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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!

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Nike Metcon 3 DSX Flyknit Shoes Review

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***Click here for the Nike Metcon 3 Review***

What if we made a shoe that was flexible enough to run and jump in, but stable enough to cut and lift in? That is exactly what the original Metcon 3 is made to do. So what’s the DSX Flyknit for? Running, jumping, cutting, and lifting. Wait, what? Yes, the DSX is made to do the same thing the normal Metcon’s do, just with more of an emphasis on running or jumping, and less on stability. A revolutionary idea, except that it’s not revolutionary at all since Nike’s been making more soft and flexible training shoes all along; not to mention ones in Flyknit.

Personally, I’ve never found any Metcon or functional fitness shoe uncomfortable for the runs we’re doing in any given metcon, including something like “Helen” or even “Murph”. Let’s be real, the max you’re ever going to be running in a WOD is maybe 3 miles (exception: “Dragon”), in which case isn’t even that long of a run. If running that much really bothers you that much, you could wear a running shoe. I’m sure most running shoes are stable enough to do pull-ups, push-ups, and squats in anyways. What makes the Metcon 3’s so good, is that they’re the one stop solution for everything fitness, but most importantly they’re great lifting shoe; so why sacrifice that with the DSX Flyknit?

Looks & Construction:

Metcon’s have always had a distinctive silhouette and the DSX Flyknits though new in material, share the same iconic design. At launch the only color way is the even more iconic original volt/grey/black scheme from the original Metcon 1 and boy did Nike do that shoe justice. The DSX Flyknit is definitely one of the best functional training shoe designs to come out in a long time. They’ve gone and taken the tried and true design of the Metcon and twisted it around in Flyknit flavoring, without going too overboard. All the lines and colors synergize well with each other and while the shoe is somewhat louder than the original, it’s also refined and never too gaudy.

I was skeptical about how the Flyknit material would hold in a Metcon shoe because typically they’ve never fit me spot on, but Nike’s reinforced Flyknit for the DSX fits like a glove. It’s not too loose like the Flyknit Racers were in some spots, but not overly tight like the 3.0 Free’s were (the only Flyknit shoes I had to compare with), and does an excellent job holding your foot in place. I think that’s also partly due to the extended TPU heel counter found at the rear of the shoe, which extends almost halfway to the front of the shoe.

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Like on the standard model Metcon, you still get the TPU heel clip for handstand push-ups, drop-in midsole (6mm drop), sticky rubber outsole and Flywire lacing system. I can’t comment on durability, because it just hasn’t been long enough. I’m sure the shoes will last the rigors of daily life, but I’m not sure I want to see how these shoes look after a few rope climbs though.

Unfortunately the squeaky insole problem returns in the DSX Flyknits. Yes, I know there are a bunch of Mickey Mouse way’s you can go about fixing this, but that’s not the issue. The real issue is how this isn’t already fixed, 3 generations into a shoe.


Fit:

Though the DSX Flyknit shares the same basic platform of the Metcon 3, the upper provides a more fitted feel. Initially they might feel tighter than what you’re used to, but that’s how it should be. Sizing the DSX Flyknit should be the same as it is your normal Metcon’s. Here are some of my sizes for reference:

  • Metcon 3/DSX – 9.5
  • Nano 6.0 – 10
  • Chucks –  9
  • Weightlifting shoes – 9

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Performance:

Besides the Flyknit exterior, the main difference between the Metcon 3 and the DSX is it’s drop-in midsole. Basically what that does is it makes the Metcon’s a more modular system with interchangeable midsole densities, except that you can’t actually go out and shop for new ones by themselves. To me, the midsole in the Metcon 3 was perfect; it was decently flat with a 4mm drop, dense, flexible, decently comfortable, and most importantly stable. The DSX Flyknit has a 6mm drop, greatly increased forefoot flex grooves, and an added articulated cushioning system for comfort for “more miles and reps”.

Initially when you put the shoes on, you’ll feel a little bit taller than if you were to stand in normal Metcon 3’s and the midsole does a pretty good job holding your body weight up. I was surprised to find that the DSX were more stable than I had thought they would be, until you start to lift. If you’re a seasoned Metcon vet, you’ll immediately notice that the platform of the DSX Flyknit’s are inferior for lifting. It doesn’t take a ton of weight to make the new midsole start to compress; I felt like I was pushing, but going no where when squatting a reasonable weight. Olympic lifts start okay, but landings have you jostling with the shoe for the right position. I still consider 6mm generally flat and the outsole is still as grippy as ever, so those couldn’t be where the DSX falter. At the end of the day, I can forgive the DSX Flyknit’s for being a mediocre lifting shoe, because that’s not their intended purpose.

The DSX Flyknits are lighter than the standard models by an ounce, but also more flexible and generally comfortable to walk around in. I spent the whole day walking around the mall with the DSX on and don’t have any complaints as far as breathability or comfort go; they’re great casual shoes. Once you really start get moving in them is when things change. Running in the DSX Flyknits feels just like it does in normal Metcons with the short runs I’ve done; I’m probably not going to go run a 10k with these shoes on, neither will most people, so that’s not something I’m going to test them with. After a workout with 250 double unders and 75 burpees, but my plantar fascia’s felt like they were on freaking fire. I gave the shoes a pass there because that’s going to be hard on your feet in any shoe, but I got that same feeling after a workout with wall balls, snatches and muscle-ups too. I think the idea is great, but the added cushioning does nothing more than make the shoe less responsive, making your feet work overtime trying to find positions; a problem I’ve never had with the more stable Metcon 3’s.

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Value & Conclusion:

Retailing for $160, the DSX Flyknit’s are not a cheap shoe, definitely not one you’re going to want to thrash. So, if the DSX Flyknit’s are uncomfortable and less stable than the normal Metcon 3, but cost $30 more, what’s the point? As a shoe, they’re awesome to look at, well made, generally okay to lift in – globo’ers will love them…but I think most box goers will find that the normal Metcon 3’s are still the way to go.

A Metcon, made for metcons…

Great idea, except when you’re sacrificing what make’s the Nike Metcon’s such an excellent shoe: their stability. Let’s be clear about this, the DSX Flyknits were never meant to be shoes to replace the original Metcon’s. They’re designed for lighter WOD’s that have an emphasis on running and plyometrics, with occasional lifting thrown in the mix. Which they’re generally okay at, but they’re no better than the normal models and aren’t even all that comfortable for anything other than casual use. If you want to do distance runs, go get a real running shoe. I think the DSX Flyknit’s would be better if they kept the Flyknit upper, but had the normal Metcon 3’s midsole. Which you could switch for yourself if you had both shoes, but most people aren’t going to buy both of them (or you could use your Metcon 1/2 midsoles). If I had to recommend one, it would be the standard Metcon 3, which is lighter, more flexible, and more comfortable than its predecessors.

I value stability in a shoe above all else and typically prefer more minimal platforms. If you’re like me, you probably won’t like the DSX Flyknit’s.

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