As CrossFit has grown in popularity, the needs of those who practice it have become more apparent. Shoes, in particular, are some of the most important accessories, as they can help make it safer and more enjoyable to do the weightlifting exercises that this sport requires. However, finding the right shoes isn’t always as easy as choosing a pair off of a store shelf. There are many options, and some aren’t designed to take the weight of CrossFit exercises. To help make the decision of which to buy easier, we’ve rounded up the best shoes of 2016 and have shared our reviews below.
How to Choose Your Next Pair of CrossFit Shoes
Before reading through the reviews, it’s important to understand how CrossFit can affect your shoes. While it might seem like your hands take the most wear and tear (and no doubt they do), your shoes are essential for stability when you’re lifting heavy weights. For this reason, it’s crucial to find shoes that have cushioned insoles that will support your feet during runs, sprints, tire lifts, and jumps. Just think about how much you move while you’re doing this sport; don’t you want your feet to absorb the shock from all those movements so you can do them better?
The next consideration to make is how much the shoes themselves are going to set you back. While there are good deals to be found, you’ll generally have to prepare to spend a bit more for a higher quality brand. However, if you are on a budget, then you must keep this in mind while shopping. One great tip is to look for a pair that provides all the essentials, so you’re getting more value for your money. And while it may be tempting to purchase the cheapest shoes you can find, remember that you’ll get what you pay for. This could come in the form of having to replace the shoes every month or being sore and uncomfortable right after or during your workout. All in all, it’s worth it to spend a little more on a quality pair of training shoes (if you can).
With all of that being said, a good pair of shoes is a purchase you don’t want to skip. Ultimately these will help enhance your performance while keeping you much safer during your exercise. After trying a well-engineered pair just once, you’ll notice the difference, whether with your balance, agility, or coordination. And to make the experience even better, always remember that there are differences between best CrossFit shoes for men and best CrossFit shoes for women. By choosing those made for your foot size and gender, you’ll find that you have an excellent experience while building your strength through CrossFit!
Features to Look for
1. Style – Can you wear the shoes out and about or will they only be suitable for CrossFit sessions? If they are versatile in their style, you’ll be able to use them for any activity that you do (including running or hiking).
2. Comfort – This is one feature you can’t live without, especially when you’re doing CrossFit. The hallmarks of a comfortable training shoe include: quality construction, soft inner sole, flexible shape, and breathable material.
3. Strength – A shoe that is strong is going to last longer no matter how much you move. Styles that are made for running, in particular, are great examples of those that are strong, as they generally have reinforced parts that won’t easily wear and tear.
4. Sensitivity – When your foot touches the ground when exercising, do you want to feel more or less pressure? The sensitivity of the shoe will determine this, so choose based on what you’re comfortable with.
5. Support – When you’re weight lifting or doing various movements, your shoes should actively absorb the the shock of the weight. Foam insoles will help with this and ensure you’re not putting all the shock on your feet and joints.
6. Protection – In order to fully protect your feet, it’s important to have a shoe that has a tough exterior. This should include rubber outsoles, sturdy laces, and reinforced toes.
By making sure any shoes you invest in offer these important features, you’ll be more likely to invest in those that you can rely on so you can avoid mediocrity while exercising. If you’re ready to learn more about the top CrossFit shoes for men and women, then the options below will not disappoint. The list will regularly be updated as well, so you can always count on us to have information on the best shoes on the market.
CrossFit Shoes for Men
1. Men’s Crossfit Nano 5.0 by Reebok
Through extensive research and even some field testing, we’ve found at these shoes are the best of the best. Being made for CrossFit specifically, you’ll find that a lot of thought went into the design for these. Where previous versions weren’t quite up to par, these excel and impress. One of the things we like best about these is the fact that the sole is firm, so it won’t wear and tear easily. In fact, after months of regular use, they will still look relatively new and perform quite well.
Adding to the benefits of these shoes is the fact that they are made with a light toe box that is breathable, so sweat won’t stick around. This section is also made with the high-strength material Kevlar, as is the rest of the shoe. With these features integrated into the high quality design, the Nano 5.0 delivers on both performance and durability.
When it comes to the style, the 5.0 is vastly different from the previous version. It has unique text patterns (both large and small) that cite the style of the shoe. There are also several colors available so you can choose based on your personal taste and style.
2. Men’s Metcon 2.0 by Nike
With the popularity of the Reebok Nano, it’s easy to see why buyers were unsure whether or not the Nike Metcon 2.0 would meet their expectations. In fact, many immediately expressed their dislike about almost every feature the shoes have to offer. However, Nike lovers have to disagree with these reviews, as many thought that these shoes were incredibly impressive. To determine this for ourselves, we tested them out for two weeks.
