Nike SuperRep Intro
The SuperRep is a whole new type of training shoe designed especially for high intensity, fast paced exercise.
Nike is the first sports brand to bring out a new category of intense training shoe that isn’t aimed specifically at Crossfit.
The SuperRep is for high impact boutique style fitness classes, which was evident from Nike’s social media marketing of the SuperRep at the beginning of 2020.
Nike has used it vast experience across practically every sport out there to come up with its attempt at the perfect all rounder.
Aimed at people who participate in high intensity interval training (HIIT) classes, these people probably aren’t lifting the heaviest weights in the gym, or running the furthest or fastest in that specific session, so what do they look for and need in a shoe?
Traditionally, the ideal training shoe is seen as something that’s stable, flat with a little bit of midsole cushioning for a short run.
The SuperRep training shoe has attempted to combine this training shoe ideal, with some of the benefits of a cushioned running shoe, to give the user the best of both worlds.
Most people with a bit of cash to spend on a premium training shoe will turn to a Nike Metcon or Reebok Nano to fit the bill.
However, these were designed to take on rough and tough workouts and aimed at a different type of gym environment.
The unique selling point of the SuperRep is the stand out sole unit offering extra cushioning in high impact, high energy classes.
It offers the stability for lifting weights through a chunky, wide sole, but cushioned landings to keep energy levels high in a vigorous class.
Reebok and Puma have quickly followed suit with their ranges aimed at high intensity interval training fans, the Reebok HIIIT TR, and Puma Zone XT.
Nike SuperRep First Impressions
When it comes to training, I love to try the new and latest classes as this keeps me interested and also means I don’t get stuck in a rut or plateau too much when it comes to results.
Currently, my training consists of Olympic lifting, Crossfit workouts, and HIIT classes incorporating rowing, treadmill running, TRX and kettlebells.
So I was mega keen to give these new training shoes a good run for their money, and its fair to say they definitely got a thorough testing.
When taking them out the box, its quite clear they’re not like any other training shoes out there. The first stand out feature is the sole.
It’s MASSIVE. It reminds me of Buffalo platform shoes of the 90’s which are coincidentally making a come back…
Looking at this massive sole unit it’s clear it is however packed with technology.
From Zoom Air pods to increase cushioning in the forefoot, and encourage you to spring into the next rep of whatever you’re doing, to a big split in the sole unit to encourage and support multi directional movement.
On the foot they feel as strange at they look to begin with. The heel loop on the back means they are easy to get on and off without undoing the laces.
Underfoot I felt like my weight was being tipped forwards towards my toes when walking due to the slanted sole underneath the toes. This took some getting used to, and I was really conscious of this for the first few hours.
I took them out for a long walk before wearing the next day to the gym and I’m glad I did, as bodyweight squats and lunges also took time to get used to, and not feel like I was leaning forwards too much.
The fit was true to size but quite narrow. For reference I wear a UK 6.5/ EU 40/ US 8.5 in shoes and tend to go half a size up in running or training shoes.
I ordered the EU size 40.5 in the SuperRep’s and they fitted perfectly. A little tighter than the Nike Metcons in an EU 40.5, and MUCH smaller than the Reebok Nano’s which I ended up keeping in the EU size 39.
Due to the sock like upper, you can’t loosen the laces to make them wider, so if you have wide feet, I’d recommend sizing up, or perhaps picking a different shoe completely.
Nike SuperRep Sole Unit
The impressive sole unit of the SuperRep is packed with technology to keep energy high in these workouts.
The ‘burpee break’ in the forefoot is designed to bend exactly where your toes would in a burpee, plank or mountain climbers to make these more comfortable than wearing a running shoe or training shoe.
The large containment shield plates on the sides are designed to keep the foot secure during lateral moves, again a feature not needed or considered on a traditional running or training shoe.
These act akin to brake pads, stopping sideways movement during moves such as a lateral lunges, jumping jacks or skater movements.
A plastic Flyplate runs down the length of the midsole to aid with the stability of the shoe.
