What you wear on your feet matters, and a pair of CrossFit shoes are going to take your workouts to the next level. Whether you are doing high-intensity cardio or weightlifting or even aerobic movements during your CrossFit session, CrossFit shoes will help to enhance your training and keep your feet as healthy and strong as before you even walked out of the door.
This buying guide aims to give you the rundown on what some of the best brands are offering in terms of shoes designed specifically for CrossFit, from sportswear giants like Nike to CrossFit specific brands such as No Bull.
While CrossFit workouts can be intense and have you using a variety of different movements, making sure you have a stable pair of shoes will increase the effectiveness of your exercise.
Features to look out for in CrossFit shoes
The most important thing to look out for in CrossFit shoes is whether they strike that balance between the heaviness needed for lifting weights while offering a thin and breathable construction. Plus, they need to be durable enough to endure the whole ordeal. A good CrossFit shoe does all three and will keep your feet healthy and injury-free.
The adaptability that shoes for CrossFit offer are the ultimate selling point as even outside of CrossFit, they can be used for any kind of physical activity that may require lateral movement of the legs, and they will keep you stable and supported comfortably.
What separates a CrossFit shoe from a running shoe?
The main difference between CrossFit shoes and running shoes is the overall design. To be able to perform the variety of activities that are involved in a Crossfit workout, your shoes need to be lighter and more flexible to comfortably adjust between cardio and lifting motions.
Compared to a running shoe, CrossFit shoe soles are thicker and have a lower heel-to-toe differential, sometimes referred to as the heel-to-toe drop, which is the measure of how much material is under the forefoot of the shoe. A running shoe generally has more due to the higher impact that long-distance running has on the feet.
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We’ve rounded up the best CrossFit shoes on the market, that’ll guarantee your next workout is your best one yet.
Athletic Propulsion Labs
Price: From $250
Material: Techloom, Propelium
Customer Reviews: “As usual APL version fit’s wonderful. Very comfortable and nice combination of colors. I’m very satisfied with my shoes.”
Based in Los Angeles and founded in 2009 by identical twins Adam and Ryan Goldston, Athletic Propulsion Labs have defined themselves as the intersection of luxury and performance. With an emphasis on constant improvement, their shoes evolved at a high within a very short time and by 2019, they could be found in over 300 of the finest luxury retailers and opened their flagship store.
The company’s range of training and CrossFit shoes blurs the line between fashion and athletics, using a unique combination of fine leathers and suedes for a shoe that will perform just as good as it looks. With their latest ‘Techloom Tracer’ series, you’ll get exceptional comfort for your workouts thanks to a lightweight propelium midsole.
Price: From $100
Material: Lightweight mesh
Customer Reviews: “Good quality .very comfortable light weight durable i would recommend this product to anyone.”
When Phil Knight founded Nike in 1964, he was running track at the University of Oregon and his co-founder, Bill Bowerman was his coach. Creating shoes for athletes has always been a part of Nikes ethos, and has seen them develop the very best in a multitude of sports and for those with an active lifestyle, including those who enjoy CrossFit.
Designed for strength and stability, the range can withstand the push and pull of lifting and high-intensity workouts. They are also constructed with lightweight fabrics, so they are breathable and won’t be broken down by sweat over time.
Price: From $100
Material: Breathable airmesh
Customer Reviews: “These shoes are so comfortable. I use them while working out and the extra width is awesome for those with wider feet. I love them so much, I am going to order another pair!”
A lot of good things come out of the basement, as Under Armour was founded by Kevin Plank in 1996, who began the business from his grandmother’s basement. Initially, he got the idea from his time playing football for the University of Maryland, where he noticed that his compression shorts would stay dry during practice, even during high-intensity workouts.
The goal became to develop apparel and the best CrossFit and training shoes that were comfortable but performed at the highest level. This is exemplified by their range of training and CrossFit shoes that promote natural motion and flexibility. With their ‘HOVR Apex’ series, you’ll find advanced cushioning and durable layering.
