Last week, Reebok launched their new RealFlex running shoe campaign with the support of two Hollywood stars— Josh Duhamel of Transformers and Ali Larter of Heroes. Since both perform their own action scenes, Reebok held "stunt camp," where the actors demonstrated running through windows and jumping over cabs. They deemed the RealFlex the perfect shoe for running in different environments.
RealFlex promotes the "natural movement" of the foot, conferring the benefits of barefoot running. Weighing just nine ounces, the shoe has a minimalist design, a lightweight, breathable mesh upper and a low-to-the ground overall feel. The 3D Ultralite outsole provides the support of a running shoe while simultaneously facilitating natural foot strike. The 76 individual sensors on the sole are strategically positioned to bend and flex as you run and jump, creating multi-directional pliability.
Bill McInnis, head of advanced innovation at Reebok, says, "The good thing about [barefoot running] is that you're landing on your forefoot instead of landing on your heel, so you have shock absorbing through the muscles rather than going up through your joints."
But what distinguishes the RealFlex from other lightweight shoes on the market? "It's the protection," claims McInnis. "You're going to see a lot of shoes out there with thin bottoms, so adding a little thickness [in the sole] doesn't get you far if you don't have flexibility."
The individual sensors that give the shoe flexibility are also the distinctive protective factor of the RealFlex. They're joined together at the heel and forefoot to absorb maximum impact, and they're arranged on the lateral side of shoe to stabilize the foot.
The RealFlex sensors work together throughout an athlete's stride to promote the foot's natural flex and simulate running barefoot for greater foot, ankle and calf strength—which can result in improved overall speed and multi-directional movement while helping to reduce or eliminate the negative effects of running on hard surfaces.
RealFlex shoes are available at retailers and on Reebok.com for $90.
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Photos: Courtesy of Reebok
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