Tag Archives: fitness

Adidas CrazyTrain Boost Elite Shoe Review

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.

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Looks/Construction:

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.

Fit:

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

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Performance:

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.

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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.


Value/Conclusion:

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.

Purchase your Adidas CrazyTrain Boost Elite’s here!

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Blonyx HMB+ Creatine Review

(I’m no “nutritionist”, scientist, or engineer, hell I can barely stick to a diet. Don’t expect much technical stuff out of me on this subject matter.)

You don’t see me do very many reviews on supplements because well, I think when it comes supplements, everyone’s experiences will be YMMV  (your mileage may vary). Honestly, I should be a pro on the subject by now, I’ve been supplementing ever since I was a budding kid in high school not knowing that I was actually allergic to whey. Around 2010 is when I really got into taking supplements other than protein; things like pre-workout, nitric oxide, even so called fat burners. The one thing that I never got into was creatine monohydrate. Hell, I even tried kre-alkalyn, just never the real deal. It wasn’t until sometime after I started CrossFit, that I decided I needed to bulk up, and creatine was the way to do it. There’s nothing like your first creatine cycle, I went from a measly 160 to a pretty muscular 170lb, but most of all, I couldn’t believe how much it helped me last throughout my workouts. Since then, I’ve been a believer in creatine being the most effective supplement you can take, even more so than protein!

(I’m not going to go over the benefits of creatine, you can find that here.)

I’ve tried a ton of different brands and I’m not sure if it’s just the law of diminishing returns or not, but sometimes I see results and sometimes I don’t. Like I said, there’s nothing like your first creatine cycle, so maybe that’s what I’m basing things off of. More recently I’d been using a generic brand I found off of Amazon, once again not really seeing a ton of difference in my performance. To me, creatine was creatine anyways. That is, until I was contacted by Blonyx to check out their HMB+ Creatine, a brand and product that I had known of for a long time, but their higher than normal price tags always put me off.  Blonyx products are more expensive for a reason, for which you can find here, but also in my case, because they work.

(ugly 215 pr and 225 attempt, pre-Blonyx)

Starting a creatine cycle in the holiday season was probably not the best time, due to all the parties and food, but I started mine right after my birthday with the 30-day supply lasting me all the way up into mid-January. Prior to the cycle, I weighed 170lbs, which is the lightest and leanest that I’ve been in a few years. Also, I had been off my creatine cycle for about a month, so the timing was perfect. I followed the directions to a T, 2 scoops a day, even on non training days but I didn’t do any kind of loading, and I usually always take my creatine with some kind of carb. My numbers at the start of the test were a 280 clean, 255 jerk, 385 backsquat, 325 frontsquat and 215 snatch (really ugly); the powerlifts had been higher before, but the oly movements were lifetime PR’s.

(225 post Blonyx)

By the time I was done with the Blonyx creatine and after the holiday season, I had gotten to a solid 175lb. I’m not quite sure how much of that was fat and how much of that was muscle. My training remained pretty similar to what I was doing before I started the cycle; I’ve been following Competitor’s Training for about half a year now. Honestly, I didn’t notice my metcon endurance change too much, but when it’s cold, I tend to suck more. My strength however, took a major turn for the better. When it came time to test 1RM’s for the oly lifts in late January/early February, I came up with some milestone PR’s! My snatch went up to the milestone of 225 and it was much cleaner than my ugly 215. I ended up cleaning 300lbs, though pretty ugly, but I was able to easily clean 285 now. Most surprisingly of all, I hit 405 on my backsquat for a lifetime PR that was way easier than any of my previous 400lb lifts that I hit at a heavier bodyweight. Those gains are definitely worth $60, so Blonyx, you’ve made a believer out of me.

(405 post Blonyx.)