Price: From $120
Material: Flexweave® woven textile
Customer Reviews: “I’m so happy they went back to a wide toe box on the nanos! These are great for anything you can think of in the gym. They look amazing too.”
With a long history in the fitness industry, Reebok has seen it all and done it all. They were there at the beginning and the height of the 80’s fitness boom, and their ‘Freestyle’ shoe that was developed in 1982, was the most popular at the time and propelled them into the mainstream as one of the best fitness brands in the world.
Today, they have an extensive range of shoes that were tailored for CrossFit, whether you are in it for daily fitness or training for a competition. With their ‘Nano X1’ series, you’ll find the very best and latest shoes for CrossFit on offer. They offer a flexweave knit that is soft yet strong and a lightweight heel clip that allows for stability during quick movements.
Price: From $75
Material: Leather, EVA
Customer Reviews: “Super comfortable walking! Stylish, neutral lifestyle shoe that can be paired with many outfits. Get a wide if regular NB size squeezes the side of your foot.”
Founded as the New Balance Arch Support Company in 1906 by William Riley, New Balance began by manufacturing arch supports and other accessories designed to improve shoe fit. Although we don’t know for sure, apparently Riley got the name ‘New Balance’, by watching chickens walk around his desk and saying that their three-pronged feet resulted in perfect balance.
While we hope that is true, the fact remains that New Balance are among the very best, and their range of CrossFit shoes proves that. Designed for any workout and at any pace, they have something to fit your routine. With their ‘857v2’ series, you’ll find a heel reinforced by their ‘Rollbar’ technology to help reduce rear-foot movement and possible injury.
Price: From $170
Customer Reviews: “Super comfortable shoes with a stable platform. I have a very wide foot and these shoes fit perfectly. I will never get a different workout shoe.”
Since being founded by Wayne Edy in 2003, Inov8 have carved out their own place in the cross-training market by providing a shoe that delivers superior grip. The technology was a graphene infused-sole and they were the first brand to use the material, which is now used extensively by trail and off-road runners, fitness athletes, and even hikers.
In their range of cross-training and CrossFit shoes, you’ll find these graphene-infused shoes designed for any workout environment, although they do demand a higher price. However, Inov8 also has a range of well-rounded shoes within a comfortable budget. If you are looking for the best, the ‘F-Lite G300’ will offer graphene-level strength, striking the perfect balance between toughness and power.
Price: From $130
Material: Textile, Pumgrip
Customer Reviews: “Great shoe overall for running, hiking, and going on trails. Extremely comfortable, waterproof & a great look too!”
Beginning as the ‘Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory’ in Germany, Puma was created in 1919 by Adolph and Rudolph Dassler and are pioneers of the sports shoe. Within the first few years of the brands career, they were developing training shoes for German athletes that would go on to be used by them in the Summer Olympics in Amsterdam, 1928.
With history comes expertise, and the brand’s current range of cross-training shoes will have you working out with confidence. Engineered for performance but styled for the streets, they are designed to be taken to the next level, and with the ‘FUSE ’training shoe you will be doing just that with its wide toe box and internal midsole that provides shock absorption.
Price: From $138
Customer Reviews: “Love these shoes. This is the third pair I’ve bought in like 3 years. The shoes are very durable and hold up well. My first pair lasted me about two years then I got this pair. Love the design and the aesthetics of the shoes.”
An official partner of the Crossfit Games, No Bull was launched in 2015 by Marcus Wilson, who sought to design shoes specifically for the high-intensity workouts familiar to CrossFit fanatics. The brand sponsors some of the fittest people on the planet, and they are all wearing No Bull training shoes.
The look of their shoes are styled more towards sneakers but they perform as well as every other shoe in this guide. They have hi-top options along with conventional low-cut models, all of which are made from the very best materials that won’t crack under the pressure. We love the ‘High-Top Leather’ trainer which is perforated for breathability and has a high-cut collar that provides a secure fit.
