Reebok CROSSFIT Men’s Nano 9 CrossTrainer
- Wide toe box
- Flexible sole
- Excellent breathability
- Very stable and sturdy
- Not a lot of grip for outdoor use
- Tends to fit a little small (buy a half size up)
Xero Shoes Men’s Prio Original
- Very lightweight
- Barefoot feel
- Vegan friendly
- Low profile may not suit everybody
- Some reviewers mentioned sole rubber peeling off after a couple of months use
Nike Metcon 7 Men’s Training Training Shoe
- Nike React Foam for reduced stress impact
- Lightweight mesh upper
- Heel handstand clip
- Excellent lockdown
- Does not grip well on wet surfaces
- Upper tends to bunch up
Under Armour Men’s Charged Commit 3 Cross Trainer
- Excellent heel support
- Very breathable
- Very good midfoot support
- 8mm offset ideal for squats
- Thin insole
- May not fit true to size (a little small)
WHITIN Men’s Cross Trainer
- Budget-friendly price
- Wide toe box
- Firm, flexible sole
- Very comfortable
- A bit tricky to get on
- Fits a little small
CrossFit is hard work; that’s the way it’s designed. A successful workout, though, depends on more than grit and determination. You also need the right footwear. Your shoes are the vital connection between your body and the ground force beneath you. Yet finding the best shoes for CrossFit can be a real challenge. It’s easy to be swayed by the shoe’s looks and miss out on functionality.
This article considers form, aesthetics, and functionality to bring you the best shoes for Crossfit in 2023. We’ll highlight each shoe’s features, its pros and cons, and what propels it to our top five list. We’ll even include a CrossFit shoe buyer’s guide and FAQ.
Best CrossFit Shoe Overall 2023: Reebok CROSSFIT Men’s Nano 9 CrossTrainer
Reebok introduced its Nano range of CrossFit-specific training shoe range in 2011. The ninth iteration came out in 2020 and is, by all accounts, the best yet. The Nano 9 makes it to the top of our list thanks to its superior upper and sole durability, wide toe box, and extended Ropepro midsole wrap.
The outsole of the Nano 9 consists of separate black and blue rubber sections, providing much more flexibility than previous models. There is also more midsole cushioning than you’ll find on most CrossFit shoes. There’s not much tread on the sole, but that is purposeful— less tread provides more stability when lifting. The Flexweave upper of this shoe does a great job of enhancing breathability while, at the same time, enhancing flexibility and durability.
Best Lightweight CrossFit Shoe Overall 2023: Xero Shoes Men’s Prio Original
The last thing you want when CrossFitting is to have your shoes weighing you down. The Xero Prio does an outstanding job in providing a lightweight, flexible, yet durable training shoe. This is a zero-drop shoe—enhancing balance, posture, and agility. The Orio has a genuine ‘barefoot’ feel and can be worn with or without socks, and an optional 2 mm insole provides extra underfoot support.
The Xero Shoes Men’s Prio Original is a vegan-friendly shoe, not use any animal products in its construction. Don’t be surprised if you end up wearing this shoe outside of the gym and during your workouts; that’s how comfortable it is!
Best Impact Reducing CrossFit Shoe 2023: Nike Metcon 7 Men’s Training Training Shoe
The Nike Metcon 7 reduces the force impact of all that CrossFit running and jumping thanks to its React foam. Due to its unique foam composition and construction, this technology provides a high energy return, comfort, and durability level. This tough, stable shoe is great for the weightlifting component of your workout. It features lightweight mesh with textured overlays in the high-wear areas, promoting breathability and durability.
A cool feature of the Nike Metcon 7 is a handstand clip at the heel to minimize drag during wall exercises. This shoe also does a great job of locking your feet down, integrating flywire cables with laces and a hook and loop closure to keep the laces out of the way.
Best Heel Stability CrossFit Shoe Overall 2023: Under Armour Men’s Charged Commit 3 Cross Trainer
The heel counter of the shoe is a reinforced area at the back of the heel designed to enhance support, stability, and structure. The Under Armour Men’s Charged Commit 3 Cross Trainer excels in this area with its dual external heel counter that ensures a snug, secure fit around the heel. Its lightweight mesh upper with a textured overlay provides plenty of breathability so your feet don’t get overheated, while the leather midfoot saddle delivers comfort and support while doing lateral and jumping movements.
The Charged Commit 3 has a full rubber outsole with strategically located flex grooves to deliver greater traction on various surfaces, including outdoors. This shoe features an 8mm offset, making it ideal for squatting, deadlifting, and other heavy-weight movements.
Best Budget CrossFit Shoe Overall 2023: WHITIN Men’s Cross Trainer
With a retail price around half of what you’d pay for the big-name brands, the WHITIN Men’s Cross Trainer represents excellent value for money. Better yet, it does so without compromising on the quality you need in a CrossFit shoe. It features a wider than standard anatomical toe box to allow for the natural toe splay that occurs when you’re lifting. The shoe’s sole is thin, firm, and flexible, allowing for enhanced ground feedback and better overall proprioception.
The WHITIN Men’s Cross Trainer has a zero-drop sole. This promotes better postural support and lessens joint stress. This is another minimalist shoe that feels like you’re training in bare feet. It’s super comfy and surprisingly durable for the price.
CrossFit Shoe Buyer’s Guide
A CrossFit WOD may involve such diverse movements as weightlifting, jumping, running, and lateral motions. In order to preserve good form and avoid injuries, a functional CrossFit shoe must have the design and construction features to excel. Here are five key features to look out for.