Honestly, I can’t tell you if the gains were from the Blonyx HMB+ Creatine or just because of the training cycle I was on, but all last year, my numbers plateaued and I hadn’t PR’d in ages. Could be a placebo effect, but probably not, though YMMV. If I had to say there was something bad about Blonyx’s creatine, it’s that it smells like BO. There’s no taste to it, it’s not the grittiest creatine but it’s definitely not micronized, but man, the smell is really off-putting if you get it onto your hands or just take a whiff of it; purely superficial but that’s really it.

You might think it’s $60 price tag for roughly 60 servings is expensive, like I did, but spending $15 on 2lbs of junk that doesn’t even work is literally like throwing money in the trash. Even worse, you’ll spend all that time trying to finish the product, but time is something you’ll never get back. You’re better off spending your money, time, and energy on stuff that’s proven.

Get your Blonyx HMB+ Creatine here!

(Special thanks to Blonyx for providing me the product and getting me to a 225 snatch, 300 clean and 405 back squat!!!)

 

 

2017 CrossFit Training Shorts Buyer’s Guide

The response from my 2015 and 2016 shorts buyers guide has been amazing. The shorts in both of those guides are still top choices and many of them are still currently being produced. All the shorts in this guide are ones that I’ve gathered since making the last video, and I’m sure I’ll have another guide out by the end of the year. These are all the best shorts that I currently have in my rotation!

For reference: I’m 5’8′, 175lb, size 32 waist typically in jeans! I mainly wear a size medium in my shorts.

Links to purchase all the shorts in this video:

2POOD
http://www.2poodstore.com/lifestyle-shorts-velocity/
http://www.2poodstore.com/revolution-v-4-0-soft/

Reebok
http://www.store.crossfit.com/reebok-crossfit-super-nasty-speed-ii-board-short/AZ1771.html
http://www.store.crossfit.com/reebok-crossfit-austin-2-short/AC1339.html

Push Apparel
http://amzn.to/2mwZrPd

Myles Apparel
https://mylesapparel.com/collections/shorts

Vuori
http://www.vuoriclothing.com/shop/categories/shorts/?paginate_by=200

Redline Gear
http://www.red-line-gear.com/

Rhone
https://www.rhone.com

Flexion Gear
https://flexiongear.com/collections/all

Nike Metcon DSX Repper Shoe Review

What if I told you that you could get the DSX Flyknit for only $100…?

Take the red pill.

It took a little bit, but the Nike Metcon DSX Reppers were finally launched sometime in mid February. Still, Nike’s product description about them left much to the imagination, not really giving you any kind of clue as to what they’re meant for. Based off of looks alone, they resemble a cross between the Metcon 2 and the DSX Flyknit; but they’re the lowest priced Metcon yet, retailing for a mere $100. Compared to the more expensive Metcon’s, the omission of the drop-in  midsole sounded alarming, but at the end of the day doesn’t make much of a difference. Which begs the question of even having the need for the drop-in midsole in the first place.

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Looks/Construction:

The best way to describe the DSX Reppers looks is to say that they’re a hodgepodge of all the Metcon’s before them. There’s a little bit of Metcon 1/2 and DSX Flyknit, with little to no design cues at all from the Metcon 3. The upper material is a knit material that’s not as elastic as Flyknit, but it’s beefier than the mesh on the Metcon 1’s and 2’s. On top of that are TPU overlays that seem more decorative than functional, and around the toe box gets beefier almost like a toe cap. Premium features like Flywire lacing are still present in the Reppers and if you opt for a college colorway, get premium laces to match; otherwise you’ll get the same flimsy style laces currently found on the Metcon and DSX Flyknit.

Though the outsole has no mention of “Sticky-Rubber”, the compound feels the same as it does on the more expensive models and in my experience, grips the same as well. Undoubtedly, the biggest difference between the Reppers and the more expensive models is the omission of the drop-in midsole. Instead you get a more standard Phylon midsole, densely compressed EVA foam, which is also found on other Nike running and lifestyle shoes. Obviously, the Reppers include a more standard Ortholite insole that is removable.

