Perfect for the gym, pressure-resistant and being offered on the market for a decent price of 70 dollars. Those are the main advantages of Nike Varsity Compete TR 2, a successor of the first model Nike Varsity Compete TR. Even though they are both marked as training shoes, they look quite different. But that I will get to a bit later. 🙂 First, let’s take a look at why actually I also consider these shoes to be running shoes, when they are more or less meant to be for indoors only.
Even though the shoe looks a bit cheap, Nike Varsity Compete TR 2 still got some EVA cushioning into its midsole. Thanks to this fact, it can be therefore marked as a running type of shoe as well. The cushioning is under the average quality and it is definitely not as thick as a usual professional running shoe but for very short distances, it is more than sufficient. The upper is great as well. The synthetic mesh upper I tested both outside and afterwards during an ongoing training inside. And to be honest, in both situations, it seemed to be very well breathable and fast drying out after the workouts. Next to breathability, I strongly appreciated the two straps in the middle part of the shoe.
Those straps are connected to the main shoe lacing so that together they create some well adjustable reinforcement. Depending on how strongly you tie the shoe, they will snug the upper to your foot. Exactly this is the main difference between the Nike Varsity Compete TR 2 and the first model. That one actually only had some side webbing and its stabilizing effect felt from my experience less effective. The webbing was more as another way of lacing. On the other hand, the straps feel thicker and thus overall the Nike Varsity Compete TR 2 is even safer providing more stability. That is of course for both running the same as for lifting heavy weights or movements requiring dexterity a highly demanded attribute. For this aspect, the shoe has nothing to be ashamed of.
Where it made me hesitant, though, if I would buy it again, was the fact that the shoe runs very narrow in the front. The length is true to size but the narrowness is almost extreme. In my case I went back to the shop and got a whole size bigger shoe. Moreover, not only that the inner is too small but the tongue is thin and barely movable. Therefore, I even had sometimes problems to put the feet fast inside. Luckily, this inconvenience is solved by the heel loop. In the end, this can be for you as a runner just a minor problem that shouldn’t definitely demotivate you from buying this shoe.
My final feelings…, the shoe is seriously great for short warm-ups before you go to the gym and finally for the gym exercising itself. It provides lots of stability thanks to the lateral straps so that you will be feeling stable and well protected over the whole time of your workout. The only one big downside… be careful of the size that you go for.