The Reebok Harmony Road 3 Is Light, Fast & Comfortable
Price: From R1,599
Weight: 272g (M), 218g (W)
The right shoe for: Competitive marathoners putting in high mileage.
When new runners ask me for a shoe recommendation, I often suggest they start by trying on the Nike Zoom Air Pegasus or Brooks Ghost – examples of long haul shoes that work for most people, most of the time. The Harmony Road is going to be included in that conversation more often, given this complete makeover to the shoe.
Previous versions of the Harmony Road have been durable, do-it-all options that offer a good fit and moderate cushioning. Testers like the tall heel, which gives you the sense you’re falling forward and leads to a smooth heel-to-toe transition. Those traits are still here, but now in a lighter package that doesn’t sacrifice any cushioning comfort.
The highlight is the inclusion of a new midsole Reebok is using called FloatRide Energy. The new compound is different than the FloatRide that’s been used in the award-winning Run Fast, but gives a somewhat similar performance in a more affordable makeup. It’s lighter and softer than traditional EVA, and feels exceptionally bouncy underfoot. “There’s a lot of cushioning there,” says one longtime wear-tester. “If you’re looking for a good cushioning-to-rand ratio, I’m sure this shoe is your best bet.”
An Exciting New Midsole
So, what is FloatRide Energy? To get a little geeky here, it’s a foam that’s made by steam molding thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) beads – you can think of it like the midsoles used in adidas Boost shoes, but lighter. In fact, Reebok says the material is 30 percent lighter than EVA, and the move to FloatRide Energy reduced the weight of this shoe considerably. We found both men’s and women’s samples shed more than an ounce from v2.
Even at the lighter weight, there’s still plenty of protection underfoot. That bouncy layer of FloatRide Energy is bolstered by an EVA heel cup, which gives you extra security when landing heel first. The EVA tapers in thickness as it extends toward your arch, giving way to a forefoot entirely made of the new foam.
Rubber for Long Runs
As you’d expect to find on a workhorse daily trainer, there’s an exceptional amount of rubber underfoot. Reebok is using a durable carbon rubber to stand up to the mileage you’ll pile on this shoe, and the little extra weight you get for the added durability is a fine compromise. But even with full coverage underfoot, our test team found the shoe comfortably flexible in the forefoot, where a slew of grooves are cut straight through the rubber outsole to the midsole.
Improved Forefoot Fit
Wrapping the foot is a new engineered mesh upper, complete with flexible film overlays. That’s mated to a triangle-shaped panel that Reebok calls “Flexweave.” This mesh panel is highly breathable but resists any stretching thanks to kevlar-like strands running throughout the section.