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TYR CXT-1 Trainer Performance Review (2024 Update)

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Testing the TYR CXT-1 Trainer for Squatting

The TYR CXT-1 Trainer has been one of the more polarizing training shoes I’ve used and reviewed over the last few years. Even my personal training clients who use this model find it to be hit or miss which is in line with my YouTube community as well.

When the CXT-1 Trainer first came out, I remember I was super excited to put them to the test. Compared to some of the market’s strongest cross-training shoes, the TYR CXT-1 Trainer comes with a few unique features.

For example, this model has of the highest heel-to-toe drops for CrossFit shoes which sits at 9mm. As someone who likes wearing weightlifting shoes for back squats, I thought this higher drop would come as a positive for me.

And it certainly has — as I’ve high-bar squatted up 415 lbs in this shoe (a mini PR at the time!). For the most part, I’ve enjoyed this shoe’s performance for my athletic-focused sessions and CrossFit WODs, but I do have some issues with this model.

Pros and Cons

Logo

Pros

  • Well-rounded performance for lifting and cross-training.
  • Higher heel-to-toe drop can be great for taller lifters/lifters lacking mobility.
  • Surge NRG Foam is responsive for sprints and plyometrics.
  • Good arch and ankle support if you need them.
  • Narrower and medium-width feet will feel right at home with this model.

Cons

  • The high drop can feel like "a lot" for flat/minimalist shoe lovers.
  • Long-term midfoot durability can be incredibly variable for rope climbs.
  • The arch support can feel offputting for flat feet.
  • Wide feet will want to pass on this shoe and consider better options.

CXT-1 Trainer Tech Specs to know

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 9mm
  • Weight: 12.65 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Stack Height: N/A
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Width: Medium/Regular
  • Sizing: True to size. Wide feet, go up a .5-1 size.
  • Comparable To Dropset Trainer 2: Read My Review

TYR CXT-1 Trainer

$130

TYR CXT-1 Trainer Product Shot
4.3
Stability
4.7
Versatility
4.6
Durability
3.9
Quality
4.1

Best For

  • CrossFit/Cross-Training
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Athletic-Style Workouts
  • Athletes That Like Higher Drops

Falls Short

  • For Minimal Drop Lovers
  • For Athletes That Like “Minimalist-Style” Shoes

Must Try: On the market for new cross-training shoes? Try my That Fit Friend Shoe Finder. This calculator matches you with the best training shoes for your needs.

Community Perspectives

At the end of the day, I’m a single data point. Below are some of the comments and feedback that have been left on my TYR CXT-1 Trainer review video. I tried to pull positive, negative, and sizing feedback to give a wide range of perspectives.

Feedback From the Community for the CXT-1 Trainer

Great But Breathability Lacks

One commenter who goes by the username @KA-zq3yp, “I just bought these and they are great but man… They are pretty hot and don’t breathe well. Love them but I do notice the heat and sweat way more than my Nikes.”

Size Up for Wide Feet

Another commenter who goes by @varunvermaendless who has wider feet provided insights saying, “I will recommend going a half size up if you have wide feet. It is a really good shoe for heavy lifts IMO. I returned it though and got Xero 360 as it offers wide feet with less drop.”

Durability Was Lacking

In the context of experiencing the same durability issue I had with one of my pairs, a commenter who goes by @juancarlosfallas4535 wrote, “Got mine today. 5 rope climbs in and I also tore up the rubber on the side. Super bummed.

TYR CXT-1 Trainer Performance

To break down the performance of the TYR CXT-1 Trainer, I’m going to discuss how this shoe performs in different settings. I’ll talk about their performance for lifting, CrossFit, versatile training, short runs, and daily wear.

This way, if you’re thinking about investing in the CXT-1 Trainer, you can cross-reference their performance to see if they match your performance needs.

TYR CXT-1 Trainer Performance Overview

Testing the TYR CXT-1 Trainer for Lifting and CrossFit

For lifting, I’ve really enjoyed the performance of the TYR CXT-1 Trainer and that’s for three key reasons. First, the stability in this shoe is solid and it should work for most lifters and their heavy strength sessions.

