Home » YORK Athletics Mfg Frank Trainer Review | Stylish High-Performing Shoe?

YORK Athletics Mfg Frank Trainer Review | Stylish High-Performing Shoe?

YORK Athletics Mfg. makes a variety of performance-focused shoes for running, training, and recovery. The Frank Trainer from YORK Athletics Mfg. is designed to be versatile for a variety of training contexts.

As someone on the never-ending quest of finding the best cross-training shoes, I was super excited to put The Frank Trainer to the test. This model features a clean and classic look with construction designed for versatile training.

For athletic-style workouts, HIIT sessions, recreational lifting, and even daily wear The Frank Trainer has delivered a strong performance. Despite like this shoe as a whole, this model does come with a few drawbacks which I’ll discuss below.

In this YORK Athletics Mfg. The Frank Trainer review, I’m going to discuss a variety of topics to help you decide if this training shoe is right for your needs, wants, and preferences.

 

Looking for brand new cross-training shoes? Try out my TF2 Cross-Training Shoe Finder. This calculator matches you with training shoes that I’ve reviewed that fits your training needs and wants best.

Who Should Invest In the YORK Athletics Mfg. The Frank Trainer?

The Frank Trainer by YORK Athletics Mfg. is a really good training shoe to explore for the cross-training-focused individual that wants a highly versatile model. This shoe works best for classes, athletic-style workouts, and recreational lifting.

This model’s highly responsive EVA foam midsole does a good job at providing a nice “bounce” when doing things like jump rope and box jumps, and also provides enough stability for fairly heavy weight training.

YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer Review

I could see this model being best for those that want an athletic-style training shoe that also looks good on a daily wear basis. This shoe’s appearance and performance for day-to-day wear is another subtle perk that comes along with this model.

That being said, The Frank Trainer will not be the best training shoe for CrossFit, longer runs, or athletes with wide feet. However, as an “all-in-one” style training shoe that looks good when styled, too, I think The Frank Trainer is exceptional.

YORK Athletics Mfg. The Frank Trainer

$155

YORK Athletics Mfg. The Frank Trainer Product Photo
4.5
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.4

Best For

  • Boxing/Class-Style Workouts
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Boxing/Class-Style Workouts
  • Light Runs and Jumping

Falls Short

  • For CrossFit-Style Workouts
  • For Wider Feet
  • For Cost-Efficiency

YORK Athletics Mfg. The Frank Trainer Pros

Over the course of my testing and reviewing process with The Frank Trainer, I’ve found multiple things to like about this training shoe.

  1. Good Blend of Versatility for Different Training Styles
  2. Looks Great and Can Double As a Daily Wear Shoe
  3. High Level of Comfort and Breathability

The first aspect to like about The Frank Trainer from YORK Athletics Mfg. is their versatility for different training contexts and settings. If you want a training shoe that works well for athletic-style and class-focused training, then I think you’ll enjoy The Frank Trainer.

Testing the YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer for lifting

More specifically, I like The Frank Trainer best for workouts where I’m doing some light to moderate lifting, jumping, HIIT-style exercises, and more explosive training. For these settings, I like The Frank Trainer’s responsive EVA foam midsole.

On top of the midsole, I also like how the upper also locks down the foot when doing explosive lateral work, agility training, and even sprints. The rubber outsole and beveled heel also give this shoe a nice edge for multi-directional work, durability, and general comfort.

Testing the YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer Midsole Construction

In the context of lifting, The Frank Trainer was stable enough to support squats over 300 lbs and 455 lb deadlifts. I think The Frank Trainer will work for most lifters and athletes who want a shoe with adequate stability to blend lifting and versatile training.

Outside of the gym, I like that The Frank Trainer can double as a daily wear model. If you’re someone who wants one shoe for wearing to work, running errands, and then working out, The Frank Trainer is a good model to look into.

Testing the YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer for working out

While obviously appearance is subjective, I like the overall look of The Frank Trainer. It’s an easy model to style different outfits with and the lateral leather cage gives this shoe a slightly “classier” look compared to other training shoes.

On top of daily wear, I like the feel of The Frank Trainer when walking. The midsole is comfortable, the 9mm heel-to-toe drop gives this shoe a comfortable ride, and the beveled heel makes walking pretty seamless in this model.

YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer Outsole Construction

I could also see The Frank Trainer being a good model for traveling and anyone that wants to bring as few shoes as possible with them. You could travel in this model, train in them once you get to your destination, then rock them on a casual basis.

The final aspect to like about The Frank Trainer is its overall comfort and breathability. This model’s bootie-style construction is easy to wear for longer periods of time and you can wear this model tighter or looser without slip issues.

YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer Bootie Construction

The one-piece mesh upper’s breathability is also a nice pro with this model. If you train in warmer settings, then I think you’ll find that this model is pretty breathable and the mesh upper has a nice level of maneuverability to compromise its breathability.

YORK Athletics Mfg. The Frank Trainer Cons

Despite enjoying The Frank Trainer from YORK Athletics Mfg. for the most, I have found a few cons to be conscious of being investing in this model.

