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Reebok CrossFit Speed TR 2.0 Review

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The original Reebok Speed TR was quite possibly one of the best shoes that Reebok has ever made, but it wasn’t always the same with the earlier models of the shoe. The first generation Speed was decent, but a little too soft and lacked any decent colorways. Then came along the Sprint TR, which might be the worst CrossFit shoe that was ever produced. It had some interesting features, looked okay, the midsole wasn’t cushioned too much like the Speed, but the platform was EXTREMELY narrow. The 2nd gen Speed TR brought back some of the Sprint features like the midfoot shank and multi-directional tread pattern but had some tricks of it’s own too, a flared outsole which provided a wider base for lifting without making the upper too wide, the “kipping klip” for handstand push-ups, and a new 3mm drop. The Speed TR actually became one of my go-to shoes, until the Nano 6.0 came out. I could go on and on about why I think the Nano 6.0 is the greatest training shoe of all time, but if you’ve been following my reviews, you’d already know that.

To be honest, I never really thought of the 2nd gen Speed TR as a “running” trainer, but more of a more narrow Nano 5, since they shared a lot of the same traits. Even though they were described with having an ultrasoft midsole, I thought they were just as good for lifting as Nano’s. What I really liked about the Speed’s was that the shape of the toe fit my feet better than the squarish Nano toe box. The major thing the Speed’s lacked was the Kevlar upper, which ultimately led to the shoes major downfall, it’s durability. I personally only had one blowout in all of my pairs, on my Team USA one’s no less, but that was enough for me to just stop using the shoes altogether since I didn’t want to ruin my 2016 Regionals or Murph variants. The monomesh upper just wasn’t robust enough to handle the rigors of CrossFit.

After the astounding fail that was the Nano 7, I was elated to hear of an updated Speed TR coming out this year. When I set my eyes on the shoe for the first time, feelings of elation rushed through my body as it looked like it could be the spiritual successor to the Nano 6.0 and the Nano 2.0, my favorite’s of the whole line-up. While not quite Nano 6.0 level, the Speed TR 2.0 still does not disappoint.

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Looks/Construction:

Like I said, it looks like the Speed TR 2.0 was birthed from the Nano 2.0 and 6 with it’s very unassuming and familiar upper design. You can’t hate on the way the shoe looks, because it’s definitely on the safe side, which is totally fine in my book. We had way too many years of gaudy Reebok designs and CrossFit logos anyways. The lines are clean, the side only has the Reebok delta, and the heel counter has a small CrossFit logo – perfect.

The main change to the upper is the new Cordura fabric they’re using instead of the monomesh, which is still layered with the hotmelt overlay. The new Cordura fabric feels almost identical to the mesh in the Nano 6.0’s toe area which is extremely flexible and much more comfortable than the stiffer monomesh.  I thought the previous generation Speed had a comfortable upper, but it doesn’t even come close to the plush new 2.0’s. Keep in mind that although it’s more comfortable, there is also less structure to the shoe. Unlike the Nano 7.0’s TPU heel counter, the Speed 2.0 uses some kind of hotmelt overlay, that does a great job in holding your heel in place nonetheless. As with all Reebok CrossFit shoes, the build quality of the Speed TR 2.0 is top notch and feels like it should definitely cost more than the $100 they’re asking.

Fit:

Aside from the durability, I think the second biggest issue of the Speed TR was how it fit. It seems like they used a similar or maybe even the same last to base the 2.0 off of, because they fit similarly. Thanks to the new upper material, the 2.0’s feel a little more roomy inside. The 2.0’s are indeed slightly wider than the originals, but not as wide as Nano’s, or even close to. They still do run long in comparison to Nano’s, causing me to size down half, but even then I had a lot of space in to toe, so I went down another half and then it was too tight. At the end of the day, I stuck with the size 9.5 which left me with a little more than a thumb’s width distance from the front of the shoe. Though it’s a little loose, it’s still comfortable and at least my toes aren’t being crushed in front and with a little activity, my feet swell and fill the shoe up better.

There isn’t much in the way of arch support inside the shoe, so if you’re flat footed you’ll definitely appreciate this over Nano’s.

