- What is a Training shoe good for?
- What type of Shoes for CrossFit?
- Should I buy Weight lifting Shoes for CrossFit?
- 1. Adidas Performance Men’s Powerlift 3.1
- 2. ALEADER Men’s Mesh Cross-training Running Shoes
- 3. Asics Men’s Met-Conviction Cross-trainer Shoe
- 4. Inov-8 Men’s F-Lite 195 Cross-Training Shoe
- 5. Inov-8 Men’s F-lite 240 Cross-Trainer Shoe
- 6. Nike Men’s Metcon 1 Training Shoe
- 7. Nike Metcon 2 Cross Training Shoes
- 8. Nike Women’s Flex Supreme TR 5 Cross Training Shoe
- 9. Nike Women’s Metcon 2
- 10. Reebok Men’s Crossfit Nano 4.0
- 11. Reebok Men’s Crossfit Nano 7.0 Cross-Trainer Shoe
- 12. Reebok Men’s Crossfit Speed TR Cross-Trainer Shoe
- 13. Reebok Men’s CrossFit Sprint 2.0 SBL Training Shoe
- 14. Reebok Men’s Crossfit Sprint TR Training Shoe
- 15. Reebok Men’s R CrossFit Nano 2.0 Training Shoe
- 16. Reebok Men’s R Crossfit Nano 5 Training Shoe
- 17. Reebok Women’s Crossfit Combine Covert Cross-Trainer Shoe
- 18. Reebok Women’s Crossfit Grace TR
- 19. Reebok Women’s Crossfit Lite Lo TR Training Shoe
- 20. Reebok Women’s Crossfit Nano 4.0 Training Shoe
- 21. Reebok Women’s Crossfit Nano 5.0
- 22. Reebok Women’s Crossfit Nano 7.0
- 23. Reebok Women’s Crossfit Speed Tr Cross-Trainer Shoe
- 24. Reebok Women’s Ros Workout Tr 2-0 Cross-Trainer Shoe
- 25. Tactical Men’s Recon Trainer Cross-Training Shoe 5.11
- CrossFit Shoes vs. Running Shoes
- What are CrossFit Shoes?
- What are Running Shoes
- All about CrossFit and Cross-Training Shoes
- Cross Training Shoes: Ideal for a Variety of Workouts
- What are Cross Training Shoes?
- Can I Use CrossFit Shoes for Running?
- What about CrossFit Shoes for Weightlifting?
- Cross Trainers and CrossFit
- What about For HIIT Workouts?
- Can Training Shoes be Used for Walking?
- Cross Trainers for Tennis
- What About Cross Training Shoes for Other Sports?
- What Shoes are Best for CrossFit?
- The Main Differences Between CrossFit and Training Shoes:
- What’s Heel Toe Drop and Why Does it Matter?
- Choose the Right Pair of Workout Shoes for Your Needs
- Can I use Running Shoes for CrossFit?
- When Should I Replace my Cross-Training Shoes?
- What About Lifting Shoes for a CrossFit Workout?
- Do you Really Need CrossFit Shoes?
- What Do You Think about the Difference Between CrossFit Shoes and Running Shoes?
- NOBULL Trainers – The Benefits of SuperFabric – Tough Shoes
- NOBULL Shoes – Styles and Colors
- NOBULL Shoes – Minimal Drop For Stability
- NOBULL Trainer – Lightweight CrossFit Training Shoe
- NOBULL Shoes – High Tops and Canvas
- What Sort of Training Are NOBULL Shoes Good For?
- NOBULL Trainers – In Summary
- Comparing CrossFit® Sneakers: The Best Shoes for CrossFit
- No Bull Trainer
- Under Armour Tribase Reign
- Nike Metcon 4
- Reebok Nano 8 Flexweave
- TOP 25 Best CrossFit Shoes for Women 2020
- Reebok Women’s Nano 9 Cross Trainer
- Nike Women’s Metcon 5 X Training Shoes
- Reebok Women’s ROS Workout Tr 2-0 Cross-Trainer
- Nobull Women’s Training Shoes
- New Balance Women’s 20v7 Minimus Cross Trainer
- Under Armour Women’s Micro G Pursuit
- Adidas Women’s Crazypower TR Cross-Trainer
- Nike Women’s Free Metcon 2 Training Shoe
- Inov-8 Women’s Fastlift 335 Cross-Training Shoe
- Nike Women’s Metcon 4 Training Shoes
- 5.11 Tactical Women’s Recon C Cross-Training Shoe
- Reebok Women’s CrossFit Grace Tr Cross Trainer
- Reebok Women’s CrossFit Nano 8.0 Flexweave
- Reebok Women’s CrossFit Nano 6.0
- Inov-8 Women’s Bare-XF 210 Cross-Training Shoes
- Vibram Women’s KMD LS Cross Training Shoe
- New Balance Women’s 811 Training Shoe
- Nike Women’s Flex Supreme TR 4 Cross Trainer
- ASICS Women’s GEL-190 TR Cross-Training Shoe
- New Balance Women’s WX608V4 Training Shoe
- Puma Women’s Tazon 6 Cross-Training Shoe
- Asics Women’s GEL Fit Tempo 2 Shoe
- Ryka Women’s Dynamic 2 Cross-Training Shoe
- Avia Women’s Avi-Tangent Training Shoe
- Asics Women’s Met-Conviction Cross Trainer
- Women’s CrossFit Shoes Buying Guide – How to Choose CrossFit Shoes
- CrossFit Shoe Features for Heavy Lifting, Olympic Lifts, Squats and Lunges
- CrossFit Shoe Features for Rope Climbs
- CrossFit Shoe Features when the WOD Calls for Plyometrics, Jumping or Agility
- CrossFit Shoe Features for Handstand Pushups
- CrossFit Shoe Features for WODs with Running
- Women’s CrossFit Shoes FAQs
- Do CrossFit Shoes Really Help?
- What are the Benefits of CrossFit Shoes?
- Do I Need Special Shoes for CrossFit?
- Can You use Running Shoes for CrossFit?
- How are CrossFit Shoes Different?
- Are CrossFit Shoes Good for Walking?
- How Often Should You Replace CrossFit Shoes?
- What CrossFit Shoes Should I get if I have Flat, Narrow or Wide feet?
- Nike Free Trainer 5.0 Review
- Best Nike CrossFit Shoes
- We’ve rounded up top 10 Nike CrossFit shoes for men and women
- Nike Men’s Free 5.0 V6 Training Shoe
- Nike Men’s Metcon 3 Training Shoe
- Nike Men’s Train Prime Iron DF Cross Trainer Shoes
- Nike Fingertrap Max Men’s Cross Training Shoes
- Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 Men’s Running Shoes
- Nike Women’s Metcon 2 Training Shoe
- Nike Women’s Flex Supreme TR 4 Cross Trainer
- Nike Women’s Free 5.0 Tr Fit 5 Training Shoe
- Nike Women’s Zoom Fit Training Shoe
- Nike Women’s Free Cross Compete Cross Trainer
- Factors to Take Into Account While Choosing the CrossFit Shoes
- Bottom Line
- How to Choose Women’s CrossFit Shoes
- Why Do I Need a CrossFit Specific Shoe?
- Types of Shoes for CrossFit
- General Considerations
- Local Climate Extremes
- Olympic Lifter Looking to Add Some Diversity with CrossFit Workouts?
- Running Background Looking to Get Stronger?
- CrossFitter than has Gotten the Olympic Lifting Bug?
- Shopping Strategies
- Final Thoughts
What is a Training shoe good for?
A CrossFit training shoe is perfect for those of you that enjoy your training, it protects your feet, keeps you stable when doing weights and also ensures that you get the maximum comfort and support you require. There are a number of CrossFit shoes on the market and you need to look for the best balanced pair that caters for the type of CrossFit that you incorporate the most into your workouts.
Three things to consider when selecting your CrossFit shoes are if you are going to be doing CrossFit as your sport, of if it is only going to be to a means of increasing your fitness levels and finally if you are going to be purchasing your CrossFit as your only training shoes of as a supplement to others. CrossFit trainers can be used for a number of purposes. They can be used for weightlifting, running short distances, and most other exercises you want to take on including walking and more.
You can use them to train in or just as a shoe for everyday casual wear. So as you can see training shoes are extremely versatile and they can be used for many purposes, CrossFit training shoes in particular are great for most gym or other exercise regimes. They provide stability, protection, durability, flexibility and support to your feet in almost any circumstance.
What type of Shoes for CrossFit?
When considering which shoe to choose for your CrossFit training there are a number of factors to take into consideration. You will want a shoe that will protect your foot at cross training entails a lot of varied activities including weight lifting and more. You need a shoe that you can jump, push and run in as well. So balance is the key to a great CrossFit shoe.
If you are a basketball player you will select a shoe that is designed to cope with that specific sport, this includes the right traction, support and more, the same goes for running, tennis or weight lifting. All of these sports have shoes designed specifically to handle the way you play and move. CrossFit however incorporates a number of different movements and therefore it draws from all of these sport shoe to create one comprehensive shoe that can be used in a lot of different activities.
Running, jumping, lifting heavy weights, climbing ropes and scaling buildings are just some of the things you could do in your CrossFit trainers. This means that they must have the best support, comfort, stability and durability needed to cope with all of these combined activities. When doing your training you do not want to have to stop and change shoes mid training. So shoe manufacturers developed a shoe that combines the best of all the sports worlds and the CrossFit training shoe was born.
So what so you need in a CrossFit shoe that will enable you to get through your training regime. Well you will need stability for the weight lifting segments. Great cushioning for the running portions of your training and protection and great balance for the rest of your training. Breathability is a big factor. The material used on your shoe in the upper part is particularly important.
Your feet take a real beating when doing CrossFit and they need to remain cool and dry during the intense sessions. This not only prevents your foot from squishing around in the shoe, but also prevents bacterial growths due to wet and sticky shoes. In effect you need a running shoe with added support, a lifting shoe with more cushioning and a minimalist shoe that has added protection.
Sound impossible, luckily shoe manufacturers have taken all of this into consideration when designing their CrossFit shoes. The one you select will depend on what part of your regime you do most whether it be lifting, running or more gymnastic or aerobic exercises. Balance is of great importance as is a shock absorbing qualities for protection when running and jumping.
The shoe should have enough sensitivity that you can feel the ground, but also provide great impact and abrasion resilience. When you choose CrossFit as you sport of choice, you will need to invest in a good pair of CrossFit trainers or you will find that your feet and your body will take a beating and you will be prone to injuries due to shoes that cannot cope with the varied activities you need to accomplish when taking on this kind of sport.
Should I buy Weight lifting Shoes for CrossFit?
Weight lifting shoes are great, however if you get a good weight lifting shoe and try to do CrossFit with it you may find that it cannot cope with the other activities that are incorporated into the CrossFit regime. If you are going to change your shoes during your training, using lifting shoes for that portion and lifting is the dominant part of your regime, then investing in some weight lifting shoes is a good idea.
Also if you are a competitor and are not doing the sport just to keep fit and healthy then again, investing in a good Olympic style lifting shoes is a great idea.
However if you are doing CrossFit just to keep fit and healthy and it forms part of your everyday gym experience, then getting a CrossFit shoe is a much better idea than trying to use a lifting shoe to get through your whole regime.
When you are going to be concentrating on a specific sport, it is important to get a shoe that caters for that sports demands. However if you are going to be CrossFit training, you need a shoe that takes the best from a number of different shoes and combines them to create a shoe that can cope with any kind of exercise, that is what makes as great CrossFit training shoe.
The 25 Top-Rated Crossfit Shoes for Men & Women
When it comes to Crossfit, you run, climb ropes, scale walls, lift heavy weights and more. So, you need a shoe that can handle the variance and stresses of wide-ranging activities. You don’t need a running shoe, you need a Crossfit shoe.
To help you find the perfect sneakers to handle your toughest Crossfit workouts, we’ve rounded up 25 top-rated Crossfit shoes, based on durability, support, comfort, customer feedback, and other buying considerations. Our picks are listed below in alphabetical order for easy reference. Ratings are based on Amazon reviews and are current at the time of this writing.
1. Adidas Performance Men’s Powerlift 3.1
Current Rating: 4.6
If you’re going to partake in a Crossfit sessions with weight training, then you need the Adidas Performance Men’s Powerlift 3.1. With its rubber insole, you’ll get a good grip on the floor to help maintain your balance and posture. In addition, the removable insoles ensure a comfortable fit – whatever your preference may be. In addition, it offers an extra-wide design for a functional fit. Plus, it comes with cross-over strap to induce extra support as needed.
- Rubber sole
- Removable insole
- Extra-wide design
2. ALEADER Men’s Mesh Cross-training Running Shoes
Current Rating: 4.1
These Aleader shoes will surprise and amaze you. For starters, they come with a double mesh upper and breathable lining so that your feet can breathe. It’s also a very lightweight shoe to give that walking-on-a-cloud feeling. Plus, they have a cushioned insole and a rubber sole to absorb the impact of jumping up and down.
- Shock absorption
- Extra traction
- Full support
3. Asics Men’s Met-Conviction Cross-trainer Shoe
Current Rating: 4.1
ASICS is a brand well-known in the exercise world. And, the Conviction shoe will prove itself worthy of any Crossfit regimen. You’ll enjoy the rubber insole that makes the shoe feel comfortable and helps it to absorb any shock. Plus, it comes with a Speva midsole which improves bounce back. In addition, for every Crossfit activity you engage in, you’ll feel comfortable knowing this shoe is 50% more durable than the standard ASICS shoe.
