Best CrossFit Shoes: Top Picks For Performance And Comfort!

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Choosing the proper footwear is crucial for CrossFit athletes, both seasoned and newcomers alike. Footwear impacts performance across many CrossFit exercises, from dynamic movements like running and jumping to strength-focused tasks such as power cleans and rope climbs.

Dedicated to helping fitness enthusiasts find footwear that can keep pace with the diverse demands of cross-training, we rigorously tested a variety of CrossFit shoes.

We evaluated each shoe based on its ability to support a range of exercises, withstand the demands of CrossFit training, and provide breathability for comfort during intense workouts.

Considering the anatomical differences among athletes, the shoes were tested on various foot shapes and sizes during multiple workout forms to determine which models stand out.

These findings are rooted in an independent, multi-point evaluation process that factors in user reviews and product construction, ensuring comprehensive recommendations for the best CrossFit shoes on the market.

Best CrossFit Shoes – Overview:


Best CrossFit Shoe Overall: Reebok Nano X4

Product Highlights

  • Flexweave Upper: Provides a balance of flexibility, breathability, and durability.
  • Floatride Energy Foam: Offers cushioning that’s both responsive and supportive for various training demands.
  • Wide Toe Box: Allows for comfortable toe splay, essential during heavy lifting.
  • RopePro Technology: Delivers traction and protection for rope climbs.
  • Low Heel Drop: Aids in stability for weightlifting and power movements.

Pros

  • The Flexweave Knit upper is lightweight and durable, offering a comfortable and breathable fit.
  • The Floatride Energy Foam midsole provides the right balance of density for lifting and cushioning for dynamic movements.
  • The Lift and Run Chassis System ensures excellent stability and support for various activities.
  • The full rubber outsole offers reliable traction on various surfaces.
  • The shoe maintains a snug fit without causing discomfort, thanks to the higher tongue gusset and reworked heel cup.

Cons

  • Not suitable for running very long distances.
  • The laces may need to be longer for individuals with wider feet.
  • There are some concerns about the upper’s durability, particularly for those who frequently engage in movements that could scuff the toe box.

After training in the Reebok Nano X4, I’m ready to share a comprehensive review of this cross-trainer. The shoe’s new Flexweave Knit upper is a significant upgrade, offering durability and breathability that contribute to a quick break-in and a comfortable workout experience.

During multiple sessions involving a variety of exercises, I found the Nano X4’s refined Lift and Run Chassis System to deliver exceptional stability and support, whether I was engaged in heavy lifting or dashing through light sprints. The full rubber outsole remains unchanged, providing the same reliable traction on various surfaces like gym floors, turf, and studio hardwood.

The updated upper material has quickly become one of my favorites in the Nano series, standing out for its comfort and fit.

However, while the Reebok Nano X4 is adept at handling sprints and light runs, there are better shoes for longer jogs exceeding 1.5 miles.

Standout FeatureThe Reebok Nano X4 has a new durable upper, TPU heel clip for stability, midfoot ventilation panel for breathability, and (Lift and Run) L.A.R. Chassis System for support.
Size RangeMen: 4-14 & Women: 5.5-15.5
Heel-to-Toe Drop7 mm

Best Value CrossFit Shoe: Nike Metcon 9

Product Highlights

  • The Metcon 9 introduces a larger Hyperlift insert, enhancing heel height and support for lifting.
  • The outsole features an updated rubber tread pattern for improved grip and traction across various surfaces.
  • A breathable mesh upper helps to manage temperature and moisture within the shoe.
  • The design of the rope wrap has been refined to offer better durability and grip during rope climbs.
  • The shoe is available in various colorways, catering to personal style preferences.

Pros

  • Stability and Support: The Metcon 9 continues to deliver stability, which is crucial for weightlifting. The firm heel and flat sole provide a solid foundation for squats, deadlifts, and Olympic lifts.
  • Durability: With an improved lace lock system and additional rubber wrap on the sides, the Metcon 9 is built to withstand the rigors of daily training, from rope climbs to friction on gym floors.
  • Versatility: Whether you’re jumping, running, or lifting, the Metcon 9 adapts to various movements, making it a go-to choice for a range of fitness activities.
  • Comfort: Users have noted the increased cushioning around the Achilles and the contoured insole, which enhance the comfort level during prolonged workouts.
  • Secure Fit: The gusseted tongue and lace lock system work together to ensure a secure, locked-in feel, reducing in-shoe slippage.

