7 Best Crossfit Shoes in 2023

Nicholas Rizzo
Nicholas Rizzo on
7 Best Crossfit Shoes in 2023
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WOD entails a lot of different movements: lifting, jumping, sprinting, and more. That’s why Crossfit shoes must live up to a large span of expectations. We have tested over 40 trainers from 7 different brands to select the best options in different categories.

The best overall Crossfit shoes host all the necessary features to face the most demanding training sessions and competitions. Highly stable for lifting exercises, they are just as versatile for box jumping, agility, rope climbing, and other activities. As for the other categories, they highlight some features slightly above being versatile.

We all got you if you want to know why regular trainers don’t always make a good Crossfit shoe, just read over our guide!

Best all-rounder shoes for Crossfit

What makes it the best?

The Under Armour Tribase Reign 5 is the ultimate jack of all trades among Crossfit shoes. With its excellent stability, cushioning, and durability, this all-rounder shoe works very well for just about any WOD we throw at it.

The Tribase Reign 5 is a rock-solid lifting shoe that is more than stable enough to handle heavy squats, deadlifts, and Olympic lifts. Both its lateral and torsional stability are excellent, as we feel firmly planted on the floor whenever we lift in it. We rated its torsional rigidity a 4 out of 5, with 5 being the stiffest, as we really had to exert a lot of effort into getting the shoe to twist side to side.

And despite having a slightly lower midsole stack - it's 2.8 mm and 1.1 mm shorter than average in the heel and forefoot, respectively - it still delivers excellent cushioning. Its midsole has a softness of 26.8 HA, which is very much average for training shoes, and we felt it did a wonderful job of protecting our feet when we did runs, jumps, and other dynamic movements during our Crossfit workouts.

Moreover, the Tribase Reign 5 is also quite a rugged shoe that can handle a beating in the Crossfit box. Its toebox is particularly tough; it got an impressive 4 out of 5 on our durability test, where 5 is the most durable, as our Dremel did minimal damage to it.

However, the Tribase Reign 5's heel to toe drop, which we measured to be 4.8 mm, is 2.4 times higher than its stated drop of 2 mm. So those looking for a minimal-drop Crossfit shoe should be aware.


  • Impressive impact protection
  • Extremely comfortable wraparound
  • Upper breathes well
  • Excellent upper durability
  • Provides stability for lifting
  • Dependable ankle support
  • Really nice grip on various surfaces


  • Drop is higher than stated
  • A bit stiff
Full review of Under Armour TriBase Reign 5

Crossfit shoes with the best comfort

Reebok Nano X3

What makes it the best?

Given its breathability and lush cushioning under the heel, the Reebok Nano X3 indeed delivered high levels of comfort. The shoe’s pretty stiff and supportive heel counter made this shoe even more suitable for CrossFit. With all these benefits combined, we consider this shoe the most comfortable among all CrossFit shoes that we tried.

After performing a smoke test on the Nano X3 in the lab, we gave it a score of 4 out of 5 for ventilation. In the gym, this meant that our feet were consistently aerated and kept dry.

Our HA durometer also told a very nice story as far as impact protection is concerned. It gave the cushion right under the heel a softness score of 20.5, making it significantly softer than the 27.0 average.

Of course, it’s not enough for a CrossFit shoe to be only comfortable. The X3’s heel counter, which we scored 4 out of 5 for stiffness after manually squeezing it in the lab, was effective in helping keep our feet in place when we did some lifting. 

We just did not like that the Nano X3 got a bit heavier than average. It registered 12.4 oz or 352.0g on the scale, which is higher than the 11.0 oz or 313g average.


  • Awesome fit
  • Extremely comfortable upper
  • Cloud-like cushioning
  • Good stability for moderate lifting
  • Nice bounce for jumps
  • Great for rope climbing
  • Scene-stealing appearance


  • Break-in needed
  • Heavier than average
  • Not for heavier weightlifting
Full review of Reebok Nano X3

Best Crossfit shoes for short runs

What makes it the best?

Among all the CrossFit shoes that we exercised in, we deem the Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 as the best for short runs because of its running friendly drop and softer-than-average midsole tooling that’s coupled with a pretty bouncy Zoom Air unit. The shoe’s reliably stiff heel counter stabilized not only our running but also our lifting stances.