- Rubber sole
- Speva midsole material
- Reinforced vamp
4. Inov-8 Men’s F-Lite 195 Cross-Training Shoe
Current Rating: 3.8
Inov-8 Men’s F-Lite 195 sneakers give you the support and comfort you need, whether you are climbing a knotted rope or training with kettle bells. Crossfit is all about keeping your body fit through the element of surprise. Once your body gets used to a workout, it can lose its efficacy. Well, you can enjoy all sorts of training exercises with this balanced shoe. It comes with a rubber sole for shock absorption. Yet, it even has an EVA foam midsole for cushion-y comfort. And, with Rope-Tec, burn-protecting reinforcements, your feel will feel just fine even during extended Crossfit sessions.
- EVA foam midsole
- Rubber sole
- F-lite grippy outsole
5. Inov-8 Men’s F-lite 240 Cross-Trainer Shoe
Current Rating: 4.3
The Inov-8 Men’s F-lite 240 will make you feel like you’re walking on air. With its meta-flex technology, you can jump, climb, and sprint to your heart’s content without stressing your toes. Plus, it has a met-cradle lacing system to ensure your feet are secure. In addition, your feet move naturally with the shoe. Not to mention, this shoe is both lightweight and comfortable.
- Rubber sole
- Rope-tec integration
6. Nike Men’s Metcon 1 Training Shoe
Current Rating: 4.5
You’ll wonder why you waited so long to purchase the NIKE Men’s Metcon 1. Not only is it lightweight, but it is also durable. Moreover, it comes with a rubber sole for shock absorption. If that’s not all, its drop-in midsole offers flexible comfort for all of your Crossfit training needs. And, you’ll stay cool thanks to the heel mesh feature.
- Drop-in midsole
- Rubber heel
7. Nike Metcon 2 Cross Training Shoes
Current Rating: 4.4
The Nike Men’s Metcon 2 is an upgraded version of the Metcon 1 – because sometimes, you just want to have your cake and eat it too. This shoe can support a variety of workouts, from running to heavy lifting, without skipping a beat. It has a rubber sole with a flat heel and forefoot grooves for traction, stability, and shock absorption. Plus it has reinforced mesh and flywire cables for cool comfort.
- Drop-in midsole
- Flywire cables
- Flat sole
8. Nike Women’s Flex Supreme TR 5 Cross Training Shoe
Current Rating: 4.2
NIKE Women’s Flex Supreme TR 5 has everything you need in a Crossfit shoe. It has a rubber sole for traction and shock absorption. It also has flywire cables to ensure a proper fit so that your feet aren’t slipping and sliding inside your shoe. Plus, you get 360-degree movement throughout all your activities. And, you have a nice, yet durable cushioning to keep your feet comfortable throughout the most strenuous of exercises.
- Rubber sole
- Dual-density foam
- 360-degree movement
9. Nike Women’s Metcon 2
Current Rating: N/A
The Nike Women’s Metcon 2 is both comfortable and reliable. With any activity, this shoe will get you through it comfortably. It has a flat rubber sole for shock absorption and stability – meaning you won’t trip while performing burpees. Plus, the shoe fits true to size to ease the worry of ensuring the right fit, and they are also lightweight.
- Flexible durability
- Rubber sole
10. Reebok Men’s Crossfit Nano 4.0
Current Rating: 4.5
The Reebok Men’s CrossFit Nano 4.0 will have you working out in style. For starters, they come with 3-D FuseFrame construction which means they are both lightweight and supportive. Yet, the open-weave mesh upper allows for breathability. And, they have an EVA midsole for pure comfort. You can’t go wrong with these sneakers.
- 3-D Fuseframe construction
- Lace closure
- RopePro protective wrap
11. Reebok Men’s Crossfit Nano 7.0 Cross-Trainer Shoe
Current Rating: 3.8
The Reebok Men’s Crossfit Nano 7.0 will take you to the next level of your Crossfit training. It has a nanoweave design for comfort and breathability. Plus it comes with a rubber sole for traction and shock absorption. Not to mention, it looks cool. You’ll find these shoes comfortable whether you are squatting, running, or lifting. And, they have a removable insole.
- Nanoweave design
- Removable insole
- Rubber sole
12. Reebok Men’s Crossfit Speed TR Cross-Trainer Shoe
Current Rating: 4.2
The Reebok Men’s Crossfit Speed TR shoe will get you through anything. Whether you’re training for American Ninja Warrior or just wanting to improve your fitness level, this is the shoe to get. It has a low-cut design for stability. It also comes with a forefoot cradle for increased comfort. And, it also has a compression-molded midsole to fit your feet perfectly. Plus, it is as lightweight as a cloud.
- Forefoot cradle
13. Reebok Men’s CrossFit Sprint 2.0 SBL Training Shoe
Current Rating: 3.8
The Reebok Men’s CrossFit Sprint 2.0 SBL Training Shoe even has “CRSFT” on the outside of the shoe, so you know it was built for multi-tasking. It keeps your feet dry and cool with its anti-friction lining. Plus, it has a lace-up closure to provide a secure fit. These shoes won’t fall off when you’re running through large tires. And, the rubber sole ensures durability and traction.
- Cool fit
- Rubber sole
14. Reebok Men’s Crossfit Sprint TR Training Shoe
Current Rating: 4.2
The Reebok Men’s Crossfit Sprint TR Training Shoe comes with anti-friction lining to protect your feet from abrasion. In addition, it has an open weave mesh upper for breathability. The last thing you need is to slide inside of your Crossfit shoes. Moreover, it has dual-density foam for shock absorption and stability. And, the full lace up closure gives you the ability to customize your fit.
- Padded tongue
- Anti-friction lining
- Dual-density foam
15. Reebok Men’s R CrossFit Nano 2.0 Training Shoe
Current Rating: 4.6
The Reebok Men’s R Crossfit Nano 2.0 is just the right shoe to get through any Crossfit activity. It comes with a high-abrasion rubber outsole for durability. Plus, it has a DuraGrip print on the toe cap to aid in extended workout sessions. Not to mention, the rubber sole will ensure a stable fit. And, it has a low-to-ground feel.
- Low profile
- DuraGrip print
- Rubber sole
16. Reebok Men’s R Crossfit Nano 5 Training Shoe
Current Rating: 4.2
The Reebok Men’s R Crossfit Nano 5 is made of extremely durable Kevlar so that you can hop, skip, and jump your way to better health. Even during medial and lateral movements, you get a NanoShell midsole made of a hard TUP shell for extra support. Nonetheless, it still has a soft cushioning for extra comfort.
- Kevlar material
- NanoShell midsole
- Contoured heel counter
17. Reebok Women’s Crossfit Combine Covert Cross-Trainer Shoe
Current Rating: 4.1
The Reebok Women’s Crossfit Combine Covert will have you moving in ways you never thought possible. It has an open weave mesh upper for the breathability your feet need. But, it also has a low-cut design for the low-to-ground feel. It even comes with a removable Ortholite sock liner. And, for lifting, you get a secure strap closure.
- Low-cut design
- Removable Ortholite sock liner
- Multi-surface outsole
18. Reebok Women’s Crossfit Grace TR
Current Rating: 4.5
The Reebok Women’s Crossfit Grace TR is a dependable shoe to get you through highly-strenous workouts. You won’t be disappointed with the comfort, as it comes with a CMEVA midsole. It also has forefoot flex grooves for added stability and flexibility. Plus, the high-abrasion rubber outsole can handle almost anything. And, the NanoWeave upper gives you the breathability you need.
- NanoWeave Upper
- High-abrasion outsole
- CMEVA midsole
19. Reebok Women’s Crossfit Lite Lo TR Training Shoe
Current Rating: 4.2
The Reebok Women’s Crossfit Lite Lo TR may not look like a Crossfit shoe, but it will get you through training comfortably. This isn’t a shoe for power lifting, but it will work well for activities such as rope climbing, squats, and even cardio. For light lifting, it has a heel clip for added stability. It also has a rubber sole for shock absorption. And, it has a street style look that can take you from the gym to a casual outing without needing to change. Whether you are walking hills or jumping rope, this shoe provides the support you need.
- Traditional lace-up closure
- Heel clip
20. Reebok Women’s Crossfit Nano 4.0 Training Shoe
Current Rating: 4.6
The Reebok Women’s Crossfit Nano 4.0 was built for anything and everything. Whatever you decide to do, this is the show you want. It has a mesh-like cage to help with rope climbing. It also has an open-weave mesh upper for breathability. Plus, the EVA midsole provides the right amount of cushioning you need. And, the DuraGrip toe wrap offers durability.
- Breathable mesh lining
- Padded collar
- RopePro protective wrap
21. Reebok Women’s Crossfit Nano 5.0
Current Rating: 4.2
The Reebok Women’s Crossfit Nano 5.0 can help you get through a Tough Mudder if that’s your course of choice. Climb ropes, scale walls, jump through tires, lift kettle bells, jump on platforms – whatever you need to do, you can do it in comfort and style. The entire upper is infused with extremely durable Kevlar material. Moreover, it has an anatomical design for superior fit. Plus, the NanoShell midsole will support your feet during lateral and medial movements.
- Raised outsole lug pattern
- Re-engineered shape
- Compression foam midsole
22. Reebok Women’s Crossfit Nano 7.0
Current Rating: 3.7
The Reebok Women’s Crossfit Nano 7.0 Track will let you go as fast as you want to go. Yet, it also has a reinforced heel cup to offer the extra support needed when lifting weights. It has a removable insole so that you can customize your comfort level. And, it is designed with a crystallized rubber outsole to give you a boost of flexibility for all of your activities.
- Rubber sole
- Low profile
- NanoWeave upper
23. Reebok Women’s Crossfit Speed Tr Cross-Trainer Shoe
Current Rating: 4.3
The Reebok Women’s Crossfit Speed Tr is built for durability and stability. Yet, it is also affordable for a Crossfit shoe at under $100. It offers both muscle support and balance. If you are looking for comfort, it comes with targeted underfoot cushioning. It even has a compression sleeve for stability.
- Metafoot flex grooves
- Targeted underfoot cushioning
24. Reebok Women’s Ros Workout Tr 2-0 Cross-Trainer Shoe
Current Rating: 3.8
The Reebok Women’s Ros Workout Tr 2.0 might be lightweight, but it offers powerful features. For starters, it comes with a multi-surface outsole to offer a range of support and comfort features. It is low-cut for the low-to-the-ground feel. It also has an open mesh for breathability. And, it is designed in an anatomical shape for proven comfort.
- Anatomical shape
- Underfoot cushioning
- Multi-surface outsole
25. Tactical Men’s Recon Trainer Cross-Training Shoe 5.11
Current Rating: 4.3
The Tactical Men’s Recon Trainer Cross-Training Shoe 5.11 is a budget-friendly Crossfit shoe that offers all the features you need and want. The materials are a combination of leather and textile. It also has toe reinforcement so you can push your body to its limit. Plus, it has comfort features with its Ortholite insole. And, it is has a stretch mesh upper for both flexibility and breathability.
CrossfFit is different from any other type of exercise program. Whether you are smacking tractor tires or scaling a building–and everything in between – you need the right shoe. Instead of having to change shoes for each exercise session, just pick one or two from the list above.
There’s a lot of mystery surrounding this question: What’s the difference between CrossFit shoes and running shoes? And does it actually matter what kind of shoes you wear for a CrossFit workout?
Keep on reading our guide to find out everything you need to know.
CrossFit Shoes vs. Running Shoes
Choosing the right shoe for the kind of workout you’re involved in is a crucial part of your training preparation. Taking good care of your feet and shielding your joints enables you to continue with your training and achieve your maximum performance. Choosing the right pair of shoes for yourself thus makes a difference.
Two types of shoes, cross-trainers and running shoes share some similarities. But they also have some crucial differences that make selecting the best one for your feet a prerequisite to training.
Keep in mind that most Crossfit Shoes are actually cross-trainers for sake of comparison.
Running Shoes vs CrossFit Shoes: The Summary
Here’s a brief overview of the main differences between these two types of shoes:
- Running shoes have a heel to toe differential of 10+ mm. CrossFit shoes are usually between 3 and 6 mm.
- CrossFit shoes are designed for all kinds of movement, especially side to side/lateral. Running shoes are only for forward motion.
- Running shoes absorb shock very well. CrossFit shoes do, but not to the same degree.
- CrossFit shoes are usually slightly heavier than running shoes.
- Running shoes have all-mesh uppers, while CrossFit sneakers have more durable materials to protect them from getting torn up on rope climbs.
What are CrossFit Shoes?
CrossFit shoes are designed to provide a ton of support for a variety of activities like weightlifting and jumps. They’re also light and flexible enough to handle sprints or other cardio. Plus, they’re durable enough for rope climbs. They’re usually heavier and offer a bit more protection than running shoes as well as have a lower heel to toe differential.
What is the Purpose of CrossFit Shoes?
The purpose of this kind of shoe is mainly to ensure maximum athletic performance while preventing injuries. You need a shoe that is heavy and stable enough for lifting, but light and flexible enough for running. Plus, you’ll want a ton of durability for a CrossFit shoe for box jumps and rope climbs. The best CrossFit shoes has all three.
What are Running Shoes
Running shoes are light footwear purely intended for stretching or daily running. They can provide more flexibility and cushioning to the foot at running events than regular workout shoes. This padding assists in shock absorption, particularly while impacting the ground. Running shoes are aimed for frontward movements.
They are equipped with denser heels and are suppler in the toe region. Their soles are curved, giving an upward arc to the shoe tip. Moreover, these often have intricate designs that help with moving or running forward. In this way, energy is properly directed from the runner’s legs to his feet, which can reduce fatigue.
