Best CrossFit Shoes 2016-17 Review & Buying Guide

Best CrossFit Shoes: Trainers come in every shape and size for our convenience, and they cater to every specific need that we may have. Be it running, lifting, or walking, trainers are shoes that are designed to maximise your comfort while providing a great deal of support as well as preventing the possibility of injuries. But what about the times when we're in for something even more hardcore?

CrossFit training, for instance, is the kind of exercise that consists of a combination of different short but highly intense workouts that are timed. So while most of us may be used to either running or lifting in the convenience of their own time, a rigorous CrossFit routine will have you doing all kinds of high-energy, functionality related and core strengthening workouts one after the other within a set amount of time. So it is quite obvious that this kind of a rigorous workout would require extra protective gear. And since the feet form the base of our bodies and they handle the most amount of work during such activities, we need to start right from there.

This is why CrossFit shoes are now the next big thing for those who are serious about their workout regime. Read on to know more about these innovative trainers, and also to find out about some of the best CrossFit shoes that you can get your money's worth. So you must check out our CrossFit Shoes Review right here right now.


TWO BEST CROSSFIT SHOES OF THE LIST

NIKE METCON 1 ATHLETIC SHOES

What are CrossFit Shoes?

CrossFit is one of the most popular means of training among gym goers who aim for strength and agility workouts at the same time for optimum results. In its initial days, CrossFit fans would usually invest in good, supportive shoes that were designed for running, but could also aid in lifting sessions.

  • The best shoes for this purpose would be the ones that provided ample cushioning and great grip at the outsole while at the same time were not very bulky so that running or performing other kinds of movement-oriented exercises in them would not be a problem.
  • the best CrossFit shoes specifically designed for this kind of training in mind would allow wearers to indulge in as many activities as they need. So we don't need to worry about how bulky cushioning may affect your lifting routine or your running.

But all that changed with the arrival of specially created CrossFit training shoes. While CrossFitters earlier needed to consider many factors before choosing a pair of shoes that would be adaptive towards all the different kinds of activities that this kind of high-intensity training required, 

  • Simply investing in a pair of good CrossFit shoes would be the solution to all your problems. But before we delve into what some of the best buying options in this category are, let us find out what exactly CrossFit shoes, and why they require you to wear specially made shoes.

BEST CROSSFIT SHOES FOR WOMEN

What exactly is CrossFit Training?

One of the latest trends in exercising, CrossFit is a kind of routine that targets the maximum amount of core muscle groups in the least possible amount of time. The regimen has been developed by specialists over several long years to redefine fitness training. CrossFit is based on accuracy, and maintaining the right data at all points of time is imperative.   

  • A CrossFit routine is designed specifically for the person who will be performing them, keeping their physicality, fitness requirements, and other important information relating to their health and fitness in mind.
  • Performed the right way, this routine encompasses a number of high-intensity workouts like lifting, hiking, running, gymnastics, climbing and rowing among many others to increase the functionality one's body.
  • All these are combined into one high energy workout that targets the shortest amount of time. This combination of increased intensity and timing is what makes CrossFit training stand out among a horde of trends in exercising.
  • The reason why you need CrossFit Shoes in order to engage in such a rigorous routine is but obvious. Most shoes that are meant for lifting are not suitable for gymnastics and vice versa.
  • It is also impossible to keep changing your shoes while you're working out to suit the exercise you're about to perform next. This is where CrossFit shoes come in. The best CrossFit Shoes will allow you to perform your WOD without having to worry about balance, agility, or speed, and will continue to provide crucial support to your feet throughout the regimen.

BEST TWO CROSSFIT SHOES FOR MEN

INOV-8 F-LITE 235 V2

Should You Buy CrossFit Shoes?

The short answer to the all-important question in this context is: yes. If you are going to be serious about CrossFit training, you should definitely invest in a good pair of CrossFit Shoes. This will eliminate the need for you to worry about the pressure that any specific exercise in your regimen could put on the different areas of your feet. For instance, lifting heavy weights needs good support along the ankle, while running requires flexible shoes that can adapt well to your feet without feeling too heavy. With the best CrossFit shoes, you will not have to think about all these things individually. Instead, you can go to your nearest sports outlet ad ask to be fitted for the best CrossFit shoes for your purposes. While CrossFit shoes can be expensive, they will do you well in the long run by preventing the chance of injuries. Better safe than sorry, right?

Why to Use CrossFit Shoes?