The Stability Platform in this shoe and the medium to high-density midsole provide this shoe with a well-rounded level of stability from the heel to the forefoot.

Testing the TYR CXT-1 Trainer for Lifting and Weight Training

Second, I like the higher heel-to-toe drop in this shoe, especially for squats and lower body days. As someone with long shins and femurs, I enjoy having more “heel” with shoes for this context and if you’re similar, I think you’ll also resonate with this shoe.

While it may not be the best shoe for deadlifts due to its drop, especially if you’re getting specific with your deadlifting, it can hold its own for heavier pulls.

Testing the TYR CXT-1 Trainer for Deadlifting

Third and lastly, the outsole construction provides a nice level of grip on rubber gym floors, wooden platforms, and machines, so traction and grip shouldn’t be an issue when lifting with this model.

For CrossFit, the TYR CXT-1 Trainer’s performance was well-rounded and I had no complaints with this shoe until the durability issue I ran into during one of my rope climb sessions.

TYR CXT-1 Trainer Durability for Rope Climbs

That being said, if you j-wrap rope climb and do climbs at a higher volume, I’d highly suggest keeping an eye on your shoe’s midfoot. For context, I typically program rope climbs 2x a week and do one day with 10x single climbs and five 2x climbs on the second day.

This model ripped on my third rope climbing session tackling my sixth climb. Again, I’m hoping this is a rare issue and I don’t want to write off this model’s durability entirely, but I was bummed at the rate at which I experienced breakdown issues.

Testing the TYR CXT-1 Trainer for Functional Fitness

For things like burpees, double-unders, and dumbbell snatches, this shoe worked well and provided a nice blend of stability and responsiveness.

Testing the TYR CXT-1 Trainer for Versatile Training

For versatile training, I liked the TYR CXT-1 Trainer for two key reasons. First, the breathable mesh upper in this model provides a nice level of security when doing multi-directional exercises and plyometrics.

Testing the TYR CXT-1 Trainer for Versatile Training

I liked how locked down I felt in this shoe when doing lateral explosive work and working on my landing mechanics. The toe guard helped keep my feet in place and from spilling over the sole for this style of training.

Second, I enjoyed the base of the shoe and how you feel grounded when doing different styles of training. The outsole in this model walks a fine line between feeling athletic and flatter which is a plus for feeling grounded in HIIT sessions and athletic-style training.

Testing the TYR CXT-1 Trainer for HIIT Workouts

Something to note when it comes to versatile training in this shoe is that I did notice it took about a week to break in and start feeling more mobile. This model can feel a little stiff during your first workout but gets more mobile as you train in them more.

Overall, the TYR CXT-1 Trainer did a good job for athletic-style training and I’ve enjoyed their performance for sessions where I’m blending lifting, plyometrics, and conditioning circuits all in one training session.

Testing the TYR CXT-1 Trainer for Plyometrics

Testing the TYR CXT-1 Trainer for Short Runs and Daily Wear

For short runs, the TYR CXT-1 Trainer will work well for sprints, short runs programmed in WODs, and runs that range from 1-3 miles.

This model has a firmer midsole, so you get a nice level of ground feedback when sprinting, but I would pass on this shoe for longer runs. I think this shoe will be uncomfortable for longer mileage.

Testing the TYR CXT-1 Trainer for Running

For daily wear, I’d also suggest passing on this model and limiting their use to training sessions and using them for outdoor activities on concrete like pickleball, which they work pretty well for.

Their comfort isn’t the best for all-day wear and I think you’ll get more out of these shoes if you limit their daily wear usage.

Testing the TYR CXT-1 Trainer for Daily Wear

Coach Jake’s Take: The TYR CXT-1 Trainer can be a good well-rounded training shoe for heavy lifting and cross-training. This shoe will work best for athletes and lifters who like higher heel-to-toe drops and training shoes with a lifting bias.

