Reebok Pheehan Run 4.0 Review Facts
When first entering the pursuit of running, novices make easily understandable mistakes: they overtrain; their unrefined techniques may cause injury; and they make hasty trainer purchases that may be too advanced for their skill set and cost them dearly in the pocketbook. With this last error in mind, the Reebok Pheehan Run 4.0 is an entry-level runner’s shoe with excellent comfort, good durability, and much-needed arch support for the inexperienced runner. This latest edition of in the Pheehan Run series corrects some elements that have been previously critiqued in the series, namely the shoddy overlays and visual aesthetic. Although not a serious shoe for competitions, the Reebok Pheehan Run 4.0 is for the beginner runner looking for a sturdy trainer that will make their entry into the sport as painless as possible.
The Pheehan Run 4’s thick rubber outsole features a deep and wide cut from midfoot to forefoot, providing a good amount of flexibility. The rectangular pods placed across the midfoot to forefoot aid in traction while the outsole is covered in two slightly different types of rubber to aid in traction: the heel is comprised of abrasion-resistant rubber while a softer blown rubber is used in the forefoot.
EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) is an oft-used material for cushioning, providing a springy layer of protection in many shoes. For the Pheehan Run 4, a thick and durable midsole of EVA foam runs the length of the shoe, providing the wearer with a good amount of cushioning
and providing a fair amount of responsiveness.
As mentioned in the intro, one major change in the Pheehan Run 4 from its earlier editions is a change in the overlay, which had been criticized for being of subpar quality. In the Run 4, the overlay has been changed to a leather-like synthetic that gives a smoother look to the shoe while also providing improved midfoot hold after lace-up. The rest of the upper is constructed of sandwich mesh for support and breathability while a thin screen underneath the mesh keeps out dirt and other particles. In addition, the sock liner is well-cushioned for additional comfort and support.
By looking at the Pheehan Run 4, one would think this is a relatively heavy shoe, especially given the amount of cushioning and support included in its construction. However, the Run 4 is only 8.8 oz/249 grams, making it a comparatively lightweight trainer
At first glance, the Pheehan Run 4 looks almost too plush to allow for adequate ventilation, especially when one reads its specs and sees its sandwich mesh with an inserted screen on its upper. But the Run 4 provides great ventilation for the runner; its layered construction is meant to keep debris out of the shoe, not to suffocate the foot inside. Said simply, runners will find their feet cool and dry thanks to the sandwich mesh upper.
One of the great selling points of the Run 4, and one that numerous wearers have pointed out, is just how comfortable this trainer is: its EVA midsole, cushioned sock liner
, solid arch support, and rubber outsole makes any activity in this edition of the Pheehan Run line a comfortable one. There is also a fair amount of room in the toe box for those with wider or longer feet that have found other running shoes to be a little too snug in that area. Some wearers have even praised this shoe as being ideal for jobs that keep a worker on their feet all day.
Having learned their lesson and listening to customers who complained about the flimsy outlay and frankly ugly aesthetic of the Pheehan Run 3, Reebok redesigned the Run 4 to be more aesthetically pleasing. To accomplish this, gone were the all-mesh sandwich upper that comprised its previous incarnation, instead replaced by a leather-like overlay that provides a more snug grip on the foot after lace-up, along with the Reebok logo on the side of the shoe now being outlined with the same leather-like material. With just these few adjustments, the result is a sleeker looking trainer than its previous incarnation. In addition, the mashup of various textures gives the Run 4 a kinetic look
that matches the forward motion they are meant to inspire in the wearer.
With a sturdy upper construction and solid outsole, the Pheehan Run 4 remains as durable as many of Reebok’s more expensive trainers
and is yet another upgrade from the Run 3, which received criticism for its supposed lack of durability. The sandwich mesh of the upper retains its flexibility without being flimsy while the outsole’s abrasion-resistant rubber retains its grip even after wear and tear. Its eva midsole retains its bounciness even after numerous runs while the improved cushioning on the interior of the show similarly stays plush from first step-in onward.
Thanks to its sandwich mesh and inserted mesh layer to protect the foot from debris, the Pheehan Run 4 is sure to keep a foot dry and clean even after a splash through a puddle or through a dirt-covered patch on a run. Its thick outsole will similarly protect the foot from sudden jostles and bumps in the road, while the EVA midsole effectively provides protection from shock. Most improved is the tongue of the shoe, which has been made to be both more plush and help hold firm the foot in the shoe throughout a long haul (or a long day). Combined with arch support to aid in keeping the foot firmly set
in a natural position, the Run 4 is a low-cut design with high marks on protection.
