Home » Reebok Speed 21 TR Review | Great for HIIT But Lacks Durability

Reebok Speed 21 TR Review | Great for HIIT But Lacks Durability

  • Jake Boly 

The Reebok Speed 21 TR is a lightweight cross-training shoe designed for tackling HIIT workouts, classes, and other recreational forms of lifting. This model features a breathable upper construction and Floatride Energy Foam midsole to provide it with its high level of responsiveness.

After reviewing countless Reebok CrossFit and cross-training shoes, I was curious, where does this model fit into serious training? The Reebok Speed 21 TR feels somewhat similar to the Reebok Nanoflex TR but has construction elements that somewhat resemble the original Reebok Nano X1.

In this Reebok Speed 21 TR, I’m going to cover all of the essential details that you should know about this model before investing.

On the market for new cross-training shoes? Make sure you check out my best cross-training shoes of 2021 round-up and my cross-training shoe finder to be matched with your perfect models!

 

Who Should Buy the Reebok Speed 21 TR?

The Reebok Speed 21 TR is not going to deliver you the same stability that you’d get from the Reebok Nano X and Nano X1 models, but it will do an okay job for recreational lifting. This shoe’s Floatride Energy Foam midsole is highly responsive and provides a decent amount of ground feedback for things like plyometrics and HIIT training.

If you’re someone constantly tackling HIIT workouts, taking classes, and want a shoe for primarily lighter lifting and more athletic-focused training, then I think the Reebok Speed 21 TR is a good pick for you. The only drawback is the long-term durability of the laces, which we’ll discuss below.

Reebok Speed 21 TR

$100

Reebok Speed 21 TR
3.9
Stability
3.8
Versatility
4.5
Durability
3.6

Best For

  • Lighter Weight Training
  • HIIT Workouts
  • Athletic-Focused Traning
  • Plyometrics and Agility

Falls Short

  • For Heavy Lifting
  • For Long-Term Durability

 

Reebok Speed 21 TR Pros

Over the course of my training, there are three key pros that really stood out to me with the Reebok Speed 21 TR.

  1. Lightweight Upper Construction
  2. Lug Outsole Pattern
  3. Lightweight Build and Responsive

The first aspect to like is the upper construction. The Reebok Speed 21 TR features a breathable mesh which is huge for what this is designed to do. If you’re training in a class or even in an athletic-focused setting where you’re outside or in a hot gym, you want your shoes to breathe and this model does a good job at tackling this task.

Reebok Speed 21 TR Upper

Another pro to this shoe is the lug outsole pattern. The lug pattern on this model is pretty much the same exact patterning used on the Reebok Nano X1. In regard to traction and gripping the floor, I’m a huge fan of this lug patterning so I was super excited to see it used on this model.

The last aspect to like about this model is how responsive the midsole is and the weight of the shoe. The Floatride Energy Foam midsole provides a nice level of “bounce” to the forefoot when doing bounding activities and you get a fair amount of energy feedback from the ground in this model.

Reebok Speed 21 TR Midsole

On top of the responsive midsole, the overall weight of this shoe is also pretty stellar. At a weight of 10 ounces for a size 10 model, this is certainly one of the lighter Reebok cross-training shoe options you can get.

Reebok Speed 21 TR Cons

While I do enjoy training in this shoe, there are a few durability concerns that I have for its long-term use.

  1. Eyelets Fall Short
  2. Skinny Tongue Moves
  3. Leather Toe Wrap Feels Odd

The first con with the Reebok Speed 21 TR is the eyelet construction. While I like the idea behind the lighter loop eyelets, their durability just isn’t there. It doesn’t take a ton of force to pop the top two eyelets which could be big a fairly big problem for those who will be doing a lot of jumps and running in these shoes.

Reebok Speed 21 TR Eyelets

Basically, as we drive into the ground when training and move into a more dorsiflexed position (toes flexed up), that force produced into the ground and mitigated through the upper portion of the ankle into the shoe could lead to the eyelets popping or breaking down fairly quickly.

Another aspect to be conscious of is the skinnier tongue on this model. The tongue wouldn’t be an issue if it had a tongue loop that the laces could go through to help lock it down. Without the loop, the tongue slides a tiny bit if you don’t lace the shoes fully and tightly.

Reebok Speed 21 TR Tongue

The last thing that I’m not too fond of on these shoes is the synthetic leather toe wrap. Personally, I feel like it doesn’t fit the lightweight design and construction of this model and it seems a bit excessive. This is me nitpicking, but why couldn’t they use a lighter material to boost toe box durability?

Reebok Speed 21 TR Performance

For this performance section, I’m going to break the Reebok Speed 21 TR’s performance into three key sections including lifting, HIIT-style training, and shorter runs/daily wear.