If you are someone who has only begun partaking in CrossFit as a means to stay fit, you can get away with wearing a good pair of basic running shoes to provide you with the required amount of protection as well as freedom of movement. Just ensure they have proper stability. However, if you're invested in CrossFit as a way of life and are likely to undergo several rigorous hours of training every week, then CrossFit shoes are all but a necessity. 

  • It is difficult for even the finest sports brands to come up with the sweet spot between well-rounded stability and overall flexibility to design shoes specifically for a purpose which throws your system.
  • The best CrossFit shoes are the ones which have reached that balance. They provide their wearers with the best kind of support that they need for their feet. The collar is designed to generate support for your ankles while you run or lift; the upper is flexible so that you don't have issues while running.
  • But the most important part of a pair of CrossFit shoes is the sole unit. While running shoes are generally well cushioned around the bottom area while at the same time being lightweight to facilitate high-speed runs,
  • Shoes meant for intensive lifting activities are engineered to provide maximum support and stability without being too squishy. The best CrossFit shoes combine these two types to reach a perfect blend that will aid you in a complete workout. So the next time you head to the gym, you do not have to worry about the possibility of injuries.

BEST UNISEX CROSS FIT SHOE OF OUR LIST

INOV-8 BARE-XF 210

Best CrossFit Shoes

Best Crossfit shoes buying guide (exclusive tips)

The best CrossFit shoes can be quite expensive, so you have to be cautious so as to not end up with the wrong pair. So as it is with most sports related gear that you need, it is advisable to consider a few things before you head on to the store. This is because-

  • A) Your CrossFit shoes are going to be your best friend while you hit it hard, and,
  • B) You will need a pair of shoes that will be able to endure the excessive wear and tear that you will be putting them through.

But there are a bunch of other things to take care of while buying yourself a pair of CrossFit trainers. Read on to find out how you can get yourself fitted for the best CrossFit Shoes for your needs. Keep in mind the fact that ultimately, the best thing to guide you will be your understanding of the kind of training that you will have to partake in, and your intuition.

Intensity: As mentioned numerous times above, the first thing to consider is what your goal is and where you want to see yourself with the routine. Remember that CrossFit training can both be limited to the gym as well as take you outside. The most gruelling routines will have you performing a series of hard work at very high speeds, but there are tamer versions too. Ultimately, it all boils down to two things: what you need, and what you can handle.

So it is absolutely imperative to start getting to know about CrossFit before you jump in and start buying gear. In order to know what is best for you, visit a reputed CrossFit trainer and get a consultation about what kind of workout will be suited for you. Be sure to disclose information about your diet, daily activities, and what kind of exercises you perform regularly. Your trainer might even fit you for a different kind of routine altogether.

But if CrossFit is what you're getting into, then as a beginner you don't need to go all out to buy yourself the very best CrossFit shoes to start off, as you're likely to start off with smaller weights and shorter routines. But if you've been practising for some time and want to take things up a notch, then it is better to invest in a pair to save you the perils of injuries later.

Shoe Build: We've said this before, but to really get to the heart of the matter we need to look at what CrossFit demands. Know that your CrossFit routine will be designed to get you out of your comfort zone by throwing one high-intensity activity after the other your way. In a way, it is one of the most unpredictable workouts that you can indulge yourself in.

But while the benefits are tremendous, so can be the demands it makes from your feet. In a session that has you swinging kettlebells one instant and then move on quickly to a climb or box jumping followed by high-intensity gymnastics, you will need all the hybrid support that you can get. In order to adapt to these movements, the best CrossFit shoes are drastically different in build than running shoes, or tennis shoes.

The drop measurement in these shoes is greatly reduced so that you can perform your lifts without losing your balance, while the upper is made to be flexible enough to bear all the climbing and running that you need.Grip is an important factor here, and the best CrossFit shoes will have a great grip without feeling like they're trying to bind you to one single spot by your feet. Also, think about the durability, as they should be able to withstand a rigorous routine without succumbing after a few uses. Stick to well-known brands.

Talk to those who train: The best way to get advice about which CrossFit shoes to buy is to talk to those who have been training for a while. They know what works and what doesn't as they have probably undergone some serious trial and error.

Fit: While many of you think of this as a given (and therefore unnecessarily mentioned), there are plenty of people who get fitted for the wrong pair of shoes without realising until it is already too late.

  • Make sure to visit the sports store during the daytime when your feet are at their largest. Also, walk around the store in the pair you're trying on to see if they chafe or feel too constricting in any area. Many CrossFitters opt for minimalistic designs for their routine to get a more natural feeling while they work out. If you're not one of them, go for something that is protective, supportive, yet flexible.

