7 Best Crossfit Shoes in 2024
A Crossfit session involves a lot of different movements: from a warmup run to a series of box jumps, from holding a plank to lifting 400 lbs. That’s why Crossfit shoes must live up to a large span of expectations.
Most Crossfit shoes host all the necessary features to face demanding training sessions and competitions. But there is also room for variety as some shoes are best for super heavy lifting, some are a bit lighter and more cushioned for cardio, and some are comfortable enough for all-day wear.
We have tested Crossfit shoes from every popular brand to select the best options in different categories.
How we test crossfit shoes
To achieve the most objective and data-backed shoe reviews on the web, we do the following:
- We buy each CrossFit shoe we want to test with our own money. No sponsorships allowed.
- We get firsthand experience training in 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.
Best Crossfit shoes overall
Crossfit shoes with the best comfort
Best all-rounder shoes for Crossfit
Best lightweight Crossfit shoes
Best Crossfit shoes for short runs
Best Crossfit shoes for outdoor workouts
Crossfit shoes with the best value
What is a Crossfit shoe?
Crossfit shoes are the most versatile, stable, and sturdy category of cross-training shoes.
Priced about £30 higher than regular trainers, they are more suitable for athletes who train regularly and want to achieve the highest performance in Crossfit. As a beginner, you don't have to invest in a dedicated Crossfit shoe just yet.
Several key features set a Crossfit shoe apart from a regular training shoe:
- low profile and minimal cushioning
- enhanced support and stability
- higher durability (+protection for rope climbs)
Cushioning in Crossfit shoes
Pressing a heavy barbell over your head, you want to feel firmly planted on the ground. There should be no squish or wobbling in your feet whatsoever.
That's why Crossfit shoes are built with the following midsole parameters:
- low heel stack (no more than 27 mm)
- low heel-to-toe drop (no more than 8 mm)
- firm cushioning
We measure stack heights precisely in the same spot using a calliper.
Example of a low-stack (21.5 mm) and low-drop (5.5 mm) Crossfit shoe.
We apply an HA durometer to the shoe's half-cut midsole to measure its firmness.
Based on our lab data, Crossfit shoe midsoles are 10% firmer compared to regular trainers and 20% firmer than running shoes on average. It makes them less compressible and as a result, more stable.
As you can see, there is variation within Crossfit shoes as well:
- if you want a more minimal, almost barefoot-like experience, go for shoes with a lower stack (<24 mm) and drop (<6 mm)
- if you prefer more cushioning for cardio and HIIT, opt for a higher stack (>24 mm) and drop (>6 mm) and softer foam (<25 HA*)
*Midsole softness: the lower HA reading means softer and the higher HA number means firmer.
Lateral support and stability
Stability is where Crossfit shoes undercut many other cross-trainers.
In addition to their firm and grounded platforms, these trainers are equipped with supportive components like sidewalls, shanks, sturdy heel counters, and more to keep the foot securely in place.
We assess the torsional rigidity of Crossfit shoes in a manual test.
We also check each shoe's heel counter stiffness with a squeeze and push.
Using a calliper, measure the widest parts of each shoe's platform.
Crossfit shoes with lower torsional rigidity (score: 1-2) are less stable but more flexible. We can recommend them for fast-paced workouts with lots of agile footwork.
Durability of Crossfit shoes
There are a few durability features that usually come with Crossfit shoes:
- rope guards that shield the shoe's upper and sole from rope burn when descending
- additional protective overlays that minimise wear and tear on the upper material
We use a Dremel with a sandpaper tip to test the abrasion resistance of each Crossfit shoe in our lab.
Our lab results show that Crossfit shoes score higher in the durability department compared to standard cross-training shoes.
*Outsole durability: the lower number means more durable. It indicates how many millimetres of outsole rubber have been burnt by our Dremel.
FAQs about Crossfit shoes
How will I know if a training shoe is appropriate for CrossFit?
Brands don’t market their shoes using the Crossfit name because they are not licenced 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.
Can you walk in Crossfit shoes?
Given their performance-oriented features and flat soles, Crossfit shoes aren’t intended for everyday use. They might be too expensive as well to wear casually. But they are flexible enough to be worn for many hours at the gym if you are coaching.