Crossfit is a popular interval training program that uses a set of alternating, high-intensity exercises to improve overall fitness. It can help boost your endurance, flexibility, strength, balance, agility, and coordination. Since it incorporates a huge variety of exercises, it is important to have the right set of gears, including shoes. This buying guide will help you find the best crossfit shoes for your next Workout of the Day (WOD).
Tips When Buying CrossFit Shoes
CrossFit requires constant movement and you need to find the best pair of shoes, but how do you do it? Here are some helpful tips to give you an idea about what to look for when buying a pair of CrossFit shoes.
Assess the Structure
Some CrossFit workouts will make you do rope climbs. This is why you need to consider the shoes’ structure. You want to look for a footwear with some texture on the sides. Your shoes should also be durable and lightweight, such as those made from vinyl, nylon, or rubber.
Prioritize Value for Money
Your CrossFit shoes should ensure value for your money. If you want a pair that will surely last for a long time, then to look for a highly-durable model. It should also have Kevlar for added protection on the uppers and rope guards on the instep. Manufacturers will use various materials to improve durability and strength, and the best pair for you will depend on the type of workouts that you normally do.
Consider the Changing Weather
You need to consider the fact that you may not always be doing CrossFit exercises indoors. If you sometimes find yourself working out through the rain or snow, then you would want a pair that is lightweight and breathable. Look for a pair with mesh uppers and liners to prevent sweat and moisture from soaking your feet, and allow ample air to keep them cool.
Important Features to Note
Whether you are looking for your next pair of CrossFit shoes or are new to the sport, you will want to note the following features. Knowing them will make it easier for you to find the best CrossFit shoes for your next WOD.
Hard, Stiff Sole
Running shoes generally have ample cushioning to keep you protected from impact each time your feet land on the ground. CrossFit shoes, on the other hand, have thinner soles with little to no padding. This will allow you to feel the ground as you move, ensuring that you are stable enough to perform various workouts.
Torque is created during CrossFit workouts. This could cause your weight to shirt, with most of it supported by your heel. To prevent your knees and ankles from getting injured, it is crucial to find a pair of shoes with plenty of lateral support. You want to find a footwear with a cage or wire design on the center to keep your feet secured and not pushing out over the sides.
The “drop” is the height difference between the forefoot and the heel. This difference will affect how the CrossFit shoe performs and feels. You want to find a pair with minimal drop. If you want a pair that is lightweight and provides ample support, then you might want one with a 6-millimeter differential.
Different Types of CrossFit Shoes
There are many types of CrossFit shoes, with the best one dependent on the type of workouts that you do.
You will find yourself doing squats and lifting weights on most CrossFit workouts. Weightlifting shoes give you added boost when you squat, lift, and push. These shoes are designed with additional support on the top for improved stability and injury prevention.
Minimalist shoes are versatile. You can wear them on almost any CrossFit workout. They have a low heel-to-toe differential, around 3 millimeters or lower, which will give you an advantage in running, climbing, and sprinting. Minimalist shoes are also flexible, lightweight, and durable.
High tops are popular to some CrossFit athletes. They have thin and flat soles that offer added flexibility and stability. These shoes are also taller to provide extra support without any additional weight.
Now that you know all the important details to note when buying the best CrossFit shoes, below are the top 10 models that you need to consider:
New Balance MX797V2
The New Balance MX797V2 works great for CrossFit workouts, regular gym exercises, and casual uses. It offers ample stability, support, and cushioning. CrossFit beginners might want to consider this model as it can also be used as classic gym shoes, as well as for jogging. This pair may be a little on the heavy side, but the added weight can be your friend that protects you against injuries.
INOV-8 BARE XF 210
These shoes are popular among CrossFit fanatics because Inov-8 was one of the first shoemakers that created a pair specially for the sport. You will find this brand worn by many CrossFitters. The XF 210 features a 3mm heel-to-toe drop, and has one of the leanest outsoles out there.
