Looks like it’s the last ditch effort to sell the remaining Reebok Nano 7.0’s. Reebok is offering 30% off all of their OUTLET items, including most of the Nano 7.0’s and Speed TR’s. You can get either for as low as $56 before tax!
While I didn’t think the Nano 7.0 was the best shoe, I did like it. For the price, it’s unbeatable!
USE CODE: JULY30
Promo runs from 7/13-7/16
Adidas hit the training market in a big way earlier this year with the CrazyPower TR. In all honesty, they didn’t have to do too much to attract all the sneakerheads already riding the Adidas train. Even though I thought the CrazyPower’s were good shoes, they were a bit boring for my liking and didn’t do enough to pull me away from my current favorite training shoes. Once again out of the blue, the Adidas CrazyTrain Elite popped up on Roadrunnersports.com, much like the CrazyPower’s did. Pretty vague in description once again, but this time around there was a distinguishing feature that set the CrazyTrain’s apart from any training shoe before – Boost.
Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical about the inclusion of a full length Boost midsole on a training shoe. After all, Boost by nature is designed to be soft and comfortable – the antithesis of an effective training shoe. Either way, I knew I had to give it a shot, on one hand because Boost, and on the other because I had a feeling Adidas wouldn’t release their “flagship” training shoe, subpar. Keep in mind, I’m by no means an Adidas Boost mega-fan; I do own Ultraboosts, Pureboosts, and NMD’s, but I don’t think they’re the end all be all shoe.
These quite possibly might be the best looking training shoe of all time.
(In my humble opinion of course.)
The CrazyTrain’s have a distinctly Adidas look about them, similar to Ultraboosts, but it’s like they took the silhouette and pumped them up with PED’s. Though it’s no Primeknit, the one piece “Close-knit” woven upper is comfortable, looks clean and is very flexible. The package feels beefy and rugged for training, but still remains sleek enough looking to wear on the streets. There are bits and pieces of TPU that cover higher wear areas like the toe or places where you need more support, but overall the upper is primarily Close-knit. I think my favorite part of the upper is the rear pull-tab, that’s very much like the one on Ultraboosts. It’s simple, effective, and gives the shoe a more finished and modern look. Construction is on point, my pair had no signs of loose glue or stitching anywhere to be found.
On the bottom, you’ll find an outsole almost identical to the on the women’s CrazyPower trainer, which strikes me as odd because I thought the men’s outsole of that shoe was a little more versatile. The main difference was that the mens had areas where the tread protruded versus the just flat surface of the women’s (and CrazyTrain). Either way, the outsole does a great job in holding whatever surface you’re training on and I never felt like I was at a loss of footing. Another thing that carried over from the women’s outsole is the lip that extends out on the lateral sides of the shoes, giving you a little bit more of a platform without adding bulk. There’s no sign of Adidas’ “Traxion” anywhere, but the rubber feels the same for what it’s worth.
Adidas sizing is typically all over the place, which I think is generally an issue with all the different types of uppers that they use for their shoes. Materials like Primeknit make sizing a little bit more forgiving, whereas the normal NMD upper isn’t quite as. The Close-knit woven upper on the CrazyTrain’s aren’t like either and feels more like a normal shoe upper. Sizing on the CrazyTrain’s run a little bit on the large side, but depending on your foot, it might not warrant a size down. I got these shoes in a 9.5 and I have a little bit of room in the toe area, but with my Morton’s toe, it’s comfortable. If you do not have Morton’s toe, where your second toe is longer than your big toe, size them down a half.
The shape of the shoe most closely resembles the Nike Metcon 2 so overall, I would just say size them exactly the same as that shoe. These are not narrow shoes by any means and they don’t have much in the way of arch support.
My sizing for reference:
- Ultraboost – 9.5 or 10
- PureBoost – 9.5
- NMD – 10
- CrazyPower – 9.5
- Metcon 3 – 10 (I started sizing this shoe up)
- Metcon 2 – 9.5
- Nano – 10
The burning question in everyone’s mind’s:
“Can Adidas make an effective training shoe, with Boost?”
Honestly, I was a bit skeptical about this myself, but at the end of the day, Boost is just another midsole material that can be made into pretty much any density. It’s made to be responsive and it’s Boost “pellets” are supposed to deform more naturally to fit your feet. The degree in which the Boost cushions in the CrazyTrain’s is the real question, and how they could stiffen up the rest of the chassis. Upon first putting your foot into the shoe, you’re going to notice that the insole compresses, but when you start moving around, you’ll find that the midsole doesn’t compress, almost at all. You can compress the Boost on the outer rim of the shoe, but if you try to push down on the inside of the shoe, it doesn’t go anywhere. In no way, can you even compare the stiff Boost in these shoes to the comfortable midsole of the Ultraboost.