Running shoes will often have a heel to toe drop of 8-10 mm or so. This helps to propel your feet forward with each stride.
That said, they have very little support for lateral movement because you don’t really need it!
Here’s one of our top picks for running shoes, the Brooks Ghost.
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All about CrossFit and Cross-Training Shoes
On the contrary, training shoes like these ones from Under Armour are designed to play multiple roles. You can use them in the gym for almost any activity—lifting weights, yoga classes, using the elliptical machine, stretching, basketball, or a Zumba workout.
During a CrossFit workout, you’ll be doing rope climbs, box jumps, sprints and lifting.
They are possibly the most multipurpose of all athletic shoes. Otherwise known as cross-training shoes, these shoes are perfect for sports, as they provide the user with the utmost stability and comfort. Because of their durability, they can also be utilized for many other physical events. However, these events do not include constant running, because most training shoes are heavier than running shoes.
Physical activities like weightlifting, kick boxing, and aerobics require lateral movements of the legs, and so CrossFit shoes are just the right footwear to use. They are designed with extra support at the sides for superior lateral movements of the feet.
As far as heel to toe drop goes, it’s usually around 5-7 mm for cross-training shoes. This provides a bit more of a stable platform for weightlifting in particular.
Cross Training Shoes: Ideal for a Variety of Workouts
Cross training shoes work well for most workouts at the gym, including HIIT, CrossFit, Zumba, lifting, and boot camp workouts. Crosstrainers are a nice mix of:
- Light and flexible for cardio
- Cushioned enough for jumping
- Durable enough for rope climbing
- Sturdy and with a minimal heel toe drop for weightlifting
- Lots of support for lateral movements makes them ideal for agility training
What are Cross Training Shoes?
That’s a great question and we’re happy that you asked. What are cross-trainers? Let’s define it:
According to Asics, cross-trainers are:
“For multi-directional movement, especially lateral (side-to-side) movement. The sole of a training shoe is flatter (than running shoes), making it more flexible to allow a wide range of movement. Take these shoes to the gym.”
We’d add that they usually have a heel height of around 4-6 mm (read more about this in the next section). They are usually light in weight, although slightly heavier than running shoes because they have a bit more support, especially for lifting and lateral movements which running shoes don’t have.
Can I Use CrossFit Shoes for Running?
If you’re looking for a shoe to run your next marathon in, trainers certainly aren’t it. They’re too heavy, not flexible enough are have too low of a heel height.
Since they’re designed for a wide range of movements, they’re not ideal for the one thing you do when you’re running—repeated forward foot strikes.
In order to avoid injuries like plantar fasciitis, back pain, or shin splints, you should certainly stick with a pair of specialized running shoes.
That said, you can use training shoes for a few minutes on the treadmill at the gym, or some sprints during a CrossFit WOD. This is certainly no problem. However, just don’t use them for longer distances.
What about CrossFit Shoes for Weightlifting?
If you lift some serious weight at the gym, then you may want to know if a training shoe like the Nike Metcon 4 will work for you. It depends on your workout style.
If you do weights, along with cardio and other exercises like jumping rope, then a pair of cross-training shoes is a nice choice.
However, if you basically only do weightlifting, then you should stick with some lifting shoes. They have a flat heel, plus a strap across the midfoot. Along with their sturdy, heavy-duty nature, you’ll notice a big difference in how stable you feel when going for that personal best.
Check out some of our top picks for these kinds of shoes:
Cross Trainers and CrossFit
If you ask your coach, or take a look around your box, you’ll notice that a ton of people are wearing cross-training shoes. These kinds of shoes are actually ideal for a tough WOD because of the variety of activities that you might encounter.
You can see some of our top picks in the chart below:
What about For HIIT Workouts?
HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. It’s basically short burst of high-intensity activities combined with rest and recovery time (either passive or active).
It’s effective at burning a lot of calories in a short amount of time. You may also experience some calorie burn after the workout for a few hours.
Cross trainers are one of the top picks for a HIIT workout. They can handle lateral movements, jumps, sprints, and more with ease.
You can check out some of our top choices here: The Best HIIT Shoes.
Can Training Shoes be Used for Walking?
In general, if you’re going to be using sneakers for walking, we recommend sticking with running shoes or walking shoes and not cross-trainers. The reason is the same as why you wouldn’t want to use crosstrainers for running: the too low of heel height.
When you’re walking, ideally you’d have a pair of shoes that will transfer energy from foot strike to foot strike, along with absorbing lots of shock to prevent injuries. You’ll want a sneaker with a heel height of 10 mm or slightly more than that, along with a lot of cushioning under the feet.
You can check out some of our top picks for walking shoes here:
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Cross Trainers for Tennis
If you’re choosing a pair of shoes for that big tennis match (or just casually hitting around with a friend!), then opt for the cross-trainers over the running shoes for sure. They are designed for a range of activities and have some support for the lateral movement that you’ll encounter a ton of while playing.
However, a pair of tennis shoes can be a better choice if you plan regularly. They have thicker soles and insoles that are designed to absorb the shock from hard courts. Combine that with more support for sideways movement and you’ll be going a long ways towards preventing injuries if you plan tennis regularly.
Finally, crosstraining shoes may mark up a court, which is very bad form if you’re playing somewhere like a private club. The shoes of tennis shoes have a non-marking sole to them.
What About Cross Training Shoes for Other Sports?
If you play sports casually with your kids or just a game or two a month with friends, then a pair of cross-trainers can work well for most activities, from volleyball and basketball inside to soccer or football outdoors.
However, if you’re going to be playing more often, then certainly consider getting yourself a pair of specialized shoes. For example, a pair of cleats will go a long way towards improving your performance on the soccer field.
What Shoes are Best for CrossFit?
Check out some of our top choices for Cross Fit shoes here:
- Reebok Nano 9
- Nike Metcon 5
- No Bulls
- Adidas Powerlift
Or, check out this comparison chart below:
The Main Differences Between CrossFit and Training Shoes:
- Training shoes have improved lateral support as opposed to running shoes
- Training shoes are generally heavier than running shoes
- The sole of training shoes is broad and stable, often extending beyond the breadth of the upper portion of the shoe
- Heel to toe drop (around 10 mm for running shoes, and 5 mm for cross-training shoes)
What’s Heel Toe Drop and Why Does it Matter?
You may see something like 5 mm heel to toe drop. Or, 10mm heel toe differential. It basically just measures how much higher the heel is than the front of the shoe.
If you’re running a marathon, you’ll want a drop of 10+ mm. This helps you to transfer energy from stride to stride.
However, if you’re lifting weights, especially squats or deadlifts, you’ll want a much flatter shoe. Olympic lifters for example will use a shoe with a drop of 0-1 mm because it gives them a more stable platform.
Cross training shoes have a drop of 4-6 mm. This is a nice balance between the two extremes, and means that these shoes are ideal for a range of activities, such as you might encounter during a gym workout.
You can learn more about it here: What’s the Deal With Heel Toe Differential?
Choose the Right Pair of Workout Shoes for Your Needs
The issue nowadays with people involved in sports is the unawareness of the proper choice of footwear. In the end, they most likely fail to achieve proper comfort and balance, and as a result destroy their shoes within a short time. The wrong pair of shoes can also quickly lead to pain and injury. This is especially true with repetitive sports such as CrossFit or running.
You can keep the above differences in mind while purchasing your next pair of shoes. These points will assist you in making the right choice, and thus you will be able to achieve the maximum and at the same time won’t end end up with injuries.
Looking for a top-quality CrossFit shoe? Probably the most popular one in the world is the Reebok Nano 8. Learn more about it here:
Sale 1,274 Reviews Reebok Men’s CROSSFIT Nano 8.0 Flexweave Cross Trainer, Black/Alloy/Gum, 9.5 M US
- Reebook Shoes
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Can I use Running Shoes for CrossFit?
A common question that people have is whether or not they can just use their running shoes for a CrossFit WOD. You may already have a pair of these in your closet and are hoping to save a bit of money by avoiding buying another pair of sneakers for this kind of workout.
I have some bad news for you though…most trainers strongly recommend against this. It’ll kind of feel you’re on this wobbly platform, which is very bad news when you’re lifting some heavy weight. And, you’ll struggle with the side to side movements as well because there’s basically no support for this.
For CrossFit, you should certainly wear a pair of cross training or CrossFit sneakers. They’re designed to handle a wide range of activities, from lifting to sprints and jumps. And not that your athletic performance entirely depends on the shoes on your feet, but you’ll want ones that don’t hinder you like running shoes would.
When Should I Replace my Cross-Training Shoes?
Most experts recommend replacing shoes after 100-200 hours of wear. In our experience, that’s about right. You can exercise 2-3x a week for a year before having to replace them.
If you exercise more frequently, then you may have to replace your athletic shoes every six months or so. Of course, if you notice any wear or tear then you’ll want to do it sooner. It’s just not worth it when you’re trying to avoid injuries.
What About Lifting Shoes for a CrossFit Workout?
675 Reviews Reebok Men’s Lifter Pr Cross-Trainer Shoe, Ash Grey/Black/White, 9 M US
- BREATHABLE AND DURABLE MATERIAL: These weightlifting sneakers feature a full-grain leather toe and…
- EFFICIENT FOOT SUPPORT: These athletic trainers feature the Powerbax TPU plate and a dual rubber…
- STAY COOL AND DRY: This footwear features anti-friction lining that reduces moisture and heat…
- COMFORTABLE AND STURDY DESIGN: This low-cut design footwear provide mobility at the ankles; The…
- HIGH-PERFORMANCE SPORT SHOES: Ideal for workouts and weightlifting
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Another common question that people have is whether or not they can use their weightlifting shoes for a WOD. These kinds of shoes have a very minimal heel toe differential, and often come with a strap across the midfoot for extra support. They’re heavy, durable and have non compressible foam in the heels.
If you’re doing a WOD that’s focused almost entirely on lifting, then you’ll be fine in a pair of these powerlifting shoes. However, if it’s not? You’ll likely be pretty unhappy. These shoes are most certainly not for running, or jumping.
Do you Really Need CrossFit Shoes?
Most people who do CrossFit use CrossFit shoes because they’re a nice all-round shoe that’s supportive, flexible and durable. This allows for maximum athletic performance while reducing the risk of injury. However, some people prefer to use a pair of cross-training shoes because they’re often cheaper but offer many of the same features of Cross Fit shoes.
Do I really need CrossFit shoes?
What Do You Think about the Difference Between CrossFit Shoes and Running Shoes?
What are your thoughts about the differences between these styles of shoes? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.
Also be sure to give this article a share on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. It’ll help other athletes, like yourself find this useful resource.
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I am a Crossfit Level 1 + 2 Trainer, an avid Crossfit-er. I started bestcrossfitshoe.net with an aim to educate the fitness community and share knowledge on crossfit footwear, equipment’s, nutrition and workout routine to help them make a difference in their lives. Follow Me =”https:>
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NOBULL Mid Trainer (Canvas) Also available in a mid-top height – this version of the shoe is made from canvas. NOBULL Trainer (Canvas) For a budget option – the shoe is available in perforated canvas – it’s durable, good looking, and easy on your wallet.
NOBULL Trainers – The Benefits of SuperFabric – Tough Shoes
First, let’s talk about SuperFabric. That’s what the seamless one-piece upper (the top part of the shoe) is made of. It’s extremely durable, breathable and abrasion resistant material. These shoes are tough – the manufacturer claims they can resist harsh weather, glass, and even barbed wire!
Here’s a close-up of SuperFabric. Those little dots are TOUGH – and as you can see they cover the entire upper.
SuperFabric is no joke – it’s not just used in shoes, it is used in a variety of products such as motorcycle and military apparel. It’s very tough – and slash and scratch proof.
The material was originally created for gloves that could resist cuts from surgical knives. Here’s a graphic from the manufacturer showing how the addition of “guard plates” to an underlying mesh fabric create this unique material. It’s not just durable though – it’s also breathable and flexible.
The above image is courtesy of SuperFabric® brand materials.
Rope climbs can kill a pair of shoes quick. Shoes not designed for it just can’t take the stress in the areas where you’ll be gripping the rope with your feet.
But not the NOBULL Trainers – they have a medial rope grip to ensure both climbing traction and durability.
For comfort that seamless, one-piece upper is made of a highly breathable base mesh layer. The tongue is a breathable perforated microsuede tongue. And a molded, anatomical sock liner helps round out the fit.
NOBULL Shoes – Styles and Colors
What colors are available? The list varies, but here’s a few that are currently available:
Dark Denim, Black Ivy, Arctic Grey, White Heather Forest, Black/White, Bright Pink, Sand Camo, Black Heather Yellow, Bright Blue, White Heather Granite, Matrix Burst, and Blue Glass.
Here’s a close-up of my personal pair – in Matrix Burst – which is a new pattern for 2019.
OK, they look great – I think we an all agree on that.
Let’s talk more about how they function.
NOBULL Shoes – Minimal Drop For Stability
Training Shoe Anatomy Confused about the insole, midsole, and outsole? Check out our Anatomy of a Training Shoe graphic. It’ll set you straight.
CrossFit WODs involve a lot of weightlifting – and heavy weights at that. If you’ve ever tried to do heavy lifts in running shoes – you know that’s a bad idea. There’s simply too much cushioning in the sole, heel, and midsole of a running shoe. The problem is that your feet are sinking into the thick cushioning – and this wreaks havoc on stability. It’s also an unacceptable loss of power in the quick lifts (the Olympic lifts) – you can’t get efficient power transfer on a mushy shoe sole.
But these problems are eliminated in the NOBULL Trainer. It’s got a versatile, but stable outsole and midsole – perfect for the variety of big weights you’ll have to lift.
