Someone recently direct messaged our Instagram and suggested we review the RAD One. Our audience usually provides good suggestions, a credit to our audience’s ability to spot exciting sneakers. And once RAD One sent over a pair for review, I realized that not only is it worthy of a review, but RAD is beating a lot of the big brands at their own game.
Sizing: True to Size
Starting at the shoe’s base, the RAD One starts things off right with a full-length herringbone traction pattern. Herringbone is the most tried and true pattern and RAD was smart to use it. It grips everything and doesn’t pick up a ton of debris. It also wraps slightly up the sidewalls on the medial side and lateral toe similar to traction on basketball models like the Kyrie line. That’s especially helpful for any side-to-side movement. I found the traction performed great in every in-gym circumstance and shined when doing agility drills or plyometrics.
And while the Swell Foam didn’t shine like the traction, it was solid. I wouldn’t want to run in the RAD One, more on that later, but the cushion protected my feet during all the exercises I did in the weight room.
The foam not being that cushy does have one benefit…stability. The plastic sidewalls and firm base kept the shoe level no matter how much weight I put on my shoulders or above your head. The 6mm drop felt flatter than that even though I’m sure that was my imagination. I felt completely secure on deadlifts, squats, and the various single-leg exercises I do to improve my ankle and hip mobility.
This brings us to the most interesting of the positives of the RAD One, the upper materials. RAD does use mesh typical of cross trainers but also includes high-quality synthetic suede and nubuck. The suede and nubuck elevate the look and feel of the RAD One and really set it apart from anything else you’d see in the gym. It’s nice to get upper structure from nicer-looking materials versus plastics or vinyl. I wish the bigger brands would take note of RAD’s approach.
I wouldn’t run in the RAD One, the cushion is a little too firm and the plastic sidewalls mean the shoe is clunky when trying to run. The shoe takes the smoothness out of your stride so it’s just kinda annoying to run, though you can use the shoe for some sprinting as needed.
The only other con isn’t really a drawback of the shoe itself, but the release model of the shoe. Right now, RAD uses a drop model. The RAD One is released in a new colorway or several colorways every month. RAD posts the new shoes to its website, and the shoes usually sell out in less than a day.
I don’t love the drop model for shoes, especially performance shoes like the RAD One because the hype train business model always grinds to a halt at some point. Since RAD is a newish company, I hope they’re just using this model to build up resources so they can (eventually) always have the RAD One and any new models available on the website. The RAD One is a very good cross training shoe, and I hope people have an easier time grabbing it in the future.
RAD One Summary
The RAD One is the best cross training shoe on the market not named the GoRuck Ballistic Trainer. It uses nicer than average materials, has a stable base with impeccable traction, and can handle any type of weight room exercise you throw at it. Running in the RAD One isn’t ideal, but it can handle everything else you want to do. It’s a great looking but super functional weightlifting and cross training shoe that provides enough old school shoe vibes to be different than what anyone else is wearing at your gym.