So, what’s the point of having Boost in a shoe if it’s not ultra-plush and comfortable? At the end of the day, Boost is a running shoe technology made for high energy return. Running and jumping movements in the CrazyTrain’s feel extremely responsive, better than almost every shoe I’ve tested so far this year. The feeling inside the shoe is similar to the “springy” drop-in midsole of the Nike Metcon 3, but is more comfortable since Boost is more flexible. The midsole does a great job attenuating shock from landings better than most shoes without being cushy, your joints will thank you. Unlike Ultraboost’s, the CrazyTrain’s have more structure that’s created by the TPU midsole casing on the lateral side and the TPU bar on the medial side. Basically, the stiff Boost midsole also has a shell which adds rigidity necessary for a solid training shoe.
Lifting in the CrazyTrain’s feels as solid as it would in minimal shoes, though they are slightly taller than other training shoes. The midsole doesn’t compress even under the heaviest weights, giving you an extremely solid platform to lift with. Blindfolded, you wouldn’t even know these shoes used Boost. The TPU bar doesn’t allow for much flex in the middle area of the shoe and the built in heel counter keeps your foot in place, giving you tons of lateral stability. Also the TPU bar extends into the shoe creating a propulsion plate giving you added acceleration. I’m still waiting on word back from Adidas about the drop, but it couldn’t be anything more than 3-4mm; the shoes feel flat an neutral. UPDATE: Adidas’ training product manager reached out to me, heel lift in these shoes is 6mm, thanks Nora! I was able to work up to all of my 90%+ lifts (385BS, 215Sn, 265CJ) with no issues of stability and nothing in the back of my head telling me to change shoes. When I put the CrazyTrain’s up against some of its top contenders, I found that I liked the way they felt better, almost on par to my favorite training shoes, the Nano 6.0’s. These are serious lifting shoes.
Like all the best lifting shoes out there, where the CrazyTrain’s start to suffer is in running. The wide shape of the shoe feels clunky, but they’re not awful to run because the flexibility of the forefoot. Unlike the CrazyTrain’s running counterparts, these shoes do not have a plush ride at all and the only cushioning you get is the amount from the insole. Even though they’re not soft, the CrazyTrain’s still have a very responsive ride which still works well for sprints, bounding, and the shorter runs found in WOD’s.
Where the CrazyTrain’s really fall behind the pack, is the weight of the shoes. I weighed them at 13oz per a mens 9.5, which is much heavier than it’s peers. Truth be told, I didn’t really notice the weight since the shoes feel so responsive. You’ll definitely notice the weight compared to NoBull’s or Inov-8’s, but not so much against Nano’s or Metcons.
At $140, the CrazyTrain’s retail for a little bit more than most of the top training shoe choices and $20 more than Adidas’ first true training shoe drop, the CrazyPower. Anything with Boost is considered a premium product, the CrazyTrain’s shouldn’t be any different, so it’s not surprising to see the hike in price. Honestly, $10 isn’t such a huge deal to me but some might be put off by this. If you’re an Adidas fan, this isn’t going to be a big deal to you either. Even though the CrazyTrain’s are excellent performing shoes and quite possibly my favorite pick at the moment, they’re not leagues better than their peers. If you’re looking for bang for the buck, you could probably look elsewhere because other top training shoe choices usually still cost less.
To my utter surprise, the CrazyTrain’s ended up being my favorite training shoe of the year so far. They look great and performance is top notch for all things CrossFit, especially in the lifting area, but the most important thing is that they just feel good. Including Boost in the shoe seems just like a marketing tool in the case of the CrazyTrain’s, since it doesn’t really work like it does on Adidas’ other shoes. Hearing that is going to turn Boost-heads off, but will turn serious lifters on to these shoes. Big ups to Adidas for not making a shoe with Boost that you weren’t able to train in, just to make sales. This shoe legitimizes Adidas stance in the training shoe game (which might be good for Reebok at the end of the day).
Since Reebok’s Nano 6.0’s are still out of the picture, I can’t really recommend them anymore. Right now, the Adidas CrazyTrain’s are riding at the top of my favorite training shoe list. If you’re still skeptical of a Boosted training shoe, try them out! RoadRunnerSports.com offers a 90-day trial period, but I’m sure you’ll be just as surprised (in a good way) about the performance of the CrazyTrains.
