Home » 8 Best CrossFit Shoes 2021 | Picks for Flat Feet, Women, Rope Climbing, and More

8 Best CrossFit Shoes 2021 | Picks for Flat Feet, Women, Rope Climbing, and More

As CrossFit continues to grow and evolve, so do the CrossFit shoes we use for tackling our toughest training sessions. With multiple brands like Nike, Reebok STR/KE MVMNT, and many more building awesome CrossFit shoes, it can be tough finding the perfect CrossFit shoe for your specific training needs.

In this article, I’m going to discuss which CrossFit shoes are best for certain types of activities and contexts. It’s important to note that this article is going to be hyper-specific for CrossFit shoes, and not general cross-training shoes. If you’re on the market for a cross-training shoe for tackling workouts that are not only specific to CrossFit and their demands, then I’d suggest checking out my best cross-training shoe round-up.

CrossFit shoes have certain characteristics that differentiate them from traditional cross-training shoes such as additional upper durability and features for supporting movements like rope climbs to name a couple. That being said, below I’m going to discuss which CrossFit shoes are best for men, women, rope climbing, flat feet, and much more.

Note, all of the weights recorded for the shoes below are for size 10 models. I’m the only one reviewing CrossFit shoes on my site, which I prefer because I think it helps add to my abilities to see contextual layers and differences between the CrossFit shoes below. For example, how can someone compare multiple CrossFit shoes if they haven’t worn them all?

Best Overall CrossFit Shoe

The best CrossFit shoe overall is a high accolade. This means the selected models below are top of the top when it comes to being stable, versatile, and durable for tackling even the toughest CrossFit workouts.

1. STR/KE MVMNT Haze Trainer

The STR/KE MVMNT Haze Trainer takes my top pick for CrossFit for a variety of reasons. To be honest, I think this is one of the most slept on CrossFit shoes which is a shame because this model is fantastic across the board.

The Haze Trainer offers a medium-density Cush50™ midsole which provides stability in heavy sessions and a nice versatile feeling for plyometrics and more athletic-focused work. Thus far, I’ve trained up to 505 lbs in the Haze Trainer and have had no issues with the stability.

On top of the midsole, the Cross Platform 2™ outsole provides a nice blend of traction and maneuverability, this model has one of the most maneuverable outsoles that I’ve tried with CrossFit shoes. The final two pros of this model are their durable upper construction and slightly wider anatomically-shaped toe box construction.

STRIKE MVMNT Haze Trainer

$150

STRIKE MVMNT Haze Trainer
4.8
Stability
4.8
Versatility
4.7
Durability
4.8

Best For

  • Heavy Lifting
  • Cross-Training Workouts
  • Athletic-Focused Sessions
  • Shorter Runs (<3 miles)

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency
  • For Custom Orthotics

 

2. Nike Metcon 6

Despite being last year’s model, I’m still taking the Nike Metcon 6 over the newer Nike Metcon 7. In regard to CrossFit-specific training, I think the Metcon 6 is the superior model for both performance and durability. The Nike Metcon 6’s stability is one of the best on the market for heavy training and you won’t experience compression issues when training in this model.

Additionally, the upper construction is durable and this model breathes fairly well due to the forefoot’s construction and breathability. To add to this shoe’s durability, the medial and lateral rubber midfoot wraps provide rope climbing support and protect the shoe from breakdown.

I also like that this model comes with the additional Hyperlift insert which can add another 8mm to your shoe’s heel height which makes this model even more versatile for lifting.

  • Best For: CrossFit-Style Training
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm (with removable 8mm Hyperlifter insert)
  • Weight: 12.8 oz
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size, but Toe Box Fits Slimmer
  • Read My ReviewNike Metcon 6 Review

Nike Metcon 6

$130

4.6
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.1
Durability
4.3

Best For

  • Lifting Heavy
  • Functional Fitness Workouts
  • Casual Agility Workouts

Falls Short

  • Daily Comfort
  • Longer Runs
  • Budget-Friendliness

 

Best CrossFit Shoes for Women

When considering the best CrossFit shoe for women I’m basing my picks on two aspects. First, is the feedback that I receive from women athletes on my review content and videos. Second, I’m considering the last construction of different shoes and if they work well for the anatomy of the avid CrossFit-focused woman’s foot.

