Last year, we reviewed the Under Armour TriBase Reign 4 and felt like it had a lot of positives. Then we came back to let you know that the Under Armour Project Rock 5 was even better and it seemed like we might have a new contender in the upper echelon of cross training shoes. So, we reached out to the folks at Under Armour to see if they could keep the streak going with the all-new Under Armour TriBase Reign 5 and while they sent us these shoes for review, they have no involvement in this review, didn’t receive an advance look at it, and have not attempted to influence this review.
Under Armour TriBase Reign 5
Release Date: January 2023
Weight: 10.5 oz.
Sizing: True to size
- Rundown: The Under Armour TriBase Reign 5 is a super stable, versatile workout shoe that takes some break in time.
How do the Authors Train?
Arune Singh (age 41, 5’11”, 205lbs): Trains daily with functional fitness programming provided by Deadboys Fitness, founded by Colby “Seth Rollins” Lopez and Josh Gallegos. He has recently been training for 5Ks and looks for every opportunity to get some time on a heavy bag. Given his medical history of Sleep Apnea and Myasthenia Gravis, Arune focuses on lean muscle mass and getting down consistently to 190lbs, with a secondary focus on cardiovascular training and aesthetics. He works out in a home gym with a rower, air bike, bench, adjustable dumbbells, kettlebells, and either a cat or dog trying to obstruct him at every turn.
Drew Whitcomb (age 41, 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 both due to testing needs and his growing affinity for long-distance races. He recently completed the New York City Marathon. More marathons, half-marathons, 10k, and 5k races are in his future. His strength training and mobility regimen center around maintaining flexibility and lifting heavy to build power as a counterbalance to all the long-distance 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 Under Armour TriBase Reign 5?
According to the UA website, the Under Armour TriBase Reign 5 is described as: “The better your contact with the floor during your workouts, the better those workouts are going to be. The low, stable triangular base of the UA TriBase tech will help you through every rep, set, and WOD.”
The shoe has a 2mm drop and weighs 10.5 oz, meaning the drop remains the same from the previous model while shaving off 0.5 oz. It weighs in at a whopping 3 oz lighter than the Project Rock 5.
Arune: If stability is your concern, there are a few training shoes on the market that I would choose over anything Under Armour is making with TriBase right now and the Under Armour TriBase Reign 5 is no exception. I put these through the wringer – at least in my environment – with single leg movements (RDLs, RFESSs) and I felt more in touch with the ground than even my beloved Project Rock 5s. This shoe keeps you locked into the ground and reminds me how much I love the lower drop in my training shoes.
The stability also translates over to plyometrics, whether you’re doing jumping squats, box jumps, burpees, or skaters. I felt covered for everything I tackled this week.
But heavy lifts are where the Under Armour TriBase Reign 5 really comes alive and you will most appreciate the shoe. It feels like every aspect of the shoe really comes together in perfect harmony at the bottom of your heavy squats.
Was this stable for someone as tall as you, Drew?
Drew: Yes, it was. Under Armour’s TriBase tech feels like gluing my feet to the floor, especially during any heavy lifts. Honestly, I even feel the difference when doing the bench press. My feet stay thoroughly planted allowing me to access the maximum amount of force from my muscles. As a tall guy that has to deal with a long range of motion, the extra stability is helpful.
Arune: While I didn’t initially notice this when reviewing the Reign 4, the upper never fully broke in and at times – like with pushups and burpees – it felt like it was digging into the top of my foot when it flexed.
But the Under Amour TriBase Reign 5 has a much more flexible UA Warp upper this time around that feels like it moves with my foot instead of my foot moving in spite of the upper. There’s also none of the slippage I experienced with the 4 because you’re locked in (well…more on that later).
The upper will also appear in cons but I’d be remiss in not calling out the improvement here.
Drew: WARP is Under Armour’s best upper technology. It’s strong with comfort more like a knit or plush engineered mesh. Think running shoe upper but still supportive enough to keep the foot on the footbed when moving laterally doing ladder drills or other side-to-side exercises.
Made for Fitness
Arune: I touched on this earlier, but you can really do a lot – and comfortably – in the Under Armour TriBase Reign 5. From rowing to air bike to short runs to functional fitness, this shoe is built for a very well-rounded idea of fitness. While I wouldn’t call it the best at any one of those things, it is able to do them all at a very high level.
So if you just want to take one shoe to the gym with you to do everything, the Under Armour TriBase Reign 5 likely has you covered short of long cardio sessions.
Drew: I largely agree but wearing the Under Armour TriBase Reign 5 for running is a clunky experience that I don’t recommend. The impressive stability of the TriBase system makes each foot plant a bit too weighty while making it hard to flex your foot beyond the toes. That and heel landings are pretty stiff. Stationary bikes, however, are not an issue. The firm base actually helps generate more power in a similar way to TPU-bottomed cycling shoes.