My sizes for reference:

  • Speed TR – 9 (tight fit)
  • Nano – 10
  • Metcon – 9.5-10
  • NoBull – 10
  • Strike Mvmnt – 9.5
  • Adidas – 9.5

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Performance:

You should not think of the Speeds as running shoes.

As with the previous generation, the Speed TR’s are some of the best training shoes that Reebok makes. I might go as far to say that they’re the best that Reebok currently makes…

The Nano 7.0’s, Weave’s included, left a gaping hole in Reebok’s CrossFit footwear line-up. I still think the Weave’s are awesome looking and that there are no better shoes for lifting, but they’re still awful to run in and just plain uncomfortable for extended periods of wear. In my eyes, the Speed TR 2.0’s do a much better job encompassing the spirit of CrossFit in a shoe. There’s nothing you would think twice about doing with having the Speed 2.0’s on, including running!

Early on, people were hoping that the Speed 2.0’s would just be a current day Nano 6.0, which it is, kind of. Like the 6.0, you’ll want to do everything in the Speed 2.0’s because they just feel so capable on your feet. The platform has a more narrow, running like shape and doesn’t quite hold your foot in place like Nano’s, but I wouldn’t go as far to say that the Speed’s were unstable in any direction. Initially a few things led me to think the Speed 2.0’s were softer that it’s predecessor, but I was wrong, they’re as responsive, if not more. The midsole offers only a little bit of cushioning, but still airs more on the stability side, meaning it doesn’t compress very much at all, almost identical to the previous generation. Power delivery is on point, I wouldn’t think twice about going for any heavy lifts in these shoes.

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What really seals the deal for the Speed 2.0’s is that they’re just extremely flexible and comfortable. You’ll genuinely want to do everything a WOD will throw at you in these shoes because of how they let you move your feet unhindered. Not only is the upper more plush and flexible, the outsole and midsole is more flexible as well, letting your feet move more naturally. The only non-flexible area is around the middle where the RopePro is, where there’s definitely a midfoot shank to help with propulsion. Speaking of the outsole, the compound and multi-directional tread pattern are more reminiscent of the Nano 7 than previous gen Speed. Which is a good thing, because that outsole pattern makes for some of the grippiest shoes on the planet, whether it be the ground or the rope.

Despite the name being what it is, the Speed 2.0’s wouldn’t be my first pick when it comes to run a marathon in, but I wouldn’t hesitate to strap these on to run the occasional mile or whatever distance comes my way in a WOD . Sure, they have a little more midsole cushioning, they’re extremely flexible, and have a midfoot shank, but they’re still training shoes at the end of the day and the platform is still fairly rigid. I personally like neutral running shoes anyways and I feel right at home with the 3mm drop. Best of all, the shoes are extremely lightweight, coming in at 8.5oz per shoe. These are definitely the best trainers to run in that Reebok has ever come out with, even besting the Nano 6.0.

Some other things to note – The heel counter actually does a pretty good job of keeping your heel in one spot. The Kipping Klip is a much larger piece of TPU that is rounded and does a much better job sliding up the wall than the previous gen Speed. The laces that come with the shoe are trash and repeatedly come untied, be prepared to double knot.

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Value & Conclusion:

Like the previous gen, the Speed 2.0’s only cost $100! Making them a steal once again compared to Nano’s, maybe even more so this time around because they’re in my eyes, a better shoe. Durability is yet to be determined, the best indicator for that is how well Nano 6’s are holding up since they have the same mesh. I personally haven’t had any issues with that, so I’m going to say its safe to assume the Speed TR 2.0’s will be more durable than the predecessor. For those of you that only have money to spend on one pair of CrossFit shoes, these are the ones.

I like shoes that you can do everything in and since the Nano 6.0’s are out of production, the Reebok Speed TR 2.0’s are currently the best shoe in Reebok’s line-up. They can hang with Nano’s when it comes to lifting, but you won’t want to take them off when it comes to running as well. Hell, you probably just won’t want to take them off because they’re just so nice to wear! Any angst I had from the Nano 7.0’s is gone with the release of the Speed TR 2.0 – they’re one hell of a shoe.