1. Inov-8 F-Lite 245

The Inov-8 F-Lite 245 takes my top pick for women for a few key reasons. The first reason is their overall lightweight and breathable construction. This is one of the lighter pairs of CrossFit shoes on the market and they feel like nothing on the feet even when wearing them for longer durations. The second reason is their last construction.

This model features a size “4” fit scale for Inov-8 which indicates that this model is slightly wider than some of their other cross-training shoes. If your concern is toe splay and gripping the floor for CrossFit workouts, then you shouldn’t have to worry about that aspect in this model.

The last reason is that this model has multiple characteristics that you’d want to see in a great CrossFit shoe. For example, they have features like Inov-8’s midfoot ROPE-TEC for rope climb support and a sticky rubber outsole construction for additional traction.

  • Best For: CrossFit-Style Training
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 3mm
  • Weight: 9.8 oz
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size, but if you have a wider foot, then some may want to size up a half size

Inov-8 F-Lite 245

$135

4.6
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.5

Best For

  • CrossFit Workouts
  • HIIT Workouts
  • Classes
  • Shorter Runs

Falls Short

  • For Longer Runs

 

2. Nike Metcon 7

The Nike Metcon 7 is earning the second pick for women. The Nike Metcon 7 has multiple construction features that feed really well into CrossFit workouts. This model has a built-in Hyperlift insert in the heel for stability purposes and lifting support.

Additionally, this model also features Nike React Foam throughout the midsole which is different than prior Nike Metcon models. This React Foam provides the Metcon 7 with a much more responsive fit and feeling and it’s a slightly better model for shorter runs and longer plyometric sessions compared to something like the Nike Metcon 6 and 5.

In the context of CrossFit workouts, I also like that this model features additional rubber midfoot overlays for rope climbing support. The toe box also features a synthetic overlay for durability purposes in exercises like burpees and other toe-dragging movements.

  • Best For: Lifting, HIIT, and CrossFit-Style Training
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 7mm
  • Weight: 12.4 oz
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My Review: Nike Metcon 7 Review

Nike Metcon 7

$130

Nike Metcon 7
4.5
Stability
4.6
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.4

Best For

  • Heavy Training
  • CrossFit Workouts
  • Rope Climbs
  • Plyos and Agility Workouts
  • Short Runs

Falls Short

  • For Long-Distance Runs
  • For Wider Feet

 

Best CrossFit Shoes for Men

There are key aspects that I look for in CrossFit shoes for the men that love tackling tough CrossFit workouts. First, the shoe needs to be exceptionally durable across the board. Second, the shoe needs to be wide enough for accommodating the slightly wider width of most men’s feet.

1. STR/KE MVMNT Haze Trainer

The STR/KE MVMNT Haze Trainer is making another debut for a top spot in this CrossFit shoe round-up. There are three key construction details that I like about this model for men specifically. First is the wider anatomically-shaped toe box. The Haze Trainer’s toe box should give you a bit more width compared to other CrossFit shoes on the market.

For context, the width of this model’s toe box is similar to the Altra Escalante which is known for being a slightly wider running shoe. Second I like this model’s ability to be dynamic in nearly every CrossFit-style training setting. For my diehard CrossFit friends or casual trainees, this model should work well for the tasks you throw at them.

The third and final reason is the 3D knit jacquard upper construction. This model doesn’t have exposed stitching and the woven knit upper does a good job at resisting abrasion from rope climbs and the floor.

STRIKE MVMNT Haze Trainer

$150

STRIKE MVMNT Haze Trainer
4.8
Stability
4.8
Versatility
4.7
Durability
4.8

Best For

  • Heavy Lifting
  • Cross-Training Workouts
  • Athletic-Focused Sessions
  • Shorter Runs (<3 miles)

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency
  • For Custom Orthotics

 

2. Reebok Nano X

The Reebok Nano X is my second CrossFit shoe pick for men. Across the board, the Reebok Nano X is a consistent CrossFit shoe and now that the Nano X1 is out, the Nano X’s price has dropped for multiple colorways which is a big win for my budget-friendly friends out there.

