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VIKTOS Core Gym Review | Great Option for Flat and Wide Feet?

VIKTOS Core Gym

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The VIKTOS Core Gym has been a surprisingly strong-performing shoe for my lifting and cross-training sessions. I went into this training shoe completely neutral regarding what to expect.

At this point, I’ve reviewed over 100 pairs of cross-training shoes and when I assess new models I’m constantly ranking their stability, versatility, and fit compared to other shoes. The VIKTOS Core Gym has been great because it’s unique in many ways.

If you’ve been looking for a stable and wider-fitting cross-training shoe, then you’ll want to keep reading about how the VIKTOS Core Gym has performed in all of my lifting tests.

VIKTOS Core Gym Pros and Cons

Logo

Pros

  • Well-rounded performance for lifting and cross-training. This shoe can also works for outdoor sessions and CrossFit exceptionally well.
  • Great option for flat and wide feet. This shoe is wide throughout its midfoot and toe box giving it a much more wide feeling compared to other models.
  • The high upper-volume in this model makes it a great pick for athletes with thick feet and high insteps.

Cons

  • The high upper-volume while great for some may be too much for narrower feet with lower insteps.
  • This shoe can feel a little clunky at times so it will have some limitations for running-focused workouts.
  • If you want a shoe for daily wear, too, you may not resonate with this shoe's appearance as it doesn't look that casual — in my opinion.

VIKTOS Core Gym Summary

The VIKTOS Core Gym was built to tackle heavy strength sessions, versatile workouts, and short runs. It’s essentially VIKTOS’ stab at creating a dynamic, well-rounded training shoe.

This shoe is constructed with Parariggers™ sidewalls for additional lateral support and it’s purposely built with a higher volume through the forefoot and midfoot for thicker and wider feet.

Heel-to-Toe Drop, Weight, Insole, and Sizing

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 12.4 oz (for my size 10)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to size with a wider more spacious fit
  • Price: $125

Key Features

  • Parariggers™ Sidewalls
  • Hi-Rebound EVA Midsole
  • Full Rubber Outsole
  • Wide Forefoot and Midfoot

That Fit Friend Verdict

If you have thicker and wider feet and feel like you’re constantly battling the toe boxes of your cross-training shoes then it could be worth giving the VIKTOS Core Gym a try. This is one of the most spacious training shoes on the market, in my opinion.

This shoe was stable enough to support my 475 lb deadlift sets of 6 and it was responsive and durable enough to feel good when doing CrossFit WODs that included double-unders, box jumps, and rope climbs.

VIKTOS Core Gym

VIKTOS Core Gym Product Image
4.5
Stability
4.6
Versatility
4.3
Durability
4.5
Quality
4.6

Best For

  • heavy strength training
  • thicker and wider feet
  • rigorous cross-training workouts
  • CrossFit and rucking

Falls Short

  • for longer runs
  • for narrow and low-volume feet

Who Should Buy the VIKTOS Core Gym?

For my testing process with the VIKTOS Core Gym, I narrowed down a few contexts where I think this shoe makes a lot of sense.

1. You need a shoe that’s flat and wide-foot-friendly

The VIKTOS Core Gym is going to be one of your best bets if you need a shoe with a lot of space through the forefoot and midfoot. Compared to other wide training shoes like the Born Primitive Savage 1 the Core Gym takes the edge.

If you have a high instep, for example, then the Core Gym will give you “more” space to splay the toes and let your feet move naturally. On top of this, this model has a flat midfoot which is great for lifters and athletes who despise having an arch in their shoes.

VIKTOS Core Gym On Feet Review

I find that this shoe makes it easy to let my arch collapse and react when training. Of the cross-training shoes for flatter feet I’ve tried, the VIKTOS models continue to come in as some of the best trainers for flat feet.

2. You want a training shoe for lifting and CrossFit

If your primary training with your shoes revolves around lifting and CrossFit or versatile training, then the VIKTOS Core Gym can be a good option to look into. I find that this shoe walks a nice middle ground between being stable and versatile.

The hi-rebound EVA foam midsole doesn’t compress easily when you’re pushing over 400 lb deadlifts and squats and I find that it gives you a nice pop when doing plyometrics and explosive exercises.

Testing the VIKTOS Core Gym for Deadlifts

Deadlifting 475 lbs for 6 reps

I also really enjoy the Parariggers sidewalls in this shoe and how they promote lateral support and add some durability for things like rope climbs. I feel like this is a nice addition since this model runs a little wide, to begin with.

