SHOES & BOOTS

Best CrossFit Shoes: Building Muscle with Comfort

Best Crossfit Shoes
Daniel Carraway
Written by Daniel Carraway

So you’ve finally decided to join the CrossFit gym you’ve been eyeing for the last few months. Good for you! In honor of your new commitment, it may be beneficial to purchase a new pair of shoes to get you started on the right foot.

The best cross training shoes for men and women are listed below.  While style and aesthetics can be important in many aspects of life, you may want to consider options that won’t limit your feet and mobility.

When looking for a shoe that can support you in your daily CrossFit workouts, you must do your homework on the right shoe for you. Considering your personal attributes and your physical needs will help you find the best CrossFit shoes for you. Pay attention to the following information!

Wait! Why Wont My Regular Shoes Work for CrossFit?

Your mobility and range of movement is so important when you work out. Your posture and movement comes from your feet. Wearing the correct shoes will allow you to increase your ability to move thoroughly and efficiently.

Hence, wearing the correct shoes for CrossFit can help your daily performance in each work out. Take a look at the great ways your mobility can improve your performance:

  • You can perform your exercises more efficiently as your techniques improve.
  • You can pick up new movements more easily.
  • Once you get the hang of your CrossFit activities, your bad habits will be easily broken.
  • Your hip mobility will increase.
  • Your injuries will decrease.

How does mobility prevent injury, you may ask? Well, when you are able to make the correct movements and not over step your boundaries, you’ll develop more healthy and efficient workout patterns.

Crossfit Shoes features

If your shoes do not support your weight correctly, or there is too much of a heel-to-toe drop, you may be setting yourself up for injury. All of these factors and features are important to your CrossFit journey and staying out of harm’s way.

Now that we know the basis of what a CrossFit shoe can do for you, you must know the features that are best!

What Features to Look for in A Cross Fit Shoe?

When you decide to join CrossFit, you’ve got to prepare your mind, body, and wardrobe! This includes the perfect shoe to get you through all those intense workouts.

Before you go buying any shoe just willy-nilly, take these options into consideration first. You then will be ready for whatever your CrossFit work out of the day throws at you.

  • Set. Drop!: The drop of the shoe is the height difference between the forefoot and the heel. The height is normally increased to a 8mm drop for supportive running shoes.
    However, for the perfect CrossFit shoe, the perfect drop is 4mm. You can distribute your weight properly, and your foot is in a more natural position. The more natural the feel, the better!
  • Go Hard or Go Home!: Make sure your sole is hard for CrossFit. You want as much stability as possible when you are doing those heavy lifts. The hard sole keeps your feet planted on the ground so you can lift with precision.
  • Keep a Steel Toe: We know that a hard sole is important, but it is equally important to have a stiff upper material. When you are in CrossFit you are thrown to the wolves with rope climbing, trail running, and max lifting exercises.
    The tops of your shoes should be as durable as the bottom. Most CrossFit shoes offer a cage of rubber to protect your feet. This is also helpful for those rope climbs!
  • Eliminate Excess Fluff: When you have too much padding in your shoe, your heel and ankle are wobbly and constantly shifting. This is not good for any form of weight lifting because it keeps stress in your joints.
    The extra padding is good for those who run long distances. However, the shifting of lateral movements is not natural and doesn’t happen when running long paths. If you don’t need it, get rid of it.

All these factors are important when looking for the best sneakers for CrossFit. However, it is still important to keep your own comfort and preferences in mind before purchasing any shoe.

The right shoe will offer great features to help you succeed. But you should still be able to make movements and find some pleasure in the way the shoe supports you. If not, you better keep looking! With that said, here are some wonderful products to look through.

Top CrossFit shoes on The Market

Inov-8 F-Lite 250

Inov-8 F-Lite 250

Price: $67.27-$120.00

Weight: 1 lb.

Product Features: The Inov-8 F-Lite 250 features a rubber sole and synthetic upper. The shoe comes with a power heel and reinforced medial and lateral arches.  The heel to toe drop is 8mm and is used for speed and power.

Best Use: CrossFit training

Description: Whatever the workout of the day is, you can be assured that your Inov-8 F-Lite 250 will propel you forward. These shoes are meant to handle everything that is thrown at you throughout your work out.

Whether you are weightlifting, doing box jumps, sprinting, or participating in rope work, your shoes will keep up with you throughout it all. As one of the lightest and most flexible shoes on the market, these off-road shoes are great in the gym.

All of the Inov-8 products are made to move with the natural functions of the body and meet the demands of the terrains and peak level of performance. Innovative features such as the Rope-Tec on the outsole offers the athlete a superior level of traction for working with ropes.

The Dynamic Fascia Band offers a smooth ride during sprints, weights, and other quick motions. These CrossFit shoes will work as hard as you do!

Related: The Inov-8 F-Lite 235 hails from the same brand as the F-lite 250 and offers similar qualities. Both shoes are great for Gym and Box workouts.

However, the F-Lite 235 has no heel to toe drop for the more extreme training sessions.

Reebok Men’s Crossfit Nano 4.0 Training Shoe

Reebok Men's Crossfit Nano 4.0 Training Shoe

Price: $54.40-$149.00

Weight: 3.7 lbs.