I hate running.
I suck, at running.
CrossFit seems to be the fitness program people that hate running gravitate towards because our cardio is really just lifting weights faster. Sometimes you’ll see some gymanstic movements thrown in there, some kettlebells, maybe some rowing and hell, maybe even some short runs; but nothing really long enough to warrant the use running shoes. Except one workout, that is more like a CrossFit holiday than a normal holiday, that happens every Memorial Day. You guessed it – “Murph”, if you’re not quite sure what the workout is, then you’ve never done it before. It consists of 1 mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squat, finished by another mile run (with a weight vest). While that doesn’t sound like a ton of running, to Crossfitters it is; especially ones that suck at running.
Typically, I do my running in training shoes that just have a little bit more cushion and flexibility. My current favorites being the Strike-Movement Intervals, Skechers Go-Train Endurance, and Inov-8 F-Lite 195’s. I caught on to the barefoot thing early on and while I don’t consider myself a great runner but I do my best to run with mid-foot strike, and avoid heel striking, though I over-supinate a little. It wasn’t until maybe a couple years ago when the Reebok Cushion 3.0’s came out, that I bought into another pair of actual running shoes. They were what I did “Murph” in last year and they were okay, but I thought they lacked a little bit of structure (I’ve heard of durability issues as well). This year, I decided to set out to find a good pair of running shoes to make my workout more, “comfortable”. I could definitely do the workout in training shoes like most people do, but this gives me a good excuse to buy another pair of shoes. Luckily for me, Reebok had just dropped the Harmony Road, a shoe that was designed to cement Reebok as a legitimate contender in the running shoe world.
Running shoes will look like running shoes and the Harmony Road are no different. There are luxury “running” shoes out there that are more style than substance, but they don’t count if you’re not going to actually run in them. The bulbous looks of the HR’s are not going to win any style contests but that’s not really the aim of the shoe. The current selection of colorways go from meh-fine, to hell no. I initially went with the alloy/wild orange, but when I got them I knew immediately I’d never wear them so I held off a bit until they released the slightly more palatable solid grey/solar yellow. To be fair, most running shoes just aren’t very pretty shoes in general. At least the reflective bits serve a purpose in upping your visibility at night so drivers won’t hit you.
Where the Harmony Road lack in looks, they make up in comfort and build quality. The Smoothfuse seamless synthetic mesh upper feels robust and gently envelops your foot. I haven’t tried it, but you could probably go running in these shoes without socks on without tearing your feet up. Other than their CrossFit line of products, some of the shoes that Reebok makes can sometimes have lower quality materials. The Harmony Road does not fall victim to this and I would say that this might be one of the best built shoes they make, period. There’s no loose glue, the stitching is perfect, and the materials seem like they’re meant to take a beating. I didn’t try the OSR Sweet Road, but I think it’s safe to say that these are Reebok’s flagship running product.
Typically, I wear a size 10 in Reebok CrossFit Nano’s, but I’d say my normal shoe size is more of a 9.5, which is what I got my Harmony Road’s in. The fit is dead on with about a thumbs distance from the front of the shoe to my toes; plenty of room for my toes to splay without touching the front. There’s plenty of width in the toe-box and not much of the way of contouring inside the shoe so these shoes should suit a number of different shaped feet. It’s really easy to get a nice locked down fit with the simple lacing system but there is also the option to lace lock if you needed a little bit more security for your heel; though I never had any issues with heel slip. These shoes run true to size and I would recommend sizing them as you would your normal running shoes, or half down from your Nano’s. Here are my sizes for reference:
- Nano – 10
- Metcon – 9.5
- Speed TR – 9
- NMD/Ultraboost – 10
- New Balance – 9.5
- Inov-8 – 10
Here’s where you can take my advice with a grain of salt if you’re a runner, but if you’re a Crossfitter, you might take some of this to heart.
The key feature of the Harmony Road is their tri-zone midsole with “Kooshride”, in which it basically absorbs shock through it’s three layered zones. If you look under the shoe, you can actually see the “Kooshride” layer, that looks like those beads kids used to iron designs with. Another thing to notice is just how much heel cushioning there is, that combined with a 10mm offset really make these shoes look like they’re geared towards heel striking. Coming from running in training shoes, the Harmony Road’s are like heaven on my feet, even with a mid-foot strike. They provide excellent cushioning and energy return, but still feel like there’s structure and stability to the shoe. It actually didn’t take me a ton of effort to adjust from wearing trainers with a flatter drop to the much larger one of the Harmony Road.
