11 Best Shoes for CrossFit Tested & Compared – 2021
In this guide, we have provided some of the best CrossFit shoes that can keep up with your intense workout sessions.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research
Mizuno COB technology
Midfoot stability panels
Top Crossfit Shoes Reviewed
1. Mizuno TC-02
Mizuno COB technology
Midfoot stability panels
Minimal arch support
It doesn’t get any better than the Mizuno TC-02. The reason that we selected this design for our top spot is that it is packed with supportive features that help support and cushion without a lot of extra bulk. This design is great for lateral movements, speed, and the design of the outsole is perfect for weight training as well.Read more
One of the things that we loved most about this design is the fit of the upper. It is made of a dual-layer of mesh materials that feels lightweight and contours to the shape of your foot for a great fit. In between the dual layers are added midfoot stability panels that promote lockdown to keep your foot securely in place as you move.
Inside, it utilizes Mizuno COB technology, which places stability clusters in high impact areas of the sneaker. This provides a lot of added support without the additional weight and bulk found in other stability trainers. The diamond-shaped durable rubber outsole provides an excellent ground feel and is perfect for weight training.
If you are in the market for something that is really able to keep up with your snappy movement without weighing you down, this design is one of your best options. It has cushioning and stability right where you need it while maintaining a secure and comfortable fit.
2. Reebok Nano X
Wide toe box
MetaSplit rubber outsole
The Reebok Nano X has earned a place toward the top because it is a favorite among runners and cross-trainers alike. What makes the Nano X stand out from the pack is its sleek design, heightened durability, and unmatched support. Users love this design because it provides a lot of extra stability for lateral movements, and can easily transition from weight training to running, Plus, it comes in a ton of unique color options and styles that is sure to turn a few heads.Read more
The upper of this design utilizes Reebok’s Flexweave technology that really hugs your foot for added stability and lockdown. It boasts a slightly wide toe box that is ideal for quick as well as lateral movements. The lower heel drop increases the ground feel so you are supported but also in tune with the ground beneath your feet.
The midsole is packed with a durable layer of EVA foam that provides you with excellent energy feedback without a lot of extra bulk. The construction of the MetaSplit rubber outsole really grips the ground, which makes it perfect for weight training. The split design of the rubber outsole also helps even out your gait and makes for easy transitions when you pick up the pace.
This design is a favorite among cross-trainers for a very good reason. It is snappy and durable and provides users with excellent cushioning and stability where you need it most. It is composed of quality materials that hold up well over the years, and the MetaSplit rubber outsole transitions easily from weight training to the track without missing a beat.
3. Nike Metcon 6
Breathable mesh upper
There have been some pretty big changes in the newest addition in the Metcon lineup. One look at this design and you know that it was made specifically for cross-trainers in mind. If you want something that can easily transition from the weight bench to the track without skipping a beat, the is a great choice. It’s a little more expensive than most, but we feel it is an excellent value because it is essentially two shoes on one sleek package.Read more
The most notable feature of the Metcon 6 is the dual-density insole insert. This insert provides users with a more rigid supper in the heel and a more cushioned feel in the toe box. This insert gives you added support when engaging in heavy lifts, and the rigid heel becomes more flexible when running or jump-roping, making this design super versatile for a wide variety of movements.
We also love that the upper is a perfect blend of support as well as movement. It boasts a rigid heel for added support and durability in the back of the foot with a knit mesh overlay toward the front of the foot. This durable mesh overlay helps to move hot air up and away from the foot, as well as keep feet cool and dry during high-intensity workouts.
While the Metcon 6 boasts a pretty steep price point, we feel that it is well worth it overall. It has added durability, holds up well over time, and the midsole design transitions seamlessly between workouts. This is a great option for those that need something that can transition easily from the weight bench to the track while keeping your foot supported without a lot of extra bulk.
4. No Bull Trainer
Able to switch environments seamlessly
Not necessarily an easily accessible brand
No Bull is a well-known name among CrossFit athletes. These trainers will get you through any CrossFit workout, without having to switch shoes for CrossFit along the way. These 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.Read more
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.
This option is comfortable, flexible, and breathable. Their 4 mm heel drop allows you to have close contact with the ground during your workouts for increased stability, grip, and traction. Their flexibility optimizes your agility movements and their multi-directional grip patterns on the sole are specifically there to help you with your rope climbs.
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 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 4
Elevated EVA heel
Flexible canvas upper
Stiffer than most trainers
Not ideal for speed
If you find that you need added support when working with weight and adjustable dumbbells, this design is worth checking out. What makes this a great shoe for weight training is the design of the elevated heel that allows you to really dig into the ground to push heavier weights. Unlike previous iterations of the Adidas POwerlift series, the Powerlift 4 has a more lightweight and versatile upper that transitions to other snappy movements quickly and effectively.Read more
What we love about design changes made in the Powerlift 4 is that the upper is made to move. This shoe allows you to transition from squats to jump training without stiff materials holding you back. The upper is composed of canvas instead of still synthetic overlays which not only makes this design lighter than previous models. But more flexible as well.
What makes the Adidas Powerlift 4 unique is the construction of the midsole. The heel provides users with a slightly elevated heel that is reinforced with still EVA cushioning that allows you to really stabilize yourself when engaging in heavy lifts. To generate enough power to lift the bar, users need to dig from the heel and the added heel cushioning will allow you to really dig deep!
What we love most about Powerlift 4 is that it has made some serious improvements that make it more lightweight and perfect for not only powerlifters but cross-trainers as well. This design has unmatched stability in the midfoot, and the slightly elevated EVA foam heel allows you to really plant yourself to dig into those lifts.
7. ASICS Gel-Quantum 180
Snug and secure fit
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 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 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 their high abrasion rubber material and Trusstic system make them durable.
Their gel cushioning system helps the shoes adequately absorb shock and provides you with effective energy returns. 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 them structurally intact.
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 are comfortable, versatile, and overall a great option to tackle your WODs. 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!Read more
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.
This option is 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.
The shoe has a sleek and minimalistic design and comes 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 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.Read more
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. They are pretty breathable and will keep your feet cool and dry. These come at a great price.
11. Inov8 F-lite 235 V3
Flex bands on the upper
Limited color options
The Inov8 F-lite 235 V3 is the perfect marriage between the structure of a powerlifting shoe with the movement and speed of a classic trainer. It boasts a breathable upper that is reinforced with synthetic overlays to help promote lockdown without sacrificing movement or flexibility. It’s a little limited in color and design choices, but it’s a great design for those that need something supportive and flexible.Read more
We love the construction of the upper and feel that it is a perfect option for CrossFit. It boasts a mesh material that helps to lift hot air up and away from your foot with strategically placed synthetic overlays throughout the entire foot for excellent lockdown and security when picking up the pace.
Inside, it is packed with supportive features to keep your foot supported when weight lifting or zipping through a course. A PowerFlow midsole is super lightweight but helps to absorb shock throughout your entire gait. It even boasts a shock-absorbing insert that is antimicrobial to keep your foot feeling cool and fresh, and helps fight the funk.
If you are in the market for a shoe that can easily transition from the weight rack to the track, this design from Inov8 is an excellent choice. We love that it boasts a low profile and is incredibly lightweight, yet still provides the comfort and support needed to get the most out of any workout.
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 the 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 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 them.
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 options depending on color, size, and seller. We compared price ranges for the top shoes and considered durability and quality as well.
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 options 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 a pair?
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 this type of 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 once 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.