Reebok Speed 21 TR Performance

Lifting

If you want to lift in this model, then I’d suggest capping your loading to about 315-365 lbs. Anything more than that and you’ll start to experience some compression in the Floatride Energy Foam midsole. When pulling 405 lbs, I felt the shoe compress a bit in the toe box.

For recreational lifting, this model will work just fine. So, if you plan to use kettlebells, lighter dumbbells, and more static strength work, then you should be just fine in this model. It won’t be the best for heavier barbell work, however, that’s now what it was designed to do.

Reebok Speed 21 TR Outsole

HIIT, Plyometrics, and Agility

For HIIT-style training and athletic-focused work, this model was pretty awesome. It delivers the outsole traction from the Nano X1 and the lightweight budget-friendly versatility of the Nanoflex TR. Compared to the previous Speed TR, the Speed 21 TR is really different and it’s interesting seeing the shift in construction in this model.

The Floatride Energy Foam midsole provides a lot of pop to this model and the lightweight mesh feeds really well into keeping this shoe lightweight on the foot. Whether you’re jumping or performing agility work, you shouldn’t feel like this model is slowing you down and the wider outsole construction provide a nice base to plant and drive from.

Shorter Runs and Daily Wear

If you plan to run in this shoe, then you should be pretty safe taking them out for shorter mileage bouts. For example, if you’re tackling three miles or less, then this shoe should work pretty well. Note, it has a 3mm heel-to-toe drop so it will definitely favor those with a mid-foot strike a bit better.

Reebok Speed 21 TR Toe Box

On a daily basis, this model is comfortable and fine, but I’d suggest actually limiting their daily use if you want them to last. They already have some durability issues across the board and if you want them to last, then you’d be better off only limiting their wear for the gym.

Reebok Speed 21 TR Sizing

For most lifters and athletes, you should be safe going true-to-size in the Reebok Speed 21 TR. The length fits true and overall this shoe has a more “neutral” mid-foot fit and width.

Reebok Speed 21 TR Sizing

Staying true to other Reebok Speed TR models, it is worth noting that this shoe’s toe box and mid-foot aren’t the widest. If you have a flatter foot, then you may be better suited looking into other training shoes that have slightly wider lasts.

Price

For the Reebok Speed 21 TR, you can expect to pay $100 USD. To be completely honest, I’m torn on this price. I think the price point is decently cost-efficient for what this shoe is designed to do, but the durability makes me pump the breaks.

If you can get away without popping eyelets in this shoe, then I think the price is fair. Personally, I feel like the eyelets will be the biggest issue for those with higher arches and thicker feet where they’ll be placing more stress into the upper portion of this shoe.

Reebok Speed 21 TR

$100

Reebok Speed 21 TR
3.9
Stability
3.8
Versatility
4.5
Durability
3.6

Best For

  • Lighter Weight Training
  • HIIT Workouts
  • Athletic-Focused Traning
  • Plyometrics and Agility

Falls Short

  • For Heavy Lifting
  • For Long-Term Durability

 

Construction Details

Overall, the Reebok Speed 21 TR has a fairly simplistic construction. Below, I’ll note the biggest construction callouts for this model that play a role in this shoe’s performance.

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 3mm
  • Weight: 10 oz (size 10 model)
  • Mesh Upper Construction
  • Floatride Energy Foam Midsole
  • Full Lug Pattern Rubber Outsole
  • Lateral TPU Heel Support
  • Non-Removable Insole

If you have any additional questions on this model, please drop a comment below and I’ll answer what you have!

Reebok Speed 21 TR Construction

Reebok Speed 21 TR FAQs

Have questions about the Reebok Speed 21 TR? Below are a few of the main questions I feel like athletes and lifters will have for this model.

What’s the heel-to-toe drop in the Reebok Speed 21 TR?

The Reebok Speed 21 TR has a 3mm heel-to-toe drop. If you like lower drops in your training shoes, then I think you’ll likely how this model feels.

What’s the weight of the Reebok Speed 21 TR?

For a size 10 shoe, the Reebok Speed 21 TR has a weight of 10 ounces. Compared to some of the other latest Reebok training shoes, this is definitely on the lighter end of shoes.

Does the Reebok Speed 21 TR have a removable insole?

Nope! The Reebok Speed 21 TRs do not have a removable insole and the overall narrower construction may make this model uncomfortable for those with custom inserts.

Takeaway Thoughts

I like the idea of the Reebok Speed 21 TR and I feel like they’re close to being all-around solid, but there are certainly some glaring durability issues with this model. I think if you get lucky with your pair and avoid quick breakdown issues, then this model will be an awesome pick for HIIT training and casual lifting.

If you have any questions about the Reebok Speed 21 TR, drop a comment below or reach out to me 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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