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.