When it comes to cross-training, we’re here to help you kick things into high gear! You do CrossFit to stay in shape, but what will that all mean if you can’t stay injury free?
You may not think it, but finding the right shoes can make all the difference.
Whether you’ve got a membership to a local gym or you do your own Workout of the Day (WOD) at home, all the jumping and lifting takes a toll on your body.
Unlike running shoes which push you forward, CrossFit shoes are flat, designed to help you feel grounded during heavy lifting.
Before you go out and spend money on a fresh pair of kicks, consider your needs, what workouts you’ll focus on, and what your body is telling you. Then, check out our list below to see the top-ranked CrossFit shoes on the market today.
Best Crossfit Shoes For Men
The stylish Nano 7.0 features the tagline “made by crossfitters for crossfitters” and is a shoe that lives up to the hype. Combining the natural shape and stability CrossFit athletes need with a sweet nano weave and contoured footbed, the 7.0 is worth the upgrade.
As mentioned, the NanoWeave is designed for breathability, so you don’t have to worry about sweaty feet during a workout. It’s also a key element in comfort, of which these shoes have plenty–you’ll workout hard while your feet party on the clouds.
There is a 4mm drop from heel to toe, which means it’s easy to land on the midfoot or forefoot while performing high-intensity workouts. This is a typical drop in many CrossFit shoes and helps keep heels in place for squats and Oly lifts.
To top it off, the anatomical toe box and low-cut design provides a natural feel and gives your ankle support and mobility all at the same time.
Whether you’re a seasoned crossfitter or looking to jump into the sport, give these shoes a shot.
Practical, comfortable, and breathable, the Nano 6.0 is a great all-around Crossfit shoe. It features a design with outer mesh and a top layer of kevlar. The kevlar provides stability while the mesh makes sure your socks are soaked with sweat at the end of a workout.
Reebok continues to use RopePro with their Crossfit shoes. This is a grippy pattern that helps you maintain a strong grip during a rope climb at the gym or on the streets when you’re running from the bad guys.
One item to note is the thicker, more padded heel. While it does provide more comfort, if you want to perform more weight lifting exercises, shoes with a heel insert offer better performance overall.
The Nano 6.0 has a 3mm drop, slightly lower than other shoes and while some professional state this is a veteran heel-to-toe drop, we definitely recommend this shoe to any beginners reading this.
The CrossFit Nano 5.0 is Reeboks 5th version of their versatile series, one that offers comfort, flexibility, and remarkable style. These shoes are made to last.
Every CrossFit individual wants stability in a shoe, and the Nano 5.0 has that. With a 3mm heel-to-toe drop, you will find yourself with a nearly flat-foot coverage. If you’ve never done CrossFit before, this is something you might need to get used to. Most cross-training shoes have a higher drop, providing smaller coverage, so this is something to consider for newcomers.
Reebok has infused kevlar into the design, which when combined with the mesh, is a sweet, sweet marriage of durability and airflow.
You’ll find some serious CMEVA padding in these shoes, great for box jumps. They will absorb much of the impact, which is great for those knees!
With an anatomical design, lateral support, and fantastic cushioning, you can’t go wrong with the Reebok Nano 5.0.
If there’s one thing we love about good Cross Training shoes, it’s the added features designed to make your workout easier. Take the Nike Metcon 2. Our overall impression of the shoe left us wanting to go purchase them.
The first thing you’ll notice is the rubber nubs on the outside. These are meant to grab the rope as you climb. Now, you’re probably not looking for “easy” when working out, but the rubber does take some stress off the body as you climb.
If you’re more into powerlifting, you’ll enjoy these shoes due to the elevated heel. The support has a flat outer sole and firm heel. The overall spread provides awesome stability.
They have a steep drop from heel to toe, as mentioned above. We found these aren’t great for jumping workouts. The stiffness of the design doesn’t add a lot of spring, at least initially. It’s important to remember shoes loosen over time and this could change.
These shoes will put a dent in your wallet, but the verdict is in: you get what you pay for. If you’re looking for something to take you to the next level, MetCon 2 is your next stop.
As the name implies, the Adidas Powerlift 3 was put together for those of you who want to lift heavy weights. The elevated shoe and hybrid design are meant more for weight lifting than extreme cardio–you won’t be jogging with these.
The taller heels (.6 inches) make for good squats but deadlifts are more complicated. If you’re picky about your shoes, you’ll notice the difference. But we recommend these for overall CrossFit performance.
