I recently was sent the Go Ruck BALLISTIC TRAINERS in the sleek Black + Gum with Black Reflective Spearhead colorway, by Go Ruck. I was eager to give them a go. I can confidently say that these shoes have exceeded my expectations across the board. Boasting a unique blend of cutting-edge features, they have quickly become my go-to choice for a wide range of workouts. I’ve used lot’s of shoes from many notable brands, over my 40+ years of exercising. Let’s delve into the standout aspects that make these trainers exceptional.

Engineered Warp Knit & CORDURA® Ballistic Nylon Upper: The upper material of the Go Ruck BALLISTIC TRAINERS is a revelation in durability and design. The engineered warp knit seamlessly combines strength and comfort, strategically reinforced for added robustness. The incorporation of CORDURA® Ballistic Nylon in critical areas not only enhances abrasion resistance but also provides unparalleled support during dynamic movements. These shoes are undoubtedly crafted to withstand the most demanding challenges.

I recommend these for street wear as well as indoors and outdoors workouts. I was impressed by the pliability of the upper; it is soft, durable and stretches with your feet when they swell or shrink. Feet can swell up about 1/4 inch or more when they are engorged with blood during exercise. I didn’t have any issues using these when lifting but the shoes felt a little swishy when running. Thankfully, they come with the added eyelet useful for cinching your laces down tightly.

Anatomically Molded TPU Heel Counter: Stability is paramount, especially during dynamic exercises with heavy loads. The anatomically molded TPU heel counter in these trainers anchors the foot securely, ensuring heel stability for injury prevention and maintaining proper form. It’s a testament to the meticulous attention paid to both performance and safety.

Lace-Lock Eyelets: The inclusion of lace-lock eyelets is a small yet impactful detail. This feature allows for a secure heel lock, preventing slippage and unnecessary ankle movement. It’s a subtle addition that significantly enhances the overall fit and feel of the shoes. There is no need to butterfly lace the shoes. Notice the offset eyelet right near the throat of the shoe?

Wide Toe Box: The generously designed forefoot area and breathable knit material provide a natural feel, allowing toes to move freely and breathe. This extra space accommodates foot swelling during extended workouts, minimizing friction and ensuring lasting comfort. I mentioned the swelling before. What I liked about the upper is the wide toe box. I have wide feet, and most of my shoes are made by Altras. The Ballistic Trainers have adequate space in the front, and I love that.

Custom High Density Insert: The custom high-density insert, supporting all three arches of the foot, is a game-changer in terms of cushioning and stability. Every step feels comfortable and well-supported, making these trainers suitable for prolonged use.

Versatile Heel-to-Toe Drop: With an 8mm heel-to-toe drop, the Go Ruck BALLISTIC TRAINERS strike a perfect balance between classic powerlifting shoes and functional fitness trainers. This versatility caters to various workout styles, from heavy lifting to covering long distances.

Gradient Density™ EVA Midsole: The EVA midsole, featuring a smooth gradient from forefoot to heel, provides an optimal blend of high rebound and flexibility. This design is ideal for explosive movements, while the firm, stable EVA in the heel ensures a solid foundation during weightlifting and squats. The midsole and outsole collaborate to establish a robust and stable foundation. Its resilient and easily maintainable exterior makes it suitable for both training sessions and everyday wear. A break-in period is necessary for optimal comfort. However, the heavier profile makes it less conducive to agility-focused circuits or extended running sessions. I noticed the stiffness immediately when I tried walking in them. It took about 2-5 days for the shoes to soften. Using the shoes more will break them in. These shoes are great for doing O lifts and short runs, but I wouldn’t count on them for longer runs.

Triple Compound Rubber Outsole: The well-engineered triple compound rubber outsole is a thoughtful addition. Tailored compounds in different areas offer superior grip in the forefoot, durability in the heel, and specialized support for rope climbs in the midfoot. This attention to detail speaks volumes about the shoe’s versatility.

In conclusion: 

While the Ballistic Trainers eventually deliver a commendable level of comfort, the immediate out-of-the-box experience doesn’t quite match up. A noticeable rigidity requires some breaking in over several wears, a characteristic that aligns with the impressive stability and durability of this silhouette. Following about a week or more of training, a welcome transformation occurs as both the upper and midsole soften, achieving an optimal balance of plush comfort and breathability without compromising the shoe’s mid-lift sturdiness.

Although it’s not a significant drawback for a shoe to necessitate a break-in period, it’s worth noting when comparing the Ballistic Trainers to other high-performing gym shoes. Some athletes may prefer a silhouette that offers immediate plush comfort, avoiding the initial adjustment phase.

While the midsole impressively delivered stability during lifting sessions, the Ballistic Trainers won’t be replacing your dedicated running shoes for cardio or extended plyometrics due to the weight distributed across the frame. During several multi-mile runs in these trainers, you might distinctly sense a degree of clunkiness emerging, particularly toward the middle of your runs. Additionally, during workouts solely focused on plyometrics and agility training, the shoes didn’t support fast-paced foot movements as effectively as other slimmer profiles.

However, the Go Ruck BALLISTIC TRAINERS have left an indelible mark on me with their innovative materials, thoughtful design, and versatile performance. Whether tackling heavy lifting or embarking on long runs, these shoes deliver on every front. For those seeking a high-quality, all-encompassing training shoe, I wholeheartedly recommend the Go Ruck BALLISTIC TRAINERS. They are a true investment in both performance and comfort.

Comfort – 4/5

Soft Lycra collar

Durability – 5/5

Ballistic fabric upper

Functionality – 5/5

Interior shape of the shoe designed by accurately tracing the anatomy of the foot

Double Damper

Double shock absorption system for optimal cushioning

VIBRAM® Extended Sole

Sole which provides traction and stability.

Weight – 5/5

Weight 411 gr. (Half pair size 7 US).

Value – 5/5  $115.00-$140.00 Great price and value.

Overall rating – 24/25

I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer via Spotter Up so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based on my personal experience with the product.

*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.


By Michael Kurcina

Mike credits his early military training as the one thing that kept him disciplined through the many years. He currently provides his expertise as an adviser for an agency within the DoD. Michael Kurcina subscribes to the Spotter Up way of life. “I will either find a way or I will make one”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.