Up for review is a pair of LALO Grinders from the BUD/S line – the same as the Bloodbirds we sounded off on a few weeks back. These are told to have more mid-foot mobility to kick ass in more agility drills, dynamic bodyweight movements with a softer, grippier feel. Things like jump rope, box jumps, short sprints, lunges, and burpees are supposed to be right in this shoe’s wheelhouse. And I have to admit – it is. Right on the money.
The Bloodbirds are more stable, and these are plenty stable too – but they were designed more with Olympic lifts and heavy weight in mind. The Grinder’s are it’s agile cousin. I can whole heartedly attest that after a half dozen workouts with these on, they do have agility and traction in spades. With the same features as other offerings of the BUD/S line, like Anti-Inversion Technology, the LALO OCF Fit System, and a ceramic-coated SUPER FABRIC™ toecap – these do feel more “mobile” than the Bloodbirds. If you do more metcons than olympic lifts, these are probably much better for you.
I knocked out 365 burpees in these in 40 minutes, and the next day, they handled shuttle sprints with a weighted vest, and power cleans just as well. The are lightweight, with great traction and are much more flexible than their beefy counterpart. You can still do heavy lifts in them, but they truly do shine with mobility and agility work.
Pros: Lightweight, rugged, pretty damn stylish, and they offer great stability while being flexible enough for agile undertakings.
Cons: Not many – the only one I can see is the fact that you cannot execute rope climbs with this – but as stated, this was intentional from LALO and their operators. They sacrificed that minor movement in favor of stability and stealth.
Minor ding for that, but overall, these are a huge win. I’m only keeping my Inov8’s around for rope climbs. Every other WOD these or the Bloodbirds are on my feet.
UPDATE 6/5.17 These kicks are still holding up great, with only some minor lifting of rubber outsole. However, it stopped and didn’t continue. LALO also assured me this was only an issue with earlier runs, and has since been fixed.
I still find them lightweight, breathable, and easy to work out in. They are extremely quiet, and do respond best to met cons and bodyweight workouts as billed.
Question: Are these shoes actually used by the Navy SEALs?
Answer: Yes; these are designed by and used by real operators in the field.
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