Top 6 CrossFit Shoe Brands

by jacky chou
Updated on

CrossFit training is a heavy and stressful regime, which is aimed at working on all muscle groups under stress.

The training itself is very intense and it consists of different exercises, which are united into one routine. Some people call it a hardcore version of a circuit training.

Obviously, in order to perform well, you need a proper attire. And CrossFit shoes are an indispensable part of it.

Nowadays it’s tough to choose the best variant because famous brands come up with innovative and modern versions, which have a number of advantages.

If you are at crossroads and don’t know which brand to choose and which model to buy, here is a guide for you. Learn about types of CrossFit shoes, their major features and the best CrossFit shoes to buy.

Types Of CrossFit Shoes

CrossFit shoes are designed to endure everything a WOD offers, so wearing them, you can handle a formidable array of physical needs. There are three major types of CrossFit shoes, which should be used for certain activities.

Running Shoes

Running shoes should be flexible and comfortable, their raised heel provides the necessary cushioning. It softens the pressure on ankles and knees while running. Besides, the breathable materials prevent feet from sweating and slipping, that is why they are safer than other shoes.

Olympic Lifting Shoes

The aim of these shoes is to provide the necessary stability. The heel is usually elevated, which helps you to get in the right squat position. They give a snug fit and the foot doesn’t slide around inside. The sole should be hard and grippy so that you don’t lose the balance.

Minimalist Shoes

They encourage a more natural form of running because they are focused on a forefoot strike. Also, they are flat-sole, which makes them a perfect variant for weightlifting. Besides, they have a zero drop and a breathable upper.

What To Consider When Buying CrossFit Shoes

The main requirement for CrossFit shoes is that they should be durable enough to endure everything the CrossFit training offers: from the long distance running and gymnastics to squats and burpees. There are some shoe features, which may enhance your performance. Pay attention to them while choosing a new pair of CrossFit shoes.


The body of the shoes should be durable. Thereby, CrossFit shoes should have the sides and the top, made of a sturdy material, such as Kevlar, which gives an impenetrable protection. And there should be a reinforced cage around your feet.


The size of the shoes should suit your feet perfectly. They should be tight to endure all intense workouts and support the feet. Also, you may choose between wide or narrow toe boxes according to your personal preferences.


If you plan to train in harsh conditions, your shoes should have a good traction because the gym floor or the ground outside may be slippery. The upper part of shoes also matters because a thicker and more enduring upper part is best for those, who train outdoors.

If there is high humidity, you need lightweight shoes, which consist of breathable materials.

Drop & sole

The drop of CrossFit shoes should be 4 mm or less because then the foot is in its natural position, which improves the performance and prevents fatigue. Also, there can be a zero drop, which means that the heel and the toe are at the same level. Minimalist shoes usually have a zero drop, they are good for weightlifting.

As for the sole, it should be hard because it provides stability, which is crucial for weightlifting. Each time you do the Olympic lifts, you should stay stable. However, if you choose a cardio training or gymnastics, then go for a cushioning sole, which gives more support.


This criterion is very subjective as you should choose shoes according to your personal preferences. But the general recommendations are: get an anatomically designed pair of shoes, which will fit the arches and give the necessary support. They should be fairly snug to keep the foot fixed.


Breathability is crucial as if the feet are wet, then they are slipping, which increases the risk of injuries. CrossFit shoes should have a mesh upper, which prevents overheating and keeps feet cool and dry.


Traction as important as it gives balance and stability, especially if you are on a slippery floor in the gym. It should be combined with a durable sole to keep you always gripped.

