Best CrossFit Shoes

The Most Important Equipment For Your Workout

//5 Best CrossFit Shoes Of 2019

best crossfit shoes

There are so many elements to CrossFit. From running to weightlifting and scaling walls, the type of shoe you wear needs to be multi-functional. A simple running shoe or a standard weightlifting shoe won’t get the job done here.

You need a CrossFit shoe that you can use throughout your whole workout without worrying about anything. The right shoe will be durable, supportive, functional, and comfortable but with so many being sold it’s hard to find the best one that suits your needs and preferences.

To help you in your efforts, we’ve covered the best CrossFit shoes of 2019. For the ladies, we have previously covered the best CrossFit shoes for women. Choose one of them or use their reviews as a jumping off point for your search.

Top 5 CrossFit Shoes

    Review
#1

Reebok Crossfit Nano 8.0Click For Reebok Crossfit Nano 8.0A great all round CrossFit shoe from one of the leading brands in the sport.
#2

Nike Metcon 4Click For Nike Metcon 2 PriceA shoe with a long reputation for being one of the best.
#3

Inov-8 F-Lite 235Click For Inov-8 F-Lite 235 PriceLightweight and flexible but strong. Available in a wide range of colors.
#4

NOBULL Training ShoesClick For NOBULL PriceA great choice for those who want a shoe for CrossFit that can be worn for everyday use.
#5

Aleader Cross TrainersClick For Aleader Cross Trainer PriceA budget shoe that is still very suitable for your WOD.

#1 – Reebok CrossFit Nano 8.0 Flexweave Cross TrainerReebok CrossFit Nano shoe

This Reebok CrossFit shoe is designed entirely for the CrossFit sport. It provides strong support and stability along with top-notch performance for a wide variety of exercises.

The versatility, comfort, support and stability make the Reebok CrossFit Nano 8.0s best all-around CrossFit shoe.

There is a minimal outsole drop for better grip along with a wide toe box for better maneuverability, and premium rubber soles for near-perfect traction. The upper part of the shoe features Reebok’s Flexweave construction to give your feet better flexibility and air flow while making the shoe more durable, comfortable, and secure.

If you’re looking for CrossFit performance specifically, these shoes have a feature known as RopePro that provides extra traction and protection for climbing ropes while the Toe Tection feature aims to make the shoes more durable around the toe box. The design was created in conjunction with actual CrossFit sports professionals to ensure that it was made with features that are beneficial for the exercises.

The shoes were also put through rigorous testing to ensure its proper performance and dependability. When purchasing these, it is recommended that you get a size bigger than you usually wear since they tend to run small.

The Reebok CrossFit Nano 8.0 shoes have many advantages to make them the best CrossFit shoes:

Pros
  • Shoes perform well for mixed training exercises
  • Softer and more comfortable than similar CrossFit shoes
  • Stable enough for weights, flexible enough for running
There are some downsides that you should consider before making a purchase:

Cons
  • If you have narrow toes, the toe box may have a little more space than needed
  • Shoes are lacking in aesthetics in some areas
  • There have been some reports about the Flexweave tearing, but we had no issues with this

#2 – Nike Metcon 4 Ankle-High CrossFit ShoeNike Metcon 4 shoe

The Nike Metcon series has a reputation and the Metcon 4’s maintain that reputation well.  These shoes are designed to work for every exercise in a typical CrossFit workout. They offer support for running, rope climbing, weightlifting, and other plyometric exercises.

This specific model, the Metcon 4, features a rubber outsole with improved grip and a Tri-Star pattern for more traction in all directions. The outsole also comes up the sides of the shoes to offer additional protection during rope climbing.

The Metcon series by Nike has been one of the most exalted models for CrossFit for some time now

The shoes also feature a removable insole made of sturdy foam to provide some comfort without being too soft that the shoe compresses under heavy weights. To that point, the shoe’s 4mm heel-toe drop creates stability for weightlifting and sandbag training as well as strong support.

The upper part of the shoes features a mesh material for better breathability than previous iterations that also offers additional cushioning for the top of your foot. Nike’s 3D haptic technology protects the soft mesh from abrasions and frays to improve the shoes’ longevity.

The Metcon 4 comes in women’s and men’s sizes and is designed to fit snugly. Therefore, this model only comes in standard widths and is available in half or full sizes.

In general, you should be able to buy your normal training shoe size when purchasing these without trying them on however, for some it may be worth considering buying a half size up.

