Best Shoes for Crossfit Workouts: Men & Women
Over the past few years, a new trend has popped up in the fitness world: CrossFit. It’s a workout routine that combines high intensity interval training with high weights and various circuits. Phrases like AMRAP (as many reps as possible) and WOD (workout of the day) are well-known. Workouts are given girl names like Nancy and Denise, but are not “girly” in any sense of the term as they often include an intermix of cardio with weight-lifting.
As with running or biking, CrossFit needs special equipment. A traditional gym has a pull-up bar, large tires, kettlebells of increasing size, barbells, boxes, jump ropes, and medicine balls, among other things. The experienced CrossFit-er also needs special equipment. Not so much with clothes (anything that allows the body to breathe but stays out of the way should do), but with shoes. So for this one seriously needs the best crossfit shoes.
Because CrossFit workouts require a lot of jumping, squatting, lunging, and running, athletes in participating in these workouts need shoes that are durable yet comfortable. Shoes that are able to withstand a lot of weight being put onto their heels but with a neutral balance and support. Shoes that are breathable and can keep traction on any kind of surface. Below are the top 10 best CrossFit shoes that meet these requirements in descending order.
10. New Balance Minimus 20v3
This is a shoe not necessarily made for weightlifting but meets the CrossFit shoe requirements to be included. It’s breathable and flexible without having too much height difference between toe and heel. They can be worn without socks and still provide enough support for the high-impact workouts.
9. Nike Frees
These Frees aren’t the best shoe on the market for CrossFit-ers, but they are good for the high-impact workouts. They are as minimalist as possible while still providing cushioning for the heels. They don’t really have as much lateral support as some of the other shoes on this list, but for those who are Nike loyalists, these could be an option. They are available for $85, a little expensive compared to some of the other shoes, but comparable to the prices of higher-end shoes on list for the top 10 best shoes for CrossFit.
8. Adidas Sambas
Adidas Sambas is a lightweight shoe originally designed for use with indoor soccer, so they have minimal arch support, great lateral support, and a very thin, flat sole. Although not designed for outdoor running, a CrossFit-er could use these to run, as long as he or she isn’t a heel-striker.
7. Onitsuka Tigers
Onitsuka Tigers is a stylish, flat-soled shoe that has been well-known in CrossFit for some time. The soles are extremely flat, with no real variance between the heel and toe (a big plus when completing some of the more weighted WODs). For those that want a shoe better suited for the more high-impact workouts, some Tigers have more padding in the heel. These shoes are available in many different formats, ranging in price from $48-$120.
6. Inov-8 Bare-X Lite
The Inov-8 Bare-X Lite is a lightweight and flexible shoe. Because it is a minimalist shoe, it has less cushion and support than other shoes, but what it lacks in padding, it makes up for in durability. Any person doing WODS in these shoes would be able to move their feet as if they weren’t in shoes at all. These shoes are available from various stores online in various formats, which range in price from $75.00-$148.00.
5. Vibram FiveFingers Bikila
It is designed to fit the foot like a glove, leaving the feeling of being barefoot during a run or workout. This is a perfect shoe for CrossFit because the lack of cushion and the freedom to move the toes like in a natural state helps to build muscles in the feet, which in return reduce joint and muscle pain in the legs. For running and high-impact workouts, CrossFit-ers should ease into working with the Vibrams, or they could do more damage than good, causing shin-splints and stress fractures if run too hard, too fast. These are available for about $40-$200, depending on what version is purchased.
4. Reebok CrossFit Nano
Reebok CrossFit Nano is a shoe designed specifically for CrossFit. Considering the very nature of CrossFit is that it has no particular workout style, this is a very hard task to meet. But meet it, the Nano does. It is a completely flat, lightweight, with lateral support and slight cushioning to help stick the landing every time. It is available for $110-$130.
3. Puma Bioweb Elite
Puma Bioweb Elite is a shoe that mimics the Reebok Nano in its design. It has an upper design for lateral support, a flexible heel wrap to protect during lifting and training, and slight cushioning to prevent stress during sprints and jumps. It also has good sole traction for those longer runs. Price ranges from $80-$110.
2. The Merrill Barefoot Trail Glove
The Merrill Barefoot Trail Glove is everything the Vibram isn’t. It is perfectly flat while still being a complete shoe. It allows for the toes to splay during impact workouts, which helps prevent strain on the shin and feet. The Trail Glove can also be used to run, specifically on trails, without as much of a gradual build-up like is necessary with the Vibram FiveFingers. These can be found for anywhere from $55-$150.
1. Nike Lunar TRI
The number 1 shoe on the list of the top 10 best shoes for CrossFit is the Nike Lunar TRI. The Lunar TRI has a natural feel like the Vibrams or Merrills but with the supportive feel of the Puma or Nanos. It has a breathable mesh fabric that keeps the feet cool and comfortable while also having zero drop and outer sole, good for those running and sprinting drills. These shoes can be found for $78-$100.00.
CrossFit is designed to keep the body, and the feet, from getting plateaued with any particular workout. Choosing shoes that take into account both the high-impact and lifting aspects of CrossFit will keep the body from getting damaged. Any of the shoes mentioned above would meet the requirements; after a certain point, it’s all about style.