Secondly, the “heel to toe drop” is a mere 4mm. This means there isn’t much of a heel on the shoe. If you’ve ever lifted in purpose-built weight lifting shoes you know that sky-high heel is great for getting low on a squat or clean with ease. But you can’t really do much else in weight lifting shoes – that too tall heel (and the extreme rigidity) make them unusable for running, jumping, and quite frankly – anything except for lifting weights!
Want to find out more about weightlifting shoes?
With a low profile 4mm heel to toe drop these shoes are versatile. They can do it all. Big squats and deadlifts? No problemo.
Let’s check out the outsole aka the sole. See that versatile lug pattern? It’s made for traction indoors or outdoors.
NOBULL Trainer – Lightweight CrossFit Training Shoe
We did something interesting – we compared the weight of all the CrossFit shoes for 2019.
The NOBULL trainer (Men’s size 11, single shoe) came in at 11.3 ounces. The only shoe lighter was the New Balance Minimus Prevail.
That’s over 2 ounces lighter than the Nike Metcon 5 or the Reebok Nano 9.
Here’s a picture of the line-up – from lightest to heaviest.
Lineup of CrossFit training shoes for 2019
NOBULL Shoes – High Tops and Canvas
There’s also a High-Top Trainer model.
It’s got all the great features of the regular shoe, but with the added stability of a high top. The high-cut collar provides padding and a secure fit for movement in any direction.
But otherwise – all the same features – the multi-environment lug outsole, reflective NOBULL logo for maximum visibility, 4mm heel to toe drop – it’s all there.
Here’s a new model with a perforated canvas upper – for those that prefer it. Just like the SuperFabric version it offers durability and breathability – but at a cheaper price point. Otherwise it’s got all the great features of the SuperFabric version of the Trainer.
There’s also a lighter color Sand Canvas option. It looks really nice. This view also shows the medial sole grip for rope climbs:
And lastly, there is a mid trainer version of the canvas shoe. Not as high as the high-top, but otherwise has all the great features including the perforated canvas upper.
What Sort of Training Are NOBULL Shoes Good For?
Can I squat in NOBULL Trainers?
Yes – you can – low bar, high bar, front squat – it’s all good. It’s a “flat” shoe with a small 4mm heel to toe drop (no outrageous heel raise), so you’re not going to get any help on getting low with ease in a squat. But the sole and midsole are rigid enough to ensure a stable platform for lifting. Time to work on that ankle flexibility.
It should be mentioned that many people find the NOBULL trainers less friendly for heavy weights when compared to the Nike Metcon 4s. The NOBULL Trainer is more flexible and comfortable it seems, but the Metcon is stiffer and better for weights. It’s all trade-offs – which area is most important to you?
Nike Metcon 4 XD vs NOBULL Trainer The Nike Metcon 4 XD is Nike’s cross training shoe and is new for 2019. It is similar in many respects – it’s light, breathable, and meant for the rigors of both heavy weights and explosive and quick WOD movements. It’s also got a 4mm low-profile drop and is constructed of light-weight, breathable material. Either shoe is going to be an excellent choice – and which one you prefer may come down to styling and aesthetics.
Can I deadlift in NOBULL Trainers?
Yes – a flat (minimum heel to toe drop) shoe with a stable heel, sole, and midsole is just what you want for a big deadlift. This minimizes the range of motion (why lift the weight even 1/2 inch more than you have to?) and provides a stable base.
The amount of material under your feet, also known as “stack height,” is an important characteristic of a good training shoe. It’s one of the principles that minimalist shoes are built on – less material means a more natural feel that leads to better biomechanics. But thicker, more protective shoes might lead to fewer injuries and better running due to shock absorption.
The NOBULL trainers lie somewhere between – not too much, not too little.
Can I Olympic lift in NOBULL Trainers?
Yes – Efficient power transfer is needed for the Olympic lifts, and the NOBULL trainers deliver.
Can I run in the NOBULL Trainers?
Yes – they are not bad running shoes at all – they are light. The “NOBULL” logo on the side is reflective – it’s good to be seen. But they are not purpose-built running shoes either. Look elsewhere for long distance running.
If you like NOBULL shoes, and do need a real running shoe, Rogue Fitness also carries the NOBULL Knit Runner – shown where in Dark Grey.
This is a classic runner’s shoe – 10 mm heel to toe drop, anatomical sock liner for a perfect fit, and very lightweight.
NOBULL Trainers – In Summary
The NOBULL Trainer from NOBULL shoes is a good-looking, versatile, and comfortable shoe.
Made with SuperFabric – they are tough. They are also designed to accommodate the kind of workouts required by CrossFit.
They are also very light-weight – they are almost 2 full ounces (per shoe) lighter than the Nike Metcon 5 or Reebok Nano 9.
Many people buy these for casual wear – but they are still versatile training shoes for the WOD, so give these shoes a try for your next workout.
And, this is the only pair of CrossFit Training shoes available in a mid-top and high-top version as well – for those that prefer it.
- Some product imagery on this page is property of Rogue Fitness and provided by Rogue Fitness.
- This website is not affiliated or associated with CrossFit, Inc. CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc.
Cross Training Shoes for 2019. We found the NOBULL trainer to be the second lightest shoe.
Comparing CrossFit® Sneakers: The Best Shoes for CrossFit
Oh, CrossFit shoes. Everyone knows that old joke: “Reebok®, Nike®, No Bull®, and Under Armour® walk up to a bar…”
Yet, few have gone so far to seek the punchline. I didn’t want to do your average one-off shoe review. WODDITY *bought* a pair of each brand’s flagship CrossFit sneaker. I then proceeded to spend thirty days in every pair. Here’s what I learned.
*I purchased these pairs instead of reaching out to the brands. Our goal is to provide you with a completely unbiased view of these CrossFit shoes.
Want details on upcoming Nike Metcon and Reebok Nano releases? We’ve written about both! Nike Metcon 5 | Reebok Nano 9
No Bull Trainer
Buy Now: Men | Women
It’s hard to so “no” to a great pair of camo CrossFit shoes. Image courtesy of No Bull.
I didn’t walk into this with much in the way of high hopes for the No Bull trainer. Short of some epic colors and patterns, the shoe doesn’t look very complex. Therein lies the rub: No Bull built one heck of a shoe and found success in simplicity. I’m not even sure their intent was to build a pair of CrossFit shoes. But, they did.
No Bull’s Genius
The design of the shoe body is much like the Reebok Nano 8 Flexweave, but with a much thicker material. This makes the shoe feel sturdier and more durable. At the same time, I didn’t feel my feet get any warmer than the Reebok competitor. This is a lifting shoe, so it is flat on the foot. I mean FLAT. The material of the sole feels soft, but it’s not thick enough to feel like it’s wrapping around your foot. It’s a functional shoe and extra frills need not apply.
No Bull’s Room for Improvement
Here’s my one qualm: the roomy toe box builds a giant dome over your toes. The shoe is flexible enough to not need it, so this feels like unnecessary space. Do you have a natural heel-toe walking and running movement? You’ll find your toes flying up into the space and clapping back down when you strike pavement. That’s a hard sensation to get used to. But hey – you bought them to churn out reps, not for mall walking with Betty and Sally.
CrossFit Shoes: The Lowdown
- Fit: Roomy
- Flexibility: Surprising
- Lifting: Simple
- Width: Wide
- Keeper: To look good and lift in. Nothing more, nothing less.
Under Armour Tribase Reign
Buy Now: Men | Women
Under Armour has a couple of color options for their CrossFit shoes, but this shoe is hot right now and the black/teal was the only coloway available when I purchased. Image courtesy of Under Armour.
Let’s be real. Regardless of what I type here, Under Armour did a fantastic thing by entering the CrossFit shoe game. The CrossFit community is a persnickety one, and we can smell a phony from a mile away. While the Tribase Reign wasn’t our favorite shoe, it feels like the creators understand our sport. I hope the UA Tribase Reign isn’t the last shoe of its kind. Under Armour has potential to do great things for CrossFit shoes.
About the Tribase Reign
The best way I can describe the feel of this shoe is like a classic pair of Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars. You have a very sturdy base, attached to a more flexible body. The material Under Armour used for the body of the Tribase Reign is nothing short of genius. It feels both more flexible and more durable than any of its competitors.
Under Armour’s Genius
The true strength of the Tribase is in lifting. We aren’t kidding when we say the base is sturdy. The stance is very neutral, and it goes a long way to helping you feel comfortable lifting heavy weights, as CrossFitters are apt to do. Our one qualm is the toe box feels like they added a little extra something for the outside of your foot. It may be that Under Armour was working to help a lifter keep their weight back. Either way, it’s something I hope they fix in future models.
- Fit: Perfect
- Lifting: Sturdy
- Width: Narrow
- Keeper: Yes.
Nike Metcon 4
Buy Now: Men | Women
Yes – these custom Nike Metcon 4 CrossFit shoes say “AMRAP” on one heel and “METCON” on the other. Images courtesy of Nike.
I told you I used these brands’ flagship shoes. To be honest, I used it as an excuse for a custom pair. Nike’s shoe customizer led me to a bright (borderline fluorescent) teal pair of Nike Metcons. And yes, they read “AMRAP” on the back of one and “METCON” on the back of the other.
Because I’m a nerd.
With that information, you know I’m wild with excitement. I wanted to love these shoes. The last pair of Nike Metcons I had were the Nike Metcon 2s, which suffered from a classic case of a rock-hard sole.
If your soles stay hard for more than four hours, please consult a doctor.
Nike Metcon 4 Flaws
The good news is, Nike has done a lot of work to bring some flexibility back to the Metcon. The bad news is, we’re not sure it was enough. The change in sole materials made the Nike Metcon 4 much more forgiving when you flex your foot. I found myself wishing for a little more lateral (left-right) flexibility, though. The immediate feel of the shoe was like you could catch an edge and break an ankle. Especially if you’re as clumsy as I am during burpees.
The Genius of the Nike Metcon 4
Nike is all about the details. The inside face of the shoe keeps the textured surface for grip during rope climbs. This is as great as ever. Nike also made the heel bump less obtrusive. It still provides a low-friction surface for handstand activities, if you’re into that.
In comparison to the Nike Metcon 2, this bump is much less noticeable when running. We’re still haunted by the side ache-wrenching echo of thudding heel bumps on pavement. Those days appear to be gone with the Metcon 4.
These extra features add value to the shoe, and Nike has done it without any loss of lifting comfort. The Nike Metcon feels like a true neutral shoe. They balance your weight throughout your foot. I tried these with squats, deadlifts, snatches, and thrusters. Each lift felt like the shoes were providing a strong, sturdy base.
- Fit: Tight
- Flexibility: Some
- Lifting: Strong
- Width: Perfect
- Keeper: Yes. Especially the custom pair.
Reebok Nano 8 Flexweave
Buy Now: Men | Women
I loved my green pair of Reebok Nano 8 Flexweaves so much, I went back and grabbed a pair of the white. What a great pair of CrossFit shoes. Images courtesy of Reebok.
Let’s get right to it. The eighth edition of the Reebok Nano is the most comfortable shoe I worked with.
First, nobody should run longer distances in a lifting shoe. That said, I could myself doing it in the Reebok Nano. If I had to.
Reebok Nano Flexibility
Everything about this shoe is flexible – from the rubber they use in the sole to the Flexweave material of the body. Consider it much more friendly than its competitors. There is a downside, though. In activities on uneven ground and box jumps, you can almost feel the surface through the shoe. If coach programs rock running or obstacle courses, you’ll want stable running shoe.
And yes, I invented “rock running” for this article. You’re welcome.
As far as lifting goes, the Reebok Nano does great. It feels like the shoe has a small drop (the toes are lower than the heels). It’s enough to make running more comfortable, but still feels minimal when you lift. Strength training with a front squat had my weight well-balanced in my feet. The drop didn’t push me forward onto my toes.
The bottom line: the Reebok Nano Flexweave became my favorite shoe. By the end of touring the Tribase, Metcon, and No Bull, all I wanted to do was go back to the Reebok. I could nap in their comfy toe box.
- Fit: True
- Flexibility: Great
- Lifting: Balanced
- Width: Wide
- Keeper? Heck Yes
In this post I am going to show you the 25 best CrossFit shoes for women.
As a woman who has been doing CrossFit for over 4 years, I know what you gals need when it comes to CrossFit gear, especially the best CrossFit shoes for women.
I know that not just any old sneaker will bring out your best performance, and some shoe styles will make you more prone to injury. CrossFit specific shoes will make a difference in your workout and I will tell you why.
After I show you the 25 best CrossFit shoes for women 2020 I will go into the how’s and why of choosing the right CrossFit shoe for you.
Let’s dive right in!
TOP 25 Best CrossFit Shoes for Women 2020
Reebok Women’s Nano 9 Cross Trainer
Review: These shoes do it all, when it comes to CrossFit. They help your feet get a good grip on the floor and have a stable base built to support Olympic lifts included in your WOD.
They have a wide roomy toebox and are suitable for wide feet. They are very sturdy and the weave fabric stands up to the abuses of your workout, including the rope climb.
- Wide Stable base.
- RopePro tech grip on sole.
- Hard TPU overlay that adds stability and durability – new for the Nano 9’s.
- Flexweave upper for greater flexibility than other Nano models.
- They feel a little stiff when you run.
Comfortable for running, lifting, and whatever else your CrossFit WOD throws at you. A shoe-in for the best CrossFit shoes for women in 2020.
Nike Women’s Metcon 5 X Training Shoes
Review: The Nike Metcon 5 x CrossFit shoes are all about stability and durability. They have a breathable upper that is built to withstand wear and tear.
