Project Rock 3 Training Shoe Review

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The 3rd version of Dwayne Johnson’s Project Rock training shoe is now available.

What’s special about the Project Rock 3 training shoe?

UA Project Rock 3 Training Shoe Stacked 1
The UA Project Rock 3 is a training shoe – and lifting weights is it’s specialty. What does this UA shoe bring to your training? That’s what we’ll talk about here.

This is our hands-on review and deep dive on the Project Rock 3 Training Shoe.

Here’s some of the styles we are going to look at:

Project Rock 3 Training Shoe (Halo Gray / Blackout Purple / Black ) There's no doubt this shoe is meant for lifting weights - it's got a super-stable heel, and a very comfortable and stretchy knit upper. This is the colorway shown in most of the photos.

Project Rock 3 Training Shoe (Black / Pitch Gray / Black ) The UA Project Rock 3 combines HOVR foam with the TriBase - to give you stable support where you need it.

Project Rock 3 Training Shoes – Video Review on our YouTube Channel

Why read when you can watch? Check out this video from our YouTube channel:

Project Rock 3 Training Shoes – Sizing

These shoes run SHORT and NARROW.

I highly recommend you go 1/2 size up from your normal UA shoe size.

UA Project Rock 3 Training Shoe Other Side View
Looking for sizing advice? These shoes are narrow and short as compared to most other shoes. I recommend you go 1/2 size up to get the length and width you’ll need.

The toe are is quite restrictive, and even with the stretchy, knit upper it’s still very tight (since I bought my normal shoe size.)

They are also slightly too short for me as well, as my big toe is crammed into the front of the shoe.

I’ve worn these quite a bit during testing, and they aren’t going to stretch out or better conform to my foot.

Project Rock 3 Training Shoes – Overview

Let’s look at the features of this training shoe.

Let’s start at the outsole.

UA Project Rock 3 Training Shoe Outsole
The all-rubber outsole gives great traction and looks cool with the Project Rock logo.

It is an all-rubber outsole, and it features a cool looking steer head logo – the official logo of Project Rock gear.

UA Project Rock 3 Training Shoe Outsole TriBase Closeup
Project Rock logo

The main feature you’ll notice right away is the Tribase – this triangular feature maximizes ground contact and promotes natural motion.

The Tribase is also a part of the UA Tribase Reign 2 Training Shoe, which we reviewed earlier this year.

UA Project Rock 3 Training Shoe Outsole stacked
The Tribase is a UA exclusive – the three point design ensures stability, contact area, and support. I like it.

UA’s HOVR technology is used in the midsole, which they describe as providing a “zero gravity feel”. This works in conjunction with UA’s compression mesh energy web.

This isn’t a running shoe though, so it doesn’t feel like there is a lot of HOVR foam – and cushioning is minimal.

UA Project Rock 3 Training Shoe Heel Closeup
There’s HOVR foam (and Energy Web) in there – but not that much of it. This is NOT a running shoe – it’s for lifting weights in the gym.

But that’s what we expect in a training shoe. It can’t be too mushy – and make no mistake – this shoe is for lifting weights.

The Project Rock 3 uses an external heel counter to further make the heel stable.

Speaking of that, there is a moderate heel to toe drop (or offset) of 8 mm.

UA Project Rock 3 Training Shoe Other Side
Heel to toe drop is 8 mm.

This is a bit more than your average cross training shoe but not as much as your typical running shoe.

These shoes do not have a ton of forefoot flexibility either – the sole is very stiff.

We’ve got traditional laces which work perfectly fine.

UA Project Rock 3 Training Shoe Laces Closeup 2
The laces look nice. I’m paying a lot for these, they better look special!

This is a tight fitting shoe – because it uses a knit bootie upper that makes for a snug, sock-like fit.

UA Project Rock 3 Training Shoe Upper Closeup 1
The knit upper is very stretchy and gives a sock-like fit. It’s not going to be super tough though – I’m guessing. Only time will tell.

There’s a pull tab on the heel to help put the shoe on.

Overall, the upper reminds me of last year’s Nike FlyKnit – knit and stretchy all over.

(Nike’s FlyKnit in 2020 is not nearly as stretchy – but it is tougher.)