The Reebok Nano X features a high-density foam midsole which provides a nice blend of stability and versatility for CrossFit workouts. Additionally, the Nano X features a split outsole construction which provides this shoe with a nice degree of maneuverability and forefoot and heel separation.

Another perk to this model is its Flexweave upper construction. The Reebok Nano X’s upper construction is fairly bombproof and provides a good level of durability for tough CrossFit workouts.

  • Best For: CrossFit-Style Training
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 13.9 oz
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My Review: Reebok Nano X Review

Reebok Nano X

$130

Reebok Nano X
4.6
Stability
4.7
Versatility
4.4
Durability
4.7

Best For

  • Heavy Lifting
  • Functional Fitness Workouts
  • Casual Agility Training

Falls Short

  • For Day-to-Day Comfort
  • Being Budget-Friendly (depending on sales!)

 

Best Lifting Shoes for CrossFit Athletes

All of the CrossFit shoes on this list will work for lifting and that’s one of my pre-requisites when considering shoes for this round-up. So, to add variety and depth to this article, I wanted to include two weightlifting shoes that I think are great for CrossFit athletes.

Basically, different workouts and different exercises call for different demands and needs. When hitting the gym, I bring a pair of CrossFit shoes and weightlifting shoes for this reason. If you want an elevated heel to train with for some exercises, then below are two of my favorite weightlifting shoes for CrossFit athletes for different reasons.

1. Reebok Legacy Lifter II

The Reebok Legacy Lifter II is a solid weightlifting shoe for the CrossFit athlete that loves using weightlifting shoes for tackling movements like snatches, clean & jerks, squats, and other exercises where a heel wedge is desired.

The Reebok Legacy Lifter II has a fairly durable upper construction and its forefoot breaks in pretty fast which is a nice pro compared to the original Reebok Legacy Lifter.

This model features a 22m (.86″) heel elevation and the heel is made with a tough TPU which is great for both stability and long-term durability. The mid-foot strap also provides a nice level of security when training hard.

  • Best For: Weightlifting, Squats, and Other Heel Wedge-Focused Exercises
  • Heel Height: 22mm (.86 inches)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size, athletes with wider feet may want to size up a half size
  • Read My Review: Reebok Legacy Lifter II Review

Reebok Legacy Lifter 2

$200

Reebok Legacy Lifter 2
4.5
Stability
4.6
Durability
4.5
Quality
4.5

Best For

  • Weightlifting
  • Squats
  • Accessories With an Elevated Heel
  • Heel Height: 0.86″

Falls Short

  • For Functional Fitness Workouts

 

2. Nike Savaleos

The Nike Savaleos is an interesting weightlifting shoe and they’re included in this round-up for one key reason and that’s their versatile construction focus. In the context of CrossFit-style training, I do think the Nike Savaleos could be useful for that athlete that wants one pair of weightlifting shoes to wear for their sessions.

While I don’t recommend wearing weightlifting shoes for full CrossFit workouts, the Nike Savaleos model is one of the few lifting shoes that I think could work if you wish to wear them for full sessions. I know some athletes don’t mind wearing them for everything, but personally and in my coaching opinion, I’m not the biggest fan of having athletes rock their lifting shoes for compound movements, then keep them on for exercises like box jumps and other movements you’ll see in CrossFit workouts.

That all being said, Nike Savaleos features a 15mm (.6″) heel elevation and has an insole that provides a bit more responsiveness compared to other weightlifting shoes. The lower heel height and more responsive construction is why I think this model could work for CrossFit-style training for the athlete that wants to wear weightlifting shoes for their full workout.

