I finally broke down and put a gym in my basement. It is now (arguably) complete with a full weight rack, treadmill, bench, dumbbells, and free-weights. I toss in earbuds or use the Echo Studio for some old school pop punk rock tunes and get to work as often as I can. The only thing wrong? My favorite workout shoes are about a year old and starting to split at the toe. This makes working on cardio and plyometrics a bit of a challenge. Thankfully, Born Primitive was gracious enough to send me a pair of their new Savage 1 Cross trainers to test out and review. Without further ado, here are my thoughts on the new kicks.
When the Born Primitive box arrives at my door, I don’t see anything different about it. The marketing on the box and in the box are basic. It’s the same experience as if I went into a shoe store and snagged them off the shelf. Just the way I like it. I don’t care about the box for working out. I care about the functionality of what’s inside of it.
During my first try on, I notice three main things. The most important thing to check off my training list is simple: Do the shoes fit like they should. Simply put – yes, they do. I wear a size 10, and the Born Primitive Savage 1 Cross Trainers are true to size. The fit is spot on. I’ve had better luck getting shoes online in recent years than I have going into a store so I’m pretty excited I don’t have to deal with any type of exchanges. I have a narrow heel and they still grab it just fine. The shoes differ in style in that they have a wider spot right where the ball of the foot lies – this is my second item to check off my list – how the shoes look.
The Savage 1 Cross Trainers look as good as they fit. I wore them out to a lunch meeting for work, and I immediately got comments on the style, and I even sent a link to purchase to a colleague who thought her nephew would be very interested. They come in both white and black, and I opt for white. The only danger here is that white shoes tend to shoe dirt much faster, and I really like how fashionable, pure, and stylish these new kicks look. My wife doesn’t care for the aforementioned wider toe, but what she doesn’t realize is that this is intentional for lifting performance (more on that later). To each their own – they work for me. So – these puppies look good, they feel good, but how do they endure performance wise?
When I work out, I’m much more focused on muscle groups than say cardio. At my age, it should probably be a heavy mixture of both, and I am working on fixing that. I just find cardio (at least treadmill) so taxing. Regardless of my feelings, a great pair of supportive shoes are critical to performance.
Performance is where the Born Primitive Savage 1 Cross Trainers shine. They are lightweight and breathable, and I don’t feel like I’m wearing bricks on my feet like the way some Asics have felt over the years. The overall support in my heel and midsole are on fleek. Born Primitive designed the sneakers with a dual density molded footbed which is denser in the heel for stability during a heavy lift.
The cushioning is softer at the forefoot to allow for cushioning while running and jumping. I can definitely feel this difference in my workouts. The wide toe comes into play for balance – I find this especially helpful when I’m working on any type of squat exercise. Most importantly, I just feel good when I wear them. Historically, shoes tend to ride up my ankle. In these my ankles don’t slip, and they conform to my foot the way they should.
It is safe to say the Savage 1 Cross Trainers check all three boxes for me. They look good, feel great, and help me perform at my best. I recommend them to anyone who needs a good quality shoe for free weight workouts and cross training. All in all, my workouts became a lot more fun knowing I’m getting the support I need from a great product.