All things considered, I had a pretty great shopping year in 2018. I added a handful of new favorite items into my life including the Sobro Coffee Table, Inboard M1 electric skateboard, Das Keyboard 4 Professional, LeBron Soldier XI basketball shoes, even a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited — among other indulgences.
To be clear, this is not an article about all the cool stuff I accumulated last year (via Dude Shopping reviews.. or purchases I made with my own bank account). This is instead, a review of my absolute worst product purchase in 2018. By no means was this the only questionable purchase I made last year, just the one that has stuck with me the most. Taking an honest look at my buying process, I have no one but myself to blame. The Nike Air Max Full Ride 1.5 Training Shoe was my worst purchase of 2018, and I’ll explain why.
If you haven’t yet made a list of all the “wants” you bought last year, you’re doing yourself a disservice. It’s of course an entirely depressing exercise to scroll through past Amazon orders and see how much you money spent on unnecessary things, but at the same time you might learn something about yourself. More importantly, you might just avoid making a few regrettably idiot purchases in the future.
Although I’d like to think otherwise, I do have some hilariously insane principles that I’ve normalized in my mind. When it comes to working out, for the last 5 years I’ve nominated a specific pair of shoes to be worn exclusively at the gym. These shoes that literally have not set foot in the outside world. They travel to the gym in my bag, and leave the gym in my bag. I’m not entirely sure if it’s just because I want clean shoes at the gym (which is hilarious considering how disgusting gym floors tend to be), but like many things in life that I can’t explain, it’s just something I do. I’m not sorry and I don’t apologize.
While it sounds quite OCD, for that exact reason I was able to extend the life of my all-time favorite workout shoes, the Nike Free Trainer 5.0 V3 for at least 3 years. Let’s all just take a moment and appreciate these legendary beasts:
What an unbelievable shoe that turned out to be; part of why I liked them so much was that they were incredibly affordable – I found a pair on eBay for around $69.99, which is a great price. Sure, others may argue that there are better shoes out there, but the Free 5.0 V3’s checked every single box for me personally. I loved the design, they were easy to put on, had some arch support, and they were flexible. On top of that, they were amazingly stable, and held up after long runs.
Now even after I had coddled these for 2-3 years like no one ever really should, I decided that some of the ripping around the upper portion of the shoe was unsightly enough to require a replacement pair. So, I started my exhaustive search to replace my most important pair of shoes, the ones I used for workouts at the gym.
For some reason I’ll never quite be able to explain, I ignored all of my experience and rational thought when it came to what I ended up buying. I was the victim of what was surely an email that came from JCPenny of all places, and that’s when I laid eyes on the Nike Air Max Full Ride 1.5 Training Shoes. I tried to continue my search, but I’m pretty sure it was out of my control at that point. There was something about the all-black with the air bubble that just spoke to me. On top of that, they were priced at $59.99.
I know, I know, $60 should have been an immediate red flag. But hey, I had success with the Free 5.0 V3’s, so I figured I would take a chance on them .I thought, well okay.. even if they end up being terrible, it’s not like I dropped $200 on them. They look incredible, they’re designed for cross-training, and I’m sure that I’m going to love them. Click, read, checkout, done. They were on the way.
Fast forward to a few days later, when I giddily opened them up and stared at what I hoped would be my new best friends. They were every bit as beautiful as I had hoped. I immediately determined that I would be going to the gym later that day, not necessarily because I wanted to work out, more so because I wanted to see myself in these shoes.
I get to the gym and proceed to unbox them in what I’m sure was a drawn out and unnecessary process, and put them on. Comfortable enough, but did notice that the tongue was sort of weird.. it didn’t come up very high, and had an interesting shape to it. It was also incredibly thin, unlike the larger tongue I had grown accustomed to on my Free 4’s. No problem right? I’m open to change, this will be fine. Head upstairs to the indoor track, and start a warm-up lap. Wow, these are great! That’s what I told myself after laps 1 and 2.
These Shoes Are Officially Trash
On my third lap, my happiness started to fade. There was something just not right about them. I realized pretty quickly that the top of the shoe had this odd way of handling distribution when pressure was applied. The best way I can describe it is, the shoe would push a little bubble of pressure up my foot, just below the middle toe when I took each step. On top of that, the longer I ran, the worse they got. The grip on the sole was not entirely “grippy”, and the shoe itself bent in a weird way, even when I was just walking.
Now I want to be fair to this shoe, and highlight a reason you might want to buy them. If you’re workouts or training regimen include, zero movement whatsoever, no running, and simply just standing – these are perfect! They’re great for support if you’re standing motionless and admiring yourself in a mirror. It’s just they’re not comfortable at all, if you’re doing anything else.
I do get it though – new shoes don’t always feel great the first time you wear them. I can fully appreciate the “breaking in” process, but this wasn’t that.
I tend to be a stubborn person when it comes to forcing myself to enjoy something I built up in my mind, so I gave these shoes about 6 months and have tried to like them. This review is my official breakup notice, as I believe it’s time we go our separate ways. I’d like to say, “It’s not you, it’s me”, but that would be weird because these are shoes. Also weird, because it’s definitely not me. These shoes are certified trash, wrapped in a convincingly cool outfit. Don’t believe me? Take a look at some of the recent comments on this YouTube video.
Long story short, the Nike Air Max Full RI’s are an absolute disappointment. In an otherwise great year, I’m hoping that I have learned my lesson when it comes to impulse purchases. Clearly, I was distracted by how the shoe looks. I ignored all of my own logic when it comes to thinking this one through. I even ignored other reviews about these shoes that I had read, which basically confirmed everything I now have experienced first-hand.
Next Shoe Up: Nike Metcon 4
I’m currently researching my next gym shoe, which is trending towards the Nike Metcon 4. They’ll almost certainly set me back close to double the amount I dropped on the Air Max’s, which of course speaks to the unfortunate result of my decision to buy them. I thought I was getting a deal on a good pair of shoes that I’d learn to love. Instead, I’ve realized that I absolutely hate those shoes, and now I’m going to drop around $120 to get a pair that actually meets my needs. Obviously, I could have just avoided this whole disaster by buying the right pair to begin with. Certainly, I can’t mess this up again. Right?
These Metcon 4’s in black/white/gum are speaking directly to me. They might even be asking me a question, I can’t be sure. Regardless of the question, my answer is without question going to be yes.
In case you skipped everything I wrote above: under no circumstances should you consider purchasing the Nike Air Max Full Ride TR 1.5 for yourself. This shoe officially belongs in the LGBAAT HOF (Looks Good But Are Actually Trash – Hall of Fame).
That being said, if there’s someone that you absolutely can’t stand, that you also have to buy a present for — definitely consider the Nike Air Max Full Ride TR 1.5. They might think they got a nice pair of shoes; the joke will be on them.