The Perfect Shoe for CrossFit is…

…I don’t know! But that is GOOD NEWS because there is such thing as the RIGHT shoe for you. If you are a lifter, crossfitter, shin splint recover-er or whatever, we have narrowed the search down to a few options which may help you take your health and CrossFit career to the next level!

Perhaps you are thinking those running shoes with the pinky toe holes are the love of your life and there is no other shoe you’ll need, but the simple truth is a lot of shoes are built for one purpose. Running shoes are designed for forward monostructural movements and as we all discover in CrossFit, we have weightlifting, gymnastics, lateral plyometrics, and so much more that a “cross trainer” will be better suited for the variety of work we have in class.

What we need is a shoes that is light for running and cardio work, flat for weightlifting, and have strong soles for rope climbs, sled pushes and other “grippy” movements. With that said, keep your running shoes for running and take a look at these options for when you take your next class and want to be ready for everything.


Nanos and Metcons: Classic CrossFit Shoes

We must be prepared for “Constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity”. Two of the most popular shoes used among CrossFitters are Nano’s by Reebok (for the OG’s), and Metcons by Nike (the new ‘cool kids’). Nano’s are slightly softer, and add a little more cushion, while Metcon’s are more similar to a lifting shoe in the sense that they have a firm sole. Again, both of these shoes will best prepare you for a daily workout, but it is up to you to seek a shoe that feels best for you. There will be some trial and error and if you can’t swing the cost, then find a shoe that meets those same listed suggestions we mentioned. Start in the “Cross Trainers” Department of any general shoe store.

  • – NOW – We are going to totally throw you for a loop! If you have been CrossFitting for a bit and want to tap into Olympic Lifting Shoes or more sport specific shoes, here are some things to consider:

Olympic Lifting Shoes

Weight lifting shoes are designed with a heel ranging from a ½” to a 1 ½”, and a strap running over the top. Unlike running shoes, lifting shoes were designed to resist compression and withstand heavy impact. The heel in the shoe allows athletes to stay upright and get lower under the bar. Because lifting shoes cannot be compressed under pressure, it allows the athlete to have more stability in their upward drive. Running shoes on the other hand are designed for absorbency; so if you are trying to lift in running shoes you can see how that creates a problem. If your upward drive becomes absorbed due to your shoes, then your ability to lift heavier weights decreases.

Now, there are a lot of shoes out there great for lifting; for example Romaleos. Romaleos are great for someone who plans to solely lift in their shoes. Ultimately it boils down to personal preference so, try a few pairs out and then make a decision.

The CrossFit Lifter

A lot of people switch from lifting shoes to cross training shoes depending on the workout, however Reebok designed a shoe for a bit of both; the CrossFit Lifter. According to Reebok the shoe was designed to be fit for any WOD, claiming the shoe is a perfect balance for lifting and agility.

A shoe is just like all the other equipment in the gym; we need to pick the best pair for ourselves, take good care of them, and replace them once they are worn down.

~Jessica Brearley and Joshua O’Donnell