10 Best CrossFit Shoes Review (Pros and Cons Included)

Check out our list below to read our list of the very best CrossFit shoes 2016-17 that your money can buy. We have compiled each item with the above factors in mind. Let's get started with our CrossFit Shoes Review in this roundup article.

1

Reebok CrossFit Nano 6.0

Easily one of the best CrossFit shoes that you can get your hands on, the Reebok CrossFit Nano 6.0 is an all-around amazing performer. The Reebok Nano line is already a favourite among CrossFitters around the world, and the 6.0s are the latest upgrades to come out of it. These shoes are able to adapt perfectly to the size of your feet without causing any chafing or discomfort, courtesy of its Anatomically secure fit.

There are some major differences between Men's and women's shoe design. 

  • The upper is lined with Kevlar mesh, making the shoe ultra breathable. The midsole comes with a polyurethane NanoShell exterior for extra support during heavy lifts, which also makes them durable.
  • The Kevlar lining and RopePro exterior give you a better grip on rope climbing. The sole unit is specifically engineered to provide great traction and stability.
  • The midsole is adept at shock absorption, and there is Reebok's DuraGrip protection for extra support for your toes. These also feature a 4mm drop, so they're a good option for those who have been used to wearing running shoes at the gym.

-PROS-

  • Designed to be lightweight and stable. Re-engineered anatomical design for a more adaptive fit.
  • Kevlar mesh. protection helps provide maximum durability. Huge hit with users.

-CONS-

  • We can't think of anything, but the high price may be a bit of a deterrent for beginners.

Remember, with some as high-intensity as CrossFit, you get what you pay for. The Reebok CrossFit Nano 6.0 are great if you're getting into this kind of training, and it is great for those who are pro at it. In other words, they are the all-rounders that you need.

2

Reebok CrossFit Compete

Reebok was one of the very first names to step into the CrossFit arena and is one of the core reasons why CrossFit shoes are a such a huge deal in today's date. The Reebok CrossFit Compete is a great pair of shoes to get into training with, not only because they provide stellar stability in comparison with many other shoes, but also because they really look great.

But looking good and performance go hand in hand when it comes to these shoes. The Reebok CrossFit Compete's upper has a Kevlar "CombatCage" overlay for optimum durability as well as flexibility.

Coming to the sole unit of these shoes, these neutral fit CrossFit shoes feature a 3mm drop, which makes them a great choice for those who like their feet to be protected while still getting a feel of the ground.

  • They are also very lightweight. While having excellent grip for your hardcore lifting sessions, they also come with RopePro protection which makes the grip suitable for CrossFit climbing routines too.

Having been designed by a CrosFit champ himself (Rich Froning, Jr.), these shoes are designed to feel very comfortable and not weigh you down when you're switching between workouts. On the inside, they are specially contoured so that fit around your feet as snugly as you can imagine.

-PROS-

  • Short 3mm drop makes them ultra lightweight.
  • Stable while lifting and climbing.
  • Designed to be extremely responsive throughout a WOD.

-CONS-

  • The sole unit is not durable enough to handle a lot of running. Fit runs smaller

The Reebok CrossFit Compete shoes are a great way to get you kicked about your CrossFit training with their smart looks. The insides are very comfortable and prevent chafing and shoe bites. These are meant specifically for the minimalist trainers. It is considered to be one of the best CrossFit Shoes ever made.

3

Nike Metcon 1 Athletic Shoes

One of the stalwarts of sportswear, it is hard to imagine that Nike will be too far off from their competition when it comes to a raging trend. The Nike Metcon (short for metabolic conditioning) 1 shoes are great for CrossFitters, not only because they are extremely durable, but also facilitate activities like weight lifting and rope climbing. In fact, the Nike Metcon 1 training shoes are amazing for rope climbing due to their flexible but durable exterior.

There are some differences by design between Men's and Women's Shoe. 

  • Designed with Nike's FlyWire technology, they feel extremely comfortable and supportive on your feet.
  • The toe box may be a little wide for some, but that is what makes them the right choice for those with wide feet.
  • The Metcon 1 CrossFit shoes are great for most of the high-intensity activities that you will be indulging in during your WOD.

-PROS-

  • Made with Nike's Flywire technology. Built to handle abrasions while climbing. Great stability for lifting routines.

