Reebok Floatride RunFast – 50 Mile Review

Sometimes all the comments online, blog reviews and site reviews of a pair of running shoes get you all hyped up about wanting to get a pair. No, I am not talking about the Nike VaporFly 4% (can’t justify the ROI for an old slower runner like me), instead I am talking about the Reebok Floatride Run Fast, which has gotten a LOT of good words spoken about them online lately.

Good enough that when Mary told me to order a pair of whatever shoes I wanted (let’s not get stoopid here) as my birthday present, without a lot of thought going into the decision, I decided to go with the RunFasts. Continue reading “Reebok Floatride RunFast – 50 Mile Review”

Reebok FloatRide Run ULTK – First Run 8-22-18

This is the last of the three pair of Reebok’s that I got recently and they were the one pair that I wasn’t sure I liked from the beginning. Oh, they are comfortable enough, but I am not a huge fan of the plastic cage they use to support the knit upper, but more on that later.

I got them from eBay at a very nice price point versus the retail price of $150. I was concerned about some of the reviews that I read about them and how the plastic cage, heel hold and lacing were going to work for me, so that is the reason for the eBay buy.

When I got them in on August 11th, I was still having issues with the amount of skin that had been removed from under my left ankle by the Grasse Roads (since resolved) and the Run ULTK ankle well rubbed that sore spot just enough that I didn’t want to run in them quite yet.

Until today – eleven days later.

Since receiving the Run ULTKs I have used them as my primary walking shoes and they have been comfortable, but fussy. I hated the thick stock laces and replaced them, which caused other issues i.e. feeling the lace pressure a lot more than I usually do with a pair of shoes that has padding under them.

Another issue that I had was while walking in them it felt as though the heel wasn’t locked in and I attempted to resolve that sloppy feeling by using other lacing points on the plastic cage to try to hold the heel in more securely. While the lacing changes helped, they didn’t help enough to make that big of a difference and I went back to the stock lacing pattern for this first run.

I figured that I would do my 5.0 mile Middle Road Loop which has a combination of hills, tar, dirt shoulders, dirt roads to see how they felt on a variety of surfaces.

One thing I quickly learned is that the Run ULTK do have a different feel when running versus walking in them – they are much better. Somehow or another, the heel locks in and I do like the feeling of the FloatRide midsole – it feels very similar to the RunFast model, both good things.

During the run, I found that I could pick up the pace easily and they felt comfortable.

At the 2.0 mile point, I decided I wanted to see how they did when I picked up the pace a for about a mile. No issues and they felt comfortable, even going up a pretty good hill. I do like their multi-purpose tread, which did well down-back when it started raining and I got to try out the Run ULTK on wet dirt – no problems.

When I got to Stevens Hill, I shut it down, since I wanted to see how they felt at a slower paces. That way I would know if I could use them for recovery/easy runs as well as some tempo/fartlek stuff – the Run ULTK did very well at slower speeds, where I tend to heel strike a bit more.

The reality is that

I was initially skeptical that the Reebok FloatRide Run ULTK were going to be a part of my running shoe rotation. My experiences while walking several miles in them over the last week and half, left me less than enthusiastic about them as running shoes.

However, during this first run in the FR Run ULTK they were quite comfortable for running. The knit upper didn’t bother my Tailor’s Bunionette, but without padding under the laces, I could feel them against the top of my feet. It wasn’t bad…but it was enough that it was noticeable, but I have a feeling that if I ran in them regularly I would get used to the feeling.

While I am still a little leery of the plastic cage and lack of a padded area to alleviate lace bite, I will give them some time and more runs to see how they really are. This was a successful first run in them did give me reason to stop and think more about them as running shoes in my rotation, versus shoes that I will use primarily for walking.

However, I am wondering if they are a pair of the dreaded tweener shoes or if I will be able to use them primarily for recovery/easy/long run shoes, since I already have my go faster shoes in the Reebok RunFasts.

After all one of the pearls of wisdom that floats around in running shoe circles is to use the least amount of shoe that let’s you run the distances you want comfortably.

Time will tell.

Reebok OSR Grasse Road 50 Mile Review – 8-12-18

I can say that I have been on a Reebok running shoe kick for a couple of weeks. I have bought three pair and while things haven’t been perfect, things are starting to settle down to a pretty nice running shoe rotation.

The thing that I like best about the “new” style of Reebok running shoes (OSR and FloatRide) is that they feel great on the road, are wider in the toe box and hit a sweet spot for me when I run in them.

