Reebok Realflex vs. Nike Free

Well You all know my stand that the # 1 minimalistic shoe is the Vibram Five Fingers, but know the big question what is the #2.

There is alot of buzz recently about the Reebok Realflex and there place in this market, and are they better then the Nike Free's?

The Nike Free's are extremely comfortable and flexible with a nice upper. The original Free Run is a bit more restrictive, but still nice and comfy.
The Reebok Realflex are flexible like the Free's and provide a nice feeling when running, but when comparing the two I give the point to Nike for the sock like upper that gives it the edge of the Realfex.

Now if you win this catorgy I don't know if it's a good thing, if your going for that Barefoot feeling you don't want alot of cushioning. But if you compare the two shoes the Reebok Realflex wins (loses) for Cushioning.

Who's more natural?
Reebok did a great job in making the Realflex very flexible and that say that their sensor platforms give you that natural feeling, when I was wearing them I have to differ, I felt like I was floating more then feeling the ground. The Nike Free's are not a "natural" as they could be but they are alittle better.

 I consider Reebok running shoes to be more of a style/fashion thing, and the technical side of the shoes seems half-assed and gimmicky. So it takes the style points over the Free.

So to Sum this all up if your are looking for a Barefoot style shoe but you don't to go as natural as the Vibram Five Fingers the Nike Free's are my pick.

Check out the full Nike Free review and the Reebok Realflex review


  1. I like the vibrams just fine. I'm not a big runner (just a few miles a week on a treadmill). I tried running in the vibrams but my shins couldn't handle it (mostly from all the tension in the calfs, so my "shin splints" are really some tendon or ligament issues on the medial side of my shins). I tried the Nike Frees but they are too goddamn narrow and tight. Damn Nike sizes their shoes so inaccurately. And I don't have another $100 to waste on the Nike Frees.

    But the shoe I love love loved was the Nike Free Sparq Trainer. They are the best shoe I have found for running (until someday when I work up the determination to adapt to running in Vibrams again). And they are amazing just to walk in, which is at least as important to me as a running shoe since I do a lot more walking than running.

    It seems like you all are rather dismissive of flexibility at this site. That is my favorite thing about minimalist shoes: the side to side, front to back all around flexibility. My legs really feel so much more alive, all the way up to my thighs, from wearing them. And I don't feel like my foot is in a cast, which is how 99% of today's shoes feel (was it always that way?). I don't mind a bit of cushioning when I'm on my feet all day (but I absolutely hate "support"). Just make the cushioning even, shoe designers.

    Vibrams are a great idea in some respects, but for walking around in the winter or walking on hot asphalt in the summer, they suck.
    I run naturally on my forefoot anyway, but I resent the extra cushioned heels that often make it impossible to run on your forefoot. The Nike Free Sparq trainers definitely had more heel cushioning that I want or need, but at least it wasn't enough to ruin them for me since the heels do not affect my foot strike.

    So what did Nike do? They discontinued the Sparqs almost immediately, and the successor Nike Free Trainers have become more and more like standard Nike foot casts. Not only that, they are making them too narrow like the other "free" shoes (the Sparq trainers were the perfect width for me). I refuse to buy them.

    Does it just seem like there must be someone evil at Nike trying to squelch any sort of innovation or good shoes? Or are they stupid? I think if you go to their website and try to find your way in, you will realize they are stupid, stupid, stupid. The website is like a Polish joke (or an Irish joke, or Italian joke, or whoever they make fun of for being stupid in your neck of the woods). But I haven't ruled out evil. They are not mutually exclusive (e.g. Sarah Palin, the Tea Party)

  2. Great informative comment, until you got to the last sentence. thanks for bringing in politics you d-bag

  3. Well, he was only stating a fact. Palin is a dumb bitch.

  4. Anonymous #1-
    Do you really think people evolved to run on asphalt or on a treadmill? Barefoot running is ideal for beaches, or grass, not concrete or a hard surfaced area. I genuinely have shin problems, I changed my style to forefoot running and went to running on grass, problem solved. Complaining about a barefoot shoe that doesn't give much support on a hard surface is like complaining that a boat doesn't perform well on dry land... because it wasn't made for it!

