Before we define CrossFit shoes, we first need to understand what CrossFit is. This is simply a workout session that involves constantly varied functional movements. The workouts are high intensity and are usually operated like classroom training sessions.
How Does a CrossFit Shoe Work?
A CrossFit shoe can be used for many different workouts. These shoes are highly versatile.
To accommodate weightlifting, they have shock absorbing properties and a grip on the ground. For other workouts, they are designed with traction and breathability features.
Advantages and Applications of CrossFit Shoes
CrossFit shoes are optimised for high-intensity movements that are typical of CrossFit training sessions. These shoes will allow you to perform your best in the sessions. Your feet will not hurt and neither will you be limited in your movements. CrossFit can also be a dangerous activity, and having the correct shoes can help prevent chances of injury.
What Types of CrossFit Shoes Are there?
CrossFit shoes are designed to either primarily accommodate weightlifting exercises or aerobic exercises. CrossFitters are often advised to use the weightlifting CrossFit shoes as an extra pair. This is because many workouts will be aerobic in nature.
The Big CrossFit Shoes Buyer’s Guide
CrossFit shoes come in many different designs, and they are manufactured by multiple companies. Some of the shoes may be marketed as the best for CrossFit, but they may still have serious flaws.
Here are some common problems you need to look out for when reading reviews of these shoes:
- High heel drop: The drop of your shoe is the difference between the height of your shoe and the height of the forefoot. A shoe with a heel drop of 0 mm is flat, and with these shoes, the whole foot will hit the ground at the same time. Running shoes typically have very high heel drops, usually in the range of 8 mm. This is optimal for running, but it can be limiting when it comes to CrossFit. CrossFit shoes should have a heel drop of about 4 mm. It is easy to determine the size of the heel drop by checking the descriptions of the shoes online. Other user reviews can also guide you as needed.
- Soft soles: The best CrossFit shoes have soles that are neither hard nor soft. A hard sole is great for weightlifting, and a soft one is best for running. Both of these activities are included in CrossFit training. With a soft sole, your weightlifting sessions will not be comfortable as you will not be in a stable position. With a hard one, you will not be able to perform other aerobic exercises effectively. Make sure you read through past user reviews to determine how good the sole is for your activity.
- Poor quality of the outer shoe: CrossFit shoes are used for some of the roughest activities. They are also quite expensive, and replacing them every now and then will not be economical. Make sure you check what the outer shoe is made of. Also, read through the reviews to determine how long other people’s shoes have lasted.
- Heavy shoes: Very light shoes may not be the best for CrossFit training, but they are certainly better than heavy shoes. Some people even like to attend the sessions in minimalist shoes. Heavy ones will drag you down, and that will prevent you from reaching your full potential. That being said, the best shoes for CrossFit are somewhere between heavy and light. You can check the weight of the shoe in the product description section. Be careful not to sacrifice stability and support in order to get a lighter shoe. Many different activities will require a high level of stability and support. Buyers and testers of the products will possibly be able to gauge the balance of these factors in their reviews.
- Poor breathability: Athletic shoes should always allow you to release heat through your legs. The feet will collect a lot of sweat and heat in the training session, and that can reduce your comfort in the activity. The best CrossFit shoes are designed with mesh at the top to keep your feet cool. Other more advanced shoes even use special technology or vents to keep the feet cool and improve your experience. Breathability is among the key factors mentioned in user reviews.
- Poor support: Almost all activities in CrossFit will require high levels of support. Lateral support is especially important in weightlifting as you could injure yourself without it. For high levels of support, you should go for shoes made of rubber. The only problem with these shoes is that they will not be versatile and they may not allow for sufficient levels of breathability. Rubber is typically used in the place of mesh. The best way to determine the level of support of a shoe is by checking the material it is made of as well as the reviews by other users.
- Poor fit: The best CrossFit shoes should fit you snuggly. They should not be too big as those would be uncomfortable and even unsafe. Small shoes will prevent the circulation of air and will be uncomfortable. When buying CrossFit shoes, you should not just consider the length of the shoe. Also, check the width of the shoe and the internal padding.
Results and Experiences from Other Consumer Tests
Our team has gone through many reviews on the internet, and these are all from the best review sites. Two of the best studies referenced were carried out by runnerclick.com and nicershoes.com. The researchers took an average of 13.5 hours to complete the studies, and they tried out products from some of the best brands available.