Enough so, that I am willing to overlook some the issues I have had with the heel cup or how my heels are held by the uppers on two of their shoes. Which is something I haven’t done for several years (shoes that do not fit right or cause blisters on my feet typically go away quickly).

First up is the Reebok OSR Grasse Roads, which I got on eBay for an pretty incredible price – under $30.00 delivered. No, I wasn’t crazy about the grayness, but at that price point for a new in the box pair of running shoes, well I couldn’t resist. Plus Sam over at Road, Trail, Run had given the Grasse Roads a pretty good write up back in the Spring. His opinion about running shoes is something that I take a lot of stock in. Continue reading “Reebok OSR Grasse Road 50 Mile Review – 8-12-18”

First Run – Reebok FloatRide Run Fast 8-10-18

Another first run in a pair of running shoes Harold. WTFO???

These are a little different – a pair of running shoes that were released recently and were a birthday present from Mary. They are also the one pair of running shoes this year that I wanted to try more than any other.

The Reebok FloatRide Run Fast. Yes, I have tried the Vapor Fly 4% :-).

I ran my shoe test course for their first run. It is a very good test of how a shoe is going to work for me.

Now I have run this course several times and run over a 1,000 miles this year and when I run this way, without going into race effort levels, it tells me that something has changed.

The only thing that changed today was that I was wearing the Reebok FloatRide RunFast running shoes.

I know that these times are nothing special and are probably pretty soft. At the same time I haven’t run this fast this year. These times are for 2018 only, but to do this on the first run in a pair of shoes, on a day when I couldn’t decide whether to crank it up or hold back to save myself for the 5K Race in the next morning – says something.

Let’s back up a little.

Reebok running has come a long ways over the past few years from what I can see and have gone from department store level of running shoes to shoes that elite runners are looking at closely. Which in my mind is a very good thing, since I enjoyed running in some of their offerings back in the mid 80’s/early 90’s. Glad to see that they have made an effort to get back to their running roots.

After UPS delivered the RunFast last night, I walked around the house and was immediately impressed. The fit was just slightly long, but I had ordered the 8.5 and I am a true to size 8.0, but otherwise I liked the way they felt on my feet. Unfortunately, they were delivered too close to supper to get a run in.

Which meant that I had to wait for that first run.

This morning was a bit crazy around the house and my run didn’t happen until after noon. Which meant it was the hottest part of the day and I had a few walks and doggie day care stuff that left me a bit more tired than I wanted for that first run.

Also tomorrow is the Doc & Marcie 5K in Waterville and I have planned for a while to run the race, so I didn’t want to get too crazy running in them today. At the same time I wanted to see what they would do, so I planned to run fairly hard down to the end of my test course (Pepin Road) and then go easy on the way back to see how they were at a slower pace and running up a big hill.

With that being said, the RunFast once I started to run, wanted to run fast.

I started out and just ran, I did purposely slow down a little at the speed limit sign and then sped back up once I started down the hill. I didn’t give a race level of effort, but I got a bit above comfortably hard through the end of the first mile.

While running down Philbrick Hill I didn’t feel beat up like I have in some shoes this year and was able to quickly transition from the hill to the flat section. No issues with the RunFasts.

Once I got down to Pepin I cruised to the end and then shut down the effort level.

Coming back I purposely just ran easy to see how the RunFast performed at slower paces. I could tell that I had pushed a little harder than usual coming down and paid for it going back up Philbrick, but the legs/shoes were not the issue. It was more that thing called being able to breath well that was the tough part.

No blisters, hotspots or anything other than let’s go faster from the RunFast’s.

The FloatRide RunFast’s are a scary arse shoe to me and I have a feeling will encourage me to run faster than I probably should at some point. They are an easy shoe to just “go” in.

Now to get some miles on them and see what they really can do, I just wish that I could do them justice, but they are shoes that deserve someone much faster than me to be wearing them.

You know a crazy old fart who refuses to admit he is getting too damn old to have toys like this that encourage him to be foolish. :-). Naw.

Happy Coast Guard Day & Grasse Roads Doing Fine – RunLog 8-4-18

For all you Coasties out there, Happy Coast Guard Day and Semper Paratus.

Being a Coastie will always be an important part of who I am.

Okay let’s get back to reality and the life I have now.

Congratulations to all of you who ran Beach to Beacon, it was a tough day for it, but a lot of you got it done: Sam, Tom, Ryan and so many others. Again, congratulations on your run there.

After yesterday’s successful shoe surgery on the Reebok OSR Grasse Roads and a good treadmill run, I really wanted to get them out on the road to see how they performed in the real world. I wanted to get 7-8 miles in and thought about running to here:

It seemed kind of fitting to run to Harold Drive on a rainy day, it is a 7.0 mile out and back course, that I can always add a lap onto at the end to get 8.0.