-CONS-

  • The sole unit is harder than most other CrossFit shoes, so the Metcon 1 is not ideal for running.

The Nike Metcon 1 training shoes are generally comfortable and good for an all-around WOD. Just don't use them for outdoor running.

4

Inov-8 Bare-XF 210

Inov-8, the British company, is the pathfinder of the CrossFit shoe concept and was actually ruling the market before Reebok came in and took the market by storm. The Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 is one of the best CrossFit Shoes of this lineup and the Crossfitters love the shoe for its minimalist design as well as lightweight and comfortable feel. As the sport is growing in stature with each passing day, need for a more specialised CrossFit shoe became inevitable, and Inov-8 certainly took note of this and designed the Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 specifically for CrossFit.

This shoe is available for Men and women both and there is a variant as unisex.

  • The speciality of this CrossFit shoe is the minimalist design, and the makers lowered the sole of the shoe to a mere 3mm off the ground. They also boast of a 0mm heel-to-toe drop.
  • The Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 is ideal for rope climbing as it is made of the 360-degree rope-tec, which provides the users with ultimate traction and durability.
  • Moreover, this CrossFit shoe is made of synthetic & textile, and the front side of the shoe is designed with the Meta-flex forefoot technology with the met-cradle lacing system.
  • The Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 provides its user with the best barefoot feeling as well as an incredible protection.

-PROS-

  • The minimalist design of the shoe.
  • Built for barefoot-feeling fitness.
  • The versatile trainer handles everything from rope climbing to weights

-CONS-

  • Not suitable for long-distance running

If you prefer the minimalist design in shoes while CrossFit training, then the Inov 8 Bare-XF 210 shoes are the way to go for you.

5

Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V2

The reboot of the famed Inov 8 235 CrossFit shoes from 2014, the Inov 8 F-Lite 235 V2 are the company's offering for the really hardcore trainer in you. The shoes feature a 3mm thick sole and a virtually nonexistent heel to toe drop, which makes them for the minimalist in you.

There are some minor differences between Men's and women's shoe. 

  • These shoes are very versatile, which means that you can perform your WOD throughout without having to worry about flexibility or stability.
  • The 235 stands for the weight of the shoes, making it clear that they're also very lightweight. The outsole is made of a sticky rubber material which makes them ideal for rope climbing. Above all, they still retain a good feel of the ground.
  • These shoes are a favourite with pro trainers, so go for them only if your routine is high-intensity.

-PROS-

  • Fantastic balance between minimalism and protection
  • Engineered MET Cradle system ensures your shoes adapt to your feet.
  • Power heel design helps you achieve a solid shape while attempting the heaviest lifts.
  • Flexibility in the forefoot makes them versatile.
  • Extremely durable

-CONS-

  • Low on comfort

Like the one listed above, the Inov 8 F-Lite 235 V2 are not for the faint of heart. If you can handle them, buy them.

6

Brooks Glycerin 14

Being labelled as running shoes, these may seem odd being up here with all the other hardcore. But Brooks is a name that has always outperformed itself in its class and aimed for the next level. The Brooks Glycerin 14 are impeccable shoes for some activities. Of course, they are meant for running, but the kind of durability and performance that these shoes deliver make them a favourite among CrossFitters. This shoe is available for men and women both at Amazon. It is arguably the best CrossFit Shoes of 2016-17.

  • It is described by the makers as designed especially for "the neutral to mild overpronator looking to step into the minimalist category without losing the comfort of reliable cushioning and support," so if your feet require extra care while training or CrossFitting, then you may try these out.
  • What makes these shoes stand apart from other running shoes, leading them to be a great choice for CrossFitting is its sole unit. .
  • Thinner than the ones seen in its predecessors, the Brooks Glycerin 14's sole is extremely reactive making them ideal for all kinds of workouts. The thin sole also makes it possible to lift moderate amounts of weight.

-PROS-

  • Specially built for overpronating feet. Cushioned and supportive without losing stability. All-rounder shoes for your entire WOD. Durable.

-CONS-

  • Not for really heavy lifting

The versatility of the Brooks Glycerin 14s makes them a great buy for any activity- running, walking, or heavy workouts.

7

Nike Free 5.0 V6

Another one integrated with Nike's Flywire technology for that trademark snug fit and durable comfort, the Nike Free 5.0 V6 are all-rounders in the true sense. Not only do they look good, they are true performers in every sense of the word. The sole unit is the main attraction here, and they are so sturdy without being stiff at all that they can be worn anywhere.