Get your Reebok Speed TR 2.0’s here!

Road Runner Sports Black/Gum/Speckled Speed TR 2.0!

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Reebok CrossFit Nano 7.0 WEAVE Review

The original version of the Reebok Nano 7.0 might have been the biggest disappointment that Reebok had ever come out with. Nano’s have historically all been amazing shoes that never really got hated on performance wise, until the latest. So what happened? A large reason it failed was because it followed what I believe, was the best shoe Reebok had ever come out with, the Nano 6.0. Not only did the Nano 6.0 cast a gigantic shadow, but they released the 7.0’s earlier than normal which also cut much into the Nano 6.0’s lifespan.  I never thought the 7.0’s were a bad looking shoe, but the early leaks of the launch colorway garnered a TON of hate, which hurt the marketing badly; especially given the launch timeframe and what it was up against. Finally, the main reason why the Nano 7.0 was such a failure was because it was it simply just wasn’t a good all around shoe.

Time passes, wounds heal, and people forgive. Before you knew it, Reebok had already gone back to the drawing board (almost like they knew the original was going to not be taken well), and soon enough we started seeing an updated version of the Nano 7.0 being tested by Reebok athletes. This new version had looked like it had a new upper, fixing one of the biggest issues on the original release. It’s already been six months after the original launch of the Nano 7.0, but the update is finally here. Before we get going into this review, it’s best to think about the changes of Nano 7.0 Weave as hot-fixes rather than a completely redesigned shoe. This review is going to be more like an update as well, rather than a completely new review. 

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Looks/Construction:

The one thing that I think anyone can agree about with Nano’s is that they always just feel like a rough and tumble kind of shoe. Something you don’t mind beating up and really put through hell. The Nano 7.0’s were some of the most solid built shoes around and even with the changes in construction to the Weave, they still remain as robust as ever. Though the issue with the black midsole appearing blue under sunlight is still an issue for some reason, everything else in the shoe is made to the same great quality Nano’s are known for. If you have an issue with this, you’re just going to have to get another colorway.

The biggest change to the Weave is obviously the new upper. Don’t think of it like any of the “knit” materials found on other shoes – it’s not elastic and it’s not sock-like. It is however, fully engineered, seamless, more flexible with no hotspots inside of it and much more breathable . While it is still constructed with the “Nanoweave” technology coined in the original release, it’s new pattern isn’t just more comfortable, it also looks a TON better!

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Unlike the cage-like design of the original upper, the new upper’s pattern goes horizontally through the shoe which flexes with your feet and not against it. The original upper was pretty stiff out of the box and required time to break-in, this new upper feels good to go right out of the box. They’ve also dropped all the underlays so now it’s just the mesh layer under the Nanoweave, giving the toe-box a more wide open feel. People that thought the OG 7.0 was too wide are not going to like this; I find it okay, I prefer the fitted feel of the original but I’d take the flexibility over the difference in fit any day. The difference in width feels like what the the Nano 3.0 was to 4.0, the 5.0 to 6.0, the Weave is to the 7.0.

Another slight update to the shoe is that the amount of tongue and ankle collar cushioning has been thickened. This is so slight you probably won’t catch it, but I did have an issue with the collar rubbing against my ankle after extended periods of time in the original Nano 7.0’s that I don’t notice anymore. Otherwise, the shoe uses the same exact Nanoshell midsole wrap, heel counter, midsole, sockliner and outsole. I thought the midsole might have been lessened, but its since been confirmed to be the same thickness.

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Fit:

While the differences with the upper do offer a more spacious toe-box, nothing else has changed in terms of the way the shoe fits. The shape and measurements remain the same, so you should size your shoe the same (UNLESS you have a really wide foot and had to size the original 7.0’s up). I’ve heard people talking about the Weaves fitting a little smaller than the originals, which personally I’ve found to be untrue, but I wouldn’t dismiss it because there have been times in the past Reebok sizing has burned me. My Nano size has always been a 10US or sz 43EU, but certain models I can wear a 9.5 (3.0/5.0).