Here are some key factors they considered when making their reviews:
- Versatility: CrossFit involves many different types of workouts. Some will fall in the strength category while others will fall in the aerobic category. Also, the movements performed are significantly varied. The best CrossFit shoes will be able to support all these activities. The reviewers noted that none of the sport-specific shoes on the market could comfortably be used for CrossFit training. There are also major differences in the versatility of the best CrossFit shoes.
- Weight: The researchers also considered this factor when creating their reviews. The best shoes for CrossFit were neither heavy nor light. However, the researchers were inclined to make better reviews for light shoes as opposed to the heavy ones. This is because heavy shoes can limit your ability to perform other activities. You should note that support and durability can quickly increase the weight of the shoe. The researchers simply looked for a product that balanced all these qualities without weighing you down.
- Style: CrossFit shoes come in many unique styles. The reviews touch on the styles of the products, but this was a minor factor. It did not really affect the rating of the CrossFit shoes.
- Breathability: As mentioned earlier, all athletic shoes need to let out some air and heat. Otherwise, the training sessions can be extremely uncomfortable. Many of the best shoes on the market have features that help to cool the feet, so this factor did not significantly affect the reviews of the products.
- Comfort: It is important to stay comfortable when working out. With uncomfortable shoes, you will not be able to make the most out of your workout session. The researchers paid attention to the comfort levels of the different shoes and were able to come up with reviews on the best ones. It is important to note that other necessary features may reduce the comfort of the shoes, and these factors were taken into account when determining the level of comfort of the best products.
- Value: The best shoes should offer high value. This means the price should be favourably comparable to the durability and reliability of the shoe and seller. In the reviews, the researchers considered the value offered by the different shoes.
- Grip and stability: In the reviews, the researchers considered the stability and grip of the shoes, particularly because CrossFit training involves some lifting exercises. It can be very dangerous to wear unstable shoes when lifting. It is also annoying. Activities like box jumping will also require stable shoes as you will need to land safely. Researchers from these two organisations gave the best reviews to CrossFit shoes that were stable.
- Traction: Traction is closely related to stability. CrossFit shoes with the best traction will not slip when you perform your workouts. The researchers gave better reviews to shoes which were developed to increase friction. Of course, the traction will not matter if you workout on a wet or slippery surface. Once you buy your shoes, you should make sure you find a nice surface with sufficient friction and hold your sessions there.
- Shock absorption: This factor is also very important in CrossFit shoes. The best shoes are designed to absorb shock and reduce impact. This will allow you to workout until the session is over. In fact, shock absorption is a major factor in reviews of almost all sports shoes. Some sports where shock absorption is a key selling point include basketball, sprinting, and weightlifting.
The 10 Best CrossFit Shoes Brands
- No Bull
- Nordic Lifting
- Under Armour
Nike is among the best and most famous sports shoe brands in the world. The company is based in the USA. They make shoes for all athletic activities, including CrossFit. Some of their best CrossFit shoes include Nike Free X Metcon, Nike Metcon 4, and Nike Romaleo 3. All these CrossFit shoes have received heavily positive reviews. Their athletic shoes are known to be lightweight and highly durable. You should note that Nike products are very expensive. The good thing is that they deliver high value. You can expect to use your Nike shoes for a very long time, especially if you take good care of them. Most of their shoes are made with rubber soles, so you can expect them to have great traction. Some of their CrossFit shoes are versatile enough to be used in other sporting activities.
Adidas is usually ranked as the second-best athletic shoe brands in the world. The manufacturer is based in Germany, and it is best known for producing chic and attractive shoes. One of the highest-rated Adidas CrossFit shoes is the Performance Men’s Powerlift 3.1. Adidas shoes are designed with rubber insoles, and these provide a firm grip on the ground. The insoles can be removed depending on your preference. The company tries to accommodate feet of all sizes, so if you have unusually wide feet, you should consider shopping for their products. Most of their best CrossFit shoes also come with cross-over straps that offer extra support.
Reebok is among the oldest manufacturers of CrossFit shoes in the world. Some of their shoes are ranked among the ten best CrossFit shoes available on the market. The shoes typically come in an old school style. The most famous Reebok CrossFit shoe is the Reebok Men’s CrossFit Nano 8.0 Flexweave. This shoe has been ranked as the best CrossFit shoe overall on many reviews. It was designed as an upgrade to the Reebok Men’s CrossFit 7.0 Flexweave. One thing you will appreciate with Reebok shoes is the fact that they come in some of the most affordable prices.
