Home » HYLETE Circuit II Echo Review | Best HYLETE Training Shoe Yet?

HYLETE Circuit II Echo Review | Best HYLETE Training Shoe Yet?

The HYLETE Circuit II Echo is the latest cross-training shoe from HYLETE. This cross-training shoe features subtle construction updates compared to the original HYLETE Circuit II and as a whole, it has been a strong performer across the board. I was nervous and skeptical going into this model because my original HYLETE Circuit II’s tongue ripped relatively fast which left me bummed.

Across the board though, I’ve been pleasantly pleased with the HYLETE Circuit II Echo. It has construction features that help make it a stronger performer for both lifting and versatile training and I think most will enjoy the versatility that comes with this shoe. There are still a couple of drawbacks that I’ll discuss below, but as of now, I’ve been happy with this model.

In this HYLETE Circuit II Echo review, I’m going to cover a variety of topics to help you decide if this cross-training shoe is a good fit for the context of your training needs.

hylete circuit ii echo review

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Who Should Invest In the HYLETE Circuit II Echo?

The HYLETE Circuit II Echo is a strong performer in the cross-training shoe category. Compared to the HYLETE Circuit II, the Circuit II Echo has updated construction features that I think add to this shoe’s durability and that help make it a better shoe for performance across the board.

This model will work best for the cross-training focused lifter and athletes that like to vary their training on a weekly basis. For example, if you like lifting, taking classes,  raining outdoors, and tackling HIIT sessions, then this is a good shoe for tackling all of those tasks relatively easily.

This shoe’s Vibram rubber outsole grips the floor well and the breathable mesh upper does a good job at breathing and keeping this shoe’s weight on the lower end. If you’re between the Echo and the original Circuit II, then I’d highly suggest going with the Echo.

HYLETE Circuit II Echo

$130

hylete circuit ii echo
4.4
Stability
4.4
Versatility
4.5
Durability
4.3

Best For

  • Cross-Training Workouts
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Classes and HIIT
  • Light and Short Runs
  • Outdoor Training

Falls Short

  • For Long Runs
  • For Serious CrossFit Workouts

 

HYLETE Circuit II Echo Pros

As a whole, I like the HYLETE Circuit II Echo and I’ve found there are multiple aspects and features to like about this shoe.

  1. Dual-Insoles for Versatility
  2. Reworked Tongue and Boot
  3. Light and Breathable

The first perk of the HYLETE Circuit II Echo is that they come with two different insoles. One insole has a heel-to-toe drop of 4mm while the other has a drop of 8mm. This helps add to the versatility of these as different activities and athletes will prefer a different drop for certain contexts.

hylete circuit ii echo insoles

For example, if you’re lifting or tackling versatile training bouts, then you’ll likely want the 4mm insole. This insole provides a decent level of stability and will work with a variety of lifters and athletes. If you’re running or just like having a slightly higher heel position when training, then it’s nice having the option to increase the shoe’s drop to 8mm which can feed better into your training wants.

Another perk of this model is that HYLETE reworked the tongue and boot construction in this shoe. In the HYLETE Circuit II, the tongue had a weird construction to it which left it more prone to ripping. After a week of wearing mine, I pulled on the right side of the right shoe’s tongue and it ripped so it was refreshing to see that HYLETE reworked the shape of the Echo’s tongue.

hylete circuit ii echo tongue and heel (1)

Note, the Echo’s tongue still has a thin construction so handle with care and pull on both sides when putting them on, but as a whole, the shape of this tongue is far better. Additionally, the Echo’s heel has a bit less material which I personally like for its appearance and how they fit. This model’s boot is thinner in nature and doesn’t have the same “beefy” fit and feel compared to the original Circuit II.

The last characteristic to like about the Circuit II Echo is their upper construction, weight, and how well they breathe. This shoe is fairly lightweight compared to other cross-training shoes and their mesh upper does a good job with ventilation. For those working out in classes or in hotter climates, this is a nice feature to have to prevent the feet from getting too hot.

HYLETE Circuit II Echo Cons

The HYLETE Circuit II Echo has an edge on the original Circuit II and performs strongly, but there are a couple of cons that come with this model.