Product Features: With a rubber sole and a synthetic upper, you are getting a traditional gym shoe. The Nano 4.0 features a RopePro protection wrap to keep your feet snug in the shoe. The outsole for traction and heel pods for cushioning. The heel to toe drop is 4mm for some speed.

Best Use: cross-training or intense training.

Description: The Nano 4.0 shoes are made for to offer support and protection for your feet during your intense CrossFit training.

When you are staying active and performing your work out of the day, you should have a shoe that can perform with you. These shoes offer you a box toe to support you during planks and burpees.

The caged mesh around the toe gives assistance for rope climbing. You are also provided with toe support that assists you when you’re pressing heavy weight.

As you work out, these shoes will reduce the moisture and heat build up because of the anti-friction lining, which helps to keep your feet dry and cool. Because the fit is so snug, you might have to work to break them in, but once they have been molded to your feet, you will be pleased.

If you are looking for a great CrossFit shoe, these are perfect. Not to mention they come in a variety of colors and have an aesthetically pleasing design.

Related: The Cross-fit Nano 3.0 is very similar to the CrossFit 4.0. The Nano 3.0 doesn’t have the same stability the Nano 4.0 has. The Nano 3.0 is also lacking the toe box and rubber webbing on the Nano 4.0 that helps with rope climbing during the WOD.

Nike Metcon 2 Cross Training Shoes

Nike Metcon 2 Cross Training Shoes

Price: $75.00-$299.00

Weight: 6 lbs.

Product Features: With a synthetic and mesh upper you get a breathable shoe. The featured Flywire mid-foot technology is helpful for keeping your foot in one place. The foam mid-sole adds comfort to your Cross-training WOD.

Best Use: Intense workouts and cross-training

Description: The Metcon 2’s toe has been upgraded from the original so it’s wider and also has stronger materials to support your feet during an intense work out.

There is a small plastic plate on the toe that helps remove any friction between your feet and the ground when doing activities like push-ups. Unlike the first Metcon, these shoes have a lot of structure and do not give under pressure.

This is great for squatting and heavy lifting. When you don’t have to worry about your shoes giving in, you can focus on your own physical performance. If you want an all around comfortable and efficient shoe, this product is great.

You can do anything in this shoe except long-distance running! Also, the aesthetics of these shoes are great, plus you have many colors to choose from.

Related: The Nike Metcon 1 is similar in style and purpose compared to the Metcon 2. Both shoes have the Flywire technology for a superior fit and great traction. However, the Metcon 1’s lack the structure the Metcon 2’s have. Without the structure, the ability to perform goes down.

New Balance MX20 V4 for Men

New Balance MX20v4 for Men

Price: $94.95

Weight: 3 lbs.

Product Features: Synthetic upper and synthetic sole. With a no-sew mesh and stabilizing uppers your feet will be securely fastened in the shoe. The heel to toe drop is 4mm, which is good for running and lifting.

Best Use: CrossFit training, gym work-outs, and outdoor running

Description: With increased strength and durability, the no-sew upper is a great feature to have.

The waterproof features and lacing system makes life easier for you. Unlike other CrossFit shoes, the Vibram rubber sole allows an indoor and outdoor grip.

Usually CrossFit training shoes are only for indoors. The toe-box is roomy so you can lift like you are barefoot. There are no limitations, but you are highly protected. The rubber-like upper helps with rope climbing and is also water resistant so you can wear these during cross-country running.

Even with all of the great features, these New Balance MX20 V4 for Men are categorized as a minimalist shoe. There is no extra padding for those who value a plush interior. If they are uncomfortable for you in the beginning, you can easily get used to them by breaking them in.

Related: The New Balance MX20 V3 is a great minimalist shoe like the MX20V4. They both have a quality material and reliable aspects. The main difference between the two is the MX20V4 is waterproof and the MX20V3 is not.

Nike Free 5.0 V6 for Men

Nike Free 5.0 V6 for Men

Price: $114.95

Weight: 1.7 lbs.

Product Features: Flywire technology wraps are used to keep your foot in place. The mid-sole easily can double as and outsole. For enhanced support, the sock liner curves with the foot.

Best Use:  Intense CrossFit Training

Description: The upper of the Nike Free 5.0 V6 is made of mesh and has a chic no-sew overlay. The natural and weightless shoe is great for intense training sessions and provides a barefoot feel unlike most shoes around.

The outstanding flexibility and extreme support is excellent for your CrossFit WOD. Regardless of the impact, the advanced waffle outsole pistons can absorb the blow for an easier landing.

Your feet are held by an internal support structure to keep your form strong when weightlifting. With hexagonal pods in the midsoles, you capable of multi-directional movement.

These CrossFit shoes also feature a nice grip that works on any kind of surface. The cushioning in this shoe is not too plush, but there is definitely some comfort and the style is great for activities outside of the gym.

If you were looking for a flexible shoe, the Nike Free 5.0 V6 is a great option. These are also great for people who have an unnatural foot arch because it offers support for the outward foot-roll motion.