They have a rigid plastic TPU heel clip for handstand pushups, and rubber sidewall wraps add to the durability of the shoe and resist abrasion during the rope climb.
- Wide stable heel for lifting.
- Removable Hyperlift insert.
- Flywire keeps your foot locked in.
- Metcons run small.
One of the best women’s CrossFit shoes released in 2019 for lifting.
Reebok Women’s ROS Workout Tr 2-0 Cross-Trainer
Review: This shoe is designed to support your foot and give stability during the multi-directional movements you do in CrossFit.
It is light and breathable, without sacrificing toughness. They are durable, with carbon rubber rope pro and toe cap, and the rubber outsole really grips the floor well.
- Rubber toe cap and rope pro.
- A stable shoe that withstands impact of lateral movement.
- Grippy rubber outsole.
- Runs narrow, get the Nano 9 if you need a wider shoe.
A well designed CrossFit specific shoe with grip, lateral stability and superior durability.
Nobull Women’s Training Shoes
Review: Nobulls are made like flexible body armor for your feet. They are virtually wear-proof, but breathable and flexible at the same time.
They are flexible in all the right places but add stability in the heel and have a flat stable base which makes them a favorite for Olympic lifts.
- Seamless “superfabric” upper is nearly indestructible.
- Breathable and light.
- Grippy rubber sole.
- Not too comfortable to run in.
High performance CrossFit shoes that are supportive and flexible just where you need them to be.
New Balance Women’s 20v7 Minimus Cross Trainer
Review: The Minimus cross trainers are designed to withstand the lateral stress of CrossFit movements thanks to stronger nylon infused knit upper.
The grippy rubber Vibram sole makes sure your feet stay planted firmly on the ground, and the minimal style and 0 lift keep your feet flat, making these great shoes to lift in.
- High traction rubber Vibram sole.
- Flat, 0 drop shoes.
- Nylon infused upper for better support during lateral movements.
- Run small.
- Not cushioned – these are minimalist shoes.
Awesome minimalist CrossFit shoes with decent lateral support and great traction.
Under Armour Women’s Micro G Pursuit
Review: Under Armour Micro G pursuit cross training shoes are a good fit when the WOD calls for agility exercises and running. They are moderately cushioned and have excellent energy return and shock absorption.
They have good lateral support and support the ankle well. The rubber tire tread inspired sole has excellent traction too.
- Ideal for CrossFit athletes with Plantar Fasciitis.
- Support in the arch and heel.
- Good energy return, perfect for running and jumping.
- Runs a bit small, consider ordering a 1-2 size up if you are between sizes.
A supportive cross trainer for WODs that include running and jumping.
Adidas Women’s Crazypower TR Cross-Trainer
Review: The Adidas Performance Crazypower shoes are excellent CrossFit shoes. They are great for lifting because they have a low to the ground feel and are wide, creating stability you need to lift with confidence.
The upper is extra durable and grippy thanks to the polyurethane overlay. The sole is flexible and has superior traction which is great for plyometrics and running. Overall, these shoes are a winner.
- Available in wide widths.
- Polyurethane overlay upper is hard-wearing.
- Wide, flat, low to the ground feel.
- The tongue is flat and has edges that can irritate.
Excellent women’s CrossFit shoe for those with wide feet. This shoe does everything from lifting to plyometrics comfortably.
Nike Women’s Free Metcon 2 Training Shoe
Review: This absolutely beautiful CrossFit shoe is as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional. It is super light, breathes well, and has a cozy sock-like feel and a back strap that integrates with the laces to tighten and keep your feet firmly in place.
The traction from the rubber sole is flexible, so you can run, jump and do agility movements with ease.
- Durable upper.
- Backstrap integrates with laces for a locked-in fit.
- Great for WODs with running, plyo and agility.
- Runs a tad small.
One of the best Nike shoes for women for CrossFit metcon workouts.
Inov-8 Women’s Fastlift 335 Cross-Training Shoe
Review: Low to the ground and flexible, these Inov-8 Fastlift 335 training shoes will give you the confidence and feedback to hit a new PR.
These shoes are ideal for Olympic lifts, squats and lunges. They have a raised heel like most lifting shoes and allow for a much greater range of motion on these moves.
- Raised heel of 1.25”.
- Rubber outsole with excellent traction that keeps you firmly in place.
- Hook and loop instep strap keeps your feet locked in.
- They are less breathable than other Inov-8s.
An innovative dedicated lifting shoe from inov-8. Stable and steady, everything you need when you lift heavy.
Nike Women’s Metcon 4 Training Shoes
Review: Nike hit a chord with the CrossFit community when they released the Metcon 4 CrossFit training shoe. This model is stable enough for weight lifting and flexible enough for plyo movements.
This model has a flat sole that gives you a stable base to lift heavy, and has a wide toe box and very little padding so you feel connected to the ground.
- Flat sole, stable lifting base.
- Wide toe box.
- A good choice for ladies with narrow feet.
- Not ideal to run in.
Awesome CrossFit shoes for lifting and Plyo, great shoes for women with narrow feet too!
5.11 Tactical Women’s Recon C Cross-Training Shoe
Review: These 5.11 Tactical Women’s Recon shoes were designed with CrossFit in mind and have everything you need for functional training.
They have a rope ready sole and strategically placed overlays on the upper to add durability where you need it.
The shoes are minimally cushioned and allow you to get feedback from the ground, and the sole is flat, providing a secure stable surface for your feet while lifting.
- Rope ready area with upper overlay for added durability.
- Minimalist feel and flat sole for max ground feedback and stability.
- Really great price.
- Not great for running.
A great CrossFit shoe for lifting and plyo WODs, at a reasonable price. They are really cute too!
Reebok Women’s CrossFit Grace Tr Cross Trainer
Review: The Reebok CrossFit Grace is for female athletes that want a slimmer profile than other Reebok CrossFit shoes. This shoe still has all the protection, including toe Tection and rope pro, to cut down on wear.
This shoe is breathable and has a contoured fit and a cushy sock liner you will find as comfortable as it is stylish.
- Low cut, allows you to move.
- Toe Tection and rope pro for added durability.
- Roomy toe box.
- Runs large.
Reebok has graced us with a stylish, form-fitting and comfortable CrossFit shoe for ladies.
Reebok Women’s CrossFit Nano 8.0 Flexweave
Review: The New Nano 8s are nice and flexible in the toe, great for jumping and adequate for running if the WOD calls for it. The Dual density midsole allows for the more flexible front while maintaining a stiff stable supportive heel for lifting.
This is a big upgrade from the Nano 7s. The Nano 8s have decent cushioning, without being overly padded.
- Works well for WODs that include running.
- Very stable, great for Olympic lifting.
- True to size.
- Nice wide toe box.
- Trivial complaint here, but, they are not very pretty.
Comfortable, flexible enough for short run’s and jumping, stable and flat enough for lifting. The Nano 8s are a well-rounded CrossFit shoes for women.
Reebok Women’s CrossFit Nano 6.0
Review: The Reebok Nano 6.0 shoes are low to the ground, with little support and great flexibility that allows you to move. In fact, many athletes say they are more flexible than the previous model.
They are very grippy, and virtually bulletproof, thanks to the Kevlar outer, so they are long-wearing.
- Textured Kevlar outer is very durable.
- Excellent grip.
- Roomy toe box.
- Good heel lockdown.
- Angled toe with wide base makes shoes an awkward fit for some.
These shoes run true to size with plenty of room at the toe. They are narrow at the heel and wider at the toe. More flexible than the Nano 5, these shoes are a winner.
Inov-8 Women’s Bare-XF 210 Cross-Training Shoes
Review: These Inov-8 bare XF 210 shoes are 0 drop shoes for a low to the ground feel. Their sticky soles offer good traction.
They are very flexible, making them great for CrossFit. The Rubber strips on the sides of these shoes make rope climbing easier.
- Minimalist barefoot style.
- Good grip, includes rope traction.
- Snug fit, double check size chart for best fit.
This shoe is the shoe for those who like to be as close as possible to bare feet while still wearing a shoe. They are so light, you will hardly notice them.
Vibram Women’s KMD LS Cross Training Shoe
Review: For lifting these barefoot shoes are ideal, you get good connection with the ground and your foot is allowed to spread for stability.
They are extremely flexible, with individual toes, you are one with the floor. Their Grip is Excellent, they are like having rubber-coated feet.
- 0 drop barefoot feel – good connection with the ground.
- Excellent grip.
- Ideal for lifting heavy.
- Individual toe slots may not fit all toe lengths.
These shoes may look odd, but they work great for CrossFit. They offer flexibility, grip and stability needed for lifting and metcons.
New Balance Women’s 811 Training Shoe
Review: These shoes are excellent for lifting, the sole is flat allowing the foot to spread. They are very flexible, this shoe is designed to allow the foot to move.
The tongue is sewn in to help the foot stay in place and these shoes stay in place as you climb.
- Low profile and lightweight.
- Sewn tongue and strategically placed tape keep the shoe secure.
- Roomy toe box.
- Run a bit small, consider ordering a half size up.
New Balance hit a home run with this shoe, it is perfect for CrossFit in every aspect, it’s flexible, low profile and designed with CrossFit moves in mind.
Nike Women’s Flex Supreme TR 4 Cross Trainer
Review: These CrossFit shoes live up to the name ‘Flex Supreme’. They are flexible and low profile, just what you want for training shoes.
The sole is wider than Nike’s tend to be, which lends itself to lifting. The grip is good, your feet will not move while doing planks and pushups.
- Very light and flexible.
- Decent padding.
- Ample lateral support.
- Not much cushion and may be not very durable.
If you use these shoes for CrossFit, they will not disappoint. This is not a running shoe, because they don’t have much cushion. It’s a specialized, extremely lightweight shoe that does the job it was made for.
ASICS Women’s GEL-190 TR Cross-Training Shoe
Review: These shoes have good support and energy return, yet you are still able to get feedback from the floor and the shoe has room for your feet to spread while lifting.
They are somewhat flexible and have good traction and grip.
- Good arch support.
- Rearfoot gel absorbs shock.
- The midsole has good return energy.
- Roomy toe box.
- The shoe runs small, order a half size up.
These are good for cross-training and have more support but less flexibility than most CrossFit shoes.
They are great for a training regimen with aerobic activity and lifting, but average on tasks like jumping. Consider these shoes if you must have CrossFit shoes with arch support.
New Balance Women’s WX608V4 Training Shoe
Review: This New Balance cross-training shoe has a hard sole, with good stability and minimal cushion at the heel.
It’s not as flexible as other CrossFit Shoes but the sole has sufficient grip. This shoe is great for workouts that include running.
- Good ankle and arch support.
- Very durable shoe.
- Good for running.
- The shoes are on the stiff side.
These shoes are for those who have a running or walking as a heavy component of their workout. Not designed for climbing or jumping.
Puma Women’s Tazon 6 Cross-Training Shoe
Review: The Puma Tazon has a wide stiff sole making them great for lifting, they have enough room to allow your toes to spread out, and they have a stable base.
The shoes are rigid and provide support, but not flexibility.
- Wide stable base – good for heavy lifting.
- Roomy toe box.
- They tend to be bulky.
These are surprisingly good shoes for lifting heavy and make a great CrossFit shoe when the WOD includes the barbell.
Asics Women’s GEL Fit Tempo 2 Shoe
Review: These shoes are flat and low profile making them adequate for lifting. They are also comfortable to run in and while they are not too flexible, they do OK with most CrossFit movements.
- Versatile shoe.
- Very lightweight.
- Low profile – not overly cushioned.
- They are slightly bulky.
These shoes are light and comfortable, good for lifting, and versatile shoes.
Ryka Women’s Dynamic 2 Cross-Training Shoe
Review: This shoe is wider in the toe, allowing the foot to spread, the sole is moderately stiff and good for lifting.
The sole has a decent grip, but the upper was not designed to have traction, so they may not be great for the rope climb. They are pretty flexible so they can work for both WODs and Metcons alike.
- Better arch support than other styles.
- Good shock absorption.
- Wide toe box – roomy.
- This shoe is not as durable as others, especially the upper.
This shoe is good for lifting with a wide, flat base, and flexible enough for agility exercises.
Avia Women’s Avi-Tangent Training Shoe
Review: These shoes have a flat sole and a wide base making them a good candidate for lifting shoes. They have a roomy toe box so your feet have room to spread out.
These shoes, unlike some others in this list, are support and stability shoes, so for those athletes who have a podiatrist who recommends support, these are a good choice.
- Comfortable shoe that accommodates wide feet.
- Support and stability style shoe.
- Plenty of arch support.
- Shock absorbing.
- Not as durable as other models.
The sole is flat and wide, making them good for lifting. These are cross trainers for those who need support and stability in a workout shoe.
Asics Women’s Met-Conviction Cross Trainer
Review: The Asics Met-Convictions have a flat sole with a wider base, perfect for lifting. They are plenty flexible, making jumps and squats more comfortable too.
They are grippy and stay put during vigorous exercises.
- Minimal cushioning makes for good lifting form.
- Flexible grippy sole.
- Durable yet breathable upper.
- Shoe runs small.
This is a good shoe for CrossFit. Many will find the minimalist design comfortable and advantageous.
Women’s CrossFit Shoes Buying Guide – How to Choose CrossFit Shoes
CrossFit shoes have a tough job.
They must wear many hats.
They need to allow you to perform Olympic lifts, run a little, squat, do wall balls, jump on plyo boxes, speed through agility ladders, climb ropes, lunge, and all that while being comfortable and keeping your feet protected, without wearing out.
CrossFit Shoes, Not Like the Other Kids!
