Over the last few years, Reebok's shoes have been somewhat hit and miss. So the firm has to be applauded for deciding to start completely anew with its Premier range. For the Premier Road, this means a new last - narrower in the heel than previously, with a slimmer, more supportive midfoot and roomier forefoot - and all-new technology. Out go the unloved plastic air chambers of the DMX system, replaced by DMX Foam - lighter density EVA pillars in the heel and forefoot. The Premier Road should appeal to runners looking for an everyday trainer that offers decent levels of control and support - there's a fair-sized second-density medial post, and a plastic midfoot shank. It's very similar to the Nike Air Structure Triax
in fit and feel - it even has a similar upper pattern with a generously high and wide toebox and similar curve to the toe of the midsole... Still, if you're going to try to emulate a shoe, it might as well be one of the three best stability shoes on the market. And Reebok's done a decent job. The cushioning is nice and deep; the initial impression was that it's not as soft as Air, or as smooth as Asics's Impact Guidance System, though we'll be able to tell better when we've had the shoes to wear in properly.
Only time will tell if the Premier range marks Reebok's return as a serious contender in the running market, but the early signs are promising. The Road offers decent amounts of support and cushioning. (Available January 2003.)
Try it on if you liked
Nike Air Structure Triax (£70); Saucony GRID Omni (£70)