If you’ve hopped onto the CrossFit bandwagon that’s become the craze over the last few years, odds are you’ll need the perfect pair of CrossFit shoes to begin your healthy endeavors. Pretty soon you’ll be living and breathing Crossfit, and every other word out of your mouth will probably be CrossFit.
Consider the quality of exercise you’ll be doing in your pair of new kicks and go from there. Since CrossFit dials in on full body fitness, it uses a wide assortment of exercises that target specific areas of the body, so it’s good to have an idea of what you’ll be doing.
Having the best CrossFit shoes that can handle a wide range of stresses makes a world of difference when it comes to performing this extreme sports various activities such as running, squats, rope and wall, and weightlifting.
Cross trainer shoes are designed to improve athletic performance and endure the strenuous demands of CrossFit.
When you’re choosing your new CrossFit running shoes, there are some key factors to consider.
The drop of a cross trainer shoe refers to the difference in height from the heel to the toe of the shoe. If your running shoes provide high support, then the heel drop will be about 8mm, which is designed to help move the feet from heel to toe. Now, CrossFit shoes generally have a 4mm drop, which is great if you’re trying to keep the proper position for weightlifting – the lower drop helps distribute your weight evenly across the feet.
The majority of running shoes tend to have more flexible soles to better promote movement through the whole foot. Weightlifting shoes generally have a firmer sole to keep you in position during a lift. A good pair of CrossFit shoes will fall somewhere in between that.
Durable Outer Shoe
Since CrossFit training is very hard on the shoes, back to back intense training workouts can disintegrate a new pair of rather quickly. Since CrossFit shoes can run upwards of $150, investing in a durable outer shoe is a good idea.
If you want to know how a certain model will hold up, check the reviews to see how they’ll do over time.
You’ll want the running shoes to be rather lightweight, too, and it needs to be balanced with support and durability.
To make your workouts as enjoyable as possible, keeping your feet cool is essential.
Mesh uppers are a great feature to look for in a shoe if you want maximum breathability.
When you’re working out and producing extra heat, the last thing you want, even moreso if you’re in a warm climate, is shoes that don’t allow for your feet to breathe.
Just as you would ensure your workout clothes are designed to breathe, your shoes are important to consider, too.
Support is paramount when it comes to a pair of training shoes. It cannot be stressed enough.
During CrossFit workouts, since torque is created from the hips, weight is shifted from the knees to the weight to the outside of your foot. Your shoes need proper lateral support so they don’t slide out over the edges of your shoes, otherwise an injury might happen. Types of support for this might include external “cages” or other forms of support on the outer sides of your shoe.
A pair of lightweight CrossFit shoes are ideal to have, as you don’t want to be lugging around extra weight on your toes.
Competition or Training?
If you’re doing CrossFit as a general exercise and want to strengthen your entire body, you’ll want to go with a pair of shoes that are versatile and able to be used for anything.
You’ll want to pick the shoe that’s going to provide the best balance for your needs.
If your goal is to participate in CrossFit competitions, you’ll likely want to invest in more than one pair of shoes. This will give you the upper hand in competitions and prolong the life of each of your pairs of shoes.
If you’re wanting to partake in a weightlifting competition, you won’t want any extra force absorption in your shoes.
What are your goals?
The right CrossFit shoes for you will depend on your goals. Your shoe selection will be just as personal as your CrossFit workout journey.
Why having CrossFit shoes is important
Since CrossFit is centered around full body training and a range of exercises, the demand it puts on having a pair of shoes is important. Whether you’re weight lifting, running, or doing gymnastics, your feetsies will need some good support.
Without further ado, here is our buying guide for the best CrossFit shoes:
1. Reebok Crossfit Nano 8 Flexweave
These Reebok CrossFit Nano shoes are made from super breathable material that will have your feet feelin’ fine.
These training shoes have a separate bootie separate from the outer shoe material that allows you to wear them barefoot if you prefer. It provides flexibility and comfortability, and you can take it out and set it in the sun if you need to air it out and clean it.
There is an additional heel cup on these that provides stability, and makes you feel like you are ‘locked in’ when doing lateral work, which is nice peace of mind. Plus, you can lace up the shoe fairly high because there are seven outlets.
Another key feature of this pair of CrossFit shoes is made from flexible material that’s durable for rope climbing, when most shoes deteriorate under these circumstances rather quickly.
These CrossFit nano shoes are good for box squats, box jumps, power cleans, and wall jumps. The wide toe cavity is helpful for this, too.
This pair of Reebok Crossfit shoes are considered best shoes for Crossfit beginners, as they are just plain comfortable.
- You can wear them with no socks
- Flexweave material
- Wide toe cavity
- Solid sole
- Some say it’s too flexible
- Price is on the steeper end
2.Altra Hiit XT
Altra Hiit features these best CrossFit shoes for men that are known for being very durable and stable shoes with gorilla glue-like grip.