No Bull shoes are known to be highly versatile. Their CrossFit shoes can be used for a variety of purposes, including running, HIIT workouts, and walking. In fact, their athletic shoes can be used for casual wear. Many testers have noted that No Bull shoes are the best in terms of comfort. They are developed to be highly breathable, lightweight, and flexible. Also, their CrossFit shoes are designed with flexible soles. These can make your workout sessions highly productive. The main downside of No Bull CrossFit shoes is the fact that they do not accommodate people with large and wide feet. Their products are also sold at very high prices. Also, it can be hard to access these shoes. The best No Bull CrossFit shoe is the No Bull Trainer.
Inov-8 is a young athletic shoe manufacturer, but it has already developed a positive reputation among athletes around the world. The company was started in 2003 in England, and its goal was to create shoes that promote natural movement in sports. Most of their best shoes are lightweight and flexible. The first CrossFit shoe they ever made was the F-Lite 195 model. In online reviews, this shoe was noted to be highly versatile and durable. The company has since come up with many different CrossFit shoes, and these include the Inov-8 F-Lite 195 v2, Inov-8 F-Lite 250, Inov-8 BareXF 210 v2, Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2, and Inov-8 F-Lite 260. In some reviews, the customers pointed out that Inov-8 shoes had some size inconsistencies. For some people, the shoes were too big, and for others, they were too small.
Puma is a highly respectable CrossFit shoe brands on the market. Their shoes can be a little pricey, but that is because they make high-quality products. Their shoes come in many different styles and colours, so you should not have a problem finding a shoe that suits you. Some of their best models are the Men’s Roma Basic Sneaker, the Men’s Tazon 6 Cross-Training Shoe, the Men’s Cell Surin 2 FM, the Women’s Pulse XT Geo, and the Women’s Cell Riaze WN’s Em Sneaker. All Puma CrossFit shoes are well cushioned and have great traction. Many of the CrossFit shoes are good enough to be worn for general purposes. They are especially convenient for people who live active lives.
ASICS Corporation has its headquarters in Japan. Their shoes are known for their technical precision and the adherence to strict quality control standards. The company recently started marketing its products vigorously, and that is why they have experienced a surge in popularity. Their best CrossFit shoe is the Men’s Met-Conviction Cross-Trainer shoe. Their CrossFit shoes are designed with rubber soles, and that means you can expect them to have strong grips on the ground. The rubber sole also helps with shock absorption. To improve the bounce back, the company uses Speva midsoles. Products from ASICS are quite affordable. You should note that their shoes are narrow. The upper section of the shoe is also not durable, and that can be a big problem in CrossFit.
If your main interest is in the weight of the shoe, then you should go for products from this brand. Their CrossFit shoes are very light. They are designed with thin but durable soles, and you might even feel like you are walking barefoot. For breathability, their shoes are designed with mesh upper parts. The company is also known for its glove shoes. These are the shoes which are designed to take the shape of your foot perfectly. The glove shoes will also make you feel like you are walking barefoot, but they will help absorb shock and protect your feet from dangerous objects. The company produces CrossFit shoes for both men and women.
Nordic Lifting primarily designs shoes for weightlifters. Some of their shoes have been noted to be great for CrossFit workouts. Their best shoe for CrossFit training is Venja Weightlifting CrossFit and Gym shoes. Nordic shoes should only be worn on days when your workout session includes weightlifting. The shoes are not best for running as they don’t have much of a grip on the ground. The shoes are also very flexible.
Under Armour is a leading American sport and casual apparel manufacturer. The company was founded back in 1996, and this makes it younger than Nike and Adidas. They have consistently been ranked among the top 5 manufacturers of sports shoes, so you can be sure that they produce high-quality products. Under Armour has been producing CrossFit shoes for some years. Their best CrossFit shoe right now is the Men’s Charged Ultimate 2.0 Training Shoe. Their shoes are generally best for people who need arch support and comfort. It is rated poorly in stability.
The Development of CrossFit Over Time
CrossFit was started rather recently. The first CrossFit classes were held in the 1980s, and they were meant to train police officers. In those days, people had to train with their regular sports shoes. Mostly, people used running shoes for CrossFit classes.
The first CrossFit gym was opened in 2000, and even though the training regimen grew popular quickly, shoe manufacturers were still not bothered with designing shoes that could be used for the activity.
This changed in 2010 when Reebok and CrossFit signed a 10-year contract which stated that Reebok would be the official provider of CrossFit apparel and footwear. As per this contract, Reebok released the Nano shoe as the first official CrossFit shoe. This was the first shoe that was specially designed for CrossFit. Its first generation was released in 2011, and there are currently more than 7 generations of the shoe.
