10 Best CrossFit Shoes Tested and Compared

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Runners often get stuck in the monotony of everyday running—which is actually how I got into CrossFit. If you haven’t tried it yet then I highly recommend you give it a shot because it will get you in incredible cardiovascular shape, improve your overall health, and increase your performance in all athletic activities.

It is important to note that CrossFit involves movement that can lead to injury if you don’t use the proper gear—and CrossFit shoes tend to be the most important of them all.

So, whether you attend your local box or choose to do your WOD in the comfort of your own home, you will find it is essential to use the proper CrossFit Shoes. You will be engaging in a variety of exercises—from squats and another Olympic lifting, to box jumps and agility gymnastics movements. As avid runners, you may try and tackle these workouts with your favorite running shoes—but you will soon find yourself struggling to get through the lifts and workouts if you don’t get the proper shoes.

Many CrossFitters invest in a good pair of lifters and a good pair of trainers. CrossFit Shoes have a flat sole and a negative or neutral heel drop to help you push weight through your heels and help you feel grounded during heavy lifts.

Last Updated: August 4, 2018
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By Giselle Killebrew:

This time around we have upgraded the Nike Metcon And Reebok Nano models as well as added The ASICS Conviction X2 and New Balance Minimus 40 training shoes. All of these are excellent options with the Metcons and Nanos continuing got dominate when it comes to CrossFit shoes.

No Bull Trainer
  • No Bull Trainer
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • SuperFabric
  • Price: See Here
Nike Romaleo 3
  • Nike Romaleo 3
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Flywire lacing system
  • Price: See Here
Inov8 F-Lite 235
  • Inov8 F-Lite 235
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Durable
  • Price: See Here

10 Best CrossFit Shoes

5. No Bull Trainer

5. No Bull Trainer
No Bull is a well known name among CrossFit athletes. Their shoes are specifically designed for CrossFit athletes and have their specific needs in mind. These trainers will get you through any CrossFit workout, without having to switch shoes along the way.
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Versatility

These shoes are highly versatile. They are meant to take you through quick transition and help you excel at each movement and workout in your WOD. You can go from sprinting to hang cleans, and complete them efficiently along the way.

Features

These shoes feature an outsole lug pattern--which allows them to easily transition between movements as well as from indoor and outdoor environments. They also use SuperFabric--to make them withstand anything.

Comfort

The No Bull trainers are comfortable, flexible, and breathable. The outsole lug pattern allows you to easily transition between movements and environments--comfortably. Their 4 mm heel drop allows you to have close contact with the ground during your workouts, which allows for increased stability, grip, and traction. Their flexibility optimizes your agility movements and their multi-directional grip patterns on the sole of the shoe are specifically there to help you with your rope climbs. These shoes will allow you to freely move in between movements and perform to the best of your ability.

Durability

As mentioned earlier, these shoes utilize SuperFabric--making them insanely durable and able to withstand almost anything. The upper of the shoe is made of one seamless piece of SuperFabric--making them abrasion resistant and long-lasting. The No Bull trainers also utilize SuperFabric Guard Plates, which further increase both their durability and their flexibility.

Style

These trainers have the typical No Bull design--they are more like the Nano's in the sense that they look practical and simple. These shoes get the job done and come in a variety of colors, but don't have a sleek design some athletes are looking for.

Value

The No Bull brand is well-known in the CrossFit world. They are highly durable, effective, and help you perform at optimal levels. So, these shoes are on higher end of the price spectrum-but they are well worth the investment if you are looking to continue CrossFit in the long run.

7. Nike Romaleo 3

7. Nike Romaleo 3
The Nike Romaleo 3 lifting shoes are another great option for seasoned CrossFit athletes looking for a durable lifting shoe to incorporate into their workout routine.
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Versatility

These shoes are specifically meant for lifting, although you can use them in CrossFit workouts that alternate between barbell movements and upper body workouts--they will not fair well in running or agility exercises). However, every CrossFitter needs a good pair of lifters if they want to crush their PR's and lift efficiently.

Features

These lifters are an upgrade from the Romaleo 2's. This model now has a flywire lacing system and a sleeker design than its predecessor. Its updated strap also provides you with more stability and support than they used to. And the biggest update in this model is how lightweight they are--this is why you can use them for most of your workouts and all of your lifting.

