11 Best Shoes for CrossFit Tested and Compared
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 best Shoes for CrossFit. You will be engaging in a variety of exercises—from squats and another Olympic lifting, to box jumps and agility gymnastics movements.
The best CrossFit sneakers 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.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research
Won’t rub ankles
Midsole designed for balance
Top Crossfit Shoes Reviewed
1. Mizuno TC-01
Won’t rub ankles
Midsole designed for balance
Mizuno really hit the nail on the head with the design of the TC-01. It is packed with features that help keep your light on your feet and quick and has a lot of stability features that are perfect for heavy lifting and intense floor work. Users also love that it has a frame and color options that are unlike anything else out there on the market.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is that the upper sits much higher than many of the other options out there. It isn’t stiff and structured like traditional stability shoes, however. The higher profile reduces the risk of rubbing and chafing without hindering your full range of motion. Users also love that the dual pull tabs make it easy to slip on and off.
The biggest feature that we want to discuss is that the construction of the midsole helps you keep your balance when working out through a grueling routine. Mizuno midsole technology helps to cradle and comfort your foot, but it also promotes awareness of where your foot is on the floor.
We liked the TC-01 because it rocks a unique style, and it is a perfect marriage between stability and speed. Users find that it is incredibly comfortable, even when worn all day long. The construction of the midsole helps you keep your balance while moving all over the gym at high speeds.
2. Reebok CrossFit Nano 9
Wide toe box
Minimal heel support
What makes the CrossFit Nano 9 perfect for a wide variety of exercises is that it boasts a low profile for an easy and lightweight fit, but the wide toe box and structured heel make it great for deadlift and squats. Users love that it comes in a wide variety of colors and designs, and clocks in at a price point that won’t break the bank.Read more
The first thing we wanted to discuss is the structure of the upper. The low profile of the breathable mesh upper will feel like you aren’t wearing anything at all. The low heel cuff and simple tongue in conjunction with easy laces move with your foot for excellent flexibility as well as movement. The design of the wide tox box also helps with quick movements.
The cushioning in the midsole will keep your feet comfortable and protected as you train. It also boasts a lower drop when compared to some of the other options out there on the market, which makes it perfect for high speeds. It’s important to note that a lower drop may cause your heavy lifts to suffer.
If you are in the market for something that is made for high speeds with excellent support without weighing you down, the Nano 9 is a great choice. Reebok made smart decisions in this updated version of the Nano that makes them incredibly supportive without feeling heavy and bulky.
3. Nike Metacon 5
Breathable mesh upper
Runs ½ size small
The Metacon 5 boasts a minimalistic frame, but there are designs found inside that will provide you a lot of support when engaging in a wide array of exercises. It boasts a simple upper that is flexible as well as breathable and hosts minimal host spots that rub your feet raw. We also love that it comes in many colors and design options that are unlike anything else out there on the market.Read more
The upper is made from a lightweight mesh material that is incredibly breathable once you really start to pick up speed. It has a low profile that feels like you aren’t wearing anything at all. We also like that the lightweight mesh is reinforced with a cage so that it stays put on your foot during hard turns, or when rope climbing.
The outsole is composed of a grippy rubber that will reduce the risk of slipping or sliding no matter what surface you are training on. The midsole is also reinforced with a layer of foam that contours to the shape of your foot over time. The cushioning in this design makes it a great option for heavy lifting as well.
The Metacon 5 is the perfect marriage between a minimalistic design made for high speed and a structured and cushioned option made for deadlift and squats. If your routine uses a wide variety of lifts and drills, the Metacon 5 is a great choice that will be able to keep up with all of your movements and keep your feet protected.
4. No Bull Trainer
Exceptional flexibility in a cross training shoe
Able to switch environments seamlessly
Not necessarily an easily accessible brand
No Bull is a well-known name among CrossFit athletes. Their CrossFit 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 for CrossFit along the way.Read more
These CrossFit Shoes are highly versatile. They are meant to take you through a quick transition and help you excel at each movement and workout in your WOD. You can go from sprinting to hang and complete them efficiently along the way.
These CrossFit training 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.
The No Bull CrossFit Shoes 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 CrossFit sneakers will allow you to freely move in between movements and perform to the best of your ability.
As mentioned earlier, these shoes for CrossFit 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.
These trainers have the typical No Bull design--they are more like the Nanos 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.
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 the higher end of the price spectrum-but they are well worth the investment if you are looking to continue CrossFit in the long run.
