Whether you’ve just started Crossfit, plan on starting, or are just looking to improve your WOD performance, one thing is for sure: the shoes you wear make all the difference in the world. You will be doing yourself a favor if you can get the best crossfit shoes of 2017. Crossfit employs many different movements and exercises performed at many different angles, all while trying to do them as quickly and efficiently as possible. Good footing and support are vital for performance, injury prevention, and to help you get the most out of your body. Finding the best crossfit shoe though can be difficult, time consuming, and potentially cost you more money in the long run.
So instead of spending a bunch of time with trial and error on trying different shoes out or making an uninformed purchase, we have done all the hard work of reviewing the best crossfit shoes on the market today. You just sit back, relax, and see which shoe is right for you and your needs. Just imagine all the things you can do with all that time you’ll be saving!
We rank the all the shoes on comfort, drop and overall effectiveness. Each shoe is given an overall score from 1-10. The higher the number, the better the rating.
Ultimate Guide To The Best Shoes For Crossfit
|#1 Inov-8 Bare-XF 210||0||4.8||4.9|
|#2 Inov-8 F-Lite 232||0||4.7||4.8|
|#3 Reebok Crossfit Nano 3.0||4||4.6||4.7|
|Crossfit Nano 2.0||4||4.6||4.7|
|Inov-8 F-lite 195||3||4.6||4.5|
The Right Shoe = More Success & Less Injuries
When you begin undertaking any athletic actiity one of the most important things you can do to help lead you to success is to get the right shoes. If you were going to start playing football you probably aren’t going to do yourself any favors by playing in basketball shoes. No matter how good you might be at football you won’t be very successful if your slipping and sliding all over the field because you have the wrong shoes for that sport.
Crossfit is no different in this situation as the best shoes for crossfit can make all the difference in the world. The right shoes will lead you to more success in your lifts and workouts while doing crossfit, but you’ll also have the advantage of reducing your risk of injuries. One of the most common injuries for those that are active is to the lower leg region, the knee and below. What many don’t know is that your feet can actually be the initiating factor for ankle, knee, hip and even many back injuries.
When your participating in an activity such as crossfit or any sport for that matter is how the shoe your wearing during that activity distributes your weight. Running shoes put the weight more toward your toes because that’s what’s more efficient for that sport. In crossfit we want our weight distributed more toward our heels due to the lifting activities of crossfit.
By having your body-weight transferring more to your heels, you take pressure off of your knees and ankles. When your weight is distributed to the front of your feet (the balls of your feet) while performing an exercise like the squat, it applies added pressure to your knees, which are not built to sustain heavy loads. Over time, this can lead to injuries or, at the very least, sore and painful knees.
We don’t want the weight shifted to our knees during these types of movements. Instead, we want the weight back on our heels where our body can handle the weight much better and help keep you injury free. Just remember that your backside (posterior chain) is very efficient in handling added weight and pressure. Your knees? Not so much.
This is something to keep in mind when selecting the best Crossfit shoe for you. A slight drop is not a huge issue, but wearing a pair of traditional running shoes while participating in crossfit is not advisable, as they tend to have significant drops and are not designed to help with stability during heavy compound movements.
Are The Best Weightlifting Shoes Also The Best Shoes For Crossfit?
Many people assume that the best weightlifting shoes will work in crossfit just as well as anything else. This is partially true, but not the best method. The thing about crossfit is that it has a lot of weightlifting involved but it also has other aspects that make it unique as well. Much of crossfit has it’s roots in gymnastics and that is combined with weightlifting, powerlifting and other more traditional means of fitness. For these reasons the best weightlifting shoes don’t always make the best crossfit shoe for every aspect of crossfit.
For the weightlifting or power lifting portions the best weightlifting shoes out there work great but it’s when you start doing other movements when those shoes don’t provide you with the support you ideally need for those movements. If your able to get a pair of the best weightlifting shoes and a pair of more traditional crossfit shoes then that would be a good combo when training for the various lifts you’ll perform. But for those looking for one all around shoe, weightlifting shoes may not be what your looking for.
Don’t Forget The Drop
A major aspect of the best shoes for crossfit is one that many people aren’t even aware of, is the drop of the shoe. The drop refers to how much the heel of the shoe is raised compared to the front of the shoe. The drop of a shoe is important, but whether you want much of one is dependent upon what activity you are using them for. For instance, running shoes have always had a significant drop, because the ideal weight distribution when running is to be more on the balls of your feet and not the heel. Same thing goes for sports like basketball and tennis. You’re much quicker and agile when your weight is distributed toward the front of the shoe.
