One of the reasons CrossFit athletes are ripped is because of the variety of the exercises and the versatility of the program. No one WOD is the same.
The level of intensity in CrossFit is almost unparalleled to any other group workout. The lifts are heavier, the movements are more technical, and the strain that you put on your body in one workout is more than anything I have ever done before. It’s terrifying. You might be on a rowing machine until your legs and arms are about to fall off and then go straight into 200-meter sandbag runs.
Simply put, CrossFit is a beast!
But a common concern with CrossFit is the injury risk. Sure, you can get injured doing any type of exercise or workout routine, but CrossFit injuries seems to be all too common. As a matter of fact, a recent study reported that nearly 3 out of 4 or 75% of CrossFitters having sustained an injury from working out.
That is the nature of high-intensity training. You have to accept the risks. However, the way to minimize the risk is by wearing the right shoes. These are a must and not a maybe.
Your feet provide the foundation for your whole body and thus you must have the proper foundation to ensure the rest of your body can handle the exertion of a CrossFit WOD. Your joints will be under extreme duress at different times during the workout, so you need to have excellent support during heavy lifts like squats or deadlifts and have the comfort and durability for the aerobic parts of the workout like double unders of the jump rope or 800 meter runs.
In this comprehensive buyers’ guide, we will leave you walking away with not just any good CrossFit shoes, but the absolute best shoes for CrossFit training on the market today depending on your price point and needs.
Best CrossFit Shoes Review Comparison Table
What To Look For In A CrossFit Shoe - What Did We Rate On?
For those that care, below you will find that categories that we used to rate the industries top CrossFit sneakers. We believe each of these bullet points are essential when selecting your CrossFit shoes especially as it is no cheap investment. And that’s not even including the amount of money and missed time you save from injuries from wearing the wrong shoes.
If you aren’t interested in our scoring system, skip down to the section bolded: Top 10 CrossFit Shoes Review.
A good CrossFit shoe will have a sturdy base that makes solid contact with the ground. It’s almost like a tree with roots that are planted into the ground. Normally, CrossFit shoes have a slight raised heel which increases your overall mobility and allows you to squat deeper.
The flat soles of CrossFit shoes distribute your weight evenly and allow you to effectively drive the weight above your head.
Good support is essential for the heavy lifting in CrossFit. This is the main reason we do not recommend running shoes as they are not built with the same supportive base. There is such a focus on comfortability and lightweightness that this hinders a running shoe from being a good option.
We don’t want to be squatting on a mattress. Again, running shoes have a tendency to be cushion overload. So we want to make sure that when we are recommending shoes, we are recommending shoes that lock your feet into place during heavy lifts and don't give out on you when you need them most!
Everyone comes into the box with different needs and price point so we wanted to make sure we provided a few home runs for each person’s spending considerations. Many times in our research and testing, we found that the older model or cheaper option provides just as good of support and functionality as the latest and greatest version.
Just like as in textbooks, newer models are sometimes just slight upgrades from the original. We made sure to weed out the options that don’t provide significant value to the user.
The best trainers for CrossFit are ones that can withstand all the rigors of a workout. A good CrossFit shoe is not limited in any exercise. Just as in the case of not using running shoes for heavy lifting, it clearly does not make sense to use a bulky Olympic weightlifting show for the sprinting and running portions of CrossFit. WODs are done for time so it would be futile to switch shoes mid workout.
So when we name our top picks, we most certainly made a preference towards the multidimensional shoes that have the crossover appeal to meet both great mobility and great support & stability.
Cool, Unique Features
This was not the most heavily weighted factor when deciding on the best CrossFit shoes, but it is a factor. The unique features that some brands have offered really set them apart from the pack. For instance, the zero-drag heel on the Metcons really helps you do handstand pushups and the U-Form technology by Reebok is legit to giving you a nice customized fit right out of the box.
Moreover, just as in life, when a brand takes the time to pay attention to the details in crafting the perfect pair, it is likely that the rest of the shoe is well thought out. Of course, the details make up the whole.
