With a slew of new high-performance training shoes dropping within weeks of each other, it can be hard to determine the best ones for you. That’s why we have direct comparisons below.
Reebok Nano 9
The worst aspect of the Nano 9 is the outsole. because of the two different parts of it, you’re able to feel the “change” under your pinky toe. This aspect of the shoe built for lateral movements, but it’s questionable to what extent the average gym-goer or Crossfitter is doing those. That said, the rest to the model is great. the toebox is very wide and offers great flexibility, while the heel is stable for lifts. It’s also not as heavy as the Metcon, but the width may be too much for some feet. If you do Crossfit or other serious high-weight work with cardio mixed in, these are your best bet.
Nike Metcon 5
Probably the most hyped training release of the year, the Metcon 5 is very good, but not quite as good as the previous model, the 4. It runs short, requiring your regular running shoe size (which is actually nice, since it should bring your sizing to be the same for all Nike shoes), which is something to keep in mind. You’ll want to go half a size up. The drop-in midsole is dual-density, with a firmer foam in the heel. In fact, the softness of the forefoot may throw you off a little before you get used to it. The other hit/miss aspect is the heel. The good news is that the outriggers make the shoe really stable, but they can smack your calves when running, depending on your body and style. They just feel a little clunky. The Metcon 5 also comes with heel inserts to give your foot a lift and help mobility, but if you don’t have trouble hitting depth on squats, they’re unnecessary. If you just need a shoe for lifting and accessory work, you can’t get better than these.
UnderArmour Project Rock 2
While the least-vaunted of these three models, the Project Rock 2 also happens to be the best. The shoe uses all of Under Armour’s latest technologies, like the TriBase, HOVR midsole, and Threadborne upper. The TriBase makes these super solid for lifting, while the HOVR allows for a lot of cushion that isn’t too heavy (weight is definitely a knock against the other two shoes in this article). A potential down side is that these don’t have a lot of ground feel, especially compared to the Metcon, so if you prefer something more minimal, that’s a consideration. The knit upper is also fairly spacious and has thin laces, but padding in the tongue prevents them from digging in. With great cushion, lightness, and firm support, these are the best in all-around training (minus the fact that they only come in bight red).