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Reebok ZQuick TR Review

I know what you’re thinking…”Where’s the Crossfit Lite TR review?!”…Don’t worry, it’s coming.  I want to do something a little different with that one, so I’m going to hold off on it for a little bit.  But if you really can’t wait, the Lite TR is probably my new favorite crossfit shoe.

In the meantime, I brought you the super duper quick review of the abysmal Reebok Crossfit Sprint TR.  I really wanted to like it, because I think it’s one of the better looking designs that Reebok has come up with, but it’s narrow unstable platform is unacceptable.  Interestingly enough, I had ordered the Reebok ZQuick TR’s to just have as a comparison shoe to the Sprint TR, but ended up feeling like it was the superior shoe!  Right after the unboxing, I put the ZQuick on my left and the Sprint on my right.  I was blown away by how much more stable and solid the platform of the ZQuick was over the Sprint.  My decision to send back the Sprint took all of 30 minutes and I don’t regret it one bit.

ZQuick TR

Looks:

If Nano’s, Sprint’s and Speeds got together and made a love child, this would be it.  The ZQuick TR sports the same kind of Duracage material touted as “Nanoweb”,  found on the Nano 3.0’s and Sprints, but has more of a “Spider-Man” type webbing pattern to it.  It feels the same to the touch, but this pattern probably lends itself to better flexibility of the shoe while maintaining its protective properties.  I personally LOVE the way they look; very sleek and high tech looking in the black colorway.  The Reebok logo on the side is a little big for my tastes, taking away from the overall neat look of the shoe, but I like the delta logo so I’ll give that a pass.  There are a couple of reflective strips on the backs of the shoes for night time running, not that I do running.   Not a fan of the inside, rear part of the shoe that is not covered by the Nanoweb, I don’t know why this part isn’t covered but it looks a little cheap-o.  The fabric is the same kind that they use on the Reebok ONE Trainer, versus the heavier kind they use on Nano’s.

ZQuick TR Details

Performance:

The workout today included burpees, box jumps, and power snatches.  Not one time did I think twice about the shoe I was wearing.  This is a good thing.  The more I can focus on my WOD and less on what shoes I’m wearing, the better.  My biggest gripe about the Nano Speeds were that they were laterally unstable, due to the amount of cushioning in them.   I’m not a fan of running in normal Nano’s and sometimes the toebox isn’t long enough.  The Sprint’s were too narrow and tall for any training, possibly even for running.  There isn’t a single thing that I feel like I wouldn’t be comfortable doing in the ZQuick TR’s.  It has enough support, stability, flexibility and lightness to make it one of the most versatile shoes for crossfit.  And yes, it handles the rope just fine.  Let’s be honest; Yes,  it’s a rip off of Nike Free’s.  Where it differentiates itself from Free’s is that the platform is solid, not overly soft but not brutally minimal either, yet still just as flexible.  Looks like all that tech from Nano’s is starting to trickle down…

Weight is 8.5 grams.  That’s light.  Not so sure about the heel to toe drop or height, but it feels very similar to Nano’s, possibly millimeters taller.

ZQuick TR Instep

Fit:

Instantly comfortable.  The toebox is nice and roomy and the shoe is pointed rather than flat up front, so that your second toe doesn’t jam into the front (i.e. Nano).  Unlike the Sprint TR, the midfoot isn’t tightrope skinny, but it’s not Chuck Taylor wide either; your foot feels like its being cradled inside the shoe.  The removable Ortholite insole adds a nice amount of padding, similar to Nano’s. I would even dare to say it’s the same.  My normal Reebok sizing worked fine for me, size 9’s fit me like a glove.

ZQuick TR Bottom

Value:

At 90 bucks, I’d have a hard time recommending Nano’s over these to the casual crossfitter.  Hell, at that price, the ZQuick TR is a worthy addition to just about any level crossfitters shoe arsenal.  If you’re an L-1 and part of the ReebokONE program, it’s a MUST BUY.  The Reebok ZQuick TR handily replaces the ONE Trainer as the best deal in crossfit (without even being a crossfit shoe), for everyone besides the very wide footed.