5. Altra Solstice XT
Wide toe box
Minimal arch support
The Solstice XT from Altra provides users with all of the features that they need from a pair of trainers for a wide variety of movements. The wide toe box is great for running tight corners at high speeds, and also lends a lot of support when lifting heavy. Users love that it is super comfortable, and won’t squeeze or rub your feet raw during long routines.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is that the toe box is noticeably wider than many of the different options out there on the market. This is a great feature for those that work at high speed and take tight corners, or for powerlifting. When your toes can spread out naturally at the ends of your trainers, it greatly improves your balance and raw power.
The midsole is composed of high abrasion EVA foam. This means that it is a little more stiff and structured compared to some of the lighter and softer EVA foam found in other brands. The cushioning in this option provides more energy feedback, and won’t break down as quickly as those that are made from a softer foam.
If you are in the market for a real workhorse, the Altra Solstice XT is a great choice. It’s a great blend of stability and movement. The easy mesh upper provides users with excellent movement and flexibility, and the stiff EVA foam midsole improves balance and increases power and performance. It may cost more than some of the other options out there on the market, but we feel that it is well worth it.
6. Adidas Powerlift 3.1
Effiective weight distribution plate
Adjustable hook and loop strap
These lifters are my personal favorite and I have been carrying them with me for my daily WODs for the past year. I have crushed several PR's and perfected lifts thanks to these CrossFit shoes. They are comfortable, stylish, durable, and highly effective in their capability to help you perform.Read more
These lifts are meant for weightlifting and will help you crush lifting PRs. They are not meant for running or WODs but are an excellent pair of CrossFit shoes to keep with you so you can work on your lifting goals.
These shoes for CrossFit offer excellent support during your lifts, and their mesh collar ensures your CrossFit shoes stay cool and dry. They also have a flexible toe to ensure you have the right amount of flexibility and their weight distribution plate keeps you stable during your lifts and-- as the name suggests--ensures your weight is evenly distributed.
The CrossFit sneakers are incredibly comfortable, lightweight, and breathable. They have a midsole wedge to improve the shoe's cushioning and stability capabilities. They also provide a secure fit and ensure you stay comfortable during all of your lifts.
As far as durability, these are built to last. They are made of synthetic leather and are made to take a beating. While lifters aren't meant to encounter elements that need to be protected from, it is important to have a durable pair of CrossFit shoes that will help you crush PR's longterm.
These lifters are stylish and feature a sleek design. They come in lots of color and design options--I always get compliments on mine!
These shoes for CrossFit vary in price--it honestly depends on the color and style you choose. However, they are definitely one of the most affordable lifters out there. I can personally attest that they are well worth the cost and have done wonders for me at the gym.
7. ASICS Gel-Quantum 180
Abrasion resistant materials for maximum durability
Snug and secure fit
Increased cushioning for high impact exercises
Narrow fit for some
These CrossFit Shoes are a favorite among many athletes--and they are an excellent option for those of you who are looking for a pair of shoes for CrossFit to crush WODs with. These CrossFit Shoes are comfortable, lightweight, flexible, and well worth the cost.Read more
These CrossFit shoes are pretty versatile. They are comfortable, supportive, and stabilizing--something you need to ensure you have during all of your workouts. You'll be able to run, lift, and rope climb. While these CrossFit shoes won't help you effectively crush lifting PRs, they will let you go from running 400s to power cleaning during your workouts.
These offer several features that ensure you get the most out of your workout. Their gel cushioning and Solyte midsole ensure comfort and support, while there high abrasion rubber material and Trusstic system ensure your CrossFit shoes are durable.
These shoes are comfortable--they are cushioned, supportive, and stabilizing while remaining breathable and lightweight. Their gel cushioning system helps the shoes adequately absorb shock and provides you with effective energy returns. Overall these CrossFit sneakers are comfortable and don't have a long break-in period to deal with.
As far as durability, these are built to last. They have a rubber sole and utilize high abrasion rubber to ensure they can resist whatever you throw their way. Their Trusstic system keeps these CrossFit shoes structurally intact while helping them remain lightweight and breathable at the same time.
These CrossFit shoes have a modern and simple style. They come in several color and pattern options that will keep you looking great during your workouts.
The shoes can be pricey depending on the color and style you decide to get--but you can get them at an affordable price if you are willing to get a simpler design.
