Finding the right CrossFit equipment plays a key role in making the most out of your training. Having the proper tools and accessories maximizes your Workout of the Day (WODs), prevents injuries, and promotes better health and fitness. If you’re choosing some for your gym at home, there are certain things that you should remember to harness the full value of the investment.
First off, choose equipment that utilizes multiple muscle groups at once. Some of these can be expansive, while others look simpler and unassuming. Knee sleeves, for instance, may seem more like accessories than effective gear, but they do assist CrossFitters in better performing burpees, or wall and box jump. In addition, look for equipment that provides room for growth, such as bumper plates that come in various increments.
Apparel should also be chosen well. There are training shoes, and then there are CrossFit shoes. Shoes should be of the right type, as they provide the right support for the proper and safe execution of techniques. In addition, they influence the level of engagement that you get out of your muscle groups and, by extension, determine the effectiveness of the workout.
Who Needs CrossFit Shoes
Do you need CrossFit shoes when you already have training shoes? Yes. Anybody who ticks off these markers will benefit from these shoes:
- Beginners who want to build up strength and stamina and require the proper support for making that happen more easily
- Seasoned CrossFitters who want to do better, longer, and more intense workouts
- Athletes who want a solid foot support for a wide range of activities and not just CrossFit; and
- People who want to prevent injuries as well as they could
What are CrossFit Shoes
As their name denotes, CrossFit shoes are footwear that are specifically designed for the specific exercise of CrossFit. There are many of them on the market now, with established manufacturers such as Nike adding to the mix. If you need one for yourself, below are three of the most crucial factors that you should consider before choosing.
- The Drop
The drop of the shoe refers to the difference in the height of the heel and the height of the forefoot. Many shoes feature an 8-millimeter drop, while the ideal shoes for CrossFit is that which is only at least 4-mm. Some shoes even claim to have a zero drop, which means that the heel and the forefoot are levels.
The drop is important to doing CrossFit as you want to make sure that you can execute certain workouts in the best way that you can. If you’re in running trainers with an 8-mm drop, for instance, you will find it challenging to maintain your form as you do squats or deadlifts. Not only that, this little number can mean the difference between a successful workout and an injury.
- The Sole
The type of sole that is found in the shoe is also of critical note. Imagine moving bumper plates while standing on a soft cushion. Difficult, right? The sole provides the support that your body relies on as you push back into the floor so that you can get into the right position for workouts, carry out the techniques well, and recover back into the standing position without fail.
CrossFit shoes need to have hard soles, first and foremost. This ensures that you remain stable, on the ground, as you go about your training. Soft soles will detract from the intensity with which you can do your techniques, and limit your movement, which may cause injuries.
- The Outer Shoe
The outer shoe features the traction on the front of the shoe that will protect your feet from the intensity of some of the exercises that you will be doing, during CrossFit training. Rope climbs, for instance, need to be done with shoes that provide a stable “cage” around the middle of the foot and the toes for proper support.
The outer shoe also ensures the proper alignment of your feet. When doing climbs, this alignment is even of greater importance: your feet need to grip the ropes properly, and they should be in the right position from start to finish.
- Choosing Your CrossFit Shoes
When it comes to choosing the right shoes, many people rely on personal preference, in addition to the above markers. Some people like minimalist designs that make use of streamlined engineering to deliver what is required. Other CrossFitters, on the other hand, like to look for a combination of function and aesthetics.
There are also shoes for men and shoes for women. While there are no striking differences between what should be found in CrossFit shoes for men and those for women, it helps to be guided by a clear idea of personal requirements when choosing. This helps ensure that you get the right footwear with the right support, as well as the shoes that meet your personal goals.
If you don’t have a lot of budgets, for example, there are CrossFit shoes that are designed by brands that cater to a wider market, as opposed to brands that are known for putting quite considerable price tags on their products. If you have money to burn, you can take your pick off the latest models that are better versions of an already good footwear line.
Spend as much time as needed in studying the options so that when it is time to choose, you make the most out of the purchase. You can read product reviews from other athletes to inform your decision. Similarly, you can try and test various products until you find the right fit, but only if you have the resources for that.
What Are the Benefits of Finding the Right CrossFit Shoes
From support to improved performance, the right CrossFit shoes bring in a plethora of advantages to both beginner and seasoned athletes. If you need some reasons why the investment in such footwear is worth your time, here are six of the most important of them.