I find Nano’s to be generally wide shoes with little to no arch at all, but I do think they fit a variety of shapes of people’s feet pretty well. The toe is more squarish to fit the wide profile of the shoe, so people with Morton’s toe should consider sizing up (I do). The shoes are designed to be minimalist shoes with a drop of 4mm and virtually no midsole cushioning, but the sockliner is removable to fit custom orthotics.
My sizes for reference:

  • Metcon – 9.5
  • Adidas – 9.5
  • New Balance – 9.5
  • NoBull – 10
  • Strike-Movement – 9.5
  • Romaleos – 9.5
  • Legacy Lifters – 9

Performance:

I’ve warmed up to the thought of using my Nano 7.0’s for certain workouts since the original review. Once again, I still think the Nano 7.0’s are the most stable training shoe available and probably the closest thing you can get to Olympic Weightlifting shoes, without actually wearing some. In hindsight, that’s kind of how you have to treat wearing them. What makes them, both original and Weave’s, great weightlifting shoes is just how rigid of a platform they have. This stability was created by the combination of it’s incompressible midsole, Nanoshell midsole wrap and TPU heel counter. Since there’s virtually nothing to compress between your foot and the ground, response and stability is top-notch. Lateral stability is the best compared to any other training shoe on the market because the Nanoshell midsole wrap and TPU heel counter do a great job of holding your foot in place. The heel is wide, incompressible and kind of resembles a flat Olympic weightlifting shoe. Nothing has changed in these areas between the original Nano 7.0’s and Weave’s. They were and still are one of my favorites for weightlifting and definitely my favorite for powerlifting.

The same things that make the Nano 7.0 great for lifting weights, are also a double edged sword make it pretty bad for most other things you’ll find in a WOD. Even though the Weave’s upper is more flexible and comfortable, it doesn’t really do anything to change how the outsole and midsole flex. The Nanoshell midsole wrap does great things for the lateral stability of the shoe, but hinders movement, especially running. If you don’t run perfectly on your toes, it doesn’t allow the foot natural freedom of movement and if you’re a heel striker, forget it, you might as well be running in Oly shoes. From about the balls of your feet to the heel, the Nano 7.0’s and Weave’s are really stiff. All of that paired with the neigh incompressible midsole gives you a pretty harsh ride.

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The 7.0’s Weave’s aren’t so bad for other movements that require you to be less mobile. Double unders are doable since the shoes flex pretty well at the toe joint and the shoes respond instantly. Burpees can be a bit uncomfortable unless you’re coming off your toes perfectly, but aren’t awful. Box jumps aren’t terrible to do either, rebounding feels good once again due to the response, but landings are pretty harsh. The only other movement that the Weave’s/Nano 7.0’s really shine is for rope climbs. The outsole is the best out of all of the Nano’s and it’s grip make the 7.0’s quite possibly the best shoe to climb the rope in. There was a picture of some Weave’s that Rich Froning had put a hole in the outsole in, but I wouldn’t worry about durability – he was told to destroy those shoes so he did something like 100 rope climbs.

One very questionable thing is that the Weave’s, according to my scale, weighed about a half ounce more than the original Nano 7.0. Odd, seeing as how the Weave’s dropped material from the originals. My size 10’s weighed in a 12.7oz whereas my original 7.0’s weighed in at 12.3oz.

Value/Conclusion:

Luckily Reebok has decided to not charge anything more for the new Weave’s, so they’re retailing for the normal price of $130. Furthermore, the Weave’s are only going to be referred to as that until the original Nano 7.0’s sell out. From then on out, all of the Nano 7.0’s will be done Weave style. When the original Nano 7.0 upper was broken in, I didn’t find it to be an issue anymore. Since you can get the original Nano 7.0 for around $50 less right now, I’d recommend doing that if you don’t mind the shortcomings of the shoe. Keep in mind that the Weave’s are still just Nano 7.0’s with a better flexing upper, everything else is the same so performance remains 95% the same as it was in the original 7.0 Having the Weave upper is nice and definitely makes it a better shoe, but not completely necessary nor does it justify the price increase from what you can get an OG Nano 7.0 for, or buying a new shoe. Unless of course you just wanted it or liked the way it looked.

