10 Best Crossfit Shoes (Buyer's Guide)

Author: Nicholas Rizzo. Updated: .

CrossFit shoes are created to enhance athletic performance and withstand the heavy demands of CrossFit, a physical exercise regimen and a competitive fitness sport. They are also commonly referred to as cross-training shoes, or cross-trainers. This guide will cover the best crossfit shoes and what to look for when shopping for crossfit shoes.

 

How we review Crossfit shoes

  • We’ve gathered and read reviews from 84 experts and 7,413 users
  • We applied our CoreScore on them: to filter out spam and add more weight to the reviews of proven and experienced experts 

That’s how we were able to create the collection of best crossfit shoes out there

Popular training shoes aren't the better rated ones

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10 best shoes
6 most popular shoes

Features of Crossfit shoes

 

Steady platform

CrossFit shoes have a flat-heeled, denser midsole that makes for a steady foundation for weightlifting. Of course, they do not offer all the advantages of a dedicated weightlifting shoe with an elevated heel, but they are ready to assist the wearer for the ever-changing nature of CrossFit.

 

Enhanced durability

These trainers also come with special add-ons that protect them from damaging exercises. They are equipped with a rope-guard to shield the midfoot from rope burn. A thick toe cap also protects the toe area during burpees. Finally, a sturdy heel counter protects the heel and ankle-end part of the shoes from abrasions due to headstand pushups. It also ensures that the rear is held firmly in place throughout the training session.

 

Versatility

Purchasing a pair of CrossFit shoes will save you money in the long run as you no longer have to be lugging different shoes for different activities. You are also guaranteed to have shoes that will support you through the day-to-day grueling workouts in the box.

 

Rubber rope guards

CrossFit involves a rope-climbing exercise that can be incredibly damaging to the shoes. That's why shoes for CrossFit are protected by rubber rope guards on the lateral and medial sides of the outsole which extend up to shield the midsole and upper as well. They guard the shoe against the abrasion caused by sliding down the rope and deliver a strong grip on the ascend.

 

Long-lasting upper

Since CrossFit is a strenuous activity, it requires the feet to do a lot of bending, bouncing, and moving around. Thus, it is essential to have a long-lasting upper that won’t easily rip. Some CrossFit shoes utilize strengthened yet breathable fabrics to ensure durability, foot containment, protection, and ventilation. 

Other pairs have overlays sewn on them to reinforce the high-wear areas. 

Toe caps are also installed on several CrossFit-specific models to protect the forefoot area from potentially abrasive exercises such as pushups, burpees, and weighted planks.

The best thing to do is to compare CrossFit shoes to other workout shoes and understand the difference.

 

Short runs (< 5km)

HIIT & Agility training

Weightlifting

moderate

heavy

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Everyday workout shoes

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Best for: moderate gym workouts; can double as casual wear

cushioned sole

high impact protection

lightweight (~200 - 300 grams/shoe)

Weightlifting shoes

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Best for: Olympic weightlifting

very durable

heavy (~400 - 500 grams/shoe)

elevated heel (15 - 25 mm)

non-compressible platform

Cross-training/CrossFit shoes

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Best for: intermediate to advanced gym sessions

flat and firm sole

more durable than workout shoes

better ground feel

low drop (0 - 4 mm)

protection for rope climbs

 

How will I know if a training shoe is appropriate for CrossFit?

Most brands don’t usually market their shoes using the CrossFit name because Reebok is the only brand licensed to do so. But they have found a way to work around this restriction by naming their CrossFit-dedicated lines of shoes after specific terms used within the CrossFit community like Nike’s Metcon line. Brands like Inov-8 tend to market their CrossFit trainer shoes as functional fitness shoes as opposed to everyday training shoes.

As for the construction, a surefire way to tell if the footwear is ideal for CrossFit is if it has a rope-guard in the midfoot. It also has a more robust exterior thanks to the toe guard, midfoot rubber cage, and heel counter.

The best crossfit shoes in every category

Now, are you ready to buy crossfit shoes?

Author
Nicholas Rizzo
Nicholas Rizzo

Nick is a powerlifter who believes cardio comes in the form of more heavy ass squats. Based on over 1.5 million lifts done at competitions, his PRs place him as an elite level powerlifter. His PRs have him sitting in the top 2% of bench presses (395 lbs), top 3% of squats (485 lbs) and top 6% of deadlifts (515 lbs) for his weight and age. His work has been featured on Forbes, Bodybuilding.com, Elite Daily and the like. Collaborating along the way with industry leaders like Michael Yessis, Mark Rippetoe, Carlo Buzzichelli, Dave Tate, Ray Williams, and Joel Seedman.

nick@runrepeat.com