The RW Takeaway: A lightweight daily trainer with responsiveness, cushioning, and style that outperforms its price.
- Floatride Energy foam midsole feels nimble, bouncy, and protective; handles both speedwork and long runs
- New upper material feels more secure and provides better midfoot lockdown than the Energy v3
- Outsole rubber is durable and grippy—our testers also liked it for groomed trails
Weight: 8.4 oz (M), 6.8 oz (W)
Drop: 9 mm
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Versatile. Affordable. Stylish. That’s how Reebok made a hit with its classic cool white leather sneakers in the ’80s. The Floatride Energy series is the runners’ equivalent. It’s capable of everything from long runs to daily mileage and speedwork, and costs just over $100. Of course, style is subjective, but performance isn’t. Runner-in-Chief Jeff Dengate chose an earlier version to tackle every street in Hoboken, New Jersey, in a single day, a total of 41 miles. It’s no wonder he admits to hoarding several pairs of each version in his closet.
In the Energy’s fourth iteration, it’s too early to dub it an essential timeless shoe. But we can say it’s now lighter than ever. And the slightly soft, bouncy Floatride Energy foam midsole that won us over from the shoe’s inception remains largely the same. In the third version, Reebok tweaked the heel’s bevel so it swoops upward more than in the Energy 2, but it’s not changed since. This lets you land more smoothly and softly, without the shoe crossing over into aggressive-rocker-sole territory.
The midsole is still made from steam-molded beads of TPE, which tests at the Runner’s World Shoe Lab have shown to deliver better than average cushioning, especially from the softer forefoot. Testers said it doesn’t feel mushy when you crank the pace, and praised its consistent energy return after more than 100 miles of running. “It’s lightweight, but has enough support that I felt secure with every step. It has enough cushioning for distance, but is responsive enough for sprint workouts,” one tester said. “This is not a fluffy shoe. Unlike plush Sauconys or Hokas I’ve worn, I can feel the road beneath my feet for a great push-off.”
The biggest change to Energy 4 is the recycled upper. It now uses what Reebok calls Speed Shift, a slick and durable mesh that looks like sailcloth and delivers more protection than the previous meshes. While some testers still struggled to get a solid hold from the slippery laces, the overall fit was more secure. “After running in the Floatride Energy 3, the small improvements I wished for really came true with this update,” said another tester. “My main issue with the Floatride Energy 3 was the width of the midfoot. Reebok tightened that up in this version. My midfoot felt locked in place without being suffocated.”
One sacrifice for the new upper? It’s not as breathable as the previous model. And, it won’t stay white long. Nevertheless, we found that the shoe withstands off-road runs on dusty trails and soccer fields. If the upper’s too understated for your taste, it’s durable enough for you to add some grass stains for character.
Another Tester’s Take
Stephanie P. | Tester since 2020
Arch height: Flat | Pronation: Overpronator | Footstrike: Heel
“I have very flat arches and the Reebok Floatride Energy 4 fit my feet well. The supportive cushioning of these shoes seemed to help alleviate some of the minor foot pain I’ve been having during my runs. The cushioning was not too soft; it responded on faster runs, but I also really appreciated that there was enough of it for my longer runs. Even though these are neutral shoes, they also provided me with enough stability. I tend to overpronate and my feet felt supported in these shoes. But, I did need to make sure I laced up tightly, or my foot would feel like it was sliding a little bit inside the shoe.”