While I still don’t think the Weave’s make the Nano 7.0 anything close to the best CrossFit shoe out there, I do think that they can be the best shoe for certain workouts. The best application for the Nano 7.0 Weave is using it like an alternate Olympic lifting shoe or dedicated powerlifting shoe. I applaud the fact that Reebok took what the community was saying and went back to the drawing board to try to fix some of the issues the Nano 7.0 had, it just was a little too late and I don’t think it’s enough to change most people’s opinions of the 7.0. In retrospect, they could have intentionally just made the Nano 7.0’s to be extremely stable and rigid to clear some space for their upcoming Speed TR 2.0. At the end of the day if you didn’t like the original 7.0, I don’t think the Weave’s are going to change your mind about the shoe in general. They are indeed a better shoe, I do like them, but they aren’t without their caveats. If you need a flat pair of Oly shoes, I recommend just picking up some OG Nano 7.0’s at a discount while you still can!

Get your NANO 7.0 Weave here!

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Strike-Mvmnt Chill Pill Transit & Mid Review (Collection 5)

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If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Shoe design life must be rough. We saw the release of Reebok’s Nano 7 earlier in the year and it was met with some pretty harsh criticism, but it seemed rushed and paled in comparison to the previous Nano 6. I think the main problem there was that they took such a radical departure from the previous model, which in my opinion is the greatest training shoe of all time. If they had somehow eased in the changes, people would have been a lot more receptive of the new model, but it is what it is and you can only learn from Reebok’s mistake.

Strike-Mvmnt has been releasing the Chill-Pill/Interval combo for some time now, with the biggest update to the shoes being when they added the Cross Platform outsole to the Chill-Pill in 2015. We’re currently in the 5th generation of Strike-Mvmnt shoes and every update since has been more of an evolution than revolution. Collection 5 adds minor updates to the stellar Chill-Pill line-up, further refining the already great shoe, just don’t expect a brand new model.

Looks/Construction:

You’d be lying to yourself if you thought the Chill-Pills were an ugly shoe. The design aesthetic is classic, unoffensive, maybe a little plain, but definitely not ugly. Personally, I think the Chill-Pills are the best looking training shoe out there, mainly because they don’t really look like a training shoe at all. Sure, by now they could use an update other than changing up the materials, but that’s probably because I own pretty much all of them. Also, some new colorways would be nice (*cough*red*cough*) other than the standard black and grey; once again, unoffensive.

There was an (excellent) shoe called the Pace they had out for a short amount of time, but was discontinued. When I asked what happened to it, they said they put production on hold because the inside tag wasn’t staying glued on.  THAT’S IT?! Such a small thing that most manufacturers wouldn’t even bother with, but that just goes to show the level of quality Strike-Mvmnt puts into their products. Strike-Mvmnt is a smaller company and the build quality of their products reflect this. Everything seems to be made with a little more attention and care than what you’d find on some of the bigger brands. There’s no loose seams, glue, or stitching anywhere on all three pairs of Collection 5 shoes that I
received.

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For colorways, I went with the Storm Grey Transit and Grey Melange Mid. The Transits have ballistic nylon around the shoe’s quarter (ankle area) and is topped off with a plush micro-suede material on the toe-box. The Mid’s use a new melange fleece material throughout that is a little rougher to the touch, but is still as flexible as the Transit. Since the mid has a higher cut, there’s also a neoprene pad at the Achilles area of the shoe to prevent chaffing, but I never really noticed it working or not (that probably means it does). Both uppers aren’t resistant to dirt, but you’ll be able to rope climb in both without damaging either upper.

One thing that I wasn’t a huge fan of in the Collection 4 Chill-Pill was that I thought the shoe lacked structure. Collection 5 updates this with high density foam around the collar, new tongue stays and a new insole. The fit is improved greatly with the new collar foam, giving you a more secure in shoe feeling. The new tongue stays make it a little harder to put your laces inside the tongue’s pleasure pocket, but that’s not a big deal considering the tongue now feels a bit more structured. I didn’t mind the paper thin insole from before, but the new one does feel a little nicer on your feet. The weight of the shoe is increased by about half an ounce, but the shoe feels more solid overall.