Shoes that are good for CrossFit are often not good for other stuff. For example, those shoes that you can wear all day, like if you work on your feet? Yeah, those won’t make good CrossFit shoes.
Those zoomy, highly padded running shoes you love? Also not ideal for CrossFit.
Here is what you must look for in the best women’s CrossFit shoes, based on specific CrossFit exercises.
CrossFit Shoe Features for Heavy Lifting, Olympic Lifts, Squats and Lunges
Flat Sole with Wide Base
When you are lifting heavy weights using a barbell, aka, Olympic lifts, you need shoes that have a FLAT, WIDE sole.
This gives you a stable base to lift from.
Heel Wedge for Lifting
Some dedicated lifting shoes also have a wedge heel that lifts your heel one inch up or so. This changes the angle between the knee and your ankle and allows a greater range of motion.
In other words, it makes it easier for you to bend your knees and get your butt lower to the ground. This is especially helpful if your ankle mobility sucks.
CrossFit Shoe Features for Rope Climbs
The rope will tear up your average sneaker in no time. The best CrossFit shoes come with “rope pro” “Rope tech” or “Rope Ready” features.
Basically this is a rubber overlay that starts at the sole of the shoe and goes up over the instep and shoe outer, giving you traction on the rope and saving your shoe from rope burn.
CrossFit Shoe Features when the WOD Calls for Plyometrics, Jumping or Agility
When the WOD calls for jumping, plyo or agility type movements here is what you need.
You Need Shoes that are Lightweight
Heavy shoes will weigh you down and hurt your performance.
You Need Shoes with Minimal Padding
Padding will get in the way when you are jumping and will dampen the feedback from the floor or box.
Too much padding can also cause injury when you are doing dynamic agility moves because they prevent your feet from being connected to the floor or box.
You Need Shoes with Lateral Support
Lateral support, what does that even mean? I will tell you what lateral support is!
Lateral support is the support that protects the foot when it moves from side to side.
Imagine you are running the agility ladder side to side. Your foot pushes to the side of the shoe as your foot strikes the ground.
This side of the shoe is precisely where you need lateral support. You need the support to prevent your ankle from rolling too far, and also for the integrity of the shoe, to prevent it from wearing out.
You Need Shoes with Good Grip
Grip is important for lifting and agility. When you are lifting, you need to feel secure and that your feet will not move.
With agility movements, like jumping up on a plyo box, doing wall balls, or that agility latter I just talked about, you need to be sure-footed.
The last thing you want when you jump up on that box is your feet slipping and you falling in a humiliating and painful display in front of your class.
CrossFit Shoe Features for Handstand Pushups
Some CrossFit shoes have a plastic TPU heel clip which helps hen the WOD calls for handstand pushups. While this feature is not a crucial IMO, but it is nice to have, because it helps your feet slide smoothly on the wall.
Without the heel clip your feet will catch a bit on the wall, which is an annoyance.
CrossFit Shoe Features for WODs with Running
Let’s be honest.
The features that make a great CrossFit shoe and the opposite of what makes a great running shoe.
Great running shoes are well cushioned and have a lot of bounce. CrossFit shoes are wide and flat, like two planks of wood (only more flexible).
See the difference?
Luckily, most WODs do not call for a ton of running. So, you need shoes that are simply passable for running, not ones that you can run a marathon in.
If they will do for 400, 800 or even a kilometer without killing your feet, and they have everything else you need in a CrossFit shoe, they are a good choice.
Women’s CrossFit Shoes FAQs
Do CrossFit Shoes Really Help?
Yes, yes and yes!
CrossFit specific shoes improve your performance and safety. Flat sole and good grip are necessary to perform Olympic lifts safely and comfortably.
CrossFit shoes have a minimal cushion and are often minimalist style shoes. Too much cushion while doing CrossFit agility movements or plyometrics can cause foot injury or a painful fall.
CrossFit shoes have added durability in the sole, upper and toe. Standard running shoes or casual tennis shoes will get eaten up in the CrossFit environment. CrossFit specific shoes are designed to handle the abuse.
What are the Benefits of CrossFit Shoes?
The benefits of CrossFit shoes are improved performance, longer-lasting shoes, and safer shoes. CrossFit shoes are the right tool for the right task for CrossFit.
They improve performance by allowing your feet to be closer to the ground and giving your feet a safe, stable base to lift.
CrossFit shoes with a heel wedge improve squat and Olympic lift performance by enhancing your range of motion, and overcoming tight ankles and other mobility issues.
CrossFit shoes are reinforced on the upper, toe and rope area to prevent premature wear. Other sneakers are not built like this and will not last as long if you use them for CrossFit.
Do I Need Special Shoes for CrossFit?
Regular, padded athletic shoes are unstable for lifting, and the padding in them will get crushed or worse, dig into your feet and cause pain. You need a flat base and flat insole to lift well.
You can easily ruin a pair of running shoes in one shot if you use them on the rope climb. CrossFit shoes are designed to withstand the wear.
CrossFit shoes are designed with superior grip, so you feel grounded and stable, something you want when jumping up onto a plyo box.
Can You use Running Shoes for CrossFit?
I recommend against it.
Running shoes are designed with cushion, arch support and lots of rebound, all things you do not want for CrossFit.
There are however some good CrossFit shoes that you can run in. I have a list of the best CrossFit shoes for running right here.
How are CrossFit Shoes Different?
CrossFit shoes are different from running, walking and tennis shoes in several ways.
- CrossFit shoes have minimal padding and arch support.
- CrossFit shoes have a flat, super grippy sole.
- CrossFit shoes have very little, if any, bounce, rebound or energy return.
- CrossFit shoes are reinforced in the sole, upper and toe to withstand abuse.
- CrossFit shoes are designed with other features like heel clips for handstand pushups and rope tech for added durability for rope climbs.
Are CrossFit Shoes Good for Walking?
No, not really.
Walking shoes usually have cushion, support and rebound energy. CrossFit shoes have none of these features.
You may find it uncomfortable to walk for a long time in CrossFit shoes, and if you are looking for padding or bounce, forget it!
How Often Should You Replace CrossFit Shoes?
A good rule of thumb is every 6 months, but they may last longer if they are durable to start with and you only use them for your workouts.
Some athletes get away with wearing a pair for 9 months to even as long as a year.
CrossFit shoes do not have the padding that can wear down like running or tennis shoes do.
You know it’s time to replace them when they rip or tear, the sole starts to separate from the upper, or you start to notice foot and knee pain.
What CrossFit Shoes Should I get if I have Flat, Narrow or Wide feet?
I have just what you need! I carefully curated a list of the best CrossFit shoes for wide or narrow feet here, and another list for CrossFit shoes for flat feet here.
After reviewing 25 CrossFit shoes it is evident that manufacturers know their business when it comes to CrossFit training and what a shoe needs.
Reebok is head of the pack when it comes to making the best CrossFit shoes for women. Vibram makes a novel 5 toe design that CrossFit enthusiasts love.
Nike has designed a few shoes with the CrossFit athlete in mind, New Balance and Inov-8 also considered the athlete with several shoe models specifically designed for the sport.
If you want to see more of the best workout shoes, we have a list of the top contenders here.
While you are in the market for CrossFit shoes, you may also want to check out the hottest CrossFit shorts for women, we have them reviewed here.
If you love CrossFit gear and reviews, sign up for the Garage Gym Power newsletter and never miss another CrossFit gear review again!
Katie is a busy wife and mother of four. She is a freelance writer and frequent contributor on Garage Gym Power. She guards her gym time jealously, and would rather miss a PTA meeting or get takeout for dinner than miss a workout.
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Nike Free Trainer 5.0 Review
Comfort was one of the primary focuses in the design of this shoe. One way this was achieved was by utilizing what they call “no-sew construction.” This allows the shoe to be more fluid and flexible, eradicating stitching, making the shoe more comfortable. However, the majority of the shoe’s comfort comes from its sole. The Free Trainer 5.0 offers you a fairly thick sole, which in the realm of comfort does a great job absorbing the pressure dealt when your foot impacts the ground. However, I found the thickness of the sole to take away from the usability of the shoe. Although the shoe, as a whole, is light, the sole made it feel clunky when performing various movements. It made it more difficult to gain a sensory perception of where your foot was in relation to ground — something that could be important during exercises like box jumps.
The structural design of the shoe is very interesting. Free Trainer 5.0s feature a dual-pull lacing system, which was modeled after a Chinese finger trap. The idea behind constructing the shoe’s upper this way is to provide your foot with continual support while performing a wide range of different movements. The dual-pull system locks in around your foot, creating a snug, glove-like fit that is intended to move synchronously with your motions. This is definitely one of the features of the shoe Nike was successful in producing. I was able feel the shoe tightening up around my foot while running, yet able to feel it loosen up when I was not moving around.
As a shoe, the Free Trainer 5.0 offers you a substantial amount of protection; however, as a CrossFit shoe, these shoes don’t stack up quite as well. Overall the thickness of the upper mesh and the woven, dynamic fit technology (also know as the Chinese finger trap) helps shield your foot’s rough impacts, while the thick outsole of the shoe is virtually impenetrable. The reason these shoes are not as protective when it comes to CrossFit is that unlike Reebok’s Nano models or the Inov-8s, they are not designed with specialized features intended to shield your foot from CrossFit movements; specifically rope climbs, double unders, toes-to-bars, or even burpees.
In comparison to the other shoes that were tested, the bulkiness of the design makes the Nike Free Trainer 5.0s much less sensitive. Although you are not able to feel the ground beneath your feet while performing movements, the deep grooves in the outsole enhance the shoe’s flexibility, promoting a more natural motion of your foot. This is another area where the woven upper technology is successful. Having the shoe lock in around your foot while you are working out allows you to feel the way you are moving and utilizing your foot, which is great to have in a sport where technique is key.
One of my biggest complaints about the Nike Free Trainer 5.0s is how they hold up in weightlifting movements, or rather, how they don’t hold up. Although the durability of the soles provide you with support throughout your lifts when you drive through your heels, the thickness of the sole causes me to lose a lot of stability. An absence of lateral stabilization made each lift uncomfortable to perform. Additionally, it is difficult to feel the ground — something you want to feel while asserting a driving pressure through your legs into the ground.
Running is where the Free Trainer stands out. These shoes are built more closely to a traditional running shoe than a minimalist. The solid rubber pods of the outsole equip the shoes with a substantial amount of traction — designed in a pattern that also maximizes flexibility and durability. The lighter weight and snugger fit of the shoe, designed to mimic barefoot running, can be most noticeably felt. I definitely felt most comfortable using these shoes for runs and sprints as opposed to weightlifting.
Best Nike CrossFit Shoes
CrossFit training is a vigorous activity. When you do it, you push your body to its limits and the right pair of shoes is the necessity which makes your training safer, more effective, and more stable.
Whether you hit the gym or do the WOD, you always engage in a variety of activities that involve multi-directional movements. Therefore, the shoes should give great traction, support, stability, flexibility, durability, and comfort. Among the great variety of different brands, Nike creates CrossFit shoes that provide great quality so that your CrossFit sessions become safer and more comfortable.
Image Model Rating Price
We’ve rounded up top 10 Nike CrossFit shoes for men and women
Nike Men’s Free 5.0 V6 Training Shoe
The Nike Free line features many versions but this particular shoe is perfect for Cross training because it has a unique fusion of flexibility, durability, and comfort.
The shoe is lightweight so that it is perfect for cardio training. In the meantime, it is supportive, which is great for lateral movements and lifting. The shoe is well-designed. Thus, the upper is breathable and durable, it has no-sew overlays that provide additional support. It has a Flywire technology so that you can adjust the tightness. The Phylite midsole provides lightweight cushioning, durability, and reduced weight.
The rubber outsole is grippy so that you feel stable and secure on different surfaces and deep hexagonal flex grooves in the forefoot ensure a barefoot-like ride.
- Provides great lateral support
- A Flywire technology gives a snug fit
- The Phylite technology gives lightweight cushioning
- A no-sew design ensures good support and durability
- The rubber outsole with flex grooves is grippy and flexible
- Comes in too bright colors
- Some people claim that the objects can get stuck between sole sections
- Needs a break-in period
Nike Men’s Metcon 3 Training Shoe
Nike Metcon 3 is a stable and durable shoe that supports you during different exercises. They include rope climbs, deadlifts, lifting, sprinting, wall exercises. The upper is durable and breathable. It features mesh on the heel and ankle in order to create a comfortable and sweat-free environment for the feet. Besides, there is a TPU material in high-wear areas. It increases durability. Besides, Flywire cables give a lockdown fit.
That’s not all.
A drop-in midsole is firm and it gives stability you require during hard training and cushioning for sprints. The outsole is grippy and solid. The heel is supportive and it gives adequate stability during lifts and squats. Besides, the outsole has forefoot flex grooves that provide enough flexibility and cushioning during quick movements (jumps and sprints).
- Breathable and durable
- Flexible and secure
- A zero-drag feel is perfect for box jumps
- Flywire cables give a snug fit
- The outsole is grippy and firm
- Good lateral support
- Isn’t suitable for running
Nike Men’s Train Prime Iron DF Cross Trainer Shoes
The Nike Train Prime Iron DF will keep you secure, comfortable, and help you to handle a transition from weights to cardio with ease. This shoe is one of the best Crossfit shoes that can cover many WOD tasks. The upper is mesh and synthetic, it is flexible, durable, and breathable. The Flywire cables in the upper provide a dynamic support and let you adjust the fit.
Cushioning is also top-notch in this shoe. The dual-density midsole provides great cushioning and support. Besides, support is also ensured by ankle support. Therefore, the shoe is great for lifts. The outsole has a rugged multidirectional pattern that enhances traction.
