10 Best Crossfit Shoes (Buyer's Guide)

Author: Nicholas Rizzo. Updated: .

WOD entails a lot of different movements. That’s why crossfit shoes need to live up to a large span of expectations. This guide will correlate shoe features with crossfit activities, so you can find out what to look for. Best crossfit shoes are showcased at the beginning.

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

Popular training shoes aren't the better rated ones

73 76 79 82 85 88 91 94 97 100
High Popularity Low
10 best shoes
17 most popular shoes

Features of crossfit shoes 

We will cover 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 an 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 which 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 spaces 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

Comfort-stability-meter.png

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

Cross-training/CrossFit shoes

CrossFit-shoes.png

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.

FAQ about crossfit shoes 

How much do crossfit shoes cost?

Here’s an overview of 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 a 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. 

The best crossfit shoes in every category

Which crossfit shoes brand has better reviews?

Which brand is cheaper?

Reebok $113
Nike $132
Inov-8 $141

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