I started running a 5k every Sunday for the last month in preparation for Murph, and while I’m still not a great runner, I can at least go the whole 3 miles without stopping, which is a pretty big accomplishment to me. The ride in the Harmony Road’s is smooth and feels consistent with each step. The best way I can make the analogy is that running in the Harmony Roads feels like driving a Honda Accord: reliable, designed to be driven at normal speeds, but has excellent response and handling with superb comfort. I did notice is that the size of the heel and drop can actually drive you to heel strike if you get lazy, but you get much better propulsion running off your mid-foot, which almost feels rewarding when you’re tired. It’s almost like having a built in form check.
Some people have said the “Kooshride” feels like Adidas’ Boost, but I don’t actually think so; it’s much more stable and less squishy feeling. Stable enough so that I got through the 300 squats in Murph without being annoyed that my feet didn’t feel planted, which is one of my pet peeves in shoes. While there isn’t a ton of lateral stability since they’re a bit tall and the drop is gigantic, I still feel like I could do most metcons in the Harmony Road’s. I wouldn’t go as far as to do any kind of Olympic or power lifts, but they should be fine for swinging kettlebells, jumping on boxes or doing burpees. Traction seems best on asphalt, which is befits the name. I tried the HR’s on a tightly packed dirt trail and they didn’t seem to “catch” as well as they did on the sidewalk, making me have to expend a little more energy.
I weighed the shoes at 11.08 oz per a men’s 9.5, which sounds heavy for a running shoe, but is pretty normal coming from training shoe. The shoes even have a heavy look about them because they just look like there’s a lot of material on the shoe. These shoes aren’t designed to be racing shoes, though they do make a version for that, which I had initially tried, but they were too narrow and the quality seemed sub-par. Since they are running shoes, I shouldn’t have to say they’re extremely flexible, but just in case you were wondering, they are! The flexibility makes the Harmony Road feel a lot less lighter and less clunky than they actually are.
The Harmony Road’s go for the pretty standard performance shoe rate of $120, which is around what I was ready to spend. I know a lot of people are still shocked to see Reebok shoes that aren’t CrossFit shoes go for over a Benjamin, but these shoes are ones that are actually worth it. The build quality is among the best in the shoe world and the performance has far exceeded any running shoe that I’ve used (to be fair, not many). Though I still think that they’re in need of some MUCH better colorways, the Harmony Road’s fit comfortably, are built like tanks, and are the best performing running shoe I’ve had the chance to wear. Maybe I’m getting better at running because I kind of look forward to it now. Hell, maybe I’ll run an actual marathon.
If you’ve been following the 2017 Regionals, these are the shoes that most of the Reebok athletes have been wearing for the variation of Murph. They’re probably better athletes than me, and out of all the shoes they have access to, they picked the Harmony Road; so I must not be the only one that’s impressed. Oh and back to “Murph”, I PR’d my time at 46:28 from somewhere around an hour, granted I did it partitioned with a weight vest versus straight up without. The thing I’m really proud of is not stopping during my runs. I’m not dropping CrossFit for running any time soon, but having a great pair of shoes to run in makes me hate running a lot less. If you’re looking to improve your running game, give the Harmony Road’s a shot, you might end up wanting to run more often too.
We’ve been at a standstill in training shoes for quite some time now, not a ton of technology has really changed. Not that the formula didn’t work, but we’ve really just had the same shoes with different brands on it. It’s just the beginning of the year but 2017 is looking to change all of that. As the sport of fitness evolves, so does the footwear we require. Interestingly enough, we’re starting to see a departure from the rigid, flat soled shoes into shoes that are a little more geared towards all around performance, with running included. Not that you couldn’t run in flat shoes of old, but they were a little clunky and athletes nowadays are required to be more agile than ever.
Late last year, I reviewed the Inov-8 F-Lite 235v2, which I loved. It has all the makings of a great training shoe: zero drop, flexibility, lightweight, and dense midsole. I don’t mind running in them, but like all wide and rigid trainers, they can be a little choppy to run in. Leave it to the masterminds at Inov-8 to shake up the formula with the All-Train 215 by fusing their roots in all-terrain running shoes and training shoes to make one of the best all around trainers of the year.
Honestly, Inov-8 trainers have never been my favorite shoes to look at since the 195. While the 235 and 250 are great performing shoes, their blocky aesthetic and choice of color combinations are probably the biggest reasons why they haven’t really taken off with the mainstream. I don’t really think they care that much to appeal to everyone, but having attractive shoes isn’t a bad thing. The All-Train 215’s are the best looking shoe silhouette that Inov-8 has come up with, period. They look like the spiritual successor to the ever so popular 195 – not overdone, sleek with a little bit of tactical badassery. Most of the colorways fit the design of the shoe and aren’t really outlandish, but this is still an area I think Inov-8 could work on a little bit. When in doubt, just get black.