  • Best For: Weightlifting, Squats, and CrossFit-Style Training
  • Heel Height: 15mm (.6 inches)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size, but if you have a wider foot, then go up a half size
  • Read My Review: Nike Savaleos Review

Nike Savaleos

$120

Nike Savaleos
3.9
Stability
3.9
Versatility
3.9
Durability
3.8

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • Beginner Weightlifters
  • Versatile-Style Training

Falls Short

  • For Maximal Training
  • For Long-Term Durability

 

Best CrossFit Shoes for Running

Generally, CrossFit shoes are not going to be your best shoe option for running. However, if you plan to tack on some weekly miles, then the two options below are good CrossFit shoes for running.

1. Reebok Nano X1

The Reebok Nano X1 is a good model for anyone who wants to tackle CrossFit workouts and shorter runs on a weekly basis. In my testing, this model works decently well at providing a fairly cushioned ride for runs up to about 5-miles. This shoe features Reebok’s Floatride Energy Foam throughout its midsole and as a whole, I like this material for shorter runs.

In addition, the outsole is fully rubber with a lug pattern that grips the ground well whether you’re running on a treadmill or outside. On the note of outside and CrossFit shoes for running, if you’re interested in the Reebok Nano X1, then I’d suggest looking into the Reebok Nano X1 Adventure.

The Adventure is designed for tackling outdoor training and I’ve used it on light and semi-technical terrain when doing lighter trail runs and their work well.

  • Best For: HIIT, Shorter Runs, and CrossFit-Style Training
  • Heel Height: 7mm
  • Weight: 11.8 oz
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My Review: Reebok Nano X1 Adventure Review

Reebok Nano X1 Adventure

$130

Reebok Nano X1 Adventure
4.5
Stability
4.3
Versatility
4.4
Durability
4.6

Best For

  • Outdoor Training
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Light Trail Runs
  • Daily Wear (due to comfort)

Falls Short

  • For Maximal Lifting

 

2. Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3

Another good model for shorter runs is the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3. For this model, I’d say cap your running sessions to about three miles to ensure they don’t get overly uncomfortable because they’re not exactly designed for longer distances. When it comes to running sessions in this model, there are three aspects that I really like about the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3.

The first aspect is their overall lightweight construction and breathability. This model feels almost like a sock on the feet and if you love having a more “minimalist” style of shoe for your shorter runs, then I think you’ll like this model.

The second aspect is their POWERFLOW+ midsole which does a fairly good job at providing a responsive ride for multiple styles of training, especially shorter runs. The third and final aspect of this shoe and its running performance is its Dynamic Fascia Band construction which provides a highly maneuverable fit and feeling when running.

  • Best For: Shorter Runs, HIIT, Agility, and CrossFit-Style Training
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 10.1 oz
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My ReviewInov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 Review

Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3

$140

Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3
4.5
Stability
4.3
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.4

Best For

  • Agility Workouts
  • Plyometric Training
  • Athletic Training
  • Recreational Lifting

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency

 

Best CrossFit Shoes for Flat Feet and Arch Support

If you’re in need of CrossFit shoes that are great for flat feet or provide adequate arch support, check out the options below. I’ve provided one option that has a fair amount of built-in arch support and another option that is great for inserting your own custom orthotics.

1. Inov-8 F-Lite G 300

The Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 is one of the few true CrossFit shoes that have adequate arch support built-in. This model has a fit scale rating of “5” for Inov-8 which indicates that this model is purposefully made to have a wider fit, too. If you need arch support in your CrossFit shoe, then I’d suggest looking into the Inov-8 F-Lite G 300.

In regard to also supporting CrossFit workouts, this shoe does a great job across the board. This model features a graphene construction which is utilized with the intent of increasing this shoe’s long-term durability.

Additionally, this model has a TPU cage around the mid-foot for additional midfoot support from things like rope climbs. Since this model features a bootie construction I personally love this for providing a locked-down feeling and securing the foot during workouts.

  • Best For: Lifting, HIIT, CrossFit-Style Training
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 6mm
  • Weight: 12.3 oz
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My ReviewInov-8 F-Lite G 300 Review

Inov-8 F-Lite G 300

$150

Inov-8 F-Lite G 300
4.3
Stability
4.4
Versatility
4.2
Durability
4.5

Best For

  • Versatile Training
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Shorter Runs
  • Plyometrics

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency

 

2. NOBULL Trainers

For those with wider and flatter feet, the NOBULL Trainer can be a viable option for two key reasons. For starters, this model’s construction is fairly wide throughout the entirety of the shoe. The forefoot and midfoot come with plenty of width for anyone with wider feet and the NOBULL Trainer’s last is a bit deeper in regard to its depth.

With its wider build and deeper last construction, this model is a good pick for anyone with their own custom orthotics. Unlike models like the Nike Metcon and some of the Inov-8 models, the NOBULL Trainer accommodates thicker custom orthotics fairly well so if you need a shoe for an arch-support-focused orthotic, then the NOBULL Trainer is a good option.

Outside of these aspects, the NOBULL Trainer delivers a durable upper construction featuring their signature SuperFabric and the midsole in this model is consistently stable. For example, my friend and world-record-holding powerlifter Kevin Oak routinely squats over 700 lbs in his high-top NOBULL Trainers, so for most, stability won’t be a problem with this model in CrossFit workouts.

  • Best For: Recreational Lifting, CrossFit-Style Training
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 10.7 oz
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My Review: NOBULL Trainers Review

NOBULL Trainers

$130

NOBULL Trainers
4.5
Stability
4.6
Versatility
4.4
Durability
4.5

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • CrossFit
  • Long-Term Durability

Falls Short

  • For HIIT and Agility
  • For Running

 

Best Barefoot CrossFit Shoes

More and more athletes are starting to turn to barefoot shoes for their CrossFit training. This push for functional fitness-focused barefoot shoes has also pushed companies to evolve their products to accommodate this style of training. Below are two of my favorite barefoot shoes for CrossFit.

1. Xero Shoes 360

The Xero Shoes 360 have been one of my favorite barefoot shoes for CrossFit. This model has multiple features that make it a solid option for the avid barefoot-focused CrossFit athlete. For starters, the Xero Shoes 360 feature a durable upper construction that is designed to be abrasion-resistant for things like rope climbs and burpees.

To provide additional context about this shoe’s upper construction, the forefoot of this model has a 3D rubber construction for rope climb support and the toe has a suede overlay for abrasion resistance from toe dragging movements.

The sole of the Xero Shoes 360 on the lateral and medial side of the base of the toes wraps up the shoe further than other Xero Shoes training models to provide added grip and durability when moving laterally. This make the Xero Shoes 360 a solid model for multi-directional activity and the toe box is plenty wide for accommodating full toe splay.

  • Best For: CrossFit and Lifting
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0mm
  • Weight: 10.2 oz
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My ReviewXero Shoes 360 Review

Xero Shoes 360

$119.99

Xero Shoes 360
4.8
Stability
4.8
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.8

Best For

  • Heavy Lifting
  • Functional Fitness Workouts
  • Short and Mid-Range Runs
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Daily Wear

Falls Short

  • For Comfort If You’re Not Acclimated

 

2. Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3

My second pick for the barefoot-focused CrossFit athlete is the Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3. This model is coming in at my second pick because the toe box doesn’t provide the same width as the Xero Shoes 360. However, if that doesn’t bother you, then this model is just as strong of a performer in the context of being a solid barefoot for CrossFit workouts.

This model features Inov-8’s signature ROPE-TEC for rope climbing support and has an upper construction that is fairly durable for abrasion resistance. Compared to other barefoot shoes, this model definitely has an edge due to its layered upper construction.

In addition to its durable upper, this model also features a 3mm POWER FOOTBED that gives you a super “close-to-the-ground” feeling when training. If you’re nervous about limiting your shoe’s stack height and fully feeling the ground, then you shouldn’t have to worry about that with the Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3.

  • Best For: CrossFit, Lifting, and Daily Wear
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0mm
  • Weight: 6.95 oz
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My Review: Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 Review

Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3

$120

inov 8 bare xf 210 v3
4.8
Stability
4.9
Versatility
4.7
Durability
4.8

Best For

  • Functional Fitness
  • Heavy Resistance Training
  • Daily Wear
  • Shorter and Mid-Range Runs

Falls Short

  • For Delivering Maximal Toe Box Width
  • For Lateral Training

 

Best CrossFit Shoes for Rope Climbing

Nothing can tear down a shoe as rope climbs in CrossFit workouts. Nothing is more frustrating than coming off the rope after a successful CrossFit workout only to find your CrossFit shoe’s upper construction completely destroyed from your climbs.

The perfect CrossFit shoe for rope climbing will provide both durability and construction aspects to boost your rope climbing performance.

1. Nike Metcon 6

The Nike Metcon 6 is an awesome option for the rope climbing-focused CrossFit athlete. This model features an extended outsole wrap on the medial and lateral sides of the shoe that promotes long-term durability. The ribbed outsole wraps also provide a nice level of grip for athletes that love to leverage their feet with climbing.

On top of the outsole wraps, the Nike Metcon 6 also has a fairly durable upper construction through the midfoot. This model has reinforced overlays protecting the eyelets and additional layers of material towards the boot of the shoe for added durability support.

  • Best For: CrossFit and Rope Climbing
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm (with removable 8mm Hyperlifter insert)
  • Weight: 12.8 oz
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size, but Toe Box Fits Slimmer
  • Read My ReviewNike Metcon 6 Review

Nike Metcon 6

$130

4.6
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.1
Durability
4.3

Best For

  • Lifting Heavy
  • Functional Fitness Workouts
  • Casual Agility Workouts

Falls Short

  • Daily Comfort
  • Longer Runs
  • Budget-Friendliness

 

2. Inov-8 F-Lite G 300

Another great CrossFit shoe for rope climbing is the Inov-8 F-Lite G 300. This shoe features Inov-8’s signature ROPE-TEC construction throughout the midfoot. The ROPE-TEC feature adds to this model’s overall durability and assists with providing grip for rope climbing with the feet.

Outside of the ROPE-TEC, this shoe also has an additional TPU midfoot cage for extra durability support. The TPU cage helps protect the upper construction from abrasion and personally, I really like how the cage fits and interacts with the foot. Across the board, I think the Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 will be a good option for rope climbing for all types of CrossFit athletes.

  • Best For: Rope Climbing and CrossFit-Style Training
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 6mm
  • Weight: 12.3 oz
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My ReviewInov-8 F-Lite G 300 Review

Inov-8 F-Lite G 300

$150

Inov-8 F-Lite G 300
4.3
Stability
4.4
Versatility
4.2
Durability
4.5

Best For

  • Versatile Training
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Shorter Runs
  • Plyometrics

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency

 

What Are CrossFit Shoes?

For my CrossFit shoe review content, I’m looking for three key construction aspects that need to have in order to qualify them as great CrossFit shoes. First, they need to have an upper construction that has the avid CrossFit athlete in mind. This means that they have overlays of material and heightened durability where CrossFitters need it most.

A couple of examples here would be the overlays we see throughout the midfoot in the Nike Metcon line and the additional materials we see over shoe’s toe boxes in virtually every CrossFit shoe. These construction traits are specifically designed to resist some of the most common forms of abrasion we run into in CrossFit workouts.

what makes a great crossfit shoe

The second aspect I look at is a shoe’s midsole construction and the material a company uses to compose it. A great CrossFit shoe will utilize a midsole material that will provide a blend of responsiveness and stability. Basically, an awesome midsole for CrossFit will be a good option for things like box jumps and heavy lifting.

The last aspect I look for is a quality outsole construction. Generally, every CrossFit shoe will provide a full rubber outsole with different tread styles. This is to promote grip on different surfaces and to prevent slippage when doing something like a clean & jerk or snatch where a lifter can experience slippage if they’re wearing the wrong style of shoe.

