To say I was excited to test out some French-made running shoes is an understatement. When I opened the box, the first thing that jumped out at me was the stylish appearance of these shoes. I could tell there was a lot of attention paid to the small details when designing the shoe. The knitted upper and mesh allowed for a lot of breathability, however the material seemed like it could get a bit heavy when wet or even on longer efforts. The focus appeared to be on style and comfort, and I’d give them an A+ in that department. These shoes look awesome and are so comfy!
I was also surprised with the tread on the shoe. It isn’t an aggressive tread, but it’s enough to give the shoe some flexibility as a go-to shoe for road running and non-technical trail running. I would opt to leave these shoes at home on technical trail days.
For what it’s worth, my stylish 13-year-old daughter has already stolen these shoes from me. She normally wears Adidas or Nike, but when she tried on the Reliant RL-01 she immediately fell in love with how comfortable they are for her wide feet.
Relance RL-01 Features
Knitted Upper – No sweaty feet here! The upper of the RL-01 is made with industrial knitting which limits waste and allows the shoe to be super breathable! The only pitfall I found is that I feel like it may not drain well if you plan on running through water or thick mud.
Wide Forefoot and Toebox – Wide-footed runners rejoice! This shoe is extra roomy throughout the entire shoe.
Cushioned Insole – There is a raised cushion in the heel of the shoe and it almost felt as if something was in my shoe at first. After running for 10 minutes, I completely forgot about it. It seems like it would be beneficial for absorbing shock if you’re a heel-striker.
Relance RL-01 Usage
Tested these shoes on the track, roads, and technical/non-technical trail. I was able to run in these shoes for an hour and a half without any hot spots right out of the box. My feet are somewhat narrow so I had a ton of extra room throughout the entire shoe (not just the toe box) which I know is something that a ton of other runners would enjoy.
Relance RL-01 Durability
I can’t attest for the long-term durability of these shoes, but I ran 20 miles in them on varied terrain without any issues. The material seems very well made and while I wouldn’t wear it for an OCR or technical trail race, I can see them lasting for quite a long time with everyday use on roads or non-technical trail.
Relance RL-01 Pros and Cons
- Style and comfort for the win!
- Lots of cushioning (your knees will thank you!) and decent grip on a variety of surfaces
- Versatile shoe that can be used as a road and trail runner.
- It may be because I have a narrow foot, but it seems like they run a little large. I ordered my usual size but I had a lot of extra wiggle room.
- Cushion in the heel feels slightly odd at first, it’s something that would take a little getting used to.
Relance RL-01 Conclusion
These shoes were fantastic; super comfy, stylish, with lots of cushioning. Unfortunately, I probably won’t wear them again since my teenage daughter has claimed them as her own. If I had a wider foot, they’d be perfect but there was a little too much wiggle room for someone with a narrow foot.
*Editors note – Relance provide our reviewer with a pair of these shoes in exchange for the review. You can give to the Kickstarter of this company at this link.
Matt B. Davis
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