The UA Project Rock BSR 3 (Blood, Sweat & Respect, named after Dwayne Johnson’s famous training mantra) represents a shoe line in the Project Rock segment that we haven’t tested yet. The BSR is Under Armour’s Project Rock budget trainer. We’ve increasingly seen it on the feet of UFC fighters thanks to the fighting league’s footwear deal with UA.
We’ve been reviewing Under Armour’s Project Rock line of training shoes consistently since it’s launch all the way through the sixth iteration, finding ourselves generally interested in the line and feeling that it’s always just one change away from feeling like a real player in the training shoe market (though we did love the PR5).
With the return of The Rock to WWE programming recently and seemingly on a course to open a can of whoopass on his cousin Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania 40, we thought it was a great time to correct our oversight and see if we can smell what the Rock is cooking on an affordable budget (Editor’s Note: by now you know that an Arune review means abundant bad puns).
While Under Armour did send us pairs of the Project Rock BSR 3 to facilitate this review, they had no involvement in this review, didn’t receive an advance look at it, and have not attempted to influence it.
UA Project Rock BSR 3
How do the Authors Train?
Arune Singh (age 41, 5’11”, 215lbs): Trains daily with functional fitness programming provided by Deadboys Fitness, founded by Colby “Seth Rollins” Lopez and Josh Gallegos, along with logging 30-40 miles of running per week. He also has a medical history of Sleep Apnea and Myasthenia Gravis, meaning Arune’s focus is on lean muscle mass.
Drew Whitcomb (age 42, 6’6″ 195lbs): Trains daily with a focus on running, strength training, and mobility. He writes the majority of our running shoe reviews and runs a lot of miles due to testing needs and his growing affinity for long-distance races. He regularly competes in marathons, half-marathons, 10k, and 5k races. His strength training and mobility regimen center around maintaining flexibility and lifting heavy to build power as a counterbalance to all the running he’s doing. His number one focus is staying injury-free so he can keep up the sweet gig of reviewing shoes for a living.
What is the UA Project Rock BSR 3?
Under Armour describes it as:
These shoes were built for explosive movement and dynamic training, day in and day out. You never let up, neither do these—stability for strength training, flexibility for HIIT, and cushioning for mobility.
Arune: I should probably admit my bias up front – I am a giant Dwyane Johnson fanboy when it comes to the fitness side of things.
Drew: You’re also the only human being who watched Black Adam eight times in one week.
Arune: It was NINE times, boss. And twenty-three times total since release.
Drew: That’s 23 times more than me. Also, you may need a hobby.
Arune: Well, like I was saying, I really love the Project Rock line of gear – I’ve been there since the initial Delta shoe drop all those years ago and the Project Rock shoe is the training shoe I look forward to each year (even if the PR6 was one of the worst shoes I reviewed in 2023).
So, I wasn’t sure what to expect from a budget version of the Project Rock line and, well…
I LOVE IT.
We’ll discuss the fit and comfort later on, but one thing that I’ve always believed is that the Project Rock shoes are the kind of shoes that The Rock would use in his training – these aren’t shoes I’d recommend for Crossfit or HIIT (despite UA’s claim otherwise) because these are made for Rock’s “clanging and banging.”
In that context, I found these shoes to be an absolute beast with all my lifts – the TriBase tech functions just as well in the premium Project Rock shoes, giving me great ground feel even with that chunky Charged Cushion midsole (which happens to be super comfortable). Interestingly enough, the lack of ground feel was a major complaint both Drew and I had about the PR6 but here in the budget version it’s excellently addressed.
Combining TriBase with a grippy outsole means that heavy squats, deadlifts or lunges all feel incredibly stable, allowing you to focus on your work instead of worrying you’re going to tip over. I set some PRs with RFESSs (Editor’s Note: Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats) and kettlebell step ups in these shoes, so these really addressed all my stability needs,
While I’m not sure it would be a top choice for a HIIT shoe, I did find it was really solid with a variety of bodyweight training movements including jump squats, burpees, skaters, and pushups. The TriBase tech and full rubber outsole really perform well with quick movements in all directions, so you can throw your body with reckless abandon as you please,
I honestly have no complaints. Drew, how’d these work out for you?
Drew: While the BSR 3’s Charged cushion is uninspiring, Arune’s right, this is a great shoe for “banging and clanging” in the weight room. Stability, per usual with TriBase, was top notch and lifting heavy weight overhead or elsewhere always felt secure.
I do differ with Arune on the bodyweight movements. I found the lack of cushion annoying when doing plyometrics, jump rope, or skaters. I just need a little more cushion on those movements and found myself avoiding those type of exercises while training in the BSR 3. While that won’t be the case for everyone, keep that in mind depending on your preferences.
