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TYR continues to expand on its footwear line-up with the DropZero Barefoot Trainer. This shoe is TYR’s first ever barefoot shoe and is designed to be primarily gym and performance-focused.
This model features a dual-strap system and TYRTac outsole, giving this model a unique spin compared to other barefoot shoes for lifting. I was most curious about this shoe’s security and flexibility.
After buying my DropZeros and putting them through multiple tests in the gym, I’ve narrowed down my thoughts on who should buy the DropZero Barefoot Trainer and who should pass on this model.
TYR DropZero Barefoot Trainer Quick Look
The TYR DropZero Barefoot Trainer is a barefoot shoe that was built in collaboration with Squat University. This model is designed to give more depth to TYR’s performance-focused footwear line.
This shoe has a wider toe box to promote toe splay when lifting like the TYR L-1 Lifter. If you follow Squat University then it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a wider toe box is one of the main focal points of this model.
As a first barefoot shoe pass, the DropZero Barefoot Trainer hits a lot of the pillars that you’d want out of a barefoot shoe for training. It’s flexible, has a grippy outsole, and an upper designed to prolong the shoe’s overall durability.
- Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0mm
- Stack Height: ~4-6mm
- Removable Insole: Yes
- Width: Wide
- Strength Training
- For Cost-Efficiency
- For Running
TYR DropZero Barefoot Trainer Pros
- If you’re a powerlifter or strength athlete, you shouldn’t have slip issues in this model. The TYRTac outsole does a good job of giving you a solid grip on different surfaces like wooden platforms and rubber gym floors.
- This shoe has a more rigid upper and outsole compared to other barefoot shoes. If you like a more built-out barefoot shoe for training like the Vivobarefoot Motus Strength, I think you’ll resonate with this shoe’s fit and feel.
- The toe box of this shoe has a good amount of width and there isn’t a super aggressive taper through the midfoot. If you have wide feet you shouldn’t have many fit issues in the TYR DropZero Barefoot Trainer.
TYR DropZero Barefoot Trainer Cons
- The forefoot break in this model is interesting and can feel aggressive for activities like running. If you want a barefoot shoe for running I’d pass on this model and get something like the Xero Shoes Zelen.
- This model has a higher price point of $150-160 which aligns with other premium barefoot shoes from Vivobarefoot. If you’re on a budget you can find strong-performing shoes for less like the Tolos Archetype 2.0.
- The dual-strap system on this shoe is interesting and it reminds me of a deadlift slipper. For this reason, I don’t love this barefoot shoe for daily wear and I don’t think it will be your best “do it all” style shoe.
To break down the performance of the TYR DropZero Barefoot Trainer, I put this shoe through multiple lifting, cross-training, short runs, and daily wear tests.
Testing the TYR DropZero Barefoot Trainer for Lifting
In the context of lifting, the TYR DropZero Barefoot Trainer does a good job. This is a barefoot shoe that will have its bias towards strength training and activities like powerlifting.
For deadlifts, I thought the TYRTac outsole did a good job of providing a nice bite on different surfaces. Thus far, I’ve deadlifted multiple sets from 455-510 lbs and haven’t had slip issues whatsoever.
Granted, this shoe isn’t as grippy for deadlifts as models like the AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5, but for recreational lifters and most powerlifters, the grip of this model should be fine.
For squats and lower body days, I’ve enjoyed the DropZero Barefoot Trainer for the most part. This shoe’s articulation is nice for giving your foot adequate mobility when hitting squats, split squats, and lunges.
My only concern with the DropZero Barefoot Trainer is its forefoot break. The forefoot of this shoe has a fairly beefy upper which can give the break of this model an interesting feel. It should break in for most lifters, but I’m not convinced this will feel okay for every foot size.
Testing the TYR DropZero Barefoot Trainer for Cross-Training
If you like to train like me in a more athletic style where you’re jumping, lifting, and sprinting in most workouts, the TYR DropZero Barefoot Trainer is an okay pick compared to other barefoot shoes.
It’s not going to be your best hybrid-style barefoot shoe, in my opinion, but if you’re doing movements like broad jumps, box jumps, and jump rope here and there then this shoe will suffice.
For example, in one of my review-focused workouts, I went from Hatfield squats to box jumps and I liked this shoe’s performance. It felt pretty seamless in this context and its upper security felt strong across the board.
I am a little nervous about the straps’ durability over time as you put more stress on this shoe, but thus far, they’ve been secure and have shown little to no signs of stress from exercises like plyometrics.
The bulkier upper and dual straps with the forefoot break are why I don’t outright love this shoe for anyone who primarily wants a shoe for cross-training. If I had to guess, I think this iteration with the laces will be stronger in this vertical.