8. Nike Romaleo 4
Midsole stability strap
It’s hard not to love the improvements made in the latest installment of the Nike Romaleo line. One of the biggest improvements that we noticed was in the fit as well as style. While the Romaleo 3 provided a lot of stability, it fell short in terms of speed. The design of the Romaleo 4 is made to correct that and boasts a style that offers unmatched stability as well as speed.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this style is that it has a thin mesh upper for excellent breathability as well as movement. It also has a velcro strap that runs along the top of the forefoot to secure them in place to ensure that your foot doesn’t shift around. From what we have heard from previous users, the fit of this option is wide enough that it will not cause any hot spots or jammed toes when doing floor drills.
For heavy liftings such as squats and deadlifts, this design has a slightly elevated heel for support when you are grinding your feet into the floor. The rigid material found in the midsole also provides excellent energy feedback when running on hard surfaces.
If you are in the market for something that is made for just about anything, this is a great choice. While many designs favor speed over stability for powerlifting, the Romaleo 4 provides a little bit of both. We love that it has a ton of features to keep you light on your feet while still keeping your feet supported and protected for amazing stability as well as speed.
9. New Balance Minimus 40
REVlite Heel Technology
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.Read more
These CrossFit shoes are versatile and multi-functional. You can easily transition from running to lifting and cycle through barbell work like nobody's business!
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.
These training shoes are super comfortable, but it's important to note that they do have a narrow fit, so make sure to size up. They are really durable and are made of high-quality material.
These CrossFit Shoes have a sleek and minimalistic design and come in several color options. They are moderately priced but can get pricier depending on the color or pattern option.
10. ASICS Conviction X2
RhynoSkin Synthetic Leather
Not great if you have to run more than 800 meters
These CrossFit 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.Read more
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.
The shoe's perforated sock liner improves moisture management and allows for optimal breathability. The seamless construction of these CrossFit sneakers prevents irritation and blisters from forming. These are comfortable and will help you power through your workouts daily.
The shoes feature RhynoSkin Synthetic Leather which is abrasion and tear-resistant and adds a lot of durability to the shoe. They are pretty breathable and will keep your feet cool and dry. These come at a great price.
11. Inov8 F-lite 235 V2
Lightweight and flexible
Natural foot-enough support to improve form but will not get in the way
May show signs of wear and tear
This less recognizable brand is another favorite of dedicated CrossFitters, especially those who prefer a more natural barefoot feel. These are super lightweight and flexible shoes for CrossFit 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.Read more
This shoe provides support for almost any exercise without getting in the way. It is more flexible and snug-fitting than other CrossFit 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.
The 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.
Designed to fit like a glove, people love the secure and flexible fit. These shoes for CrossFit are especially popular for cardio buffs who are not accustomed to the sturdier feel of lifting CrossFit shoes.
These CrossFit shoes feel well-made and sturdy, but some do experience some wear in the mesh area between the fingers of the met-cradle.
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.
Around the same price as those listed above. These CrossFit sneakers 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 CrossFit training shoes that can still provide support and improve your form.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
When looking for a great pair of trainers for CrossFit, versatility is a key feature in the design.
CrossFit offers many challenges to support and lateral movement. Versatility doesn't mean it is good at transitioning into a marathon but more so that it can handle the versatility of a true CrossFit Challenge.
Lifting and quick movement support are huge in what to look for in best CrossFit shoes. What is your lift limit? Are you a climber? How much pressure are you putting on the design? Even your own weight will have a huge effect on how versatility will play into the shoe function.
With more versatility comes more durability as well. You really cannot have one without the other. If your shoes for CrossFit can handle the pressure of all the different fast-paced and heavyweight movements you will be putting into it but the rubber is shredding, it completely defeats the purpose of the versatility of the CrossFit design.
We suggest taking this into consideration as well when you are looking at what versatility a true CrossFit training shoe offers.
Smart features in the mesh upper, midsole, as well as the outsole, will take your training to the next level.
No matter how comfortable and awesome CrossFit training shoes are, if your feet get too hot, it can interfere with stability, causing slippage and all over discomfort due to the sweat and humidity build-up in the training shoes. Furthermore, sweat and heat create bacteria that can make a shoe unbearably smelly.
You want to look for a shoe that is light and arid so you can continue pushing through reps without the stress of hot sweaty feet interfering with the integrity of your CrossFit shoe. Many designs offer different technology that aid in keeping a shoe cool while you work on crushing those CrossFit goals.
Weight is something you want to lift not deal with on your feet. If your CrossFit shoe is weighing you down it really takes away from the efficiency of your movements. Built-in support and durability should not be making a shoe noticeably heavier, it should be giving you more mobility and longevity.