The diagonal and diamond-shaped tread patterns paired with a sticky rubber provide for excellent grip. They also have a contoured heel cuff, a thick insole, and are very flexible and supportive.
This company was founded on the basis of designing a wide, neutral shoe that has a minimalist look.
Altra is pretty much an innovator for zero drop shoes, and if you’ve been looking for the best cross training shoe, this choice would be a good one.
These feature a mesh upper, so your feet are able to breathe, and also have extra material and cushion around the ankles.
These Altra Hiit shoes for men are good for low mileage running, weightlifting, squats, burpees, and gym sessions.
Altra’s technology uses the FootShape toe box to provide as much space for your toes as possible. This allows for the toes to splay out and grip the footbed as they should. If you don’t want the footbed, though, it’s removable. For example, if you were doing a workout that called for more stability, taking out the footbed would provide that.
In terms of length, these shoes air on the smaller size, so it would be a good idea to order a half size larger than you normally would.
If you are also into supporting a lesser known brand, this would be the one to throw your dollars toward. These are a pair of shoes you can buy on Amazon, if you don’t feel like leaving your nest.
A cool tidbit about these is they show almost no wear and tear after months of consistent use. There is also no break-in period for these if you want to get to working out full force right when you buy them.
- Zero heel to toe drop
- Wide toe cavity
- Outsole provides glue-like grip
- Removable insole
- The upper isn’t the most visually pleasing
- Can be too heavy of a workout shoe for some
3. Vibram Mens KSO EVO Crossfit Training Shoe
This is as close to running barefoot as you can get.
Your toes slide into individual compartments that provide much grip and flexibility – which is exactly what you need in the CrossFit game.
This shoe is made from breathable polyester that gives you lots of stability, while still allowing fresh air in for your feet.
The rubber sole is less than 5mm thick, so you are closer to the ground than you would be in a different type of shoe.
- Maximum breathability
- Feels like you’re barefoot
- Maximum grip
- Speed Lacing System
- The look isn’t aesthetically pleasing for some
4. Adidas Men’s Powerlift 3.1 CrossFit Shoes
These best men’s CrossFit shoes designed from one of the most reputable companies in the world, Adidas features this pair of Men’s Powerflift 3.1 CrossFit Shoes that was originally intended for weightlifters, but is now used by many CrossFitters.
Due to the lifted sole in the back of the shoe, this pair of cross-training shoes provide extra support for weightlifters.
This Adidas Powerlift training shoe provides more support than most other shoes, as they have a support lining and strap to support the ankles
Since the tongue, collar, and lining are all made from mesh, these shoes allow fresh air in and are breathable. If you’re a man that sweats a lot when he works out, these best shoes for men would be worth the investment.
These were considered some of the best crossfit shoes when released, and still proves to be a popular pair to this day.
- Support lining and strap to support ankles
- Air mesh collar tongue, and shoe lining
- Flexible toe
- Reputable brand
- Not as flexible as other CrossFit shoes
5. Inov-8 F-Lite 195 Women’s Cross Trainer Shoes
A lightweight and versatile best CrossFit shoes for women, the Invov-8 F-lite is a great choice for women that can be used for both CrossFit activities and running.
This shoe features a 3 mm heel-to-toe drop, which means you have more power because you’re closer to the ground. You’ll be speedy Gonzales in this pair of kicks.
This pair also has a sticky rubber sole with indentations to give you extra grip and traction for running and climbing, too. It also has rope tec reinforcements that add to the shoe durability.
These are the best CrossFit shoes for wide feet, as they have extra wiggle room in the toe cavity.
- Rope-tec reinforcements
- Superior grip and traction
- Extra space for the toes
- 3 mm heel-to-toe drop
- Not the best for running
6. Women’s New Balance Minimus 20v5 Trainer Cross Training Shoe
This pair of lightweight 6.9 ounce Women’s New Balance Minimus 20v5 shoes is a cross-training minimalist shoe that is able to be worn just about anywhere.
One of the key features of this one is the Vibram rubber outsole that provides maximum comfort and grip for a variety of terrains. These shoes are great for running, jumping, mountain climbing, and burpees. If you’re an athlete wanting to dabble in strength training, these shoes will mimic the ground fee thanks to the Vibram outsole.
These are made with nylon infused yarn and also have breathable mesh, with a burrito style tongue. The material is also an odor-resistant if your feet get stinky.
Another feature of these is the RevLite midsole for lightweight responsiveness during body movement, and these also have improved overall lateral support.
The shaft measures 2.5” from the arc and the heel-to-toe drop measures 4mm on this pair of New Balance shoes.
- Asymmetrical collar for natural heel fit
- 4mm heel-to-toe drop
- Odor resistant
- Some say the support is excessive
- Can be squeaky on tile
7. Nike Metcon DSX Repper Shoe
The Nike Metcon Repper is the best Nike CrossFit shoes for both men and women that are designed to handle a wide range of high contact activity and long workouts.
