If you are looking for a training shoe of the best value, then the GORUCK Ballistic Trainers might be the right pair for you. To help you decide if this is worth the cop, Dribble Media wrote an in-depth performance review of the recently-released GORUCK Ballistic Trainers.
The GORUCK Ballistic Trainers is designed by the Reebok Pump’s inventor, Paul Litchfield. (Photo courtesy of GORUCK)
Founded in 2008 by Jason McCarthy, a former Green Beret, GORUCK has been specializing in the manufacture of rucksacks, inspired by the ones used by the U.S. Special Forces. The American brand then later on expanded their range of rucking and CrossFit training shoes.
The man behind the design of the GORUCK Ballistic Trainers is Paul Litchfield, the inventor of the Reebok Pump and Checklight. Litchfield was the Vice President of Reebok Advanced Concepts from 1986 to 2015 before becoming GORUCK’s Head of Product in 2019.
With his over 30 years of experience in the shoe designing industry, Litchfield became an accomplished designer. Now, the former Reebok inventor has taken his talents to GORUCK to help build the company’s own shoe empire.
With that being said, here is an in-depth performance review of the GORUCK Ballistic Trainers.
The GORUCK Ballistic Trainers is infused with firm knit and ballistic nylon materials. (Photo courtesy of GORUCK)
The GORUCK Ballistic Trainers features an Engineered Warp Knit uppers built for comfort and breathable experience without compromising the pair’s security and stability. The uppers are firm and durable, enough to hold and protect the feet.
One notable feature of the Warp Knit forefoot is that it is very flexible. The forefoot is very pliable yet durable. It is wide and comfortable which makes the pair very ideal in any CrossFit training routines as the pair responds very well to any movement. The knitted forefoot can provide the needed support whether you are jumping, running, walking, or lifting.
A 1680D CORDURA Ballistic Nylon wraps the uppers from the midsole to the heel counter. This nylon material is built with abrasion resistance against dynamic activities such as hiking and is designed to withstand wearing and tearing condition for an extended period of time.
GORUCK used these state-of-the-art technologies to ensure that users of any form of routine and physical activities can find both comfort and stability when using the Ballistic Trainers.
The outsoles of GORUCK Ballistic Trainers are infused with three rubber compounds. (Photo courtesy of GORUCK)
The outsoles of the GORUCK Ballistic Trainers have the usual training shoe traction pattern which is designed for maximum contact area. The traction pattern ensures that the pair provides the grip and stability when being used in either CrossFit trainings or outdoor activities.
The highlight of the outsoles is the triple compound rubber. Normally, a training, running or even basketball shoe is only infused with dual compound. However, the GORUCK Ballistic Trainers is built with triple compound rubber to attain the maximum performance of the pair.
The forefoot is built for extra grip for easier stops when doing indoor training drills or when using outdoors. The midfoot compound is abrasion resistant which is very ideal for extreme outdoor activities such as mountain climbing and trekking. Also, the heel portion is infused with dense rubber to avoid immediate wear and tear.
The GORUCK Ballistic Trainers is infused with Gradient Density EVA Midsole. (Photo courtesy of GORUCK)
CUSHION and SUPPORT
The GORUCK Ballistic Trainers is infused with lightweight Gradient Density EVA Midsole, and TPU unit in the interior of the heel cap for added firmness. The pair has integrated midsoles designed for both comfort and protection.
The cushion technology in the forefoot area has high responsiveness and flexibility to ensure topnotch compression and support when doing heavy and explosive drills.
While the forefoot area has an outstanding cushion, the heel area has a firm and compressed EVA for added stability that will be of utmost value when doing routines that will require grounded support, weight, and balance. The cushion technology is basically an all-in-one performer. It ensures great response and does not compromise stability.
GORUCK also inserted the pair with High Density PU insoles for added compression and support to the three foot arches. These custom insoles are made to easily fit the shape of the foot, thus, adding more comfort and bounce for the user.
If the user does not prefer these PU insoles, GORUCK has already provided the solution. Along with the High Density PU insoles, the pair also comes with a more basic and thinner pair of EVA insoles for less arches and lower ground feel.
An added highlight of the Ballistic Trainers is its versatile Heel-to-Toe Drop, in which it has 8mm. Pairs with or over 7mm Drop are advisable for runners or users who land on their heel first or have Achilles issues, while shoes with or below 6mm Drop are good for those who land first on their midfoot or forefoot.
With an 8mm Heel-to-Toe Drop, Ballistic Trainers has an overall optimal mechanical advantage for all types of activities such has lifting and jumping or for lower body endurance when standing, rucking, or walking all day.
The GORUCK Ballistic Trainers runs true to size. (Photo courtesy of GORUCK)
SIZE and FITTING
The GORUCK Ballistic Trainers runs true to size. If users prefer tighter and firmer uppers, the pair has an extra runner’s loop or lace lock.
Through the Ballistic Trainers, GORUCK has released an outstanding and a multi-functional pair. Although it is initially made for CrossFit trainings, the materials, from uppers to outsoles, are solid enough to handle more intense activities such as running or trekking.
Compared to other indoor and outdoor pairs, the GORUCK Ballistic Trainers is very lightweight and stylish. An added note that will surely excite users and enthusiasts is that given all the excellent performance that every part of this shoe can offer, the price is very affordable.
The GORUCK Ballistic Trainers nets an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5. The pair undoubtedly protects the feet of the users, although GORUCK can still improve the padding system of the pair in the ankle area since the heel cap has TPU unit in it which may feel stiff for some.
WHERE TO BUY
The GORUCK Ballistic Trainers is available at GORUCK’s official website. The pair has a US$125 price tag.