Finding the right shoe is always a challenge. When obstacle racing first started there were a handful of go-to options available, a lot has changed since the early days. Now there are more options than we can often process. If you’re looking for a shoe with a little cushion, a lot of traction, and drainage, we’ve got a new one for you to try, the Reebok All-Terrain Thrill or AT Thrill, if you will.
At the February Winter Agoge I was presented a pair of Reebok All Terrain Thrill, as excited as I was to receive them, it wasn’t the right weather to test them out in. Sub-zero temps in a pair of breathable obstacle racing shoes is not a good idea. However, a month after running the trails surrounding my new home in Seattle and putting them through the paces at the Spartan Race in Las Vegas while setting up and directing the 12 Hour Hurricane, I’ve logged over 50 miles on them and am prepared to tell you why this is your next go-to distance shoe.
Reebok All-Terrain Thrill Features
Drainage – Much like all the previous Reebok All Terrain shoes, the Thrill has all the features we’ve come to know, H20 drain holes. The clever thing about the drain holes, as is the same with other the Reebok All-Terrain Super line, is that they manage to let water out without letting rocks in.
Toe Box – The toe box has seen a huge improvement over previous models, however if you have hobbit feet (read: wide), these may still prove a bit snug on the fit side of things. Still, the new toe box wraps further up the front of the shoe, providing more protection and even sports a few traction notches for those times you need to dig your toes in the ground, say when trying to reach the summit at the World Championship in Tahoe.
Sole / Traction – The traction seems to have changed little from previous models at first glance, however upon closer inspection you can see that they’ve made the lugs a bit wider, the outer lugs protrude at an angle providing a bit wider base. Another change of note is the lugs feel like they’re now made of a dense rubber as opposed to the hard plastic-like feel of previous All Terrain shoes. All in all, the bottom of this sole is the result of a few generations of trial and error and it’s safe to say, Reebok is learning what works and what doesn’t.
Cushioning – The cushioning of this shoe is unlike that of the Super 2.0, or any of the other more “race” oriented shoes, that is to say, this is not a minimalist shoe like most of the All Terrain series has been. The Thrill actually sports some cushion, which if you’re into longer distances or endurance evens is certainly a must have. It’s my belief that minimalist shoes serve their purpose but when you get into the longer miles, and longer duration events, having some sort of support can make or break you. At the Vegas Spartan Race, I wore these shoes every day and was doing between 10-15 miles per day and not once did I feel like my feet hurt, which is surprising. Normally I can only wear most Reeboks for a couple hours before I’m swapping them for my Brooks or New Balance.
Upper material – The upper is a hybrid of sorts, it’s part mesh, part plastic. From what I can tell it seems like they took the advice of their customers and tried to do away with the really plast-icky materials that were used in the first few generations of All Terrain and have integrated more mesh through out. The result, a huge improvement in breathability. The tongue is a huge improvement over past gens, made of a comfortable cloth it has a lot of breathing holes punched into it the top layer with a micro mesh second layer to keep the rocks out. Well played Reebok, this is a welcome improvement.
Reebok All-Terrain Thrill Usage
Since receiving these shoes at Agoge-001, I’ve been putting them through some vigorous testing. Across the street from my new home in Washington is an awesome two-mile trail system with some serious incline. Best part about being in the Pacific Northwest? There’s no shortage of rain, and as a result, there is also no shortage of slippery slopes to test these on. In the past month, I’ve logged at least 15 miles on this trail system alone, these shoes kept me on my feet, and not my ass. That’s a win.
In addition to testing them on my weekly runs, I was able to put them through an endurance test when I arrived in Vegas for the 12 Hour Hurricane Heat. My arrival Thursday on-site put these shoes through a six-mile test right off the bat, through sand, rivers, fields of green, and a marsh, they held up well. Over the next 60+ hours, I would continue to log more and more miles preparing the event, testing the various challenges myself, carrying 60 lbs over 2 miles, running through the rivers, carrying tires, etc. Still they held up. Come event time, I would join the 12Hr Hurricane Heaters for a handful of hikes, probably totaling another 8-10 miles on my feet in these shoes. Within a weekend I probably put 20-25 miles on these, not once did I want to take them off, other than to empty out all the sand, they held up, and were comfortable too.
Reebok All-Terrain Thrill Durability
This is probably the most important category for shoes, everyone wants to know that their shoes will last for more than one or two events, because let’s face it, shoes are expensive if you don’t buy them at season end or on clearance. So far these seem to be holding up very well, there are no signs up wear, yet. I have wide, hobbit-like feet, typically that means I blow any narrow shoes out within a few runs. I’ve put 50 miles on these already and they’re still looking pretty darn good. If that changes, I’ll update this review.
Reebok All-Terrain Thrill Pros and Cons
- Good traction
- Comfortable sole
- Better Drainage
- Improved toebox
- Narrow footbed
- Short laces
|Reebok All Terrain Thrill||Reebok All Terrain Super OR||Salomon Speedcross 3||Reebok All Terrain Thunder 2.0|
Reebok All-Terrain Thrill Conclusion
The new Reebok All Terrain Thrill exceed my expectations. I’ve had a lot of bad luck with the All Terrain series, the first generation All Terrain Super destroyed my feet and nearly gave me plantar fasciitis. The second generation had some improvements but the sole was just too stiff and caused the same pain as the first gen. This new iteration of shoe, while not a direct descendant of the Super, but a close cousin, is the result of research, development, and the adoption of customer feedback. For me, if they made this shoe in a wide version, it’d be my go-to shoe for longer distances.
For you, you need to make the decision of what is important for you in a shoe. Are you looking for something more minimalist, or for longer distances? If you’re a minimalist check out the other All Terrain shoes, such as the new Reebok All-Terrain Super OR (3.0). If you’re looking for something that can get you through a Beast or longer, this just might be worth giving a shot.