As some of you may already know, the "All Terrain" is a series of shoes designed by Reebok for Obstacle Course Races (OCR). When they were first released the biggest features these shoes were recognized for were the drainage system and the unique mid foot grip. They started out with the Sprint and Super models. The Sprints were the less expensive models and the Supers were the higher priced model, which had a bit tougher/thicker sole and outside mesh support.
Now lets flash forward to the present to the new All Terrain Extreme edition.
Let's begin with the color theme, I'm totally for the solar yellow/ neon/ gravel black combo. It's got a cool hardcore look to it. Of course it won't be long before there are more colors available.
Second noticeable upgrade is the webbing on the outside of the mesh. The Kevlar helps a tremendous amount with durability while still maintaining it's ability to drain water quickly and breath-ability. Kevlar is the same material that is used to reinforce tires and protective helmets.
Next upgrade is the wider shoe tongue. Previous versions (see picture below) the shoe tongue was shorter and thinner which kept sliding to the sides.
The sole is a bit tougher and has an awesome grip. But just like the previous versions if you are flat footed, I do suggest you slip in your orthodics or slip in some sort of inserts for better support. The inserts it comes with simply don't provide any support unless you are used to running in bare foot shoes. (See picture below of the inserts it comes with)
Here's a look of the Super and Extreme edition side by side.
So! What's the verdict? Are they an upgrade? How do they handle on course?
Well of course we have to put these puppies through a test; so I chose the 2015 Spartan Race Ultra up in Vermont to see how they can handle. Now, for starters, I did go on a few test runs on trails to break them in so by the time of race day they were ready to go full force.
Sunday September 20th, race day was here. First lap was great, a smooth 5 1/2 hours. The grip going up and down hills was great. The downhill part was where I really noticed how they grip to the ground. Obstacles were a breeze especially at the traverse wall and rope climb. At the bin drop while replenishing food and hydration I gave them a quick inspection. No holes, laces were still tied, so off I went for Lap 2. Already knowing what was ahead of me I kept a nice pace and took off on the flats. The All Terrain Extreme kept up with another great lap and held up perfectly fine throughout the rest of the race. Finally, I got to the finish line completing this year's Vermont Ultra smoothly. Below are the pics after the race.
Overall, I definitely recommend this model for any OCR. As with all things, the sport of OCR will continue to evolve, so will the gear and this model is a great sign of what is coming from Reebok and the OCR world.
See you at the next RACE!