This is a mid-life review for the Reebok Yourflex running shoe.
I picked a pair of these up about two months ago and have put in the neighborhood of 200-230 miles on them.
They are designed as a “mid-malist” shoe, a transitional shoe between a standard “heel-strike” well padded shoe and a minimalist mid-foot/fore-foot strike shoe. As I was just starting out running in that style, this seemed a good choice, and has been.
The shoe is amazingly lightweight. It manages this by not using any standard hard rubber other than in a very small area at the forefoot and at the heel, and also by using a well ventilated mesh material. The shoe runs very cool, with excellent ventilation. However, I would not recommend this shoe for “wet-work”, the material seems as though it would soak water and the sole would become rather slippery.
As a transitional shoe the Yourflex works well. It has a bit of fluff underfoot, but isn’t so soft that your foot doesn’t begin to adapt to the fore-foot strike style. And there is just enough padding in the heel so that a heel strike doesn’t cause serious pain, though obviously you will want to keep from doing that as much as possible as you learn.
Unfortunately, the lightweight nature of the shoe does have a major drawback: durability. Although there are more durable light shoes out there, they lack the padding of the Yourflex. In this case, you have to pick your poison: do you want light weight and durability or light weight and a bit of padding? After just over 200 miles on the shoe, the sole has worn to a significant degree, to the point where some of the “nubs” are completely worn flat.
There are a couple things to keep in mind. One, I’m a big guy, still 210-215lbs. Two, I’ve been running in pretty hot conditions. Heat can definitely further soften an already soft material, leading to wear. And of course that has to be balanced against the shoe’s fairly reasonable price (between $50-75 depending on where you purchase it).
Cost: $65 (Sports Authority)
Score: 8/10 RAWRS (Would recommend, would buy again, room for improvement)
High: Light, airy, comfy
Low: Not durable, complete lack of support might too much transition for runners currently in traditional shoes