When we mention “hybrid” we’re talking about the combination of CrossFit and Olympic lifting. Like we said you won’t be jogging, but if you’re switching between lifting and more cardio-focused exercises, you won’t be disappointed.
The shoe is lightweight leather with breathable mesh that encloses them. They breathe well enough if you’re performing high-rep movements. Best of all, these newest models are cheaper than other shoes we’ve looked at, so you can get a new pair of shorts while you’re at it.
If you’ve been asking yourself, “What’s the best Olympic lifting shoe out there?” then you might have found it. Inov-8 Fastlift 380 BOA has an unruly name, sure, but when it comes to a powerlifting shoe, look no further.
At first glance, you may notice the design fits the name in awkwardness. It has an unorthodox lacing system and a different design than most CrossFit shoes. The lacing system is awkward, but it works and it works well. The main dial tightens and you’ll pull it to loosen.
The design makes for an uncomfortable running shoe but that’s not what these are for. The widespread of these shoes are excellent for powerlifting. It comes with breathable fabric and a softened forefoot–they’ll take a beating.
The Inov-8 370 are firstly for weightlifting. They provide the support, stability, and flexibility you need under the bar, which will help you achieve your goals and avoid injury.
The bottom line is this is a good shoe for weightlifting-dominant workouts, but not a balanced all-around CrossFit shoe.
The Inov-8 325-M is an overall beast when it comes to CrossFit shoes. It has a lower heel drop at .65 inches, which shouldn’t push you too far forward when you’re working out.
A lower heel makes it easier to transition through numerous movements. It’s stable and changes can be dramatic. It’s also better for those of you who do low-bar squats and want a wider stance.
The PowerTruss Heel is common in these shoes, durable and dense. This means the heels won’t compress under heavy loads. If you’re a lifting, maybe it’s time to turn to TPU heels if you want a low maintenance, highly durable shoe.
The upper shoe’s material is mesh, so it’s durable and breathable. Some may argue, though, this allows for a quicker deterioration of the shoe. That’s not the case, it just means they are versatile.
The front of the shoe has special toe grooves for climbing. It’s also wider to the toes can spread more easily, perfect to help you with your lifts. Now’s the time to try out the Inov-8 Fastlift 325-M if you’re looking for a new CrossFit shoe.
Best Crossfit Shoes For Women
The Nano 7 Weaves won’t be winning any beauty pageants anytime soon, but they are functional and improve on the older Reebok models. The upper material used is a seamless NanoWeave, which is breathable, supportive, and durable.
The one issue is they take longer than other shoes to break in. Not necessarily a bad thing, unless you’re not a patient person.
The 360-degree midsole wrap and the eternal heel support add more stability. If you’re a powerlifter or more into cardio, you’ll find the support you need with the Nano 7 Weave.
One major point of these shoes is the heel drop. It’s the same 4mm (.15 inch) drop that Reebok has used in many of its Nano series. The shoe is nearly flat, so you won’t be running any marathons in these shoes. That said, the nearly full coverage is ideal for quick jolts of action, sharp turns, and heavy weights.
Strong, durable, lightweight. These words describe the Reebok CrossFit Nano 7 shoes. Whether you’re jumping in as a newcomer or a veteran of the rope, you’ll find comfort in these shoes.
The CrossFit Speed TR from Reebok is the sibling shoe to their Nano series. The Speed TR shoes are more for speed and running, so there are big differences between the two shoes.
The biggest difference you’ll notice is the heel-toe drop. At 3mm (.11 inches) this definitely feels more like a running shoe. The comfort of this feature would allow you to run a marathon if you wanted, but we recommend you practice for one first.
The design of the Speed TR from Reebok is narrower and more fitted compared to the Nano series. The fitted feel is great for fans who like things snugger during workouts.
You’ll find the insole is more contoured. The fabric used on the collar and tongue is heat and sweat resistant and the fabric breathes easy.
The sole is more cushioned than other shoes and features a flexible mid and forefoot. Again, this makes them great shoes for more cardio-focused workouts.
The Reebok CrossFit Speed TR shoes for women have quality support and stability for quick movements, especially running. These are hands down some of the more functional CrossFit shoes out there.
When it comes to the search for the perfect CrossFit shoe, you want something that covers all the fundamentals of the sport. Reebok gets close to the Sprint 2.0 for women.
When it comes to workouts like box jumps, burpees, or pistols, the Sprint 2.0 provides stability and comfort. Their DuraCage design on the upper shoe provides lightweight protection. Perfect for high-intensity workouts but not ideal for heavy weightlifting.
