The Best CrossFit Shoes to Power You Through Your WOD

Couple doing crossfit with battle ropes


The only thing that CrossFitters may like more than acronyms and talking about CrossFit is buying CrossFit shoes. I am slightly embarrassed to admit the number of CrossFit shoes that I own, but, as I tell my husband, they're an investment.

Considering that CrossFit workouts are based on movements that range from Olympic lifting to pull-ups to running, CrossFit shoes need to be durable and versatile. As someone who is always looking to add to my investment portfolio, I was more than happy to review as many CrossFit shoes as possible so that I could bring you the best CrossFit shoes that you can slip your feet into.

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The Best CrossFit Shoes - Our Top Picks

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Best Overall CrossFit Shoes - Nike Metcon 8

Nike Metcon 8

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Mat Fraser, arguably the most dominant male CrossFit athlete ever, wears Nike Metcons. He is known to be meticulous in his planning, so we know he did not decide on his shoes haphazardly. Their latest iteration of the Metcon, the Nike Metcon 8, is the best Nike CrossFit shoe to date.

While there weren't huge changes from the Metcon 7 to the Metcon 8, the subtle ones were worthwhile. The rubber grip takes the place of the rope guards, but still holds up incredibly well against the friction of the rope and it provides additional grip. These shoes are also more flexible than past models, but they still run a little narrow.

What We Like

  • Pivots well between different movements
  • Good heel guard
  • Keeps foot secure

What We Don't Like

  • Very expensive
  • Limited colorways
  • Too narrow for some

BUY: Nike Metcon 8

Best CrossFit Shoes for Men - Reebok Nano X2

Reebok Nano X2

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The Nanos are a popular series of CrossFit shoes from Reebok. The Nano 2s are somewhat iconic within the CrossFit community. However, admittedly, some of the Nano iterations (looking at you Nano 3, 4, 5) were less than stellar, but as of late Reebok has regained their…uhh…footing. And the latest model, the Nano X2, is not only Reebok's best ever CrossFit shoe, but our pick for best overall CrossFit Shoe.

Reebok addressed some of the problems of the Nano X1—namely that pesky high heel cup that left many uses with blisters. These shoes provide a surprising amount of cushioning for a CrossFit shoe, while still providing a stable base due to the fairly flat sole. However, what truly makes these shoes shining stars is their versatility. They can handle everything from traditional couplet WODs to track workouts to running errands.

What We Like

  • Versatility
  • Cushioning and shock absorption
  • Comfort
  • Excellent heel-to-toe drop

What We Don't Like

  • Not ideal for narrow feet
  • Better shoes for heavy lifting
  • Complaints of seams ripping easily

BUY: Reebok Nano X2

Best Budget CrossFit Shoe - PUMA Fuse Cross Trainer

PUMA Fuse Cross Trainer

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There's no way around it, CrossFit shoes are pricey. If you're fortunate, you'll catch a pair of Reebok Nanos or Nike Metcons on sale, but other CrossFit shoes never go on sale (like, ever…right, NOBULL?). So, what to do when you want to WOD without blowing your budget? Well, you need to check out the PUMA Fuse Cross Trainer.

PUMA is fairly new in the CrossFit arena, but they are coming out strong with the Fuse. This shoe is priced lower, but that doesn't mean that they skimped on quality construction or the versatility that shoes used for constantly varied movements need. These shoes provide a stable base for lifting and keep your foot locked in place when going from side to side. Additionally, the soles are very tacky and this helps keep you secure when performing movements such as box jumps.

What We Like

  • Affordability
  • Quality construction
  • Tacky soles
  • Good for lifting

What We Don't Like

  • Not great for running
  • Runs tight in the midfoot

BUY: PUMA Fuse Cross Trainer

Most Comfortable CrossFit Shoes - Under Armour TriBase Reign 4

Under Armour TriBase Reign 3

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CrossFit workouts are uncomfortable—there is no reason your CrossFit shoes should be. While the Under Armour TriBase Reign 4 can't take away the pains of your WOD, they will surround your feet in cushiony comfort. However, they can also stand up to the wide variety of movements of CrossFit.

These shoes have a flat, stable base, with a slight (2mm) heel-to-toe drop that will serve you well when weightlifting. Under Armour paid special attention to the forefront of the sole by adding grooves that help you drive through your toes. The durable mesh uppers are tough yet breathable, and this version of the shoe got rid of the bootie-style inners and we are thankful for that.

What We Like

  • Comfortable
  • Breathable
  • Grips well

What We Don't Like

  • Can feel clunky
  • Heel-to-toe drop not great for running

BUY: Under Armour TriBase Reign 3

Best CrossFit Lifting Shoes - adidas Adipower Weightlifting Shoes

adidas Adipower Weightlifting Shoes

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There are some CrossFit workouts that consist of nothing but barbell movements. For these WODs, you will want a shoe such as the adidias Adipower Weightlifting Shoes that can provide you with the stability necessary to perform these movements optimally.

The flexibility of these lifters is somewhat unprecedented. The forefront flexibility is great when you are doing barbell workouts that consist of movements other than squatting, whereas the solid 20mm heel-to-toe drop of Adipower makes these shoes an excellent choice for ensuring that you get below parallel when you do squat.