Comfort

These shoes are comfortable, lightweight, and breathable. They are designed for any athlete that lifts weights, whether its in CrossFit, power-lifting, or your local gym.

Durability

These shoes are highly durable, and are meant to last you at least a few years.

Style

These lifters have a sleek design and are stable enough to function as lifters while also being lightweight enough to function as a trainer during certain upper body or barbell WODs.

Value

These come at a high cost but will last you a long time.
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Flywire lacing system
  • Sleek design
  • Several color options
  • Breathable
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
Cons
  • High cost
  • Narrow Toe box (you should get a half size bigger if you want to use them in some WODs)

4. Inov8 F-lite 235 V2

4. Inov8 F-lite 235 V2
This less recognizable brand is another favorite of dedicated CrossFitters, especially those who prefer a more natural barefoot feel. This is a super lightweight and flexible shoe with a great grip. It is designed to fit more snugly and move with your foot while still providing a wide toe box and supported heel to aid in lifting.
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Versatility

This shoe provides support for almost any exercise without getting in the way. It is more flexible and snug-fitting than other cross training shoes allowing athletes to feel less restricted during plyometrics, cardio and climbing exercises. However, the wide toe box and structured heel still offer adequate support and stability to keep weight in your heels while lifting and squatting.

Features

Met-cradle lacing system provides snug yet flexible security to lock the foot in place so your shoe moves with you. Attachment to the laces allows a customized fit to optimize this natural feel. It has a Zero drop. Rubber toe cap provides extra protection without catching during box jumps. Sticky rubber outsole extends onto the upper to provide increased traction for rope climbs.

Comfort

Designed to fit like a glove, people love the secure and flexible fit. This shoe especially popular for cardio buffs who are not accustomed to the sturdier feel of lifting shoes.

Durability

These shoes feel well-made and sturdy but some do experience some wear in the mesh area between the fingers of the met-cradle.

Style

Fun and functional for the gym. They do not offer as wide of a variety as some other brands but they do offer one bright colorful pair for both men and women as well as a few other gray and black options with much more subtle color.

Value

Around the same price as those listed above. These shoes are not a cheaper option but are great for those not impressed with the standard CrossFit shoes. Worth the investment if you are seeking flexible and lightweight shoes that can still provide support and improve your form.
Pros
  • Lightweight and flexible
  • Natural foot-feel
  • Enough support to improve form but will not get in the way
Cons
  • Cost

  • May show signs of wear and tear

1. Reebok CrossFit Nano 8.0

1. Reebok CrossFit Nano 8.0
This is the new Nano model Reebok has put out and it has the same great features the 7 did, but with some added beneficial additions. They are extremely versatile and the hp to shoes to many CrossFitters out there.
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Versatility

Added heel piece and heel drop provides even more stability for lifts than previous models. Anatomical toe box and multidirectional traction are designed for natural toe splay during lifts squats and jumps although some people feel the toe box is still too narrow to get the grip they are accustomed to.

Features

Nanoweave upper designed to provide secure but comfortable fit and increased durability. 360-degree TPU heel lock wraps around to increase stability. Strong foundation and multidirectional contouring enhance traction and durability all around. It also has a 4mm heel drop. These shoes are a little heavier than the other shoes on this list. Their flexweave technology also allows them to be breathable and flexible.

Comfort

These require a bit more work to break in than previous models but may be worth the payout. Some people feel the Nanoshell is too compressing and rigid initially but those who stick with them notice the fit eases up after a few workouts and report the shoe reaches a good level of stability without hindering movements. The higher heel lock and sturdy sole remain a bit controversial but many feel the contoured footbed is a step up from previous models.

Durability

These are highly durable and have an improved toe box that make them built to last.

Breathability

This model is much more breathable than the previous model.

Style

The Nanoweave overlay creates a mesh look to add contrast to the selection of brightly colors that climb up the heel lock and outsole.

