Tag Archives: best crossfit shoes

Skechers GoTrain Endurance Shoe Review

What started out as a pseudo joke review, ended up with me actually really enjoying these shoes. I, like many of you guys out there, am kind of a shoe snob, never to be caught dead wearing Skechers…until now. At the end of the day, all that really matters in a training shoe is if it works for you and the Skechers will definitely have an audience to cater to. Not only do they cost much less than any of the bigger brands, they’re far superior when it comes to comfort running and jumping. Durability is excellent so far as I really tried to grind them down from climbing ropes, which they’re excellent at. They’re not shabby lifters either, but obviously there are better options. Still, at the end of the day, I can actually say I recommend the GoTrain Endurance. I know I’ll be keeping mine around until they blow up.

Get  your Skechers GoTrain Endurance Here!

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LALO Tactical Maximus Grinder & Bloodbird Shoe Review

After TONs of requests, I finally got around to doing a review on some LALO Tactical shoes. I heard about these shoes a LONG time ago, but just never felt like they would fit my training purposes, so I never tried them. At the end of the day, I think they’re decent shoes, but just not optimal for my type of training. The Bloodbirds are great running/all terrain shoes, but the Maximus’ more closely fit a CrossFit WOD where you need stability, but also the ability to move. I’m actually surprised that the Maximus’ work as well as they do!

Asics Conviction X Shoe Review

C’mon Asics, you’re killin’ me with these ridiculous names for your shoes. I forgive you for “Met-Conviction” and I know you have to name it’s successor something similar…but Conviction X?!

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Now that I have that off my chest…Last year when I checked out Asics first actual CrossFit offering, I was impressed but it wasn’t enough to pull me away from the excellent Nano 6.0 and Metcon 2. Still, for a first attempt, they got a lot of things right and I didn’t mind wearing them throughout my test period. My main issues with the shoe were that it was a bit narrow and while being close to the ground, the cushioning felt a little weird. Still, it was lightweight, flexible, stable enough and looked great.

I don’t think it’s even been a year since the Met-Conviction came out, but Asics dropped the successor, the Conviction-X  in late January; following suit with the bigger name shoe makers. Which, I think is a bit odd because it just ended up getting lost in the hype behind the Nano, Metcon and CrazyPower. Things are finally starting to die down as far as shoe releases go, letting me really just focus on using the Conviction-X’s. I’m surprised to say the least, these are one of the better ones to come out in World War Shoe.

Looks/Construction:

To me, Asics shoes pretty much all look alike, or at least resemble each other closely. It’s probably due to the huge Asics logo on the side, but it works and the Asics look is always distinguishable. The Conviction-X’s are not a bad looking shoe by any means, they’re definitely a plain looking one though. Right now, there are only 3 (boring) colorways for the men and 2 for the women so it’s pretty obvious that the Conviction’s are still somewhat of an experimental shoe.

Build quality is on the better side of things. The upper is “seamless” in design with their abrasion and tear resistant “RhynoSkin” synthetic leather blending into the mesh parts of the toe-box. The lateral side of the shoe has the Asics logo that is textured in the same fashion the medial side is, presumably to enhance grip on the rope, though it’s probably too shallow to do so. The tongue is light and is mainly made of breathable mesh, but it also has a pocket in the front to tuck your laces away, like the “Pleasure pocket” on Strike-Movement’s shoes. Which is awesome because the laces are absurdly long.

The outsole of the shoe uses Asics high abrasion rubber throughout the entire bottom of the shoe with a crazy texture that is extremely grippy on any surface. Not to mention, it’s also very dense, flat, and doesn’t give much at all. At the heel of the shoe, it’s 10mm in height and drops down 4mm to 6mm at the front of the shoe, making the Conviction X a very low to the ground feeling shoe, but not as much as the Met-Conviction. The insole is also removable, but the one included is nicely perforated and also surprisingly stiff, so you’d probably want to keep that it in. The Conviction X’s also follow the external TPU heel counter trend, which does a pretty good job keeping your heel from sliding around much.

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Fit:

Asics must have changed the last the shoe was made on because the Met-Convictions in a side 9.5US/43.5EU were tight on me; so I opted for a 10US/44EU Conviction X this time around. I have probably 3/4 of an inch between my toes and the front of the shoe this time around, so I’d say the Conviction X’s are probably a little bit more true to size. Though they look like narrow shoes, the width is actually pretty close to the same as Metcon’s. I could be saying that because my shoes are a little big, but I don’t think the width would vary too much. I’d say size these shoes like you would Metcon’s or your normal running shoes.