Facts on CrossFit Shoes
Here are some interesting facts on CrossFit shoes:
- Reebok, the manufacturer of the first official CrossFit shoe, is a subsidiary of Adidas. The brand was purchased by Adidas in 2005. Although these two companies are under one umbrella, they operate as two separate brands. The acquisition deal was valued at more than £2.9 billion.
- Adidas should be pronounced as Ah-Dee-Dass. Many people wrongly pronounce it as Uh-Dee-Duhs. Also, the name ‘Adidas’ is not an acronym for anything. It is simply obtained from the names of the founder of the brand: Adi Dassler.
- CrossFit shoes, as well as other athletic shoes, are designed to be used for about 6 months. They are generally meant to run for about 650 km. If you wear your shoe regularly for purposes other than CrossFit, you should expect your shoes to get damaged after about 3 months.
- When CrossFit shoes get damaged, it is usually the midsole which has broken down and not the outsole.
- Athletic shoes are excellent for people who walk long distances.
- Running shoes are often used for CrossFit training, but they can easily lead to sprains and injuries. If you insist on using running shoes for this training regime, you should consider going for the shoes with lower heel heights. Such shoes usually have greater stability.
- If you leave your CrossFit shoes near a source of intensive heat, the midsole is highly likely to melt. You should never put your training shoes in the dryer or near a window in a closed car.
Safety Instructions When Doing CrossFit Workouts
CrossFit is among the best full body workouts. This is one reason why it has grown in popularity in such a short time. Now, even the famous sports shoes companies have been forced to make special shoes for CrossFit. However, the activity itself can be very dangerous. The danger is increased significantly if you use the wrong shoes.
Here are some of the best tips to help you avoid injury when doing CrossFit workouts:
10 Best Tips to Help You Care for and Maintain Your CrossFit Shoes
CrossFit shoes, like other athletic footwear, can be very expensive. It can be costly to keep replacing them every 6 months. This is why you need to take care of your CrossFit shoes.
Here are some tips to help you care for your CrossFit shoes:
Alternatives to CrossFit Workouts Shoes
CrossFit shoes are specialised for the various activities involved in the training regimen. However, it is hard to get a single shoe that suits all the different CrossFit activities.
Here are two alternatives to CrossFit shoes:
Many people go for CrossFit training sessions with regular running shoes. These can be great alteranatives to CrossFit shoes. The main difference between CrossFit shoes and running shoes is the stifness of the sole, the stiffness of the upper part of the shoe, and the height difference from the heel to the toe.
CrossFit requires great levels of stability, and that means you should select running shoes that have a lower heel height. You can consider getting a pair of minimalist running shoes as these ones typically have a lower heel height.
It is also important to find a shoe that does not slide from side to side on the inside. To prevent this, you should get a running shoe that is not made of stretchy materials. The shoe will be also more stable if it fits you snuggly.
For sessions which involve weightlifting, you can consider weating weightlifting shoes instead of your regular CrossFit shoes. These shoes will generally help you lift more weight since they will not absorb much impact. The shoes are also the best for weightlifting since they have raised heels. You should not consider replacing weightlifting shoes with barefoot shoes since such shoes will not allow you to squat into a deep position when you lift the weights. That can limit your performance in the workouts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use CrossFit shoes for running?
CrossFit shoes can be used for running short distances. Running for long distances in these shoes can lead to their damage.
Are CrossFit shoes necessary?
Yes, performing CrossFit workouts in casual shoes is not recommended. These shoes will prevent you from reaching your potential.
Can you wash Reebok CrossFit shoes?
Yes, you can wash them with a brush and some lukewarm water. As you may have learnt in other reviews, CrossFit shoes should not be washed in a washing machine.
How long should CrossFit shoes last?
They should go for about 800 km. On average, they will last about 6 months.
Which CrossFit shoe should I buy?
You should buy a shoe which fits you and one which will last for a long time. Also, go for the more established brands as they guarantee quality.
Which Reebok CrossFit shoe is the best?
Presently, the Reebok CrossFit Nano 8.0 is considered the best for CrossFit workouts. It has received some of the best reviews online.
Can you wear CrossFit shoes every day?
Yes, many people use CrossFit shoes as their regular shoes. However, you should note that the shoe will get spoilt faster if it is worn every day.
Are CrossFit shoes good for Zumba?
Yes, many CrossFit movements are similar to Zumba.
How should CrossFit shoes fit?
CrossFit shoes should not be tight, but they should also not be too big. They should fit snuggly.
How are CrossFit shoes different?
CrossFit shoes are designed to accommodate many different types of workouts. They can be used for weightlifting and certain aerobic exercises.