As a veteran CrossFitter, I have tried and tested countless shoes over the years and believe me when I tell you that finding the best shoes for CrossFit training is a must. Continue reading to find out which shoes I have found to be the best for CrossFit!
Best Shoes for CrossFit Training: What to Look For
When I first started, like most people, I used regular sneakers, but quickly graduated to Reebok Nanos when I realized just how important the right footwear is for your workouts.
After a lot of trial and error, I now carry three pairs of shoes in my bag; a good pair of running shoes, lifters, and a minimalist shoe.
Shoes that Fit the WOD
Because CrossFit is by definition constantly varied, you need several types of shoes depending on your workout of the day (WOD).
When a metcon (metabolic conditioning) or an AMRAP (as many reps as possible) is on the board, you need a lightweight shoe.
However, when you are working on a heavy Olympic lift, you should choose a shoe with a stable and supportive sole with a low heel-to-toe drop.
Comfort is high on the priority list, so make sure to consider the midsole width. Midsoles differ according to the shoe — make sure to pick the one that best fits your foot size (narrow, wide, or medium).
Cushioning is tricky when it comes to the best shoes for CrossFit. Too much cushioning (like in a standard tennis show) and it will be too soft to provide the required stability for your Olympic lifts.
A good CrossFit shoe will have a few mm of sole cushioning (usually around 4mm) — just enough to enhancing while allowing for enough stability for your lifts.
A good CrossFit shoe will need a durable outsole. Let us face it. Certainly, CrossFit workouts are demanding. Whether you are doing box jumps, rope climbs, or running, your shoe needs to be able to take the impact.
The Best Shoes for CrossFit Training
Nike entered the CrossFit world in 2015 when they created the Metcon 1. They originally designed a men’s shoe but later came out with a women’s style as well.
This is the shoe for Nike fans who engage in CrossFit training. A pair uses lightweight flywire cable construction for improved flexibility and breathability.
In its upgrade, Nike added abrasion-resistant TPU skins to the exterior areas that saw the most wear: the toe box, the upper forefoot area, and the quarter panel (heel area).
This shoe has a slightly smaller heel-to-toe drop of 3mm. Although these are flatter shoes, they can very easily transition from endurance WODs to Olympic lifts.
INOV-8: Best Shoes for CrossFit
The Bare-XF 210 is one of the most flexible shoes on the market for CrossFitters. Due to the meta-flex technology, the shoe allows natural flexing in the forefoot.
The special lacing system provides extra foot security, holding the foot in place while the zero heel-to-toe drop offers the most stability and balance for weightlifting or any other CrossFit workout.
These shoes are also offered in many different color schemes especially in the women’s style.
The F-Lite 250 is another lightweight selection but has a higher heel-to-toe drop (6mm) than most of the other shoes in this review.
The FASTLIFT 335 provides one of the most solid bases for heavy lifting days. These shoes are a little more flexible than the Adidas Powerlift, allowing the ability to wear during metcons.
The 335 style is lightweight but still offers the stability of a lifting shoe. This style also has Velcro and laces for that secure fit. Inov-8 also sells the FASTLIFT 370 that has a two-dial BOA lacing system.
Reebok: Best Shoes for CrossFit
The new Nano 9.0 is the latest version to date. The mesh material provides ventilation to keep your feet from feeling hot. Reebok has gone for a 4mm heel-to-toe-drop in this model, which is slightly more than in previous models (3mm).
Reebok’s motto is “Created by CrossFitters, for CrossFitters” and this is as true as ever. One of the most striking features of this new shoe is the range of colorful designs, which come in Reebok’s patented Nanoweave technology.
It is dubbed as the most comfortable, durable, and breathable, yet — making the Nano 9 an ideal shoe for any WOD. This version runs slightly smaller, so order a half size up. Reebok still carries the other versions but has really improved on their newest edition.
One of Reebok’s most recent additions, the CrossFit Speed TR is narrower, lighter, and has a better grip with the Nano, due to a different type of tread.
Because of those features, many people actually prefer it to the Nano for their all-around WOD shoe. The downside is that because they are narrower, they provide less stability when doing lifts.
Also, if you have a wider foot, the narrow fit is going to be less comfortable than the Nano. This does not mean, however, that the CrossFit Speed TR cannot compete with the other best shoes for CrossFit candidates. With all the positive reviews it has been getting, certainly, a pair is worth checking out!
Reebok also created an Olympic lifter when they took over CrossFit apparel. They have a similar toe box to the Nanos.
The platform of the shoe is very solid and gives you a good base when lifting. It makes your feet feel sturdy. Although this shoe is mostly for Olympic lifts, you could get away with any metcon even with a short run.
The Adidas Powerlift Trainer is one of the cheapest models specifically designed for weightlifting (Olympic lifts). It also has a roomy toe box and solid heel and sole, similar to the Reebok Lifters.
The Velcro strap is great for unwanted movement during lifts. This shoe is better for the adaptability of metcons rather than straight weightlifting.
The New Balance Minimus 20 V7 is a minimalist shoe geared towards men. These shoes came out in 2013 and have since been replaced by several new generations.
The shoe is constructed with very little material making it very lightweight (6.8 oz.) and advanced breathability. This can be very beneficial during box jumps, burpees or any types of bodyweight movements.
The heel-to-toe drop of 4mm is average for a minimalist shoe. Do not forget to also check out the previous model of the Minimus line (New Balance Men’s Minimus 10 V1 Trail Running Shoe) if you are looking for more options.
The ASICS Gel-Fortius TR is a great choice for male CrossFitters. It is one of the most durable shoes created by ASICS.
It has a zero heel-to-toe drop, providing a solid base when lifting. The thin sole and zero drops may not be ideal for the avid runner but are great for the average WOD.
If you are a big fan of ASICS, then I recommend also looking into the ASICS Gel Nimbus.
Best Shoes for CrossFit: Final Thoughts
We have certainly covered a lot of shoes here, but believe it or not, there are still more CrossFit shoes out there for the perfect WOD outfit (Check out our reviews of the best CrossFit shorts and the best CrossFit shirts)!
Also, Merrell has a wide range of shoes that are great for CrossFit, both for men and women. The Nike Air Zoom Vomero also gets a good rep, if you are looking for a shoe that can be used inside and out of the box.
The same way you want to take care of your body before, during, and after each workout, you certainly also want to take care of your feet.
Whether it is a minimalist shoe or an average CrossFit pair, make sure to choose the one that offers the most comfort, fits your WOD, and is durable enough for your everyday regimen.