10 Best Crossfit Shoes in 2021

Nicholas Rizzo
Nicholas Rizzo on
10 Best Crossfit Shoes in 2021

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 five 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.

And if want to know why regular trainers don’t always make a good Crossfit shoe, scroll down to the guide below.

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 the most dependable crossfit shoes out there

Best overall

The Nike Metcon 7 is not only king of all Metcons, it’s also king of all the Crossfit shoes in our arsenal! And that is not without reason! 

First off, nothing comes close to this shoe’s focus on stability! It’s a solid A+ in this department! 

Throughout our workouts, we NEVER felt any sensation of our ankles rolling. Nope, our feet are grounded and planted, thanks to the shoe’s wide heel!

We highly laud this feature, especially during squats and lifts. Apart from the base keeping us steady, the upper is also there to really wrap around our feet, locking it in place! Simply, the best of the best

And the best only gets better! 

The React foam is to die for! Literally, it’s stable yet bouncy. Yes, an odd combination, which the Metcon does so FLAWLESSLY! 

It has enough give for some spring, and has enough stiffness to really balance the feet and keep it well-supported! And when we had to execute some burpees, runs, and double-unders, we tell you, it’s just golden! 

Not only is it a lively feel, it is also an efficient one! We are just blazing through all the motions! 

And oh my goodness, the comfort is just superlative! As in, la crème de la crème! It’s plush and cozy, we don’t want to take it off! 

Rope climbs? Easy breezy! The support and comfort may be solid, but traction is A-OK! This shoe just bites into the rope!

And at 12.5 oz, the Nike Metcon 7 doesn’t feel heavy at all! We were even surprised how Nike managed to pull off a shoe that’s so light without skimping on anything! 

See our full review and facts

Versatile is the name of the game! We have taken the Reebok Nano X1 out on all the workouts we could ever imagine, and this shoe just WOWS us! 

And it sure wins us over during our WODS! From strength training, cardio, to running, this trainer just does everything so well! Jack-of-all-trades typically are good at everything and masters of none, but this shoe is a game-changer! 

It’s not only good at everything, it EXCELS at everything! 

This is especially true in the comfort arena! After some hard gym sessions, we've been surprised by how fresh our feet and legs were! Even after several running stretches, this shoe is fire! 

And to truly up its comfort game, the shoe’s toe box is wide! Don’t worry about foot swelling and toe splay, this trainer has got you covered! 

During burpees and planks, boy are we comfortable! The flex up front just gave our feet freedom to move! 

Fit is also a strong feature of this shoe! It just screams performance! The heel is snug and so is the midfoot. ZERO wobbling at all! 

But what legit took us by surprise is the shoe’s super light weight. It’s even lighter than the Metcon! 

And who can forget this shoe’s grip? It’s so superb, it just crushes everything underfoot! 

Whew! This shoe is just fantastic in everything! If there was one drawback to it, it’s the lack of stability.

See our full review and facts

Best for agility

A shoe that truly lives up to its name, the Nike React Metcon Turbo has made us zoom through our workouts! It’s so efficient, we've just been breezing through everything! 

And like a true Metcon, this trainer is impressive from top to bottom! 

But the real deal here is the shoe’s EXTREMELY responsive midsole! The energy return is just top-notch, bolting through our runs is an easy feat! 

It also eats up agility-oriented training. It’s crazy snappy, efficient isn’t enough to describe it! 

The comfort is just off the charts! This shoe breathes, and it sure is a couch to the feet! All around, our feet are enveloped with plushness. Now, that’s something else! 

And because we’re big fans of the Nike Metcons, and we just can’t get our feet off them, we are living proof that this is the lightest of the bunch! So light, it almost feels airy! 

It only gets better. The stability this shoe has is just top-notch! From lateral movements, squats, and lifts, the consistent sensation is supportive! 

No slips, no wobbling. Just surefooted steps and stance! 

If you plan on taking out the Nike React Metcon Turbo for some serious heavy lifting, please don’t. This is NOT the shoe. And rope climbs? Sadly, it’s not for it either. 

But if you’re looking to buy a trainer that ticks all the boxes for Crossfit and speed, this is THE shoe! 

