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Born Primitive Savage 1 vs RAD ONE

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The Born Primitive Savage 1 and RAD ONE are both stellar shoes for CrossFit. These models have quickly become two of my go-to shoes for tackling different CrossFit WODs.

The Born Primitive Savage 1 is designed to be wider with a denser midsole and lower stack height while the RAD ONE is a little narrower through the toe box with a more responsive midsole.

If you have wider feet and you like training shoes that feel more “minimalist” with lower stack heights, opt for the Born Primitive Savage 1. If you want a well-rounded training shoe for CrossFit that’s a little more runnable, go for the RAD ONE.

RAD ONE Vs Born Primitive Savage 1

Born Primitive Savage 1 vs RAD ONE Performance

The Born Primitive Savage 1 and RAD ONE are both training shoes designed for lifting, CrossFit, and cross-training, so I pushed their performance in those verticals the hardest.

Testing the Born Primitive Savage 1 vs RAD ONE for Lifting/CrossFit

When it comes to lifting, the RAD ONE and Born Primitive Savage 1 are both stellar cross-training shoes. These are shoes that you can lift heavy in with little compression and good overall traction.

In the Savage 1, you have a lower stack height and dual-density midsole that gives you a nice stable base with adequate ground feedback. If you like training in barefoot shoes or minimalist shoes then I think you’ll appreciate this aspect.

Testing the Born Primitive Savage 1 for Deadlifts

This model has done well under 500 lb deadlifts and with my heavy leg days. I like how well the outsole grips different surfaces, too. For the lifting-focused athlete who wants a shoe with more width, the Savage 1 can be a great option to explore.

The RAD ONE also works well for lifting and its SwellFoam midsole does a good job of promoting stability under heavy deadlifts, cleans, and squats. In the RAD ONE, you have a higher stack height so you don’t get as much ground feel as the Savage 1.

Another point to consider with the RAD ONE’s performance is that it does run more narrowly through the toe box. If you’re big on toe splay for lifting the Savage 1 will give you more in this context.

Testing the Born Primitive Savage 1 for CrossFit and Rope Climbs

For CrossFit WODs, both of these models have been pretty stellar and they’re both in my top five for the best CrossFit shoes. The Savage 1’s mesh and textile have shown good signs of durability for rope climbs and burpees.

I also like how this model has a ton of sole flexibility. When it comes to other CrossFit shoes, it reminds me a lot of the Reebok Nano 2.0 and Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 which are both models that air on the side of feeling more minimalist.

Savage 1 will deliver for the athlete who wants a training shoe with a lifting bias and more width for CrossFit WODs. I think if your main goal of training is lifting with CrossFit then you’ll enjoy this model’s performance.

Testing the RAD ONE for Rope Climbs

The RAD ONE is a great option for the person who likes a little more plushness to their shoe’s midsole. This shoe feels a bit more versatile compared to the Savage 1 and it’s a more runnable option.

For example, when I know I’m tackling WODs with running programmed, whether it’s a mile or short intervals, I’ll typically reach for the RAD ONE due to its comfort in this training vertical.

I also like how the RAD ONE has a TPU wrap protecting the midsole from early breakdown. This is also great for promoting better grip when rope climbing.

R.A.D ONE Training Shoes for crossfit and lifting

  • Winner For Lifting: Both shoes work well, but the Born Primitive Savage 1 can be a slightly better option due to its width and denser midsole.
  • Winner For CrossFit: To be fair, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with either model for CrossFit. If you want a shoe with more runnability, go with the RAD ONE. For a lifting bias, go Born Primitive.
Born Primitive Savage 1 Product Shot

Born Primitive Savage 1

Pros: Wide, Stable
Cons: Tongue Discomfort
Size/Fit: True to Size/Wider Width
Offset: 4mm
Lifting Threshold: ~525 lbs
Mileage Threshold: <2 miles
Price: $130
TF2 Rating: 4.8
RAD ONE Training Shoes

RAD ONE

Pros: Versatile, Durable
Cons: Narrower Toe Box
Size/Fit: True to Size/Neutral Width
Offset: 6mm
Lifting Threshold: ~525 lbs
Mileage Threshold: <3 miles
Price: $150
TF2 Rating: 4.6

Testing the Born Primitive Savage 1 vs RAD ONE for Versatile Training

The RAD ONE and Born Primitive Savage 1 both work well when in the gym it comes to versatile training, including things like plyometrics and HIIT, but for slightly different reasons.

To add depth here, when jumping doing things like box jumps, broad jumps, and tuck jumps, the RAD ONE can be a little more forgiving with its plusher midsole. The SwellFoam used in this model has more cushion throughout.

Testing the RAD ONE for CrossFit

The Savage 1 will feel a little more harsh in this context due to its denser midsole and lower stack height. This can be a good or bad thing depending on what you prefer when it comes to versatile training.