Cons

  • Weight: Some users find the Metcon 9 heavier than previous models, which could impact performance in agility-focused exercises.
  • Fit: While beneficial for those with wider feet, the larger toe box might not suit athletes with a narrower foot profile.
  • Cost: As a premium training shoe, the Metcon 9 comes with a price tag that may be a consideration for those on a tighter budget.

The Nike Metcon 9 continues to uphold the legacy of its Metcon lineage, delivering top-tier performance for CrossFit enthusiasts and fitness buffs alike. With a construction emphasizing breathability and durability, this shoe is a powerhouse for anyone serious about training.

Crafted from a blend of breathable mesh, robust rubber in the outsole, and eco-conscious recycled materials, the Metcon 9 is as kind to your feet as it is to the environment. Available in a wide range of sizes (6 to 15 for men and 5 to 12 for women) and boasting over eight colors plus a customizable option, it caters to all preferences and styles.

The standout feature of the Metcon 9 is undoubtedly its enlarged Hyperlift heel plate. This design innovation ensures that your weight is distributed effectively, anchoring you firmly to the ground for those heavy lifts. The shoe’s stability is further enhanced by the improved rubber rope wrap, which extends the shoe’s lifespan and supports you through the most intense parts of your workout.

The dual-density foam midsole is a game-changer, offering a balance of firm support and soft cushioning. The outer layer is tough enough to handle explosive movements without sacrificing performance, while the inner foam provides the comfort needed for dynamic cardio workouts. With its 4mm drop, the footbed is meticulously molded to be denser at the heel for lifting and softer at the front to aid in sprints and jumps.

Traction is another area where the Metcon 9 shines. The full rubber outsole is designed to keep your feet planted firmly on the ground, giving you the confidence to lift without worrying about slips or instability.

Both men’s and women’s models feature a practical lace-locking mechanism to keep laces tucked away, ensuring they don’t interfere with your training flow.

Personal reviews have highlighted the Metcon 9’s versatility: “From heavy lifting sessions to circuit training and even everyday wear, this shoe excels. It’s comfortable for casual walks and errands, robust enough for CrossFit, and stable for compound exercises.”

In terms of performance, the Metcon 9’s wide, flat heel with an internal stability plate is perfect for executing heavy lifts. The dual-density midsole foam brings responsive cushioning to HIIT workouts, while the handstand heel clip minimizes drag during wall exercises. The arch wraps are strategically placed to enhance grip.

Final Verdict:

The Nike Metcon 9 is a well-rounded shoe that transitions smoothly between different movements. The midsole foam and grooved sole provide agility for plyometric exercises, while the solid base ensures reliable contact with the ground during weightlifting. The reinforced toe box is also a welcome feature for durability and protection, especially during planking exercises. The Metcon 9 is a solid choice for anyone looking to maximize their training with a shoe that can handle a diverse workout regimen.

Standout FeatureEnhanced rope guard, larger crash pad, and grooved outsole for better traction. The upper section is durable and breathable.
Size RangeMen: 3.5-15 & Women: 5-12
Heel-to-Toe Drop4 mm

Most Versatile CrossFit Shoe: NOBULL Trainer

The NOBULL Trainer is acknowledged for its adaptability across various fitness regimes, transitioning seamlessly from strenuous gym sessions to everyday wear.