There is an internal FitFrame that is a more narrow, customized fit. And with a non-slip tongue, you’re not going to be bending over all the time to adjust the shoe.
We mention the weightlifting with these shoes because if that’s what you’re into, look elsewhere. A 3mm heel to toe drop is one of the biggest reasons they are better “running” shoes than for weights. The Sprint 2.0 can’t withstand high Olympic lifts over and over-they lack the overall support.
The Nano family is possibly the most popular CrossFit shoe on the market. The Nano 4.0 for women have been rated as the best in the family. They are comfortable, stylish, and stable. For a CrossFit shoe, you’d be hard-pressed to find something better for your needs, especially for the price.
There is a Nano 7.0 but the 4.0 has stood the test of time due to their build quality. The mesh and DuraCage structure Reebok is known for it what provides breathability and the stability we’ve talked about.
The shoes have a 4mm heel to toe drop, which means they are good for deadlifts and other dynamic exercises. Unfortunately, they aren’t ideal for heavy lifting such as clean and jerk or deep squats.
The shoe is extremely flexible and comes with extra grip with RopePro, a protection wrap meant to avoid rope burn on the shoe.
Balance, stability, grip, and breathability are all the things you’ll find with the Reebok Nano 4.0.
The Lifter 2.0 from Reebok (yeah, that brand comes up a lot) was designed specifically for CrossFit. It’s a special hybrid in fitness between a sneaker and weightlifting shoe.
The .75 inch heel to toe drop (or heel raise) adds some stability for exercises like squats, leg press, and other strength training exercises.
Overall, though, this is a shoe for your WOD (workout of the day) and other dynamic exercises due to its flexibility.
The CrossFit Lifter 2.0 has a synthetic material with mesh, what you’d expect from Reebok. The backside has a synthetic leather, which is new. It’s not optimal for stability, but like we said, it’s a hybrid shoe and is comfortable and allows for greater flexibility.
The sole gives a large contact area with the floor. You’ll find the heel doesn’t have recesses and is softer, which is what you’ll find in other weightlifting shoes. But it is compressible, so not optimal for weightlifting.
A hybrid shoe to beat, the Crossfit Lifter 2.0 for women is perfect for beginners.
There’s a lot of hype around the Nike Metcon 3, and for good reason. The shoes have everything you’re looking for; versatility, comfort, stability, and longevity. You could wear these five days a week for months and they would still feel great.
The Metcon 3 maximizes the balance between cushion and stability. It has a heel made from firmer rubber, arguably better for heavy lifting. A heel clip, Nike says, reduces drag during wall exercises such as handstand push-ups.
There is a stick rubber you’ll notice that enhances climbing performance and protects against wear. Nike also brought in the reinforcements, added to high-wear areas. It could be said these shoes are nearly indestructible.
Lastly, the shoes breathe. That’s what you want in CrossFit shoes, right? The small 4mm heel drop helps you avoid pushing your foot forward and dropping the weights.
Overall, Nike struck filled a big gap with their new version of the Metcon shoes
Asics is known for the ability to create amazing workout shoes. Their Fortius TR 2 are a step in the right direction when it comes to CrossFit shoes.
The upper shoe uses breathable air mesh and employees an abrasion resistant quarter-panel brace. This helps protect against any tough training you encounter, like rope climbs.
The shoe’s heel drop means you can take a 400m run in these, but you won’t be training for any marathons. It’s flat and gives you wide coverage when you’re performing heavy lifting exercises.
Asics delivers a special cushioning technology in the midsole to absorb shock and give you a little something more than landing on your feet. The rubber also makes the shoe flexible and has a modest break-in time.
You can easily fall in love with these shoes if you’re looking to replace your current kicks.
OUR GUIDE TO BUYING CROSSFIT SHOES
There’s a lot to digest when it comes to picking the right CrossFit shoes for your feet. Do you want them snug or loose? What about the heel drop, is it too low for your needs? Will they last? We have a few tips to help you in your buying process.
Why Crossfit Shoes
Many people will walk into a CrossFit gym with everyday sneakers, thinking if they tie them up tight, they’ll be ready to go. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
The shoes are your lifeline to safety from injury but also to performing workouts correctly. When you’re working out correctly, you’re going to train easier and see better results.
CrossFit shoes serve their purpose when it comes supporting you through versatile workouts. They are designed to go with you from station to station as you transform your body. You aren’t going to use them for long-distance running, especially on the road.