Yeah, it was raining…however, it was a nice warm summer’s rain, which I love, love to run in. This kind of run that will really show me how a pair of shoes is going to work for me.

The first mile was pretty slow, just getting warmed up and loosened up after yesterday’s faster treadmill run. Plus running on the dirt road was a bit squishy, while the Grass Road’s were not having any issues, they really are not made for a gravel slime run, so I kept it slower. Once I hit the tar down on Tiffany I did pick up the pace a little and the grip on the wet pavement was great.

Even though I went through a few downpours and may have jumped into a few puddles on purpose, my feet while wet, didn’t get any hotspots and the shoes seemed to drain the water out pretty quickly.

Tiffany Road has a definite crown to it and that crowning after the heel cup surgery was a non-issue (like it should have been originally). There was none of that rubbing under the ankle or the distraction of there being some pressure against the ankle area and wondering if I was going to loose more skin.

So I can confidently say that the shoe surgery on the heel cups of the Grasse Roads was a huge success, which now means that I can focus on just running in them, without worrying about ankle bite.

The other thing was I was very impressed with, was how quiet and smooth the Grasse Roads were on the wet pavement. There wasn’t any of that slapping stuff or heel drag, it was just a comfortable landing, smooth roll-through to toe-off and then repeat. Even when I was getting tired and it started to rain hard again during the last mile, I had a smooth stride. It was kind of nice.

Also I was able to pick up the pace pretty easily in them, when I wanted to. No, they will never be a “fast” shoe, but I can hold a nice 8:00 or so pace without any problems.

A really nice 8.0 miles in the rain, where I learned that the Reebok Grasse Roads allow me to run comfortably – what more can I ask for.

My Grasse Roads were not a limiting factor in my run and that is a great thing.

Shoe Heel Counter Surgery and 5.0 Treadmill – RunLog 8-3-18

This morning when I took Bennie for his long walk, it was pukey and when we were done I looked at my t-shirt and decided that running outside wasn’t going to happen today. I had simply walked two miles at a very leisurely pace and my t-shirt was soaked – not the kind of weather that I want to run in.

Also even though the Grasse Roads were better in the heel cup after manipulating the counter with a pair of pliers, I could still feel heel counter pressing/rubbing against my ankle. Not the feeling that I was anticipating or want. No it didn’t cause any blisters or rub the skin off, it was just…well not comfortable.

The white paper-like substance are pieces of the heel counters from both shoes and if you look closely you can see the incision just under overlay. 🙂

So I decided that a little arthroscopic shoe surgery on the heel counters on both shoes was in order. As you can see the tools were rather primitive but I got enough of the outside of the heel counter out that I couldn’t feel it anymore – which is all I wanted. The counter seemed to be made of some kind of hard waterproofed paper product. It probably would have molded to my feet eventually, but I am not crazy about breaking shoes, when I loose skin in the process.

Now for a test run to see how they feel.

Since I wasn’t going to run outside, it meant a trip to Planet Fitness and doing some miles on the treadmill. I didn’t get my mileage in yesterday the planned 30:00 minute run didn’t seem like enough, so I decided to between 5 and 6 at 7.6 mph or so.

The run itself went fine, no issues maintaining that speed and I felt good the entire way. When I got to 4.0 miles, I decided that 5.0 miles was enough for the day. Just 5.0 miles at a sub 8:00 pace on the treadmill on a summer day that was too hot to run outside.

How did the Grasse Roads do after their shoe surgery. Just fine.

No ankle biting on either ankle and the usual outside of the right forefoot didn’t bother at all. Everything just worked well and that is all I could ask for. Now to get some real miles on them to see how they work for me.

A pretty good confidence builder on the run and with the shoes.

Hot, Humid and a Shoe Biter – RunLog 8-2-18

When I walked Bennie on his long walk this morning, I knew it was going to be a tough day when he turned around at the lower gate. It was pretty muggy and he doesn’t do well with high humidity, so we did the mile and he got back to relaxing with our doggie-day-care guests.

Which meant that I got to head into town early for my long run today.

I figured that I would head outside for 4-5 miles and finish up on the treadmill. When I got to Planet Fitness, the sun broke through and it warmed up too freaking quickly. However, I just didn’t feel like getting on the treadmill and doing a lot of miles this morning, so I headed outside and figured that I would decide on the course when I got to the 1.0 mile mark.

By the time I got there, I had already started to sweat, but as long as I stayed in the shady sections, it wasn’t too miserable, just passable miserable. Once I got there, I decided to do the Colby Loop, but do it backwards. Which was a pretty good decision.

