depth and pattern designed to provide traction and stability.
#2: The Upper
Now onto the upper.
The Floatride Energy 3 features a pretty standard mesh upper unit. The square knit design creates large air-holes – these are primarily designed to enhance the breathability of the shoe, but also aid flexibility of the upper.
Living up to its advertising as a comfortable daily training shoe, this model has a moderately padded heel counter, which is flared – presumably to provide greater support to the ankle and reduce the risk of heel slip.
The tongue is also moderately padded and not over-plush.
#5: Colour and Width Options
The Floatride Energy 3 is currently offered in 7+ colour options, and one width option.
Reebok Floatride Energy 3: The Road Test – How Did It Perform?
#1: The Fit
The fit of the Energy 3 is one of the most impressive things about this model – there are few running shoes that I’ve tried that felt as immediately comfortable and form-fitting as these.
The sock liner and base of the shoe felt soft and light, but not overly plush.
The flared heel cup cradled the back of my foot nicely and I experienced no heel slip issues, even during slight lateral movement such as running around corners. The lighter tongue hugged the top of my foot, feeling secure without rubbing or restricting movement.
The flat-woven laces on this model are very simple but do what laces are supposed to.
If I was being incredibly picky, I think they’d be improved with some elasticity, such as the laces on the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21. This would complement the lighter padding of the tongue, allowing more flexibility and softness to the support of the top of the foot.
The toe box initially felt a little unnecessarily spacious, however, this was something I quickly appreciated on my longer runs, as it allowed my toes the room to splay naturally, even when hotter and expanded.
The lock-down of the upper along the lateral sides of my feet felt snug and secure.
I didn’t experience any notable support issues with the lockdown, except maybe for some minor slippage in the midfoot upper during lateral movements, such as running around sharp corners or running down steep hills – but again, nothing that felt worrisome or disruptive to my runs.
#2: Landing and Takeoff
The rubber base and lugs on the outsole provided good traction on various different surfaces and terrains, although I wouldn’t recommend using these to run on surfaces more unpredictable than light trail routes.
The mid-level cushioning provided a landing that was a good middle ground between soft and tactile – something just a little softer than the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21.
Not too firm nor soft, this cushioning in combination with the beveled heel also provided a nice responsive ride for your daily, easy miles.
For distances of half marathons or beyond, I’d opt for a sprightlier model, (check out the Saucony Endorphin Pro!) which can provide that extra pep to keep you energised for longer.
Saying this, whilst far from a fast shoe, the Floatride Energy 3 didn’t feel heavy or sluggish and can definitely deal with some pace – it’s just not as easy as other models specifically designed for this purpose.
Overall, even without considering the affordable price tag, I’ve been super impressed by this model and can see why it’s among the best-selling everyday running shoes.
I’d easily put its performance on par with much more expensive daily trainers like the Brooks Ghost or even the New Balance Fresh Foam. Solidly built, nice ride with a pretty good, smooth transition – even for a serial heel striker like me!
The Floatride Energy 3 shines as trustworthy ‘jack-of-all-trades’ running shoe, more than able to cope with various runs, terrains and distances. However, if you’re looking for a shoe for achieving specific running goals beyond clocking everyday miles, then your money is perhaps better spent on a more specialized trainer.
From its mid-level cushioning and neutral ride to its classic upper, this model is clearly designed (and triumphs) as a crowd pleaser. However, this does mean that if you’ve got strong preferences for particular features, for say cushioning or weight, again, the Floatride Energy 3 might not be for you.
So far, I’ve run just under 40 km in these shoes, and am pretty surprised how well both the upper and sole unit have coped.
Other than some superficial wear to the back of the sole and some dirt (which I have noticed the Energy 3’s wider mesh does catch slightly more grit and mud than other upper designs, such as on the Hoka Rincon 3), the shoes aren’t really showing any signs of wear.
The foam feels just as responsive as it did on the first ride, and the upper has retained its shape without any stretching or tears.
I’ve been sticking mostly to road and some very light trails, so can’t say how they’d fare on anything more than this – but as a daily road shoe, I can definitely see them lasting for many, many more miles.
Key Takeaways: Should You Buy The Reebok Floatride Energy 3?
All in all, the Floatride Energy 3 ticks all the boxes of a reliable daily trainer and more – even more impressive given its small price tag.
Durable, super comfortable, peppy enough for moderate pace, and offering surprisingly good traction on various terrains, most runners won’t be disappointed by the Floatride Energy 3.
The few people that I wouldn’t recommend this model to are those focused on distances beyond marathons – for this, I’d suggest a lighter or more responsive shoe such as the Saucony Endorphin Speed, which offers a snappier ride that helps keep you lively for longer.
Related article: Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 Review
I also wouldn’t recommend it for those looking for a super speedy shoe or those wanting a shoe that can cope with terrains more unpredictable than light trail.
Where the Floatride Energy 3 shines is as a reliable everyday running shoe, perfect for clocking in your easy base miles.
While it’s pretty versatile and could be used for moderate tempo and recovery runs, I’d suggest using it as part of a running shoe rotation, partnering it with a good speed shoe such as the Saucony Endorphin Speed and another recovery number.
Related Article: Running Shoe Rotation: Rotate Your Shoes For Better Running
The good thing about the low price of the Energy 3 is that you can use the money you save to splash out on an even fancier set of carbon-plated speedy running shoes for your set!
In my opinion, you’ll be hard pushed to find many shoes within this price range able to compete with the many offerings of the Floatride Energy 3. But if you’re still unsure, the few competitors to check out would be the Puma Velocity Nitro or the Asics Gel Excite 8.
Let us know what you think in the comments section below!