Pros

There are a whole bunch of benefits to the Nike Metcon 4s:

  • Nike Flywire technology creates a snug fit for better support
  • Smaller heel clip creates less drag during certain exercises
  • Made by a trusted brand with quality materials that will last
Cons

However, no shoe is perfect. Some of the cons of these shoes are:

  • Not quite as comfortable as other shoes
  • Comparatively expensive
  • Standard laces sometimes don’t stay tied well

#3 – Inov-8 Men’s F-lite 235-m Cross Training ShoesInov-8 F-lite shoe

If you are a regular reader here, you will know that we are a fan of Inov-8’s shoes, and this is no different.

The outsole provides excellent traction through a sticky rubber material coupled with a specific geometric pattern. It also features Inov-8’s META FLEX grooves to help with quick movements.

The midsole of the F-lite 235-m has a low heel-toe drop but features Inov-8’s Powerheel technology that makes the heel of the shoe sturdier than the shoe’s forefoot. Finally, the upper part of the shoe has mesh for better breathability while Inov-8’s AdapterFit technology combined with a mesh liner is used for the shoe to conform to your foot for a unique fit.

This is a great minimalist CrossFit shoe that is designed to perform all CrossFit exercises at the best of the wearer’s ability.

In terms of the fit, the shoe has a standard fit so you can order your normal training shoe size in both men’s and women’s. However, like most CrossFit shoes, they are only available in a standard width. They are meant to fit snugly but the toe box is wider than normal running shoes to your toes have room to spread comfortably for better stability during your workout.

In general, the F-Lite 235-m is comfortable while still being durable. It is great for your cardio workouts due to the strong traction but can also work for heavy weightlifting exercises due to the sturdy heel they won’t compress under pressure.

Pros

The Inov-8’s have quite a number of pros that are worth noting:

  • Mesh upper creates better breathability
  • The lightweight feel makes moving easier
  • Rope guard system protects the shoe from damage
Cons

Things to consider before making a purchase:

  • Mesh upper can fray with heavy climbing rope exercises
  • Shoelaces can be short for those with larger feet
  • Can be uncomfortable for some

#4 – NOBULL Training ShoesNOBULL training shoe

This is one CrossFit model that is designed to function as a normal, everyday shoe if desired. It’s ideal for people looking to go from the streets straight to their workout and back again without stopping to change their footwear. It features a streamlined design for a simple, minimalist look that suits all styles and genders.

The NOBULL Training shoes are perfect for those who want to use their CrossFit shoes for casual use too

In terms of craftsmanship, the upper part of the shoe is made of a durable material known as SuperFabric. This is made to stand up to wear and tear from abrasive exercises like rope climbs but is still flexible enough so you can move naturally and easily during plyometric exercises. SuperFabric is also breathable so your feet won’t sweat as much during your workouts.

The midsole of the NOBULL Trainer is meant to be sturdy enough for weightlifting so it’s made from a specific compound that won’t compress under pressure. More so, the shoe utilizes a sock liner that molds to your foot to absorb shock and add comfort to this tough shoe. Finally, the outsole of the shoe is made of carbon rubber that resists frays and peeling. The lug pattern on it provides excellent traction as well as flexibility in all directions.

In terms of the fit, the NOBULL trainer is a unisex design but leans more towards men’s measurements. Women looking to purchase this will have to buy their equivalent size which is 1.5 the difference of the men’s size.

For example, a men’s size 7 NOBULL trainer will be the equivalent to a women’s 8.5. Since there are no half sizes offered, it’s recommended that you buy a half size larger than your normal size for the best fit. Similarly, these shoes only come in a standard Medium profile width.

Pros

The NOBULL Training shoes have the following advantages:

  • Comfortable and stylish enough for casual wear
  • Shoes are versatile enough to perform well in all exercises
  • The upper part of the shoe is more breathable than other shoes
  • Flat heel is stable enough for lifting heavy weights
Cons

There were, however, some complaints worth mentioning:

  • Shoe feels more narrow than other models
  • Quality control issues including frayed laces
  • The stiff structure can cause some foot ache after long periods

#5 – ALEADER Mesh Cross-Training ShoesNOBULL training shoe

Many CrossFit shoes can be expensive.  The ALEADER cross-training shoes are a good choice for those on a tighter budget. They are made of a combination of fabric and rubber to create a breathable yet durable product to help you properly perform all of your CrossFit exercises.

