Review of the Reebok ONE Cushion (1/3) – “The Official Line” and First Impressions Pre-Run


(You might want to read the preface to this post first to figure out whats going on – https://runindiarun.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/my-first-shoe-review-reebok-one-cushion-preface/ )


Some Background First:

My reviews will be about “neutral” running shoes with high, moderate and at times no cushioning. Before I start, some confessions/facts to help you put things in perspective – I am a runner who is moderately overweight (5ft7in; 68kg); completely flat-footed; a mid-foot striker (however the soles of my shoes also show significant wear near the back of the heel).  I run 45-55km per week in non-running season which goes up to 70-90km in the few months before a race (usually September – January). My best race times are 10k-50m31s; HM-1h53m5s and FM-4h19m12s. Almost all my running is on tarmac or concrete roads and sidewalks. Since mid-2010 I have been mostly running in “minimalist footwear” from the Nike Free series (although some would debate whether the Nike Free is truly minimalist). I have also put significant kilometres in the Vibram Bikila (about 600k) and done some mileage barefoot (probably less than 50k a few years ago). I currently use a Nike Free 4.0, a Saucony Kinvara 3, and a Nike Free 3.0 in that order of mileage. So my basis for comparison will be these shoes.

Finally, shoes are a very personal choice therefore in these reviews I have no intention of commenting on what type of shoe you should be wearing (stability, cushion, motion control, rigid, flexible, etc) or if you should be wearing shoes at all !

Here are some pictures of my shoe collection including my dress shoe for some visual comparison.

Shoes Visual Comparison

Photo 1: Shoes Visual Comparison
(click to see a bigger image)

The Official Line:
So what’s the big deal about yet another running shoe ? Below is what Reebok has to say about the Reebok ONE series which has been launched in two versions, the neutral running “Cushion” (being reviewed) and the “Glide” (not being reviewed) meant for mild to moderate overpronators.

“The Reebok One Series is the introduction of a unique running concept based on a function-first design philosophy– featuring technology you can feel.  Built from back to front instead of the standard bottom-up method, the Reebok One Series features ‘Zoned’ technology that mimics the way the foot moves, meeting the demands of the runner through each phase of the Gait Cycle.  The goal of the Reebok One Series is to give the runner the smoothest ride possible.  A new seamless fusion of zones is engineered to ensure the upper and bottom work harmoniously as one system.   

The state-of-the-art technology in the One Series features 3 distinct zones that complement the runner’s needs at each phase of their gait. Zone 1 is the Contact Zone – featuring a soft foam compound that provides shock attenuation with every stride.  Zone 2 is the Midstance Zone – engineered to provide a smooth mid foot transition. Zone 3 is the Propulsive Zone – featuring an ultra-responsive high rebound foam compound to help propel the runner forward during toe-off.”

First Impressions Pre-Run:
Out of the box here were the first impressions and comparisons –

  • First the price, the MRP is Rs. 8,999. Definitely seems more expensive than the minimals (Rs. 6,000 – 7500) but I know for a fact that Nike has running shoes which go north of Rs. 10,000.
  • Visually very appealing. I received the flourescent green and electric blue combination which looks great
  • “CUSHION” is an apt name for this shoe – the sole, the upper, the heel cup all look, feel and are signficantly “cushioned”.
  • Shoe felt bigger then most of my other shoes and I was concerned if this was going to be too large for me. If you look at Photo 1 above, although marginally “longer” versus the minimalist collection, it compared well with the Lunarglide (which incidentally is a half-size smaller). However the real difference was visible in the side profiles (Photos 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 below) – even if one discounts the thicker sole the shoe upper is definitely taller than all the shoes in my collection.
  • The sole too was definitely much thicker then all the minimals (Free 3.0, 4.0 – Photo 5 & 3) but was comparable to the Lunarglide (Photo 2).
  • Although I couldn’t get the official weight of the shoe, I did some research. This weighs in around 283gm v/s the Nike Free 3.0 around 204gm v/s the Nike Free 4.0 around 215gm v/s the Kinvara 3 around 225gm. With a thicker sole and the upper cushioning this is not surprising.
  • The sole of this shoe is significantly more rigid and harder than the other shoes. The Frees are of course highly flexible; the Kinvara 3 less so and the Lunarglide+ almost as hard as the Reebok ONE Cushion.
  • The upper of the shoe is also quite stiff even more stiffer than the Lunarglide+ and I think this “stand-up-ness” contributes to the shoe looking really tall. The Frees, the Kinvara and of course the Vibram have extremely pliable uppers, to an extent that they tend to settle/sag down on themselves. Not the Reebok ONE which stands at attention!
  • Heel-to-toe drop is another thing which I was trying to determine for these shoes. In spite of trying my best I could get the numbers for the Reebok ONE Cushion. I also don’t have the tools which would have allowed me to do the measurement myself. However a very rough measurement puts it in the 15-20mm range which is way higher than 4mm for the Free 3.0 and the Kinvara 3; 6mm for the Free 4.0 and 0mm for the Vibrams !

