5 Best Crossfit Shoes For Men in 2023

Nicholas Rizzo
Nicholas Rizzo on
5 Best Crossfit Shoes For Men in 2023
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CrossFit is a workout program that incorporates a lot of exercises. Cardio, weightlifting, calisthenics, name them all - they are all included in the program in one way or another. Because of this, any man who wants to do well as a CrossFit practitioner needs the support of a dependable training shoe that's really made for this sport.

To help you guys choose the best CrossFit shoes for men, we tested every training shoe - all 60+ of them - and then came up with the list of those shoes that have the most capacity to lead you to CrossFit success.

CrossFit is technically a Reebok brand, so you can expect a lot of Reebok shoes on this list. Of course, we have some Nike and Under Armour in the pile, too.

How we test crossfit shoes

Maintaining objectivity is a must for anyone who wants to come up with a best-shoes-for-whatever list. Hence, we do the following:

  • Buy the shoes using our own money
  • Test the shoes in actual CrossFit workout sessions
  • Weigh also the opinions of others before finalizing our assessments.

In addition to our concise qualitative assessments, we also present a figure that we call the CoreScore. Every training shoe has it, and it's calculated by getting the weighted average of all the ratings that we stumble upon online. These ratings may come from experts like ourselves, CrossFit practitioners, and even hobbyists who just enjoy a good workout.

Best Crossfit shoes overall

Reebok Nano X1

What makes it the best?

The Nano X1 lives up to the level of quality expected from the Nano series but strays away from its predecessors’ Crossfit-centeredness. Reebok now describes it as the shoe for "ultimate fitness." It is designed for people who love to train hard and don't want to be limited by just one type of workout.


  • Versatile, less Crossfit-specific
  • Upper hugs the foot
  • Lighter than Nike Metcons
  • Cushioned for short runs
  • Great traction on gym floors
  • Secure lockdown
  • Plenty of toe space
  • Very breathable
  • Stylish for casual wear


  • Collar rubs the heel
  • Tongue slides a bit
  • Not the best for weightlifting
Full review of Reebok Nano X1

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Any color
Dynamic Red/White/Black (FX3244)
Pure Grey 3/Vector Navy/Vector Red (GW8891)
Cold Grey/Core Black/Orange Flare (LSM82)
Footwear White/Vector Navy/Classic Teal (FZ5680)
Negbás Ftwbla Margol (GW4303)
White (FZ0634)
Black (FZ5683)
Court Blue/Dynamic Red/Vector Navy (FY3534)
More colors

Best crossfit wide toebox training shoes for men

Nike Metcon 6

What makes it the best?

The experts unanimously agree that the Nike Metcon 6 is a superior training shoe. One reviewer goes as far as calling it his “favorite training shoe to date,” while another one finds it “the most well-rounded training shoe” on the market. The consensus is that it is THE best Metcon yet.


  • Excellent all-arounder
  • Most stable trainer
  • Very comfortable
  • Most breathable Metcon
  • Great lateral support
  • Good for jumps
  • Perfect for rope climbs
  • Comes with Hyperlift inserts
  • Very durable
  • Super grippy


  • Not for running
  • Not for wide feet
Full review of Nike Metcon 6

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Any color
Black (AT3160010)
Black Limelight Lime (CK9388001)
Light Solar Flare Heather/Summit White/Gum Medium Brown (CK9388009)
Black/Anthracite (CK9388011)
Deep Royal Blue Mtlc Platinum Brt Mango Blackened Blue Cyber (CK9388400)
White/Black (CK9388100)
Black/Light Blue Fury/Light Bone (CK9388070)
Grey (DJ3073001)
More colors

Best crossfit extra wide toebox training shoes for men

What makes it the best?

Reebok has made a step in the right direction with the long-awaited Nano 9. The wearers consider it an excellent evolution of the Nano 8. The brand takes the already successful model and brings its comfort, stability, and versatility to a new level. It is deemed an all-in-one option for anything a person can do at the box: jumping, squatting, deadlifting, rope climbing, running, or simply walking around.