Everything else in the gym is fair game. So yes, it’s a versatile fitness shoe with one big caveat.
Under Armour Fit Consistency
Arune: I have worn Under Armour training shoes more than any other training shoe for the past 18 months. I’m clearly a fan, but I swear that every model has such a radically different fit that I have no clue what to expect.
One of my favorite things about the Reign 4 is that it felt wide foot friendly but there has never been a moment in the Under Armour TriBase Reign 5 where I didn’t feel it crushing my left pinky. Now that isn’t new for me – I’ve had to skip out on most Nike shoes because of the narrow fit and I find most footwear, in general, to be too narrow for my Hobbit feet (namely in the forefoot).
But the Project Rock 5 and Reign 4 both were great for my feet, so it’s been an adjustment to feel that pressure on my forefoot day after day.
This is also complicated by the fact I found the forefoot incredibly, incredibly warm from the first time I tried them on. Sorry for the TMI folks, but my feet were sweating like I would expect to happen in the liner of my shorts (shout out to Ten Thousand, you’re great) and not on my feet.
Please, Drew, don’t regale us with any sweaty groin stories – I’ve probably lost the audience already.
Drew: How do I even follow that up? (Editor’s Note: You don’t, just walk away.)
Arune: I’ll keep this one short: the laces don’t stay laced and that means the entire fit of the shoe is FUBAR unless you double knot it…and then unknot and reknot between sets.
Drew: Rope laces are not a good choice on a cross training shoe. I would consider swapping the Under Armour TriBase Reign 5’s laces with something different.
Break in that Breaks You
Arune: No one has ever accused the Reign line of being light, cloud-like shoes and I think that’s fine – I don’t mind a thicker, heavier shoe. But even though this one is lighter than the Project Rock 5, it felt like a brick on my foot the minute I laced it up (which took a few tries as I noted above).
And it hurt my feet a lot.
The first day wearing these shoes was painful, so much so that I had to stop using them after ten minutes on the rower and I wasn’t sure how I would write this review because I didn’t want to wear them. But each day became a bit more comfortable, with the Micro G midsole adapting to my feet and providing a nice bit of responsive cushioning as time went on that got us to the pros listed above. I need to note that the shoe isn’t the most flexible overall – I can feel it under my foot every time I try to bend and that’s not something I particularly love.
I just knocked out a 6000m row without any of the pain I had felt earlier in the week (other than the relatively narrow toe box) and each day makes that midsole comfier. But if this wasn’t a shoe I had received from UA, I don’t know if I would have given it a week to break in – not in a world with so many other great cross training shoes that are so good right out of the box.
Drew: I agree that it’s too much break-in time for a modern cross trainer. That said, the side effect is the Under Armour TriBase Reign 5 is going to be super durable. The stiff midsole and materials will take a beating and keep performing the same.
Is this for me?
Arune: While the Under Armour TriBase Reign 5 is a shoe that does a lot of things well, it is not a shoe I plan to continue using after this performance review. Not only do I have two colorways of the Project Rock 5 that I use right now, but I still find the Reebok Nano 4, 5 & 6 to be shoes that have held up as preferred training shoes all these years later.
Drew: Meh. I’ll stick with the good old GoRuck Ballistic Trainer for my gym work when I’m not testing other models.
Is this for you?
Arune: If you don’t have wide feet and you liked the Reign 4, then I think the Under Armour TriBase Reign 5 will be right up your alley. Well, if you can solve the lacing. It’s hard to beat that stability.
But if you’re not particularly fond of the Reign series, you might – like me – find this to be one step forward, one step back, and find other options on the market that deliver the experience you want at a similar price point and with similar performance.
Drew: If you’re a fan of the TriBase Reign line you’ll get largely the same experience as the previous models after you’ve broken them in. Everyone else likely has better options…see our Best Cross Training Shoes list for the shoes we recommend.
Under Armour TriBase Reign 5 Summary
Arune: After a leap forward with the Reign 4 and Project Rock 5, it feels like the Under Armour TriBase Reign 5 isn’t offering anything the company hasn’t previously delivered in at least an equal form.
That doesn’t mean this is a bad shoe – once you break it in, there’s a whole lotta good, but the Reign 5 simply isn’t a shoe I’ll be reaching for on a regular basis.
Under Armour really feels on the cusp of something great with their recent training shoe releases and this shoe doesn’t deter me from that belief – but I’m hoping either the future Project Rock 6 or TriBase Reign 6 recapture the excitement I was feeling about UA before testing this shoe.