CrossFit continues to grow in popularity, with millions of people now taking part in gyms all over the world. In order to make sure that they are at the top of their game, though, everyone will have to get the right pair of shoes that will protect their feet, keep them safe, and make sure they are able to perform at their very best every single workout. However, finding the best crossfit shoes is not a simple task, so we’ve put together this resource — an ultimate, all-inclusive guide to help you find crossfit shoes that will perfectly fit your needs.
Ultimate CrossFit Shoes Guide
Reebok CrossFit Nano 3.0
Inov-8 F-lite 240
New Balance Minimus MX20V3
Inov-8 F-lite 230
Reebok CrossFit Lifter Plus
Inov-8 F-lite 195
Reebok CrossFit Nano 2.0
Inov-8 FastLift 335
ASICS Men's GEL-Craze TR Cross-Training Shoe
Vibram Bikila Athletic Shoe
The Importance of Having Good Crossfit Shoes
CrossFit shoes are incredibly important. Crossfit workouts aren’t like many other forms of working out. Rather than relying on primarily cardiovascular endurance exercises or powerlifting or plyometrics, these workouts will use a combination of all three, making it even more important that you have the right kind of footwear.
Without the right kind of shoes on, you’ll be putting yourself in danger of not only injuring yourself, but also not performing at your best. Many people attempt to use traditional running shoes when they are doing Crossfit workouts, but they can’t hold up to the extreme workouts that demand versatility as well as endurance. If you are serious about getting into shape with Crossfit, and staying in it for the long haul, you’ll need the right shoes.
Advantages of Wearing the Best Crossfit Shoes
Crossfit on its own comes with a lot of benefits. People who frequent a Crossfit gym are stronger, have more endurance, are healthy in an all around sense, and are always prepared for changing circumstances and whatever might come their way. Without the right shoes you can still get the job done, but you won’t have the true benefits of Crossfit.
More often than not, people choose a shoe with performance in mind. There are many who perform just fine without having to pick the right pair of shoes, but they more often than not find that their performance is enhanced dramatically by picking up a new pair.
When you are lifting weights, running, jumping, and doing gymnastics, it is important that you have total control. That is precisely what the right pair of Crossfit shoes will give you. You will be able to run farther and faster, jump higher than ever, and lift more weight than ever without ever feeling like your footing is anything less than absolutely perfect.
A Naturally Strong Body
Our bodies were made to be capable of handling any kind of situation that we find ourselves in. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who don’t have proper form when it comes to working out, or doing anything in their life. When you do Crossfit, you are building up your body in a way that resembles what you would naturally come across in the real world, compared to sticking solely to lifting weights.
By wearing the right shoes, you will help your body move in a way that replicates the way our ancestors moved, although in a much safer and high performance way. Shoes should be able to enhance your performance, but they also have to be able to help you help yourself.
Many of the joints and muscles that are important to the proper function of our bodies aren’t used as frequently as they should be. Often, this is because our shoes cushion them and stop us from having to use them. With a little push in the right direction, though, you’ll be capable of having a workout that is truly “full body” without leaving a joint or tendon untouched. The stronger the supporting parts of your body, the stronger and safer you will be in a general sense.
Staying safe during your workouts is one of the most important things that you should consider when looking at Crossfit and the shoes that you wear while you are doing it. Working out will only benefit you as long as you can do it without injuring yourself. If you are serious about working out, you should be serious about staying safe.
By working out in the right Crossfit shoes, you’ll have the ability to go longer and with more intensity without injuring yourself. Padded, improper shoes will only cushion your bad habits, not ever stopping you from being injured only slightly reducing the chances. If you are going to really stay save, you’ll be required to completely eliminate bad form, something you can’t do without the right pair of shoes on.
What to Look for in the Best Crossfit Shoes
There are many things that you should be looking out for when you attempt to find the best CrossFit shoe possible. The most important thing to think about is the variety of conditions that you’ll be facing when you work out. Just as important is the ability to not make any sacrifices and still be able to perform just as well at any of them, just like you were doing them on their own with a pair of shoes that was designed for that purpose and that purpose alone.
Overall, when you are doing your workouts you’ll have to be ready for:
Lifting weights is something that a lot of people that come to Crossfit already have experience with, but the circumstances surrounding the lifts is much different with Crossfit. Here, you will have to do it while being able to run and do all of the other exercises without losing traction, comfort, or performance. That isn’t something that you can do with over padded shoes that don’t let you truly feel the floor. That also means they have to fit in a way that lets you never have to worry about them moving around.