  • Ground contact
  • Stable
  • Wide feet friendly
  • Good traction
  • Breathable


  • Runs large
  • Overly stiff sole
Full review of Reebok CrossFit Nano 9

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Any color
Light Sand/Army Green/Fiery Orange (EGQ72)
Black/True Grey/Toxic Yellow (FU9371)
Black/Grey/Fieora (DV6349)
black (FU6826)
Blue (EG0599)
White (FV4768)
Black/Bright Cyan/White (DV6352)
Gray (FU7571)
More colors

Best low drop crossfit shoes for men

Reebok Nano X

What makes it the best?

As befits a Nano, the Nano X is a versatile cross-trainer which is pretty good at everything and really good at lifting. It's a one-stop-shop for workouts if you're not running. It's one of the best trainers out there and you can even rock it as an every day sneaker.


  • Versatile gym and CrossFit shoe
  • Superb stability for lifting
  • Secure fit and heel support
  • Very durable
  • Spacious toebox
  • Excellent grip
  • Solid lateral support
  • Edgy style
  • Best for weightlifting
  • Doubles as an everyday sneaker


  • On the heavier side
  • Not for 2+ mile runs
  • Frail on rope climbs
Full review of Reebok Nano X

Today's best price

Any color
Black (EF7298)
Green (FV6670)
Black/White/White (EH3094)
Army Green/Poplar Green/Reebok Lee (FCK22)
Footwear White/Core Black/Vector Red (GW6015)
White/Core Black/Solar Gold (GW6012)
Black (EF7071)
Pure Grey 5/Pure Grey 3/Pure Grey 7 (GW6017)
More colors

Best Nike crossfit shoes for men

What makes it the best?

The Nike Free X Metcon 2 is a comfortable and good-looking cross-trainer that gives you confidence on the gym floor. Whether you do lateral movements, steady balanced lifts, or treadmill runs, this Nike shoe has got your back.


  • True to size
  • Secure foot lockdown
  • Superb comfort
  • Stable for heavy lifts
  • No break-in time
  • Durable
  • Light, breathable upper
  • Looks good


  • Squeaky
Full review of Nike Free x Metcon 2

Today's best price

Any color
004 black/white (AQ8306004)
Black (AQ8306002)
Blue (AQ8306300)
Cool Grey Wolf Grey Black Pure Platinum (AQ8306003)
Red (AQ8306600)
Grey (AQ8306061)
Blue (AQ8306434)
Red (AQ8306601)

Comparison of the 5 best crossfit shoes for men

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5 things to look for in a men’s CrossFit shoe

Here’s our guide to selecting the ideal men’s CrossFit shoe to meet all your training requirements.

Offset (Heel-to-toe drop)

Otherwise known as heel-to-toe drop, the offset is the difference between the heel height and the toe height. The higher your offset the higher your heel position will be. 


Example of a 4-mm drop (NOBULL Trainer)


Example of a 7-mm drop (Reebok Nano X1)

CrossFit shoes usually range between 2 mm and 8 mm, with the average being a 4 mm heel drop. This is not as high as a typical workout shoe (8-10 mm) and is intended to provide a middle ground that allows you to do Olympic lifts as well as a range of other functional movements.

A higher heel height is going to be a real hassle when it comes to doing plyometric moves like box jumps or running. That's why you'll find that the most popular CrossFit shoes, like Nike Metcons, generally have a 4 to 6 mm heel drop.


There is no standardization when it comes to the best heel drop for you. The more flexible your ankle is, the lower the heel drop you require. If you know that your ankle mobility isn't the best, look for a heel drop in the 6 to 8 mm range. The popular Reebok Nano models starting from X1 (X2, X3) have come out with a 7-mm drop which made them more versatile.