  1. Not Great for CrossFit
  2. Longer Break-In Period

The first potential con that comes with this model is that it falls fairly short for CrossFit due to lacking certain construction features that solid CrossFit shoes should have. First, the midfoot of this model has an exposed midsole layer on the lateral side which could be problematic for those rope climbing and using their feet as the abrasion could wear down the midsole’s foam.

hylete circuit ii echo for crossfit

Second, this model provides a medium-level of stability which is solid for weights up to 405-455 lbs, but this wouldn’t be my first pick for maxing out my lifts. The main stability you get from this shoe is in the insoles, which are okay, but they do pale in comparison to cross-training shoes with more high-density midsole construction.

The second drawback to this shoe is that they have a slightly long break-in period. As a whole, I like the reworked outsole design and patterning, but it is a bit stiff out of the box and the Vibram rubber is pretty rigid. It took about two weeks to really break in my shoes to where they were feeling good.

hylete circuit ii echo for working out

As a piece of advice, when first breaking these, make sure you tie them fairly tight. In one of my sled workouts, I experienced some bad heel slip on my right shoe and lost the entire shoe during one of my strides. I had to tighten up the laces on my shoe a lot more to ensure the forefoot’s outsole rigidness didn’t pop off the shoe when cutting and really digging into the forefoot when training.

Note, I don’t think this will be an issue for most, but I’d highly suggest hedging your bets with your first two weeks wearing these and tightening the laces pretty well to avoid potential heel slip issues.

Performance

To break down the performance in the HYLETE Circuit II Echo, I’m going to discuss how this model performs in a variety of contexts to help you better assess if this shoe is good for your training needs.

hylete circuit ii echo performance overview

HYLETE Circuit II Echo for Lifting and CrossFit

The HYLETE Circuit II Echo will definitely be a good shoe for recreational lifting especially for those who only plan to hit lighter and moderate loads in this model. This shoe has a medium level of stability and when testing their compression I didn’t notice much until I started hitting trap bar deadlifts around 455 lbs.

For squats, I’d suggest capping your loading to about 365 lbs or less. If you plan to lift with this model, then I think you’ll enjoy their stability as a whole and their midsole should be stable enough for most lifters and athletes.

hylete circuit ii echo for squats and lifting

In the context of CrossFit, this model is okay, but it does fall short for some training aspects. For example, I’m not solid on this shoe’s midfoot durability with rope climbs. Since we have an exposed foam midsole on the medial midfoot I could see rope climbs where you use your feet taking a heavy toll on these shoes.

HYLETE Circuit II Echo for Versatile Training

If you tackle classes, HIIT workouts, plyometrics, or more athletic-focused work on a weekly basis, then the HYLETE Circuit II Echo should be a fine shoe for accommodating your training. The Vibram rubber outsole grips well on multiple surfaces and I like the reworked grooves in the forefoot of this model.

I mentioned this above, but after the break-in period, I liked the forefoot traction and maneuverability you get in this shoe. When I was tackling sled workouts, jumps, or even using these for pickleball, I enjoyed the blend of stability and responsiveness that you get with this shoe’s midsole and outsole.

hylete circuit ii echo for versatile workouts

For those using these for classes and plyometrics, I also think the weight of this shoe feeds well into these activities. This model is fairly lightweight and they never feel like a burden to wear for longer durations.

HYLETE Circuit II Echo for Running and Daily Wear

This shoe comes with an 8mm insole which is designed to support running performance. As a whole, this shoe is okay for running, but truthfully, if I’m tackling runs longer than 1-mile, then I’m opting for running shoes. The 8mm insole fairs better for running than other stable cross-training shoes, however, these are still not the most comfortable for longer runs.

On a daily wear basis, these shoes are okay and they’re comfortable. Personally, I would say limit your daily wear in this model if you want them to last longer since there is the exposed foam layer on the medial side of this shoe’s midfoot. However, if that doesn’t bother you, then their aesthetic is solid and they provide a comfortable ride for daily wear.

hylete circuit ii echo for daily wear

HYLETE Circuit II Echo Sizing

For the HYLETE Circuit II Echo, I’d suggest going true-to-size. This model’s length fits true and it has good width in the toe box due to it not utilizing a harsh toe box taper.

The only sizing issue I could see folks having is if they have their own custom orthotics. This shoe’s insoles are thick so when you remove them there isn’t a ton of material separating the foot from the ground. That being said, if you have custom orthotics, then you’ll be relying on their stability for training versus a model with a built-out midsole for stability.