  1. Can Be Really Tough to Get On At Times
  2. Leather Upper Can Bleed In Some Colorways
  3. Forefoot May Feel Limiting for Wide Feet
  4. May Lack When Doing CrossFit and Heavy Barbell Training

The first drawback to note with The Frank Trainer is that this shoe can be pretty tough to get on at times. This model features a bootie construction that is comfortable, but not the easiest to navigate when getting your foot into this model.

YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer On Feet try On Review

The contexts in which I could see this being most problematic are for those with thicker feet, those wearing thicker socks, and when trying to put these on with sweaty feet.

After one of my workouts I took The Frank Trainer off to stretch and cool down, and when putting the shoe back on I noticed that I struggled with sliding the model on. I had to really loosen the laces up and angle my foot to get these on.

In fairness, I don’t think this will be an issue for anyone outside of the contexts mentioned above and this doesn’t really impact this shoe’s performance, but it’s something to note about this model nonetheless.

YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer Forefoot Width

Something else that I noticed which could be seen as a fairly large con with The Frank Trainer’s upper was that the leather midfoot cage’s color started to bleed a little bit onto the forefoot’s mesh.

I noticed this on the lateral side of both of my shoes at the base of the leather cage. I’m curious if it’s due to this area having more flexion and rub because it’s at the base of the forefoot or if it had to do with training outdoors in warmer weather.

YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer Leather Upper Construction

Another potential drawback that I have with The Frank Trainer is that the forefoot isn’t the widest. I think this shoe will work best for those with narrow, neutral, and slightly wider feet.

If you have notably wide feet and constantly struggle to find training shoes with wider toe boxes, then this model may not be the best for you. The upper does stretch and break in over time, but I’m not convinced you’ll enjoy their feet even then.

The last drawback to The Frank Trainer is understanding that this model’s performance will have its limits for certain activities. More specifically, this model will fall short for things like CrossFit and maximal barbell lifting.

YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer Midsole Performance

In the context of CrossFit, the upper durability in The Frank Trainer wouldn’t be the best for things like rope climbs and other highly demanding movements in CrossFit.

For barbell training where your intent is top-end strength, I could see the midsole being problematic for lifts over 500 lbs and the higher heel-to-toe drop may not be desirable for things like deadlifts.

Performance

To discuss the performance of the YORK Athletics Mfg. The Frank Trainer, I’m going to break this section into multiple parts. Below, I’ll talk about how The Frank Trainer performs for lifting, versatile training, short runs, and daily wear.

This way you can contextualize if The Frank Trainer is a good training shoe for your specific wants, needs, and preferences.

YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer Performance Overview

Testing the YORK Athletics Frank Trainer for Weight Training

In the context of weight training and recreational lifting, The Frank Trainer does a fairly good job. This model’s lightweight EVA foam midsole provides a nice amount of stability while also remaining responsive.

I liked this model best for more dynamic exercises like light to moderate power cleans and dumbbell snatches. The higher heel-to-toe drop and responsive midsole give this shoe a nice lively and athletic feel when moving weight in different settings.

Reviewing the YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer for lifting weights

The outsole on The Frank Trainer is also a perk for lifting. I never experienced slip issues when training on rubber gym floors and on turf when doing sled pushes, so I think this model will work well for athletes that like to train fairly heavily on different surfaces.

That being said, I don’t think The Frank Trainer will be your best option if you plan to go crazy heavy often with the barbell. The higher drop could be an issue for deadlift-focused sessions and the midsole may lack adequate stability once you surpass 400 lbs squatting.

Reviewing the YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer for weight training

For my heavier leg days, I tested this model with Hatfield squats around 385 lbs and that was right around the threshold where I started to notice a little bit of medial midsole compression. Not enough to deter performance, but it was nice to note where the cap may be for this model. 

Testing the YORK Athletics Frank Trainer for Versatile Training

For versatile training including things like plyometrics, HIIT sessions, and athletic-style workouts I really enjoyed The Frank Trainer. I think if you’re investing in this model and your weekly training has a pretty large bias for versatile training, then you’ll enjoy this shoe.

Reviewing the YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer for jump rope

I like how responsive this midsole is for things like jump rope, broad jumps, and single-leg explosive work, and the outsole does a good job at providing a nice bite on different surfaces. For multi-directional work, The Frank Trainer excels.

To add to the outsole’s grip, I also like the leather midfoot cage on this model because it helps provide you with a nice “locked-down” feeling. For example, I didn’t notice a ton of foot overhang in this model when I was absorbing my lateral hops.

Reviewing the YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer for versatile training

The mesh upper and bootie-style construction are also perks for this shoe when it comes to versatile training. I like the heel construction and how I didn’t have any issues with heel slip whatsoever, and the breathability of the one-piece mesh upper was also a subtle perk.

My only potential drawback for The Frank Trainer when it comes to versatile training is that this model doesn’t have a ton of arch support. This doesn’t bother me, but if you are someone who likes having more support for versatile-style training, then you’ll definitely want to consider this before investing.