This is also why I suggest minimalist lovers who enjoy more ground feel go with the Savage 1. When it comes to grip and traction, both shoes feature rubber outsoles that deliver strong performances on different surfaces and with multi-directional work.

The RAD ONE’s herringbone tread tends to last a while and the Savage 1’s fascia-like tread has also done a good job with abrasion resistance and grip.

Testing the Born Primitive Savage 1 for Jump Rope

In the context of breathability, both shoes are pretty comparable, in my opinion. I will say, the Born Primitive Savage 1 can feel a little more breathable at times and I think that’s due to its more spacious upper volume and wider fit. It gives the feet more room to breathe.

Winner for Versatile Training: I think from a pure comfort and responsive point of view, the RAD ONE will be your winner here. Both shoes work in this vertical, though.

R.A.D ONE

$150

RAD ONE Training Shoes
4.6
Stability
4.7
Versatility
4.8
Durability
4.2
Quality
4.5

Best For

  • Heavy Lifting
  • CrossFit Workouts
  • Recreational Lifting
  • HIIT Training
  • Athletic-Focused Training

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency
  • For Wider Feet

Testing the Born Primitive Savage 1 vs RAD ONE for Running and Daily Wear

For running, I think there’s a pretty clear winner between the RAD ONE and Born Primitive Savage 1. With that in mind, if you just want to sprint or do short intervals between 400-800 meter runs both shoes work fine.

For example, if your main mode of running in these shoes is tackling short interval runs programmed in CrossFit WODs where you’ll be primarily forefoot striking either shoe will work. 

If you plan to run 1-3 miles pre or post-workout then I’d suggest opting for the RAD ONE. It’s going to be your more comfortable option and they can be a decent bet for blending running and lifting together.

Testing the RAD ONE for Versatile Training and HIIT workouts

For daily wear, both of these shoes can work well as models you can wear to run errands in then to go train in. I will say, the RAD ONE can be a slightly better option due to its appearance, but its width can hinder its all-day comfort.

The Savage 1 excels for wider and flatter feet in this vertical and will be a good bet if those are anatomical asks that you have and you want a training shoe that will feel good all day for walking and standing.

Born Primitive Savage 1

$130

Born Primitive Savage 1 Product Shot
4.8
Stability
4.8
Versatility
4.7
Durability
4.8
Quality
4.8

Best For

  • Strength Training
  • CrossFit
  • Cross-Training
  • “Minimalist” Trainer Lovers
  • Wide(r) Feet

Falls Short

  • For Running

Born Primitive Savage 1 vs RAD ONE Construction

Before buying the RAD ONE and Born Primitive Savage 1, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the construction of both of these models as this influences their durability and performance.

Midsole

The Born Primitive Savage 1 is built with a dual-density midsole. This means that the forefoot foam is a little more plush and pliable compared to the heel which is a little denser for stability purposes.

RAD ONE Vs Born Primitive Savage 1 Midsole

The RAD ONE is built with a SwellFoam material that is proprietary to RAD shoes. This material is a little more bouncy compared to the Savage 1’s dual-density midsole and it has a higher stack height.

Outsole

Both shoes feature full rubber outsoles which is great for durability and traction purposes. In the Born Primitive Savage 1, you have a rubber outsole that has a fascia-like shape and treads to it.

RAD ONE Vs Born Primitive Savage 1 Outsole

The RAD ONE has a herringbone tread pattern throughout and it has a good amount of bite on different surfaces. Neither of these shoes should give you issues regarding traction on different surfaces.

Upper

The Born Primitive Savage 1 is built with mesh, knit, and synthetic overlays. These materials breathe pretty well and there are overlays covering areas like the toe box and midfoot to boost this shoe’s upper durability.

RAD ONE Vs Born Primitive Savage 1 Upper

The RAD ONE’s upper is built with textile, mesh, and synthetic materials which give it a slightly heavier feel compared to the Savage 1 and the RAD ONE has a more casual vibe and appearance to its upper.

Laces and Tongue

There are tubular laces used in the Savage 1 and these have done a good job regarding lacing security. This shoe also features 5 core eyelets with a 6th for lace-lock. The thin mesh tongue does have an issue with pressing into the top of the foot during the break-in phase.

RAD ONE Vs Born Primitive Savage 1 Laces and Tongue

The RAD ONE has 5 core eyelets and an internal loop lacing system. The tongue is a padded mesh and it does a good job regarding its comfort and security when training.

Weight, Drop, and Insole

The RAD ONE and Born Primitive Savage 1 are both fairly comparable when it comes to their weight, heel-to-toe drops, and insoles.

  • RAD ONE: 12.7 oz (for size 10), 6mm heel-to-toe drop, thin foam removable insole.
  • Born Primitive Savage 1: 11.2 oz (for size 10), 4mm heel-to-toe drop, thin foam removable insole.