*Bonus Points | Style and Design
How you look plays into how you act. Your style feeds into your comfortability and confidence. And if you’re not confident working out how do you expect to push yourself beyond your limits? So although this was not a main factor, it was taken into consideration.
Moreover, we won’t recommend you something ugly.
Top 10 CrossFit Shoes Review
You might be wondering, “What are CrossFit shoes?” Or maybe, you see people in the box wearing these unique, flat soled cross training shoes and wonder whether they are even needed and what makes them any different from any other pair of running shoes.
Well, they are quite different than running shoes and provide a level of support and stability that is unmatched by running shoes. So it is very important you pick the right CrossFit shoes to avoid injury, improve the quality of your lifts, and make your feet a little more comfortable!
These shoes are the bomb.com. They have been chosen as our Top Rated CrossFit shoes for 2016. They scored significantly higher in terms of support and stability and yet still have the flexibility to handle the aerobic parts of the workouts like the distance runs or rowing exercises.
We were extremely pleased with the level of arch support and many testers have noted that this offering is the best on the market for combating planter fasciitis. It has a nice dual-density foam midsole to provide assistance on heavy lifts and cushion your falls on box jumps. The flat and wide sole, not only caters to those with wide feet, but also is perfect when you are deadlifting or cleaning.
The cherry on top was the attention to detail on the shoe in the many unique features like the zero-drag heel to allow for smooth handstand pushups and the Flyware technology that keeps your foot from moving within the shoe. To top it all off, the overall look and style is considerably better than the other top offerings currently being sold.
This shoe was 100% made for the CrossFitter in mind and it is quickly becoming the top CrossFit shoe on the market today. At around a hundred bucks a pop, these shoes are worth the investment. Check them out for yourself and see why they are the best CrossFit trainers available.
If you watch the CrossFit games or just spend a lot of time at the Box, you will start to find out that Reebok is CrossFits #1 brand. To date, Reebok has invested heavily in the sport of CrossFit and all of the CrossFit branded apparel. So, as you would expect, they have pumped out some of the best CrossFit sneakers you can buy.
The Nano 6.0 is the latest, upgraded model of the Reebok CrossFit cross-trainer series. It is a significant improvement from its predecessor as it has a nice anatomical shaped fit and fantastic stability. Many users have found the Kevlar to be much softer and more flexible than the last model, Nano 5.0. On top of that the tongue and toe area have proven to be more comfortable which makes pumping out those hard core push-ups a cinch.
Overall, Reebok has done it again with another great CrossFit offering with a nice, trendy looking style. For a little more than a hundred bucks, we think you will be more than happy with this pair of Nano 6.0’s.
Nike, once again put out a wonderful, lightweight cross trainer at a somewhat affordable price (Less than a hundred bucks at the time of the article). We have found these shoes to be very nice and breathable and particularly liked the versatility in completing a wide range of movements and exercises in a simple fashion.
Overall, we have found these shoes to be excellent in the running aspects, but they did not score as high on the stability and support section when performing heavy lifts. Regardless, we really like these shoes.
Overall, we were very satisfied when we analyzed the quality of the CrossFit Lifter Plus 2.0 as this shoe was specifically made for the CrossFitter in mind. We loved the low profile design and the stiff heel provided just the right amount of support and stability for heavy lifting. Just about everyone who reviewed these shoes cited a huge improvement on barbell workouts like clean and jerks and squats.
We also loved the anti-friction lining and the neat dual straps that lock your foot into place. But perhaps the coolest feature, and our favorite of them all, was the U-Form technology. This brilliant technology uses a blowdryer for 2 minutes to heat up the shoes and then when you place your feet inside the shoe, from that point on, have a custom fit shoe! Most people pay hundreds of dollars for custom fit shoes, but you can have it all with the use of a blowdryer. Check out the minute and a half video below if you want to see the method behind this brilliant technology.
Beyond all the cool features, this shoe did not ignore the running portion of the workouts as well as it is not to clunky for those 800m runs. Overall, we found this shoe to be a perfect lifting shoe for CrossFit with the ability to handle the aerobic exercises well.
Adidas pumped out an excellent cross training offering which makes it ideal for many different types of workouts. We found that it excelled as a running shoe as it is lightweight and most people have found it to be very comfortable.