The discovery that this shoe has a drop of 7.7 mm was quite a surprise since it was advertised to have only 4.0 mm. And for the sprinters among us, this might have been a blessing in disguise because the higher drop made this suitable for short runs.

The running-friendliness of this shoe was further enhanced by the combined power of a softer foam and a bouncy Zoom unit. Using an HA durometer in the lab, we learned that the midsole has a softness rating of 22.4, which is lower (hence softer) than the 27.0 average. The softness helped protect us from impact during our runs.

The reactive Zoom Air, for its part, fueled our strides. It’s not often that a trainer is equipped with a tech for propulsion, so the bouncy experience was a very welcome one.

The heel counter felt stiffer than usual when we put this shoe on. True enough, it got a 3 out of 5 for stiffness after it moderately resisted our squeezes in the lab.

Sure, the heel counter worked well but we had concerns about its durability. We did a Dremel test on it, and it only got a 2 out of 5.  


  • Bouncy Zoom Air in the forefoot
  • Good for short runs
  • Perfect for jumps and aerobics
  • Stable for moderate lifting
  • Excellent flexibility
  • Amazingly breathable
  • Durable outsole


  • Upper is not durable rope climbing
  • Heavy for a "speed-oriented" trainer
Full review of Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2

Best lightweight Crossfit shoes

NOBULL Trainer

What makes it the best?

In the world of training shoes, where the average weight is 11.5 oz (326g), the NOBULL Trainer is a light trainer at just 10.4 oz (294g). But the shoe is far from lightweight when it comes to its performance in a Crossfit box, as its fantastic flexibility, solid stability, and outstanding durability make it our top lightweight Crossfit trainer.

The NOBULL Trainer features tremendous flexibility, which makes it a fabulous shoe to wear for HIIT workouts and agility drills. After putting it through our 90 degree bend test, we found that it is 16.9% more flexible than the average training shoe. 

But the shoe still has enough stiffness to be a stable lifting shoe. Its midsole is 24% firmer than the average training shoe, and we felt it hardly compressed when lifting moderate weights on our power and Olympic lifts. Moreover, the shoe has a fairly flat platform, offering optimal ground contact.

Meanwhile, the SuperFabric upper lives up to its name as it is extremely durable. Even rope climbs barely scratch the incredibly tough material, so it will take some serious abuse inside the box to wreck the upper.

However, that super-durable upper comes at the cost of breathability as our feet got quite hot, particularly after high-intensity workouts. Neither smoke nor light could pass through the upper in our lab tests, which is why we graded the shoe's breathability the lowest score of 1 out of 5.


  • Versatile for any workout
  • Premium Crossfit trainer
  • Comfortable for all-day wear
  • Grips various surfaces and rope
  • Sturdy for moderate weightlifting
  • Easy to clean
  • Cushioned enough for jumps
  • Highly durable upper
  • Simple design with plenty of colorways


  • Not so breathable
  • Pricey
Full review of NOBULL Trainer

Best Crossfit shoes for outdoor workouts

What makes it the best?

The Reebok Nano X2 TR Adventure is our top Crossfit shoe for taking on workouts outside as we found out it has excellent durability and traction to handle all the outdoor action, while still being a superbly stable gym shoe.

The Nano X2 TR Adventure offers top-notch durability. The upper features reinforced ripstop nylon, which does a brilliant job of resisting abrasions during rope climbs as well as rocks and other debris. That heavy-duty upper also held up remarkably well in our lab durability test, as our Dremel only did minimal damage to it.

The outsole is also more than rugged enough to handle workouts out in the open. Its 85.5 HC outsole hardness and 4.4 mm outsole thickness are slightly above the training shoe averages of 84.4 HC and 4.00 mm, respectively. We also found it to have great grip while using it for trail treks, sprints, or riding a bike.

We also have no hesitation in using the shoe for heavy lifts and other Crossfit movements thanks to its excellent stability. Its midsole is 18.5% firmer than the average training shoe and hardly compresses even under heavy load. Moreover, it capably keeps our feet firmly in place during jumps and other dynamic movements. And our lab tests affirmed the support we felt in the shoe, as it scored a 3 out of 5 for both torsional rigidity and heel stiffness.