Nike Metcons (from version 5 onwards) come with a heel insert called the Hyperlift. Without the insert, the drop is 4 mm. When you include the insert it goes up to 12 mm. That allows you to use the higher heel drop for your Olympic lifts and then pull them out when you move on to the rest of your workout. You can also buy cheap inserts that can be placed in the sole of any of your workout shoes to increase the heel drop.


Dedicated weightlifting shoes have a much higher drop (8+ mm) to put the foot into a plantar flex position prior to moving. This sets up the ankle better for dorsiflexion as well as also allowing the knee to track forward more easily. You will be able to achieve greater depth in your squat with a more upright torso position. You may want to consider getting a dedicated pair of lifters if weight training makes up a significant portion of your Crossfit regimen.

Roomy toebox

The toebox of a CrossFit shoe is the space in the forefoot between the balls of your feet on the ends of your toes. The toe box needs to be wide enough to allow you to splay your toes in order to enhance your grip on the floor. A toe box that is too narrow will make your foot feel cramped, which can cause a cascade of problems up the kinetic chain that robs you of both strength and stability. 


On average, the widest part of the toebox in Crossfit shoes is 100 mm.

When CrossFit shoes are made, the manufacturer uses a 'last', which is a mechanical form shaped like a human foot. It sets the size, silhouette, and outline of the shoe. Shoe companies can choose from more than a hundred lasts, so they try to go with one that will cover the greatest market share of customer foot shapes. They generally stick with the same last for all of their shoes.

As a result, even if you get the same size in every Crossfit shoe, the shape of the toebox is likely to be different.


The ideal CrossFit shoe will allow for a small amount of room between the end of your toes and the toe box. But it shouldn’t be too much that it will cause your foot to slide. A gap of around 0.4” will enable toe splay when lifting and prevent the foot from feeling too cramped. A shoe that is either too tight or too loose will cause cramping or foot slide when doing plyometric exercises.

Midsole & Stack height

The midsole construction of a CrossFit shoe is the material that separates the insole from the outsole. Stack height refers to the amount of material that separates your foot from the floor.

difference between stack height and heel drop

Lifters who are using max poundages will want a shoe that has less stack height between the foot and the floor. This minimizes the compressibility of the shoe, allowing for far more secure support and reducing the possibility of ankle mobility.

However, other CrossFit activities need a decent amount of compression. Your WOD might see you going from 15 snatches to a one-mile run, then on to a dozen pull-ups and 20 box jumps.

The challenge for manufacturers of CrossFit shoes is to achieve a happy medium that will allow trainers to get the stability they need on heavy lifts as well as the cushioning required when running and doing plyo moves.

CrossFit shoes tend to use a dual-density foam: softer and more responsive in the forefoot but stiff and firm in the heel to provide stability for heavy lifting.


CrossFit shoe uppers need to be strong enough to handle such exercises as rope climbs and burpees without beginning to break down.


The upper should also be breathable, allowing air to circulate to the feet and preventing sweat build-up.

Reebok Nano X1 (left) vs. NOBULL Trainer (right)


Knit-weave uppers are a good option, being light, flexible, and airy


If you are doing a lot of outdoor training you should go for a full rubber outsole with quite an aggressive tread pattern. If your workouts are going to be mainly in the gym, a flatter tread pattern will work best. 


Rope climbing probably presents the greatest shoe challenge of any CrossFit activity. To get up that rope you’ve got to clamp your feet tightly to an extremely abrasive rope. Unless the shoe is built to counter this stress, it will soon deteriorate. Sidewall blowout is, not surprisingly, the most common CrossFit shoe failure. 


That’s why many CrossFit shoes have an extended outsole that comes up the side of the instep featuring ridges where the foot grips onto the rope. Others add a TPU reinforcement to strengthen the sidewall of the shoe.

A couple of shoes with excellent midfoot guards for rope climbing are the Nike Metcon 6 and 7.

The best brands of men’s CrossFit shoes

There are three standout manufacturers in the men’s CrossFit shoe space.


