Nike Varsity Compete TR 3 review

The Nike Varsity Compete TR 3 is a jack-of-all-trades athletic shoe that finds itself at home in a variety of settings. Whether you're lifting weights, doing Crossfit, gliding on an elliptical, or playing racquetball the Nike Varsity Compete TR 3 is a solid choice.

Who should buy the Compete TR 3

The shoe is best suited for athletes who want a:

  • great shoe to wear to the gym or in fitness classes
  • shoe that does it all (almost)
  • comfortable shoe that can easily double as a casual work shoe

Who should NOT buy the Compete TR 3

Look away if you:

Sizing is spot on

The Nike Varsity Compete TR 3 fits true to size. I wear a medium size 9.5 (US Men´s).

Narrow toebox

The toe box of the Nike Varsity Compete TR 3 runs on the narrow side. I find this to be common among most Nike shoes, so if you're used to that and like it, great. If you have wide feet and need more room, the Nike Varsity Compete TR 3 is probably not for you.

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Secure, solid lockdown

The lace cage and the wide laces are well designed and give the shoe a solid locked-down feeling. I felt very secure in all of my workouts.

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Supple feel right out of the box

The Nike Varsity Compete TR 3 is a super comfortable shoe. Right out of the box it had a very natural, supple feel to it. I wore these shoes to workout and found myself wearing them around town the rest of the day.

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I would have liked a little more cushion

While I know it is not a traditional running shoe, it could still benefit from the addition of some extra foam in the mid-sole and heel area.

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The Varsity Compete TR 3 is stylish

From the get-go, the style of the Nike Varsity Compete TR 3 appealed to me. It just has a great look about it. I could wear this stylish shoe to the gym, out for coffee, or to the office on a casual Friday.

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Could be better ventilated

My one big criticism of this shoe is that it could stand to be a little better ventilated. Parts of the upper, mainly the ankle collar are a bit over-stuffed. The tongue could be a lot slimmer as well. These all add up to the shoe running just a little warm for my liking.

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Outsole is amazingly grippy

The multi-directional micro treads of the sole are amazingly grippy. Whether you're lifting weight, doing Crossfit, or in a fitness class, the sole of the Nike Varsity Compete TR 3 will not disappoint.

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Admirable lightweight feel

At 10oz/283g the Nike Varsity Compete TR 3 is really light (most cross-training shoes weigh 10.5oz/298g). The Nike Varsity Compete TR 3 feels quick and agile due to its slim size.

Affordable

Coming in at $70, the Nike Varsity Compete TR 3 is priced to move. At half of what I am normally willing to pay for athletic shoes, the Nike Varsity Compete TR 3 is a steal (cross-training shoes have an average price of $103).

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A shoe built for diverse uses

While the Nike Varsity Compete TR 3 is not built for running, it does excel in many other areas. From court sports to fitness classes to general gym use the Nike Varsity Compete TR 3 will serve the athlete well. Priced affordably, the Nike Varsity Compete TR 3 is a shoe that is hard to pass up.

Facts / Specs

Use: Workout, HIIT, Jumping rope / Gym / Cross-training
Width: Normal, Wide, X-Wide / Normal
BRAND Brand: Nike
Toebox: Narrow
Colorways: White / Black
SKUs: CJ0813001 / CJ0813002 / CJ0813004 / CJ0813005 / CJ0813006 / CJ0813012 / CJ0813100 / CJ0813400 / CJ0814003

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Author
Sean Kiffe
Sean Kiffe

My name is Sean Kiffe. I live with my wife and three daughters in Missoula, MT where I teach middle school science. I am primarily a trail runner but also dabble in road events occasionally. Currently, I am working my way into ultra distances and will be doing my first 50K and 100K trail races this season.