Conclusion:

This is the shoe that the Nano Speed’s and the Sprint TR’s should have been.  I’m actually glad that this shoe doesn’t don the crossfit name though, because that would have driven the price of this shoe up.  Look past the ZQuick’s copy cat ways and you’ll find a well made, capable shoe for all your crossfit or cross-training needs, at a fraction of the price of some of the more popular choices.

Review: Reebok Crossfit Sprint TR (Updated: 7/5)

Sprint TR

 

The reason this review is a “first impression” review, is because I literally just got the shoes in, tried them on, walked around, and packed them back up to return. I had much higher hopes for these shoes. For the sake of the readers, I’ll put up anything rather than nothing at all.  I’ve had enough pairs of crossfit shoes by now to know what differentiates a good one from a bad one…and well you can guess what category the Sprints fall into. I’m just going to make a list on the pro’s and con’s.

Pros:

  • They look really cool.
  • The sole is actually pretty hard and grippy.

Cons:

  • The mid foot way too narrow!  I don’t have Flinstone feet or anything, but I feel like my arches are falling out of these shoes.
  • The insole is SUPER cushioned.  Would not be good for lifting.
  • Not only is the shoe too narrow, it’s TALL.  Feels unstable, think walking on a tight rope.
  • More expensive than speeds, 2.0’s, and most Inov-8s.
  • The laces are really cheap feeling.  The laces that come on the ZQuick TR’s are WAY nicer and heavier duty.

Save some money and go with the (excellent!) Reebok ONE ZQuick TR’s.  Expect a full review on those soon, they’re the shoe that the Sprint’s should have been.

EDIT 7/5:

Reebok had a sale on these shoes so I decided to give them another go. This time I sized up to a 9.5. to compensate for the narrow midfoot.  It helped a little bit, but now I have excess space up where my toes are…not that much but it bugs me that there’s some space there.  Well, at least it made the shoes usable to me, which is a good thing, since the shoes aren’t THAT bad after-all.

Looks:

I really dug the looks of the Sprint TR’s.  They’ve got the whole Duracage construction going on, with all the CrossFit design on them, but they never come off too gaudy.  They look a lot more like a running shoe than a trainer, for obvious reasons.  I can’t comment much about the color schemes, I went with red/grey just because that’s my jam.  They’ve got some interesting other colors, but nothing I would personally go for other than maybe the new red/white/blue (‘mmmmerica) colorway.

 

Sprint TR Instep

Performance/Fit:

Sprint Trainer.  That’s a pretty accurate assessment for these shoes.  They’re a decent trainer, and a better running shoe.  Everything I said in my first impressions still remain true, the midfoot is a little too narrow, the shoes feel a little too tall and the ortholite insoles feel a tad too soft.  The funny thing is, the combination of these things plus the propulsion plate/slanted forefoot area, make for pretty good shoe for metcons  The shoes actually do feel like they’re pushing you forward; quick 200’s and 400’s feel much nicer compared to the wider and flatter Nano’s. Are they the best distance running shoe, I don’t know; the longest I usually go is for a mile run and they’re good enough for that.  What I do know, is that they’re good enough to go from burpees, to box jumps, to wall balls, to a run without missing a step.

Fitment is as stated before. Wider feet should look elsewhere.  Thinking about it now, I would have stuck with the original size 9’s.  My feet aren’t THAT wide, but it did bug me that they were so narrow.  I’ve heard of people breaking them in and them loosening up for a more comfortable fit though.  Size as you’d size your normal Reebok Nano; unless you’re dead set on these shoes and you have wide feet, go for the half size up.

Sprint TR Lining

Value/Conclusion:

At  $115, these would be an accessory shoe for someone that wants a running shoe to go along with their Nano’s or it would be a Nano replacement for those with narrow feet.  I feel like they should go for about $15 less, but that’s just my own opinion.  You can easily find Inov-8’s for a lot less than this, that offer fairly the same performance.  Sure, the Sprint TR’s gimmick actually works (propulsion plate), but I’m not sure if the shoes are a necessity.  They definitely aren’t a bad shoe, I’m just not sure I would take them over some of Reebok’s competing brands.