Proper Support – The first and arguably most essential reward that CrossFit involves intense workouts that require people to stay on top of their game; otherwise, you’ll run the risk of falling prey to injuries, as well as failing your routines. Proper support is critical to staying on form throughout your training, as well as achieving safe and successful training results.
Why? Proper shoe support limits the potential of over-pronation, which is the twisting of the foot and the ankle inward. When exerting effort, this twisting will happen almost automatically, but if the shoe is strong enough, the feet stay in firm position. As such, the feet are protected from fatigue and strain, and you get to do what you set out to do.
Support also makes sure that when we exert effort, our entire weight is distributed evenly. Improper footwear may give in during a particularly strenuous workout, and as a result, we can lose our balance. Improperly designed shoes also do not only endanger our feet, but also our whole bodies. You see, even if your feet do not pronate, they may still bear the brunt of improper support and affect other muscle groups.
One of the most important rewards that you will get out of CrossFit shoes is the support that they provide. Current options on the market are designed to provide minimal to zero drops, which means that your feet are firmly planted on the solid ground for executing tricky challenges. They also come with hard soles, as well as properly designed outer shoes for proper foot alignment.
Durability and Longevity – Another advantage offered by CrossFit shoes is their superior engineering, which translates to long-term durability. When you buy one pair of these shoes, you can expect to use that pair for a long time – which has two great offshoots. First, you are getting maximum value for your purchase, and you don’t need to consider getting another for a while.
More important to performance, the quality that you encounter when you first wear the shoes for CrossFit will be the same quality over time. As you continue to grow in skills and stamina, the shoes will provide the same stable support that you need.
Improved Performance – Speaking of performance, CrossFit shoes also help contribute to improved performance during training. The first reason for this is structural: your shoes bear a lot of the work that goes into the training and provides the foundation upon which you will stake your strength as you execute your routines.
In addition, the right shoes help you utilize your energy to the fullest, which improves the quality of your training. When you feel solid on your feet, you can better harness your muscle groups so that when you execute a technique, you are sure that you are doing it properly and safely.
Another reason for improved performance owing to CrossFit shoes is psychological. Feeling confident because of having the right accessories has a direct impact on the work that you do. When you know that your shoes come equipped with a solid heel, for instance, you know that when you push back into the floor as you do deadlifts, you will not stumble.
Specially Designed for CrossFit – In addition, CrossFit shoes are ideal for CrossFit because they are specifically designed for it. CrossFit requires a lot of technical skills; the training puts the body through rigorous routines, and the individual needs to continually meet and surpass WODs.
As such, shoes that are designed for this specific program are among the most effective tools that you can have in your arsenal. They do not only equip the individual with the capacity to handle the intensity of the workouts, they are also built to last throughout the workouts, for a long time.
There are so many types of them that you will find on the market, and each of them has been engineered for the sport. In fact, some brands have particularly crossed the market to bring their own special brand of sports technology to the industry. In addition, there are varying product lines, so you can choose according to your preferences.
For example, you will find CrossFit shoes that feature a great outer shoe design for climbing specific equipment such as ropes. Additionally, there are shoes with a minimalist design and zero drops, so that you are assured of the most stable balance possible for your gym runs.
There are also new innovations that are continually being studied, so it is reasonable to hope that tomorrow’s shoes will be better. As brands broaden their product lines, so do they delve deeper into the specific technologies that will make their footwear suitable for the sport’s developments and changes.
Reduction of Potential for Injuries – With CrossFit shoes, you reduce the chances for injuries. The first reason for this is, as has been previously covered, the specific design of the shoes themselves. They are built to handle the training, and to help you with the training.
They also provide more stability and balance, which are two of the most athletic ingredients you need for the safe execution of techniques and tricks. Their hard soles do not only push back onto solid ground, they also whip energy back into your muscles so that you can ensure proper form throughout the workouts.
Up in the air, they are even more critical. Climbing a rope with a pair of shoes that are right for the routine and the equipment ensures that there are no slips from which you can get seriously hurt. Or if you’re doing deadlifts, your shoes can ground you so that you don’t feel dizzy and out of sync.
And their durability knows no scale. With CrossFit shoes, you can switch from one activity without needing to, pardon the pun, gather your feet. This helps in sustaining your momentum, as well as ensuring that your entire body can safely transition through the distinct phases of your workout.