    I don't understand what the huge Nike love is going on on this site, but I tried out both the Nike Free and the Reebok Flex. For people who are tied to running on concrete or a treadmill, the one with more cushion is the way to go, Flex wins, not loses. Even for people (like me) who run like a barefoot runner but is always looking for that extra cushion because of running on hard Florida turf, the Flex has the extra shock absorbant that the ground does not provide.

    All I'm saying is that people need to take a hard look at what they need as a person, and what kind of running they're doing, before believing that Nike is automatically the best shoe. People are different, as are everyone's shoe needs.

  5. As I was reading these comments I noticed that none of these people own all the shoes mentioned. I own the Five Fingers, Nike Free 5.0 version 2, and just got the Reebok RealFlex. Each shoe is totally different and thus requires a different style of running. I've used my FF on asphalt for miles daily with no issue after building up the leg muscles I lacked from years of running in overcishiomed shoes. In the FF you can't rely on the shoe for cushioning as so many people do, you have to use your slightly bent knee position to be the vision. Much as you do when you sprint.

    The Free is different in that it gives you a bit more cushion. I really only use them when its too hot on asphalt or for some trail running. They do great other places but I prefer the FF for the minimalist feel. The Free is also grey as its upper is like a sock in the truest hard upper heel or anything else. Truly a sock on rub er.

    The Realflex is the most rigid of the three if you can call it rigid at all. Its hood for the same places as the Free but the top has a bit more aupport

  6. In the military so everyone should know that I run my ass off being in an infantry unit. The person that reviewed these two shoes I though fell a little short.

    Went to footlocker today and tried on both as they were right next to each other. Didn't even know that Nike had even come out with a "natural" running shoe. So anyways, tried them on and to be honest, the Nike free run 2's felt flat and more just like a shoe I would wear around the block. I put the realflex's on and walked around the store and I could tell there was some thought that went into the shoe. You can feel the bounciness in the forefoot where you would land and overall comfort was amazing. I don't think that the Reebok "sensors" are a gimmick at all. In fact I believe that they make the run and feeling of the ground more personal.It almost feels like you can feel the road through the Reebok "sensors". The Nike's felt blah, probably because of all the cushion. Not like that is a bad thing, just a personal preference for what I am looking for.

    I am not bias in any way, in fact I have two pairs of Nike running shoes at my door step, just wanted to find something better I guess. The Reebok shoes are light and feel like cleats you would wear for a 100 meter dash track meet with the rubber cushion of an advanced running shoe.

    That's my two cents, if you are a Nike person and want to try something "new and exciting" than I recommend the Reebok realflex. Just ordered a custom color on their website, the sizing runs a half size smaller than Nike shoes.

    SSG Jonathan Cote
    172 Infantry A Co
    US Army

  7. I've ran in both of these shoes... and I like the RealFlex a lot better. The Free to me just felt like a really flexible conventional running shoe. But with the RealFlex, I could feel the intricacies of the road without pain, which is awesome. Reebok wins this in my opinion... but in terms of originality, the RealFlex is strikingly similar to the Free, which came first... just sayin'.

  8. reeboks shoes made my leg fal of and now i cant i run...i waddle

  9. I have never tried Nike but the one pair I did get I was crippled from shin splints went to Asics and decided to switch for more flexibility and to try to go minimal I think Reebok wins but thats me I think it really depends on what you want from a shoe. I might change to Nike but im just enjoying the ride and see how I like it.

  10. free runs are for style. realflex is better for running

  11. reebok realflex, of course!

  12. reebok realflex for me what is your chose leave a comment plz

  13. Most people lean towards the Realflex