Top 6 Best Brands Of CrossFit Shoes

There are many brands of CrossFit shoes, but the most sought-after amid athletes are:

1. Reebok

This American-inspired brand is known for the high quality of CrossFit shoes, their durability, a bunch of sizes, and styles. It is the first brand, which has created the spiked running shoes, but other shoe lines are also successful as they target both running and weightlifting. The most popular model of the CrossFit shoes is the Reebok CrossFit Nano 5.0.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 5.0

Reebok Men's Crossfit Nano 5 Training Shoe
  • Crossfit training shoe with DuPont Kevlar-infused mesh upper featuring CMEV midsole and anatomical heel and footbed
  • RopePro carbon rubber protection wrap construction
  • Raised outsole lug pattern

Colors: Black, Grey & Blue

Size Range: 6.5 – 13 US

Material: Synthetic & Mesh

Minimal heel-toe drop: 3 mm

The sole type: hard


These shoes combine high protection and high breathability. Reebok is constantly developing the line of Nanos and this type has a lightweight feel, a comfortable fit, and a maximum durability. The sole is hard, flat and the drop is 3 mm, what makes them perfect for the track in the gym as well as for deadlifting.

Also, a carbon rubber provides a good grip with the ground and the shoes absorb shock thanks to the CMEVA compression. The upper body has a Kevlar infused mesh, which makes them durable and the Polyurethane NanoShell mechanism gives the required stability and prevents shoes from midsole abrasion. The outsole is raised, that is why it provides an enhanced traction. Besides, they offer an arch support, so they become a win-win option for running.

  • Pros
  • High level of comfort
  • It is lightweight.
  • Give the support to the arch area
  • Have high durability due to the Kevlar upper mesh.
  • Cons
  • Less flexible
  • Pricey

2. Adidas

Since 1948, this brand has been the leader, which offers a high quality. It focuses on the functionality of shoes and creates different shoe types: for high-performance weightlifting and the cross training. One of the most popular models is Adidas Performance Powerlift 3.

Adidas Performance Powerlift 3

Colors: 11 different colors

Size Range: 4 – 16 US

Material: Textile & Synthetic

Minimal heel-toe drop: 4 mm

The sole type: hard


These shoes are extremely flexible and comfortable. Also, they provide a great stability, which is important for those, who do weightlifting. It is achieved with the help of a midsole wedge and an anti-slip rubber outsole. Besides, there is an extra-wide toe box and over-lace strap, which keeps the foot in its place. The most important weightlifting consideration is the heel height, it is 15 mm. This high-density EVA heel makes deadlifts easier for an athlete and helps to achieve aid in squat depth. However, this heel type is not so good for powerlifting.

  • Pros
  • They are lightweight because weigh around 15 Oz 
  • They give a perfect support to the feet.
  • They are stable thanks to the durable anti-slip rubber outsole.
  • Cons
  • They provide less forefoot flexibility, and a grip isn’t strong enough for benching.
  • The heel is not resilient to abrasions
  • Lacks the rigidity TPU heel provides.

3. Nike

Nike takes an innovative approach when it comes to sports gear. The materials are always qualitative, the type of the sole always fits the type of training and the comfort is always great.

Nike Metcon 2

Colors: more than 30

Size Range: 6 – 16 US

Material: Synthetic and Mesh

Minimal heel-toe drop: 4 mm

The sole type: hard


These shoes will satisfy needs of all athletes due to the low profile TPU heel clip. They give a necessary stability for weightlifting and flexibility for running. The dual-density foam midsole gives good cushioning.

Also, this model features an abrasion-resistant film around the midfoot, which keeps heat and friction at bay during your workout. Also, they provide a perfect fit thanks to the Flywire midfoot technology, which keeps the foot in its place. On top of that, the shoes have a rubber sole, which absorbs the impact and provides an optimal traction.

  • Pros
  • They have a flat and stable platform,
  • Dual density midsole foam padding for support, a zero-drag heel, a snug fit, 
  • A great variety of colors and sizes and a reasonable price. 
  • They provide a Lateral and Medial grip for rope climbs.
  • It is beneficial for those, who use J-Hook method.
  • Cons
  • They may be too loud and stiff and if you choose a bright color, it bleaches quickly.
  • They are more expensive than other CrossFit shoes and aren’t suitable for long runs.

4. New Balance

This brand is the synonym for success as New Balance shoes give a perfect fit, breathability, durability, and flexibility. They endure high-intensity exercises and help to surpass all fitness goals.