RAD ONE Vs Born Primitive Savage 1 Insoles

If you have additional questions about the construction differences between the RAD ONE and Born Primitive Savage 1, drop a comment below.

Born Primitive Savage 1 vs RAD ONE Sizing

In the context of sizing differences, you can expect the Savage 1 and RAD ONE to feel drastically different from one another. This difference revolves around the width used in both of these shoes.

The Born Primitive Savage 1 should fit true to size for most athletes and it has a wider anatomical toe box with a midfoot that isn’t super aggressive regarding its taper.

I have an E-width foot and enjoy the Born Primitive Savage 1’s fit, and I like that I can wear different sock thicknesses without feeling limited. This shoe also has a fair amount of upper volume for thicker feet.

Born Primitive Savage 1 Sizing and Fit

The RAD ONE should fit true to size for narrow and medium-width feet but wider feet may want to size up or pass on this model. For example, I have to wear thinner socks in this model due to its toe box width.

This model has a fairly aggressive taper through the toe box and if you have an E-width foot or wider then you may want to size up a half-size in this shoe to play it safe.

  • Born Primitive Savage 1 Sizing Thoughts: True to size for most.
  • RAD ONE Sizing Thoughts: True to size for most. Wider feet, size up a half-size.

R.A.D ONE cross Training Shoe

If you need help with what size to opt for with the RAD ONE and Savage 1, drop a comment below and I can help you out. Also, let me know what shoes you currently wear and in what size.

Born Primitive Savage 1 vs RAD ONE Pros and Cons

Report Card: Get the Quick Facts

Born Primitive Savage 1

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Width: Medium to Wide
  • Comparable To: Reebok Nano 2.0

Performance Assessments

  • Heavier Lifts: 4.8/5 (485 lb deadlift, 265 lb walking lunge)
  • Cross-Training: 4.5/5
  • CrossFit: 4.7/5
  • Running: 4.1/5

Pros

  1. This shoe excels for CrossFit, lifting, and cross-training and has held its own across a wide range of workouts that I’ve used them in.
  2. The durability of this shoe feels strong thus far and its upper has done well with abrasion resistance and its midsole and outsole feel well-constructed.
  3. This model feels like a nod to older cross-training shoes and if you long for some of the original CrossFit-focused trainers, then you’ll probably enjoy this shoe.

Cons

  1. The tongue on this shoe can press into the top of the foot during the break-in process which can be a little uncomfortable.
  2. If you want a plusher training shoe with more runnability and daily wear-friendliness, then you may want to pass on this shoe.
  3. For narrow-footed folks who like lower-profile training shoes, you may find that there’s too much room in the Savage 1.
Report Card: Get the Quick Facts

RAD ONE

R.A.D ONE Training Shoes
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 6mm
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Width: Narrow to Medium
  • Comparable To: Reebok Nano X3

Performance Assessments

  • Heavier Lifts: 4.7/5 (525 lb deadlift, 385 lb squat)
  • Cross-Training: 4.6/5
  • CrossFit: 4.8/5
  • Running: 4.4/5

Pros

  1. If you like training shoes with a more bouncy and responsive midsole, you’ll enjoy the SwellFoam midsole in this model.
  2. This shoe delivers a well-rounded performance with a bias towards CrossFit. If you want a shoe for CrossFit and a bit of everything the RAD ONE works well.
  3. The RAD ONE can be a great travel-friendly shoe. They’re comfortable for walking and have a classic streetwear look to them.

Cons

  1. These can run a little narrow at times through the toe box and if you have a wide foot then you may want to pass on these.
  2. The upper can be a little problematic for outdoor-focused workouts where you could run into abrasion with concrete. If you train outside, keep this in mind.
  3. If you love shoes that feel more minimalist then these may not be the best pick for you. They’re not as low-profile as other CrossFit shoes.

Takeaway Thoughts

The RAD ONE and Born Primitive Savage 1 are both awesome training shoes in their own right. Both models work great for lifting, CrossFit, and cross-training so it makes sense if you’re confused about which to go with.

Opt for the Born Primitive Savage 1 if you want a wider shoe that feels more minimalist, and go with the RAD ONE if you’re big on runnability and need a model with more versatility.

If you have additional questions about the RAD ONE and Born Primitive Savage 1, drop a comment below or reach out to me via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend).

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of That Fit Friend. He's often regarded to as a go-to resource in various performance shoe communities. He’s been formally reviewing shoes and training gear for over 7 years and has hand-tested over 400 pairs of shoes. Jake is known on the internet and YouTube for blending his review process with his educational, strength sports, and personal training background.

Jake has a Masters in Sports Science, a Bachelors in Exercise Science, a CSCS, and he's been personal training for over 10 years helping hundreds of clients get stronger, lose weight, and accomplish their goals. He uses his exercise science brain and personal training background to make curated and thoughtful review content on the fitness gear he's testing.

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