Verdict from 100+ user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • Many purchasers have complimented the comfortable experience they get when wearing the Nike Retaliation TR 2.
  • The majority of users claim the shoe to be true to size and width.
  • The shoe serves its purpose as reliable gym footwear, according to most testers.
  • A lot of buyers also enjoy using the trainer for daily casual use. 
  • The overall style of the shoe has received plenty of positive feedback from the customers.
  • Its lightweight construction has also been appreciated by a good number of wearers.

1 reason not to buy

  • Multiple people have complained about the overly narrow form of the insole. Instead of cradling the foot, its hard ridges rub against the heel causing too much pain.

Bottom line

The Nike Retaliation TR 2 is favored by most users. They find it a comfortable and well-fitting trainer that can be sported for both gym use and casual outings. The style department has also helped this model gain a lot of fans.

Even though several unhappy customers ended up sending their pairs back because of the uncomfortably narrow insert, the majority of buyers are still satisfied with their purchase.

Tip: see the best training shoes.

Good to know

The Retaliation TR 2 continues the budget-friendly line of men’s training shoes from the Swoosh brand. The trainer builds upon the successful features of the original model by inheriting its dual-density sole design for balanced support. It would have made the two shoes look identical if designers hadn’t played with the style of the new model a bit. 

The updated Retaliation exposes that part of the Flywire strings which is typically hidden underneath the material to give the Nike wearers a sneak peek into how this technology actually works. The new version also uses a more open mesh on the vamp to offer better ventilation of the foot chamber.

Protection. The heel portion and the sides of the forefoot are lined with rubber. This material is meant to serve as a durable guard to prevent early deterioration of these high-wear areas. The rubber also extends upwards at the front, creating a protective bumper. Given how many times an average person accidentally or intentionally bumps into equipment at the gym, this add-on will be a welcomed feature.

Traction. The use of this shoe is not strictly limited to the indoor environment. The aggressive rubber treads on its outsole make the trainer efficient on outdoor surfaces as well. It can also withstand regular wear on concrete pavements.

Stability. The rubber piece on the lateral side of the sole visibly protrudes sideways and upwards, forming an outrigger. This feature comes especially helpful during forceful lateral movements like side jumps. The outrigger makes sure that the foot doesn’t roll over the sides during multi-directional movements.

Examining the platform of Nike Retaliation TR 2, one may notice that it is made of two foam compounds of contrasting colors. The darker one has a firmer nature, while the lighter one is softer. This dual-density fusion helps to bridge the gap between cushioning and support – two essential qualities of an efficient training shoe

Cushioning. The more plush portion of the sole helps to bounce the foot during jumps and runs. Its responsiveness protects the foot and leg against the negative effect of the impact. This foam is also made more pliable, allowing the foot to bend freely when it comes to agile movements. The underfoot padding and comfort are enhanced by a cushioned footbed. It is meant to cradle the foot softly, providing a buffer between the wearer and the foam.

Support. As much as it is important to keep the foot protected against impact throughout the training session, it is equally critical to keep it steady. This is where the denser foam component comes in handy. Placed at the heel, this element is less prone to compression, preventing the foot from wobbling when it comes to lifting weights.

Foot containment. The Retaliation TR 2 makes use of multiple materials to create efficient coverage for the foot. That includes a more tightly-woven fabric at the rearfoot, a flexible mesh at the front, and synthetic overlays in the strategic areas. In addition, the heel is wrapped by a thicker synthetic cup, which contributes to the stability. The plush tongue and collar also provide extra ankle support. The most notable technology on the upper is the acclaimed Flywire system. It is comprised of eight highly robust strings that stretch from the midsole to the eyelets on both sides of the footwear. Connected with the lace-up closure, the Flywires help to enhance lateral support in the midfoot. 

Breathability. Nike employs an open mesh material on the largest portion of the shoe, including the tongue. The mesh has large ventilation pores which allow air to circulate inside the trainer. The fabric is coupled with a breathable textile lining on the inner side. Together they help in keeping the foot nice and refreshed.


How Nike Retaliation TR 2 ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 36% workout training shoes
All workout training shoes
Bottom 31% Nike training shoes
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Bottom 35% cross-training training shoes
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The current trend of Nike Retaliation TR 2.
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Nicholas Rizzo
Nicholas Rizzo

Nick combines 10+ years of experience in the health and fitness industry and a background in the sciences in his role as the Fitness Research Director. During his competitive powerlifting years his PRs have him sitting in the top 2% of bench presses (395 lbs), top 3% of squats (485 lbs) and top 6% of deadlifts (515 lbs) for his weight and age. His work has been featured on, LiveStrong, Healthline, WebMD, WashingtonPost, and many more. Along the way, collaborating with industry leaders like Michael Yessis, Mark Rippetoe, Carlo Buzzichelli, Dave Tate, Ray Williams, and Joel Seedman.