Hope you enjoyed the preliminary report. Please do give me your feedback below.

While I was writing this report I also completed two runs in the Reebok ONE Cushion – first on the evening of Friday the 13th Sept (ominous!) – a 13km Aerobic run with 8 x 100m striders at the end; and the second today morning, Sunday the 15th Sept – an 18km Medium Long run. Watch out for the first run report in the next few days.

Till then…
…RunIndiaRun!

Closer in sole thickness with the Lunarglide+

Photo 2: Closer in sole thickness with the Lunarglide+. Overall height comparable.
(click to see a bigger image)

Significantly thicker than the Free 4.0

Photo 3: Significantly thicker and taller than the Free 4.0.
(click to see a bigger image)

Although the sole near the heel is about the same verus the Kinvara 3 the ONE is way taller.

Photo 4: Although the sole thickness is about the same as the Kinvara 3 the Reebok ONE is way taller.
(click to see a bigger image)

Photo 5: Towers above the Nike 3.0

Photo 5: Towers above the Nike 3.0.
(click to see a bigger image)

Photo 6: The Vibram looks puny in comparison!

Photo 6: The Vibram looks puny in comparison!
(click to see a bigger image)

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About Sandeep

Consultant, Mentor, Headhunter & Leadership Evangelist.

Posted on September 15, 2013, in Running General, Shoe Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Hi Sandeep,

    I am big fan of your blogs, Thanks for this one as well.

    Need one suggestion; i want to buy running Shoe.

    I have flat foot, height 5.6, weight 78 usually run on hard surface( road)around 35-40 km per week.
    My PB for HM is 2.07. Now targeting sub 2 hr in forth coming ADHM.

    I bought basic shoe ((<3000) from Nike last year and still using them would have covered more than 1400 Kms.

    Around Four months back i bought Nike lunerglide-3 and start using the same, but that change in shoe had given me pain in knees, i bought that shoe after lot of research but it was complete failure.

    Now i am back to my old shoe which is completely wear out from back (outer side) but still working fine.

    What do you recommend which shoe shall I buy?

    • Thanks Amarpreet, glad to hear you are enjoying the posts.

      Knee pain may not be due to the shoe you are wearing but as a result of several other factors including changes in the volume of training, type of training (speed, hill work, etc) and also because of weakness in the upper leg muscles.
      I will drop you a mail on your id and then we can discuss this in more detail and try to arrive at a solution and shoe recommendation.

      Sandeep

  2. Very interesting !!! awaiting eagerly next reviews.

    Thanks,

  3. Sushant Chopra

    Thanks Sandeep,nicely written and liked the comparison. One thing which i need to know is toe width!! For me 2D toe width- US size comfortable. Else my fingers start to hurt after certain distance.

    • Hi Sushant,

      Glad you liked the review. Do remember to come back and read part 2 which I posted a few days back. I also intend to wrap up the review with final conclusions and recommendations in the next few days.

      As far as men’s running shoe width is concerned, are you sure you aren’t talking of 2E? To my knowledge men’s running shoes are generally available only in 4 widths – B:Narrow; D:Standard; 2E:Wide and 4E: Extra-Wide (for women the narrow is 2A; standard is B; Wide is D and Extra Wide is 2E). Some manufacturers will make the D and 2E sizes, most only the D size for men.

      In India for men I have only seen the D (Standard) size. And that is what the Reebok ONE Cushion available here is. However like shoe length, width is also not uniform for all brands. The Reebok ONE Cushion is overall more roomier than say the Nike Free 4.0 or 3.0 and more so the forefoot area. So even though you may use the 2E, you might find that this shoe gives you enough wiggle room.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers
      Sandeep

  4. Sushant Chopra

    Thanks a lot Sandeep, You right it’s “2 E” width what I wear.

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