Our verdict

We believe that the Nike Air Zoom TR 1 is great for quick explosive workouts. It offers a lot of energy return and impact protection, which are precisely what we need to get the most out of many exercises. Hence, we think that this is the best pick for people on the go who can only squeeze in a short exercise period.

Pros

  • Dependable bite on gym floors
  • Pretty durable toebox
  • Good impact protection
  • Nice lateral stability
  • Secure heel hold
  • Smooth heel-to-toe transitions
  • OK for occasional outdoor use

Cons

  • Not breathable at all
  • Not for wide-footers
  • Not for heavy lifting

Audience verdict

83
Good!

Who should buy

We wear-tested the Nike Air Zoom TR 1. We also subjected it to several lab assessments. Based on our results, we conclude that this Nike trainer is most suitable for the following:

  • busy people who only do short but pretty explosive workouts
  • gymgoers who appreciate shoes with softer midsoles
  • wearers who are on the lookout for durable training shoes

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 buy

Who should NOT buy

Based on our experience, this training shoe from Nike had serious issues with breathability. Aside from the Adide Dropset 2, the Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 is also a good alternative when it comes to ventilation.

It's clear to us that wide-footers are not the primary targets of the Nike Air Zoom TR 1. It simply did not offer more width than the typical trainer. We think that the Nike Metcon 9 is a better pick for wide-footers.

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 spreadout

Breathability

We felt intense heat while we were working out in the Nike Air Zoom TR 1. Some of us felt a deluge brewing inside the shoes! We could only use this shoe for short workouts at best because of the klack of breathability.

We pumped smoke into the shoe and it was pretty frustrating to see that very little smoke (if at all) was able to pass through the upper material. No wonder it was so hot! The experience was VERY different from the one we had with the Adidas Dropset 2, which got a perfect 5 for ventilation.

The light test, however, showed a lot of transparent areas. That observation was misleading because we never felt air blowing because of how closed off this trainer was. We felt it would be a crime to give this trainer a score better than 1 over 5.

When viewed under the microscope, the upper showed a frustrating image. 

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 upper microscope

True, there were ventilation holes. However, there was another layer of mesh material right beneath those holes. Having this layer defeated the purpose of having the holes in the first place.

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 Breathability
Test results
Air Zoom TR 1 1
Average 3.2
Compared to 32 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

Just by looking at it, we already had the idea that the upper of the Nike Air Zoom TR 1 would have a lot of durability. Our lab results confirmed our initial assessment.

We pressed the Dremel against the shoe's upper, and the toebox showed impressive resistance. Only a scratch was seen after the high-pressure assault, prompting us to give the Nike Air Zoom TR 1 a perfect 5 for toebox durability.

As seen in the picture below, the state of the Air Zoom TR 1 was very different from the Adidas Dropset Trainer, which got a 1 over 5, in the aftermath of the Dremel test. 

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 Toebox durability
Test results
Air Zoom TR 1 5
Average 2.7
Compared to 21 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

During our lab test, the heel padding of the Air Zoom TR 1 showed moderate resistance to abrasion. Because of this, we were able to give this shoe a solid 3 out of 5 for the sturdiness of its heel padding.

We have to admit, the damage that our Dremel assault left on the heel was not to be ignored. We still suggest that users be careful not to rub against the heel padding too much, especially when performing repetitive jumping exercises.

Yet, the Nike Air Zoom TR 1 still fared better than the Nike MC Trainer 2, which got the lowest 1 over 5 for heel padding durability.

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 Heel padding durability
Test results
Air Zoom TR 1 3
Average 2.5
Compared to 19 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

We touched the outsole of the Nike Air Zoom TR 1 before wear-testing it, and we could say that its outsole was indeed on the softer side. We could feel our fingers sinking into it more easily than usual.

When we pressed our HC durometer against the sole, we were not anymore surprised when the device gave out a reading of 75.6, which is significantly lower than the average we have on record.

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 Outsole hardness
Test results
Air Zoom TR 1 75.6 HC
Average 83.2 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 32 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
57.5 HC
Outsole hardness
94.5 HC

Outsole durability

Surprisingly, though, the soft outsole displayed just as much durability as the typical trainers. The dent that our Dremel drilling left on it was only 1.0 mm deep, a number that is equal to our recorded average.

Given such results, we feel that this shoe is OK for occasional outdoor use. Frequent outdoor exercisers, we feel, are better off with the Nano X2 TR Adventure from Reebok.

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 Outsole durability
Test results
Air Zoom TR 1 1.0 mm
Average 1.2 mm
Compared to 17 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

Our caliper showed that the outsole of the Nike Air Zoom TR 1 was just as thick as any other at 3.5 mm. 

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 Outsole thickness
Test results
Air Zoom TR 1 3.5 mm
Average 3.7 mm
Compared to 32 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
5.1 mm

Weight

We felt nothing too special with the weight of this Nike trainer. Our scale in the lab pegged this shoe's weight to be 11.5 ounces or 325 grammes.

We have no complaints, though, since this shoe still allowed us to jump or run without much issue. We could say that the Air Zoom TR 1 worked as expected in this regard.

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 Weight
Test results
Air Zoom TR 1 11.46 oz (325g)
Average 10.79 oz (306g)
Compared to 32 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
6.38 oz (181g)
Weight
13.83 oz (392g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

The thickness of the heel was just around the average. Our calliper measured it to be 22.3 mm thick.