Related: The Nike Free 5.0 has very similar features such as the hexagonal flex grooves for an expanded range of motion. There is not as much support in the upper compared to the Nike Free 5.0 V6, which is not great for heavy training.

When you are a beginner, the Nike Free 5.0 would work great for you. As you progress you may want to alternate to a more supportive shoe. Both are great for running.

Reebok Nano 4.0 for Women

Reebok Nano 4.0 For Women

Price: $44.99- $129.99

Weight: 3 lbs.

Product Features: The Reebok Nano 4.0 features a synthetic sole and upper. There are protective features on the upper such as the RopePro protection wrap and the Duracage protection wrap.  A 4mm heel to toe drop is helpful with the constant activities as well.

Best Use: CrossFit Training and intense training.

Description: The women shoe has all the attributes of the men’s Nano 4.0. It is a great shoe for CrossFit training. It’s almost like the shoes were made for it!

The rubber cage is great for rope climbing and you are also provided with toe support that assists when you are pressing heavy weight.

The forefoot and heel pods provide cushioning and shock absorption when you are participating in your CrossFit WOD. Similar to the men’s shoe there is a slight discomfort with the stiff attributes. While these shoes are great for CrossFit, it may take time to get fully adjusted to the structure.

While this shoe is great at weight lifting and participating in your CrossFit activities, it is not the best to run in. With a failing arch support and stiff body, your feet have no room to roam, which is limiting and uncomfortable.

Related: The Reebok Cross-fit Nano 2.0 is quite similar to the Nano 4.0 but the Nano 2.0 is not as protective and is not great for rope climbing.

The Nano 2.0 is a bit more comfortable than the Nano 4.0 and also contours to the foot better than the Nano 4.0. Depending on what is more important to you, both are a great option.

Brooks Glycerin 12 Shoe For Women

Brooks Glycerin 12 Shoe For Women

Price: $70.00-$155.00

Weight: 3 lbs.

Product Features: The Glycerin 12 offers a mesh upper and a rubber sole for comfort. The ultra cushioned Super BioMogo DNA midsole is made to be very soft and plush. The outsole also optimizes pressure distribution from heel to forefoot.

Best Use: Running long or short distances and weightlifting.

Description: The lightweight and extremely cushioned Glycerin 12 is great for being on your feet period.

If you are running short distance, long distance, or for recovery runs, these shoes will provide the comfort you need to make it through your work out.

The heel of the shoe was made small so the foot strikes toward the midsole and forefoot to take pressure off the heel. This also helps increase a smooth transition. Pressure Zones were introduced to the outsole of the shoe to distribute the impact of each foot strike. This is great for running and also weightlifting.

If your weight isn’t balanced correctly when you are lifting you can easily injure yourself. With comfort and efficiency, these shoes are a great option if you need more support. Not to mention, they are light on your feet for swifter motions.

Related: The Glycerin 13 is similar to the Glycerin 12 because the support and added comfort that is in the midsole and outsole. Both shoes are great for weightlifting and running. However, the Glycerin 12’s offer a more stable and comfortable ride.

Have You Found Your Perfect Fit for CrossFit Shoes?

Now that we have covered all the bases on what a good shoe can do for your CrossFit journey, you should have a good idea of what to look for. Hopefully the list of shoes above had a few options that caught your eye!

Crossfit Shoes

If so, you can be sure that they are great for CrossFit, but you are still not sure if they are good for you. The last and final step that can help you find the best CrossFit shoe includes trying them on and feeling it out! You may go into a store thinking one shoe is best for you and leave with a different option that fits you way better. This can save you money and potential blisters!

Your comfort is important to your CrossFit journey, as is in every other aspect of life. We know there is a shoe for you, and when you find it, you will thank yourself for the intense search! Hopefully, this article has helped you prepare for the beginning of your CrossFit endeavor.

If there is anything we missed or you are interested in knowing, please comment below!  If we covered everything, Good luck to you and your first CrossFit workout! You are going to need it. And don’t forget to leave a comment down below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Carraway
Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway joined our team last year. He is a gear freak when it comes to hiking, climbing and camping. He went to REI Outdoor School to meet new people and learn best practices. Don’t even try to argue with him about the latest backpack or ice axe, he tried most of them. Daniel’s dream is to climb Mount Everest.

  • Harry Smith

    I think I have finally found the crossfit shoes for me, good thing I read this article. Nike Free 5.0 really caught my attention. I can totally see myself using it not just for my crossfit training, but during gym workouts too. Aside from being stylish, it is also great for those with an unnatural foot arch like me so it is totally perfect.

  • Daniel Carraway

    We love these shoes too! We think they are a great choice, as long as they fit you well. Aesthetics are also nice, but the most important thing is that they function and feel good!

  • Tommy Alexander

    I’ve been using the MX20 V4 for a year now and it is still my favorite so far. It is an all-around shoes because I have used it not just for my crossfit training, but also during hikes and when I go rock climbing. What I love most about it is its great fit, it is very comfortable to wear. It is a must-buy in my opinion.

    • Daniel Carraway

      Thank you for your comment! We do agree that those shoes are top notch and great for year-round use! Thank you for confirming.

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