Support & Stability
CrossFit incorporates heavy lifting and dynamic activities that put a lot of strain on your ankles and feet. Shoes with the right support components, such as a snug fit, a firm midsole, and reinforced heels, aid in maintaining stability and reduce unnatural foot and ankle movement that could result in injury. As a result, there is a lower chance of sprains, strains, and other injuries during strenuous exercise. Maximized stability and support can help you retain good form and maximize force transmission.
CrossFit workouts demand a solid grip on various surfaces due to the fast motions, lateral shifts, and big lifts involved. Enhanced traction improves stability, reducing the risk of falls and slides and facilitating quick movements. It also encourages effective force transfer during exercises like box jumps and rope climbs.
Good traction lowers the chance of damage by guaranteeing stability and reducing stress on joints and ligaments. Look for CrossFit shoes with sturdy, multidirectional tread patterns and rubber outsoles that are made to provide excellent traction on both indoor gym floors and outdoor surfaces.
When choosing a CrossFit shoe, the offset—also referred to as the heel-to-toe drop or differential—should be considered. This is the height difference between the shoe’s heel and toe. The offset impacts your biomechanics and performance. A more natural foot position is encouraged with a reduced offset. It also improves balance and calf muscle engagement. In contrast, a higher offset offers more support and cushioning for movements like sprinting and jumping. A higher offset promotes better body posture when doing squats and overhead pressing exercises. The offset you choose will depend on your own preferences, movement habits, and the particular exercises you perform during CrossFit workouts.
The most popular CrossFit shoes generally have an offset of between 4 and 6 mm.
Look for a CrossFit shoe with a roomy toe box to allow toe splay and mobility to occur naturally. This promotes stability during fast motions and activities while avoiding discomfort and blisters. Check also for a shoe with reinforced toe protection. A robust, strengthened toe cap protects against collisions and unintentional bumps while lifting weights or engaging in other activities, preventing potential injury to your toes.
Flexibility is essential for a healthy toe-off during running and jumping actions, so the toe box should be flexible rather than rigid. This guarantees a fluid and natural range of motion without limiting the movement of your foot.
Choose shoes with breathable materials in the toe box area. This improves airflow, reduces excessive perspiration and odor, and keeps your feet dry and cool during your workout.
While having a roomy toe box is important, you also need to make sure the shoe fits securely and snugly. Opt for a lacing or strapping setup that allows you to adjust the fit and that firmly holds your foot in place.
Your hands can take a beating during a CrossFit WOD. Check out the benefits and drawbacks of wearing workout gloves.
Midsole & Stack Height
Between the shoe’s insole and outsole lies a layer of padding called the midsole. The midsole is essential for comfort in general, energy return, and shock absorption. CrossFit footwear with supportive and responsive midsoles offers stability during weightlifting and cushioning for high-impact workouts. Materials like EVA foam or specialized cushioning technologies in shoes provide a healthy mix of responsiveness and support.
The combined thickness of the outsole and midsole is called the stack height. Weightlifting and other activities that call for a stable base benefit from lower stack heights that encourage stability and a closer ground feel. A higher stack height can provide better cushioning and shock absorption for running and leaping activities. To select the ideal stack height for your purposes, consider your personal preferences and the unique demands of your workouts.
Due to its effect on performance, agility, and comfort, weight is an important factor to consider when choosing a CrossFit shoe. CrossFit sessions frequently include dynamic exercises, fast movements, and agility drills. A lightweight shoe enhances your speed and agility, allowing you to move and change direction quickly.
Jump-related exercises like box jumps, double unders, and plyometrics are affected by weight. A lighter shoe reduces the amount of energy needed to raise and propel your feet off the ground, improving your vertical leap and explosiveness. Lighter shoes also often offer a higher level of flexibility and comfort. Your feet, ankles, and legs will experience less stress as a result, which will lessen your discomfort during prolonged exercise sessions. Furthermore, lighter shoes frequently have higher flexibility, enabling more organic foot movement.
While CrossFit shoe selection should prioritize performance and functionality, style is also an important feature. The shoe’s appearance might improve your drive and give you self-assurance while working out. Fortunately, many CrossFit shoe manufacturers provide a range of hues and patterns to accommodate various tastes. The choice of a shoe that appeals to your own taste can improve your overall training experience and help you feel more connected to your fitness path. The best of both worlds can be achieved by balancing style and the necessary performance qualities.
Now that you’ve got your kicks sorted check out whether Lululemon deserves its reputation as one of the top gym clothing manufacturers on the market.
What distinguishes a shoe as a “CrossFit shoe”?
CrossFit shoes are designed to meet the specific needs of CrossFit workouts. They often combine properties like traction, flexibility, durability, support, and stability. These shoes are adaptable enough for the wearer to combine running, jumping, weightlifting, and other exercises used in CrossFit training.
Can I do my CrossFit workouts with conventional running or exercise shoes?
While ordinary running or training shoes might be suitable for some CrossFit exercises, they might not have the precise qualities needed for the exercises’ optimum effectiveness and safety. CrossFit footwear is specially made to meet the challenges of Crossfit workouts while also offering the stability, support, and durability required.
Do more expensive CrossFit shoes usually perform better?
More expensive CrossFit shoes frequently come with cutting-edge features, cutting-edge technologies, and premium materials. The ideal shoe for you will depend on your particular requirements, tastes, and spending capacity. When making your choice, take into account elements like durability, support, fit, and versatility since there are high-quality choices available at various price points.
Why is Reebok no longer a CrossFit sponsor?
Reebok’s 10-year deal to be the title sponsor of the CrossFit Games ended in 2020. All signs indicated that the contract would be renewed, but then CrossFit co-founder Greg Glassman made some comments regarding social issues that caused Reebok and a number of other sponsors to cut their ties with CrossFit. The new title sponsor of the CrossFit games is NoBull.