Beyond that, it was sold at an affordable price at around $75 at the time of review. For those that don’t fit well into Nike or Reebok, or simply enjoy Adidas as a brand, than this is your top shoe to go with.
...Next Top 5 CrossFit Sneakers
Best Powerlifting Shoe
Overall, Adidas did not score as high as other leading brands Nike and Reebok, but this one made the top of the list as we found this to be an excellent powerlifter shoe.
However, this pair has its flaws. Although superb in support and stability for heavy lifts like the deadlift and squat, it’s weakness is in the clunkyness which did not make it an ideal running shoe.
Inov-8 has done a nice job of carving out its own little niche within the CrossFit industry. This British company delivers on an excellent lightweight and flexible shoe to help take your game to the next level.
Although, this didn’t make our top 5, we loved the versatility of these shoes and the naturalist feel while wearing them. The minimalist design gave you that comfortable barefoot feeling when performing deadlifts which gives you a full throttle workout. For those looking to get the max out of their workout, these just might be the shoes for you!
If you are budget conscious we believe these might be the best cross trainers for you. They were selling mush less than a hundred dollars at the time of the article and have a nice sewn in tongue which you gives you a snugger fit when running. They are this year's "Best Value" pick.
It’s important to keep in mind, that the Nikes generally run about a half size smaller than other brands and these shoes are a little more narrow than the Metcon 2’s mentioned above. Once you work them in, we believe you will find them quite comfortable and lightweight for the casual runners out there.
Reebok did it again with yet another excellent CrossFit shoes. Although, we found that the newest upgrade scored slightly higher than the older Nano 5 model, we still really enjoyed these shoes. The shoes are made with a sleek 3mm toe to heel drop which provides excellent stability for the lifting exercises.
The only lacking seems to be the versatility as many users preferred the Nike Metcons for the running portions of the workout. But for the vast majority of the workout and lifting, these shoes are spot on. Not to mention you can likely buy these at a bit of a discount due to latest model already being out on the market.
Beyond that, you will be the talk of the box, if you get this rad, patriotic style.
Just like the men’s version, this shoe offers over 25 different styles and colors to choose from! If you can’t find a color scheme that you like, then maybe there is no hope. : ( Once again, this wonderful shoe offers a great Kevlar infused upper for the ultimate comfort and support to prevent injury. It always provides a nice, soft contact with the foot.
Although Asics isn’t a quote on quote heavyweight in the CrossFit industry, we have found there cross training shoes to be perfect for the occasion and provide a nice comfortable fit. They provide a really nice cushion at the heel. The shoe also uses a wonderful Trusstic system support feature that stability at your heel and locks your feet into place for those oh, so important squats and deadlifts.
These shoes are perfect for the diverse CrossFit movements and users have mentioned that they fit like a glove. If you are looking for a nice pair of lightweight, but supportive shoes than look no further!
Summing It All Up | Buying The Best CrossFit Shoes
Picking out the right CrossFit shoe can be tricky. CrossFit is not a one size fits all workout. It requires heavy lifting, lateral movements like box jumps, and of course the dreaded sprints and tire pulls. Likewise, when you are looking to find the best sneakers for CrossFit, look for the reputable brand that has the durability to withstand intense workouts.
So what are the best shoes for CrossFit? Personally, we rated the Nike Metcon 2's as the top sneakers as they excelled in every aspect of a CrossFit WOD. But the decision is yours, and you have to pick the shoes that you find more comfortable and most confident. With the right shoes, we believe you will notice a difference and make steady gains to your lifts and workouts.
Good CrossFit shoes are ones that are able to provide the perfect blend of comfort, support, and protection each and every workout. We have laid out a nice diverse list of shoes to choose from and are more than confident they will help you take your CrossFit skills to the next level while providing the support and protection needed to prevent injury.
Have a preference towards a particular brand? We have also put together a concise list of the best CrossFit shoes for each major brand, Nike, Reebok, and Adidas. Finally, we created yet another straightforward post of the Best CrossFit Shoes for Men and the absolute Best CrossFit Shoes for Women.