The Nike Speed Trainer has been a staple of their Training line for several years, now. The model is lightweight, inexpensive, and available pretty much everywhere. This year’s update is a revamp from the ground up and maximizes on everything you’d expect from the name.
As any sprinter will tell you, the first thing you notice in a track spike is the lockdown. You definitely don’t want your foot sliding around, so keeping it in place is key. The Speed Train 4 does this superbly. The shoe has also ditched Zoom Air in the heel (which never made sense) for TPU in the forefoot. TPU is the same substance in the Adidas Boost line, and it has fantastic rebound properties, making it ideal going fast. The shoe is also relatively light compared to other trainers, and has a 4mm heel-to-toe drop to promote you sprinting on your toes and planting yourself for lifting.
On the other hand, a LOT of people won’t like the lockdown, since it can feel constricting. Most people didn’t run track, so don’t understand the function for it and will say the shoe is too narrow. The other downside is that while the shoe is great all-around, with an emphasis on speed, it’s a bit heavy to be a truly fast shoe. If you want a real performance shoe, a racing flat or the Free Train series is more up your alley.
If you’re familiar with the Nike Metcon, this is a very similar, though much lighter shoe. I’d even argue it’s more versatile, if you aren’t doing the specific handstand push-ups and rope climbs. It’s lighter, less expensive, and the specialization of speed is ironically a bit more applicable to a generalized workout than than lifting-centric Metcon. However, the Metcon is praised for its wide toebox and you won’t find that here.
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