New Balance MX20BS4 Minimus

Colors: Black, Silver

Size Range: 7-20 US

Material: Mesh & Synthetic

Minimal heel-toe drop: 4 mm

The sole type: hard


The concept of Minimus shoes implies grippy shoes, which give an impression of a bare foot. They are extremely durable, as they made of waterproof materials, which makes them a perfect choice both for indoor and outdoor activities. Also, these shoes may be compared to ballerinas footwear as due to a durable Vibram outsole, a 4 mm drop, stabilizing overlays and flex grooves they are super flexible and comfortable.

Apart from that, they offer a high level of breathability, which is achieved through the air holes over the upper construction. Besides, they give a good grip and multi-directional traction thanks to the Vibram rubber sole and good cushioning due to the REVlite midsole.

  • Pros
  • This model has high durability thanks to the high-quality materials used 
  • A Vibram outsole, which is good for stability and comfort.
  • Perfect cushioning and breathability are also the advantages of these shoes.
  • Cons
  • The actual size of shoes is bigger than stated 
  • They have a lack of traction.

5. Asics

It is the Japanese corporation, which is the leader in the manufacture of professional running shoes. An abbreviation “Asics” means a sound mind in a sound body. The company sticks to the following principles in the manufacture of shoes: depreciation, support, fit, and grip. It is known for its high-quality shoes and an innovative approach.

Asics Met-conviction

ASICS Men's Conviction X
  • RhynoSkin Synthetic Leather: An abrasion and tear resistant synthetic leather for increased upper durability.
  • Perforated Sock liner: Optimizes moisture drainage and improves breathability.
  • Heel Height: 10mm. Forefoot Height: 6mm
  • Integrated Lace Garage: Complies with rules regarding laces.

Colors: Black, Gray

Size Range: 4-12 US

Material: Synthetic

Minimal heel-toe drop: 3 mm

The sole type: stiff


These shoes are designed for those people, who are engaged in CrossFit training professionally. They combine functionality with high durability, which makes them a perfect choice. They provide an excellent grip with the surface, cushioning with a low-profile and a flexible forefoot. Their durability is great thanks to a toe cap and the abrasion-resistant rubberized sole. The brand uses a comfortdry technology, the top of the shoes is lined with soft and flexible mesh, which gives excellent breathability and cushioning.

Besides, they have a Speva midsole, which improves bounce back and absorbs the impact. Also, this midsole gives high durability as it prevents the rapid deterioration of the inner and outer soles.

  • Pros
  • They have a comfordry lining, a Speva midsole
  • Their durability is high due to a high abrasion rubber on the outer soles.
  • Cons
  • The sole is too stiff, so it isn’t good for running.
  • They are too narrow, so they don’t suit people with wide feet.

6. Inov-8

This brand offers minimalist shoes and focuses on the production of running shoes, which can withstand a large number of indoor and outdoor activities. It strives to create the shoes, in which the foot will be in its natural position.

Inov-8 Men’s F-Lite 235-M

Colors: Black, Blue, Navy, Yellow, Gray, Red

Size Range: 8-14 US

Material: Synthetic

Minimal heel-toe drop: zero drop

The sole type: hard


These shoes are flexible, comfortable and provide support for arches due to a multi-directional meta-flex technology. They are lightweight and breathable. Besides, the 360-degree rope-Tec system, used on the upper, provides a good traction while performing various exercises. Also, they give a good protection thanks to the toe bumpers, which protect toes. On top of that, the heel is 40% denser than the forefoot, which gives maximum stability while weightlifting.

The outsole is flexible, so you won’t rub your feet raw, but the heel is elevated, which is great for weightlifting. On top of that, if you remove the insole, you’ll get zero drop shoes.

  • Pros
  • They are flexible but durable.
  • Shoes provide a great support and comfort
  •  They have a snug fit and utilize meta-flex technology.
  • Cons
  • Shoes fit small and the sole may start to peel.


Perfect CrossFit shoes provide a great stability, flexibility, support, breathability, and durability. They help not only to perform well during exercises, which you’ve included in the CrossFit workout, but they decrease the risk of injuries and give the necessary comfort. Hopefully, you’ll use this guide each time you need to buy another pair of CrossFit shoes.

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jacky chou


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