The Reebok Floatride Energy 4 is a supremely versatile road running shoe that feels best suited to mid and long distances. It's responsive without feeling over-cushioned, and Reebok's new upper material is extremely lightweight and breathable. Its use of 30% recycled materials is a boon, too. Just be careful to get the right size, as we found it comes up a little small.
Breathable and quick-drying upper
Good grip in wet conditions
Made using 30% recycled materials
Superb value for money
Slightly small fit
Laces a little slippery
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Reebok Floatride Energy 4: first impressions
If you've tried any of Reebok's other Floatride shoes, the general look and feel of the Energy 4 will be immediately familiar. It's a neutral road shoe that's versatile enough for all weather conditions, and is a solid choice for putting in the long training miles.
It comes in a range of retro-influenced colorways, and the subtle off-white version I tested here drew compliments from my local running club. Although it's not obvious in photographs, the detailing on the uppers is ever so slightly iridescent for a little extra visibility when conditions get gloomy.
Despite that nod to old-school running though, this is a thoroughly modern shoe, as you'll find when you first slip your foot inside. The upper (now made from Reebok's Speed Shift material) is extremely light and breathable – more reminiscent of featherweight racing shoes than a pair of everyday road runners. You'll be showing off your best trail running socks in style through the thin, perforated fabric.
• List price: $110 / £75
• Weight (per shoe): 238g / 8.4oz (US men's 9)
• Drop: 6mm
• Materials: Textile upper, Floatride Energy foam, carbon rubber outsole
• Colors: Blue and yellow, white, black
• Compatibility: Long and mid-distance road running
Although it's not quite as 'green' as the Floatride Energy Grow, which features midsole foam made from castor bean oil, the Floatride Energy 4 still uses much less virgin plastic than a conventional running shoe, incorporating at least 30% recycled materials
The Floatride Energy 4 is also one of the most affordable running shoes we've tested in recent months, and at the time of writing Reebok is offering a discount on the black colorway that's tempting me to pick up a second pair.
Reebok Floatride Energy 4: on the road
Although it's not one I'd reach for when it's time for speedwork, the Floatride Energy 4 is an excellent all-purpose training shoe for slower efforts, and one that's very easy to recommend – particularly at such a low price. It's just so versatile, whether you want to hit the asphalt, gravel, or even rain-slick paving slabs.
This certainly isn't a road-to-trail running shoe (the off-white upper wouldn't stay looking good for long), but the full-length rubber sole provides plenty of traction on hard surfaces in wet weather. Some road shoes can prove slippery on drain covers when the rain comes down, but there were so such issues here.
It's not as highly cushioned as a Hoka road shoe (few things are), but Reebok's Floatride Energy Foam is nicely responsive without ever feeling excessively bouncy or unstable at lower speeds. You might prefer to switch to something snappier with a carbon or nylon plate for race day, but the Floatride Energy 4 is excellent as a daily runner for putting in those long training miles.
Reebok has pared back the padding around the collar slightly, but it's still soft and cups your heel nicely with no rubbing.
If I had to criticize something, it's that the Floatride line generally seems to come up ever so slightly small, so consider going up half a size for a comfortable fit. My toes were just a little too close to the end for comfort after a few hours in hot weather.
The chief difference between the Floatride Energy 4 and its predecessor is the revamped upper, which is now made from a lighter, thinner, semi-transparent textile. It's very breathable in hot weather, and hugs your foot securely during runs.
Although the padding around the collar and heel is minimal compared to some other Reebok shoes, it locks your heel in place well, and there are no signs of wear so far after many miles of testing.
The tongue is partially gusseted, which stops it sliding and helps prevent grit and stones working their way in. You can also thread the laces through a loop on top of the tongue to be absolutely certain that it won't budge. I did, however, find that the laces were smoother than those of the Floatride Energy Grow and tended to come undone more easily.
That gossamer-thin upper is pleasantly breathable in hot weather, and dries quickly on rainy days (ideal with a pair of waterproof running socks). I was initially concerned about its longevity, particularly since my upturned big toes have a tendency to wear through shoe uppers, but with well over 60 miles on the clock there's not even a sign of a dent appearing in the material.
It's much less delicate that in looks, and I can confirm that it also stands up well to cleaning after a hot 10-miler along a particularly dirty canal path.
Reebok hasn't skimped on the tread either, and it should see you through many, many miles before you start to spot hints of wear.
Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).
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