Crossfit, though, is an activity where you may not necessarily want a significant drop (elevated heel), as this can lead to injuries while doing certain exercises. In Crossfit, you perform squats, snatches, deadlifts and other various compound movements where you are lifting heavy weights. For these exercises, you want your weight to actually be distributed to the heels of your feet.
With the weight back in the heels you are much more stable and able to generate more speed and power for these lifts, while distributing the load of the exercise ideally through the posterior chain (backside). Also, with less of a drop you are able to transfer power more efficiently, which will lead to better lifts and personal bests in exercises more often.
Breaking It All Down
For those that are serious about Crossfit and weightlifting in general would do themselves a favor by having more than one shoe in the gym bag. A pair of the best weightlifting shoes, a pair for running, and perhaps more of a general cross trainer would be advisable to have. This may not fit your budget or your overall dedication to the sport, especially if your just beginning. There is no need to have 20 different pairs of workout shoes.
For those that are looking for a single pair of shoes to hit those personal bests, you want to find a shoe that is a good all around fit for weightlifting and also running activities. This may mean a shoe with a slight drop, allowing for a good relationship with the floor and your feet, while also being able to run and move comfortably during certain movements. Don’t forget to find a shoe that is fairly lightweight and also breathable, as many Crossfit gyms are in non air-conditioned gyms. It’s gonna get hot!
Tips For Success In Crossfit
Getting the best shoes for crossfit is vital to your success in crossfit but there is more than just the right shoe. Crossfit is unique in that it’s a combination of many different sports and activities. There are aspects of powerlifting, gymnastics, running and jumping as well. There are a few things you can do to perform better in crossfit and also keep yourself injury free at the same time.
- Flexibility & Mobility – Being able to move freely and easily throughout all the various ranges of motion in your body is something that will benefit you in quality of life as well as in crossfit. Things like hamstring flexibility and hip mobility have a direct correlation to performance in various activities. Work on your flexibility and mobility and you’ll do yourself a huge favor.
- Core Strength – Having a strong core is vital to many of the Olympic style lifts that crossfit requires. Doing things like sit ups, planks and other ab strengthening exercises will go a long ways to getting you a strong core.
- Conditioning – While doing crossfit is bound to increase your endurance and conditioning, you can help yourself even more by working on it sepearte from your workouts. It’s not just about running for 3 miles but it’s more of a mix of running long distance and running sprints. Doing these two things will get you in tip top shape and you’ll be setting personal records in no time.
By improving in these areas it will go a long ways in helping you not only perform better in your crossfit workouts but also just quality of life. When your in better physical condition you will find you sleep better, have more energy and will even find your mood will be much improved. All good things if you ask me.
Top 3 Crossfit Shoes Review
#3 Reebok Crossfit Nano 3.0
When searching for the best shoes for crossfit it’s not uncommon to run across Reebok. They have put a lot of effort and resources into becoming the go to brand from crossfiters around the world. Reebok has updated their popular Crossfit Nano shoe to the Nano 3.0 and it’s a great all around training shoe. This shoe was designed from input from top Crossfit athletes around the world and it’s definitely an improvement from the Nano 2.0. There is more sole stability that is built into the design of the shoe, it’s much more breathable, and they have added more traction support so you don’t slip during those intense workouts. It has a slight 4 millimeter drop, but it’s not too significant to where you would be risking injury during heavy lifts. For those pushing substantial weights during their workouts, look toward a zero drop shoe. For beginners or non heavy movers, this shoe will work great.
#2 Inov-8 F-Lite 232
If your looking for a great all-around Crossfit shoe that has zero drop, great stability, great responsiveness and is lightweight, then the F-Lite 232 from Inov8 is a solid choice. It has a extra wide toe box which allows your toes to spread out and give you added stability during maximal lifts, and also offers the same stability while running. It also has an extra sticky outer sole that helps you keep your footing while providing you that needed solid contact with the ground at all times. It’s easily one of the best Crossfit shoes available today.
#1 Inov-8 Bare-XF 210
If your serious about Crossfit and you want the best shoe, then look no further than the Inov8 XF 210 Minimalist Training Shoe. This shoe has a zero drop, it’s super lightweight, breathable, has a sticky rubber outersole for optimal grip, one piece lacing system that aids in great support, and offers the best in feeling the floor during your workouts. These shoes work great for any Crossfit workout and will help you get the most out of your body. This is simply the top of the class when you’re in the top rated Crossfit shoes arena. There really isn’t much more you could ask of a shoe.
Need Different Shoes?
If you are curious about weight lifting specific shoes that will help with basic movements like squats and deadlifts then you should check out our review of the best weight lifting shoes of 2017. We tried over 30 different shoes to come away with the top 5 out on the market today.