Value

These are a tad pricey and have been more popular than the 7.0
Pros
  • Secure, locked-in feel
  • Durable
  • Comfortable foot bed
Cons
  • Takes time to break in
  • May be too rigid or narrow

2. Nike Metcon 4

The Nike Metcon line is another fan favorite for CrossFit and the newest model has made significant improvements in comfort and versatility from the previously loved models. This shoe is stylish and lightweight but supportive to keep you moving seamlessly through a variety of workouts.
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Versatility

The solid sole and supportive heel provides a stable foundation for squats and lifts with ample space in the toe box for optimal balance. Forefoot flex grooves allow for natural flexibility to assist with grip and quick movements. They also have enough cushioning to absorb impact during sprints and jumps.

Features

Flywire structure around the midfoot provides support to prevent the foot from slipping without adding any bulk to the shoe. “Zero-drag” heel specially designed for handstand pushups and box jumps. Outsole rope wrap adds abrasion protection and traction for rope climbs.

Comfort

Great improvement in comfort from the previous Metcon models. Strikes a good balance of padding and flexibility. A few people note occasional issues with heel slippage but this does not deter people from loving these shoes.

Durability

These shoes are relatively new and there has not been much feedback on durability. They do seem to have improved durability over the Metcon 2 but may not hold up quite as well as the Reebok Nano

Style

These shoes are great and much more stylish than the Nano's. They all come in lots of different color and pattern options as well.

Value

These are pricey and may cost more depending on the style or pattern you decide to go with.
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Flexible but secure
  • Comfortable
  • Stable foundation for lifts
  • Stylish
Cons
  • Cost

  • Uncertain durability


6. ASICS conviction X2

These shoes are highly durable, comfortable, and breathable. They are a great option for all CrossFit athletes and will help you perform in each of your WODs.
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Versatility

These were meant to help you cycle through your workouts and push you to perform better. While they aren't meant for distance running, they will get you through short runs that may be incorporated into your workouts.

Features

The shoe's perforated sockliner improves moisture management and allows for optimal breathability. Their seamless construction prevents irritation and blisters from forming.

Comfort

These are really comfortable and will help you power through your workouts on a daily basis.

Durability

These shoes feature RhynoSkin Synthetic Leather which is abrasion and tear resistant and adds a lot of durability to the shoe.

Breathability

They are pretty breathable and will keep your feet cool and dry.


Value

These come at a great price.
Pros

• Comfortable

• Breathable

• RhynoSkin Synthetic Leather

• Lightweight

• Perforated sockliner

• Seamless construction

Cons

• Narrow fit

• Not great if you have to run more than 800 meters


4. Adidas Adipower

While most CrossFit shoes are made for heavy lifting as well, many athletes also choose to get themselves a pair of lifters as well. Since lifters are specifically meant for weightlifting, they will help you go heavier while keeping the proper form. If you are trying to increase your lifting numbers (and don't mind carrying two pairs of shoes with you to your box when you workout) then the Adidas Adipower weightlifting shoe is a great lifting shoes for beginner to professional athletes alike.
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Versatility

This is a favorite lifting shoe among CrossFit athletes. They help you through all of your lifts and keep you stable through each and every movement. While you cannot run in them, you will be able to crush your lifting PR's and use them through metcons with barbell work (as long as there is not running or any of the sort involved). These shoes will keep you grounded and help you focus on each and every movement--without having to worry you are about to topple over.

Features

These lifters have 3/4 inch heel height and an adjustable hook and loop strap to keep your feet firmly planted to the ground. These two features will help you push through your heels and prevent you from leaning onto your toes--which is especially important for heavy lifting and proper form.

Comfort

These shoes feature a breathable mesh to keep your feet cool and dry during your workouts. They also feature a lightweight injected polymer for added stability and strength. Their VentFlow openings will further keep your feet cool during your lifts and workouts. They also have removable insoles, for comfort adjustment and their extra wide design will provide you with appropriate toe space during all of your exercises.

Durability

These shoes employ a durable rubber outsole as well as PU-coated leather on the upper of the shoe. When used for strictly lifting, these shoes can last you years without sacrificing any of its benefits.

Style

These lifters have a sleek design and come in several different color options.