Testing the TYR DropZero Barefoot Trainer for Short Runs and Walking
For short runs, I’d tread lightly with the TYR DropZero Barefoot Trainer — quite literally. This shoe can work for sprints and they were “okay” for my 800-meter intervals, but I didn’t necessarily love them.
For example, if you sprinkle in interval bouts or sprints in your workouts then you’ll be fine with the DropZero Barefoot Trainer, but they do have a bulkier feel which I think could be a turnoff for some.
Barefoot shoes like the Xero Shoes HFS (the OG model) will give you a much more “barefoot shoe-like” feeling compared to the DropZero Barefoot Trainer. This will not be your best barefoot shoe for running bouts longer than a mile, in my opinion.
For walking and daily wear, the TYR DropZero Barefoot Trainer is also a pass for me. Will they work? Sure, but they’re not going to be your barefoot shoes that can transcend the gym and look casual with different outfits.
The dual-strap system gives this model a sporty look and if walking and daily wear is a big ask for you, I’d look into other barefoot shoes or wait until the version of this shoe with the laces comes out.
TYR DropZero Barefoot Trainer Performance Overview
- These are a strong pick for strength training, powerlifting, and general lifting workouts.
- For cross-training, they can work but their bulky upper can feel heavy at times.
- I don’t love this shoe for running. For sprints, they’re fine, but for runs longer than 800 meters I’d seek out something more specific.
- For walking, these are sub-par. I’d wait for the laces version if that’s a big ask for you.
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TYR DropZero Barefoot Trainer Sizing
- TYR DropZero Barefoot Trainer Sizing Thoughts: True to size for most.
For most lifters and athletes, true to size will be the best call in the DropZero Barefoot Trainer. This shoe’s length runs true and they have a width that should accommodate most foot anatomies.
I have an E-width foot and have plenty of room in this shoe even if I’m wearing thicker socks. For my current barefoot shoe wearers, these feel similar to most Vivobarefoot shoes regarding their width.
My One Sizing Concern…
My one hesitation with this shoe in the context of different sizes is for smaller feet I’m curious if the forefoot break is going to feel more abrupt or offputting compared to larger feet.
To elaborate here, the Tolos Archetype 1.0 could sometimes feel weird for smaller feet due to its extended TPU wrap. With the DropZero’s thicker forefoot upper, I wonder if that will crease harder for smaller sizes.
We need more data points there so please drop a comment below if you experience this with your DropZero Barefoot Trainers because I’m super interested in if this is a non-issue.
If you need additional help with sizing in the TYR DropZero Barefoot Trainer, drop a comment below and let me know what shoe you currently wear and in what size.
DropZero Construction Breakdown
This shoe’s outsole is built with a rubber TYRTac material. This is TYR’s proprietary construction for building a non-slip rubber outsole for training and I like it for the most part.
The tread pattern isn’t the most aggressive so you don’t notice it like in models like the Vivobarefoot Primus Trail Knit FG which has more aggressive lugs. Out of the box, the rubber feels grippy and it grips better with more friction.
The upper is composed of a breathable mesh and this shoe features a bootie-style construction and dual-strap system. The dual straps have relatively heavy anchor points at the forefoot and midfoot.
This adds a little bulk to this shoe and I think you’ll notice these points more when breaking this shoe in. In the context of the boot, I haven’t had heel slip issues yet and I do appreciate how easy this shoe is to get on and off.
- Powerstraps Lacing System
- Mesh Upper
- Textile Overlays
- Anatomical Toe Box
Who Should Buy the DropZero Barefoot Trainer?
- Lifters and strength athletes who want a barefoot shoe built with a lifting bias.
- Athletes who love barefoot shoes with a little more structure and bulk through their upper.
- Individuals who want a barefoot shoe with a bootie-style construction that’s easy to get on and off.
Who Shouldn’t Buy the DropZero Barefoot Trainer?
- Anyone who wants a barefoot shoe that you can also wear casually and on a daily wear basis. This shoe looks a little too sporty for most casual wear settings, in my opinion.
- Athletes who want a barefoot shoe they can run mid to long distances in. The bulkiness of this shoe’s upper hinders its running performance and I don’t love the straps for this context.
- Strength Training
- For Cost-Efficiency
- For Running
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q:Does TYR make barefoot shoes?
Q:Are the TYR barefoot shoes good for lifting?
The TYR DropZero Barefoot Trainer is a pretty good first pass at a barefoot shoe. Is it the best barefoot shoe to date? No, but I do think there’s a lot to like about this model.
It’s a good barefoot shoe for lifting and the straps make it easy to get on and off if that’s a big ask you have with your shoes. The TYRTac is probably my favorite feature of this shoe and gives this model a nice grip.
If you have additional questions about this shoe, drop a comment below or reach out to me via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend).