One thing that often trips people up when starting CrossFit is believing any running shoes will do. It doesn’t take long for them to realize that this is not true. While you might get away with your dirty old runners for half an hour, you’ll soon struggle. Running shoes don’t offer the same support, traction, or flexibility as the best CrossFit shoes do, so it’s smart to invest in them immediately for excellent and worthwhile results.
Whether you want to lift, stretch, flex, pull, thrust, jerk, or press, having the right workout gear is crucial to making the most from your new routine. So if you’re a veteran looking for some new accessories you weren’t gifted over the holidays, or a total newbie wanting to make these New Year’s Resolutions stick then this is the perfect place to start. So lace up, shape up, and get that adrenaline pumping, we’re in for an intense but wholly rewarding experience.
The Best Crossfit Shoe
The best CrossFit shoes for both experienced and entry-level guys are the Vibram KSO EVO Cross Training Shoe. With individual toes, you’ll get the most control possible for gripping and flexibility, while the serrated blade lug construction ensures unrivaled traction. The XS Trek outsole is – at less than 5 millimeters – the thinnest and most lightweight sole we’ve found, but still offers adequate shock absorption for your protection.
Despite running a size too small, they are incredibly form-fitting once you get the size right, but are still immensely breathable, which is always something to look for in training shoes and the speed lacing system saves precious time. They’re also good for travelers, who can squeeze them into backpacks for a reliable pair of shoes for your weeks and months exploring without having to sacrifice other items of clothing. If you’re looking for stability and better control during your workouts, you’d do well to bring these into your life.
Lightly padded tongue
Speed lacing system
Sub-5 mm rubber sole
Serrated blade lug design
- ModelKSO EVO-M
- Weight12 ounces
Excellent for traveling
Not enough cushioning on sole
CrossFit shoes come in many shapes, sizes, and prices so if you’re not yet sure if CrossFit is for you, or if you’re just looking for a backup pair, then the ALEADER Mesh Cross Training Running Shoe is a great value option. The double mesh upper is breathable, while the 5 claw side provides the necessary security and protection for your foot, offering essential support. They’re also lightweight, which reduces a lot of the joint and muscle stress.
For outdoor use, the hydro-grip outsole can cope with a variety of environments and conditions, providing you with the traction you need to prevent injury. While not intended for high intensity sports like running, they’re an excellent option for the gym, and with the proper care should last you through the years, which is all you can really ask for. They may not be a groundbreaking pair of CrossFit shoes, but for the price you’re paying, you’d be foolish to neglect to potential, even if they’re just there as a quick fix replacement.
Double mesh upper for breathability
Strong lace up for full foot support
Hydro-grip outsole provides excellent traction
Dual-density shock absorption
- Weight2.03 pounds
Lightweight and comfortable
Rounded outsole for stability
Suitable for all surfaces and terrains
Runs one half to one size too small
Breathable and lightweight, the Adidas Powerlift.3.1 Cross Trainer Shoes are an awesome pair of shoes for experts and beginners. It maximizes the open forefoot design to increase comfort and offer a flexible toe structure that also provides breathability. Along with this, the synthetic leather upper provides enough ankle support for intense lifting sessions, keeping you feet planted firmly on the floor and stable.
Unlike some CrossFit shoes, the Powerlift.3.1 are versatile enough for appropriate use in a variety of other sports and activities, essentially giving you two pairs of shoes for the price of one (or more). This is encouraged by the high density midsole, which can adapt to your movement and prevent injuries. If your gym routine involve squat after squat, these may be the shoes for you by helping to improve both form and posture during those heavy lifts. You need the shoes to fit properly, though, and to make this happen, you must buy one size higher than you’re used to for the best support and results.
Air mesh collar, tongue, and lining ensures breathability
Open forefoot with flexible toe structure
Suitable for a wide variety of sports
High density midsole
- Weight12 ounces
Helps to improve posture and form
Great ankle support
Improved heel mobility
Velcro strap can interfere with shoe laces
With a new heel construction for increased comfort, the Reebok CROSSFIT Nano 8.0 Flexweave is a massively effective and reliable pair of shoes that ensures successful workouts with none of the unfortunate aches and pains the next day. Designed with a variety of groundbreaking technologies including RopePro and Toe Tection, you’re guaranteed improved traction and durability when the blood starts pumping, chest starts heaving, and the sweat gets a-pouring.
It doesn’t end there though. You’ll also get a secure, as-expected fit, which is always a welcome feature, and this also gives you the stability required for safe, successful exercises. This is enhanced by the minimal drop outsole. The Flexweave material is breathable, preventing overheating during intense workouts, while also ensuring flexibility for increased control and, in turn, security when lifting. It’s also just a great-looking shoe, but the design hinders its effectiveness for anything other than CrossFit, which is a shame, but will at least ensure longevity.
