What You Need To Know
- Weighs 7.7 oz. (218 g) for a US M9 / 6.2 oz. (176 g) for a US W8
- Low-to-the-ground trainer ideal for speed days
- FloatRide/EVA combo midsole gives a bouncy, well-cushioned ride
- “Run Fast 2,” don’t tell me what to do, Reebok!
ADRIENNE: Apparently I missed out on the magic that was the first Reebok FloatRide Run Fast. Every review I read about them was almost completely positive and I found it weird that Reebok introduced some solid trainers without much noise. Maybe these shoes let the performance do the talking?
But you know what’s more under-the-radar than the OG Run Fast? The Run Fast 2. Honestly, I didn’t even know they existed until shortly before they arrived at my doorstep. Reebok is one of the first and still one of the best to use Pebax-based midsoles, and of course, the Run Fast 2 comes loaded with one as well, al la Float Ride, their proprietary and very nicely done foam. I know they have been putting a lot of good kicks out lately since their reappearance on the running market, so I was excited to give these a go.
From the bottom up, it has a full-cover rubber outsole. You’d think it would be heavy, but far from it. There is exposed midsole and small lugs throughout not only making it light but providing some serious traction. Above the rubber lies a layer of FloatRide. Not a thick slab, but generous enough to provide some protection for workouts and daily training. On top of the FloatRide is a thin layer of EVA, creating some snap in the ride and a considerable amount of stability.
The upper appears to be a subject of conjecture with those who have run in the original RF. A seamless engineered mesh holds my foot really well, especially in the midfoot-heel area. This is where the shoe unfortunately picks up half an ounce. Flat laces and a simple tongue construction create good lockdown without being restrictive, and the shoe has an 8 mm drop.
BEN: The Reebok FloatRide Run Fast 2 is an update on the well-received original from last year. Both had relatively limited fanfare when released, but the first model gained quite a following. The update leaves the underfoot set-up much the same. The midsole is still a (relatively thin) layer of Pebax foam (just like the Vaporfly) with a full rubber outsole and an “inverted cradle” of EVA on top of the Pebax.
The big changes to this shoe are in the upper. The original was a featherlight shoe that could easily be considered a racer by most runners. The overall package was very low weight and the upper itself was barely there. In the second version, the upper has gone to a more traditional setup that resembles a typical trainer, rather than a race-focused weapon.
ADRIENNE: Call me crazy, but something about this shoe reminds me of a slightly bouncier OG New Balance Vazee Pace. Perhaps it’s because both shoes rock some wicked toe spring and just get out of the way of your stride.
I was able to negative split runs fairly effortlessly in this shoe and once broken in, I found little distraction in how it fits and rides. It also conformed to my feet really, really well. The FloatRide does a decent job and gives a pleasant energy return sensation, although it’s not as aggressive as other PEBA-based shoes, such as the Saucony Endorphin Speed. Fast running is rewarded here, it just lets you roll down the road.
This is a shoe I’m confident can handle any weather conditions (they were amazing running in the rain). I also like the aesthetics of the Run Fast 2. They have an aggressive, no-nonsense look and I was pleased to get my pair in the colorway of my beloved Texas A&M.
BEN: This shoe uses the same midsole material as the Vaporfly (Pebax foam), but feels completely different. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing. The setup on the Run Fast 2 is much thinner and lacks the full carbon plate. The ride ends up feeling far less cushioned, but it’s still really light and responsive. It has a very “connected” ride and good ground feel. And while this shoe doesn’t have a significant rocker, it still manages to roll through the stride with a good amount of pop. The transition from midfoot to toe-off is quick and lends to the shoe’s “Run Fast” name.
I found the fit to be great and the upper works very well as a general use shoe. Gone is the race-like fit, but you end up with something that is generally more comfortable, and more accommodating to different foot shapes. It had plenty of room but felt slightly short compared to other shoes in the same size. The shoe is a good mix of a stable feel, lightweight, and just enough cushion. For me, it feels best on tempo runs, intervals, and fast days. I think it could be used as a daily trainer for the efficient and lightweight runner, but I don’t think it’s ideal for that use.
The last thing to note is the outsole coverage. Despite the low weight, this shoe somehow manages to have more rubber underfoot than just about any other shoe on the market. Traction is never limited by outsole, and I found it worked quite well overall.Shop Run Fast 2 – Men Shop Run Fast 2 – Women
ADRIENNE: Don’t try recovery runs in this shoe. You will either find yourself pushing the pace or getting jarred around. I found the ride firm, but not punishing. There are just better options out there for soaking miles at slow paces (I mean, it’s called the Run Fast). Those who have experience with the original will likely find a different shoe in the RF2. The upper is heavier and thicker, and it has more of a trainer feel. Step in can feel a little scratchy, and the midsole honestly felt awful at first run. It needed a little breaking in before I could enjoy it.
BEN: For someone who loved the first version, this one could be a letdown. It has gone away from the racer vibe and slid more towards the daily trainer look and feel. The underfoot setup is still speedy, but the weight has gone up incrementally and the fit is not quite the same “locked-in” upper. For the general population (and for overall shoe sales), I think this is probably the right direction for Reebok. But for the die-hard fans of the original, this will be a letdown. I still think you could race in it, but if you had both you’d probably pick the first one as the racer.
The other thing worth mentioning again is that this shoe feels best going fast. Contradictory to the direction that was taken with the upper to make it more like a daily trainer, I think the overall feel is still swayed towards the fast day shoe. For a lot of people this shoe will be a bit too harsh for everyday use and is far from ideal for a slow recovery day. The Run Fast 2 likes to go fast and ends up feeling pretty rough at slow paces. The limited cushion and stiff midfoot transition almost feel like they start to work against you as the paces slow. Stick to the quick runs unless you have perfect form and don’t need a lot of cushion.Shop Run Fast 2 – Men Shop Run Fast 2 – Women
Reebok Run Fast 2 Conclusion
ADRIENNE: This is a solid offering from Reebok, although it is not the same as its beloved older sibling. If you moderate your expectations and allow for a little break-in, you’ll find a snappy-riding, versatile and quick trainer. For my first Run Fast, I enjoyed running in them and they fill the itch to have something bouncy but still low to the ground, which seems harder to find nowadays. Those runners who want something in between a high-stack shoe and a racing flat may be pleased with the Run Fast 2.
BEN: Overall, I thought this was an enjoyable shoe. It has a bit of an “old school” feel (low to the ground, responsive ride, traditional fitting upper), but still packs the new-age technology with the Pebax. For someone used to running in a traditional racing flat, this shoe will fit in quite well. And for just about anyone it can be a good “fast day” option, especially if you don’t need or want a carbon plate.
You can pick up the Reebok FloatRide Run Fast 2 at Reebok.com for $140 by using the shop link below.Shop Run Fast 2 – Men Shop Run Fast 2 – Women