Product Highlights

  • Heel-to-Toe Gradient: 4mm difference
  • Appearance: Fashion-forward design
  • Adaptability: Suitable across various exercises
  • Robustness: Long-lasting construction
  • Ideal Usage: CrossFit training

Pros

  • Versatile functionality in diverse training scenarios
  • Distinctive and fashionable
  • Built to endure the rigors of frequent use
  • Available in multiple heights: low, mid, high

Cons

  • Higher price point compared to some alternatives
  • Initial break-in period may be required
  • The 4mm heel-to-toe drop might not be optimal for certain activities

The NOBULL cross-trainer shoe is recognized for its diversity and hardiness, with various striking colorways that might appeal to a broad audience. Equipped for any space, from the gym to social outings, its initial firmness gives way to a seamless movement during workouts.

NOBULL has gained credibility among fitness enthusiasts, especially within the CrossFit community, leading it to become a significant sponsor within such sports. The brand’s endorsement by elite athletes has further propelled its reputation and sales.

Original in its simplicity and industrial design, NOBULL has aesthetically evolved, introducing a broader range of creative designs and textures while maintaining the standout “NOBULL” branding.

Despite its sleek design, the Trainer’s primary purpose is for athletic performance – something it achieves with distinction. The lightweight heel-to-toe gradient often goes unnoticed once active, with a mesh upper that offers ample ventilation.

However, the NOBULL Trainer‘s pricing is on the premium side, begging the question if the cost reflects its value or the brand’s name. The investment could be justified for those who appreciate the dual functionality of sportswear and casual wear.

Standout FeatureAesthetic and functional cross-trainer
Size RangeMen: 4.5-14 & Women: 6-15.5
Heel-to-Toe Drop4 mm

Best Budget CrossFit Shoe: Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars

  • Ideal for: Cost-effective, versatile workout footwear
  • Strengths: Lightweight design suitable for varied exercise routines

Product Highlights

  • Robust outsole crafted from rubber
  • Designed with a minimal heel elevation
  • Simple and efficient aesthetic
  • Accessibly priced
  • Secure fastening with laces

Pros

  • Ideal for exercises requiring a flat sole, like deadlifts
  • Variety available in both low and high-top styles
  • Firm footing provided by solid midfoot support

Cons

  • Lack of heel elevation may not suit back squats
  • Fit might be tight across the midfoot for some
  • Canvas material may show wear sooner than more hardy options

The iconic Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars stand out as a solid choice for athletes who prioritize performance and versatility in their training footwear. Due to their zero heel-to-toe drop, they are particularly well-suited for weightlifting exercises that benefit from a firm and flat footing, such as deadlifts.

Breathable canvas material and a spacious toe box contribute to the shoe’s comfort during high-intensity training sessions. However, this shoe’s design could be less optimal for workouts like squats that might benefit from an elevated heel.

While not designed for prolonged cardiovascular workouts, Chucks serve well for short bursts of activity. Beyond the gym, their timeless design transitions effortlessly to casual wear, making them a staple for various wardrobe styles.

Available in an extensive size range, the Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars shoes are convenient for a broad audience. They are a prominent choice in the gym and maintain a strong presence in everyday fashion, providing significant value for their cost.

Standout FeatureLow price point
Size RangeMen: 3-18 & Women: 4-20
Heel-to-Toe Drop0 mm

Best CrossFit Shoes For Running: Nike Free Metcon 5

Product Highlights

  • Balances lightweight flexibility with stability
  • Suitable for a variety of workouts, including light strength training, HIIT, and short runs
  • Improved comfort for running over previous Metcon models
  • Wide fit allows for toe splay, beneficial for heavy lifting exercises
  • Durable construction ideal for gym use

Pros

  • Versatile design for multiple types of workouts
  • Comfortable fit that supports longer training sessions
  • Heel stability is advantageous for weightlifting
  • Breathable mesh for optimal airflow
  • Durable for regular and intense gym use

Cons

  • Not intended for long-distance running
  • May not provide enough support for specialized athletic activities outside of general training and short runs

The Nike Free Metcon 5 is a versatile training shoe that has garnered attention for its balance of flexibility and stability. It is designed to cater to various workouts, including light strength training, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and short runs. The shoe is praised for its comfort, making it suitable for gym enthusiasts and those participating in CrossFit.

Users find that the Nike Free Metcon 5 improves running comfort compared to its predecessor, the Metcon 4, without sacrificing the flatness needed for effective lifting.