This Flyplate does its job, but the stability is compromised by the heavy padding under the heel which feels unstable and wobbly on impact when running.
There is very little grip on the outsole of the shoe, due to it being designed very much for the purpose of indoor classes.
I wouldn’t recommend using this training shoe outdoors, as it will become very slippy on a wet or gravelly surface. When walking outside I also had the issue of stones getting stuck in the Flyplate; it’s very much an indoor gym shoe.
A month into testing, the left foot is still squeaking now and again, which isn’t too much of a problem in a noisy workout studio, but annoying anywhere else.
Nike SuperRep Upper Unit
The upper of the SuperRep is also making a bold statement, with a sock like inner, topped with a ribbed breathable mesh, featuring a large Swoosh.
There is a smaller Swoosh on the inside of each foot, and ‘Rep Sweat Repeat’ written, in case you forget what you’re doing.
The slip on upper is sock like, without a separate tongue, and the laces go partially underneath an overlay. For me, the fit was great, but if you have even a slightly wider foot you may find these too tight.
The heel counter ran very high, and rubbed uncomfortable for quite a few wears on the inside of the left foot, and whilst I still wear these shoes for some classes, I can still feel a rubbing on that particular area.
Unlike lots of more recent Nike releases, the upper doesn’t use Flyknit material, which has kept the cost down, and I don’t feel is necessary on these shoes.
My feet didn’t get too hot, stayed comfortable everywhere except the small part of the heel which rubbed, and the ribbed overlay feels like they will last a while.
Nike SuperRep Conclusion
As previously mentioned I have tested these training shoes over many different types of activity over the past month, with a mixed bag of results when it comes to their performance on different activities, so have separated the summaries accordingly:
I had high hopes for the SuperReps when it came to running and was left disappointed. Whereas the Nike Metcon 5 and Reebok Nano 9 are nowhere near an ideal running shoe, they both get the job done on a treadmill run, and feel stable and secure.
The SuperRep gave a soft ride, but that was about it. At mid- high speeds my ankle felt like it was about to roll at any point, due to the loose heel and high amount of foam under the rear foot.
This was enough to put me off wearing them for a workout that contained any running at all.
When running was switched for rowing, they were back to performing well. I was a little concerned the extended heel or wide base would get stuck in the rower but transitions were easy.
Weightlifting (Squats and Deadlift)
The first noticeable difference when weightlifting was that I needed the squat rack on a higher level to feel comfortable getting underneath the bar- they make you that much taller!
After running in the SuperReps on a previous day and feeling very unstable I was pretty nervous to actually lift a barbell in these for sake of injuring myself… but they performed OK.
Yes, the heel did feel a little unstable, but my weight stayed comfortably over my heels, and I was able to get the feeling of gripping the floor with my feet in the concentric (raising up) phase of the squat.
If the main focus of your workout is building muscle and strength, and your workout focuses primarily on free weights and/ or resistance machines, the SuperReps aren’t for you.
Consider spending a little more and getting the Reebok Nano 9’s or Nike Metcon 5’s.
High Intensity Training (Burpees, Box Jumps, Kettlebells, Lunges)
For this purpose only, the SuperReps came into their own. For burpees, the break in the forefoot bends exactly where the toes do, and the slanted sole underneath the toes genuinely felt like I was going faster.
The high cushioning underfoot also made me feel like I was even jumping higher and more easily out of the burpee;- placebo effect perhaps, but if anything makes a burpee feel easier and more fun then it’s a positive in my book.
When doing box jumps the rebound felt springy and light, and again felt like I could keep on going and going.
Overall, if you’re committed to only doing high intensity, high energy, normally class-based workouts, the SuperReps are great. They’re FUN.
I enjoyed wearing them and I’d recommend a pair for the purpose of this specific exercise. Nike has already released more bright colorways since its original launch and I’ve seen other people with them on in my classes.
However, if there’s any chance you’re going to do any type of lifting or running, I’d look into another type of training or running shoe.
We purchased a pair of Nike SuperRep using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.