During that time we found that these shoes performed incredibly well, although they weren’t as great as the Nano 5.0. With so many similarities and advantages for those who cross train, it’s really up to personal preference whether you choose Nike or Reebok.
3. Men’s MX20BS4 by New Balance
New Balance is a brand that performs consistently well, although they’ve never been quite as good as Nike or Reebok. When it comes to the MX20 line, in particular, they stepped up their game with new innovations. With the MX20BS4, this means a minimalist shoe that has been designed with barefoot-inspired performance. This style has a more modern look than the previous version and has been made with high quality materials as well.
With the more appealing look, more people are likely to give this training shoe a shot. We even tested it for three weeks and found that it performs incredibly well for CrossFit, weightlifting, and a variety of other exercises. If you’re not a die-hard Nike or Reebok fan, then look to this brand and model in particular to experience something different.
4. Men’s Free 5.0 V6 by Nike
The incredibly modern and sleek design of the Nike Free 5.0 is what most people notice first. The look is reminiscent of the original Nike Air Max, which is something that any sneaker enthusiast can appreciate. However, where these shoes truly impress is in their performance. Unlike other shoes that don’t perform as fantastic as they look, these do. You can rely on these to last a long time, keep you comfortable, and enhance your overall performance while working out.
The soles are the standout stars of the overall design, being incredibly strong as well as durable. This style is a solid choice for CrossFit in particular, especially if you want to invest in a long-lasting product. It definitely won’t disappoint in the looks department either.
5. Inov-8 Bare XF 210
If this brand sounds familiar, that’s because it was THE go-to shoe for CrossFitters when this sport first became a phenomenon. However, many people lost touch with it when Reebok introduced their own Crossfit shoe and took over much of the market along with Nike. Fortunately, they are still introducing new shoes that are equipped with their minimal 3mm sole height, which fitness enthusiasts and cross trainers overwhelmingly love.
What’s so great about their design? In addition to being lighter and more flexible, the very low heel-to-toe drop provides a comfortable and solid feel. The Inov-8 Bare XF 210, in particular, has unique technology integrated into it, along with breathable vents and a solid grip that will enhance your performance on any platform. In addition to this, the XF 210 is inexpensive despite being made with high quality materials and an anti-friction lining that adds to your overall foot protection.
If you prefer minimalist footwear while you train, then this is a brand and style that is worth trying out. They feel very natural on foot and have an attractive design you can feel confident wearing. They also have many more exceptional qualities that make them a solid investment you can count on to last for a long time to come.
CrossFit Shoes for Women
1. Women’s Nano 4.0 by Reebok
While Reebok for men has been well-known for a while, Reebok for women has been gaining in popularity. The women in the Crossfit community have said a lot of great things about this brand and style, in particular, beginning with the lightweight and strong upper on the shoe. This provides a sturdy feel that is so important during the various exercises that are done during CrossFit, from lifting to sprinting. In addition to this, the enhanced comfort of the rope-pro protection wrap adds to the performance of these shoes, as it helps provide a reliable and flexible grip for rope climbing, wall climbing, lifting, and agility exercises.
Another advantage of having this shoe for training is the fact that it won’t gather sweat when you’re working hard. It has been made with strong fabric that’s breathable to help cool off your feet while eliminating moisture as quickly as possible. This helps enhance safety by providing you with better traction, ultimately making it more enjoyable to wear no matter what type of exercises you’re doing. If you have struggled to feel safe while lifting, then this may be just what you’re looking for.
If you’re new to wearing Reebok, this is a shoe that will no doubt impress you. Most people immediately notice the excellent quality and features that have helped make the brand overall become a leader in the industry. For those who do CrossFit, you won’t have to compromise anything in order to have these on your feet. They provide all of the support, durability, comfort, and traction that you could want in a training shoe. This will give you the confidence and peace of mind knowing that any movement you do will be safe and executed properly. It’s the best on the market at the moment, and it has a variety of color/style combinations to satisfy any taste.
2. Women’s Free 5.0 TR 6 by Nike
With a recognizable name like Nike, most buyers know they’re going to get a quality shoe that they can count on. With the Free 5.0 TR, this is no different. This reliable shoe is perfect for those who do CrossFit, extreme training, or even just running because of how durable and thoughtful the design is. In fact, the designers of this shoe spent a considerable amount of time researching the foot and mechanics of its performance before they began creating it. They even looked at long-distance runners around the world who are used to training without any shoes at all. Through this research, they learned that a good shoe can help enhance performance by providing support, shock absorption, and traction.