Sprint TR Bottom Sprint TR ZQuick TR

Rocktape Knee Caps (2.0) Update

If you had read my previous review on the Rocktape Knee Caps, you’d know that I wasn’t such a big fan of them because of their issues with durability.  Mine started falling apart within a month, of light usage no less.  After getting in touch with Rocktape’s customer service, they told me that they stand behind their product no matter where you buy it from. Kudos to that, as I bought mine through a third party merchant on Amazon and wasn’t so sure it was an authorized re-seller that came with a warranty.  I’m pretty sure my original knee caps weren’t counterfeit products though, but Rocktape took care of me no questions asked.  The problem was that it was such a high demand product (still is) that replacements wouldn’t start going out until February.  As promised, it’s February and my replacements are in.  Everywhere still seems to be sold out of them still, extra points for taking care of the customer first!  It would have also been easy to just stick to the original manufacturing, but Rocktape stepped it up and “improved” some of the original design flaws.

Expect a more detailed write-up as I wear them out more.  I just thought I’d go over some of the “improvements”.

 photo DSCF7248_zps3a35c0ba.jpg
Original on the right, 2.0 on the left. Look closely as you can see that the black lining is no longer just a cover for the stitching. It’s actually stitched on now.
 photo DSCF7256_zps4a2f9a00.jpg
Back view. 2.0 left, Original right.
 photo DSCF7259_zpse6614c8b.jpg
Greatly improved stitching on the insides. 2.0 left, Original right. Note the covers peeling off on the originals. Whether or not the lining “bubbles” on the 2.0 is yet to be seen, but the lining does feel the same between the two.

Review: Momentum Gear Elite Aluminum Jump Rope

The road to double-unders can be somewhat of a long and painful journey…

…but finally! You’re there and now you’re looking for a less fatiguing, and speedier rope. The problem is, you don’t want to go out and shell out fifty plus dollars on a jump rope.  You want the performance, but not the price tag?  What’s that?  You’re not so sure about how to size a jump rope and don’t want to get stuck with something with just one size?

I think I have the right rope for you…

The Momentum Gear Elite Aluminum Handle Jump Rope.

Momentum Gear Handles 2

The first thing that you notice when you see this jump rope is it’s unusual pinning method for the ends of the rope.  You loop the rope through the bearing mechanism, versus other ropes using a tightening nut to lock the ends in. Thinking the rope might loosen itself at the ends, I wasn’t so sure about this method.  Through using it, I had no issues and I actually applaud the mechanism for easy adjustment on the fly.  I was able to adjust it for my height and let a smaller, female athlete at my box try it out (she loved it, btw) after without the hassle of getting my tools out.  I would avoid letting too many people use your jump rope though, as the cable will develop multiple kinks in it from adjusting.  Tell ’em to get their own!

Momentum Gear Bearing

Usually there’s a sort of “feeling out” period for me when I get a new jump rope.  Even though I’m fairly proficient at double-unders (DU’s from here on out), every set of handles and cable combinations have their own unique characteristics.  Surprisingly, using both the bare cable and the coated cable, I was able to knock out hundreds of DU’s with ease.  I’m not going to recommend the bare cable in this instance unless you are highly proficient with DU’s.  It just a bit on the lighter end and it just doesn’t provide enough feedback.  The coated cable is still light but feels more similar to the cables used on most other speed ropes.  You shouldn’t notice any kind of performance difference from other top of the line jump ropes.

Momentum Gear Size Comparo

The handles are the star of the show. The bearings right out of the box spin effortlessly fast, smoothly and accurately; they’re also advertised to increase in speed as you “break-in” your rope.  You won’t find any unnecessary heft here, these handles are LIGHT…even lighter than the RPM Rope’s 2.0 handles.  Not to mention they’re only about a few MM’s thicker than a pen.  The anodized aluminum finished handles are easy to hold and don’t fatigue your forearms.  That same female athlete mentioned above went on to say that she really liked that the handles weren’t overly long and bulky, just the right size for her hands.

Momentum Gear Bearing Comparo

Starting at $30 and topping off at $50 for some slick carbon fiber handles, the Momentum Gear elite jump rope is quite the steal when you factor in how well it performs.  The thoughtful adjustable design makes it very user friendly as well as affiliate friendly if you’re going to be supplying ropes to various height athletes.  There are a lot of great ropes on the market and Momentum Gear’s Elite jump rope is as deserving of your attention as some of the pricier options.

Not to mention, they’ll make you look like a bad mother f***** while you’re using them.

Check Momentum Gear out here!

Momentum Gear Handles 1

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