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Be Better in the Box with the Best CrossFit Shoes
From circuit-crushing mainstays to budget-friendly bests, there’s a CrossFit shoe for everyone on the list.
A decade ago, asking someone about their WOD might get you a funny look. But these days, the Workout of the Day is damn near ubiquitous — as is the host of footwear options aimed squarely at pleasing CrossFit fiends the world over.
But just because there are dozens of CrossFit-friendly shoes flooding the market doesn't mean any old shoe will do. In our assessments of what's out there, we've identified some of the best while considering key factors like cost and preferred moves, from cardio to kettlebell swings.
So, whether you're a seasoned CrossFitter or just getting into the game, you're sure to find a pick here that's right up your alley. All that's left to do is strap them on, rip through your next workout, flex and scream to your fellow athletes, "WOD's up now??" Then quietly pack your things and go — perhaps to a well-deserved recovery session.
BEST OVERALL CROSSFIT SHOEReebok Nano X3 Read More
BEST UPGRADE CROSSFIT SHOENike Metcon 8 Read More
BEST BUDGET CROSSFIT SHOEPuma Fuse 2.0 Read More
MOST STYLISH CROSSFIT SHOENobull High-Top Trainer+ Read More
MOST VERSATILE CROSSFIT SHOEUnder Armour UA TriBase Reign 5 Read More
How to Choose CrossFit Shoes
Your workouts and movements vary a ton in CrossFit, so your shoes should be capable of accomplishing whatever you throw at them. When looking at CrossFit shoes, there are a few keys to consider, none of which are more vital than heel support.
One of the defining characteristics that separates CrossFit shoes from your daily sneakers is how firm the heel is. This is intended to help add support and responsiveness, especially when weightlifting. Some brands even beef up the heel with additional plastic components and clips for more rigidity and firmness. At the same time, CrossFitters need a cushioned base to perform sprints or runs. Our picks – and most well-designed CrossFit shoes – balance support and cushioning perfectly for well-rounded silhouettes capable of any WOD.
Also, you should look for CrossFit shoes that are durable enough to withstand the rigors of intense training. After all, you’ll be wearing these kicks through some of your most grueling workouts. Look for uppers with a resilient construction. To go along with the upper, pay close attention to the shoe sidewalls. Having sidewalls with reinforced materials or extra support can help extend your footwear’s lifespan, especially when you’re taking them through countless agility sessions or rope climbs.
The Difference Between Gym Shoes and CrossFit Shoes
When it comes to determining proper gym shoes vs. CrossFit shoes, it’s very similar to the square and rectangle comparison. While all CrossFit shoes can be excellent footwear options for your gym-based workouts, you’re unlikely to enjoy your WODs if you train in a general fitness sneaker. If you’re locked into CrossFit training, you want to look for footwear with the aforementioned heel support and durable upper. Additionally, CrossFit-specific footwear often includes added specs like medial and lateral support for movements like rope climbs and side-to-side agility training, which isn’t exactly a necessity if you’re staying static in your bicep curls or barbell rows.
While you can get by benching, squatting and deadlifting in other kicks, the requirements of a CrossFit workout require a little more speciality.
How We Tested
To get an understanding of the best CrossFit shoes on the market, we cranked up the RPE to 10 and hit the Box for a slew of intense training circuits. We wore a number of these impressive picks across agility ladders, box jumps, cleans, presses and more to find out which sneakers deserve a leader’s jersey. Features like comfort, durability and responsiveness were highlighted in our tests, as well as how well we felt supported underfoot. We also wore a few of these picks in our typical strength training regimens to see their impact when the intensity was less heart-pounding. Here’s what we found.
Explore the following guides to find more of our top workout gear recommendations.