See our full review and facts

Comfortable and fast? Take both in the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v3! Putting it through the paces, it’s a no-brainer for us to make it a part of this list! 

It’s a damn good training shoe, and it sure shines in speedy workouts! 

This shoe is off to a good start. The moment we put it on, the instant reaction has been “wow, this is incredibly light!” So much so, it almost feels like we had nothing on! 

This, of course, is always a HUGE plus when it comes to anything fast-related! The shoe doesn’t weigh us down at all! If anything, it makes us efficient! 

You might think that it’s barely-there weight comes at the cost of reduced comfort. Nope. This trainer is among the most comfortable shoes we’ve come across! The upper is plush-fitting and there’s more than enough cushion underfoot for a cozy feel! 

And when it comes to traction, it’s impressive! Rope climbs are barely a challenge to us! This shoe just grips into everything and anything! 

Deadlifts and squats were just as awesome! As in, stability is king! The upper wraps around the feet’s contours nice and tight, while the midsole and outsole work hand-in-hand to provide support underfoot! 

Ultimately, the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v3 is a terrific agility trainer that can go above and beyond everything (as long as it's not heavy weightlifting!)

See our full review and facts

Best for comfort

Versatile, modern, and one hell of a comfy shoe, why the Under Armour TriBase Reign 3 tops this list is indisputable! 

The comfort it has is just out of this world! It’s almost like our feet have won a spa-day treat! From the bottom up, it's heaven to the feet! 

From the midsole, it’s plush, and the upper just takes everything up a notch! It’s breathable and padded, it doesn’t only lock the feet in place, it also gives it a cozy wrap! 

Even better, these do NOT make it heavy! Most well-cushioned shoes have some sacrifices on weight, but not this one! It’s as light as it could be! 

So much so there’s never a feeling of foot-dragging in this shoe! 

Now onto the testing! And we’re telling you, this trainer is just pure magic in cardio and strength training! 

After several gym sessions, it has proven its prowess in areas of responsiveness and stability! 

And when it comes to plyometrics, this shoe seals its name as a dedicated all-rounder! It’s plenty flexible, encouraging fast-paced motions! And this is only furthered by its grip! 

Rope climbs and fast lateral movements are nothing with this shoe! It latches to everything, and it latches real good! ZERO feeling of rollover nor instability! 

Weight lifts? This has got you covered! The wide heel just locks you into position. 

And to top it all off, the Under Armour TriBase Reign 3 is one good-looking shoe! If you want to turn some heads and just step up your workout style, you won’t go wrong in this shoe!

See our full review and facts

The Reebok Froning is great at everything, and does nothing wrong! And for us, this is especially true in the comfort department! 

From the upper to the midsole, the comfort of this Crossfit trainer is unquestionable! It’s well-cushioned, it’s very pleasant to the feet. So much so, our feet feel so at home in it! 

Even after a series of rigorous workouts, our legs still feel fresh and free from fatigue and strain! 

It also fits like a glove, which is always a big YAY when it comes to training shoes! Yes, it’s snug, but not once have we felt that it’s constricting. If anything, it moved along with the motions, amping up comfort even more! 

The Froning’s do-it-all qualities are also its defining features!

In weightlifting and squats, our feet are stable and supported. During runs, it’s comfortable and responsive. And in jumps, it made us leap even higher! 

So, if you want a great value training shoe, this is THE shoe! 

A Crossfit shoe that can take a beating? Count the Reebok Froning in! Its outsole is sturdy and is built like a tank, it sure will outlive other training shoes in your closet! 

And this is good news when it comes to weightlifting. In this arena, durable soles are the real deal! So if you want one shoe for everything, picking this shoe is more than wise!

See our full review and facts

Best budget shoe

It’s cheap and it’s great at everything? The Reebok Speed TR sure has stunned us! 

From climbers, presses, squat rack, treadmills, rowers, and cycles, you can’t get more versatile than this! Truly a shoe for all gym stations! Even better, it’s not just good at everything, it’s OUTSTANDING! 

It’s a shoe that has kept our feet securely in place! The upper just encapsulates the foot with a glove-like fit, preventing slips and wobbling.