Plus, if you leave in the current insole to get around this and put your orthotic on top, then you may run into instep and toe box volume issues as this shoe does have a tighter upper construction.

  • HYLETE Circuit II Echo Sizing Thoughts: Go true-to-size. If you have custom orthotics, then I’d suggest treading lightly or reaching out for sizing recommendations as I can help on this front!

hylete circuit ii echo sizing and fit

If you have additional sizing and fit questions for the HYLETE Circuit II Echo, drop a comment below and I’ll answer to the best of my knowledge.

HYLETE Circuit II Echo Vs HYLETE Circuit II

From a macro level, the HYLETE Circuit II Echo and Circuit II look fairly similar, however, in my opinion, there are subtle construction details in the Echo that make it a superior shoe. For starters, the Circuit II Echo only comes with two insoles (4mm and 8mm) versus the three that the original Circuit II had.

Personally, I like this because I feel like most lifters and athletes don’t recognize a huge difference between a 0mm vs 4mm insole, so the refined options in the Circuit II Echo are a better thing for helping others better conceptualize and use each insole for certain activities. Less is more in this context.

HYLETE Circuit II

$130

HYLETE circuit ii
4.0
Stability
4.1
Versatility
4.2
Durability
3.7

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • HIIT Workouts
  • Classes
  • Casual Training

Falls Short

  • For Heavy Lifting
  • For Longer Runs
  • For CrossFit-Specific Athletes

 

Outside of their insoles, there are three other subtle construction changes that make the Circuit II Echo a better-constructed shoe. First, the Echo utilizes less material around the boot so it doesn’t have the same thick and heavy feel that the original Circuit II has.

Second, the tongue has been reworked in the Echo and it now has a rounded construction versus the sharper edges in the Circuit II. It’s still thin which could be problematic for durability, but the chances of it ripping are much less. My tongue in the Circuit II ripped relatively quickly when pulling on one side and adjusting it one workout.

hylete circuit ii echo vs hylete circuit ii

Third, the outsole has been touched up slightly in the Echo. The outsole in this model has grooves in the forefoot and a reworked midfoot that increase its maneuverability once broken in. Don’t get me wrong, the Circuit II is a fine shoe and it works, but if we’re talking about subtleties between the two models, I like the Echo’s construction far better.

Differences to Note In the Circuit II Echo and Circuit II

  1. Echo Has Reworked Outsole Patterning
  2. Echo Has a Reworked Tongue
  3. Echo Comes Two Insoles Versus Three
  4. Echo Has Less “Beefy” Material Around Boot

hylete circuit ii echo vs hylete circuit ii performance

Price Breakdown

For the HYLETE Circuit II Echo, you can expect to pay $130 USD. This price point is similar to other top cross-training shoes on the market and I think it’s a pretty fair price for this shoe.

With the dual insoles in this model, you get a versatile shoe for a variety of tasks, and its construction is leveled up compared to the original Circuit II that has a similar price point.

HYLETE Circuit II Echo

$130

hylete circuit ii echo
4.4
Stability
4.4
Versatility
4.5
Durability
4.3

Best For

  • Cross-Training Workouts
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Classes and HIIT
  • Light and Short Runs
  • Outdoor Training

Falls Short

  • For Long Runs
  • For Serious CrossFit Workouts

 

Construction Details

If you’re interested in the construction of the HYLETE Circuit II Echo, then check out some of its major features below. I’ve p

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm/8mm (two different insoles)
  • Weight: 10.4 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • EVA Midsole Consturction
  • Vibram Rubber Outsole
  • Mesh Upper Construction
  • Thin Ventilated Tongue
  • 6 Eyelets (7th for Lace-Lock)
  • Wider Toe Box Construction

If you have additional questions on the HYLETE Circuit II Echo’s construction and its features, drop a comment below.

 Takeaway Thoughts

Overall, I’ve been subtly impressed with the HYLETE Circuit II Echo. After the original Circuit II let me down with its durability it was refreshing to test an HYLETE cross-training shoe that performed strongly across the board.

If you’re on the fence between the HYLETE Circuit II Echo and the original Circuit II, then I’d suggest going with the Echo.

If you have additional questions about the HYLETE Circuit II Echo, 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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