The Reebok All Terrain series, designed for obstacle course racing (OCR), has been a much awaited and anticipated shoe for the OCR community. While many shoes on the market have proven to work well in the mud and on obstacles, no shoe has been specifically designed with obstacle course racing in mind. Until now. Available for pre-order now, the shoe is set to be released to the public on March 15th. Thanks to my friends at Reebok and Obstacle Racing Media, I was able to get my hands on a pair of the All Terrain Super’s for review.
(4/12/16 update: Review of the latest edition, the Reebok All Terrain Super OR, can be found HERE.)
The All Terrain Series currently includes two different styles, the Sprint and the Super. While the Super is indeed low profile and lightweight (more on that below), from my understanding the Sprint is even more so. I’m assuming this goes along with the fact that a Spartan Sprint is a shorter distance race (3-5 miles) than a Spartan Super (8-10 miles). As far as I know, there is no All Terrain “Beast” yet…
- – Weight: 7.75oz/225g (Men’s); 6.6oz/190g (Women’s)
– Drop: 5mm (heel-toe)
- – One piece mesh upper for breathability with ION Mask technology to repel water and reduce drying time
- – Low-cut for mobility with a FuseFrame construction to lock the foot over the platform
- – DuraGrip technology for durability in key wear areas around the toe box
– Slim CMEVA midsole foam for responsive forefoot feel with a light PU sockliner for comfort
- – Rock Guard for durability with smooth rubber between outsole lugs for easier rinsing
- – Square, indented lugs: Allow for traction in all directions
– Toe Pick and Sticky Rubber: Helps give leverage and provides exceptional grip
Typically, I prefer to test sneakers in the conditions they were meant for: trail shoes on the trail, road shoes on the road, lifting shoes in the gym, etc. The Reebok All Terrain series was designed as obstacle course racing shoes, not simply trail shoes that can hold their own in an OCR. However, it is March in Vermont….EVERYTHING is covered in ice and snow. Also, and unfortunately, I do not have a random 8 foot wall or mud covered climbing rope at my disposal (for what it is worth, we are moving next week to a house with a huge yard, so we will remedy this situation ASAP). So the conditions for testing this shoe were not ideal, but I still did the best I could…for now. I assure you this review will be updated as soon as I’m able to take them on a race course.
THAT SAID…I will give you my initial thoughts.
FIT: The shoe is incredibly lightweight while still feeling pretty rugged. With a 5 mm heel to toe drop, you can tell simply by feel that these are indeed a more minimal shoe. Upon first putting it on, I noticed it was slightly more stiff than your average running shoe. This, however, is probably a good attribute, as often times during OCR you are covering unstable ground where a more flexible shoe would cause issues. I ordered a size ten, and it fits as I would have hoped. They are, in my opinion, a narrow shoe (see picture below). I have a narrow foot, so this works well for me. The toe-box is not very wide. Keep in mind, this is a shoe designed for racing, so narrow and sleek is somewhat expected.
Note: if you are looking for a shoe that is wider, and offers more stability and cushion, check out our review of the Reebok Outdoor Wild.
GRIP: There are fantastic lugs/teeth on the bottom of the shoe designed for obstacle, and of course, mud grip. They are spaced far enough apart that mud (or snow) does not get stuck between the teeth. There is also a specific obstacle grip on the arch of the shoe that is designed to help assist with rope climbs. From experience I can tell you that climbing a rope in a gym/box and climbing a soaked, mud covered rope at an OCR are two completely different experiences, so I forsee this grip being a fantastic addition to the shoe. The lugs on the bottom of the shoe worked quite well on ice and snow. I imagine that will transfer over nicely to mud in the spring. I was slightly concerned with how the lugs would affect balance for things such as the Traverse Wall or log hops during a race. Obviously I couldn’t replicate those to a tee, but a fallen log in the middle of the woods is better than nothing. I was pleasantly surprised that the aggressive tread didn’t impede balance.
WATER: This is a huge one for OCR. Trying to make something “waterproof” is a moot point, as we don’t just run through puddles in this sport, we swim through them. Therefore, what is needed isn’t a waterproof shoe, but a shoe that drains incredibly well, and fast. I was skeptical on this one, but Reebok figured it out. To test the draining capabilities, I waded right into a freezing cold pond during our run. (I’ve got cabin fever, it was a thrill.) Not only did the shoes drain fast, but during the half mile run back to the car, there was zero sloshing or pooling of water in the shoe. Other than wet socks, it truly didn’t feel like I had just been in the water. Geoff put the shoes in the window of our apartment to dry and before the day was over, they were 100% dry. So if you are racing two days back to back, you should have zero issues with wet shoes.
RUN: They were comfortable while running. Honestly, nothing stood out, which is a good thing. Laces stayed in place, no chaffing on the upper, no slipping. No news is good news in this department: I didn’t even notice the shoe as I was running.
DURABILITY: This is something that is yet to be determined, and I know will be a huge deal breaker for many potential buyers. I will be sure to update this blog post after a few more mud sessions and hopefully an OCR or two.
So far, I’m really pleased and excited about this shoe. I think it has potential to be THE shoe for the 2014 OCR season, and as much as I love Reebok, I hope the All Terrain encourages other shoe companies to realize the need for OCR shoe options.
As mentioned earlier, I will update this review ASAP after I’m able to test it out on more ideal trails and hopefully even a race. But for those who are itching to buy this shoe, I’m going to take a leap and give it a preemptive seal of approval. I think it will truly excel on the race course.
****POST RACE UPDATE**** http://relentlessforwardcommotion.com/2014/04/reebok-terrain-super-review-update/
Questions? Please post them in the comments section below, and I will be happy to answer.
Want to see more? Check out the video below, or some reviews from a few of my friends:
*Disclosure* Reebok provided me with these shoes free of charge, however, all opinions expressed are solely my own.