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.
I ordered the Grasse Roads in a men’s 8.5 U.S. since I had not tried on Reebok’s newest lines of running shoes and probably could have gone with my true to size 8.0. However, while the size 8.5’s are a little long, they still feel fine when running.
Actually, once I took care of the only issue I have with the Grasse Roads (more on that in the bad section), I have run comfortably and well in them. I have a few longer runs where they did fantastic, a faster treadmill run and a bunch of shorter easy/recovery runs.
Plus another 7.0 miler this morning.
I was looking for a reasonably light, but well cushioned running shoe that I could use for long runs, easy/recovery runs and longer treadmill running during the winter. As I have gotten older, I find that I need a little extra Cush for the forefoot and the Grasse Roads provide that quite nicely. Also they come weigh less than 10 oz, which is something else I prefer. You know that light, but cushioned (unicorn) style of running shoe.
I love the way how the Grasse Roads are very quiet for me on the road and the heel-to-toe transition is buttery smooth. While I am finding that they work best for me in the role that I got them for (slower running), if I do decide to go faster in them, they do not get in my way, while doing strides, tempo stuff or fartleks.
With the upper, I have had zero issues with my Tailor’s Bunionette on my right foot and even though I had some left foot PF issues before I started wearing the Grasse Roads, it has not bothered at all since I have been wearing them.
The outsole works fine on wet tar roads, dirt road shoulders, the dirt roads down-back and they are not a rock collector, like so many outsoles I have run in over the past few years. Although I wouldn’t use the Grasse Roads too much if it was: slushy, snow covered, muddy or on wet grass – they just don’t have enough grip.
I don’t know if the little square (yellow circle) on the forefoot outsole actually does anything or not, but I do notice when I purposely attempt to push through my stride there, there is a slight difference or at least I think there is. Also one thing that I am noticing is that there is more wear (red circle) on the midfoot than I usually have, which tells me that I might be using my midfoot more in the Grasse Roads than I have in the past.
A LOT of good stuff is going on with my running in the Reebok Grass Roads.
Well to be honest it was pretty bad. On my second run in the Grasse Roads, I was noticing that the due to the cant/crowning of the road, the heel counters were pressing a little too much just under my ankles, not causing any issues, but I was aware the heel cups were a little too high for my foot type.
Then along the Colby pond (I had to onto the grass to go around an excavator), the side hill turned pretty steep and drove the left outside portion of the heel cup into my ankle a total of five times. With each step, the stiff heel counter took more skin and flesh off the foot just below the ankle.
Almost two weeks later, it is still bothering, but slowly healing.
Although I wasn’t impressed with how it had taken a chunk out of my ankle and I do not normally have a any patience for shoes that bite into my ankles. However, the smoothness, otherwise comfortable feel of the Grasse Roads made me want to keep running in them.
So I got out my scissors, leatherman, nippers and performed surgery on the outside heel cup on both shoes. The right shoe didn’t take any skin, but I could feel the heel counter a little more than I wanted and was afraid if I had to side hill from that side, it would do the same thing.
Since I performed the surgery on the shoe’s heel cups, I haven’t had any issues with my Grasse Roads bothering my ankle and the heel is held quite well in them.
The only other squawk I have is that I think the gray colorway is boring.
The reality is that
I must like something about the Grasse Roads an awful lot, because I decided to keep running in them even though I still have to use moleskin on the ankle to run or walk in most shoes – (otherwise, the wound re-opens).
Actually, with the exception of the higher/stiff heel counter, the Grasse Roads are exactly the running shoe I am looking for to do my easy/recovery runs and more than enough cushioning to run longer runs comfortably as well. I have found that if I want, I can pick up the pace fairly well in them and that when I do, they continue to be smooth and quiet on the roads. None of that slapping stuff that happens with so many trainers when I pick up the pace.
Although I have a feeling that if I get another pair of Grasse Roads, it would be a different colorway, the gray is so drab and boring. Also, I would probably get them in a true to size 8.0, which I think would fit just about perfect.
If you have low ankles you will not like the way that the stiff heel counter on the Grasse Roads can bite into them. However, if that doesn’t affect you or are willing to go in and remove some of the heel counter they are a smooth running and comfortable pair of running shoes that I am enjoying using for any distance I run.
I like the Grasse Roads so far, now to get some real miles on them and see how they feel after a few hundred more.
Needless to say I am pretty impressed with Reebok’s offerings so far, although there is still room for improvement.