As any seasoned CrossFitter will tell you, the workout is all about form. Maintaining proper form not only decreases the likelihood of injuries, it also increases the quality of a workout and promotes training progress—and proper footwear plays an essential part in preserving form during a workout. Choosing the best CrossFit shoes can be especially challenging, as the combination of functional movements and high-intensity weightlifting require footwear that is both flexible and supportive.
To break it down, the ideal shoe for weight training provides stability to promote balance and support; running shoes, on the other hand, should be lightweight and able to absorb the shock of repetitive actions. While these features are not diametrically opposed, in the early days of CrossFit, it could be difficult to find minimalistic shoes that allowed for closer-to-the-ground natural movement while also providing a soft enough heel to take the shock pounding the pavement. (If you’re anything like us, finding the best CrossFit shoes isn’t even the most difficult part — staying motivated can be the real challenge. You might want to check out Quitter or Fitter? Tips to Stay CrossFit Committed).
The good news is that the sport’s explosion of popularity over time has led to many innovations in footwear, and diehard CrossFitters no longer have to compromise when it comes to shoes. To push yourself to the limit while avoiding injury, be sure to keep fit, comfort, and support at the forefront of your mind when choosing the right shoe for you. The shoe should be able to transition from weight training to running seamlessly and stand up to rigorous activity. Investing money in gear specifically designed to meet the demands of CrossFit isn’t just good for your body — the investment can help boost your mental commitment to the sport, too. Here are some great options to consider.
Reebok CrossFit Nano 5.0
Reebok has been the official footwear and apparel partner of CrossFit for five years. The brand consistently innovates new technology, bringing high-quality training gear to the market. The latest updates to the CrossFit Nano series introduces Kevlar® material throughout the upper of the shoe for increased durability and abrasion protection, and the 360° BulletCage for protection that is designed to endure the most challenging and diverse CrossFit WODs. The Nano 5.0 is built on the design spec of human movement to help keep it from interfering with performance. The shoe features a 3MM heel drop platform and raised outsole lug patterns for better surface area contact and improved traction.
New Balance 007
New Balance brings a more minimal version of a cross-trainer to the table with the 007. The upper is climbing-inspired, made from breathable mono mesh for extreme ventilation. The heel drop is 4MM for shock absorbency in running, and a gusseted tongue sewn in place keeps debris out of the midsole in rugged terrain. Odor-resistant with a rugged overlasted forefoot, this shoe is built to take a beating. (Ok, yes, maybe this is totally unrelated, but have you seen this insanely cute Badass Crossfit Babies You’ve Got See to Believe? So. Completely. Painfully. Adorable.)
ASICS Gel-Fortius 2 TR
Built to handle activities like rope climbing and lifting, the ASICS Gel-Fortius 2 TR builds on its predecessors to add more durability and better comfort. An asymmetrical lacing system improves fit and an abrasion-resistant quarter-panel brace and rubber toe guard provide extra endurance and, along with the functional midfoot wrap, additional responsive traction for specialized training activities. Ventilation features include an air mesh “chimney system” from vamp to tongue for high-intensity workouts.
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