However, it should be noted that while the shoe can handle short runs, it is not designed for long-distance running and is best suited for quick jogging warm-ups or cardio bursts on a treadmill.

The wide fit of the shoe provides ample space for toe splay, which is particularly beneficial during heavy squats and deadlifts due to its heel stability. Its construction is deemed durable, a key consideration for those looking for a reliable workout shoe.

The Nike Free Metcon 5 is a solid choice for fitness enthusiasts looking for a shoe that can support a range of activities, from HIIT to light running and strength training, focusing on comfort and stability.

Standout FeatureCombines flexibility and stability with its deep cutouts on the sole, allowing for free movement and versatility.
Size RangeMen: 3.5-15 & Women: 5-16.5
Heel-to-Toe Drop6.4 mm

Best CrossFit Lifting Shoes: Reebok Lifter PR III

  • Purpose: Ideal for CrossFit weightlifting segments
  • Designation: Top choice for CrossFit weightlifting footwear

Product Highlights

  • Heel-to-toe Difference: 18mm
  • Price Range: Approximately $100
  • Sole Material: Rubber for enhanced grip

Pros

  • Elevated heel design for improved posture during lifts
  • Enhanced grip with a rubber outsole
  • Multiple color choices for personal preference
  • Cost-effective option for lifting footwear

Cons

  • Limited to weightlifting, not suitable for other athletic uses
  • The midsole may provide excessive compression under heavy weights
  • Potential for heel cup to degrade over time

The Reebok Lifter PR III stands out for its specific use in weightlifting, particularly benefiting those involved in CrossFit workouts that include lifting elements. This model balances flexibility and the essential stability needed for precise lifting movements.

Its textile upper allows for adequate ventilation to maintain foot comfort and a forefoot that flexes as needed for varied activities within a workout involving squats.

The shoe is presented as a quality option in the lifting shoe category with a price point accessible for those seeking function without the premium cost.

Although there may be better choices for professional weightlifters due to their limited feedback when handling extreme weights, these workout shoes effectively meet the requirements for individuals who engage in standard lifting routines and CrossFit sessions that involve snatches and cleans.

It is available in sizes for men ranging from 7 to 14. The heel-to-toe drop is noticeable but not too steep, providing a slight elevation that helps achieve depth in movements below parallel.

The Reebok Lifter PR III shoe fits into a niche for athletes who desire the option of a stable weightlifting shoe that can also be worn during varied workouts, excluding running.

Standout FeatureA versatile lifting shoe that can be used for non-running WODs
Size RangeMen: 7-14
Heel-to-Toe Drop15 mm

Best CrossFit Shoe For Wide Feet: Inov-8 F-Lite G 300

The INOV-8 F-Lite G 300 offers a snug, adaptive fit for those with wide feet, ensuring a harmonious blend of support and cushioning during CrossFit workouts compared to a narrow shoe.

Product Highlights

  • Optimized for Broader Feet: Tailored to fit comfortably on wider feet without compromising on performance
  • Resilient Make: Robust design ensures persistent durability
  • Featherlight Feel: Each shoe has a mere weight of 299 grams, adding negligible weight to the wearer
  • Immediate Comfort: Requires minimal time to conform to foot shape

Pros

  • Designed with wide feet in mind for a snug fit
  • Robustness extends the lifespan of the shoe
  • Lightweight at approximately 10.5 ounces
  • Swift adaptation to foot contours sidesteps the typical breaking-in period

Cons

  • Lace tightening may be less effective for some preferences
  • Availability is limited across retail outlets
  • Those who favor a snug fit might find the shoe less appealing

For individuals requiring moreCrossFit shoe space and a quick adaptation to the foot shape, the Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 is a good CrossFit shoe choice. It offers more width than many CrossFit shoes and strikes a balance of cushioning for versatility in workouts.

The shoe supports various activities, from sprints to high-intensity interval training, without being suitable for Olympic weightlifting.

The Inov-8 F-Lite G 300‘s distinctively breathable upper, paired with a robust graphene-infused outsole, affirms its durability.