Great for Other Types of Workouts – Finally, CrossFit shoes are not made only for CrossFit. If you are doing other exercise programs, you can rely on the shoes to provide the same quality of results as they would with CrossFit. You’re getting top value for your investment in the accessories, and you’ll keep cashing that in for a long time.
What Are the Precautions of CrossFit Shoes
If there is one thing that you should remember when choosing CrossFit shoes, it is that you should look at the specifications of the shoes before you agree to purchase it. These shoes may be great for CrossFit, but some of them would be better than others.
Also, if you have nagging foot issues or you are not used to low-drop shoes, experts recommend starting with shoes that have at least a 6-mm drop. Over time, as your feet and body adjust, you can work your way down to the ideal drop numbers.
What Are the Best CrossFit Shoes
Considered to be arguably the best of the best CrossFit shoes, the Reebok Nano 6.0 boasts of a Kevlar-infused design that delivers optimal lightweight efficiency, as well as a compression-molded midsole for excellent shock absorption. On top of that, its new design is now patterned after the anatomical shape of the feet, so having them on will feel like the most natural thing in the world.
- Excellent and durable all-around build
- Lightweight but offers great cushioning and shock absorption
- Provides the best value for its price
- Some users have complained that the shoes’ toe box is too small
The Nike Metcon 3 is designed with foot-locking technology to help keep you stable throughout your workouts, regardless of the level of their intensity. These shoes also ensure efficient power transfer, as their durable midsoles help manage shock absorption, and their minimal drop ensures balance and performance. And they are great for a wide range of sports activities aside from CrossFit, including weightlifting and gymnastics.
- Perfect for different aerobic and sports programs
- Exceptional grip and power transfer for better stability and enhanced performance
- Durable design
- Soles can feel a little uncomfortable when the shoes are used for long runs
Another great shoe option for beginner and seasoned CrossFitters are the Powerlift 3 from Adidas. These shoes are designed to combine the power of durability with flexibility, to equip you with the support that you need for your WODs. They feature a lockdown fit, which makes sure that your feet stay firmly planted on the ground even if you’re doing intense training.
- Designed for maximum breathability and comfort, with their wide toe box, as well as components made of mesh
- Offers advantages available from other shoe counterparts, but comes with a lower price
- Great foot protection and stability
- The shoes can feel a little stiff after long runs
Another favorite in the industry is these shoes from Inov-8, which are widely considered to provide the best snug fit for your feet. In fact, some claim that the shoes fit the feet like gloves fit the hands. They are lightweight and flexible, but they are designed to provide great support, owing to their wide toe box and lifted heel. They also come with a met-cradle lacing system to help secure your foot in place while training.
- Provides a natural feel for the feet, because of their snug but flexible design
- Offers great support for a wide range of activities
- Combines the benefits of flexibility with lightweight design
- More expensive than other CrossFit shoes
The Nike Free Trainer 5.0 V6 comes equipped with an outsole piston technology that provides two excellent things for athletes: enough shock absorption to help with runs, as well as enough support for heavier trains such as weightlifting. Their midsoles also accord users with flexibility; in fact, they are designed with hexagonal pods for multi-directional flexibility. For all these, they also come at a reasonable price.
- Great price for the benefits that they provide
- Great flexibility, lightweight design, and durability
- Ideal for training that require lateral and lifting support
- Comes with only average arch support
Our Choice for The Best CrossFit Shoes
Choosing your CrossFit shoes ultimately comes down to personal preferences, but in our consideration, the Nano 6.0 from Reebok is still the best steal of the lot. These shoes are highly popular among athletes, and there are plenty of reasons for that.
Their engineering ensures that you get everything that you need to get out of your CrossFit shoes. And they do not stop there. The shoes great build design does not only provide stability and support, they also help improve the results that you get out of your workouts.
Speaking of workouts, the Nano 6.0s are ideal for a wide range of them. You get the freedom that you need for your training, and you can rely on the consistent quality of the shoes to handle everything from burpees to box jumps to rope climbs. If you’re looking for style, these Reeboks also have you covered as they come in 20 color options.
More importantly, the brand is invested in continually improving their offerings to better serve CrossFitters and other athletes while providing safe and successful training experiences. The new technologies incorporated in the design are representative of other great things we can look forward to, from this line.