In order to do that, the best Crossfit shoes will use a “barefoot” sole that lets your feet conform to the floor, remain stable, and stay flat. The shoes will also have to have a secure fit, with room for your toes to move while still remaining stable enough to not roll your ankle and risk seriously damaging your feet and legs. Even worse, you might find that an unsure footing causes you to topple over and seriously injure yourself or others in a way that can sideline you for a very long time.
Running and Jumping
Running and jumping require a similar feature, but there is another reason here. Many people run with a technique that makes them move in an unnatural way that isn’t healthy. The majority of people who run use a method that involves striking with the heel and then rolling onto their toes. This isn’t necessarily unhealthy on its own, but it is very inefficient and can lead to a lot of other bad habits.
The barefoot soles will come into play here, forcing you to run on the balls of your feet, or at the very least using a mid-sole strike. Jumping is even more unsafe when you use improper technique, so learning how to land in the right way will be necessary. Crossfit is safe when performed properly, but it can lead to injuries if you don’t know what you are doing. In order to help yourself as much as possible, your shoes should take care of some of the effort, ensuring that you only have to spend a short amount of time working on form before you are ready to go.
Those two very different exercises come with their own terms. You will also be performing gymnastics, rowing, doing kettle bell lifts, and more. In all, you’ll have to keep an eye out for a number of features that are staples of the best Crossfit shoes. These are:
- Rope Support.This is something that is almost entirely unique to Crossfit shoes. Climbing rope is one of the best things that you can do to make your entire body stronger, but it can also be a nightmare on your footwear. Even the best shoes can fall apart quickly from this single exercise. In order to prevent having to buy a new pair of shoes once a month due to one part of your workout, it is vital that they feature rope protection on the inside of the arch. This will normally consist of high quality mesh, but it will also mean the inclusion of a strong, supporting rubber that protects your feet as well as the overall construction of the shoe.
- Barefoot Soles. A lot of people are uncomfortable with the idea of running and working out barefoot. That is why shoes were invented. Fortunately, barefoot soles in shoes have made it possible to have all of the benefits without any of the downsides. The right kind of sole will make it possible to have a good feel for the ground beneath your feet, but you will also be supported just enough to keep performing at a high level. Vibram is the most popular producer of these soles, but there are other companies that have invented their own style. These will conform to your feet, make you run in a natural way, and build up all of the right muscles in your feet, ankles, and lower legs. By doing this, you will ensure that you are safer and stronger for years to come, rather than using shoes that only cushion the fact that you have weak feet.
- Breathable Upper. It should go without saying, but having a way to keep your feet cool is one of the most important things you can do. Sweaty feet will help keep you comfortable while you are working out, without having to put your attention on the sweat on your feet instead of the weight that you are lifting. High quality mesh is very effective at doing this. The best shoes will almost feel like you don’t have shoes on without putting them at risk to the elements. Some shoes go too far and seem like they are made of fishnet. The best shoes will have the right balance to make sure your feet are cool, but still protected.
- Padding. Padding is controversial when it comes to Crossfit shoes. Lots of Crossfitters worry about wearing something that is closer to basketball equipped than Crossfit, but that doesn’t mean that you should be staying away from padding entirely. When used properly, padding makes sure that your feet are comfortable and safe, while helping you stay stable. In most cases, a snug fit is more important that padding, but sole padding can be important for people who have had problems in the past. Heel padding is of particular interest, but it should never come at the expense of the “barefoot” feel that most shoe companies aim for. If you try a pair on, it should be padded lightly throughout, making sure you are comfortable. If you feel like you are walking on pillows, they have too much.
Reviews of the 3 Best CrossFit Shoes
Reebok has been in the footwear game for decades, but they have made the most of their short amount of time in the Crossfit arena. The CrossFit Nano 3.0 is their most recent offering and it really stands among the best that any company has been able to produce.
These were designed to be able to handle the job no matter what it is that your gym is throwing your way. They started by creating a shoe that is just as light as many of the bare bones shoes that companies like Inov-8 produce. In doing that, however, they also ensured that they would be incredibly comfortable and durable.