Standout FeatureAccommodating fit for larger foot sizes
Size RangeMen: 7-14 & Women: 6.5-11
Heel-to-Toe Drop6 mm

Best Weightlifting Shoes: Rogue Do-Win Classic Lifter

Ideal for: Cost-effective quality weightlifting footwear

Product Highlights

  • Revival of Rogue Fitness’s initial weightlifting shoe in a “Classic” model
  • Constructed with robust materials for performance
  • Enhanced base stability
  • Retailing at approximately $130
  • Crafted with a genuine leather heel
  • Heel elevation of 20mm

Pros

  • Assertive style with functional appeal
  • Ensures a firm and responsive base
  • Priced competitively for dedicated lifting footwear

Cons

  • Inflexibility for casual, everyday wear
  • Manufactured internationally rather than domestically

The Rogue Do-Win Classic Lifter is a commendable option among lifters seeking specialized footwear without a hefty expense, balanced at around $130. It champions a dependable heel-to-toe elevation of 20mm, aligning with the standards set for raised heel gear.

The model caters to athletes preferring a roomier toe area, improving sensory connection with the floor.

Style-wise, these weightlifting shoes boast a wood-like appearance due to their compressed leather heel, and the upper incorporates suede and mesh. Available in black, red, and blue shades, proving visually impressive on the lifting platform.

According to the manufacturer’s sizing guidance, going half a size down is recommended. However, some customer feedback suggests a more accurate fit may be achieved by opting for an actual or slightly smaller size.

Users have praised the Rogue Do-Win Classic Lifter, but some experience durability issues and degradation within a year.

Standout FeatureCost-effective shoe crafted for lifting weights
Size RangeMen: 4.5-14 & Women: 6-15.5
Heel-to-Toe Drop20 mm

How We Chose The Best Cross-Training Shoes

Assessing Build Quality

When evaluating footwear for CrossFit, it is crucial to consider high-quality construction that can withstand intense training for at least six months.

  • Squat support proficiency
  • Presence of rope guards for durability during rope climbs
  • Versatility for running, jumping, and weightlifting

Assessing Value

Quality often comes at a price, and when it comes to CrossFit shoes, performance is expected to match their cost. The shoes that have been analyzed frequently cost around $150. However, the ones that stood out had a performance that matched their premium cost, making them a better investment.

Aesthetic Qualities

Appearance, while subjective, is factored into the evaluation. Shoes with a wide range of color options and those that received positive feedback on the design from a broad audience scored higher.

Fit Evaluation

It was necessary to have different-sized shoes to cater to a broader range of people. The chosen shoes were tested to ensure a comfortable and secure fit for narrow and wide feet. We confirmed the shoes met the standard measurements for their respective sizes.

Comfort And Wear-ability

One of the top priorities was comfort for extended training, running, and post-training wear. Shoes providing sustained comfort are rated highly.

Multi-Functional Performance

The capacity for shoes to adapt to gym-related exercises such as burpees and squats and outdoor activities like running, sled pushes, and weighted marches was crucial for a well-rounded CrossFit shoe.

Enhanced Features For CrossFit

Shoes with specific features such as heel clips and rope guards that adjust to the changing CrossFit environment are considered superior.

These features help enhance the shoe’s durability and performance during various movements. In the evaluation process, numerous workouts were performed, including workouts of different lengths, weightlifting exercises of varying difficulty, and high-intensity movements typical in CrossFit Workouts of the Day (WODs).

Feedback was also collected from a diverse range of users, including CrossFit Games Athletes without shoe sponsorships, to maintain an unbiased perspective.

Buying Guide: How To Pick The Best CrossFit Shoes

Enduring Construction

CrossFit footwear is designed to endure varied, high-intensity activities requiring resilient materials. One of the key features to consider is a reinforced sole that can withstand the aggression of rope climbs and additional protection around the heel, which is crucial for proper support.

Manufacturers often use thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to increase the shoe’s durability in strategic areas prone to wear and tear. Proper ventilation is also crucial, and to achieve this, many manufacturers use coated, reinforced mesh that can withstand rigorous use while providing breathability.

