I freaked out when I saw a trashcan full of muddy sneakers after my first race. Wait a minute. Am I going to have to get new shoes after every race? Who can afford that? Hopefully, those shoes eventually ended up in the USAgain recycle bin. Still, I knew that my shoes had to last multiple races and months of training if I wanted to keep my bookkeeper happy (Yes, I’m referring to Mrs. Coley). Well, my shoes made it through six races, and I could probably keep wearing them uncomfortably for a few more. Nevertheless, I retired my first pair of Reebok Spartan racing shoes at the end of last season. Now, I am anxious to try out my new kicks. And yes, I’m sticking with Reebok.
When I bought the original, black Reebok All-Terrain Super Men’s Running Shoes with the popular neon green highlights, I quickly heard that I should have spent more and went for a lighter and supposedly more durable shoe from Innov8. Well, I later had the opportunity to check out those as well as funky colored shoes from Salomon. And while both pairs were admittedly lighter than the Super, I am more than comfortable with Reebok’s durability.
Following some online advice, I thoroughly washed my shoes within 48 hrs. of every race. As a result, both shoes’ soles and toes still look and feel pretty solid. The only major wear is around the front outer edger of each shoe. I’m not completely busting out, but I’d hate to accidentally brush up against one of the larger, jagged rocks I’ve seen on the Austin Sprint/Super. Overall, I found Reebok to be plenty durable.
My newest shoes aren’t even the latest from Reebok’s Spartan series. I’m sporting the red and black Super/Spartan introduced last year. I went with a half size bigger than my last pair because they always seemed a little too snug against my toes which I believe contributed to the loss of some purple toenails. Though the shoe is only half a size larger, I’m now questioning whether there is too much toe space. It is probably all in my head. I’m sure my new Reebok Spartans will probably be fine once I re-lace and break them in a little. The take away is to get yours in an actual shoe store if possible unless you are 100% confident you can order the right size online.
Let’s wrap up with a PRO and a CON. Most OCR runners will agree that Reebok’s greatest strength is their seeming mastery of water drainage. Definite PRO. The CON that I have heard from more than one source but I have yet to experience myself is the collection of rocks and debris inside the shoe due to poor sealing when tied. Again, I cannot speak from experience as I never felt discomfort from pebbles or other debris. And I never had to take off my shoe or re-lace during a race.
If you’re a fan of Spartan branding, you’ve probably already seen and love the look of these shoes. If you’re not, you probably want to move along, because the logo is anything but subtle. Personally, I love the look. However, on race day, performance is all that matters. While they’ve only see minimal training so far, I’m two weeks away from their first real test. Based on my satisfaction with my last pair, I’m expecting good things.