TYR CXT-1 Trainer Sizing

For the TYR CXT-1 Trainer, most lifters and athletes should be safe going true to size in this model. Their length fits true and they have a neutral width with a toe box that follows a more anatomical shape.

I think narrow, neutral-width, and slightly wider feet will resonate well with this model. If you have notably wider feet, you may want to go up a half size to ensure you have enough room in the toe box with this model.

TYR CXT-1 Trainer Sizing Review

This shoe does not have the wider toe box like the lifter, which TYR also mentions on their site in the Q & A section. That being said, I would say don’t expect this model to have a toe box that blows other training shoes out of the water for width.

  • TYR CXT-1 Trainer Sizing Thoughts: Go true to size.

TYR CXT-1 Trainer Sizing and Fit

If you have additional questions on the sizing and fit of the TYR CXT-1 Trainer or how they compare to other cross-training shoes, drop a comment below.

Price Breakdown

For the TYR CXT-1 Trainer, you can expect to pay between $130 to $139.99 USD. Different colorways for the CXT-1 Trainer will have different price points.

TYR CXT-1 Trainer Flexibility

Compared to other CrossFit-focused training shoes, this shoe’s price point is right in line with other premium models. Outside of the rope climbing issue I had with this model, I think this model’s performance was solid for lifting, athletic-style training, and CrossFit.

That being said, if you’re trying to save as much as possible, you could also explore more budget training shoes.

Who Should Invest In the TYR CXT-1 Trainer?

Over the course of my review process with the TYR CXT-1 Trainer, there are a few contexts where I think this model makes a lot of sense.

1. You Want a Trainer With Good Stability

The TYR CXT-1 Trainer is a good training shoe for athletes and lifters who need a stable and versatile trainer for lifting and CrossFit. This shoe walks a good line between being stable, but also responsive in different training settings.

2. You Like a Higher Heel-to-Toe Drop

I also think the higher heel-to-toe drop will be a nice feature and resonate with some athletes who like training with higher drops. Additionally, this model has a good level of ankle and arch support.

TYR CXT-1 Trainer In Depth Performance Review

If you’re in the market for a trainer for CrossFit, lifting, and athletic-style training, and you enjoy a nice level of stability and higher heel-to-toe drops in your shoes, then you should enjoy the performance and construction of the TYR CXT-1 Trainer.

Who Shouldn’t Invest In the TYR CXT-1 Trainer?

The TYR CXT-1 Trainer is a strong shoe in the gym for the most part, but there are a couple of contexts where I think you’ll want to pass on this shoe.

1. You Like Flatter Shoes for Training

If you’re a lover of low heel-to-toe drops in your shoes for training, then you’ll want to pass on the CXT-1 Trainer.  I don’t think this trainer will be the best pick for athletes and lifters who like more minimalist-style shoes.

This model’s 9mm heel-to-toe drop is noticeable and it gives it a little more heel so I can see throwing off some athletes and lifters that love 4mm heel-to-toe drops and lower.

NOBULL Trainer Vs NOBULL Trainer Plus Vs RAD ONE Vs TYR CXT-1 Trainer Sizing Comparison

2. You Need Training Shoes With More Width

The TYR CXT-1 Trainer can be an awesome option for narrow and medium-width feet, but for wide feet, its toe box can feel a little cramped and snug.

If you need a little more width with your training shoes, then I’d suggest looking into models like the Nike Metcon 9, Reebok Nano 2.0, Adidas Dropset Trainer 2, and Born Primitive Savage 1.

Things I Like (Expanded)

Going into the TYR CXT-1 Trainer, I had no idea what to expect from this model. Throughout my training and testing, I found multiple pros to like about this model.

1. Well-Rounded Performance for Lifting and CrossFit

The first pro and thing to like with the TYR CXT-1 Trainer is this shoe’s performance. A lot of athletes and lifters, myself included, have been patiently waiting to hear about the CXT-1 Trainer’s performance.

In the context of lifting, versatile training, and CrossFit, the CXT-1 Trainer has done a pretty solid job in all of my training tests. For lifting, this shoe was stable enough to support 500+ lb deadlifts and 400+ lb squats.

