Today we are testing and reviewing the Naked T/r trail racing shoe from Naked Sports Innovations. For those familiar with Naked, you know they produce high quality belts and vests. The T/r shoe is their first foray into the crowded field of trail shoe manufacturers, but what a way to jump in!
First, let’s address the elephant in the room and talk about the laceless technology. Several brands are venturing into the BOA lace system, but only Naked is being so bold as to introduce a truly laceless trail shoe that is fit for racing. The shoes come with their own shoehorn to assist getting them on and off.
Beyond the lack of laces, the shoe is fairly light (under 9oz/size 9 mens), while also featuring a no sew, one piece upper, which is truly a thing to behold.
A little deeper dive reveals bolsters (pads at the top of the foot and sides of the heel) that are inside the foot cuff. These provide a bit of stability and cushion. The shoes have a 5mm drop, and feature a Vibram outsole, which has a ton of lugs without a ton of valleys for dirt and rocks to build up.
Here’s a list of all the specs:
- Laceless Technology provides for the same, glove-like fit every time, so you can spend less time fidgeting with laces and more time on the move. Instant directional-change stability.
- The Eva Midsole provides the perfect balance between cushion and support, keeping runs light and dynamic.
- The Vibram® Outsole, utilizing MEGAGRIP RUBBER, features patented LITEBASE and TRACTION LUG technology, providing superior traction on even the most challenging of terrains.
- The Carbon Fiber Plate, designed for uneven terrain, provides for maximum energy output and stored kinetic energy, propelling you further and faster with every step.
- Bonded, no sew TPU upper provides light weight protection and support for high durability, while still maintaining flexibility and support.
- The Knitted cuff provides heightened ankle support, while also keeping out debris. Internal bolsters also provide additional support and help keep your ankle even more secure in the shoe, making sure that your foot stays locked into place.
- Our LINERLOC non-slip, stitched insole prevents your foot from sliding in the shoe and reduces hot spots.
And now it’s time to hit the trail! There’s something a bit odd about “slipping on” your trail shoes but once they’re on, they fit like gloves (these fit me true to size).
The first mile was a bit odd, mainly as my brain was expecting the shoes to be sloppy given the lack of laces. But once I got rolling the shoes behaved like a good pair of trail runners, gobbling up the miles and the smiles!
The place where I really expected to struggle was in the corners, as I questioned the amount of ankle support. Interestingly, the high/tight cuff keeps your ankles locked in while providing your feet the ability to rock into corners more than what I’m used to. Another concern was going to be in the steep descents, where laced shoes tend to lock the toe box in place, providing stability as your feet are forced forward. The Naked T/r surprised me here, as my feet felt securely locked in from the word go.
Overall I’m stoked for the way the Naked T/r runs in all terrains. I have pushed it in gravel, mud, dry trail, heavy rock, and leafy conditions. So far it has responded quite well. I’m looking forward to see how these shoes wear past 60 miles, and especially how they hold up for the really long run. So far, I’m loving the laceless feature and can’t wait to race in them!
Where to Buy: Online at Naked Sports
- Forefoot stack: 21mm
- Heel stack: 26mm
- Drop: 5mm
- Weight: 255g (US Men’s Size 9)