Reviewing the YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer for hiit workouts

Testing the YORK Athletics Frank Trainer for Short Runs and Daily Wear

In the context of running, The Frank Trainer does an okay job for shorter runs. I would suggest capping your runs to around 3-miles or less in this model. The midsole does provide a nice level of “pop” for running, but I could see some athletes bottoming out in this shoe, especially at longer mileages.

For sprints and tempo runs, I liked this model for the most part. The breathability and seamless fit of this shoe makes it easy to wear for these contexts, so I think if you’re adding in sprints here and there to your training, then The Frank Trainer will do a good job.

Reviewing the YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer for running

For daily wear, I really like The Frank Trainer. In my opinion, it’s one of the better-looking training shoes on the market and the simplistic constructions help feel into its timely look.

The leather midfoot cage gives this model a classier look while not compromising performance or adding a ton of bulk and weight to this shoe. The clean mesh and boot construction are also a nice perk for styling this model up and wearing them casually.

Reviewing the YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer for daily wear

YORK Athletics Mfg. The Frank Trainer Sizing

For the York Athletics Mfg. Frank Trainer, most athletes should be safe going true to size in this model. The length of this shoe runs a little long and its width is what I would describe as neutral.

To add more context, I think if you have a narrow, neutral, and even slightly wider foot width, then I think you’ll be safe sizing The Frank Trainer in your normal size. 

YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer sizing

If you have a notably wide foot and constantly struggle to find models with “wide enough” toe boxes, then you may want to explore different training shoes. This model’s toe box reminds me of some Nike training shoes that also feature slightly narrow toe boxes.

Before investing in The Frank Trainer, I’d highly suggest using YORK’s sizing tool. This tool is pretty awesome and with a little work it helps you find your ideal shoe size. 

  • York Athletics Mfg. The Frank Trainer Sizing Thoughts: Go true to size.

 

YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer Sizing and Fit

If you have additional sizing and fit questions about the YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer, drop a comment below and I can try to help you out accordingly.

Price Breakdown

For The Frank Trainer by YORK Athletics Mfg. you can expect to pay $155 USD. This price point is fairly high compared to other training shoes and I think it can be hit or miss depending on what you want out of these shoes.

YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer

If your performance wants and needs match where this shoe excels as detailed in this review, then I do think the price point for this model is worth it. Plus, this model’s appearance is a perk for their price because it adds to the versatility for daily wear.

That being said, for anyone wanting a training shoe for CrossFit or top-end strength work, then I think you could find models with lower price points that will match your training needs better.

YORK Athletics Mfg. The Frank Trainer

$155

YORK Athletics Mfg. The Frank Trainer Product Photo
4.5
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.4

Best For

  • Boxing/Class-Style Workouts
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Boxing/Class-Style Workouts
  • Light Runs and Jumping

Falls Short

  • For CrossFit-Style Workouts
  • For Wider Feet
  • For Cost-Efficiency

Construction Details

Below, I’m going to outline and discuss the construction details that go into the YORK Athletics Mfg. The Frank Trainer. The details below can play a role in this shoe’s overall performance and durability.

YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer insole

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 9mm
  • Weight: 10.40 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • One-Piece Mesh Upper
  • Bootie-Style Construction
  • Thick Tongue and Heel Pulltabs
  • Leather Midfoot Cage
  • Gum Rubber Outsole
  • PU Foam Sockliner
  • Hot Melt TPU Welded Toe

If you have additional construction questions about The Frank Trainer, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally.

YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer Performance Review

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:
How do you clean YORK athletic shoes?

A:
To clean your YORK Athletics. Mfg shoes and get the most out of them, I'd suggest using a spot clean method. Grab a washcloth, lukewarm water, and a soft soap void of harsh dyes and colors, then hand clean dirty areas that need attention. Remove the insoles and place the shoes in a dry area to properly dry them.

Q:
Do the YORK Athletics Frank Trainer fit true to size?

A:
Most should be safe going true to size in YORK Athletics Mfg. The Frank Trainer. Their length fits true and they have a neutral width. Despite this model fitting true to size for me, I'd highly suggest that you use YORK's sizing guide to find your ideal size.

Q:
Are the York Athletics Frank Trainer good for running?

A:
The Frank Trainer works okay for shorter runs that range from 1-3 miles. For longer runs, I think this model may get a little uncomfortable for some and you may want to explore footwear options that are more specific to this context.

Q:
Can you lift heavy in The Frank Trainer?

A:
The responsive EVA foam midsole used in The Frank Trainer does a pretty good job of supporting heavy lifting. When squatting over 300 lbs and deadlifting over 400 lbs in this shoe I didn't have any glaring issues with stability and midsole compression.

Takeaway Thoughts

Overall, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed training in The Frank Trainer and wearing them on a daily basis. They perform well in a variety of contexts and look good for casual wear.

If you’re someone wanting a versatile training shoe that looks good dressed up, then I think The Frank Trainer can be a viable training shoe to explore and look into.

There are a few drawbacks to The Frank Trainer and I think there are a few training settings where this model falls short, so it’s important to note this shoe’s intent before investing since it has a higher price point.

If you have additional questions on the YORK Athletics Mfg. Frank Trainer, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend).

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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