Neither ‘keeper was tested in the 90 minutes, the goalless draw was turgid.
Charlie Adam was given a nice welcome on his first return to the Club since his summer departure, with all four corners of the bet365 Stadium applauding him as he was replaced.
Sam Vokes was given an opening just two minutes in when Allen picked him out, only for the Welshman to find the empty seats behind the goal.
Stoke did have the ball in the net with 30 minutes gone, but Tom Ince was offside before he got the final touch. Ince was close to his second goal of the season just before the break when his long range effort went just wide of the Reading goal.
In the second half, there remained little in the match despite the pressure from the home side, with the Royals utilising the counter-attack, luckily to little effect.
McClean looped a header into the Boothen End but there still remained time for a breakthrough. A good challenge from Smith prevented Reading sub Garath McCleary from having a shot on goal, but the Royals continued to be toothless too.
As the minutes ticked by, there appeared little chance that either side was going to find the back of the net on a very cold afternoon in Stoke and so it proved.
Middlesbrough are next for Stoke with another crucial fixture on Friday as they remain in the bottom three of the Championship.