Home » GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top Review | Best Mid-Top Training Shoe?

GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top Review | Best Mid-Top Training Shoe?

The GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top shoes are a follow-up cross-training shoe to GORUCK’s popular Ballistic Trainers. This mid-top model delivers a consistent core construction that is similar to the low-top Ballistic Trainers. As a fan of the original GORUCK Ballistic Trainers, I was super excited to put the Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top to the test.

Personally, I really enjoy how this shoe performs in the context of strength training and recreational lifting, and it’s been one of my go-to shoes for daily wear. If you like mid-top training shoes for lifting, then this cross-training shoe is definitely worth looking into. However, there are a few cons and drawbacks to this model worth also discussing, which I’ll dive into below.

In this GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top review, I’m going to discuss a variety of topics to help you decide if this training shoe is a good fit in the context of your training needs and wants.

 

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Who Should Invest In the GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top?

The GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top is an interesting cross-training shoe and I think some lifters and athletes will love them while others may want to pass on this model. I think if you’re someone who loves cross-training shoes with higher boots and you plan to use these primarily for recreational lifting and daily wear, then you’ll love this model.

The dual-gradient midsole in this model provides a nice level of stability with a bit of responsiveness and the rubber outsole does a good job at providing adequate traction and contributes to this shoe’s stability when strength training. I also like this model’s appearance and durability for daily wear and you can wear them casually with a lot of different outfits.

The only area where this model falls short is for more versatile-focused training. For example, this model will likely not be your best bet for agility training, classes, and power-focused workouts. That being said, if you go into this model understanding they’re much stronger performers for lifting and daily wear, then I think you’ll enjoy this shoe.

GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid Top

$135

GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid Top
4.5
Stability
4.6
Versatility
4.3
Durability
4.5

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • Barbell-Focused Work
  • Daily Wear
  • Casual Cross-Training

Falls Short

  • For Running
  • For Serious Versatile Training

 

GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top Pros

Over the course of my testing and review, I’ve found multiple performance and construction features to like about the GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top.

  1. Great Model for Recreational Lifting
  2. Durable Outsole, Midsole, and Upper
  3. Comfortable and Good Shoe for Daily Wear

The first aspect to like about the GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top is that they’re a great shoe for lifting and strength training. If your primary focus for investing in these trainers is to lift in them, then I think you’ll really enjoy this model. This shoe features a dual-gradient midsole which is composed of two different EVA foams which provide a nice level of stability and subtle responsiveness.

goruck ballistic trainers mid top training shoes

In this shoe, I’ve squatted over 365 lbs and have deadlifted over 455 lbs, and have had little to no issues with compression. I like the 8mm heel-to-toe drop in this shoe especially for lower body days where I want a bit of heel for back squats and squat variations.

Across the board, the durability of this shoe is exceptional. This shoe features an outsole composed of three different rubbers. The forefoot rubber is purposely made to increase grip, while the heel and midfoot are designed to be a bit denser for durability purposes. I have yet to see any signs of outsole breakdown in my pair of shoes.

goruck ballistic trainers mid top outsole

The midsole is compact and easy to clean which is a nice perk for durability in regard to daily wear. Sometimes EVA foam midsoles can show signs of breakdown or crease, but this model’s midsole has done well resisting these two characteristics. Lastly, the upper construction is great for abrasion resistance and cleaning. The CORDURA and knit are both equally for long-term durability.

The final aspect to like about this shoe is its comfort and ability to be a really solid daily wear shoe. Not every cross-training shoe works well on a daily wear basis, but the GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top is a nice exception to the norm. This shoe features subtle branding which I like and they’re easy to clean which is a perk for rocking these during outdoor workouts and commutes.

goruck ballistic trainers mid top insole

This shoe comes with two different insoles which you can rotate through based on your personal comfort preferences. One insole is designed to purposely support all three arches of your foot and it has strategic areas of support. The other insole is flatter and thinner for anyone that prefers a “flatter” feel in their training shoes.

GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top Cons

Overall, I like the GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top shoes, but there are a couple of cons to note about this model.

  1. Not the Best for Versatile Training
  2. They Can Take Multiple Workouts to Break-In

The first drawback that I found with the GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top is that they’re going to be capped with their range slightly. This model is awesome for lifting and daily wear, but for versatile training, I found that they fall short which is somewhat normal for mid-top and high-top cross-training shoes.

goruck ballistic trainers mid for daily wear (1)

This model is pretty heavy and their upper construction doesn’t breathe the best which holds back this shoe’s potential for HIIT training, classes, and athletic-focused work. With heavier and more stable cross-training shoes, generally, they’ll lack breathability and high levels of responsiveness which was pretty on point with how this shoe performed in these settings.

Another potential drawback to these shoes is that they can take a few weeks to fully break-in. It took about a week and a half to break this model in before they started really feeling good for my training and daily wear. The upper is maneuverable, but I think many will find the top of the boot to be a bit rigid right out of the box.

goruck ballistic trainers mid for daily wear

I noticed that I was also having a little friction on the lateral part of my ankle at the top of the boot when I first started breaking these in. I was wearing no-show socks and the shoe a bit looser and made a mental note to wear longer socks until the upper broke in a bit more. If you like wearing your mid-top training shoes loose like myself, too, then this could be good to keep in mind.

Performance

To discuss the performance of the GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top shoe, I’m going to talk about how they perform in different training contexts. This way you can contextualize if these shoes will be a good fit for your training needs and wants.

GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid Top performance overview

GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top for Lifting and CrossFit

In the context of lifting, I really enjoy how the GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top performs. This shoe’s midsole and outsole provide a nice solid base to lift on and they limited compression if you plan to go heavy with your lifts. I’ve squatted over 365 lbs in this model and have deadlifted over 455 lbs in these shoes and had no compression issues whatsoever.

I think if you enjoy mid or high-top training shoes for lifting, then you’ll like how this shoe fits, too. This shoe hugs the ankle well so you get a nice proprioceptive feeling of ankle support and their 8mm heel-to-toe drop I think feeds well into lower body training. This is particularly good for athletes that don’t enjoy training in mid-top 0mm heel-to-toe drop shoes like Converse.

goruck ballistic trainers mid for lifting

For CrossFit, this model works well and I think most will enjoy them for casual CrossFit training, but there are a few areas where this model falls short for some athletes. For starters, this shoe doesn’t have a ton of support for those who like to use their feet for rope climbs.

The durability of this shoe is great for rope climbs, but they lack a nice grippy surface area to really leverage the feet when climbing. Second, this model can feel a tad heavy at times if your WOD has a high volume of plyometrics which can give them a slightly clunky feel during longer sessions.

GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top for Classes, Plyometrics, and HIIT

For classes, plyometrics, and HIIT training the GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top perform okay, but they’re definitely not my go-to for this style of training. If you’re doing casual work within the listed training settings, then this shoe works fine and will perform well, however, it does lack some niche construction features I look for in cross-training shoes that excel for more versatile training.

goruck ballistic trainers mid for versatile training

In the context of versatile training, the heavier weight of this shoe holds this model back as being a high performer for HIIT training and plyometrics. Plus, the thicker CORDURA upper construction does take a bit to break in and it can be hot at times, which is a drawback for those wanting to use these shoes in hot class settings.

That being said, I would say if you’re investing in this shoe to understand that they’re not going to be the best model for versatile training. They’ll work fine for anyone that implements versatile training here and there, but they’re definitely not a top model for this style of training.

GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top for Daily Wear and Running

On a day-to-day basis, I really enjoy the GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top shoes. They look stylish and have minimal branding which I’m a fan of. Plus, they offer a nice level of support for anyone that’s going to be wearing these for commuting, walking, or standing all day for work.

goruck ballistic trainers mid for running

Another perk of these shoes for daily wear is that they’re relatively easy to clean. If you get them a little dirty, you can easily spot clean them and wipe them down and they’ll be looking relatively new again.

