Relance RL-01 Review

Relance RL-01 Bhall pic

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 R1-01 pic 2

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

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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

is the host of the Obstacle Racing Media Podcast and the author of "Down and Dirty-The Essential Training Guide for Obstacle Races and Mud Runs". He is also the only (known) #wafflehouseelite obstacle racer.

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