Reebok is the OG when it comes to CrossFit shoes. They brought out the first CrossFit shoe with the release of the Nano in 2011. That same year, Reebok became the official provider of licensed CrossFit footwear. The Nano has gone through more than a dozen iterations.


Nike’s answer to the Reebok Nano is the Metcon. First released in 2015, it has become the most popular CrossFit shoe. Every version from the Metcon 5 on comes with removable Hyper Lift inserts that increase the heel-to-toe ratio. The inserts can be used for heavy lifting and then removed for functional training.


The youngest brand in the bunch (est. 2015), NOBULL managed to become the CrossFit community's favorite in a matter of a few years. The crowd loved the brand's Trainer shoe for its simple yet highly functional design and an endless variety of color options. Sturdy and hard-wearing yet blissfully comfortable, the NOBULL Trainers are rated with high scores by thousands of reviewers. The Trainer Low and the beefed-up Trainer+ are the most popular choices for CrossFit.


Frequently Asked Questions

Do I really need a dedicated pair of men's CrossFit shoes?

If you’re a regular CrossFitter then, yes, you really should have a pair of CrossFit shoes. They’ll provide the stability you need for your heavy lifts along with the flexibility and cushioning needed for plyometrics and running. CrossFit shoes will also provide you with the durability needed to handle abrasive activities like rope climbing.

How are CrossFit shoes different from running shoes?

Running shoes have a lot more cushioning than CrossFit shoes. They also tend to have a higher heel-to-toe drop. CrossFit lifts such as the snatch, deadlift, and squat require a rigid sole, while runners need a soft sole to provide maximum impact absorption and cushioning. 

CrossFit shoes also have a wider toe box than running shoes. This allows for the natural toe splay that occurs when you are pushing a heavy object straight up. Many CrossFit shoes also feature a rope guard to strengthen the midfoot during rope climbs and a sturdy heel counter to protect the heel during headstand push-ups. 


CrossFit shoes also have more reinforced uppers. You will need that extra durability when doing exercises such as burpees, weighted planks, and push-ups.

How long do men's Crossfit shoes last?

The amount of life you get out of your CrossFit shoe will depend on how often you work out, how intense your sessions are, and how much abrasive stress the shoe gets with things like rope climbing.

As a general guide, you should expect your CrossFit shoe to last between 8-12 months. Anything less than 8 months is a poor lifespan while getting more than a year’s life from a pair of shoes that you wear several times per week should be considered a bonus.


There are a few things you can do to prolong the life of your CrossFit shoes:

How to take care of CrossFit shoes (so they last longer)
Wash them properly Don’t just throw them into the washing machine and dryer. Doing so can lead to early degradation of the PVU, foam, and mesh caused by the sudden change from water logging to extreme heat.
Handwash preferred Instead of putting your CrossFit shoes in the washing machine, clean them by hand with a washcloth, soft soap, and warm water. Dab the washcloth in the water and add a dollop of soap to it and then spot clean.
Air dry When it comes to drying the shoe, take out the insole and put them in a dry area. Then stuff some newspaper into the shoe until you replace the insole.
Put them on with care Do you have the habit of jamming your feet into your shoes to get into them as quickly as possible? It’s not a good move, especially if you’re wanting to get as much life out of the shoe as possible. Retrain yourself to unlace your shoes when you’re putting them on to avoid wrecking the internal heel construction.
Keep them for gym use only Wearing your CrossFit shoes only for your workouts will help to preserve their life. They aren’t designed for everyday wear so don’t wear them on the street, no matter how cool they look.
Store them properly You should also store your shoes properly. If you keep them in your gym bag along with your sweaty lifting belt and gloves, the moisture and humidity are going to take a toll on the polyurethane and foam. Get them out of your gym bag, air them out, and place them in a dry area with a neutral temperature. If you don't already have one, it would pay to invest in a shoe rack.


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.