A well designed CrossFit shoe offers all the comfort and structure without the weight. You want CrossFit sneakers that can bring the versatility, support, and breathability without making you feel like you have bricks on your feet.
When you think style, you may be thinking color and design and how a shoe looks on your foot. However, this isn't all that matters in the style of shoe. When we think "style", we think fit and comfort as well.
The style mostly depends on you. Furthermore, the fit and comfort of CrossFit sneakers greatly affect the outward look of shoe design. Curvatures in different shaped feet can make the style of a shoe look completely different in the box as it does on the foot.
Those who have never worn lifting CrossFit shoes may find the flat sole and extra heel support takes some getting used to.
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 CrossFit shoes with a wide toe box to allow toes to splay comfortably during lifts and jumps.
Those who have never worn lifting CrossFit 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 CrossFit shoes.
If you have high arches, we suggest selecting a design that is more designed for speed rather than options that are built for heavy lifting.
CrossFit is characterized by high-intensity workouts, so the need to be able to handle whatever you throw at them.
CrossFit is characterized by high-intensity workouts that are hard on CrossFit Shoes. Activities such as rope climbs, box jumps, and handstand push-ups make different areas of your shoes for CrossFit susceptible to wear and tear.
Durable designs are punctuated by durable rubber outsoles and rigid EVA foam midsoles. While they may not be as soft and comfortable, it means that they will be able to hold up to whatever you can throw at it.
We compared price ranges to find designs for those on a budget to those that are willing to spare no expense!
Price varies significantly for many CrossFit Shoes depending on color, size, and seller. We compared price ranges for the top CrossFit shoes and considered durability and quality when considering the value.
The more expensive designs out there on the market are those that are built more like powerlifting shoes. Often, these designs can cost double the price of your basic running shoes. If your CrossFit routine contains a lot of deadlift and squats, you may want to splurge for a design that is built for heavy weights.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Workout fatigue extends to more than just your muscles. If you run the same patch of sidewalk for months, your muscles will become accustomed to the strain, and your mind will become bored. The great thing about CrossFit is that it is always engaging new muscles, and the workouts are always changing to keep things exciting.
Many injuries that arise are often due to overuse of the same muscle groups. By working your entire body in various ways in the CrossFit routine, you actually reduce the risk of overuse injuries when you constantly switch up the muscle groups used.
We've all been there. Your new workout routine is going great; you are losing weight and are able to lift heavier and heavier weights. Then, it all comes crashing to a halt when you hit the dreaded plateau. With CrossFit, plateaus are less likely to happen because you are constantly engaging new muscles in various ways. It may be more exhausting than simply running on a treadmill or weightlifting, but it is well worth the struggle!
Other Factors to Consider
While each shoe selected has some balance of flexibility and support, some CrossFit 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.
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.
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 CrossFit shoes are specifically labeled as CrossFit shoes and others are just highly regarded in CrossFit circles. If this matters to you, consider investing in one of the higher-end CrossFit shoes.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What are CrossFit shoes?
CrossFit shoes have a little bit of everything wrapped up in one compact package. They offer users a lot of stability in the heel for heavy deadlifts and squats, but they are also lightweight and flexible for those times that you need to pick up speed. Due to the fact that CrossFit incorporates all types and styles of cardio and weight training, support and speed are key.
q: Why wear CrossFit shoes?
CrossFit is unusual because it blends a wide variety of cardio and powerlifting movements into one routine. This means that trainers made for running and speed won’t give you the stability you need for deadlifts, and powerlifting shoes won’t give you the flexibility you need for running and climbing ropes.
By selecting shoes made specifically for Crossfit, you ensure that you have the perfect blend of stability and movement for each and every floor exercise without the risk of injury.
q: How should CrossFit shoes fit?
With most trainers, you can often get away with designs that are a bit too small or loose. When it comes to CrossFit, however, you need to get just the right size to prevent sores, blisters, or even injuries. We recommend leaving about a thumb width between the tip of your toe and the end of your shoe.
It may seem like a lot, but it will prevent your toes from jamming at the end when picking up speed or maneuvering tight corners.
q: Can you run in CrossFit shoes?
If you like to go on a light run on your off days, the goods news is that CrossFit shoes work well for running as well. Often, the rigid foam in the midsole is great for comforting and cradling your foot when running on hard sidewalks, and the lightweight upper will provide an excellent range of motion.
If you love running long distances, or you overpronate, it may be in your best interest to invest in a great pair of stability shoes that are more suited to your needs. If you run more than a week, or if you find your feet and knees hurt after a quick run, you may need something that is more structured and cushioned.