Rigid Sole Composition

CrossFit shoe soles distinguish themselves by providing a firm foundation critical for heavy and explosive lifts. This rigid structure offers feedback during quick, dynamic movements and ensures steadiness during strength exercises. While dedicated weightlifting shoes have significantly stiffer soles, a CrossFit shoe finds a middle ground, firm enough for stability yet still versatile for various activities.

Heel Drop

A moderate heel lift facilitates a forward knee motion over the toes, essential for proper form in many exercises such as squats. CrossFit shoes generally incorporate a heel-to-toe drop in the 4- 6mm range, with some models offering adjustable insoles to increase this drop slightly.

This differs from weightlifting shoes, which have a considerable 20mm drop, and minimalist shoes or barefoot shoes, which might feature a 0mm drop. Selecting the appropriate heel drop can enhance body mechanics across different CrossFit movements.

Cushioning

The perfect shoe for CrossFit should have a balance between a firm sole and enough cushioning to cater to both lifting and high-impact movements, such as running and jumping. Too much cushioning can absorb the force needed for lifting, while too little cushioning can be uncomfortable for those who require more support for their feet.

The decision on the type and amount of cushioning is personal, and it will affect the overall comfort and performance during different exercises.

Toe Space

It is crucial to find the right fit in the toe box area for comfortable running and providing a stable base for weightlifting. If the shoe is too narrow, it can cause discomfort. It may feel like the foot needs more support if it’s too broad.

Brands vary in fit, with some offering a snug fit that is more snug than others. However, many brands provide easy return policies so customers can find the perfect fit without risk.

Side-To-Side Stability

CrossFit involves multi-directional movements that require dependable lateral support. At the same time, CrossFit shoes may not typically focus on features like arch support. Alternatives exist, such as using custom insoles for additional comfort.

Shoes designed specifically for CrossFit incorporate a broader forefoot to promote natural toe spread for stability during exercises that ground you, like squats. Footwear with well-designed lacing systems or integrated tongue designs contributes to a secure, stable fit.

Financial Investment

When choosing a shoe for CrossFit training, it’s essential to consider both cost and performance. While some high-end shoes may come with a hefty price tag, evaluating whether their benefits justify their cost is necessary. The market is competitive, and often, moderately priced shoes can perform just as well, if not better, than the most expensive options, providing better value for the money spent.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Best CrossFit Shoes

What Are The Best Shoes For CrossFit?

When selecting the best footwear for CrossFit, one should consider a shoe that is versatile enough to support various types of workouts including weightlifting, running, jumping, and other high-intensity activities. Notable options provide solid stability for heavy lifting and a flexible forefoot for dynamic movements.

Examples of high-performing shoes in this category include the Reebok Nano X4 and the Nike Metcon 9 which combine elements of running shoes with those designed for weight training.

Can You Run In CrossFit Shoes?

CrossFit shoes are crafted to accommodate a multiplicity of exercises, which includes running. Quality designs feature lug soles for adequate traction, while certain models offer a specially designed forefoot that allows for ample flexibility. Some models, such as the Nike Free Metcon, marry the support needed for lifting with the cushioning necessary for running.

What Makes A Good CrossFit Shoe?

A premier CrossFit shoe distinguishes itself by its adaptability across various workout demands. A firmer sole facilitates weightlifting, while a slight heel elevation is beneficial for squats. For activities like running and jumping, flexibility is paramount. Durability is also crucial, with features like a robust sole and heel reinforcement being indicators of a shoe that can withstand the rigors of CrossFit routines.

Are CrossFit Shoes Worth It?

Investing in specialized footwear for CrossFit, as opposed to general athletic shoes, can enhance the overall workout experience. For most CrossFit shoes, adequate heel support and cushioning are instrumental for the wide array of movements performed in a CrossFit session. Durability is another factor; shoes not designed for the intensity of CrossFit may deteriorate quickly. For those engaging in frequent, high-intensity workouts, a dedicated pair of CrossFit shoes is recommended for comfort, performance, and longevity.

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