New heel construction provides comfort
RopePro feature ensures improved traction
Toe Tection guarantees durability during high-intensity workouts
Minimal drop outsole for greater stability
- Weight2 pounds
Secure fit as expected
Helps with lifting form
Flexible material improves control
Not suitable for other sports such as running
The 5.11 Recon Trainer is shoe designed for the highest performance, giving you the confidence to smash your goals with ease, and not end up feeling sore the next day, either. Providing stability, traction, and comfort, it’s an all-around excellent shoe for all elements of CrossFit, and the Rope Ready zone is perfect for ensuring better grip during the dreaded climb. Along with this, it comes with a broadened forefoot which helps provide and increase speed, and it’s reliable both inside and outside of the gym.
It’s proven to be highly successful for walking, running, working, travel, and even activities of the more tactical variety that could put Salomon shoes to shame. You’re also guaranteed strength thanks to the HELCOR leather overlays which works to increase durability. While it isn’t the most expensive shoe on the list, it’s not far off, but all that really means is you’re getting the quality you deserve, so why not treat yourself to another level of workout satisfaction?
High performance training shoe
Increased stability, traction, and comfort
Rope Ready zone for better grip
Broadened forefoot provides necessary speed
- ModelRecon Trainer-M
- Weight4 pounds
Flexible and breathable stitching
HELCOR overlays for strength
Lightweight and minimal
Thin material could hinder workout
Support is a key feature that even the most inexperienced CrossFit newbie looks for, and the Nike Metcon 2 has this in abundance. Using flywire cabling, it provides support that is almost unseen in the industry, all the while maintaining the lightweight design that’s essential for workout comforts. Even with this almost-featherlike weight, you’re still getting pressure-easing cushioning to make your workouts last longer than you thought possible so you can maximize your potential like we always believed you could.
This cushioning and comfort is amplified with breathable mesh material while the solid rubber provides the necessary traction and hold required for heavy lifting. Even though it works great as a CrossFit shoe, you can also transfer it seamlessly into running, hiking, or climbing with ease, giving you massively versatile footwear. The only thing we don’t like is the frequency of sizing issues, so be extra careful when ordering and do your research, otherwise you could end up a little disappointed.
On-Demand support with Flywire cabling
Lightweight cushioning to ease pressure
Breathable mesh upper
Excellent traction with solid rubber sole
- Weight12 ounces
Multi axis movement offers unrivaled control
Suitable for a variety of sports and activities
Stable platform for lifting weights
Some sizing issues
The Reebok Lifter Pr Cross-Trainer Shoe is a smart and effective option for anyone looking for that mix between style and efficiency. It comes with a flex-grooved outsole and anti-friction lining to prevent abrasions and increase comfort. Furthermore, it’ll improve your squat game by providing a solid, secure base. Now, we’re not saying they’re magic shoes, we’re pretty sure they aren’t too far off, and the reliable, very durable construction is just another point towards that.
It’s also a CrossFit shoe with both laces and velcro straps, which while looking like it’s merely trying to appeal to those who haven’t yet learned to tie their shoes (gotta start ‘em young, after all), actually helps benefit you. The dual system increases tightness, giving you as much mobility as you need while also preventing injury. This is useful, as the leather upper isn’t as flexible as other products, but you can easily remedy this with a little more intense breaking-in to give you the range of movement necessary.
Heat activated u-form technology
Flex grooved outsole
Two strap closures locks foot in place
- ModelLIFTER RB
- Weight2 pounds
Provides a solid platform for weights
Good and reliable construction
Helps to elevate heels
Upper leather not as flexible as other shoes
HIIT (or, High Intensity Interval Training) requires the best CrossFit shoes money can buy, but if you’re not willing to splash out too much, the Altra HIIT XT Cross Training Shoe is a more than capable addition to your workout wardrobe. Altra have designed it to improve your natural foot position and increase toe splay which increases comfort and stability while the Zero Drop platform is fully cushioned.
It’s Quick Dry air mesh will be a welcome addition, especially for those who like to use their shoes for more than one activity, and there’s also a removable insole, if that’s how you want to wear them should you need extra room inside. As for traction, the wrap around sticky midsole feels like you’ll never suffer an unfortunate slip at the worst moments, and gives you a stable platform especially for lifting. They come in a more unusual shape than your average shoe, which may take some getting used to if you’ve never owned Altras before, but dedicated customers may never look back.
Improves natural foot position and toe splay
Fully cushioned Zero Drop toe box
Quick Dry air mesh
Wrap around sticky midsole for increased traction
- ModelMen’s Hiit Xt
- Weight3 pounds
Comfortable, lightweight, and breathable
Stable platform for lifting
Unusual shape compared to other shoe brands
Our premium choice CrossFit shoes for men are the NOBULL Training Shoes. Crafted with attitude and for survival, they’re the type of shoes that’ll take you successfully through zombie apocalypses, hazy post-party workouts, and more normal situations with ease. They’re lightweight and flexible, giving you both comfort and easing your range of motion, while still being sturdy and durable enough to last. This is something you don’t always get from CrossFit shoes and gives you peace of mind that you won’t need to replace them every six months.
