APL TechLoom Tracer
With a low-profile design and super stable upper, this is a shoe that will make burpees just a little more tolerable (who knew that was even possible?)
The midsole of this shoe is insanely responsive and provides users with a good deal of energy feedback to keep you light and agile on your feet.
The structured upper isn’t quite as flexible and breathable as other trainers in the APL lineup, and it is built stiff by design. With a stiffer upper, it helps to keep your feet securely locked in place when taking quick corners or engaging in snappy agility work.
It’s a great shoe not only for CrossFit and powerlifting, but it can also transition quite easily to the treadmill as well (although it isn’t technically built for running long distances.
It may be one of the more expensive training shoes out there on the market, but it is well worth every penny!
Propelium EVA foam-based midsole offers excellent energy return
Very grippy outsole
Stiff upper keeps feet locked in place
Great for weight training or high-intensity cardio
Runs true to size
Boasts a very wide toe box
Not ideal for running long distances
Super stiff upper may not be ideal for some
The midsole of the Tracer hits that sweet spot between effortless agility and high-end cushioning. It is composed of APL’s proprietary Propelium EVA foam-based materials that offer just the right amount of responsiveness and support.
Another great product we reviewed is the APL TechLoom Bliss, so make sure to check it out as well.
With an 8 mm drop, this midsole helps to support your heels and ankles when running or engaging in heavy lifts such as squats or deadlifts.
It’s also important to note that the materials used in this midsole are incredibly durable. Many EVA foam blends feel great and responsive out of the gate, but they start to lose their magic over time. This unique EVA blend holds firm over months of continued use and is more resistant to smooshing down into a pancake.
Plus, with a lower stack height, the midsole on this shoe boosts your agility and range of motion while still keeping your joints nice and protected.
The outsole of this shoe is lightweight, agile, and made to move. It utilizes rubber pods in key areas of the foot to boost durability and exposed EVA foam to keep your stride light and nimble.
With reinforced rubber pods on the heel and toe box, you can engage in explosive movements with ease, and the high-end rubber boosts the overall lifespan of the shoe.
It also has grippy rubber crash pads at the base of the toe box that allows you to stop on a dime. If you are aiming for high speeds or quick corners, the use of rubber on the outsole of this shoe grips the gym floor or the treadmill like you are Spiderman- without heavy rubber weighing you down.
What I also love about the construction of this impossibly lightweight outsole is that it has a good deal of exposed EVA foam to keep your stride night and bright.
With built-in flex grooves in the base of the shoe, you can retain a natural range of motion that feels like you aren’t wearing anything at all!
I won’t sugar-coat it: the upper of the TechLoom tracer is stiff. So stiff, in fact, that many users find it difficult to slip these shoes on their feet on those first initial training days. However, the stiff nature of this shoe is by design.
With a firm and stiff upper, your feet are less likely to shift around inside of the shoe which is essential when engaging in WODs or CrossFit. It’s a shoe that is strong and stable without feeling overly heavy or bulky.
What users also love about the design of this upper is that it boasts a nice and roomy toe box that allows your toes to naturally splay inside of the shoe. When your toes can spread out, it boosts your overall stability.
By tinkering with the lacing system, you can create a customized fit that feels nice and natural and prevents your toes from jamming at the end of the shoe.
Many users also found that the lacing system is stretchy and secure, and won’t create hot spots on the top of their feet.
The construction of the upper is a bit unorthodox, but it really shines on the gym floor whether you are running or weight training.
So, who is the APL TechLooom Tracer built for? I would recommend this shoe for those that love to engage in high-intensity workouts at the gym, whether it’s on the cardio machine or on the weight bench. If you leave the gym dripping with sweat, this is the shoe you want strapped to your feet.
What makes this shoe ideal for high-intensity workouts is the built of the upper. While the outsole and midsole are fairly standard across the APL lineup of trainers, it’s the upper that makes it so unique. The very stiff construction of the non-stretch Techloom keeps feet securely in place.
When you need to take tight corners or move quickly from set to set, the stiff upper of this design keeps your feet securely locked in place without the use of heavy, hot, and bulky materials.
If you are picking up a pair as your next running shoe, it’s important to note that this simple design isn’t equipped to tackle long distances.
Overall, I would recommend keeping your daily runs under 3 miles. While it boasts a supportive midsole and responsive outsole, it won’t provide enough cushioning for longer miles.
It won’t be love at first fit when you pop the APL TechLoom Tracer onto your feet. The upper is incredibly stiff, and many found that the act of slipping them onto their feet the first time was a little problematic.
This shoe provides ample flexibility in the heel and the tongue to help guide your feet inside, and this stiffness will diminish over time.
Once your feet are securely inside of the shoe, you won’t need to tinker much with the laces, and the shoe provides excellent lockdown that won’t shift around on your foot as your train.
During those first few workouts, you won’t hit that ideal range of motion right out of the gate. It feels a little stiff and unforgiving, but just like great wine, it’s a shoe that only gets better with time.
Many users found that this shoe hit that sweet spot in terms of fit around the 1-2 week mark. If you can get over the initial fit hurdle, this shoe will soon transform into one of the best training shoes that you have ever worn!
Even though the initial fit is a little snug, these shoes run true to size. Be sure to take advantage of APL’s sizing chart to find the right size for your feet. APL only provides refunds and returns only if the shoe is unused, so it is super important that you find the right fit for your feet.
If you can, be sure to head to an APL retailer to give these shoes a quick test run before you slap down that credit card.
Into every life, a little rain must fall.
The price tag of the APL TechLoom Tracer is a little disappointing. While it’s a trainer that will be able to keep up with your every move, the cost of this shoe will leave your bank account feeling a little drained.
When compared to similar versatile training shoes out there on the market, this design lands as one of your more expensive options.
However, if you can swing the steep price point, this shoe is well worth the initial investment. It’s built incredibly tough without the use of heavy and bulky materials, and it is certainly built to last.
The good news is that APL often runs deals and discounts to entice new customers, so be on the lookout for new sales as they come down the pike!
With an 8 mm drop and a very stiff upper, it’s perfect for powerlifting movements such as deadlifts or even squats. The Propelium EVA foam-based midsole material feels lightweight and responsive to keep your gait cycle light and bright on those intense cardio days.
The fit of this shoe is a little unusual due to its super stiff design, so it’s not a bad idea to give this shoe a try before you make the investment. While it may feel a little uncomfortable at first, the stiff upper is one of the APL TechLoom Tracer’s most impressive features.
This shoe keeps your foot securely locked in place for quick and lateral movements without the need for heavy materials that will weigh you down.
Whether you are a gym newbie or looking to smash records, the APL TechLoom Tracer is one of the most versatile training shoes that money can buy!