As such, the entire upper on this shoe feels quite delicate. I would NOT use it for anything where the upper is going to be subjected to abrasion.

UA Project Rock 3 Training Shoe Upper Closeup 2
I like the upper , it is comfortable. It seems decently breathable too.

That includes rope climbs – the outsole is tough enough, but there’s no protection for the upper in areas that might be abraded while rope climbing.

Overall, it’s a big shoe – it’s tall.

UA Project Rock 3 Training Shoe Side View 2
This is a tall shoe, with lots of collar. It’s not that heavy though – only 13.4 ounces. (This is middle of the road weight for a training shoe).

Given the large amounts of outsole and upper, it should be no surprise that these are relatively heavy.

The Men’s Size 11 shown in these photos weigh 13.4 ounces each.

That’s heavier than your average running shoe, but actually lighter than the current crop of cross trainers from Nike and Reebok.

UA Project Rock 3 Training Shoe Pull Tab
Do you Lift? This might be the shoe for you. Bootie construction and pull tab make for a comfortable fit.

Project Rock 3 Training Shoes – In the Gym

There’s no doubt – the sweet spot for these is lifting weights.

Bodybuilding, powerlifting, and things like that.

UA Project Rock 3 Training Shoe Heel Outsole
This super-stable, minimally cushioned heel screams "lift heavy weights!". I wouldn’t run in these.

There’s not a lot of cushion in the heel (good for lifting weights), and not much in the forefoot either.

These are definitely NOT running shoes.

Given the relatively delicate upper, I think these might be best suited for traditional resistance training in the gym.

Subjecting the knit upper to a lot of abrasion is probably going to cause problems.

Project Rock 3 Training Shoes on Concept 2 Rower CrossFit WOD
The Project Rock 3 Training shoes don’t have a lot of cushion, but you don’t need much on the Concept 2 Rower, and for many other workouts you do in the gym. The breathable knit upper helps you shed heat.

Also as mentioned, I would not run in these – there’s barely any cushion in the heel.

UA Project Rock 3 Training Shoe Heel View
It’s tall but comfortable. The Project Rock 3 Training Shoe.

There’s no problem using these for non-impact workouts – like the world’s best air bike: Rogue Echo Bike. Great grip from the all-rubber outsole.

How To Make The Rogue Echo Bike Even Better
Project Rock 3 is great for all kinds of stuff, but because it has minimal cushion I wouldn’t use it for high-impact activities. Here’s me on the Rogue Echo Bike.

Project Rock 3 Training Shoes Versus Nike Metcon 6

Let’s compare to the Nike Metcon 6 – a shoe we reviewed just a month ago.

Project Rock 3 Versus Nike Metcon 6 - Rock is tall
The Nike Metcon 6 is an excellent CrossFit shoe – because it’s great for weights, sprints, climbs, jumps, and more.

The Nike feels (and looks) more streamlined – but it’s actually heavier at 14.0 ounces (Men’s Size 11.5).

The Nike Metcon 6 is a very good multi-purpose training shoe.

Project Rock 3 Versus Nike Metcon 6 - Rock is taller
The Metcon 6 looks smaller than the Rock – and it is – but it’s also heavier at 14.0 ounces. Why? It’s build like a tank.

It uses a dual density midsole – with some decent cushion in the forefoot, and less in the heel.

Because it comes with Nike’s Hyperlift wedges, you can drop these into the shoe and go from the standard 4 mm of drop to 12 mm (10 mm in Women’s).

That’s a nice benefit.

The Nike Metcon 6 has an super-breathable upper – see those perforations? They are HUGE.

Project Rock 3 Versus Nike Metcon 6 - Closeup of upper
The insanely breathable upper of the Metcon 6 – these are great in the heat.

In contrast the Rock 3’s upper is lightweight and has some perforations, but not like the Nike.

Project Rock 3 Versus Nike Metcon 6 - Sunshine through upper
See the sunlight shining through? That’s very breathable.

Project Rock 3 Versus Nike Metcon 6 - Let the Light Shine Through
In contrast, the Project Rock 3 has only small perforations.

Why is the Nike heavier, despite being smaller?

It’s built like a tank. There’s a huge “rope wrap” to keep rope climbing abrasion off the upper, and the upper is very tough too.