- Lightweight and breathable
- Flywire cables give good support
- The dual-density midsole is soft and cushy
- The multidirectional pattern on the outsole makes the shoe grippy
- Runs small
Nike Fingertrap Max Men’s Cross Training Shoes
The shoe is beyond competition, not only because of its design but also because of its high level of comfort and functionality. The model offers a breathable fit and excellent cushioning.
The shoe itself is comfy and adaptive. The design is innovative as the model features overlapping bands that provide support and flexibility for different moves. The lace-up closure is simple and effective, it keeps the foot stable during the exercises. A heel pull-tab makes the shoe easy to put on and take off. The full-length Ortholite sockliner is for superior breathability and long-lasting comfort.
The outsole is made of rubber and it has forefoot flex grooves that promote a natural range of motion.
- Flexible and comfortable
- Overlapping bands give enough support
- An Ortholite sockliner improves comfort
- The outsole is grippy and flexible
- Runs large
- Lacks cushioning
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 Men’s Running Shoes
Designed for novice and experienced runners, these shoes give you comfort and cushioning you need. If your CrossFit involves running, these shoes won’t disappoint you.
The upper is lightweight and breathable thanks to the seamless Flymesh fabric, which also prevents overheating. The locked-down feel is ensured by dynamic Flywire cables that also give arch support. The Fitsole insole has an anatomically shaped construction. Therefore, it is comfortable and cushy.
The midsole gives top-notch cushioning and responsiveness. Premium Cushlon foam and Zoom Air in the forefoot and heel create a responsive feel. Air zoom is lightweight, responsive, and gives an excellent ground-feel.
The outsole is made of the Duralon material, which is both durable and flexible and it features raised rubber sections that provide traction.
- Lightweight and breathable thanks to the Flymesh technology
- A Flywire technology gives a snug fit
- A rubber strip at the bottom alleviates a heel to toe transition
- Doesn’t have a break-in period
- A Duralon material of the outsole makes the shoe durable
- A Fitsole insole gives cushioning
- Runs narrow
Nike Women’s Metcon 2 Training Shoe
Nike Metcon 2 was designed to meet all women’s needs during CrossFit training. The upper is mesh and synthetic, and it features rubber overlays in the toe area. Therefore, the upper is breathable and durable. The toe box is wide and the toe mesh is sturdy, which enhances comfort. The Flywire technology gives enough support while minimizing the weight.
The dual-density foam midsole provides lightweight and durable cushioning and lasting support. Also, the low-profile TPU heel clip ensures great stability. Therefore, these shoes are perfect for heavy deadlifts and squats. The Metcon 2 features little rubber nubs around the inside and outside of the arch. These nubs help people to grip the rope with the feet during rope climbs.
The Phylon outsole is flat and thin. Also, flex grooves on the outsole improve flexibility and promote a natural range of motion.
Overall, the shoe maximizes your performance and makes the CrossFit training pleasant.
- Flywire technology gives a snug fit
- The upper is breathable and durable, it has perforations and synthetic overlays
- A wide toe box gives enhanced comfort
- A Phylon outsole is soft, cushy, and flexible
- The heel is wide and stable
- A zero drag feel
- The upper may rip in the specific area
- Some reviewers claim that the shoe is uncomfortable for jumping, burpees, and double unders
- Runs narrow
Nike Women’s Flex Supreme TR 4 Cross Trainer
This is a feminine and functional shoe that makes your training sessions comfortable. This shoe combines best Nike technologies. The mesh upper features synthetic material that makes it durable. Besides, there is a midfoot strap that improves lockdown support. The collar is padded and the tongue is thin. As for the insole, it is cushioned. Therefore, it contributes to the overall comfort. A Flywire technology gives support where it is needed.
A Phylon midsole is soft, it gives perfect cushioning and support. Also, a Phylite carrier ensures stable yet flexible platform. In fact, the shoe lives up to the name “Flex Supreme.”
As for the outsole, it is grippy and features hexagonal flex grooves that promote natural motion.
- Lightweight and flexible
- A midfoot strap and Flywire technology give superior support
- A Phylon midsole is cushioning and flexible
- The outsole is grippy and flexible
- Lacks durability and support
- Not suitable for running
Nike Women’s Free 5.0 Tr Fit 5 Training Shoe
With this lightweight shoe with a perfect ventilation your cardio and strength training will become easier and more pleasant. It comes in various colorways so that you can choose any color you want.
The upper of the shoe is synthetic and it features perforations so that you enjoy a comfortable training. Nike has integrated a Flywire technology into the shoe so that the foot stays in one place during lateral movements. The material is windproof and water resistant so that the shoe is appropriate for indoor and outdoor use.
The midsole gives great shock absorption. But the pride of the shoe is a superior outsole.
The rubber outsole is durable and grippy, it has rubber pads for improved traction and ultimate flexibility. The outsole is perfect for squats and lifting. Besides, flex grooves in the forefoot area that promote a natural range of motion contribute to the overall flexibility.
- Runs true to size
- A wide range of colorways
- Nike Flywire technology promotes a lockdown fit
- A waterproof and windproof material
- A rubber outsole has rubber pads and flex grooves
- A small toe box
Nike Women’s Zoom Fit Training Shoe
With these shoes, you will enjoy a smooth and comfortable stride. It has been designed for CrossFit so that you can endure everything WOD throws at you. The upper has sandwich mesh and nylon webbing. Therefore, it is durable, stretchy, lightweight, and breathable.
The tongue is perforated and the collar has a molded foam on the inside part and a harsh material on the outside. Thus, the shoe is extra comfortable.
But that’s not all advantages of the shoe.
The midsole is cushy because Nike has integrated Zoom Air technology which provides responsive cushioning.
The rubber outsole with hexagonal flex grooves in the forefoot is both grippy and flexible.
- Air Zoom cushioning is responsive
- The upper features nylon and mesh for breathability and durability
- The outsole is durable and flexible
- Runs narrow
Nike Women’s Free Cross Compete Cross Trainer
Quick movements are super comfortable with these sneakers because they are lightweight and provide optimal impact protection. Also, they are suitable for high-intensity workouts because they are durable, supportive, and comfortable.
The shoe comes in different colorways so that even the most exquisite taste will be satisfied. The upper is made of breathable mesh with Flywire technology that keeps the foot stable and prevents sliding. Also, there are synthetic overlays that improve support and increase durability. The insole is padded so that you receive improved comfort.
The low-profile midsole is flexible and it provides cushioning and stability you need during high-intensity workouts.
As for the outsole, it is made of durable rubber that also provides grip on different surfaces. Besides, hexagonal grooves in the outsole make it flexible.
- Breathable and durable
- Comes in various colorways
- A padded insole enhances comfort
- Flywire cables provide a stable and secure fit
- The low-profile midsole is cushy and responsive
- The outsole is grippy and flexible
- Runs small
- Lacks comfort
Factors to Take Into Account While Choosing the CrossFit Shoes
The CrossFit shoes should meet certain standards in order to give you a safe and comfortable CrossFit experience.
CrossFit is a vigorous training and CrossFit shoes should make you feel comfortable and they shouldn’t put stress on your tissues and ligaments. Look for the shoes with padded tongue and collar that prevent blisters, the toe box should be wide so that the toes can splay naturally during jumps and lifts.
Intense workouts put a stress on the body so that the shoe shouldn’t add excessive weight. It should be made of lightweight and breathable materials, the midsole should have a flexible and lightweight foam, a flat outsole and a low profile.
CrossFit training involves different types of exercises; they include rope climbing, box jumping, running, etc. That is why the shoes should be able to endure everything. Thus, there should be synthetic overlays that give additional support, stability and enhance durability. The outsole should be made of hard rubber that gives good traction and stability. Also, there should be traction pods on the outsole. The toe box should have a protective layer against a rapid wear and the sole at the toe should be stiff.
CrossFit training involves high-intensity exercises both indoors and outdoors. So, sweat shouldn’t be an issue. The shoe should be made of a breathable and lightweight material, and have perforations in the upper. The insole should be removable and it should have moisture-wicking properties and anti-odor properties.
Heel and arch support
During running or Olympic lifts, much pressure is put on the ankles and the heel so that the shoes should provide great heel and arch support in order to prevent arch pain. The shoes should have a heel counter, a padded collar, the lace-up system that ensures a snug fit. Besides, the shoe should have a stiff outsole toward the heel, with flexion at the ball of the foot.
The shoe should provide efficient shock absorption during cardio training. In the meantime, it shouldn’t be too soft because weightlifting requires rigidity. The midsole should be bouncy, soft and responsive. Nike uses different materials while manufacturing their sneakers. Thus, midsoles are often made of Phylon, polyurethane, Phylite, and EVA. Phylon is very lightweight and responsive. PU is stable, dense, and durable. Phylite midsole is made of 60% Phylon and 40% rubber. EVA midsole compresses faster than other materials and it is soft and flexible. Also, Nike has introduced LunarLite Foam cushioning, which is cushy and lightweight.
Cross training incorporates different movements so that you should be sure that you can handle them with ease. The outsole should be flat and stiff, it should feature traction pads for excellent grip. Besides, the shoe should have a strap that runs across the midfoot toward the instep. It helps to stabilize the foot. Besides, the heel cup should be reinforced and provide a stable platform.
The drop defines the difference between the height of the heel and the height of the forefoot. Usually, CrossFit shoes have a 4mm heel-to-toe drop. It means that the weight is distributed evenly across the foot so that you get a natural position.
Types of CrossFit Shoes
CrossFit shoes require superior cushioning, stability and balance in order to help the athlete to handle intense sessions and protect the athlete. There are three major types of CrossFit shoes.
- Minimalist shoes
Minimalist shoes offer additional protection. They have a zero heel-to-toe drop that gives the athlete a barefoot feeling. The stack height (the height of the sole of the shoe) is small so that you have the feeling of the ground. As for the toe box, minimalist shoes usually feature a wider toe box than other shoes.
- Running shoes
Running shoes give support during your workout sessions. The heel-to-toe drop is usually small and it allows the person to feel closer to the ground. Also, running shoes are stiff in the middle area and flexible where the toes bend at the ball of the foot.
- Lifting shoes
Lifting shoes are called to provide additional support. They may feature a strap or several straps for additional support. Also, they have a special lacing system that ensures a snug fit and prevents slipping. Also, these shoes have the heels, made of different materials. Thus, a TPU heel gives necessary stability and it is more durable than its wood and leather counterparts. Wood and leather heels are used by Olympic weightlifting athletes who like a solid base in an old school look.
Benefits of CrossFit Shoes
CrossFit shoes are universal sneakers that give you stability, support, and comfort. The CrossFit shoes have certain benefits.
- Help to maintain a proper position during weightlifting
A torso misalignment is a major reason for injuries. Good shoes help to keep the distribution of weight over the center of the foot that helps to maintain a proper position.
- Ensure lateral support
The shoes should provide a snug fit so that it doesn’t move during lateral movements. If the foot rolls, it may result in ligament tears, dislocations.
- Provide ankle support
It doesn’t matter whether you are engaged in cardio training or lift weights, you need ankle support to feel grounded and stable. Good CrossFit shoes ensure ankle support.
- Increase overall stability
Stability is the key in Cross training so the shoes should have ankle support, a grippy outsole, a comfortable lace-up system, and the heel cap so that you receive superior stability.
- Provide core control
During the squats, the position of the lumbar spine and pelvis is crucial because it prevents strains. CrossFit shoes help to control the core and they enhance the effectiveness of training.
- Ensure knee protection
CrossFit shoes align the feet and knees properly so that during the movement upward you don’t experience the brunt.
Types of Pronation
Pronation means the way the foot reacts to the stride. The heel contacts the ground first and rolls inward a little. Neutral pronation reduces the stress put on the ankles, hips, and knees.
If the person underpronates it means that the foot rolls outward rather than inward after the contact with the ground. It puts stress on the knees. People with underponation should buy the shoes with extra cushioning.
Overpronation means that the foot rolls inward too far upon impact and it may result in the knee injury. Overpronators should buy the shoes with stabilizing features and structured cushioning.
- What are the common injuries in CrossFit patients and how to treat them?
The most common injuries in CrossFit patients are Achilles tendonitis, Peroneal Tendonitis, Plantar Fasciitis, Metatarsal stress fractures. In most cases, these injuries may be treated with rest, physical therapy, forms of immobilization, and surgery is a last resort.
You should choose the proper shoes that meet your needs in major types of training. You should go for one pair of shoes for weightlifting, jumping, and running. Also, orthotic devices help to alleviate pain and prevent injuries.
- Heel elevation in CrossFit shoes – how much?
It is believed that the most appropriate shoe for the CrossFit training has a zero drop. However, there is an evidence that the shoe with an elevated heel may reduce the risk of injury, reduce tension on the Achilles tendon that improves motion of the ankle joint and allows you to squat deeper. Anyway, it depends on the kind of the WOD you focus on.
- Which is more important: flexibility or support?
Decide which features you are looking for in the shoe and take into account the type of exercises you are engaged in. Choose a supportive shoe that gives a locked in feel if you are into weightlifting. If you focus on running, barefoot shoes with enhanced flexibility are what you need.
- Are CrossFit shoes good for running and weightlifting?
Generally, CrossFit shoes are designed to provide excellent support during heavy lifts and squats. That is why they are heavier compared to running shoes. As for running shoes, they are lighter but they sacrifice support. So, if you choose CrossFit shoes you may use them for running and weightlifting because they provide sufficient stability, support, and motion control during intense workouts and necessary comfort during short runs. If you use them for long runs, they may cause arch pain.