However, the firm base that helps give the shoe its rigidity does significantly add to its weight, which comes in at a heavy 12.2 oz (345g). That is 1.1 oz (30 g) heavier than the average training shoe.


  • Extremely durable for the outdoors
  • Dependable outdoor traction
  • Comfortable upper
  • Reliably protective
  • Functional versatility
  • Great support
  • True-to-size fit
  • Has reflective components


  • Not for niche exercises
  • Clunky and heavy
Full review of Reebok Nano X2 TR Adventure

Crossfit shoes with the best value

Reebok Nano 2.0

What makes it the best?

At $120 per pair, the Reebok Nano 2.0 is just around the average price for CrossFit shoes which is $124. But the performance of this shoe isn’t average at all. Its amazing breathability truly left no chance for sweat. Its intense flexibility allowed us to move with much more ease, especially when there was a need to twist or go around bends. Finally, its nicely firm midsole gave us the chance to speed up without exerting so much effort. 

We dissected this shoe in the lab and placed its upper material on top of a light source. The moment the light shone from below it, we saw gigantic ventilation holes, perfectly explaining the immense amount of breathability that we enjoyed. Hands down, the Nano 2.0 is a perfect 5 for ventilation.

A typical trainer would need 22.5N of force so it’s bent at 90 degrees. Our digital force gauge showed that this shoe needed much less than that, 11.3N to be exact. Its flexibility allowed for more natural flexions of our feet, making this shoe such a pleasure to wear.

The midsole of this shoe registered a 31.0 on our HA durometer, significantly higher (therefore firmer) than the 27.0 average. This firmness not only helped with acceleration because of its springy effect in motion, but it also aided us in attaining stability during lifting because of its inherent anti-wobble properties.

It’s just too unfortunate that the durability of the upper was not able to keep up with the greatness of the Nano 2.0 from Reebok. There was already significant damage after a couple of seconds of Dremel drilling.


  • Pleasantly lightweight
  • Low-profile and minimal
  • Grounded platform
  • Highly breathable
  • Very flexible
  • Solid grip
  • Spacious toebox


  • Lacks cushioning for jumps and runs
  • Upper is not durable
  • Tongue slips
Full review of Reebok Nano 2.0

Best Crossfit shoes overall

Nike Metcon 9

What makes it the best?

Nike Metcon 9 offers the best features for CrossFit, deserving to be crowned as best overall among CrossFit trainer in our records. It's a confidence booster with the superior stability and grip it offers across our various activities, and holds down our feet well when it’s time to lift. It displays signs of durability and offers insane breathability for our sweat sessions.

Despite the absence of a raised heel, Metcon 9 shines in weightlifting. Its wide and supportive base keeps us planted to the ground, whereas its sturdy sidewalls and protective upper establish a firm foothold for stability.

The outsole grips well on mats and gym floors, giving us the traction we need for mountain climbs, burpees, and jumps. This enhances stability, ensuring we can focus on our workout without wobbles. It shows no signs of wear, so we expect it to be a durable shoe.

The upper is an awesome blend of comfort and breathability. It felt homey with its padding, yet also refreshing with the airflow it provides, making it a great companion for indoor workouts too.

Unfortunately, Metcon 9 takes some to break in. We recommend walking it out before taking it to the gym.


  • Largely suitable for lifting
  • Great stability
  • Reliable foot containment
  • High levels of comfort
  • Nice grip on gym floors
  • Accommodates wide feet
  • Fairly durable structure
  • Easy on-off
  • Stylish modern appearance


  • Is NOT the best for cardio workouts
  • Still has to be broken in
Full review of Nike Metcon 9

Comparison of the 7 best crossfit shoes

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# of colorways

Features of crossfit shoes 

We will cover the features of crossfit shoes in comparison to running shoes. This will give the answer to the “can I use running shoes for crossfit” question. 

As with any other training shoe, comfort is imperative. Crossfit shoes should feel comfortable when lifting weights but also during the HIITs. 


  • Cushioning and heel drop: minimal 

Cushioning and mid or high heel-to-toe drop are usually great for running. However, they are not a desirable feature in Crossfit. When pressing a barbell over your HEAD, you want your heel firm on the ground, or as close as possible. Look for heel drop that’s in the 0-4mm range. 

