Wondering about the Reebok All Terrain Super? Check out Tony Ferrante's review of the new obstacle racing shoe at Obstacle Racing Media.
When I received the new Reebok All Terrain Supers, I was excited as a kid opening a Christmas present. Touted as being designed with the help of obstacle course runners specifically for OCRs, these shoes have been craved since being partially unveiled during the telecast of the Spartan World Championships back in December.
Out of the box they look fantastic. Vibrant colors and attractive styling makes this a good looking pair of shoes. The design was different from what I’ve been used to because they have much less heel than what I’ve been running in, and they’re built with very little platform, so the orthotic insoles I’ve been wearing weren’t going to work so well in them. But I decided that I’d run in them as they were meant to be used, and see what I thought about this new feel to running.
First off, it seems that one of the main purposes of the shoe is to accommodate running in water and wet conditions that habitually make up a great deal of OCR running. There is very little water absorbent material in these shoes so they don’t gain a lot of weight when wet. Even the tongue and laces are less absorbent than most other shoes. Then they have ports on the sides that actually facilitate drainage so the water runs out after it has gotten into the shoe. Very nice.
The soles of the shoes have stiff rubber nubs on the outsides for firm traction in muddy conditions, and the nubs in the middle are a softer rubber which helps when climbing walls. And the coolest things are the little yellow nubs in the instep portion of each shoe to help pinch with your feet when climbing ropes. They’re perfectly placed and a great addition to have whether you use a J-hook or just try to pinch between your feet and use knots.
I wore the shoes without insoles and paid close attention to how the shoes felt, and how my feet felt during and after workouts and running. I wear the orthotics because a running assessment told me that I over-pronate when running, and I have low arches. However, when I trained and ran in these Reebok All Terrain Supers with just low compression socks I felt no discomfort and there was no pain in my feet afterwards. Maybe the orthotics are overkill for me? Maybe the shoes make them obsolete? Maybe I’m just slow enough that it doesn’t matter? I don’t know, but I do know that wearing them “au natural” hasn’t caused me any problems.
I put them to the ultimate test for me this weekend when I wore them for the Georgia Spartan Sprint. I had the best looking shoes on the race course. They drew a lot of attention and rightfully so. The very first obstacle had us running in icy water and the shoes drained remarkably. They didn’t feel noticeably heavier afterwards at all.
The course was a muddy mess thanks to rain the previous week and I had absolutely no traction issues. They never lost grip when I needed them to give me traction, and the nubs are actually spaced far enough apart that the Georgia Red Clay did not stick to my shoes and make me carry more treacherous mud on the soles. The softer nubs in the middle helped with climbing the walls, providing traction even when the wall was already wet and muddy. The shoes felt good when climbing the Cargo Net Cliff aka “The Gamble” and the wooden A-frames so there was never any fear of my feet slipping when I was climbing.
The nubs on the instep helped me immensely in gripping the rope as I did my rope climb. I wish I could say that they helped me ring that darned cowbell this time, but I’m still a newbie and I only got up four knots. But that was four knots higher than I’ve ever been, and I intend to use these shoes in training to help me conquer this obstacle.
After 4.6 miles of very difficult trail and obstacle running, my feet felt great. Everything else hurt, but my feet in these shoes were not an issue. But my heart did skip a beat at the end of the race when I saw my beautiful shoes covered in red Georgia clay, which has a notorious reputation of ending the life of other shoes. However, with a low pressure hose and some hand scrubbing they looked as good as new! Even the bright laces came totally clean which is almost a miracle around here.
And then just to put them to the ultimate test, I wore my wet socks and shoes the rest of the day while on my feet for my volunteer shift. They never hurt my feet. They helped things dry out quicker, so I didn’t have the normal “prune feet” at the end of the night. And they continued to be the best looking shoes out there.
In short, these are the best trail shoes I’ve ever had on my feet. I plan to continue to wear them until they’ve helped me achieve a trifecta this year so that when they’re worn out and ready to be replaced I can upgrade them with the new Reebok Trifecta shoe.