I prefer to hit the hills a little earlier in the run and going up Lincoln Street at the end of mile 2 was better than the long uphill to go up Mayflower at about mile 4. Everything was going along nicely until I got to the Colby construction area and came up on a slow moving crane in the road. The only safe place to pass it was on the side of the road by the pond and it is pretty canted in that area.

Back up for a minute, the Reebok Grasse Roads were doing really great, I love the feel and they were comfortable, but I had stayed primarily on the wrong side of the road for running and the cant of the road made the plastic heel cup in them rub against my lower left ankle just a little. Not enough to blister, just enough to know it was there. I had forgotten to get the pliers out to loosen up the plastic heel counter – something I have learned the hard way to do with that kind of heel cup.

So when I hit that severe cant by the pond it drove the heel cup just below my left ankle each time I stepped until I got by the crane. Once I ran on level road again, there wasn’t any doubt in my mind that I had removed skin from below the left ankle. Luckily, the FieldHouse was just up the road and I needed to do a pit stop anyway, so I figured I would be able to do a little repair work on the ankle at the same time.

I asked the desk attendant for a band-aid, did my business and then went outside to survey the damage. Not quite as bad as I thought, running on that angle had caused the heel cup to move some skin upwards towards the ankle. I put the band-aid over it for some cushion and got back to running.

Unfortunately, during that break it felt like it had warmed up another 5* degrees and with the way my ankle felt, I just wasn’t into the run any longer. The ankle bothered, but not enough to stop and of course the other ankle had to start complaining, even though the heel cup didn’t wear through the skin.

When I got done, I had over 7.0 miles total and a soaked hat/shirt that needed to be wrung out in the sink before I put it in the gym bag. With the ankle biter going on and 7.0+ miles on a hot/humid day, I decided that I had done enough and went into the stretching room and wound down from the run.

Normally, if a pair of running shoes do this to my ankles, I just move on from them.

So when I got home, I checked out the heel counter and I couldn’t bend it with my fingers, so no wonder it bit into the ankle. I got out my trusty leatherman and bent, doubled-over, and did everything I could to loosen up the plastic enough so that it wouldn’t bite anymore.

However, even though I got a little ankle biter from the Grasse Roads, there is something about these shoes that I really, really like and want to see if I can get the heel counter softened up enough so they it is no longer an issue. I just like the way they feel on my feet and how I run in them.

Who knows if they are still bothering after using my leatherman on them, the next time I run in them. I might get out the scalpel, scissors and a little needle/thread action. Then surgically reduce the outside of the plastic heel counter.

Yeah, I like the Grasse Roads that much.

Actually, I was surprised at how well I did run despite the heat/humidity levels and then to deal with the ankle biter stuff and still do the 7.0 miles at a sub 9:00 pace without pushing the pace. Everything else felt pretty good today.

Now to enjoy the sting of liquid skin a few times tonight and build up a little callous under the ankle. 🙂

First Run in Reebok Grasse Road – RunLog 8-1-18

An early birthday package arrived from D2 yesterday and I had a pretty good idea what it was. I just couldn’t wait to try them on and well…once I opened the package that kind of probably meant that I also was going to run in them sooner than later.

Errr this morning.

So the Reebok Grasse Road have been added to the rotation and you know something, it is the first pair of Reebok’s I have run in since the early 90’s. Although I have come close a couple of times with the Flex series a few years ago.

However, these are not the lifestyle or cross-fit shoes that Reebok has been known for over the last few years. Even after one run, I know there is a difference and from looking at some of the other shoes they are bringing out, it will be interesting to see if Reebok continues its return to being a serious running shoe company that can compete with the big brands or if it fizzles.

I would love to see them come all the way back.

What initially got me interested in the Grasse Roads was when I read Sam over Road, Trail, Run’s review back in the Spring and was very intrigued by these shoes. I have been looking for a mileage eater/easy i.e. slow runs running shoe lately and when I was wandering around eBay and I came across the Grasse Roads at a price that couldn’t be resisted. They became D2’s birthday present to her loving running shoe problem, err Dad.

Oh well, enough blathering, how did the first run in them go?

Quite nicely thank you.

The Grasse Roads are under 10.0 ounces at 9.6, but have a lot of stack height for the weight, so I wouldn’t want to play any basketball or tennis type of activists in them. They are running shoes. Also to me they feel like they are a higher drop than the 6mm that is advertised – not a bad thing when it comes to my Achilles, just different than I expected.