The Nike Free 5.0 TR was designed with all of this information in mind. The first thing you’ll notice is that it’s very lightweight, so it won’t make your feet heavier as you run or do any other type of exercise. In addition to this, it has a minimal design that is comparable to being barefoot (without the uncomfortable training it takes to do so). It’s excellent for those who do CrossFit in particular because the design helps keep you grounded and in a more natural environment. Once you try a pair on, you’ll see that it’s just like being barefoot, only a little bit better because it protects you from the ground!
3. Women’s Glycerin 12 by Brooks
While Brooks as a brand may not be as well-known as Nike or Reebok, it’s well-respected in the running and training world. That’s because it has a reputation for being a well-designed shoe that has kept in mind the needs of the user. With the Glycerin 12 in particular, everything from the look to the engineering has played a role in making this an overall incredible pair of shoes. One of the most notable features is the rounded heel, which helps to align the body better and reduce stress on your joints.
Making it even better, this style features a mid-sole with Super BioMoGo DNA. While this might not mean anything to you now, you’ll notice it when you wear these shoes. This feature provides support in some of the most common pressure zones for the foot, so you have a more comfortable experience and don’t end up with sore feet immediately after you begin working out. This ensures that the harder you push yourself, the better the shoe is going to perform. Not many other shoes offer this same enhanced experience, which is why those in the CrossFit community respect the Brooks name.
The unique and well-defined style of these shoes is another reason to consider them, especially for those who like options. Many fun colors just aren’t available in other brands. Overall, even though these are third on the list, they’d easily be number one for many buyers out there.
4. Women’s Air Zoom Vomero 10 by Nike
While Nike has produced thousands of styles of shoes over time, the Vomero is one that has enjoyed more longevity than others. In fact, this particular style has been on the market for just around 10 years. A lifetime in the shoe industry, it must offer something that buyers love in order to stick around for this long. With the Vomero 10, the advantages are apparent. From the features to the design, the work that has been put into this shoe makes it clear why so many in CrossFit, running, and other sports enjoy it so much.
Beginning with the design, it’s safe to say the Vomero 10 looks better than those in previous years. It has attractive flymesh uppers as well as Flywire cables that help add support that anyone who trains can appreciate. In addition to this, there are many colors to choose from that add some personality and fun to such a well-design style. It’s no secret that most people who purchase this shoe are runners, but that doesn’t mean you can’t wear it for just about any type of workout that you do. It’s lightweight, strong, supportive, breathable, and offers traction on the outsole as well.
For those who train, they’ll find that all of the integrated features can help to enhance their workout and provide the support and stability that’s so important to have. And while the price tag for these shoes can be a bit more than most buyers anticipate, it’s worth the cost. That’s because the higher quality materials and smart design will help ensure these last a long time, whether you’re training on a daily basis or running long distances to train for a marathon.
5. Women’s Gel Nimbus 15 by Asics
This shoe has remained popular for women since it was first introduced. A CrossFit favorite, these shoes have the support, strength, and structure to face even the toughest of exercises. Perhaps this is due to the excellent reputation that Asics has for creating high quality footwear that lasts. The unique design of this shoe begins with the gel technology that can’t be found in most other training shoes today. It provides incredible comfort as well as support, all without weighing the shoe down. In addition to this, the padding absorbs shock and helps minimize impact, so you have a more comfortable workout from start to finish.
For anyone who has been struggling to find a shoe that provides them with comfort and support, the Asics Gel Nimbus is well worth trying. They have been engineered well and absolutely deserve a spot on this list because of that. Making this style even better is the fact that the design is quite stylish! Buyers love it because this series has a unique “wow” factor that will get noticed. It’s essentially the best of both worlds: fashion and performance.
As soon as you slip a pair of these on, you’ll notice that they have been made well. They have a firm grip, a beautiful design, and the durability that you want when doing any strenuous type of exercise. The price is also on budget for most buyers, so you won’t be shelling out hundreds upon hundreds of dollars for the quality that you want.
Your Preference for CrossFit Shoes
When it comes to purchasing shoes for CrossFit, don’t forget about what features are most important to you. Perhaps this means a stylish shoe that comes in the right colors or perhaps it means a shoe that has waterproof liners with rubber outsoles. By taking a look at the features, you’ll know better which pair in particular suits your needs. Luckily this list can get you off to a good start so you can start trying out shoes that will help you make moves in this exciting sport.