Build quality is the typical, excellent quality of Inov-8 shoes though one might initially mistake them for being built cheap because they’re so lightweight weighing in at just 7.5oz/215 grams per shoe. Inov-8 keeps things flexible compared to a lot of the other brands out there with a more normal synthetic and mesh upper. One question might be long term durability, but I don’t think any of us have had these shoes long enough to comment on that. They survived a few rope climbs here and there, but who knows what they’ll look like after a hundred or so.
Inov-8 shoes run small on me, so I went with a size US10. I would always recommend just going with the EU size since I think the sizing is a little more accurate that way, in which case I wear an EU43. Compared to the 235’s, the 215’s feel a little bit more fitted since the shape is more like a running shoe, which I prefer over the more boxy toe. I wouldn’t say the 215’s are narrow shoes, but they’re more so than the 235’s just mainly at the toe. Here are my sizes for reference:
- 215/235v2 – 10
- Nano 6/7 -10
- Metcon – 9.5
- Ultraboost – 9.5-10
- Boots – 8.5
- WL Shoes – 9-9.5
Are they running shoes or are they training shoes? They’re both.
The 215’s aren’t marketed as “cross fitness” shoes (which I’m using them for), but rather as a more general training/HIIT gym shoe. It seems that Inov-8 is trying to attract a broader/different audience with the 215’s, or even new grassroots fitness communities, since ours isn’t so much of one anymore. Either way, the 215’s still work excellent for what we do as “cross fitnessers”.
Before receiving the shoes, I was thinking that they might not be good to lift in because of the way they’re marketed. The biggest difference from the 235 is the midsole construction, in that the 215 use an injection molded Fusion EVA midsole rather than a compressed one. While it’s similar in height and drop to the F-Lite 250 (20mm heel/12mm forefoot/8mm drop), the overall feel is different since the 235 and 250 both use the stiffer CMEVA Powerheel. You’ll notice that steps in the 215 have a little bit more “bounce” and are cushioned more, which favor running and plyometric movements, but that doesn’t exactly make them running shoes, as they’re still very responsive for lifting.
One thing that takes a little bit of getting used to is the forward bias caused by having the larger drop. On the 250’s, you can anchor down more on the heel of the shoe since it doesn’t compress, where you might notice your feet sliding a little forward more in the 215’s due to the slightly more compressible midsole. Even though the majority of the cushioning is at at the heel of the shoe, it doesn’t give enough to detract from most lifts. I’d still use my 235’s for 1RM deadlifts or backsquats, but I felt comfortable enough to do all of my percentage lifting in the 215’s.
Where the 215’s shine the most is in the name: All-Train. These aren’t shoes designed just for lifting, they’re for everything in the fitness world. If you want to go on a trail run, then hit the gym for some lifting, and maybe even go on a swim – the All Train 215’s are the shoe for you. For me, they’re one of the most complete WOD shoes available. They have just enough cushioning to keep my feet comfortable for runs I’m doing in WODs, but I wouldn’t be afraid to wear them for up to a few miles. Since WOD’s don’t typically have 1RMs in them, they’ve been stable for all the lifting I’m doing in a WOD. They’re probably best suited for workouts with a fair amount of plyometric movements since they’re so flexible and most of all, lightweight. You’ll barely even feel like you have shoes on, except that the outsole lug pattern gives you excellent footing no matter what the surface is, asphalt, gravel, rubber or wood. For most people, you’ll never need another pair of training shoes!
The All-Train 215’s retail for $110, but you can usually find them slightly discounted if you shop around. At MSRP they’re a steal, but if you can get them cheaper, it’s a no brainer. The All-Train 215’s are currently one of the best deals in training shoes.
I typically favor shoes that are just rigid, flat and favor weightlifting, but it’s impossible to not like the 215’s. If you were a fan of the 195, or more so the 240/230’s, you will no doubt be a fan of the 215. These shoes return to the greatness (not that they ever left) that were the original Inov-8 cross-training shoes. There are better lifting shoes and there are better running shoes, but there are very few shoes that have combined the two as well into a training shoe like the All-Train 215’s. If you’re a cross-fitnesser looking for a WOD shoe and you do your lifting in Oly shoes, or if you’re just someone looking for a damned good pair of training shoes, this is the one.