The Metcon Repper is a lightweight shoe and one of the key features is the dual density Phylon injected foam that supplies soft lightweight cushion and helps absorb impact. It makes for a snappy feel without feeling too rigid, and has flex grooves that allow for your feet to naturally flex.
There is a 6mm drop on these for both men and women, moderate arch support, and a flat heel with internal counter for maximum stability.
The upper part of the shoe is made from a knit and mesh design that allows for your feet to breathe while the shoe stays put, promising consistent airflow during any CrossFit workout. There is also a grippy rubber outsole for traction.
There is also a solidly built toe box area, with ample space for them to comfortably rest in the shoe while protecting them. These shoes also feature Flywire lacing for a snug fit, with an ortholite midsole.
Another one of the key features of these is that they are snug in the arch, which is great if you want to use these to run or lift in.
Some users do find that the Nike Metcon ankle wall needs to be broken in a bit by being worn a few times before it reaches maximum comfortability.
The mens Repper cross trainer comes in sizes 6-15 with half sizes up to 12.5, and womens come in 5-15, with half sizes through size 11.5.
The Repper is available in multiple color combinations, but if you want it in a custom shade, you’ll likely end up paying double the price. Some styles even offer a reflective swoosh to help drivers identify you as a pedestrian if you’re out at night and want to be as safe as possible. Also, this one is not so much a trail shoe, but it’s great for all other types of terrain.
Oh, and select about a half size larger than you normally would.
- Forefoot flex grooves for maximum flexibility
- Very durable
- Dual-density midsole
- Not the most secure for weightlifting
- Narrow tip
8. Nike Free Metcon X
Designed for running, training, and lifting, this pair of Nike Free Metcon X’s are truly a pair of miracle shoes.
This cross training Nike Free shoe has an omnidirectional tread to support you in whatever direction you choose to walk or run.
The Metcon features FlyWire that is five times stronger than steel. It basically just keeps your foot locked into the shoe and tied in with the laces. It also helps with side to side movement, and is great for weightlifting.
There is a 5 mm heel to toe drop on the Nike Metcon. You’ll see the TPU heel counter that wraps around the sides of the foot and serves as part of the lacing system.
The flex grooves and sticky rubber in the forefoot make these ideal for activities such as rope skipping, box jumps, sprints, and sled pushes. The grooves wrap around the sole at the center of the shoe, also making these excellent for rope climbing.
These come with a strip of reflective material for those of you that like to run at night, too.
The Metcons are comfortable for walking around all day, trekking long distances, and are a pair of running shoes that will also be more than stable enough for lifting and training. These are versatile in their capacity, to say the least.
The upper part of the cross trainer shoe is similar to a sock in that it sort of molds to your foot and aligns with its natural movements – it’s made with a mesh material that adds support without taking away from any of the shoe strength. Nike wanted to make a shoe that felt like a sock – unnoticed and snug.
The style is minimalistic, and these could be seen as a ‘street shoe,’ but not to worry – they are indeed a CrossFit shoe. There are also varied lacing options to minimize heel slippage on this Nike Free, too.
- Reflective material strip
- Wide toe area
- Flywire cables for extra support
- Heel clip to stabilize the foot
- Appearance is similar to a ‘street shoe’
What should the fit of my CrossFit shoe be like?
A good way to see if your CrossFit shoes are the right length is to measure a thumb wide space from your longest toe to the end of the shoe. If it feels comfortable, then you know it’s the right fit.
Make sure you have a spacious toe area for your toes to fan out during jumping and heavy weightlifting.
Just walk around the store in them when you go to buy them and pretend like you’re doing CrossFit-like activities to see if they seem like they’d be a good fit.
How do I know what size shoe I will need?
This depends on what brand of shoes you buy. For example, Reebok CrossFit shoes have their own size buying guide if you check their website.
Measure your feet. They may be different sizes, so opt for the size of the bigger foot if one is larger than the other.
Can I wear Crossfit shoes for weightlifting?
If you’re one of those CrossFit athletes trying to beat a personal record for squats, cleans, and other exercises, you may want to buy a pair of shoes that have been specifically designed for weightlifting. But, yes – CrossFit shoes can be used for weightlifting.
Can I use CrossFit shoes for running?
The majority of these types of shoes are made to be less cushioned and sturdier in the heel to give support for those Crossfitters that lift weights, which doesn’t make them ideal for running.
However, there are certain brands that are designed for running – just check out the product information and reviews before you purchase.
If you’re looking for a pair of long-distance running shoes, CrossFit shoes are not your best bet.
How long can I expect my pair of Crossfit training shoes to last?
About six months. Maybe longer, depending on your frequency of use.
How much can I expect to spend on a pair of training shoes?
You can get deals for as low as $50, but they generally range around the $100-$120 range.
What are the best shoes for CrossFit?
This is up to you and depends on what activities you are mainly doing while wearing the shoes. Whether you choose a Crossfit Nano, Adidas Powerlift, or a Nike Free, you can’t go wrong with any of the shoes listed here.