Thus, Nike offers many lines of CrossFit shoes that keep you safe, stable, and comfortable during your training. Having analyzed ten best Nike CrossFit shoes we have come up to the conclusion that our recommendations will be Nike Metcon 3 for men and Nike Free 5.0 Tr Fit 5 Training Shoe for women.
Nike Metcon 3 has the following benefits:
- Lightweight Flywire cables provide great support and comfort.
- The shoe features abrasion-resistant TPU skins in the exterior areas that are prone to a rapid wear: the toe box, the heel area, the upper forefoot area.
- Has a small heel-to-toe drop – 3 mm.
- Provides lateral and medial grip for rope climbs.
- Breathable thanks to the mesh upper.
- The midsole is stable and cushy.
- The outsole is solid and it provides enough stability during hard training and it features flex grooves that give flexibility during running.
- Nike Flywire technology ensures a snug fit.
Nike Free 5.0 Tr Fit 5 Training Shoe offers the following benefits:
- It is suitable for indoor and outdoor use as it is made of waterproof and windproof materials.
- The upper has the mix of mesh and a synthetic material. Therefore, it provides excellent ventilation and durability.
- A Flywire technology provides a lockdown feel.
- The outsole is solid. It features a durable rubber, traction pads for improved traction and flex grooves for enhanced flexibility.
Thus, choose these Nike shoes for your CrossFit training and you’ll be able to handle a formidable array of challenges with safety and comfort!
How to Choose Women’s CrossFit Shoes
Whether you’re a newbie in the gym or a seasoned veteran, the search for the perfect CrossFit shoe can be overwhelming. We are bombarded with product release after product release, flashy marketing, and new versions of existing shoes regularly. We’re here to help you sort through the buzz and get down to the nitty gritty. For this review, our team of CrossFit experts and gear testers sorted through the most popular CrossFit shoes on the market before making their pick of the top thirteen to put through multiple months of vigorous testing in the gym. We put together side-by-side comparisons for each product to help you find the best for your specific needs. Our main article details the major features of each shoe and which ones rose to the top in our testing categories. We hope that through our research you can find a good fit for your next WOD.
Why Do I Need a CrossFit Specific Shoe?
Could you hit a CrossFit workout in any plain old gym shoe? Realistically, yes, but if you’re reading this article the odds are that you’re looking into getting a new pair. Ideally, we would like to find one shoe that can be comfortably worn for every possible movement CrossFit style workouts can throw at us. The shoes in our review have been designed to help you transition smoothly from heavy weightlifting, running, squatting, jumping, and double unders to rope climbs without feeling the need to change your shoes in between movements. Nobody wants to have a gym bag that is overflowing with specialty shoes for every occasion. Just as CrossFit style workouts have evolved, so have the shoes that are marketed for them. You might not find a shoe that meets each and every specific need that you are looking for, but we hope this will guide you to find an all-in-one option that can get you through any CrossFit workout.
Types of Shoes for CrossFit
Some runners prefer the slim design of minimalist shoes because they help mimic what it is like to run barefoot. These types of shoes help the runner land on the balls of their feet rather than heel striking which can lead to injury. If you aren’t used to running in minimalist shoes, please take it easy at first and be sure to follow proper running mechanics. We want to train hard, and nobody has time to be injured, especially because of a new pair of shoes.
Doing CrossFit workouts in traditional running shoes can be problematic when performing lifting movements. The soft heel of a running shoe is designed to compress under load to give your feet some cushion while you run. However, while lifting, you want a firm sole that does not compress. A soft sole under your foot is hard to balance on, and it even takes away some of the power you need to be explosive in your movements. Some CrossFitters solve this problem by purchasing a pair of traditional lifting shoes for heavy lifting days and wearing their running shoes for the high repetition, lighter lifts in metcon workouts. While there is no issue with going this route, our goal is to help you find the best all-in-one shoe that you can wear for anything.
Cross-trainers are designed to be a versatile option that can be worn for many different sports. Unlike strict running shoes, they aren’t designed for extremely long runs. Unlike “lifters”, they don’t feature a hard platform and elevated heel. These shoes are designed to handle a variety of movements, which is why they are popular style with CrossFitters. CrossFit can combine weightlifting, gymnastics, and running all in one workout. We don’t want a shoe that is majorly specific to any one of the disciplines, we want one that has an equal balance and can be worn for all three.
Simply put, CrossFitters do a lot of lifting. Since we are looking an all-around CrossFit shoe, instead of a specialty shoe, we didn’t test any “lifters” or lifting specific shoes in this review.
Moderate to heavy metcon workouts are the wheelhouse of the Nike Metcons, it will also function well as your general shoe for CrossFit. You will not find a shoe with more grip for your rope climbs than what these provide.
When evaluating these thirteen pairs of shoes, the three criteria that were the most important were weightlifting, running, and gymnastics. Lifting is a core component of CrossFit, so you want a shoe that will stand up to the heavy demands of snatches, cleans, and jerks. There is no doubt you will also be running and jumping in your new shoes, so it’s essential to have a little cushion to soften the strike.
Support, protection and durability, and comfort were ranked highly as well since we need a model with the structure and stability to keep us grounded on our lifts and prevent injury. Continue reading for more details and considerations for CrossFit shoes.
If you are new to CrossFit, you may need to start scrutinizing shoes in a way you haven’t had to in the past. The constantly varied movements of CrossFit workouts will demand a lot from your footwear. Before spending money on a new pair of shoes, first, make sure your choice of footwear is sturdy enough to last a long time through the workout demands you will see in a CrossFit gym.
One of the most brutal tasks your shoes will need to take on is rope climbs. Unless leg-less rope climbs show up in the WOD, getting to the top of a fifteen or twenty-foot rope is just as much about footwork as it is upper body strength. With the proper technique, you can pinch the rope between your feet to stand, which takes some stress off your arms. Look for shoes that have enough structure on the instep so you can pinch the rope between your feet without the rope digging into your foot. Luckily, most shoes in the CrossFit market have added technology that specifically address the abrasiveness and protection needed during climbs.
While good rope climbing shoes can make the way up easier on you, the trip down the rope can also be very hard on your shoes. A safe descent from the top of the rope entails a hand over hand motion with your arms as you let the rope slowly slide between your feet.
The friction of the rope on your shoes slows your descent for a safe landing at the bottom. Friction helps you out, but it can take chunks out of your shoes. Inspect potential purchases for CrossFit closely where the sole meets the upper around the instep. If the midsole has soft foam with no added protection for rope climbs, they may not fare so well. If they feature specific materials for rope climbing protection, you’re in business.
Other movements to take into consideration when looking at the structure of the shoe are double unders, burpees, and handstand push ups. Look for a shoe that offers a breathable fabric on the uppers to keep your feet cool, but also offers protection and durability so that they will last through the abuse they’re going to see in the gym. Specifically look for protection in the toe box where the shoe will be hit with jump ropes and will be saving your toes from the floor on burpees and push ups. Finally, take a look at the heel of the shoe. You want a comfortable heel clip that will keep your shoe in place during intense workouts. You also want to look for any specific features for wall protection during handstand push ups. A tough heel will be your best friend, helping your feet glide up and down the wall. Sticky rubber is going to make handstand push ups even harder than they already are.
People are coming to CrossFit from different backgrounds with different injury histories, flexibility issues, and weaknesses. Most gyms pride themselves on offering workouts that can be modified to accommodate all ability levels and fitness backgrounds by decreasing the weights, run distances, or the number of repetitions. Our shoe testers describe coaching classes with a spunky 67-year-old cleaning and jerking a sand-filled PVC pipe right next to a strapping young college student repping out 225 pound cleans. While both of these individuals are performing the same movements, they most likely have different needs in their footwear. Before deciding which shoe to buy, first, take a moment to determine how your athletic background impacts the style of shoe best for you. Choosing the right tool which addresses your own personal needs can help you work at higher intensity & get more benefit from your workout.
It’s unanimous…these are so comfortable we don’t want to take them off!
Local Climate Extremes
A good thing to keep in mind with a new shoe purchase is your local climate. CrossFit workouts don’t stay confined in a controlled indoor environment. Why is it for instance that all “Helen” workouts seem to come up in programming during snow and rain storms? If you live in an area with a lot of wet days, consider a shoe that will give you the traction you need to run in the elements safely. Shoes with grippy soles like the Metcon will help you stay on your feet in the rain and snow. The minimal sole of the Vivo Primus Lite, on the other hand, might feel more like a sock than a shoe during a slushy wet run.
Heat extremes are another consideration with shoe design. For gym locations where heat is a factor, consider looking for a shoe with light textile of the uppers to let in enough air to help keep you cool during your WOD.
Olympic Lifter Looking to Add Some Diversity with CrossFit Workouts?
After the general considerations that everyone should consider for CrossFit shoes, think of your fitness background and how it impacts your needs in a shoe. Some people come to CrossFit from a strict lifting program and are looking to add more diversity to their workouts. Lifting shoes have a very firm sole that do not compress under even the heaviest of loads. The heel of lifters is also elevated at least a half inch to an inch and a half to aid in getting into a good squat depth as well as dropping underneath the bar with stability and speed.
You will often see a “heel to toe drop” measurement listed under the specs of athletic shoes. The heel to toe drop is a measurement showing the difference between the heel height and the forefoot height of a shoe. Put more simply, when wearing a contender with a heel to toe drop measurement of 0mm your heel and the ball of your foot would be the same height off of the ground. With a heel to drop of 17mm like in some lifting shoes, your heel would be 17mm higher off the ground than the ball of your foot. Olympic lifters benefit from a higher drop to help them stand up out of a deep squat while under a heavily loaded barbell.
If you are accustomed to only working out in lifting shoes, it’s time to whittle down on the height of that heel rise. The workouts of CrossFit demand wearing shoes that can comfortably and safely go from clean and jerks to box jumps, sprints and then right back to clean and jerks. Traditional lifting shoes just don’t have the versatility you need in a general shoe for CrossFit. Most of the shoes in this review are on the lower end of the heel to toe drop spectrum ranging from 0 to 4mm.
Squatting? Check. Deadlifting? Check. Jumping? Check. Climbing? Check. Running? Check. Seriously, this shoe packs a punch and is the best all around shoe for CrossFit training. Reebok asked for feedback from the community during the design process of the Nano 9 and it paid off. This is our new favorite shoe for training and edged out the ever popular NOBULL Trainer and Nike Metcon 4.
Running Background Looking to Get Stronger?
As compared to Olympic lifters, if you are coming to CrossFit workouts from a running background you are probably used to shoes with much more cushion. Many people start out in CrossFit wearing traditional running shoes. The midsoles of these shoes are designed to compress and take some of the shock off joints as the foot hits the ground. However, when you are back squatting a heavy load, and you need to be able to push through your feet and heels to generate power. The last thing you want is a compressive sole under your feet taking that away. Look for a shoe that will help you keep solid form during your lifts, but also still provide comfort during running. Our Best Buy winner, the Nike Air Zoom Elevate might be the perfect shoe for you. It has enough support to handle light to moderate weight lifts in the midst of a metcon workout but still feels light and fast on runs.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you don’t have any background in running, you might want to avoid buying a minimalist shoe. The heel to toe drop measurement comes up again when describing minimalist shoes versus traditional running shoes. Some runners look at this measurement because they want a shoe that encourages proper foot placement. The theory behind minimalist running shoes is that a higher heel to toe drop may encourage heel striking rather than landing on the forefoot. A lot of minimalist running shoes have a 0mm heel to toe drop with the hopes that it will help them to land more on their forefoot rather than their heels. Jumping right into minimalist running shoes without any experience in proper running form could result in injury, however, so take it slowly when transitioning into these shoes.
The thinnest shoe we have tested by far. Roll it up and put them in your pockets if you want after your WOD.
CrossFitter than has Gotten the Olympic Lifting Bug?
The CrossFit movement has opened a lot of people’s eyes to a sport that was previously losing interest. Olympic lifting has increased in popularity thanks to CrossFit exposing more people to the joys of lifting. Perhaps you have already been doing CrossFit for a while and are specifically looking to up your Olympic lifting game. If this is the case, you are in for a real treat when you branch out into lifting shoes. The extra heel height will help you nail your bottom squat position, and the rock-solid stability will inevitably result in some new personal records.
Altra, a well known running company, made one hell of a weightlifting shoe. With a firm platform, it was great for all of our lifting sessions.
We live in times where shopping is at the tip of our fingers. It takes a few minutes to scroll through a website and place an order. That being said, our one piece of advice is to try your shoes on IN PERSON. Especially if this is your first time with a new brand or style you’re not used to. Granted, the internet machine is much easier, but don’t underestimate the value of feeling the fit and seeing the features in person before buying. Most people have one foot that is larger than the other, so use that one to determine your shoe size. Wear socks that are most like the ones you’ll wear for your WOD and don’t be afraid to do a jog around and hit some lunges and air squats in them. Finally, use the return policy if the shoe you choose doesn’t end up being the right one for you.
The upper features a mesh material and the EVA foam and insole provide a cloud like feel. The FootShape toe box is ultra wide, so if you are an athlete with wider feet, you are going to love this feature.
As a final consideration when looking through this article, think about what will be best for YOUR body. If you aren’t a total newbie to the sport, you most likely know what imbalances your body has during specific lifts and movements. No shoe can fix those weaknesses, so spend time doing your mobility and taking care of that body. No thanks to social media, but it can be easy to get swept away by the hype of whatever the newest and greatest shoe is at the moment. Testing these shoes was a good reminder for us that comfort and performance can be found where you least expect it. Put in the work to stay healthy and get strong, but most importantly, don’t forget to have fun!Crossfit shoes women Nike