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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.

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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!

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!

 

Adidas CrazyPower Weightlifting Shoes Review

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Functional fitness is as popular as it’s ever been and everyone is trying to cash in on it. Surprisingly, even though Adidas is the parent company of Reebok, they’re not just going to stand by and let Reebok handle all of the functional training segment. I think it’s actually perfect timing for Adidas to come out with serious training shoes, since they’re destroying the sneaker market. The CrazyPower TR’s are good shoes, not great, but they’re still hard to get your hands on.

While everyone had their eyes on the Leistung II, Adidas dropped a brand spanking new weightlifting shoe out of no where. Named the exact same thing as their newest training shoe, the Crazy Power, just without the TR designation at the end. It’s easy to just plop the Crazy Power WL shoes into the Oly lifter category, but no one actually knows what segment Adidas is trying to cater to with these shoes. Are they hybrid shoes? Are they the long awaited replacement for the AdiPowers? Are they a more serious Powerlift Trainer..?

This is what I’ve come to find out…

Looks/Construction:

Visually, the CrazyPower WL shoes are a little funky in design. It’s a huge departure from the AdiPowers or even the new Leistung II, more of a functional fitness look than one you’d see on the platform. Personally, I don’t think they’re bad looking, but I like funky. They’re a mix of synthetic TPU overlays, mesh, and a shiny, stretchy neoprene-ish sock like upper, similar to what we’re currently seeing on most of Adidas’ popular sneakers. It’s no PrimeKnit, but the upper is soft and actually provides a nice fit. The materials look cheap in photos, but the shoe is really well built with nice materials, though I’m not sure they’re premium enough to warrant the $175 price tag.

As opposed to the new Leistung BOA dial, the CrazyPowers have a standard medial strap with hook and loop velcro. The toe box is mainly open mesh and the entire forefoot is very flexible. The insole is surprisingly cushioned, but don’t worry, it’s still fairly thin and doesn’t effect power output at all. Adidas’ wording of the heel makes it sound like it’s not entirely made of TPU, but it is solid TPU and will not depress under any kind of weight. The outsole is entirely flat with an anti-slip rubber coating which does a fine job in holding it’s ground.

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Fit:

As with all Adidas weightlifting shoes, I sized my CrazyPower’s at a 9.5 and the fit is perfect in length and width for me. The silhouette of these shoes resembles the Adipower’s more than anything else and I would say they’re a slightly more narrow fitting shoe; definitely more than most weightlifting shoes. Though the socklike upper provides a great fit, one of the worst parts about the CrazyPower’s is actually getting your foot in the shoe. I don’t have a wide foot by any means and it requires quite a bit of jamming my foot through the top to get it in; laced, unlaced, unstrapped, it doesn’t matter. At least when it’s on, you get a really nice fit around the ankle with no heel slip and there is great support for your Achilles. The medial strap does a great job tightening the midfoot area  but another weird thing is that when I have my foot in the shoe, laced up with the strap tightened, the upper bunches up in the middle; it’s not really uncomfortable, but it’s worth noting.

Here are my sizes for reference:

  • Adipower/Leistung – 9.5
  • Romaleos 3 – 9
  • Romaleos 2 – 9.5
  • Position USA – 9
  • Legacy – 9
  • Nano – 10
  • Metcon – 9.5
  • Chucks – 9

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Performance:

So what exactly were the CrazyPower’s made to do? We know they’re very flexible shoes and fairly lightweight at 15.58oz, but what about the heel height. This is always a funny area for me because I always get some kind of flak for putting up heel heights that people don’t always agree with. Per Adidas Specialty Sport’s wording, heel height is the total height of the heel and heel lift is the effective heel height (or drop), they just sometimes forget to add in the heel lift to their descriptions. The heel HEIGHT of the CrazyPower’s is 28.6mm/1.06″, which would be insane to be the effective height since I own both, put them on side by side and the Leistung’s are noticeably taller. Just so I don’t put speculation out there, I contacted Adidas to find out what the heel LIFT is…

16mm/.63″.

Yup, I knew it felt a lot shorter. Honestly it doesn’t feel a ton different when it’s on compared to the 20mm heel of the AdiPowers, but it is lower, and just slightly higher than the Powerlift trainers. Also, per the e-mail I received back from Adidas, the CrazyPower’s aren’t designed to be a “competition” weightlifting shoe, more suited for squat, bench and deadlifts. I would take all of that with a grain of salt though.

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Based off what we know, I’m going to peg this shoe into the functional fitness or powerlifting category; it’s like a more serious Powerlift Trainer because of the wider platform and incompressible heel. That doesn’t mean  you can’t use this for Oly lifting though, I personally like the lower heel height for cleans since I’m not the fastest under the bar. I even happened to PR my clean at 285 for a legit single, and I got under 300, but my knee dropped…still stood up though. I prefer squatting in flatter shoes, since I feel like I can balance better, so after I hit that clean, I proceeded to PR my backsquat (high bar) with relative ease at 405. The platform of the CrazyPower’s is crazy stable.

For me personally, this is all I’m looking for in an Oly shoe. I don’t need a huge heel and would rather have something lighter and flexible with a solid platform. I’m not really into using Oly shoes in WOD’s but the CrazyPower’s are comfortable enough, I would still avoid them if you’re doing a ton of plyometric movements, though I think these are some of the most responsive WL shoes I’ve ever used. Short runs and double unders should be fine, but I would stay away from rope climbs because of the flimsy upper. If you’ve got gross mobility issues, maybe stick to the Leistung or AdiPowers. If you’re a powerlifter squatting low bar and you just wanted a solid platform with a slight heel, these are the way to go. If you’re a CrossFitter looking for a flexible WOD oly shoe and you didn’t quite need the boost in mobility, you’re in the right place.

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Value/Conclusion:

I picked these shoes up from Holabird Sports for $155 and since I PR’d my clean and backsquat in these shoes, it was all worth it. Just kidding, I think for a more serious Powerlift Trainer, that’s a bit much to be asking; the MSRP is $175 and I think that’s just ridiculous. Still, in this case taller isn’t always better for everyone. If you’re looking for a pair of solid squatting shoes and don’t need the heel, these might be for you. Honestly the heel height between 3/4″ and these shoes isn’t a noticeable difference, so if you wanted to save a little bit of cash over the Romaleos, you might want to check out the CrazyPower’s. You could find AdiPower’s probably cheaper though…or Inov-8 FastLifts…the list goes on.

I didn’t think I’d like the CrazyPower’s as much as I do…and I’m planning on keeping them around for a long while because they just work well for my technique. I can confidently lift in them, they fit well and are fairly comfortable. Not everyone has a huge Oly shoe collection like me and are going to be able to swap out shoes all the time, so it’s a weird recommendation for me. Overall, there might be better options out there, but for me the CrazyPower’s might be one of my favorite lifting shoes at the moment.

Get your Adidas CrazyPower WL shoes here!

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