With its thin EVA midsole, which provides an extra spring in the step without sacrificing control, the Run 4 is a responsive trainer that won’t leave the runner feeling disconnected between the inside of the foot and the ground. Meanwhile, the inside of the Pheehan Run 4 is comfortable without being too plush, while the shoe stays snug without ever feeling too tight. Combine this with the Run 4’s well-constructed outsole, whose heel is made of abrasion-resistant rubber for better traction and a good cut
from midsole to forefoot for flexibility, and the wearer is assured a responsive ride wherever the Pheehan Run 4 may carry them.
As the Reebok Pheehan Run 4 is designed with the beginner runner in mind, support is a major issue: with inadequate support--or the wrong shoe--a runner just starting off may cause serious damage to their foot
, which in turn will discourage them from pursuing this passion further. To address this, the Run 4 features a neutral arch support to keep the foot in a healthy, natural position while running. In addition, its responsive EVA midsole provides fine, but not plush, cushioning, providing a healthy spring to each step. As previously mentioned, some customers have found the Run 4 a perfect shoe for physical jobs that require them to be on their feet for the majority of the day, which speaks to their comfortable but supportive nature.
Given the nature of the Pheehan Run 4--a beginner’s running shoe and solid work sneaker--its optimal terrain is common solid surfaces one would encounter, mainly asphalt and concrete. Designed for runners looking to work up their endurance on the side streets of their town or else down long city blocks, the abrasion-resistant rubber the outsole is constructed of is meant to take a pounding on these unforgivable surfaces and retain their shape and composition throughout. Not for hiking and not specialized enough for the springy surfaces of a track, the Run 4 is nonetheless up to the challenge of going miles on hard asphalt while also versatile enough to work as an everyday shoe.
Beginner shoes should have beginner prices--at least, that’s what shoe manufacturers should keep in mind when pricing trainers meant for novices. It seems Reebok considered this, and as such the Pheehan Run 4 is adequately priced to encourage those new to the pursuit of running in mind. While there are cheaper trainers out there
, the good standing of the Reebok brand in the running world, along with the comfort the Run 4 provides, justifies its moderate pricing and may put to ease the unsure newbie to the running game that they’re going to get their money’s worth when choosing a trainer.
Meant to meet the road and keep the runner moving forward, the Run 4’s outsole is outfitted with a nicely distributed array of rectangular pods to grip the road. Meanwhile, the well-balanced outsole features sturdy rubber in the heel and softly blown rubber in the forefoot to aid in traction. While not for competitive racing, the Run 4 will keep its grip on the road--and that grip will stay thanks to the durability of the rubber outsole, ensuring that the lugs won’t become worn down until after many miles are put on them.
Having learned their lesson with the Run 3, which featured an all-mesh upper, Reebok wisely added leather-like overlays to the upper in the Run 4--although these don’t hamper the shoe’s flexibility. With its sandwich mesh, the upper has kept its flexibility--and breathability--while the new overlays act more as accents to the aesthetic rather than as a constricting element. In addition, the cut between the midfoot and forefoot on the outsole provides a much-needed flexibility for runners looking to switch their stride up on runs.
For all its merits, one thing the Pheehan Run 4 is not is advanced: it has the entry-level runner in mind, and to keep its affordable price not all of the tech that would normally be present in a higher end trainer is in there. Although it provides good arch support and comfortable but responsive cushioning, this is not a stability shoe
. Not that it has much fault in this area, but this is not one of the key features of this edition.
The Reebok Pheehan Run 4.0 features a nominal drop of 9mm from heel to toe, which is actually a few millimeters less than standard. For its purpose as a “beginner’s” running shoe, however, this makes sense as it gives the new runner an opportunity to experience what sort of drop may work for them in future shoes without providing too much or little drop for them to experience straight away.
Excellent cushioning that doesn’t deaden responsiveness
Snug fit with an improved lace-up grip thanks to leather-like overlay on the upper
EVA midsole that provides springy support
Affordable pricing for an entry-level running shoe
Surprisingly lightweight trainer given its thick outsole and inner cushioning
If one’s an entry-level runner who’s hesitant about making a significant investment in a higher-end running shoe, or even unsure if running is for them, the Reebok Pheehan Run 4 is the shoe for them. Stripped of the more technical and extravagant elements found in more expensive shoes, the Run 4 still provides the right amount of responsiveness, traction, and comfort needed for an effective training session. With an improved aesthetic over the Run 3, this trainer is ideal for the novice runner looking to break into the pursuit by starting on the sidewalks and roads of their town.