You will find a heavily meshed upper to maintain the air flow and ensure that your feet are cool and fresh. This pair also has a layer of anti-friction lining that will not cause hot spots or blisters. If you are not doing any CrossFit workouts, feel free to wear this lightweight pair during your dance class.
Puma Men’s Tazon 5
The Tazon 5 has a classic look that fashionistas will find attractive. The upper is made of imported synthetic leather to ensure a tougher exterior than the mesh fabric. In addition, this pair features the EcoOrthoLite technology that promotes breathability for added comfort. The cushioned inner sole allows your feet to move easily, with a bit of bounce to enhance overall support. If you are somebody who loves CrossFit, but incorporates a lot of running or any cardio workouts, then these shoes could be your best bet.
These CrossFit shoes are extremely comfortable. While gel cross trainers may worry you about the possibility of slowing down your movement, fear not because this pair allows you to move around smoothly. It also features a low heel-to-toe drop, which can be ideal for those who desire ample stability during weightlifting. The fit allows you to feel more agile because of the flexible sole. The reinforced toe cap, meanwhile, allows for increased durability and helps prevent the slipper feel that other lifting shoes give.
Reebok Nano 4.0
The Reebok brand has become of the biggest proponents of CrossFit-specific shoes. Its models reflect their determination to provide for all the needs of the CrossFit athlete. The Nano line is one of the best that they have launched, with the 4.0 being the most popular.
It has a snugger fit thant he 5.0, but without the series of problems encountered with the 3.0. Reebok used Kevlar fiber to make the shoes lightweight enough for running, but ideally tough to make you do olympic lifts. Best of all, they are so comfortable that you may even forget that you are wearing shoes.
Reebok CrossFit Lifter
The Reebok CrossFit Lifter allows you to customize its fit, according to your feet. You can do so by simply placing these shoes in an over that has been pre-heated to 200 degrees. Keep them there for about three minutes or until the U-Form tab has turned red. Remove the shoes from the oven, lace up, and wear them for about eight minutes. This 13.4-ounce shoes will give you increased comfort, making it a value for your money.
New Balance Minimus 20V3
The New Balance Minimus line has been receive positive reviews from customers. The brand was able to prove that these shoes can still improve your performance while giving users that barefoot feel. The 20V3 is one of the best models for people who want less and more at the same time. Featuring a 4-millimeter heel-to-toe drop, this pair offers a minimal sink for weightlifting and a neutral position that allows for seamless switching. These shoes are handy for quick movements, fancy footwork, and completing a lung-busting Tabata routine.
Merrell Hammer Glove
Merrell has a product line for barefoot athletes that promises fit and comfort. The Hammer Glove has a zero-millimeter heel-to-toe drop, making it the perfect pair for those who want to nail their deadlifts. The reason behind this is that a zero drop allows you to keep your stance secure, stable, and low to the ground. Meanwhile, the breathable mesh upper hugs your feet like a thin glove, but still offers medial and lateral support for your CrossFit training.
Nike Free 5.0 V6
The Nike Free 5.0 V6 features a tread that holds your feet securely and allows you to perform endless movements. The hexagonal pattern on the bottom portion lets you land and move in any direction without any risk of injury. The nubs on the heel and ball of the foot will give you a good kick-off, and will not allow you to trip over. The toe box, meanwhile, is made of triple-layered plastic for increased durability. Nike also used a flywire lacing technology to give you utmost comfort and control.
Adidas Power Lift Trainers
If you love weightlifting, then this pair of Adidas Power Lift Trainers should be on your list. Your feet are secured with a hook-and-loop strap, while the elevated heel will keep your legs and butt engaged for improved lifting power. This pair has also addressed your off-balance worries with a weight distribution plate and rigid sole for improved balance and control.
CrossFit Shoes: Not Your Regular Gym Shoes
CrossFit requires quick movements that engage your entire body and a pair of regular gym shoes may not work. The list above include some of the best brands and/or models that will surely make your CrossFit workouts more enjoyable. Take note of the tips and factors to consider when choosing the best pair, and you will surely have fun on your next training session.