Value

The price for these shoes vary--but they typically come at a higher price. However, they are highly durable and will last years if you take care of them--so they are definitely well-worth the investment, especially if you plan on sticking with crossfit for the long haul.
Pros
  • Highly durable 
  • Comfortable 
  • Removable insole 
  • Adjustable hook and loop strap 
  • Breathable 
  • Vent flow openings to keep your feet cool during your lifts 
  • Wide toe box
  • Sleek design 
  • Several color options 
Cons
  • High cost
  • Break in period

3. New Balance Minimus 40

3. New Balance Minimus 40
These may be more affordable than our top 2 options but they are still one of the best options out there. They are a comfortable, versatile, and overall great option to tackle your WODs.
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Versatility

These shoes are versatile and multi-functional. You can easily transition from running to lifting and cycle through barbell work like nobody's business!

Features

Their REVlite heel technology allows them to provide maximum cushioning and shock absorption. They're responsive and their rapid rebound capabilities won't let you miss a beat.

Comfort

These are super comfortable, but it's important to note that they do have a narrow fit, so make sure to size up.

Durability

These are really durable and are made of high-quality material.

Style

These shoes have a sleek and minimalistic design and come in several color options.

Value

These are moderately priced but can get pricier depending on the color or pattern option.
Pros

• REVlite Heel Technology

• Rapid Rebound

• Versatile

• Durable

• Lightweight

• Comfortable

• Breathable

Cons

• Narrow fit


5. Nike Free 5.0 V6

5. Nike Free 5.0 V6
The Nike Free line has been through a lot of versions, all of them very versatile and lightweight. The Nike Free 5.0 V6 works particularly well as a cross-training shoe, with a nice balance of flexibility and durability.
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Versatility

All Nike Free shoes are designed to be lightweight for cardio, but these shoes have included some extra design features to increase support for lateral movements and lifting.

Features

To design this shoe, the team at Nike studied how human feet move during physical activity. It’s designed to simulate the bare foot while providing protection and support to help both performance and comfort. This really shows and makes this shoe great for transitioning to barefoot shoe training. The sole provides excellent grip on pretty much all surfaces.

Comfort

This shoes need no breaking in, but will be flexible right out of the box. They have a flywire lacing system that can be adjusted to grip your feet lightly or tightly depending on your preference. The design provides a lot of lateral support and will help keep your ankles from rolling. They do fit very true to size.

Durability

This shoe is very durable and will handle frequent use for at least a year. It should be noted that the unique, highly flexible design of the sole can result in objects like rocks getting stuck between the sections, though they’re easy to pry out. You do need to get them out as soon as possible, or else the object may start to damage the sole and lead to it splitting.

Style

This shoe comes in some very vivid colors. The color you see on a computer screen does not do justice to how bright the colors are. Besides the color, these shoes have a very stylish look that you can wear out on the street without looking out of place. The Nike swoosh is evident, but not overwhelming, and is more subdued on some color options.

Value

Price can vary by size, but on average these are fairly mid-range athletic training shoes.
Pros

• Lightweight
• Flexible
• Adjustable
• Good lateral support

Cons

• Objects can get stuck between sole sections
• Very bright colors may not work for everyone


8. Asics Gel Fortius TR

8. Asics Gel Fortius TR
This low profile cross trainer was designed for HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Workouts and lends itself well to CrossFit workouts. This shoe checks most of the boxes for stability and security but avid CrossFit fans find the toe box to be a bit too narrow.
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Versatility

Designed to accommodate lifts, cleans, rope climbs and sprints this a great versatile shoe. It has slightly more padding than others on this list and is intended to ease the impact of repetitive jumps and sprints. Low profile build provides a good foundation for lifting but some feel there could be more toe space to allow for improved grounding and balance.

Features

The shoe features a low profile platform. Gel cushioning, breathable mesh, added abrasion resistant overlays, toe guard and outsole to improve durability.


Comfort

Snug and secure fit with a bit more padding makes for a very comfortable gym shoe. Some find it to be a bit too narrow and constricting especially in the toe.

Durability

Abrasion resistant overlays and Rhinoskin toecap add increased durability and protection. Shoes appear and feel well-made and durable.

Style

There are a few options to choose from that feature vibrant colors such as highlighter yellow and bold red.