Their durability is made possible by the one-piece construction, ensuring no fraying, tearing, or falling apart at the seams, which justifies the price you’re paying. The exterior lug pattern on the outsole helps you overcome a variety of terrains and conditions and further guarantees protection and stability.. If you focus primarily on Olympic lifting or box jumps, these are an excellent pair of shoes for maximizing your potential and giving you the ground support for a successful – if slightly exhausting – workout.
Lightweight, flexible, and breathable
SuperFabric guard plates for 360-degree protection
Outsole lug pattern for multi-environment usage
Durable and abrasion-resistant material
Runs true to size
Seamless one-piece trainer
Ideal for anything involving Olympic weights
Not as much arch support as some may need
Balance by name, balance by nature with the New Balance 20v7 Minimus Cross Trainer shoe comes with nylon infused yarn to improve your lateral support, along with REVlite midsole foam. They’re lightweight and breathable, with sufficient ventilation and are neither too wide nor too thin but just right, further solidifying the balance we expect. Because of this, there’s no rubbing, no blisters, just a wholly comfortable workout shoe
The arch support is one of the best we’ve come across, while the sticky sole is flexible but firm. As for the tongue, it doesn’t get in your way and restrict your movement the way others might do, which while not a massive problem normally, saves you hassle which is always appreciated. Finally, we understand some of you may think it’s just a pair of shoes, but appearances matter, and the 20v7 is up there as the coolest, most attractive pair you’re likely to find in our selection.
REVlite midsole foam
Nylon infused yarn improves lateral support
Mono mesh increases ventilation for breathability
One-piece Vibram zoned outsole for necessary ground feel
- BrandNew Balance
- ModelMX20BK7 D 105
- Weight12 ounces
Ideal for weight work
Sticky sole increases traction
Pronating problems could affect some feet
With a name such as The Charged Ultimate 2.0, you’d expect this sneaker from Under Armour to send do all the hard work for you as you smash your way through 2019. This isn’t the case, and nobody got fit and healthy just from the shoes they wore, life isn’t a comic book, after all. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t still a lot of power potential to be found here. The upper mesh provides excellent traction and upper mobility while the external heel gives you a stable platform lock perfect for overcoming your Personal Best.
The burrito tongue is different, and may take getting used to if you’re not familiar, but more importantly, it’s effective in ensuring a precise fit and comfortable support, which is all that matters, haters be damned. Inside, there’s also a 4D sockliner which molds to the shape of your foot. This won’t happen overnight, and it also means you might not be able to sell them off later, but additional support you gain from this will be hard to find even imitations of elsewhere.
Synthetic mesh upper provides upper mobility and traction
Burrito tongue construction for a precise fit and enhanced support
External heel for low platform lock
4D foam sockliner molds to the shape of your foot
- BrandUnder Armour
- Weight2.09 pounds
Custom tread pattern allows for grip on any surface
Perfect for weight lifting
Secure lace fit
Only suitable for gym and weight work
Our final CrossFit shoe is the Inov8 All Train 215 Knit which is is sold with a brand new design that solves the previous issues and replaces them with an entirely welcome lightweight and breathable upper. This is expected by now, though, so it’s a good job Inov8 didn’t stop there. You also get excellent stability, and the construction allows for flexibility and remarkable responsiveness to even the slightest shift for increased maneuverability.
These features are essential for support during high-impact strength, and speed workouts, making it perfect for boh CrossFit and HIIT, while you could also (probably) get away with wearing them in everyday situations. As a bonus for those who love a package deal, it comes as a headband bundle, so you can represent your new favorite brand like the dedicated, slightly obsessed fan boy you are. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
New design with lightweight and breathable upper
Support for high-impact agility, strength, and speed workouts
Responsive and flexible to provide natural movement
- Weight1 pound
Headband bundle included
Excellent for HIIT
Slightly more expensive than other options
Crossfit Shoes Buying Guide & FAQ
How We Chose Our Selection of CrossFit Shoes
Brands - Brands, brands, brands! It seems like there’s no stopping the amount of marketing for the top sports brands in the modern world. Just because advertisers bombard you daily with seemingly unachievable promises of better fitness and a better life for the average dude, this doesn’t mean there’s not some truth behind their claims. From Adidas to Under Armour, along with companies your average guy may not have heard of, we’ve made our selection based on their products and their experience.