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 Heel stack
Test results
Air Zoom TR 1 22.3 mm
Average 24.3 mm
Compared to 32 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
13.7 mm
Heel stack
36.2 mm

Forefoot stack

As with the heel, the forefoot stack was also average. Our calliper pegged the forefoot's thickness at 18.4 mm. 

Do we have complaints about the average midsole? Not really. It worked as it should, providing us with enough ground feel to stabilise our runs. It also provided enough softness to keep pain at bay.

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 Forefoot stack
Test results
Air Zoom TR 1 18.4 mm
Average 18.4 mm
Compared to 32 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
10.6 mm
Forefoot stack
27.7 mm

Drop

This Nike training shoe was just as flat as any other trainer that we tried. As such, we did not feel clunky when we walked around while wearing it. The video below clearly shows our relatively smooth steps.

Based on our calculations, its heel-to-toe drop was 3.9 mm.

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 Drop
Test results
Air Zoom TR 1 3.9 mm
Average 5.9 mm
Compared to 32 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
1.8 mm
Drop
13.4 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

The midsole may be of average thickness, but it surely felt significantly softer than usual. The video below shows how easy it was for the midsole to compress when pushed against a hard surface.

We welcomed its softness as good news because it proved useful in keeping us pain-free even if our workouts dragged on for long hours. The pain-free experience was still there even if our workout programme included a lot of skipping rope, jumping jacks, and other similar exercises.

What's even better is that the shoe was equipped with an Air Zoom unit that consistently delivered a lot of energy. It pretty much fuelled our explosive workouts.

Our HA durometer gave the midsole a softness rating of 20.5, which is much lower (hence softer) than the average on record.

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 Midsole softness
Test results
Air Zoom TR 1 20.5 HA
Average 27.4 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 32 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
17.4 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
47.0 HA

Insole thickness

The shoe came with a removable insole. It was as thick as the average insole at 3.6 mm.

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 Insole thickness
Test results
Air Zoom TR 1 3.6 mm
Average 3.8 mm
Compared to 32 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Insole thickness
5.7 mm

Stability

Lateral stability test

We do not recall having any problems with the Nike Air Zoom TR 1 in terms of its lateral stability.

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 lifting

While it was not the best (the Nike Metcon 9, for example, is better), it still allowed us to feel confident when we performed some lifting exercises.

Torsional rigidity

Lifting exercises were also made easier by the moderate twist resistance that the Nike Air Zoom TR 1 displayed. 

Back in the lab, we manually twisted and bent this Nike trainer. We've handled more rigid kicks, but this one was still a lot better than the Legend Essential 3 from Nike, which got the lowest 1 over 5 for torsional rigidity. It deserved a 3 out of 5.

Test results
Air Zoom TR 1 3
Average 2.7
Compared to 32 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

We felt more confident hoisting plates, kettlebells, and even barbells overhead because of how secure our heels felt while wearing the Nike Air Zoom TR 1.

We manually assessed the stiffness of the heel in the lab by giving it a good squeeze. It got a well-deserved 4 out of 5 from us. 

Test results
Air Zoom TR 1 4
Average 2.8
Compared to 32 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

The platform of the Air Zoom TR 1 was of average size. At the forefoot, it was 111.2 mm wide. 

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Air Zoom TR 1 111.2 mm
Average 109.6 mm
Compared to 32 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
101.0 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
117.3 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The heel area of the platform was also of average width at 87.1 mm.

We could not find any serious flaws with the platform. In all fairness, it was able to keep our feet well-contained whatever exercise we were performing.

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Air Zoom TR 1 87.1 mm
Average 86.8 mm
Compared to 32 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
76.5 mm
Midsole width in the heel
97.4 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

This Nike training shoe was flexible enough to bend whenever we needed it to. Performing exercises such as burpees, mountain climbers, and planks was never a problem.

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 bend

In the lab, we learned that this trainer needed 17.7N to bend at 90 degrees. This number is just around the average.

Test results
Air Zoom TR 1 17.7N
Average 18.6N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 31 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
6.8N
Stiffness
37.9N

Grip / Traction

We had the confidence to do running, skipping, and all sorts of footwork because of how sticky the outsole was to the floor.

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 outsole

We dare say that traction was never a problem for the Nike Air Zoom TR 1.

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

We wouldn't recommend this shoe to those who have wide feet. At its widest, the toebox was only 100.9 mm wide, which is just around the average.

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Air Zoom TR 1 100.9 mm
Average 100.1 mm
Compared to 32 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
90.4 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
108.0 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

At the big toe, the toebox was 79.5 mm wide. This meant that this shoe did not taper toward the toes any better or worse than the average training shoe.

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Air Zoom TR 1 79.5 mm
Average 78.2 mm
Compared to 25 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
65.0 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
87.5 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The tongue was fully gusseted on both sides. This configuration effectively improved the fit of the shoe. 

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Air Zoom TR 1 Both sides (full)

Comfort

Tongue padding

The tongue had a padding that was 7.1 mm thick. It kept the top of the foot comfortable. This much padding also helped in improving the fit and foot containment.

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 Tongue padding
Test results
Air Zoom TR 1 7.1 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 32 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
1.0 mm
Tongue padding
10.4 mm

Heel tab

The Nike Air Zoom TR 1 did not have any heel tab, which should not be an issue since it was never difficult to put on or take off this Nike trainer.

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 Heel tab
Test results
Air Zoom TR 1 None

Removable insole

This shoe came with a removable insole.

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 Removable insole
Test results
Air Zoom TR 1 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

This training shoe from Nike did not have any reflective elements that would have increased its visibility in the dark.

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 Reflective elements
Test results
Air Zoom TR 1 No