Value

Mid range for CrossFit shoes but can be found at a more affordable price. These are some high quality shoes built to provide support and endure tough, high-impact workouts.
Pros
  • Abrasion resistant materials increase durability
  • Snug and secure fit
  • Increased cushioning for high impact exercises
  • Low profile platform
Cons
  • Lacking space in toe box

 

The Factors We Used in Our Evaluation of the Best CrossFit Shoes

With the growing popularity of CrossFit and the fanatic dedication of its members, the market is saturated with a variety of models and many highly opinionated reviews. To sort through the chaos we have evaluated each shoe on the standards set out below.

Versatility


The wide variety of exercises from WOD to WOD requires a highly versatile shoe that will keep you moving quickly and comfortably between exercises. We looked for shoes that have support and stability for lifting as well as flexibility and traction that for quick cardio movements, runs and jumps. Most cross-trainers, especially CrossFit-specific shoes, are not designed to support long-distance running. Regular runners should plan to leave these shoes in the gym and look into a shoe specific to their running needs.

Features


Many shoes feature unique design elements specific for CrossFit exercises. We have highlighted some key features worth considering when investing in more specialized shoes.

Comfort


Comfort is key for any shoe regardless of the activity but there are some elements that make the fit of CrossFit shoes a bit different. CrossFit veterans prefer shoes with a wide toe box to allow toes to splay comfortably during lifts and jumps. Those who have never worn lifting shoes may find the flat sole and extra heel support takes some getting used to but you should grow to love the security and support of these shoes.

Durability


CrossFit is characterized by high-intensity workouts that are hard on shoes. Activities such as rope climbs, box jumps, and handstand push-ups make different areas of the shoe susceptible to wear and tear.

Breathability


Repetitive movements cause friction which can easily lead feet to overheat especially in a warm gym. We sought out shoes that take breathability into account with the design to keep feet cool and comfortable.

Weight


Support, structure, and durability add weight quickly. We looked for shoes that can provide these elements without weighing you down during workouts.

Style


Whether you are looking to start a conversation or are just rewarding yourself for working out it is always fun to have options you can be excited about wearing. CrossFit gyms often provide a great social atmosphere and your shoes can make a statement.    

Value


Price varies significantly for many shoes depending on color, size, and seller. We compared price ranges for the top shoes and considered durability and quality when considering the value.

 

Additional Things To Think About

Flexibility vs Support


While each shoe selected has some balance of flexibility and support, some shoes favor one or the other. It is important to consider what feel you prefer and what CrossFit elements you are looking to improve on. If you are looking for support and a locked-in feel to secure your feet during lifts, opt for a more structured and supportive shoe. If you can’t stand to be slowed down by weight or bulk, a shoe with minimal support and barefoot feel may be for you.

Dedication


Consider how dedicated you are to CrossFit. If you have been going 5 times a week for the past year you may want to invest in a durable and specialized pair. Whereas if you are just starting out or are dabbling in CrossFit along with other cross-training workouts you may opt for a more general pair of cross-trainers.

Brand Name


The CrossFit name carries with it a reputation of intense strength, speed, and athleticism. Many dedicated athletes take great pride in the hard work they put in and like to make it known. Some shoes are specifically labeled as CrossFit shoes and others are just highly regarded in CrossFit circles. If this matter to you, consider investing in one of the higher end shoes.

 

FAQ

Q: Can these shoes double as running shoes?

While this answer will vary for each shoe and individual, the general consensus is no. Many options are great for running less than a mile but do not provide appropriate support for running distances.

Q: Do I need special shoes for CrossFit?

We highly recommend it! CrossFit is a high impact activity that requires careful attention to form. Having the right pair of shoes can make a big difference to protect from injuries and get the maximum benefit from these workouts.

Sources

  1. Hammond, Audrey, How to Choose Women's CrossFit Shoes, Website, Sep 08, 2015
  2. Kamb, Steve, A Begginer's Guide to CrossFit, Webpage, Sep 25, 2018
  3. Plyler, Katrina, Can CrossFit Improve Running?, Webpage, Sep 04, 2013
  4. Gessler, Nikole, Which Shoes to Wear for Which Workout?, Webpage, Aug 21, 2015
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