CrossFit shoes are also considered hybrids. There is the stability of heavy-lifting shoes but the comfort and cushion you get to ensure you don’t roll an ankle or ruin your heel. But they aren’t too soft because of let’s face it, neither are you.
You’re also looking for something that offers more. More safety. More balance. More protection. When you’re launching your body onto the boxes, you want to trust your shoes to help you land correctly, to take the stress off your knees as you land.
Pluss, whether it’s the WOD or intense lifting, you’re putting your body–specifically the lower body–under a lot of stress. Wearing the wrong shoes is like putting on roller blades without any wrist guards.
CrossFit vs Running Shoes
You may be sitting at the shoe store right now, staring at that daunting wall of shoes. There so many shoes. Instead of reaching for the fly looking shoes (you’re not walking down the runway), consider some of the major difference between CrossFit and Cross Trainer shoes.
If you’ve ever put on a pair of running shoes, you’ll notice the drop is drastic, usually 8mm. It’s meant to guide your foot, heel to toe, and avoid injury to your shins and knees. It’s something you won’t find in CrossFit shoes.
CrossFit shoes have a heel drop (or heel-to-toe drop) between 4mm and 6mm. They tend to be flatter shoes, helping your feet cover more area during workouts. When you’re making sharp turns or squatting deep with a lot of weights, you want coverage.
The lack of heel drop provides more stability with your workouts. There’s less of an arch support as well. You’ll also perform better with the correct shoes.
Running shoes also come equipped with a soft midsole, one of the most important benefits of using a running shoe. This area also provides you with some stress relief placed on the hell, ankles, and toes during a run. In turn, you get a more comfortable and safer run.
CrossFit shoes aren’t known for their cushioning. More detail goes into grip on the toe area or wrapping around the shoe for ankle support
What to Look For
At the end of the day, your shoe needs to fit your needs, feel good on your foot, and be durable. CrossFit shoes, like any shoe, requires a break-in time from the time of purchase. Day one, your shoes may feel iffy, but give them time and you’ll start noticing a difference.
Those are the general ideas of what to look for in a shoe. There are more specific features you must consider before spending $100 or more on a shoe.
That’s why we’re here!
Let’s talk about the heel drop. If you’re unfamiliar with CrossFit shoes, this is a big talking point amongst athletes. Minimal heel to toe drop is ideal. This measures the difference between the height of the heel and the height of the forefoot.
A shoe with a 15mm drop is going to look more like a heel than a shoe, and you aren’t walking down any runways. Shoes with a 0mm drop would be completely flat.
The sweet spot with CrossFit shoes is anywhere between 3mm and 6mm, according to many veterans of the sports. This is also where personal preference and mobility come into play.
If you’ve never had minimal-drop shoes, your best choice is to start on the higher end of the scale, say 6mm. This gives you the durability to complete WODs and other high-intensity workouts.
At 3mm, you’re looking at shoes designed for Olympic-style lifts, squats, clean and jerk, and other weightlifting exercises.
Another major thing to consider is stability and support. We create a lot of torque from our hips with CrossFit workouts. This drives the knees out and shifts weight to the outside of your foot.
Cue the rolled ankles. If you’re not careful or don’t have the right shoe, you can get injured. Lateral support in CrossFit shoes typically has an outer cage to give you the stability your foot needs when quickly changing direction.
One way to test a shoe is to do a few air squats with your shoes. If your foot is hanging over the side, you want to find something different, like the Nano 7.0 or Metcon 3. These styles of shoes keep your form pure, giving you a better, more reliable workout.
Believe it or not, you don’t want a soft, cushy sole with your CrossFit shoe. Contrary to popular belief, having a softer sole doesn’t save you from injury.
Just by looking at generic running shoes, you can see an inch of foam or gel separates your foot from the ground. This isn’t ideal for CrossFit.
Maybe you’re looking to max a workout rep on something like the Snatch. If you have too much cushion, the distribution of weight is constantly going to shift around the shoe since it’s more of a memory foam bed than anything else.
That’s not what you want!
Your shoe and foot should be flat, almost glued to the ground. This will help you maximize your power and feel stable with the load you’re carrying.
One of the biggest differences between the two shoes is the NanoWeave technology. The new weaving on the Nano Weave 7 on the upper shoe is a little thicker than the previous model. It’s comfortable and seems to add more stability.
The upper on the Weave is now seamless in design and the tongue is a little thicker. It’s hardly noticeable though.