Price: From $150
Material: Ceramic-coated SuperFabricª
Customer Reviews: “Tough and durable. Good fit. Generous sale price. Would love to acquire the AT version of these. Practical as well as aesthetically pleasing. Will certainly meet my needs.”
LALO was founded in 2009 with the vision of putting purpose-built tactical boots on Navy Special Forces operators or as they are commonly known today, the Navy SEALs. They believe that professional athletes and members of the Special Forces have much in common and designed their cross-training shoes around this philosophy, with toughness, grit, and determination.
With the ‘BUD/S Maximus Grinder’ CrossFit shoe, you’ll find unique innovations such as the lateral stability wrap for extra mid-foot support and a ceramic-coated toecap for extra strength. This shoe was made in collaboration with Bobby Maximus, elite strength and conditioning coach, former first responder, and UFC fighter.
Price: From $130
Material: Forefoot mesh, EVA
Customer Reviews: “I will like to highlight that I was interested on this shoes because Mark Bell Power Project Podcast. This shoes are game changing I love them I don’t going anywhere else to look for workout shoes.”
Launched in 2009 by partnering with Pulse Labs, an engineering firm at Brigham Young University in Utah, Altra is ranked in the top 10 for brands that specialise in shoes for running. The name was chosen by one of its founders, Golden Harper, who took it from the Latin word ‘altera’, which means “to fix or mend something that is broken”.
Whether you are weightlifting, running on the treadmill, or putting yourself through a gruelling CrossFit session, the ‘Solstice’ is one of the best shoes for CrossFit to help you get the most out of whatever workout you choose. With a balanced cushioning platform that positions your heel and forefoot at an equal distance for better alignment, and a lightweight, comfortable fit, this shoe is ready to take it all on.
Price: From $125
Material: Woven mesh
Customer Reviews: “Shoe is great for overal crossfit training, running, jumping etcetera. However, i wouldn’t use it for heavier weight lifting as the stability mainly on the inside is lacking for this.”
A sportswear and equipment conglomerate, Mizuno have serviced almost every sport imaginable and have been doing so since their founding in 1906. They began making baseball gloves, then golf clubs, and eventually training shoes which saw them gain endorsement deals with teams such as the All Blacks and track and field athlete Carl Lewis.
The range of cross-training shoes offers versatility for every kind of workout, from running to CrossFit. They have options geared more towards speed and agility, and others optimised for stability and provide care for your feet during intense exercises. With the ‘TC-11’ shoe, you will find the very best in construction, design, and performance.
Price: From $132
Material: Vegan and recycled materials
Customer Reviews: “This shoe is absolutely killer for the most hardcore barefoot runners. The Primus Lite is a fitness shoe for people wanting to never leave their barefoot lifestyle. It’s super-light and gives everything back that the ground gives.”
In the early stages of the brand, before there was a name, Vivo’s founder Tim Brennan wanted to take the optimal biomechanics and positive posture that barefoot walking and running offered, and put it into a shoe. He was helped by the British shoe company Terra Plana to develop the first iteration of their barefoot shoes.
Their range is influenced by wide, thin and flexible designs that give your feet the space they need to function as nature intended them. They are suitable shoes for running, playing court sports and even CrossFit. The ‘Primus Lite III All Weather’, our favourite, has a water-resistant mesh for training anytime and anywhere, all within a sleek minimalist design.
Price: From $119
Material: Leather, polyester
Customer Reviews: “Great shoes comfortable and great for gym I stay planted.”
Created in Adelaide, Australia in 2009 by professional bodybuilder David Lukic and his wife Natalie, Ryderwear became the vehicle for the pair to fill a gap in the fitness market. The brand has grown from just having two employees to over 60, and has recently opened its first store in the Adelaide suburb of Flinders Park.
Their range of shoes are tailored for athletes, bodybuilders, and all-round gym junkies. They want the shoes to complement all the hard work you’ve been putting in and are designed with those long sessions in mind, and with materials that will keep your feet safe and comfortable from any extreme movements. You’ll find the very best in their ‘D-MAK’ series of shoes.