The VIKTOS Core Gym offers a unique feel in the context of cross-training and CrossFit shoes. This model is stable yet versatile and is built wider with an exceptionally spacious midfoot which can make them a good pick for flat feet.

Who Shouldn’t Buy the VIKTOS Core Gym?

For the most part, the VIKTOS Core Gym has been a strong shoe in the gym. However, there are a few instances where you’ll want to pass on this shoe.

1. You have narrow and low-volume feet

As you’ve probably gathered from this review, this shoe is not going to be the best option for narrower feet. For example, I have E-width feet which are deemed as normal/wide relative to different companies and this shoe is almost too spacious for me.

If you have feet that are narrower than an E-width then I think you’ll be swimming around in this shoe even if you crank the laces super tight. For this foot anatomy, I’d suggest passing on this model on opting for something like an Adidas Dropset Trainer 2.

VIKTOS Core Gym for Flat Feet

On top of this, if you have lower instep/low-volume feet then you’ll also have some security issues in this shoe, in my opinion. The medium-volume forefoot likely won’t give you the best security, especially for explosive exercises.

2. You need a shoe for hybrid workouts

Despite some marketing text saying these shoes can be great for “grinding through a cardio session” I find them to be pretty sub-par for running-focused workouts, or at least, they have some limitations.

This model reminds me of shoes like the Reebok Nano 2.0 with its higher-density midsole. It’s decently comfortable for short runs under 800 meters and intervals, but for longer runs, I’d pass on this shoe.

VIKTOS Core Gym Try On

For example, if you need a shoe that is built and a little more optimized for hybrid workouts then you’d be better off finding a shoe with a midsole that’s a little more responsive than the Core Gym’s.

Performance Assessment

To properly assess the performance of the VIKTOS Core Gym, I put this shoe through my protocol of lifting, versatile training, short runs, and walking tests.

Is the VIKTOS Core Gym Good for Lifting and CrossFit?

For lifting, the VIKTOS Core Gym has been a pretty stellar cross-training shoe, especially in the context of stability. This model’s hi-rebound EVA midsole doesn’t compress a ton when doing heavy barbell exercises and machine work.

Testing the VIKTOS Core Gym Stability

Thus far, I’ve squatted 405 lbs and deadlifted over 475 lbs in this model and I’ve enjoyed how it’s performed. There haven’t been any reps where I felt like I was going to lose my balance or as if there was a glaring compression issue with the midsole.

The width of the forefoot is also a perk of this model. For lunges and split squats where you want the toes to flex, bend, and articulate naturally this shoe’s width and volume do a good job of accommodating.

In the context of CrossFit, I’ve enjoyed the Core Gym and see that as another viable option for athletes with wider feet. This shoe feels somewhat similar to older Reebok Nanos but with a much more spacious fit.

Testing the VIKTOS Core Gym for Leg Day

Thus far, the upper has done a good job resisting abrasion from rope climbs and burpees and it’s a good shoe for giving you a blend of stability and responsiveness for different WODs.

Is the VIKTOS Core Gym Good for Cross-Training?

For cross-training and workouts things that include HIIT circuits, plyometrics, and multi-directional work, I’ve enjoyed the Core Gym’s performance for three reasons.

First, I like how the EVA midsole has a good level of flexibility. Despite not being the more “minimalist-feeling” training shoe on the market, I never found the Core Gym to bog me down when training. They almost feel like more athletic skate shoes.

Testing the VIKTOS Core Gym for Cross Training

Second, I’ve enjoyed the upper and sidewalls for promoting additional security. I think if you’re doing a lot of exercises where you like “feeling” the sidewalls of your shoes to drive into then you’ll also appreciate this construction feature.

Third and lastly, the full rubber outsole has a nice level of tread and good traction on different surfaces. This shoe has been nice because it’s consistently grippy on rubber gym floors, turf, and even wooden platforms.

My one complaint about this shoe for cross-training is that I can see it being a little too wide for some foot anatomies. I think if you have narrower feet you’ll find yourself sliding around in this shoe and the “skate shoe-like” feeling of them can actually be a negative.

Testing the VIKTOS Core Gym for Plyometrics

Is the VIKTOS Core Gym Good for Short Runs and Walking?

When it comes to running, the VIKTOS Core Gym is just “okay” and it’s not my favorite training shoe to run in. For this shoe, I pushed them in workouts where I was tackling 400 and 800-meter intervals. 

For these distances, this shoe felt okay but I think because they run a little wider and flatter they can feel a little clunky for running. They kind of remind me of the Reebok Nano X when it comes to running as that shoe also reminded me of a skate shoe.