Reviews - While we’d love to get into CrossFit and test out all these shoes, the New Year has made us a tad lethargic. It’s lucky for us (and you) that we can rely on the kindness of reviews to tell us the good, the bad, and the ugly about these shoes. With these reviews, we discovered which shoes we too wide, which shoes didn’t have sufficient arch support, and which ones were the greatest pair of CrossFit shoes ever made, as well as what to look out for should you purchase a pair, along with advice for taking the utmost care.
Quality - Quality is essential no matter what you’re buying, but with an expensive pair of shoes that could make or break your fitness regime, you want assurances your investment will pay off. While there are short-term benefits to neglecting quality such as not paying as much initially, you’re bound to suffer the consequences sooner rather than later. Poor quality CrossFit shoes will deteriorate quicker that top quality, brand name shoes, so you must replace them more often meaning you’re only burning a hole in your wallet, even if it takes a little longer.
It’s not just the increased price over time, though. Low quality also means corners may have been cut in the manufacturing process. This could affect the success of your workout as low quality shoes will miss out on crucial arch support, stability, traction, and other factors that could cause injury. We understand you’re serious about your CrossFit journey, so we only looked for the best quality CrossFit shoes on the market.
Features To Look For In CrossFit Shoes
Before you hit the weights and transforming your workout, make sure you know what features you need to look for to find the best CrossFit shoes for you. While we’ve selected a variety of great products, everybody is different, so what you need may not be true for other people, and vice versa.
Support - Support is without a doubt the most important feature to look for when buying CrossFit shoes. Finding the right support for your feet will make a massive difference for how you feel both during and after your workout whether you’re running or lifting weights.
The proper support means you can work harder for longer, allowing you to hit each of your goals much quicker than if you were wearing shoes that don’t offer decent support and will therefore help you progress faster. They will also prevent injury, stopping your feet from shifting out from the exchange in pressure when lifting or running. Shoes that feature external cages will offer the most support, so keep an eye out for those.
Durability - Chances are your CrossFit shoes may take quite the beating, so their durability is essential to make sure you get your money’s worth from them. While it’s not always possible to know for sure how durable a product is, you can use reviews to find out which shoes are sturdier than others.
Besides this, you can also look at the construction of the shoes and find differences between designs and manufacturing methods, as well as types of materials. These factors will give you a decent enough idea of what shoes will be the most durable and which will be the best choice for you.
Style - There are three distinct styles of CrossFit shoe: the CrossFit running shoe, the shoes that lift and add cushioning, and shoes which are minimalist but add extra protection in key areas. Before buying your new pair of CrossFit shoes, you need to understand what your CrossFit needs are. Will you be doing more lifting? More running? More gymnastics? The answer will determine which type of shoe you buy.
If you’re not sure yet, it may better for you to try out a more versatile kind of shoe (something which we’ve found many of above), so you won’t feel you’ve wasted your money. These types of shoes will give you the most well-rounded experience while you decide what aspect of CrossFit is best for you.
Breathability - If you want comfort in your CrossFit workouts, you must find shoes with excellent breathability. You can expect your CrossFit shoes to have some level of breathability, but depending how intense your workout gets, you may need more than the average person.
This increased breathability will help keep your feet cool and prevent overheating, which will make your experience moderately more comfortable, at least compared to wearing thick winter boots, anyway, we can’t comment on how hard you go once the headphones go on.
Some shoes will come with vents to help promote airflow, and can be useful if you live in warm climates. We all deserve to be comfortable, so why should your workout be any different?
Crossfit Shoes FAQ
Q: Can you run with CrossFit shoes?
A: You can, but only if the CrossFit shoe is designed for running. Much like you wouldn’t wear soccer cleats when competing in the long jump, you shouldn’t wear CrossFit shoes that won’t offer you the support needed for running, as you risk injuring yourself and damaging your shoes. You also shouldn’t run too far, as these shoes are not designed for marathons, but instead short, intense sprints. If you’re planning on running far, it’s best to stick with proper running shoes for both your and your CrossFit shoes’ benefits.
Q: Are CrossFit shoes good for lifting?
A: Again, there are specific CrossFit shoes designed for weightlifting, but most options will serve you adequately, and often even better than that, if you want to wear them lifting. This is because of the arc support provided from these shoes combined with the increased traction solid base offered by such shoes.
If you’re only concerned about lifting in your CrossFit journey, it’s wise to seek out the best shoes for that specific activity, instead of picking up any pair and hoping for the best. You’re a smart guy, though, so we’re sure you already knew that.
Q: How often should I replace CrossFit shoes?
A: As much as we wish we could buy things for life, the world hasn’t reached that utopian level just yet. On average, you should replace your shoes every six months, but this will vary depending on your intensity. Higher intensity workouts will require you to replace them more often, and if you’re still taking it easy, then you might get away with every nine months to even a year.
Only you will know when your shoes will need replacing, though, and if you start to feel you’re lacking support, traction, and stability, this is a sign you need to move on.