The upper part of the shoe features dual mesh that is supposed to be resistant to frays and abrasions while the five-claw design provides a tight lace-up that will support your foot properly. The ALEADER shoes feature a breathable insole that is slightly cushioned to provide you with some comfort when you wear it. The outsole of this ALEADER CrossFit shoe has a strong grip thanks to the hydro-grip design that offers traction and stability in all directions. Overall, the shoe is lightweight so you can move freely without feeling weighed down.

The ALEADER CrossFit shoes are a good choice for individuals on a tighter budget

The rubber sole, while being hard enough to withstand pressure is made in a way that it can also absorb shock so your body doesn’t. However, they are geared more toward running and cardio than for weightlifting. They don’t feature a sturdy heel or hard midsole like other shoes do. That being said, they can be used for such exercises if you don’t want to change shoes.

The ALEADER cross-training shoe is one of the most inexpensive CrossFit shoes on the market (around $40). However, that low price doesn’t mean that the shoe is a lower quality than the more expensive models; it’s actually comparable in terms of durability and performance making it a great overall value. If you’re on a strict budget but still want a good shoe for your workouts of the day, this is a great choice.

Pros

Some of the pros worth mentioning are:

  • Lightweight design is breathable
  • More affordable than similar shoes
  • Offers strong support for the entire foot
Cons

The cons seemed to be few and far between but they include:

  • Shoes run small, users should buy one size up
  • Soles aren’t as durable as suggested
  • Not great for weightlifting exercises

The Importance of CrossFit Shoes

If you’ve done CrossFit workouts before you know that it consists of a lot of full-body exercises that are quite different from one another. This puts a lot of strain on the shoes that you wear. The best kind of CrossFit shoe will support your foot perfectly for lifting heavy weights, be flexible enough for running, and durable enough to withstand constant use. A normal sneaker simply can’t do all of that.  There are all sorts of benefits that come from CrossFit and you can gain even more with the correct shoes.

crossfit deadlift

For example, if you use a running shoe for CrossFit you won’t have the proper ankle and foot support when lifting weights. This can lead to strains or more serious injuries. By getting a CrossFit shoe that is made specifically for that kind of training, you’re better protected against injuries that can occur from a lack of support in any of your CrossFit exercises.  This is just one of many examples of why you need CrossFit shoes.

Even if you’re cautious when working out, injuries happen when you don’t use the right equipment. If you’re still not convinced, think about it this way: you can technically swim in any kind of clothing but you’ll be the most comfortable and be able to move better if you swim in a bathing suit. The same is true for your CrossFit shoes.

What to Look for in CrossFit Shoes

As you shop for new CrossFit shoes you’ll likely be comparing products to find the pair that suits you the best. When picking them out, there are a few features you should keep in mind along with your personal preferences. These are certain things that can help ensure the quality and proper functioning of the shoes so you don’t waste your money buying a shoe that won’t get the job done.

Shoe Drop

This is the difference between the height of the heel to that of the toe. While running shoes tend to have a significant heel drop, weightlifting shoes (click here for those) will have a larger heel. CrossFit shoes should have a smaller one that measures around 4mm but there are shoes that have no drop at all. The specific heel-to-toe drop is more of an individual preference as some people who don’t do a lot of weightlifting won’t necessarily like a shoe that is perfectly flat. On the other hand, if your CrossFit training sessions focus more on weightlifting than on running or cardio, that 0mm shoe drop might be perfect for you.

nike metcon crossfit shoes

In general, a minimal shoe drop will give you the right support for weightlifting while also allowing your foot to properly move when running. The lower shoe drop distributes your weight evenly instead of shifting the weight off of your heels and onto your toes making it ideal for CrossFit exercises that have you moving quickly in different directions.

Hard Soles

A normal running shoe is quite flexible and soft. This is great for maneuverability but won’t help you in other CrossFit exercises like weightlifting or other strength training workouts. You need a firmer sole for those activities in order to have stronger support and help you maintain the right body alignment to prevent injuries. The right shoe should have a firm sole but still have some flexibility to help facilitate movement when running.

Reebok Crossfit Lifter weights

You can find shoes with soles of varying degrees of firmness. The harder soles are geared more toward people who lift heavy weights while the softer soles are better for runners looking for a natural moving shoe. This is why your personal needs play a significant role in your purchase decision.