The fit of the Reebok Crossfit Nano 3.0 finds the sweet spot between the snug and roomy fit that many workout shoes have. They are always secure on your feet, but the toe box is large enough to allow your feet to grip the floor and stay firm. A little wiggle room is a great thing. Unfortunately, too many leave a great deal, although that won’t be a problem here.
That comfort won’t mean anything, though, if they can’t hold up to a good beating in the gym. These specifically feature rope protection on the inside as well to make sure that you don’t destroy them from frequent rope climbing. Mesh like materials are used extensively on the outside, which resembles barefoot shoes in many cases, which means if you choose to purchase these you will have to be careful during workouts if you don’t want to injure your toes and feet by dropping a kettle bell on them.
What really stands out about these shoes is the sole. There is a problem that often arises in terms of the soles of workout shoes. They are often on one side of the spectrum or the other, either too cushioned or too minimalist. Reebok managed to find a center zone with the Nano 3.0 that allows your feet to be adequately supported without having to give up the feel of the ground. There is a bit more padding involved than most other Crossfit shoes, but for people who have had problems in the past, this means it can be a perfect fit and a perfect addition to a workout.
Overall, the Reebok Nano 3.0 is a great all around shoe that matches the all around exercise conditions that Crossfit provides. For comfort and performance, this is a great shoe. Many people have complaints about one feature or another, but if you are new to Crossfit especially this is a great way to find out what you like in a shoe.
Inov-8 is one of the leading producers of CrossFit footwear. They are consistently ranked among the top companies, and with good reason. Of all of the products they have, the Inov-8 F-Lite 240 is one of those that standouts the most.
To start with, they spent a lot of time making sure that your foot is comfortable while you are wearing these shoes. The upper is constructed out of breathable mesh that is extremely lightweight and allows you to stay cool and comfortable without filling your shoes up with sweat during the most intense workouts.
For CrossFit, having a flat sole is important for recreating the barefoot feel that your feet naturally run with. The heel toe drop in these isn’t exactly flat, but it does offer a lot greater feel than shoes with a raised heel. That being said, it is still easy to run on your heels when using these, so you’ll have to make sure that you always keep an eye on your technique when you are going through your workouts.
The bottom of the sole furthers that quality feel on the ground. The special F-Lite traction technology used on the outside of the shoe uses a blend of rubber that they have developed to provide the best grip and traction without being bulky or prone to falling apart.
What many people have commented on is the ability to wear these shoes and start working out without even having to break them in. From the very day that you get them, they will be able to help you perform at your best and never have to worry about putting your lower body at risk just to get a good workout in. Inov-8 continuously puts out quality shoe after quality shoe, making any shoe from them a great choice. Here, however, the F-lite 240 stands out above the rest.
The New Balance Minimus hasn’t been around for very long, but the Minimus v3 provides a huge benefit over previous models and many people have found that this is their new favorite shoe, especially if they aren’t interested in paying an outrageous amount of money.
First, comfort. These have a great feel straight out of the box, feeling flat, neutral, and and one of a kind. Even without socks on, these perform incredibly well and make it possible to focus on your workouts without ever having to worry about the kind of shoes that you have on.
The performance is just as great, though. The snug fit and high quality grip on the sole makes them great for your workouts whether you are running, jumping, or powerlifting. These will help maintain the natural movement that your body craves, allowing you to build up the right muscles and truly get the right benefits from your workouts that you might have missed out on if you had padded shoes on. Many people even use these as basketball shoes, that’s how well they perform.
If you are interested in shoes that look great, you’ve found them. People have stayed away from Vibram shoes for a long time because they don’t like the appearance of shoes with toes in them. In contrast, the Minimus line more closely resembles traditional sneakers, making them perfect for wearing any time day or night, whether you are working out or not.
For an entry shoe into the world of CrossFit, it is hard to do much better than this. They offer the barefoot, bare bones feel that is important to CrossFit, but it manages to do so without making you uncomfortable. It can be hard to deal with at the start, but once you are used to them these can be one of the best possible shoes to wear.
At the end of the day, these there shoes are a great place to get started. You really can’t do wrong with any of them, but it is also important that you understand what it is that makes them work. Crossfit can be one of the most beneficial things that you ever do for yourself, but without the right shoes on you won’t be able to handle it. Make the right choice and buy a pair today. You will never regret the boost in performance that they give you.