TYR CXT-1 Trainer Midsole Construction

For CrossFit and versatile training, the Surge NRG foam midsole provided excellent responsiveness through the forefoot for things like box jumps, double-unders, and plyometrics. The breathable mesh upper with reinforced toe guard also offers a nice level of foot security in these training contexts.

2. Higher Heel-to-Toe Drop Could Be Beneficial for Some Athletes

The second thing to like about the TYR CXT-1 Trainer — which is what I think will be one of the most polarizing construction features on this shoe — is its higher heel-to-toe drop.

Compared to other dedicated CrossFit shoes, the CXT-1 Trainer’s 9mm heel-to-toe drop is one of the highest drops in the game. For context, other CrossFit shoes like the Nike Metcon 8 and Haze Trainer feature a 4mm heel-to-toe drop and the RAD ONE comes in at 6mm.

Testing the TYR CXT-1 Trainer for CrossFit

I think the heel-to-toe drop on the CXT -1 Trainer will resonate well with taller lifters and athletes who need and like a little more “heel” when they’re training. As someone with long legs, I appreciate the higher drop for tackling heavy squats and high-volume wall balls.

3. Good Ankle and Arch Support

The final aspect to like about the TYR CXT-1 Trainer is the ankle and arch support it provides. This model’s heel construction contains a fairly rigid heel cup which I enjoyed for locking down the heel and providing additional support.

TYR CXT-1 Trainer Heel Construction

I noticed the ankle support most when doing later plyometrics and never felt unstable in these shoes. They give a nice planted feeling and if you like training shoes with ankle support, I think you’ll enjoy this construction feature.

On top of the ankle support, the arch support in the CXT-1 Trainer is also pretty solid. Lower drop training shoes can sometimes lack when it comes to arch support, so if you do like having some arch support in your shoes, I think you’ll enjoy the CXT-1 Trainer’s feel.

TYR CXT-1 Trainer Sole Construction

Things I Don’t Like (Expanded)

For the most part, I’ve enjoyed training in TYR CXT-1 Trainer. However, there are a few cons to note about this model before investing in them.

1. Not a Good Shoe for Minimalist Lovers

The first potential drawback that I could see others having with this shoe is that it’s likely not going to resonate with those who like more minimalist-style shoes.

If you like lower heel-to-toe drops or training shoes with lower stack heights, I would say steer clear of this model. For example, if you enjoy shoes like the Haze Trainer or Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2, then you may find that the CXT-1 Trainer feels a bit thick and clunky.

TYR CXT-1 Trainer Try On

Personally, I don’t think the heel-to-toe drop and stack height take away from this shoe’s performance, but I could very well see some athletes not liking these features based on their training shoe preferences.

2. Durability May Be An Issue for Rope Climbs

The second drawback that I found with the TYR CXT-1 Trainer was its durability for j-wrap rope climbs. During my third rope climbing session with this shoe, I lost a chunk out of the lateral midfoot on my right shoe.

TYR CXT-1 Trainer Durability for Rope Climbs

This is the side of the shoe that takes a beating when j-wrap rope climbing, and when I noticed this I was pretty bummed. Mostly because it’s not a little scuff on the side of the shoe, but a fairly noticeable chunk of material that got taken out.

Truthfully, I’m hoping this is a one-off case and my shoe is an anomaly, but it’s a durability concern that I want to make known. It will be interesting to see if others experience similar issues with this model once more athletes are testing and using them for rope climbs.

TYR CXT-1 Trainer Durability for CrossFit Training

As to why this may have happened, I think the denseness of the rubber midfoot and heel wrap in conjunction with the ridges on the wrap may have caused the rope to catch and take a chunk out of the midfoot due to excessive friction and lack of glide.

3. May Lack With Outdoor Workouts In Grass

The last drawback that I noticed with this shoe is on the cosmetic side. In one of my outdoor sessions, I noticed the white mesh on my shoe’s toe box getting grass-stained fairly fast, and it wasn’t super easy to get out.

