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UA Project Rock 5 Review – My Take


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I’m gonna be trying out the Project Rock 5 shoes from Under Armour, these are of course the 5th iteration of the shoe made in collaboration with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson , which is why the shoes have the Rock’s emblem all over them, a cross trainer designed to do numerous things really well.

What are they like to wear, how do they perform, and most importantly, are they worth your hard earned money?

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Project Rock 5 – My Verdict
  • Versatility that not many others have.
  • Very Good shock absorption.
  • Worked well for longer distance running.
  • Hardness of the heel might scare you off at first, but try them out.

So here they are, these are the Project Rock 5s from Under Armour

The successor of the Project Rock 4 comes with additional features designed to improve the comfort and support. 

I was initially intrigued about these because there is quite a contrast of opinion about these shoes. 

Many people hate them mostly for two reasons, the first is because with this iteration, the Project Rock 5, they’ve moved away from the shoe upper being all one piece.

The Project Rock 4 whas a mesh, sock-type upper than many people loved. And so this new shoe being a more traditional construction, many people don’t like the direction these shoes have gone in design-wise

The second thing I heard many people unhappy about with this shoe is the sole. Many have said that it’s a rigid heavy sole with no flexibility whatsoever. 

So before I even began my review, I was already unsure what to expect. But as I do with every single review, I’m going in with an open mind.  

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UA Project Rock 5 Review – Are They Worth Buying?

Now I will say to start with, if it helps you in any way, my shoe size is UK 13 or US 14 and these shoes fit true to size. So regarding fitting they’re pretty much spot on for me.

The first things you’ll notice about them

When you take these out of the box for the first time, you’ll probably notice that they feel hard, chunky and heavy. 

My first thoughts were that these aren’t going to be a good shoe for fast movements because the sole feels kinda bulbous and I can’t imagine them being a shoe I can wear for long periods of time.

Looking inside the shoe, I noticed that they have no removable insole. The insole is built in, or stitched in. You do get a soft foam lining in there, that provides softness and padding and kind of works as an insole, but like I said, nothing is removable. 

That’s something you need to be aware of if you’re someone who wears custom inserts in your gym shoes. But personally, I had no problem with them. 

I actually prefer less support such as arch support with shoes that I use for weight training, but for running and moves that involve a lot of slamming of my foot, I prefer a bit more softness.

The hardness of the sole compared to the metcon… durometer

Wearing the Project Rock 5s

I couldn’t wait to try them out. 

Now, wearing them, you will notice that the upper doesnt look like a conventional upper.

You’ve got a sort of inner upper, if you want to call it that. They’re not a sock upper like the previous model at all.

I noticed that some call it an inner sock, but there’s no way this can be considered an inner-sock, it’s just too thick. 

I’d rather consider it an inner-upper.

Whatever it is, it works really well. When you’re wearing these your feet feel very insulated, but more importantly, they feel secure, especially if your workouts require sharp movements or sharp changes in direction.

That could be the reason why they moved away from the sock construction in the previous model and went with a more traditional shoe shape, because sock style shoes can be a bit less secure. But that’s just me guessing.

The Toe Box

Another thing I found about wearing them is the toe box actually feels quite roomy. I think these would work well as a wide fitting shoe, (even though they aren’t advertised as such) if you have slightly wider feet, you might actually be OK with these.

Some have mentioned that they chose to go a size UP in order to accommodate a wider foot, but even when wearing these in my normal size, I can feel the toe box is pretty roomy, and I can really splay my toes out which is something I like to do when I’m squatting or deadlifting because it just gives me more of a feeling of balance throughout the movements.

The feeling of roominess in the toe box is really helped by the fact that the material of the toe box is not very thick and rigid, but feels quite soft and malleable. It’s not a thick, heavy or leathery feel at all. 

This Sole and Heel is interesting

This is probably my favorite part of the design of this shoe,  hardness and the thickness of the heel. The shock absorbing function of the HOVR sole is really noticeable. 

Like I said, when you pick this shoe up, you will probably assume that this heel is going to be heavy and weigh you down. But it’s quite the opposite.

I was impressed at how hard and tough this heel feels, and you’ve also got an extra padded interior section which also works well to secure the heel area.  

The Lacing

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Project Rock 5 Review – The Tongue

No complaints about the lacing system at all. The style of laces provided with this shoe work very well. My only gripe some may have with the lacing area of the shoe is the tongue section, the top part of the tongue is made from a thicker foam, but the bottom half of the tongue is made of a slightly thinner foam which does aid in ventilation and keeping your feet cool. 

You probably won’t even notice any drawback to this, but if you’re someone who trains outdoors in the cold, you might feel a bit of cold, but that can easily be fixed by wearing thicker socks on colder days.  

Working Out in The Project 5

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When we get into what it was like to workout in the Project Rocks, I tested these for three types of workout,running, weight training moves deadlifts and squats, and workouts involving plyometric box jumps, jumping lunges and sled pushes.

I wanted to really put them through their paces and see what they perform like.