For running, I’d say pass on this model unless the runs are programmed in WODs. This model is not going to be the most comfortable shoe for running especially for long runs. They’re pretty heavy and their dual-gradient midsole and outsole don’t provide a ton of cushion or responsiveness.

goruck ballistic trainers mid top cross training shoe

GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top Sizing

Similar to the low-top GORUCK Ballistic Trainers, the GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top shoes fit true-to-size. Their length fits true and their toe box has what I would describe as a neutral width.

This model comes with two different insoles (one flat and one with arch support) and has an adequate amount of volume. That being said, if you have custom inserts and insoles, then they should work well and fine in this model.

  • GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Sizing Thoughts: Go true-to-size.

GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid Top sizing and fit

If you have additional sizing questions on the GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top and how they compare to other models, drop a comment below. 

Price

For the GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top, you can expect to pay $135 USD. Compared to other cross-training shoes, I feel like this is a pretty good price for what this shoe has to offer.

Plus, if you go into this model recognizing and knowing its strength and weaknesses, then I think you can better align if the price point makes sense for your wants and budget.

GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid Top

$135

GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid Top
4.5
Stability
4.6
Versatility
4.3
Durability
4.5

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • Barbell-Focused Work
  • Daily Wear
  • Casual Cross-Training

Falls Short

  • For Running
  • For Serious Versatile Training

 

Construction

The construction of the GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top is very similar to the low-top Ballistic Trainers which I personally like. Below are some of the biggest construction callouts that influence performance and durability for this model below.

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 8mm
  • Removable Insole: Yes (two insoles included)
  • CORDURA Nylon Upper
  • Knit Upper Covering Toe Box
  • Dual-Gradient Midsole
  • Full Rubber Outsole
  • Knit and Lightweight Tongue
  • TPU Heel Counter

goruck ballistic trainers mid top cross training shoes

If you have additional questions on the GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top’s construction, drop a comment below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:
Can you wear the GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top shoes for CrossFit?

A:
This model will work decently well for CrossFit. The midsole in this model has a nice level of stability and the CORDURA Nylon upper is abrasion-resistant. The only drawback for CrossFit in this shoe is that they can feel somewhat clunky for CrossFit workouts that have a more versatile training bias including runs and plyometrics.

Q:
Do the GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top fit true to size?

A:
Most lifters and athletes will be safe going true-to-size in the GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top. Their length fits true and they have adequate width in the toe box.

Q:
Can you run in the GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top?

A:
You can run shorter distances in this model so if you have short runs programmed in WODs they'll be fine. If you plan to run more than a mile at one time in a session, then you may find this model uncomfortable due to its stability and weight.

Takeaway Thoughts

If you’re a fan of mid-top cross-training shoes, then I think you’ll enjoy the GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top shoes. They’re a strong performer in the gym for recreational lifting and they have a nice clean appearance for daily wear.

Despite liking this model for these two settings, I don’t think they’ll be your best pick for CrossFit and athletic-focused training, but if you know that going into this shoe, then I think you’ll enjoy them and not be let down.

If you have additional questions on the GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly).

That Fit Friend is a site that is supported by myself (Jake Boly) and its readers. If you purchase products through affiliates links on this site, then I may receive a small commission on the sale. These commissions help keep the lights on here at That Fit Friend so I can continue to create content and they help me purchase new models to review!

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Jake Boly

I've been in the fitness and strength training industry for nearly a decade. In that time, I've trained hundreds of clients, written thousands of articles, reviewed over 100+ pairs of training shoes, and have produced a large list of training videos. I live and breathe fitness and training gear, and I think it's important that reviewers walk the walk with the gear they're testing. As for my educational background, I have my Masters in Sports Science, Bachelors in Exercise Science, and have my CSCS.

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