Though these might be budget priced, they don’t feel like budget shoes. The materials used rival any of the more expensive Metcon’s and matches the quality you’d come to expect from a Nike product. Personally, I actually think in some ways these feel more sturdy than the other Metcon’s. The woven mesh upper really feels like it could take a beating and since there is no drop-in midsole, there are no squeaking noises!

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Fit:

Typically, Metcon’s fit my feet the best out of any shoes out there.  The overall shape of the Reppers is the same, but I feel like they run closer in size to the DSX Flyknits, being a tad on the small side. A 9.5 Repper fit me a little bit on the tight side, as did the DSX Flyknits. I could use it and it wasn’t terrible, but I sized up to a 10 and now they’re much more comfortable, especially for running. If you’re in between sizes, go for the half size up from where you were.

Here are my sizes:

  • Metcon 3 – 9.5
  • DSX Flyknit – 9.5 but it’s tight, I would get a 10 next time.
  • Nano 6/7 – 10
  • Romaleos 3 – 9.5
  • CrazyPower – 9.5
  • Ultraboost – 9.5
  • NMD – 10

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Performance:

So what exactly are the DSX Repper’s good for? Everything! I know that’s a little vague and all, but they really are the answer for everything you’d come across in a WOD. Where the Metcon 3’s come short in the flexibility/comfort department, the Reppers are awesome. While the DSX Flyknits fall short in stability, the Reppers shine. It really is hard to believe that these are the “budget” models!

I was worried that since Nike cut the drop-in midsole out of the Reppers, they would be inferior for lifting. No, they’re not as stable as the Metcon 3’s for Olympic Weightlifting, mainly due to the much more flexible forefoot, but the Phylon midsole is extremely dense and does not have much give, if any at all. Responsiveness and power delivery is spot on; you’d feel like you’re lifting in any other Metcon unless you put them on back to back. For me, the DSX Flyknit midsole compressed a little more than I’d like, which ended up causing my feet to ache after repeated bounding. In the Reppers, the Phylon midsole creates a nice stable base that isn’t too soft or too hard.

Laterally, the stability of the Reppers is excellent and the foot bed cradles your foot without much roll over. Forward stability is where the Reppers struggle at a little bit, once again mainly due to the flexibility of the forefoot. Dynamic lifts are what I think the Metcon 3’s are better for, but the Reppers easily match up with the Flyknit’s, and in my opinion are better because of the slightly more flat and stable platform. For static lifts, the Reppers are excellent, there isn’t a ton of midsole compression like there is with the Flyknits, so they match up more closely to the Metcon 3; though I’d still rule in favor of the standard model.

Where the Reppers really shine, is the fact that they’re an all around metcon shoe. The forefoot flex grooves really do an amazing job providing flex at to toe for running and bounding exercises. Never have I felt like my feet were straining after multiple wall balls, double-unders or runs. The drop is 6mm like the Flyknits, but compared to the 4mm drop in the Metcon 3’s, you really won’t notice a huge difference.  The overall platform is still minimalist and the outsole shape is virtually identical to what you’d find on the original Metcon shoes. Dare I say that these might be the overall best WOD Metcon?!

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Value/Conclusion:

Like I said, it’s hard to believe that these are “budget” shoes; even performing better in some ways than the standard Metcons, yet only retailing for $100! Other than the Conviction-X, the DSX Reppers might be the most surprising shoe of the year. I feel just like with any other Metcon, you don’t have to worry about what you’re doing when you have them on. The DSX Reppers go to show that you don’t need all these new technologies to have an excellent performing training shoe. They’re a no frills, training shoe that successfully captures exactly what makes Metcons so good, but tweaks the formula making them a great all around shoe. These are what the DSX Flyknits should have been.

As of right now, I think these are my favorite Metcon’s right now because I can do ANYTHING in them and not have to worry. If it came down to having to compete or serious lifting, I would choose the standard Metcon 3’s, but day to day training, the Reppers are easier to live in. These are the best deal in training shoes.

Get your DSX Reppers 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!