  • The traction at the bottom is great too. On the inside, the shoe fits super snug so you don't have to worry about your feet skidding in them.
  • The technology that goes into making these shoes is outstanding. The double duty midsole provides optimum shock absorption.
  • The inner lining makes them comfortable for your feet while the shoes adapt perfectly to the shape.
  • All in all, they are a great choice for activities that span lifting, running, box jumping, and climbing.

-PROS-

  • Fit for any activity.
  • Flywire technology provides optimum support while fitting snugly.
  • Very comfortable, durable, and responsive.
  • Lightweight

-CONS-

  • Not enough arch support.
  • Tend to run a size smaller.

One of the best CrossFit shoes on this list, the Nike Free 5.0 V6 are the ultimate performance shoes. You can try them out if you want to good responsive shoes that take away all the worries about injuries during your WOD.

8

Reebok Nano 4.0

While the entire line up of the Nanos is dedicated to CrossFit as a lifestyle, the Nano 4.0s are one of the best for its no-frills functionality. Designed for athletes, the Nano 4.0s come with a host of technical features that rank them among the best. The DuraCage protection on the upper along with the RopePro protection make these shoes ideal for climbing. This premium shoe is amazing enough to impress men and women both. 

  • The sole is lightweight, and the shoe has a drop of only 4mm making them a great option for those wanting to venture the minimalist route. This same feature makes them many CrossFitters' trusty lifting companion.
  • The inner mesh lining ensures there is minimum chafing or discomfort, and the wide toe box allows maximum playing while doing weights. Despite its minimalist build, these shoes are great at preventing pain or injuries in the legs due to high-intensity footwork.

-PROS-

  • Flexible forefoot and stable heel for support.
  • DuraCage and RopePro protection on upper.
  • Lightweight

-CONS-

  • Little to no arch support

The Reebok Nano 4.0s are the quintessential performance shoes on this list. Their popularity alone speaks for themselves, but it's better not to wear them outside of the gym.

9

New Balance MX20BS4

The New Balance MX20BS4 training shoes (one of the best CrossFit Shoes) are another pair of minimalistic design shoes that are really good for lifting. The shoes feature a seamless, mesh upper guarded by protective overlays. So while they provide breathable comfort, the upper is also quite durable.

  • The sole unit is quite thin so that you get much ground feel. They provide great support for heavy lifting,
  • but the snug midfoot fit also makes them great for running and gymnastics. Moreover, they weigh almost next to nothing,
  • so an overall great choice for those who like to feel closer to the ground.

-PROS-

  • Great minimalist shoes
  • Highly durable
  • Good for all kinds of WODs

-CONS-

  • Tend to run a size too big

New Balance is known for their straightforward approach towards designing performance oriented shoes. The MX20BS4 sets a really good standard for minimalist shoes that saves you a world of pain.

10

Inov-8 FastLift 370

The Inov 8 FastLift 370 shoes are the absolute best for Olympic level lifting with their extremely stiff, stable, dip-free heels. But they can do much more than that. While the heel provides maximum stability for lifts, the forefoot area is much more flexible, thus making them good for a host of other workouts like squats and jumps.

  • One of the most innovative aspects about the shoes is their dual BOA dial mechanism that helps them lock securely in place without much fuss.
  • But you may still need a different pair of shoes for running or similar workouts that require a lot of footwork, as the grip on these shoes are really solid.

-PROS-

  • Extremely stability Built to last
  • Versatile,
  • aided by a flexible forefoot area

-CONS-

  • Not ideal for runs

While not a complete all-rounder, the Inov-8 FastLift 370 shoes are the best options out there for lifting. But they can also be worn during other, more varied sessions, making them a good option for CrossFit.

Some last words by experts

Ultimately, picking the best CrossFit shoes for yourself will depend entirely on your understanding of the anatomy of your feet and the kind of exercises that you partake in. But always remember that your CrossFit shoes are better off being preserved solely for use at the gym or during your workout. Avoid wearing them for long hours, especially the minimalist types if you're just getting into them, or else they may cause some discomfort over prolonged use.

Finally, CrossFit shoes have ceased being merely a trend by becoming more of a lifestyle necessity. Go ahead and choose any one of the above from this list of 10 best CrossFit Shoes 2016-17 according to your liking, and you'll find you're spoilt for choice with colour options to design types. Follow the steps we mentioned above to find the right shoes for you. And while you're at it, let us know about which Crossfit shoes are your favourite and why in the comments section.

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