Boosting support even more, the midsole is extremely stable! It has an optimal blend of rigidity and softness to keep strides steady and to keep the weight grounded! 

The Reebok Speed TR is HIGHLY versatile, it’s even a great shoe outside of the gym! May it be walking, running, or biking,  it’s got what it takes to swallow miles and keep the feet cozy and supported! 

And what’s surprising is that it’s not at all bulky! In fact, it’s among the lightest training shoes on our roster! Contrary to the average 10.4 oz training shoes, it’s unbelievably light at 8.4 oz! 

It’s not only an ace in comfort and stability, it’s also on top of its game in responsiveness and spring! So much so, we were bouncing through all our jump rope hops! Even more, it made us leap higher! 

And to really seal the deal, it’s one heck of a sturdy shoe! It’s built to last and our tests only prove this true! 

After multiple rough wear testing, the Speed TR has shown little to no signs of scratches on the outsole, and upper at all! The midsole is also just as responsive, it’s not packing out prematurely! 

See our full review and facts

The Nike Metcon Sport proves to us that not all low-priced shoes are also low in quality. And if you’re looking for a Crossfit shoe that’s a bang for the buck, trust us, this is THE shoe! 

Right off the bat, it’s comfortable! It’s cushy underfoot, and it’s breathable! And if you want a shoe that can handle everything and anything, the Metcon Sport won’t disappoint! 

Whether it’s jumping, lifting, running, or fast-paced workouts, this shoe is cut out for it! 

It’s the first Metcon that comes with a slip-on cleatie and Velcro closure, and all we can say is, kudos to Nike! This shoe made us just as supported as the other Metcons in our collection! 

Even better, putting the shoe on and off is child’s play! It’s super convenient and easy! 

Speaking of stability, the wide base is the star of the show! It has anchored us to the ground, especially during our squats and lifts! And the SUPERBLY supportive lockdown system has only been there to make things better! 

And running? It’s a cinch! This shoe is just uber comfortable, we can go miles on end! And when it comes to jumping and agile workouts, the Metcon Sport makes them look like a piece of cake! 

The midsole is not only cushy, it’s also got some spring! Making each step peppy and energetic! 

Nike just keeps coming up with better and better Metcon shoes every time, and the Nike Metcon Sport is no exception! It’s a gem for gym-goers on a budget searching for a value-oriented Crossfit shoe! 

See our full review and facts

Best grip

The Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 is made with  graphene, the world’s toughest outsole material, and it sure doesn’t cower in grip! 

And some rigorous training later, here we are bowing down to the king of kings! This shoe is as grippy as it could get! 

Rope climbs, quick lateral movements, and weightlifting - this trainer eats them all up! No matter the gym floor, unsteady footing is the least of your worries! It’s NOT in this shoe’s dictionary! 

Yes, it’s got MIGHTY grip, but it only gets better in sturdiness! Well, what else can you expect from a shoe that’s made with the world’s toughest material, right?

Our tough and rough wear testing is nothing to this beast! It’s unscathed and scratchless, it almost looks new! 

The party doesn’t stop there. Like a true versatile Crossfit shoe, it’s got loads of support! From top to bottom, this shoe makes it clear that it’s not here to play. It’s here to perform and it kills it! 

The upper locks the feet in position while the midsole keeps everything steady and balanced with its good rigidity-to-softness ratio. In simpler words, it keeps the feet from rolling far off to the sides. 

And the outsole is just a gold mine! It’s not only sturdy, it’s also very grippy - a solid combination if you want to have confident lifts! Add in its wide heel, it sure can’t get better than this! 

For so many features packed in one shoe, the Inov-8 F-Lite G 300’s steep price is easily justified. And it’s a shoe we’d gladly spend our money on!

See our full review and facts

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. 

Features-of-a-crossfit-shoe.png

  • 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)
Comfort-stability-meter.png

Cross-training/CrossFit shoes

CrossFit-shoes.png

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

Everyday-workout-shoes.png

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

cushioned sole

high impact protection

lightweight (~200 - 300 grams/shoe)

Weightlifting shoes

Weightlifting-shoes.png

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. 

Author
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.