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Home / Fitness and Health / Ryka fEMPOWER Dauntless Cross-Training Shoe Review

Ryka fEMPOWER Dauntless Cross-Training Shoe Review



Training during the quarantine has been challenging for the past 6 months. I went from a fitness class to trying to stay active in my apartment six days a week. In my town, all of our gyms have recently switched to outdoor classes where we’re all socially distant on a large lawn. I really missed not being able to take my fitness classes and I can’t jump into my apartment so this was the perfect option during the pandemic and the perfect time to get cross-training shoes for our 2020 SELF Certified Sneaker Awards testing .

How I tested

I tested the Ryka Dauntless against criteria recommended by experts. You can read more about it here and details on how the Ryka behaved for each of their criteria below. I was thrilled to try the Ryka Dauntless because even though they̵

7;re a hiking shoe, they’re supportive enough to be a cross training shoe too. I tested these shoes by going to my F45 training class three times a week. At F45 we do a 45 minute high intensity cardio workout with the exact exercises and combination of movements that vary each day – so you never know exactly what you are going to get. In other words, you need shoes that are ready for anything.

During the F45, I noticed that no matter what movement I made – burpees, high knees, or even skaters – the shoe was stable and supportive on my feet while adding an extra jump to my stride. The extra support on the inner arch of the foot helped me land more easily on my feet throughout the workout. I haven’t sweated as much in a long time as I did the day I wore these shoes because I felt like I could jump higher and kick faster.

Fit and shape of the shoe

The fit of the Ryka Dauntless is actually perfect for my foot shape. I have wide feet and for most shoes I try to find those with a wider toe box to make sure I don’t get blisters. The shape of these shoes is a bit narrow. At first I thought this was a problem for me, but it never felt like my toes were pinched or too small. On the contrary, I loved the way they felt on my feet. They are very comfortable and so light that I felt like I could run or exercise in them for hours. They feel like I’m barely wearing anything on my feet, but the cushioning and added arch support really helped me improve my game while training.

How my body felt during and after the activity

After exercising in the morning, I also decided to go shopping. I try to do all of my morning errands before work, so I work out at 6am and run errands until 8am. Walking around the supermarket after training was also an enjoyable experience. This shoe has a very minimal heel, but the inside of the shoe is still cushioned enough to make you feel supported. I feel like I could walk around or even stand all day without feeling tired.

Company’s right of return

The other big part of Ryka is return policy. The company offers free returns of unworn shoes within 30 days for a refund. One thing is worth mentioning: Ryka doesn’t trade. So if all you want is a different size or color, you need to return the shoe, get a refund, and then place a brand new order.

Unless you’re buying directly from the brand, be sure to check the return and exchange policies of the retailer you choose.

The bottom line

If you’re looking for a shoe that is versatile from walking to cross-training, you’ve found it. From the breathable mesh to the inner arch support, this shoe offers everything you need to make your workout comfortable and supportive. There are three different color styles (black, white, and lavender) and with a price tag of $ 100, it’s good value too.


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