Strengths: Reebok made some great running shoes in the early 1990s and having ran my 5K and 10K PBs in them I've always considered them. Unfortunately since the mid 1990s they have usually disappointed. But not any more. This is quite simply the best shoe Reebok have made in years. Although classed as a cushioned shoe it has great stabilty thanks to a fairly broad base and good arch support. They feeling of support under the metatarsal heads encourages you to run and run as if on springs. The cushioning is excellent - a great balance between softness and responsiveness. The dynamic fit upper works really well to secure the foot in the shoe. It is well made, suits orthotics well and comes in at a reasonable price. Thoroughly deserves to succeed. Keep it up Reebok !
Weaknesses: I've a slightly narrow foot and I would prefer the upper fit to be just a wee bit narrower ... but that's a minor quibble. Main problem I've had are very limited outlets with half sizes available. Thank goodness for sportsshoes unlimited who stock them and provide an excellent service. Reebok online store also stocks them I see but cannot find them elsewhere. But maybe this relative lack of availability is one of the attractions?
Overall: A superb shoe. It's been worth waiting all those years for.
Strengths: Turned to Brooks after a gap of several yrs mainly due to frustrations with recurrent achilles tendonitis when wearing Nike shoes (despite using appropriate shoes for my gait with orthotics),and haven't had a problem since. As soon as I tried these on could feel the difference. Less softly cushioned than Nike at rest but as well cushioned on the run. A closer to the ground feel than Nike and more responsive. Nice snug fit even for my slim feet - shoe feels part of the foot rather than an add on. Stable yet a smooth flowing heel to toe transition. Satisfying to feel that running in a more environmentally friendly shoe (midsole will breakdown in 22 yrs in a landfill site whereas traditional midsoles can take a 1000 yrs).
Weaknesses: You might hesitate at the price - but discounts can be found. A harder shoe to track down than Asics or Nike so be prepared to travel to a specialist running shop. "Image" might be a problem but who cares when you run injury free. I suspect some with wider feet may struggle to get a good fit - but there is always the adrenaline available in a wide fit (albeit less forefoot cushioning).
Overall: This is probably a shoe that would suit most people unless a severe overpronator. Those with wider feet may also struggle to get comfortable. Great for high mileage training, well put together and feels as if they will last 500 miles plus easily. If on a tight budget go for the adrenaline which feels very similar in fit and feel but is slightly less cushioned especially in the forefoot. Don't buy the Asics Kayano until you've tried the Trance.
Weaknesses: Cushioning not up to standards of rivals. Seems to flex to far forward in the forefoot.
Overall: Chose these on basis of good reviews and comfort walking about the shop. Soon realised my mistake when woke up the next day after running in them - aches and pains in feet ++. Went back to NIKE/ASICS - no problems since, and in similar neutral shoes.
Strengths: Very good value. Well cushioned. Light feel.Responsive enough to race in.
Weaknesses: As previous reviewer has noted the air cushioning has developed a leak after only 70 miles with result that each heel strike is accompanied by a "scooshing" noise - a bit irritating.
Overall: Almost faultless.
[Update 12/09/07] 3 reviewers (100%) with the same problem of leaky air cushioning - I hope NIKE is looking at quality control at the factory. Or perhaps there is a design flaw ? UPDATE 24.12.06 - now done just over 400 miles in them. Still in excellent condition though cushioning starting to go "flat" - especially noticeable as gradually wearing in a new pair. Will be stocking up on them next year before inevitable replacement by the Perseus 4. Squeak still there but so far no such problem with the new pair.UPDATE 12.9.07. What a fantastic shoe !No sign yet of Autumn/Winter colour update or of a perseus 4. A bit worrysome.
'A DYSFUNCTIONAL CREATION - BRING BACK VERSION 1 FROM 2000/01'
Strengths: Well made, fit well especially in the heel.
Weaknesses: Far too rigid, cushioning far too firm. Like running in the proverbial "brick". And the awful colour schemes only add to the hilarity as you attempt to run in these totally non-functional shoes - reminds me of trying to run in cycling shoes.
Overall: Mizuno have got this one badly wrong. There are far better well-cushioned high mileage, neutral trainers out there.
Strengths: Nice, glove-like fitting, looks trendy and "serious"
Weaknesses: Why on earth pay this for a shoe when there are two excellent alternatives from Asics (Nimbus if neutral, Kayano if overpronator) that can be bought for £50 less ? Cushioning no better, stability no better
Overall: Asics claim that the Kinsei represents 5 yrs of research - Asics must have a lot of money to waste as in a yrs time this will be a dead duck when no longer has a trendy look.
'HARD TO FAULT - STABLE, WELL-CUSHIONED, GREAT FOR ORTHOTICS'
Strengths: Hadn't run in ASICS for years due to poor fit (NIKE far better for narrow feet)and was amazed how immediately comfortable these felt. Cushioning just right. Feel much lighter on the feet than appearance suggests - and I've found them OK for fast sessions. Quality of shoe faultless. Early days yet but feel they will last longer than Nike.
Weaknesses: Current colourway won't be to everyone's taste - but nice and colourful for the Summer. Price seems high - but it feels a quality product.
Overall: Must be one of the best - if not THE best - stable, neutral high mileage trainers
'THINK OF NB 854 - BUT LIGHTER, SMOOTHER AND MORE RESPONSIVE'
Strengths: Smoothness for a stability trainer, snug/ comfortable fit obtained by midfoot support system, cushioning just right. Superb value if you shop around.
[Update 12/08/06] Now run 200 miles in them. Very little wear and feeling more comfortable than ever. Remain well-cushioned.
Weaknesses: Though those with wider feet may find forefoot a bit tight and need to go up a half size from normal
[Update 12/08/06] I would like to see the forefoot a little tighter width-wise for better forefoot support. Will perhaps buy 1/2 size smaller to try achieve this though downside will be not as much room at end of big toe.
Overall: Brilliant. Much better than previous version.
[Update 12/08/06] Must be the best stability trainer around at present - NIKE just need to work a bit at improving forefoot support for their traditional narrower-footed fans.