Fit:

Not much has changed in this department – I wear a size 9.5 in my Chill-Pills and they fit me perfectly. The overall shape resembles the Nike Metcon line-up so I would recommend sizing the same. What I found to work best when sizing shoes is to just go by the EU sizing, it makes the most sense compared to all of the others. Those with wide, flat feet, beware, there is a feeling of “arch support” in the Chill-Pills caused from the semi-curved last. I’ve got pretty normal feet and it doesn’t bother me, but I’ve heard from people with flat feet that it can cause some plantar fascia pain.

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Performance:

“United by Motion” is the mantra of Strike-Mvmnt – whether you’re a Crossfitter, b-boy, or parkour-er; movement is movement and these are probably my favorite shoes to move in. I’ve always said this, but the addition of the Cross Platform outsole was the best thing Strike has ever done to their shoes; I’m just waiting for an Interval with it.

Strike’s uppers were always light and flexible, but the Stable Platform outsole was just a tad too soft when it came to heavier lifting, unlike the medium density midsole and Cross Platform outsole which is almost incompressible. Stability and responsiveness is top notch and rivals the best shoes in the training world, but while those fail in flexibility, the Chill-Pills come out on top. The low midsole stack, 2.5mm drop and incompressible outsole make for some of the most stable lifting shoes for either weightlifting or powerlifting. I haven’t had any issues with the midsole being overly soft, even hitting deadlifts over 500lbs in these shoes.

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There are other shoes with excellent power delivery, but they’re usually pretty bad for anything that requires you to be quick on your feet. The flexibility of the Chill-Pills in combination with their stability make them some of the overall best training shoes around. I did the Open workout 17.5 in my Chill-Pills, which in total was 90 thrusters and 350 double unders – and yes, my feet did hurt, but it was minimal and wasn’t enough for me to take my focus off the workout. I don’t think you could do that workout in any shoe without any kind of foot pain. I couldn’t imagine how much my feet would have been burning up if I were using Nano 7’s.

Another massive benefit of the Cross Platform outsole is just how grippy it is. I have smoother rubber mats in my gym that even some weightlifting shoes have issues gripping and the Chill-Pills have never left me with a loss of footing. Landing box jumps feels sure footed, as is gripping the rope while climbing.

The only real difference between the Transit and Mid just comes down to the cut; Functionality wise, they’re pretty much identical. Personally, if I had to recommend one, it would be the Transits because I think the low cut is just a little more comfortable for training and running. If you wanted more of an all purpose shoe for hiking as well, then I would go with the Mid’s. They work well both ways and I don’t keep my Mid’s laced up all the way anyways.

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Value/Conclusion:

Transit’s will set you back $115 and Mid’s $129, which fall in line with just about everything else out there. Strike-Mvmnt is a small brand with not a ton of brand recognition, but in my experience, they’re a great company. It’s up to you if you want to support the big dogs, or if you want to support a brand that actually has real passion in what they’re doing. The quality and performance of their goods is excellent, so you won’t be disappointed in their product. Brand whores might not acknowledge you, but if you want to swim away from the mainstream, Strike-Mvmnt is one of the best ways to go.

The first day I laced up my Collection 5 Chill-Pills and hit the gym, was one of the best lifting days I had in a long while, especially after hurting my back. I knew that whatever movements I was doing that day, I had the shoes to perform in. Confidence defines your lifting and I’m just sure I can do anything when I have my Chill-Pills on. Doing what I do, I don’t get to spend a lot of time with shoes that I really like, so getting to review the new Chill-Pills was like coming home. 2017 has already been a big year for training shoes, and as of right now, Chill-Pills are my top choice of available training shoes. If you care about movement at all, I’m sure you’ll feel the same.

As always, big shout out to Marc over at Strike-Mvmnt for hooking it up with the shoes. Much appreciated!

https://strike-mvmnt.com/

(You can currently get the still excellent Collection 4 Chill-Pill Camo’s for only $78!!!)

 

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!