Arune: My standard cardio testing for any training shoe is sprinting, light jogging, rowing, air bike training and even some shadow boxing if time allows.
As with the Training section, the Project Rock BSR 3 really performed well in this area but I want to offer a caveat:
If you’re looking to do some quick sprints as part of a metcon or your warm up, the BSR 3 is a sufficient though not outstanding performer, This shoe isn’t built to be a runner and so using it for sustained running just isn’t recommended – bring something else if you’re getting on a treadmill.
Otherwise this performs really well in all the other cardio sessions I mentioned above, with enough room in the toe box for the expected natural foot swelling during training. The shoe isn’t flexible like an old school Reebok Nano or a barefoot training shoe, but I felt like I could, for example, plant my feet when rowing and then seamlessly roll onto my toes without the same issues of the PR6.
I’m not usually succinct, but I really can’t think of any complaints.
Drew: Again the firm Charged cushion reared its ugly
head midsole and made on feet cardio a chore. Running in these is not an option you want to explore.
However, rowing felt great. It was easy to transfer power and really feel myself pushing against the rower.
Arune: When I think of “budget” shoes, I don’t normally think of comfort but the Project Rock BSR 3 really hits all the right notes.
The Charged Cushioning midsole has not only great step in feel but the energy return is fantastic without being so bouncy that it drives you onto your toes or causes other instability.
I mentioned earlier that the shape is very accommodating – I was concerned the bootie design would be an issue for my Hobbit feet but the two pull tabs make getting your foot into the shoe quite easily, The resultant fit is quite snug while leaving enough space for proper toe splay.
That all said, I did feel a bit of pressure on the medial side of my right foot so perhaps the shoe shape isn’t quite 100% right for my feet but it certainly isn’t any worse than other training shoes.
I went TTS (true to size) at my regular 9.5 and it was a perfect fit.
Man, it feels great to be this positive about a shoe once again.
Drew: I got the same right foot medial pressure as Arune. I can only imagine there was some issue with the last there that caused a slight deformity. It went away after breaking the BSR 3 so it didn’t stay a problem for long.
The only other fit based problem I experienced was the one piece ankle collar. I have a tall foot and getting the BSR 3 on my foot the first few times was a chore. About the third time wearing them, I was able to slip on the BSR 3 without an issue.
And luckily the build of the shoe is tall enough and wide enough to be quite accommodating when true to size. Once you’re in the shoe you’ve got plenty of room while still maintaining ample security for side to side motion.
Arune: I’ve talked before about The Wife Test, which is when my wife either (a) says “I’m happy for you” or (b) effusively praises the look of a new training shoe I just put on.
And this Project Rock BSR 3 was solidly in the latter category.
My clean white pair with a gum sole is the definition of a classic colorway and it highlights the simplicity in the design. I can easily see myself wearing these in the gym, then to lunch here in Los Angeles and maybe even into the office with some jeans for a more casual workday.
Aesthetics aren’t the most important thing with a training shoe of course, but given the economy and the need of many folks to have a “do it all” shoe, it’s nice to see a budget model check this box too.
Drew: To me the aesthetics are kinda basic for a training shoe…which is to be expected at the $100 price point. My biggest issue is with the “Blood, Sweat, Repect” wordmark on the side of the shoe. The Rock may bleed for his gainz but I certainly don’t (Editor’s Note: tell me you’re a runner without telling me you’re a runner).
Arune: The Project Rock BSR 3 is $100 and that might be the best value I’ve seen in a training shoe.
The median market price is $150 for the premium training shoes and the BSR 3 delivers performance on par with the flagship models for two-thirds of the price (and even less with current Under Armour and Kicks Crew sales).
No notes, Dwayne Johnson (Editor’s Note: Arune lives in LA, so occasionally he imagines himself as a movie producer. Just humor him. It’s easier that way.).
Drew: $100 is a solid price for what you’re getting with the BSR 3. The cushion’s a bit firm and there are a couple fit issues, but this shoe delivers high performance for weightlifting at a price that allows you to spend your greenbacks wherever else you so choose.
UA Project Rock BSR 3 Final Verdict
Arune: Surprising no one, I think the Project Rock BSR 3 is one of the best training shoes on the market and has become my go to training shoe next to my beloved Reebok Nano 2.0.
The BSR 3 is a great choice for most folks hitting the gym and will work for most workouts, short of serious heavy lifting or CrossFit training.
Drew: I really can’t add much to what Arune said. The Project Rock BSR 3 is the best budget weightlifting shoe I’ve tried to date. If you prefer not to spend too much on your cross trainers but still want great performance when you sling heavy weights around, the BSR 3 is your best option.