What We Like

  • Very flexible
  • Comfortable
  • Breathable uppers
  • Stylish

What We Don't Like

  • Very expensive
  • Toe box may be too narrow for some

BUY: adidas Adipower Weightlifting Shoes

Best CrossFit Running Shoes - NOBULL Knit Runner

NOBULL Knit Runner

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The NOBULL Knit Runner, with its sock design and cushioned sole, is a fantastic shoe for CrossFit workouts that are heavy on running. The lightweight and comfortable shoe features a 10mm heel-to-toe drop that helps propel you forward and while the shock absorbing soles help protect your joints.

The main issue with these shoes is that your feet aren't particularly secure and it can lead to your foot slipping around when you're running. However, these are still excellent shoes for those 400 meter repeats. While these shoes aren't a top pick for an overall CrossFit shoe, they are a superior running shoe for your CrossFit workouts.

What We Like

  • Reflective shoelaces
  • Comfortable sock design
  • Shock absorbing soles
  • Variety of colors

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive
  • Not suitable for lifting
  • Lack of foot security

BUY: NOBULL Knit Runner

Best CrossFit Shoes for Wide Feet - INNOV-8 F-LITE G 300

INNOV-8 F-LITE G 300

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The toe box is something of the Goldilocks of CrossFit shoes, as people are always looking for one that is just right. This can be particularly challenging for people with wide feet. Fortunately, the INNOV-8 F-LITE G 300 is here to look out for athletes with wide feet.

INNOV-8s are some of the OGs of CrossFit shoes and they definitely know what CrossFitter are looking for in a shoe. In addition to their wide width, these shoes are also comfortable due to their cushioning, and they have fantastic arch support. Additionally, you can take them straight from the shoebox to the CrossFit box without a break-in period.

What We Like

  • Wide width
  • Comfortable
  • Good arch support
  • Durability

What We Don't Like

  • Not widely sold in retail stores
  • May be insecure for those with narrow feet
  • Shoelaces come untied easily

BUY: INNOV-8 F-LITE G 300

Most Stylish CrossFit Shoes - NOBULL Trainer+

NOBULL Trainer+

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There are two camps when it comes to the NOBULL Trainer+, those who love their sleek, minimalist design, and those who are wrong. Kidding. While I do like the appearance of the NOBULL Trainer +, I understand that this is a fairly controversial statement as others feel the exact opposite. However, for shoes that you can pair with your go-to gym outfit and your cute running errands outfit, the NOBULL Trainer+ is an obvious choice. And, while they are expensive, they are incredibly durable. Therefore, you will have a pair for a long time.

What We Like

  • Minimalist design
  • Ample color choices
  • Durable uppers
  • Handles a variety of exercises well

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive
  • NOBULL rarely (if ever) offers sales

BUY: NOBULL Trainer+

How to Choose the Best CrossFit Shoes

While you can certainly perform burpees in other shoes, CrossFit shoes are made to handle a variety of different exercises. Considering that one CrossFit workout may have rowing and a heavy barbell, and the next day has box jumps and rope climbs, you will want to look for shoes that are durable and can handle a multitude of movements. Here are some of the attributes that you should consider when choosing the best CrossFit shoes for you:

Durability

CrossFit shoes need to be able to handle the unique wear and tear of movements like rope climbs and handstand push-ups. Therefore, you will want to check for reinforced soles so that the friction of the rope doesn't damage them. Some shoes, like the newer models of the Nike Metcon, also have a guard that runs up the side of the shoe to protect the uppers from wear and tear. Considering that an all-mesh upper probably won't last long in your local CrossFit box, look for companies such as NOBULL and Reebok that add thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to their uppers. This allows CrossFit shoes to be both breathable and durable.

Soles

You will be hard pressed to find a lot of cushioning and arch support in CrossFit sneaks. Most shoes designed for competitive exercise lean heavily on a minimalist design. They generally have flatter, more rigid soles than other athletic shoes. This type of sole can help your form when you are lifting and squatting, and they provide stability. Weightlifting shoes have an incredibly rigid sole. However, lifters will not translate well with other movements. Therefore, for your everyday CrossFit shoes you will want to find a more versatile shoe.

Read This Next: Best CrossFit Shoes for Women: Find the Pair That’s Right for You

FAQs About CrossFit Shoes


Can you run in CrossFit shoes?

Absolutely! CrossFit shoes are designed to move from one exercise to another. Many CrossFit shoes are designed with flexible soles that provide excellent gripability. Also, shoes such as the NOBULL Knit Runner of the Nike Free Metcon are specifically designed for run-heavy workouts.

Are CrossFit shoes worth it?

Although CrossFit shoes can be expensive, they are a good investment. CrossFit incorporates a multitude of movements, and CrossFit shoes are designed to handle the demands that come from this amount of variety. If you plan on doing CrossFit on a regular basis, it is a good idea to buy a pair of durable and versatile CrossFit shoes.

Can I wear CrossFit shoes every day?

Of course. CrossFit shoes can handle a lot of different movements and they are durable. Therefore, they can be great for your everyday use.

About the Author

Sosha Lewis

Sosha is a staff writer for ACTIVE.com and a CrossFit enthusiast. Her work’s been featured in The Washington Post, Huffington Post, MUTHA Magazine, Charlotte Magazine, and The Charlotte Observer. Her weekly column, Soshally Awkward, is featured on the nationally-syndicated radio show, Bob & Sheri.

See More from Sosha

Sosha is a staff writer for ACTIVE.com and a CrossFit enthusiast. Her work’s been featured in The Washington Post, Huffington Post, MUTHA Magazine, Charlotte Magazine, and The Charlotte Observer. Her weekly column, Soshally Awkward, is featured on the nationally-syndicated radio show, Bob & Sheri.

See More from Sosha

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