Now as mentioned, the sole on these shoes absorbs shock really well. I noticed a big difference in comparison to the Metcon 8s in this area. When I landed off jumps my feet felt really well protected. You can also feel this when you do jump rope in them, I think the HOVR sole is really effective in this respect. 

If you don’t know what HOVR is, it’s Under armours cushioning technology built into their soles. So any shoe with HOVR written on the side should give you this cushioning or shock absorbing effect. 

It’s in a lot of Under Armour’s running shoes too.

I think because of the HOVR sole, I was able to run for long distances in these without my feet  starting to ache in the normal ways. 

This is surprising because other shoes that I’ve tried in this category of gym shoe don’t tend to perform that well when used for longer distance running. So this is a probably the first gym training shoe I’ve tested that I would be happy to wear for long runs.

For instance, when I tried the nike Metcon 8s which are an OK choice in this area, when it came to running for more than 2k I would begin to feel some real discomfort.

I was impressed with their running performance 

It’s not a springy effect or any sort of air bubble technology, but it just works really well.

Deadlifts and Squats in the Project Rock 5

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Are the Project Rock 5 good for Deadlifts and Squats?

Deadlifting and squatting was absolutely fine with these. The Project Rock 5s have an 8mm heel to toe drop which is the same as the previous Project Rock 4s. 

I felt comfortable in both moves, and no major complaints at all doing deads and squats. They don’t feel like a springy or a squidgy shoe to walk in, but at the same time they don’t feel rock hard. They’re somewhere in between.

They gave me very good stability and at no point when carrying the weight did I feel out of balance or anything.

Same goes for box jumping, and sled pushes, the grip on the sole is also very good. 

Some people mentioned these shoes as being stiff in the sole, but I have no complaints in this area, the flexibility in the sole was not that much different to other shoes I have tested.

What Could I Compare These To?

I know many people will look to compare the Project Rock 5 to the Metcon 8 shoes or the Reebok Nanos mainly because they have a similar price point, but I think that the fact I feel comfortable running longer distances in these would make me want to compare them to a shoe that is a little better for running.

Maybe something like the Nike Free Metcons which have been out for a while.

The Nike Free Metcons try to be a versatile shoe, but I think the Project Rock 5s have those metcons beat. 

I own the Nike Frees and don’t get me wrong, they are a good shoe, but the Under Armour’s just overall feel better to wear and in my view give you more bang for your buck than the Free Metcons

My Rating

When I heard that this is a shoe made in collaboration with Dwayne the Rock Johnson, I did assume that it would be more style over substance and a bit gimmicky, however I was pleasantly surprised. 

I think overall I would say that these shoes do LOOK a lot tougher and rugged than they feel to wear, visually, the design is aggressive, you got a hard sole, a big chunky heel, thicker and padded materials in the upper.

But when I wore them, I found them very comfortable and like i said, unexpectedly, I actually enjoyed running in them way more than i thought I would.

I feel like some real thought has gone into these shoes, and it’s a shoe that for me, does 

tick a lot of boxes.

My score for the Project Rock 5s is going to be a 4 out of 5.

Tell me what you think, would you go for the Project Rock 5s?

FAQs About Project Rock 5

Do the Project Rock Shoes Run Small?

The Under Armour Project Rock 5s have received mixed reviews from users when it comes to whether they run small and whether they fit true to size.

I can only speak on my own personal experience, and I would say that they do in fact run true to size.

It’s very important to remember that fit varies from person to person, we all have different foot shapes and preferences, but do make sure you measure your feet and compare it to the size chart over on the UA website especially if you haven’t owned UA shoes before.

Also, it is never a bad idea to try the shoes on in-store or order them online with a free return policy if possible to ensure you get the best fit possible.

Are The Project Rock 5 Waterproof?

The Under Armour Project Rock 5 shoes are not specifically labelled as being waterproof. However, the materials in their construction do lend themselves to being able to handle moisture well. They have an upper made of synthetic materials that can do a good job in keeping your feet dry in light rain conditions.

They also have a water repellant coating on the upper to repel water, and the insole itself is made with a foam designed to provide cushioning and support but also wicks moisture to help keep your feet dry.

So while they aren’t labelled as such, they actually do a decent job of handling moisture/water.

Are Project Rock Shoes Good For Running?

As you will see from my review, I actually had a good time running with the Project Rock 5 shoes, however, as I have not tried any of the other models I cannot say conclusively if previous iterations have been a good shoe for running.

They don’t emphasize them as being a running shoe as such, the HOVR feature in the sole does lend itself to making them good for running (many Under Armour running shoes have this feature) but specifically the the Project Rocks I can only say that I found the 5s were comfortable for longer distance running.


Avatar of Stuart Patrick
Stuart Patrick
Stuart Patrick is a health and fitness lifestyle journalist who writes for ListedFit.com.

“I've spent a lot of time trying to get in shape and change my body and I realised there are so many untruths in the health and fitness industry that can slow down or stop your progress, so I share my knowledge and experience to help others to cut through the BS.”

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