CrossFit is a complex sport that involves multiple different disciplines within one workout. One minute you might be doing box jumps, next you’re doing double unders, then you’re throwing weights above your head doing clean and jerks before having to run a mile.
As such, it can be tough to know which shoes to wear. You can’t run in lifting shoes but it’s not great trying to lift in running shoes. That’s where CrossFit shoes come into play. We take a look at what makes a great CrossFit shoe and some of the best on the market.
What are CrossFit shoes?
If you’re serious about CrossFit, you should be wearing CrossFit shoes. CrossFit shoes differ from other training shoes as they are specially-designed to have a solid sole for lifting, but are flexible enough to run in and as such are suitable for the versatility of this sport.
Tom McBride, Sundried ambassador and owner of a CrossFit box in Hawaii says, “You want something that is comfortable to run in, but offers a hard enough sole to allow a solid platform when weightlifting. On one end of the spectrum you have weightlifting shoes which you would never want to run, jump rope, or do much lateral movement in. They are very stiff, heavy, and have a wide base. Running shoes on the other hand are very light, and sometimes have very squishy or even air-padded soles. These would never last in weightlifting and could cause potential injury. CrossFit is about being well-rounded, and the shoes are no different.”
How To Choose CrossFit Shoes
Now that CrossFit is gaining more popularity, CrossFit shoes are becoming more prevalent among mainstream brands. Some of the most popular CrossFit shoes on the market are those made by Reebok and Nike. Reebok is the name sponsor of CrossFit and so naturally have a high stake in the market. Nike are one of the biggest sports retailers in the world and sponsor such high profile CrossFit athletes as Sara Sigmundsdottir and Mat Fraser. If you choose CrossFit shoes from either of these brands, you know you’re going to get a good product.
When it comes to quality, Tom says, “The best test to see if a shoe will last is to climb a rope in the shoe. I've seen brand new shoes disintegrate after a few proper rope climbs. Run, jump, lift weights, play sports, and just be athletic in the shoe. If they can do all of those things well, they're probably just fine.”
Best shoes for CrossFit
The Nike Metcon is one of the most popular CrossFit shoes on the market. Both Sara Sigmundsdottir and Mat Fraser are ambassadors for this shoe and it stands up to the test.
Read our Nike Metcon 3 review for a full in-depth analysis of this popular CrossFit shoe.
Reebok is CrossFit’s official partner and as such a lot of dedicated CrossFit athletes will swear by this brand no matter what. The Nano is Reebok’s answer to Nike’s MetCon and it’s a fair contender.
The Reebok CrossFit Nano features Reebok’s signature ‘NanoWeave’ technology, which is a synthetic construction designed to promote breathability, durability, and flexibility in the shoe. The entire shoe is encased by a full rubber outsole which creates fantastic traction for your lifts. Costing a shade under £100, it’s a fair price for this technical shoe and you can be sure to trust in their ability.
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