I can honestly say that I am not a fan of the colorway – shades of gray with some blue on the midsole and laces. Not the colorway I would pay full-price for, but at this price point and actually needing the shoes, well I will deal with boring. Who knows it might even grow on me…naw I am not stylish or a fashionista and want my bright and bold colorway shoes – the brighter and more obnoxious the better. 🙂

You know Harold shoes.

I found the size 8.5 to be slightly large for my size 8.0 foot according to the thumb width test. I could probably comfortably get away with a pair of size 8.0’s. However, that slightly larger sizing didn’t make a smidge of difference once I got around to running. There was no two-stage take-off feeling during toe-off, something that I get too often when the shoes are too long. The heels felt securely locked in and the tongue padded enough that I didn’t feel the laces pressing down against the top of my foot and my Tailor’s Bunionette didn’t give me grief at all, so the toe box was comfortable for my Hobbit feet.

The left Plantar is still about a week away from not being an issue, but after walking around in them yesterday, this morning I simply put the Grasse Roads on, tied the laces and went for a run. No frig, farting around trying to get the fit correct or deal with the myriad of things that seems to go along with me and getting into a new pair of running shoes.

After yesterday’s speed work, I wanted to do an easy 4.0 mile recovery run, something in the 9:00 minute pace range. The first two miles were right around that mark and I didn’t push going back up Stevens Hill and got up around 9:25. Then I might have pushed a little harder on the last mile and got down in the 8:40 range. The final average pace was right at a 9:00 minute pace.

I purposely went down to Bartlett and then back around Howard. It gave me a really good idea of how they would on the dirt road down-back and then how the Grasse Roads transition from dirt-to-tar and then tar-to-dirt a few times, plus going up and down some hills. No issues and the grip was good on the dry dirt and I didn’t have a multitude of small pebbles stuck in the outsole.

The cushioning was good going downhill and the Grasse Roads were flexible enough up front that running uphill didn’t feel uncomfortable (despite my PF issues) – even with the fairly large stack height they had enough flex/front rocker to feel pretty good.

It is a pretty well established fact that I do heel-strike and roll-through to toe-off and after I found my stride with the Grasse Roads, (each pair of running shoes have their preferred stride – it didn’t take nearly as long with them as most running shoes I have run in lately), I was pleasantly surprised with how quiet and smooth they were.

Usually with shoes in this more maximal style or stack heights, I tend to slap a little even with some shoes that claim to have a rocker or drag my heels. That wasn’t the case in this first run and those are both pretty big deals in my world.

All too many of my initial run superlative thoughts lately have turned to shite, after getting more miles on the shoes. I will stop with the superlatives at this point and will see how they are doing at 50 miles.

I am looking forward to my long run tomorrow in them. Well as long as it doesn’t turn into a treadmill long run, well if that happens I will find out a lot then as well.

Unfortunately, the weather forecast is high 80’s to 90’s with high humidity and I don’t do long runs in that weather. Something about getting older and wiser, and also not wanting to be found on the side of the road in the face down position. No, I am not a fan of hot, humid weather and play it safe or at least not act too stoopid.

What I did learn is that Reebok did make the Grasse Roads to be run in and some of their other shoes are really starting to interest me more after looking closely at them and getting them on my feet.

These are real running shoes, not second rate department store knock-offs that we all might want to look at a little closer. No, I am not being paid or getting free stuff from Reebok or anyone else to say this, it is simply what I am observing and my opinion.

What Are Brands Doing to MY Running Shoes

Whine Alert – Yes I am doing a little bit of whining here.

Yesterday, I was reading my RSS Feeds and Seth Goodin – who often has very thought-provoking posts, had an excellent one You are not the lowest common denominator and it got me to thinking about running shoes and the companies that bring these technological marvels to us runners.

Honestly, I can say that I have no brand loyalty or as Seth put it – have allowed any lock-in by any of the running shoe companies that are out there. I have written about it before here and here.

I have been called, picky, finicky, a pain in the ass and all those other endearing terms that I am sure that the brands use behind closed doors to describe runners who hop from brand-to-brand and do not show the proper loyalty to their great product lines.

Something, I think that the brands tend to forget, is that after I buy a pair of running shoes, especially if I like them.

Their running shoes become “my” running shoes and when that happens there is a huge difference in how I view “my” shoes versus other running shoes, I try.

I know that I get upset when a brand screws up “my” running shoes, especially when I go to buy another pair and they no longer work me, the same as they did in the past.

Yeah it pisses me off.

This is primarily why I am one of the many runners, who show no loyalty to a brand. Continue reading “What Are Brands Doing to MY Running Shoes”