Project Rock 3 Versus Nike Metcon 6 - Sole to Sole
Both shoes give good grip thanks to the all-rubber outsole, but the Nike’s wraps up around the sides to protect the shoe when doing rope climbs.

The upper incorporates reinforcements in key areas – unlike the Project Rock 3.

Subjectively, the Project Rock 3 feels to have LESS cushion in both the heel and forefoot.

Project Rock 3 Versus Nike Metcon 6 - Side by Side Comparison
Subjectively, the Project Rock 3 feels to have less cushion in the heel and forefoot.

With the more delicate upper, I think the Nike Metcon 6 makes the better shoe for CrossFit.

Keep the Project Rock 3 for your in the gym workouts.

In fairness, UA doesn’t market the Project Rock 3 as a CrossFit shoe – that’s what the UA Tribase Reign 2 is for.

Project Rock 3 Versus Nike Metcon 6 - Rock runs short and narrow
See how much pointier the toe is on the Project Rock 3? That’s why you have to go 1/2 size up – otherwise your toes are gonna feel real cramped. That’s a Men’s 11.5 metcon next to it. The UA shoe is an 11. It’s slightly too narrow for me in the toes (and short too).

Project Rock 3 Training Shoes Versus Reebok Nano X

How about the Reebok Nano X?

UA Project Rock 3 Versus Reebok Nano X - Side by Side 1
The Nano X is the 10th version of Reebok’s CrossFit shoe – and it has some resemblance to the Project Rock 3.

The Nano is a great CrossFit shoe – now in it’s 10th version they have incrementally improved it bit by bit.

Like the Project Rock 3 there is little cushion – in the heel and forefoot.

There’s also a vague similarity in that both shoes have a very tall collar , and achilles pad.

UA Project Rock 3 Versus Reebok Nano X - High Collars
Both shoes have tall collars with extensive achilles pads. Both have collar cushion too.

The Nano X also uses a flexible upper – but it’s much, much tougher than that of the Project Rock 3.

UA Project Rock 3 Versus Reebok Nano X - Nano is Wider 2
Both shoes use a stretchy upper – but the Project 3 is much more lightweight, softer, and more comfortable. The Reebok is good, but it’s thicker and not knit. The Reebok will probably last longer though – it’s much tougher.

The Nano is built like a tank – and has the weight to prove it.

UA Project Rock 3 Versus Reebok Nano X - Sole to Sole
Both use all-rubber outsoles. Neither is great for running. There’s just not a lot of cushion in either shoe.

The Nano is well over a full ounce heavier than the UA shoe.

The Nano X makes a great weight lifting shoe by the way – very stable heel, minimal cushion, but has a modest 4mm heel to toe drop.

There’s also nothing like the Hyperlifts in the Reebok shoe.

So, if you want a larger drop (8mm) like the Project Rock 3 has that’s probably a point in favor of that shoe.

UA Project Rock 3 Versus Reebok Nano X - Nano is wider
See the toe area on the Nano? That’s a wide toe box, and super comfortable. I wish the Project Rock 3 wasn’t so pointy in the toe area… it’s too cramped (for me.)

Project Rock 3 Training Shoes – In Summary

The Project Rock 3 Training Shoes from UA will be great for your in the gym strength training sessions.

It has a rock solid heel with excellent support.

The stretchy, knit upper is comfortable and feels nice.

It is a bit delicate though, so this shoe is clearly meant for more traditional gym workouts.

I wouldn’t recommend it for running or impact activities as despite the presence of HOVR foam there just isn’t a lot of cushion.

Looking for a UA shoe that’s tough and versatile? You might like the UA Tribase Reign 2.

UA Project Rock 3 Training Shoe Stacked 2
The UA Project Rock 3 is a weight lifting shoe for your gym workouts. It looks great too!

Photo Credits

Some product photos on this page are property of Under Armour.

This website is not affiliated or associated with CrossFit, Inc. CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc.

UA Project Rock 3 Training Shoe Side View 1
Side view of the Project Rock 3 Training Shoe from UA.

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UA Project Rock 3 Training Shoe Stacked Again
One more look at that stylish outsole – the UA Project Rock 3 Training Shoe.