If you need a training shoe that’s more optimized for running and you plan to do 1-mile runs or more pre and post-workout without a huge focus on strength work, then I’d look into other options like the On Cloud X 3.

Running In the VIKTOS Core Gym

When it comes to walking and daily wear, I’ve actually enjoyed the Core Gym. Its width and flatter sole make it easy to wear for long periods because your feet never feel limited, hot, or like they’re being constrained by the last.

I also find that the midsole — while yes, being a little denser — isn’t so dense that it feels uncomfortable for walking. If you need a shoe for wearing all day, rucking, or walking the dog for longer bouts like myself then you’ll enjoy this shoe, in my opinion.

Wearing the VIKTOS Core Gym On a Hike

Wearing the VIKTOS Core Gym On a Hike

VIKTOS Core Gym Sizing

  • VIKTOS Core Gym Sizing Thoughts: True to size for wide and flat feet.

For most athletes and lifters, I think true to size will be the call for the VIKTOS Core Gym. This shoe does feel “bigger” compared to its peers but I don’t think that would warrant sizing down for most.

More specifically, if you have neutral/regular-width or wide feet, then you’ll be fine opting for your normal size in this model. I have an E-width foot and generally sit as a true 10 in most brands and the VIKTOS 10 feels fine for my needs.

I will say, while training in this shoe, I do have to crank the laces pretty tight to get this shoe to feel secure and snug and that’s due to its more spacious volume in the forefoot and midfoot.

VIKTOS Core Gym Width

My One Sizing Concern…

I’ve touched on this throughout this review, but if you have narrow and low-volume feet, I would either size down a half-size or pass on this shoe. I’m not convinced you’ll get enough security with this shoe’s upper and laces.

If you have additional sizing questions about this shoe, drop a comment below and let me know what shoe you currently wear and in what size. I can help suggest the best size for your needs then.

Construction Details

Midsole and Outsole

The midsole in the VIKTOS Core 2 is a hi-rebound EVA foam. This midsole reminds me of the midsole material used in models like the Reebok Nano 2.0, Adidas Dropset Trainer 2, and Reebok Nano X3.

VIKTOS Core Gym Midsole

It feels dense and stable, but when you drive into it it gives you a nice degree of energy back. The outsole features a full rubber tread and has grooves on the forefoot, midfoot, and heel with different tread patterns around the lateral forefoot and midfoot.

Upper

The upper of the Core Gym feels to be well-built and it’s been durable across all of my tests. This shoe features a breathable knit chassis with additional synthetic leather overlays that cover the forefoot and midfoot.

I find that the Parariggers sidewall gives this model a bit more rigidity through the midfoot but not in a limiting way or a way that decreases this shoe’s overall flexibility. The boot is built with a padded mesh and there’s an external heel tab for help putting this shoe on.

VIKTOS Core Gym Upper

The tongue is built with a padded mesh material and it feels good on the foot from the first wear which was not the same as the Core 2. There are five core eyelets on this model and I like that there’s no overlapping of material at the bottom of the forefoot.

VIKTOS Core Gym

VIKTOS Core Gym Product Image
4.5
Stability
4.6
Versatility
4.3
Durability
4.5
Quality
4.6

Best For

  • heavy strength training
  • thicker and wider feet
  • rigorous cross-training workouts
  • CrossFit and rucking

Falls Short

  • for longer runs
  • for narrow and low-volume feet

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:
Are VIKTOS shoes wide?

A:
The VIKTOS Core Gym is built with a wide anatomical toe box. This shoe's midfoot is also wide which makes it a suitable option for flat feet as well.

Q:
Are VIKTOS shoes good for CrossFit?

A:
The VIKTOS Core Gym has been surprisingly good in most CrossFit WODs. It's stable enough for heavy strength work, versatile enough for WODs with double-unders and box jumps, and its proven to be durable.

Final Conclusion

If you want a training shoe that feels built for flatter and wider feet then you’ll enjoy the VIKTOS Core Gym. This model has been exceptional regarding its stability and it has a nice range of versatility.

The hi-rebound EVA foam midsole and rubber outsole are awesome for adding to this shoe’s range and capabilities, the upper feels durable and its breathability is pretty strong.

If you have additional questions about the Core Gym, drop a comment below or reach out to me via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend).

Jake Boly

Jake Boly

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.

2 thoughts on “VIKTOS Core Gym Review | Great Option for Flat and Wide Feet?”

    1. I like this model better. They’re similar(ish), but the Core Gym’s upper is a lot more reinforced laterally for training which you do notice when tackling cross-training sessions! If you’re on the fence and plan to train in your model, I’d go Core Gym

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