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Reebok Realflex Run

The Reebok Realflex Run is a skeptical new kid in the class of barefoot running shoes, particularly because of its strange design and bizarre commercials. Many users of this shoe approached this ride as one approaches a funny-looking classmate, but for the most part, its feel and performance have won over the masses.

Described as Reebok’s answer to Nike’s Free Run, the Reebok Realflex Run is the company’s ride into the world of barefoot running. This trend toward running with a more natural gait has the allure of minimizing injury, and this shoe is designed to provide just that. It simulates shoeless-ness by providing an array of 76 sensors blocks at the bottom- called “running buddies” by Reebok-, which are used to give the foot a bone and muscle style of support and keep the runner close to the ground. The shoe itself, however, does not sport a low heel like most shoes in its class. The shoe is so flexible it can bend in a full circle, and weighs only around 8 ounces.

The way this shoe was received was almost comical by the running community, who dismissed the shoe’s elaborate commercial of “76 running buddies” as being a creepy marketing gimmick and a desperate attempt to catch up to the Nike Free Run. Many users, however, were delighted to be proved wrong, and were satisfied with the fit, comfort, and natural gait feel the shoe produced.

Users who compared this shoe with its rival the Nike Frees said these were more comfortable, and appreciated the presence of a tongue. Other satisfied users said this shoe was actually more comfortable than being barefoot, and opted to wear it in their houses. There was a general trend of newer runners gravitating toward this shoe, but most of them emerged satisfied with its performance.

The weight is said to feel light as air, and has been enjoyed by soccer referees, army runners, and casual runners alike. The fit of the shoe is said to easily conform to any shape, as shown by the shoe’s ability to bend in a full circle in its advertisements. When the shoe reached the experienced, distance runners, however, reviews took a drastic turn for the worst.

Many claimed this shoe was a fraud to the genre of free running, since it did not in fact have a heel that was low to the ground. Experienced runners complained the shoe could not hold its form, and became deformed after 4 months of extended use. They complained that the 76 sensors flattened with distance, and that the shoe provided no stability for runs over five miles.

Some said it felt like a toy shoe, while others complained that the heel rubbed against their ankle so much that they needed a Band-Aid. Experienced runners recommended that this shoe needed a stiffer forefoot to go distances without collapsing. Some runners even claimed that the shoe caused their foot to fracture because of its lack of support through long-distance runs.

In conclusion, the Reebok Realflex Run is mainly aimed at new runners, and can deceive you with its initially springy feel and comfort. However, high mileage hardcore runners will want to look elsewhere for a trainer.

Recommended for newbies runners and people who just want a comfortable walking shoe, or casual runners looking for a beginner barefoot shoe.

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Posted in Cushion Running Shoes Reviews


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