CrossFit Shoes Vs Cross-Training Shoes

There is a lot of crossover between cross-training shoes and CrossFit shoes. In fact, and bear with me here, every CrossFit shoe is technically a cross-training shoe, but not every “cross-training shoe” is a great CrossFit shoe. I like to bucket these shoes slightly differently to help others be more specific with their shoe selections.

As mentioned above, there are key construction aspects to look for in a great CrossFit shoe. Just because you can cross-train in a shoe and it’s marketed as a cross-training shoe doesn’t mean that it’s a good choice for CrossFit workouts.

cross training shoe vs crossfit shoe

For example and for context here, a shoe like the On Cloud X is a cross-training shoe, but it’s a terrible model for tackling CrossFit workouts due to its upper and midsole construction. In my opinion, any “review” site that says differently doesn’t know what they’re talking about or actually train in the shoes they’re discussing for CrossFit workouts.

That being said, if you use the guide above to look for those three key construction traits in your shoes, then you’ll be able to better identify which cross-training shoes are optimized and designed specifically for CrossFit training.

Whether you’re wondering about running in your CrossFit shoes or how they should fit, I’ve provided some of the most commonly asked questions I receive on my CrossFit shoe review videos and content.

How should CrossFit shoes fit?

Generally, I recommend having roughly .2″-.6″ of space in the toe box of your CrossFit shoe. If you like having a snugger fit, then aim for the lower end of that range and if you like having a bit more room or have a wider foot, then you may want to size accordingly to the larger side of the range.

how should crossfit shoes fit

Why Wear CrossFit Shoes?

Put simply, you’ll want to wear CrossFit shoes to support your CrossFit workouts. Unlike recreational lifting or casual group fitness classes, CrossFit workouts will come with specific training demands that shoes can assist with and play well into. If you want to optimize your CrossFit performance, then you’ll want to look into a strong pair of CrossFit shoes.

Nike Metcon 7 Running

Nike Metcon 7 Running

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:
Do shoes matter for CrossFit?

A:
Absolutely. CrossFit is a strength sport and style of training that has a variety of specific demands and shoes can help support performance. Whether you're climbing ropes, lifting heavy weights, or doing box jumps, you'll want to have a pair of shoes that works well for CrossFit.

Q:
What are CrossFit shoes called?

A:
CrossFit shoes are cross-training shoes, but with specific construction features that make them great for tackling the diverse nature of CrossFit workouts. I like to bucket CrossFit shoes in their own performance category under their larger counterpart cross-training shoes.

Q:
Can you run in CrossFit shoes?

A:
Yes, but generally, if you're putting a ton of mileage in every week, then you'll likely want a running shoe to tackle your training sessions. CrossFit shoes will vary in regard to their running capabilities and I'd suggest keeping your mileage on the lower end in your CrossFit shoes as they can get uncomfortable fairly fast.

Q:
Why do CrossFitters wear Converse?

A:
Most CrossFitters DO NOT wear Converse for their training and workouts. Converse lack responsiveness and can be fairly uncomfortable to wear for longer sessions where there's a lot of jumping and dynamic work.

Takeaway Thoughts

There are a ton of different CrossFit shoes on the market and each model excels in different areas of performance for various reasons. My best piece of advice when searching for new CrossFit shoes is to focus on what exactly you need most from your shoes with your CrossFit workouts, then consider how you like your shoes to fit.

If you have any questions about the CrossFit shoes featured in this article, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly).

That Fit Friend is a site that is supported by myself (Jake Boly) and its readers. If you purchase products through affiliates links on this site, then I may receive a small commission on the sale. These commissions help keep the lights on here at That Fit Friend so I can continue to create content and they help me purchase new models to review!

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Jake Boly

I've been in the fitness and strength training industry for nearly a decade. In that time, I've trained hundreds of clients, written thousands of articles, reviewed over 100+ pairs of training shoes, and have produced a large list of training videos. I live and breathe fitness and training gear, and I think it's important that reviewers walk the walk with the gear they're testing. As for my educational background, I have my Masters in Sports Science, Bachelors in Exercise Science, and have my CSCS.

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