Durable Exterior

CrossFit training is demanding. The exercises are rigorous and the frequency of training sessions is high. This means that your shoes can break down faster than other running shoes that don’t take as much abuse. Your CrossFit shoe needs to be durable so you’re not stuck buying a new pair constantly. The exterior should be made from quality material that won’t easily rip or fray. The sole should also be tough so it doesn’t peel or crack prematurely.

Reebok Crossfit Lifter

Lightweight

Your body is going through enough during a CrossFit session; you don’t need a heavy shoe making things worse. A good pair of CrossFit shoes will be lightweight while still being sturdy and durable. There are “barefoot” shoes that are so light that it feels like you’re not wearing anything. They also let your feet move as naturally as possible which some people like. While this is great, they aren’t as stable or supportive as other shoes.

CrossFit before lift

Breathability

Your body releases a lot of heat through your feet. When you exercise, your feet naturally sweat increasing the natural heat that’s released from them. If you’re in a warmer climate, this can be made even worse. A properly ventilated shoe will allow maximum airflow to help keep your feet cool. Some shoes use mesh for this while others have vents that improve breathability. If your feet are cooler you can be more comfortable as you work out.

Reebok training shoe

Lateral Support

General support is important for CrossFit shoes but lateral support (sideways movement) should be looked at specifically. Aspects of CrossFit require quick movements that have your feet sliding within the shoe putting pressure on the outside of your feet. Proper lateral support can help keep your foot in place to help lower your risk of injury.

Good CrossFit shoes have external structures known as “cages” that help support the outside of your feet so you don’t slide around as much. With the proper support, you can push harder and get more out of your workouts.

Consider Your CrossFit Training Style

When buying a CrossFit shoe you have to consider how you work out. If your specific training focuses more on weightlifting and less on running, you’ll want to choose a shoe that will be best for what you do the most.

deadlift with Adidas Adipower

Weightlifting

If your primary focus in CrossFit is weightlifting look for a shoe that offers more in the way of durability and support instead of flexibility. Your shoe should help stabilize your foot as you lift while also allowing your foot to spread out properly. It should also be firm enough to withstand the weights you’re lifting without compressing too much. Softer shoes will compress under heavy weight which can shift your bodyweight improperly and lead to strains and injuries.

Running

If you run more than anything in CrossFit, look for a shoe that is flexible while also supportive. You want to be able to properly move your foot while also having the proper support to keep your foot stable enough to prevent injuries. They should also be breathable enough so your feet won’t get too sweaty as you run. While you may think that you can stick to a normal pair of running shoes here, it’s not the best plan because you need to be able to have the right support for your other CrossFit exercises. There are plenty of options that work for all aspects of CrossFit but are geared more for running.

female running down steps

Gymnastics

While gymnastics aren’t as common in CrossFit routines as other exercises, they are a part of the training (rope climbing, obstacle courses, etc.). If you’re specifically looking for a shoe that is best for this part of your training it’s best to look for a shoe that is lightweight, supportive, and durable.

Gymnastics puts pressure on different parts of your feet you have to make sure that you’re fully supported. Running shoes won’t have that complete support for your whole foot. More so, things like rope climbing affect different parts of the shoe more so than other exercises.

The inside of the sole of the shoe, for example, will take more damage during rope climbing than it will during other exercises so you’ll want a shoe with a solid sole that won’t fray and peel easily. Particularly, there are some CrossFit shoes that have soles that come up the sides of the shoe for this purpose.

Competition vs. Training

If you’re looking to compete in individual CrossFit competitions (like weightlifting competitions or marathons), you should consider getting a dedicated shoe for that specific activity. However, if you’re just training for fitness, you’ll get more out of CrossFit shoes that fit every aspect of your training. This will also save you money.

deadlift in reebok lifter shoes

Conclusion – Which Are The Best CrossFit Shoes?

If you’re on the hunt for the best shoes for CrossFit training, you have to take your individual needs into account first. By focusing on your typical exercises you can narrow down your options and look for shoes that best fit those specific CrossFit workouts.

This will ensure that you end up with a shoe that will perform properly throughout your training session. Once you narrow your options down that way, you can look for specific features like improved breathability, specific heel-to-toe drops, wide toe boxes, and similar model-specific characteristics.

Finally, take personal preferences like the style, color, size availability, and cost into considerations. By shopping in this fashion and using the top 5 shoes for CrossFit that were reviewed here, you should have no problem finding the perfect pair.

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2019-07-06T15:58:20+00:00Guides|0 Comments

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James Miller

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