TYR CXT-1 Trainer Upper Construction

This somewhat caught me by surprise because I train in grass pretty frequently and haven’t experienced grass stains this fast on white and lighter colorways. That being said, if you invested in the lighter colorways for the CXT-1 Trainer, I’d suggest limiting their use to gym use and concrete to prevent colorway staining.

Construction Details

There are a lot of cool features that TYR tried to implement and use with the CXT-1 Trainer. Below are some of the key construction details to note about the CXT-1 Trainer.

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 9mm
  • Weight: 12.65 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Patent Pending Stability Platform
  • Breathable Mesh Upper
  • Full Rubber Outsole
  • Midfoot and Heel Wrap
  • Toe Bumper
  • Surge NRG Foam Midsole
  • Anatomical Toe Box

If you have additional construction questions about the TYR CXT-1 Trainer, drop a comment below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:
Do the TYR CXT-1 Trainer fit true to size?

A:
Most lifters and athletes should be safe going true to size in the TYR CXT-1 Trainer. This model's length fits true and they have a neutral width.

Q:
Is the TYR CXT-1 Trainer good for CrossFit?

A:
For CrossFit workouts, the TYR CXT-1 Trainer is a strong performer. This shoe's midsole is stable enough for heavy lifts and it offers features for supporting like rope climbs and prolonging its long-term durability.

Q:
Can you run in the TYR CXT-1 Trainer?

A:
The TYR CXT-1 Trainer is an okay shoe for short runs programmed in WODs and runs ranging from 1-3 miles. This model runs more on the stable side, so for running long distances, I'd pass on this shoe.

My TYR CXT-1 Final Verdict

The TYR CXT-1 Trainer has made quite a splash in the CrossFit and cross-training shoe communities due to its unique construction specs. For example, this is the first modern-day CrossFit shoe to feature a heel-to-toe drop of 9mm which is unheard of.

As a lankier lifter who likes more “heel” when he’s squatting and cleaning, I appreciate the higher drop. However, I also acknowledge from a coaching point of view that this drop won’t resonate with everyone’s anatomy and mechanics.

Outside of its quite polarizing heel-to-toe drop, the CXT-1 Trainer offers a nice blend of versatility and stability. I’ve squatted over 400 lbs in this shoe, deadlifted over 500 lbs, and have used them for sprints and plyometrics and I’ve enjoyed their feeling.

Bottom Line: I think if you resonate with this shoe’s last and heel-to-toe drop, then you’ll get a lot out of this model, especially when it comes to lifting. I do have some reservations about this shoe for certain CrossFit WODs, and I’ll discuss those below in my cons.

If you have additional questions on the TYR CXT-1 Trainer, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally 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.

5 thoughts on “TYR CXT-1 Trainer Performance Review (2024 Update)”

  1. In my opinion one of the best looking trainers. However, the shoe doesn’t do anything special. I prefer just a tad bit more cushioning.

  2. I’ve been training in these shoes for a few months now. They’re very stable. Great for lower body compound movements (i.e. squats, deadlifts, lunges, etc.) They do feel a little heavy, so not the best for longer runs, but still work well for sprints and shorter distances. They also look pretty cool, which is always a plus. The only con is that the upper seems to scuff and stain pretty easily. Overall, a great shoe though.

  3. Appreciate your education level on fitness! Do you really think there is benefit to a 9mm shoe for lifting? I have a THR on my right hip and still do what I can on the functional lifts. I usually use a 4mm drop but something just doesn’t seem right? Also, what shoe do you like for a 5K?
    Thank You,
    Ron Raines

    1. Hey! It really depends on your lifting mechanics and anatomy regarding heel-to-toe drop. 9mm can be awesome for some while others will despise that much “heel”. I think if you notice it’s tough for you to hit depth/feel comfortable at the bottom of squats with flatter shoes then the CXT-1 Trainer’s 9mm drop could be a great call for you.

      For 5ks, I’ve been loving the Adidas Adizero Boston 12s!

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