My sizes for reference:

  • Nano – 10
  • Metcon – 9.5
  • Chucks – 9
  • Romaleos 3 – 9.5
  • Legacy – 9
  • Most boots – 8.5

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Performance:

Would you believe it if I told you that these shoes have one of the stiffest heels of any training shoe out there? Sounds crazy, right? Well, they do. Imagine my surprise, coming from all of the “serious” training shoes to the Conviction-X! I would say the density of the midsole and heel most closely resemble the Nano 7.0’s extremely rigid heel, which I thought made it the best best shoe to lift in. Even though, my pair is on the large side and that leads to my foot sliding forward when I do any dynamic lifts, the Conviction X’s stability when I get planted, is top-notch. Doing squats where I could get a better setup, led the Convictions to be some of the most stable training shoes out there. Even with my feet sliding around, response is excellent and I’d never guess the ability to transfer force to the ground, which mind-blowing considering most people are going to see these shoes as a second rate training shoe; the platform is just that solid!

Usually in other shoes with stiff platforms, flexibilty suffers quite a bit, but this is also where the Conviction’s excel! The forefoot is extremely flexible and moves with your feet well. Bounding on your toes for double unders is comfortable as well as responsive in the Conviction’s. Box jumps are stable with the outsole providing excellent grip on wood. Most of all, running can be done comfortably as long as you’re good about pose running. Since the outsole is stiff, the shoes can still be choppy if you heel strike, but that’s how it is in most training shoes that are great lifters.

Where the Conviction’s might suffer the most, is the weight of the shoes. They’re not heavy, but they’re not light either at 11.3 oz per shoe. They fall in line around where the Metcon 3 and Nano 7’s are, but keep in mind they’re very flexible and responsive. They feel a lot lighter than they are.

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Value/Conclusion:

At $120, the Conviction X’s are going to be an extremely tough sell against the bigger name shoe makers.That’s not to say the Conviction’s aren’t worth the money, because they totally are. It just is what it is, and I think by decreasing the price, Asics would also be decreasing the perceived value of  the Conviction X; a double edged sword. Granted, you can find the Conviction’s retailing for a mere $88 dollars on Amazon right now.

Out of all the shoes I’ve reviewed in the last couple months, the Asics Conviction X’s are definitely the most surprising, in a good way. They have all the features to keep up and even best the top brands in most areas. Take my word for it, you won’t be going out on a limb trying these shoes out. If the shoes match your style, you like the colorways, you like the brand, you want something different, or you just want a damned good performing shoe – check out the Conviction X.

Get your Asics Conviction X here!

Under Armour Charged Legend TR Review

Under Armour gets SO many things right in the Charged Legend TR’s, but sadly they miss the most important thing…an incompressible midsole. UA opted to go the same route as Nike with a drop-in midsole, which would be great if they made replacements that were stiffer, but the one that comes in the shoe is just too soft for any serious lifting. Also the arch support is very high causing my feet to get destroyed in any workout with a lot of bounding. Otherwise, the shoe has a flat, grippy outsole, great fit, understated looks, and the upper feels rugged enough. If they could fix that single issue with the midsole, the Charged Legends would be legendary!

 

New Balance Minimus 40 Trainer Review (MX40v1)

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Long before I even got into CrossFit, I somehow got into minimalist shoes. My buddy had gone to REI and picked up a pair of Vibrams, so I followed suit. Back in the globo days, I wore Vibrams and my New Balance Minimus MT20’s religiously. The whole thought process of training your feet to be stronger made a lot of sense to me, even if it was all a hoax at the end of the day. Still, my big takeaway from all that was that cushion was not good for power output; the more “support” you have, the harder it is to exert power to the ground. Since you can’t always actually goto the gym barefoot, you’d want as dense “protection” as possible but not so soft that it would create too much of a barrier between you and whatever you’re pressing against.

In an ideal world, we’d all just be lifting, but in the real world, fitness is multi-faceted. In functional fitness, you have to be able to do anything, at anytime, and that includes running. This introduces a huge issue, comfortable running shoes are bad lifting shoes, and effective lifting shoes are horrible running shoes. Many companies have tried to come up with a solution for both, but most have failed, until now. New Balance has come up with the best blend of comfort and stability in a cross-trainer yet with the Minimus 40, and they don’t look half bad either.

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Looks/Construction:

New Balance had always tended to have an understated look with their shoes and the Minimus 40’s are no exception. Understated does not mean shoes have to be ugly, and while the Minimus 40’s are simple in design, they’re far from ugly. There are no gaudy logos, no crazy prints, and all but just excellent color combinations. The lines of the shoe keep it modern looking without being too silly; these shoes are made to look like they’re actually capable of doing work. One thing that will never change is the unmistakable “N” logo that adorns the side of the shoe. People have said that these shoes look like Metcon 3’s, but in all actuality Metcon’s look like the Minimus 40 since the New Balances came out first.

