The ASICS Conviction X was the most sensitive CrossFit shoe we reviewed, with a minimalist design that performed well on running and light weightlifting workouts. This was also one of the more breathable shoes we tested.
ASICS Conviction X Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Very sensitive, breathable, comfortable on runs
Cons: Less supportive, narrow fit
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Conviction X provides the sensitivity of a minimalist shoe with acceptable performance on running and light weightlifting workouts. Its breathability makes it a good choice for hot environments.
The Conviction X scored lowest of the shoes we tested in weightlifting. Its flexible upper provided the least lateral stability for heavy squats, and the flexible sole failed to transfer as much power as the other tested shoes during explosive lifts. The minimalist sole was helpful on loaded carries, providing a smooth transition from heel to toe. On light barbell movements, the sensitive sole helped with quick foot transitions. This model was ranked just behind the New Balance Minimus 40 on weightlifting. The Minimus had slightly more lateral stability when squatting or pulling heavy. Both the ASICS and New Balance shoes were ranked behind the bulk of the shoes we tested due to their more flexible soles.
The Conviction X provided acceptable performance during runs, though not at the level of the New Balance Minimus 40 or Nike Metcon 3. The Minimus 40 is light with an anemic sole that gave it the edge on endurance workouts. For sprints, the Conviction X lost only a little power from heel and toes contortion. Surprisingly, on shuttle runs, while the X is very flexible, it could still handle direction changes.
Though similar to the Minimus, it felt less powerful on sprints. It has more flex in the sole and allows more pronation on long runs. It also lacked a little lateral stability on the shuttle runs. The Nike Metcon 3 performed very well on sprint accelerations and shuttle runs, providing a little more power transfer and stability than the Conviction X. The Conviction X was better for running than the Reebok Nano 7. Although the Nano 7's stiffer sole was better at transferring force for rapid accelerations, it became much less comfortable at cruising speed than the Conviction X.
Consistent with its relatively minimalist design, this competitor did not provide as much support as the other shoes we tested. The sole is relatively flexible, as is the upper. The lacing system works adequately. However, we found it easier to pronate on runs in the Conviction X than in the more supportive shoes. If you seek the sensitivity provided by a minimalist shoe, you may be comfortable with this model's lack of support.
The Conviction X was ranked slightly less supportive than the New Balance Minimus 40, which offered more lateral stability. It was at the opposite end of the support spectrum from the Adidas Powerlift 3, which has a stiffer upper, a more stable connection between sole and upper, and a strap across the instep to lock the foot in place. The Conviction X eschews those support features in favor of greater sensitivity and lighter weight.
The X provides an interesting feature to keep the laces from getting snagged — a pocket built into the tongue lets you tuck the laces out of harm's way. Theoretically, this decreases the likelihood of an untied lace causing a face-plant. The upper around the instep is relatively well-armored against rope climb abrasion. The toe box, however, is vulnerable to jump rope strikes from a missed double-under. The X was ranked as slightly less protective than the Inov-8 Fastlift 370 BOA and the New Balance Minimus 40 - both of which also have significant amounts of mesh in the upper.
The X scored highest in the sensitivity metric. The thin sole lets you feel whatever surface you're on, and make rapid adjustments. This is especially helpful on high-rep explosive lifts (power snatches and kettlebell swings, for example.) When you start to lose your balance, this shoe gives immediate feedback to help you corrent.
Right behind the ASICS in sensitivity was the New Balance Minimus 40. The Minimus 40 has a slightly thicker sole than the ASICS, making it just a bit less sensitive. The Metcon 3 also scored high for sensitivity but the stable heel held back the score a little.
This is an exceptionally breathable shoe. It performs well in hot, humid environments, with its mesh in the toes shedding more heat than many of the shoes in our test.
The X was reasonably comfortable during a variety of movements, including running. However, it was a little narrow for our testers and its thin tongue allowed the laces to dig into the tops of the feet if over-tightened. Our testing indicated that the ultimate models for comfort are the NOBULL Trainer, Nike Metcon 3, and Adidas Crazypower Trainer.
This competitor is well-suited to workouts that combine running with bodyweight or light barbell movements. It is good for those seeking the sensitivity of a minimalist design, or breathability for hot environments.
This model is priced similarly to shoes which were scored higher overall in this review for their superior performance on weightlifting. However, if you're looking for a minimalist shoe with a very sensitive sole, the Conviction X may be a good value for you.
The Conviction X by ASICS is a minimalist shoe with excellent sensitivity, and acceptable performance on running and light weightlifting workouts. Its breathability makes it a good choice for hot environments.
— Scott Francis