  • Rigid soles 

Softer shoes are usually good for running. In Crossfit, you want them firm - this will allow for stability during squatting, cleaning, deadlift, snatching. This also means you should not expect crossfit shoes to work well for running. They will enable you to do some short warmups but are not intended for longer runs, especially outside. 

  • Wide toe box 

When running shorter distances competitively, racers tend to look for a more snug feel. In crossfit, it’s important to have a wide toe box that allows your toes to wiggle and spread. This way you’re more stable because weight is distributed evenly throughout the feet. In competitive running, this extra space might cause trouble, especially on downhill trails. 

  • Durability features

There are a few durability features that usually come with crossfit shoes: 

  • a rope-guard to shield the midfoot from rope burn with a good rope grip
  • a thick toe cap also protects the toe area during burpees, pushups, and weighted planks
  • 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.

These features are usually lacking in running shoes, since their upper is usually highly breathable. It might offer toe protection in trail running shoes, though. 

Crossfit shoes vs. other workout shoes 

To understand the features of crossfit shoes, the best thing to do is compare them to other workout shoes. 

Short runs (< 5km) HIIT & Agility training Weightlifting
    moderate heavy (using weight that you can only lift for 1-5 reps)

Cross-training/CrossFit shoes


Best for: intermediate to advanced gym sessions

flat and firm sole

more durable

better side support

better ground feel

low drop (0 - 4 mm)

has protection for rope climbs

Everyday workout shoes


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

cushioned sole

high impact protection

lightweight (~200 - 300 grams/shoe)

Weightlifting shoes


Best for: Olympic weightlifting

very durable

heavy (~400 - 500 grams/shoe)

elevated heel (15 - 25 mm)

non-compressible platform

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.

FAQ about crossfit shoes 

How much do crossfit shoes cost?

Here’s an overview of the average MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price) of the most popular crossfit shoes (brands) in the RunRepeat database.

Keep in mind that MSRP is only a listed price, so if you’re not eager to get the shoes the moment they hit the market, you can always look for a good deal. We’ve covered this process in our guide on finding cheap shoes

Can I wear crossfit shoes every day? 

Given their features, crossfit shoes aren’t intended for everyday use. They might be too expensive as well to wear casually. 

Do you wear socks in crossfit shoes? 

You do. Preferably the long ones. They protect your shin during rope climbs, but also during activities where you keep the bar close to your shin (deadlifts, clean, snatch). 

Metcon 5 hype - what’s that about?

These shoes have caused great hype within the crossfit community. The most innovative feature they offer is the Hyperlift - foam risers you can insert in the shoe when needed. These inserts are also compatible with previous Metcon versions. They offer a good boost on heavy lifts, thrusters, pistol squats. Unfortunately, they aren’t sold separately. 

Which Reebok Nano is the best? 

Reebok Nano was the first official crossfit shoe, released in 2011. 

Here you can see all the current Nano models ranked by their score. When you choose a certain model you can also see how it compares to the most similar ones. 

How we test crossfit shoes

To paint you a picture of what we do before we share our top picks:

  • We personally shop for the CrossFit shoes we like to test. We buy them using the money from our wallets. This way, we are objective in examining the shoes.
  • We get firsthand experience using the shoes. In the case of the CrossFit shoes, we like to explore more on their versatility. Therefore, we use them in as much high-intensity training as we can, dedicating a significant amount of time to each activity: jumping, sprinting, cycling, deadlifting, squats, and more.
  • We split open the shoes and conduct sorts of tests, which back up what we feel while working out on the shoes. This also gives us different quantitative data that we can interpret, qualitatively. 
Nicholas Rizzo
Nicholas Rizzo
Nick combines 10+ years of experience in the health and fitness industry and a background in the sciences in his role as the Fitness Research Director. During his competitive powerlifting years 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 Bodybuilding.com, LiveStrong, Healthline, WebMD, WashingtonPost, and many more. Along the way, collaborating with industry leaders like Michael Yessis, Mark Rippetoe, Carlo Buzzichelli, Dave Tate, Ray Williams, and Joel Seedman.