The uppers found on the Minimus line of training shoes have been decent, but always bit on the thin side. I thought the MT20’s were some of the best constructed shoes I’ve owned. After I retired those, I picked up a pair of MX20v3’s because I thought they looked cool, but they just felt a bit flimsy. Never did I go hard on them because I was always worried they would not stand up to the test of CrossFit. The Minimus 40 brings a refreshed no-sew woven synthetic mesh upper to the Minimus line that not only flexes extremely well, but is comfortable to wear with or without socks, and is resistant to abrasion. Couple that with the flexible Vibram outsole that should be as durable as the upper (though I don’t have any long term durability tests.) and you’ve got a shoe that is nothing less than confidence inspiring for all the rigors of CrossFit training. All the materials are top notch, the shoe actually feels like it’s worth it’s cost now.

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Fit/Comfort:

My original MT20’s were a size 9 and fit like a glove, but I always wore them without socks. Since then, I think my feet have somehow grown a bit from all the squatting I’ve done over the years. My last pair of MX20v3’s were a size 9.5 but did not accommodate my Morton’s toe well, so with the Minimus 40’s, I went up to a size 10. The fit for me is slightly long, but I would say they’re comfortable. If you don’t have Morton’s toe, size them your normal training shoe size. Though New Balance’s offer different width shoes, they generally fit on the more narrow side of things and the Minimus 40’s are no exception. This is something that you might want to take into account if you’re coming from Metcon’s or Nano’s, because those shoes are very wide in comparison. Here are my sizes for comparison:

  • Metcon – 9.5
  • Nano – 10
  • WL Shoes – 9
  • NoBull – 10
  • Chucks – 9
  • Boots – 8.5

Comfort isn’t necessarily one of the things at the top of my list when I look for training shoes; my number one priority is that I’m able to lift efficiently in the shoes. Over the years, my feet have gotten much more tolerant and used to not having any kind of cushion when I run, in fact – I prefer it that way. Call me crazy, but all “support” ends  up doing is make my feet work harder to stabilize when bounding, which causes them to ache. This was a huge problem that I had in the Nike Metcon DSX Flyknit. It still happens to a lesser extent, but I can deal with it as it doesn’t usually set in until late into a workout. That being said, it’s nice to have a little bit of impact deadening so my knees don’t get wrecked afterwards. New Balance’s Rapid Rebound foam makes for an easier ride, and paired with the REVLite heel, the Minimus 40 are firm enough training shoe at the same time.

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Performance:

When I first put on the Minimus 40, I thought to myself “There’s no way I can train in these, they’re too soft!”…how wrong I was. As I mentioned earlier, I judge my training shoes on their ability to be a lifting shoe and usually the more comfortable the shoe, the worse it is to lift in. You might think this too initially, but that’s why we need to try things out, because you never know what you’re gonna get. Though the insole and midsole combination compresses, it doesn’t go down very far due to the low midsole height and fairly solid Vibram outsole. Power delivery is excellent, rivaling even the most stiff soled shoes out there. The insole/midsole might feel a bit squishy, but at the end of the day, stability is almost as good as it is in any of the best training shoes out there. So much so, that I was able to PR my snatch hitting the 225 milestone. I’m not saying the shoes helped me hit that lift, but they certainly didn’t interfere either.

 


With all Minimus shoes, the 40’s are neutral and have a 4mm drop that actually feels flatter than it is. Pair the measley 10oz per shoe weight with the Rapid Rebound midsole and you’ve got one of the most responsive rides in a cross-trainer. New Balance’s claims that the Minimus 40’s are a new approach to training footwear, is entirely accurate as they never become too harsh for running, or too plush for lifting. They’re responsive yet comfortable enough to rebound box jumps, flexible enough for multiple burpees, and a more than stable enough platform that will never let you down when you need to pick up something heavy. I abhor shoes that have too much “support” because it usually ends up with my feet becoming excruciatingly sore after trying to find balance after repeated bounding. My support comes from ground feel, which the Minimus 40 never lack.

Can you run in them? Absolutely, they happen to be now one of my favorite shoes to comfortably do running WOD’s in, all while remaining stable enough to hit lifts in. I prefer neutral runners that don’t force your feet anywhere, so the Minimus 40’s stable, responsive, yet still “plush enough” platform is perfect for me. These are the kind of shoe that you would want to wear for a workout like “Helen”. At the end of the day, they’re still training shoes, if you want to run distances, get some running shoes, but if you’re looking for an all around metcon shoe the Minimus 40’s are one of the best choices. Take notes bigger brands.

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Value/Conclusion:

It’s really hard to tear people away from Nike and Reebok, especially when you’re not typically known as the “cool” brand (Exception: 247’s!). Retailing at around the same price ($120), the Minimus 40’s are definitely worth the look for anyone looking for a great performing and great looking shoe that can pretty much do it all. I’m not keen to giving up any kind of power output for comfort but New Balance has successfully come closer to finding the balance between comfort and rigidity in a fitness shoe to date. I’ve used a lot of shoes, liked a bunch, disliked even more, but I’ll  definitely be using my Minimus 40’s for a long time after this review.

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