The best crossfit shoes 2016
It can be hard to choose the right crossfit shoes. As it is the case for a lot of sports, having good shoes can prevent you getting injured and help you achieving better results.
There are 3 types of crossfit shoes
- Minimalist shoes – Minimalist shoes are really light and have a thin sole. They give the impression to be barefoot with an almost nonexistent drop, to feel really comfortable in every movements.
- Hybrid shoes – They are flexible and comfortable without being too heavy. They are perfect for cardio (jumping rope, row, bicycle), for gymnastics exercices (push-ups, pull-ups). Some can have a wider sole for better cushioning but it is not mandatory.
- Weightlifting shoes – These shoes are specifically designed for weightlifting. They are heavy, rigid and offer the best support and balance possible. They enable you to keep your feet anchored to the ground for weightlifting (clean & jerk, snatch), powerlifting (squat, deadlift) etc.
What are our criteria for choosing crossfit shoes ?
The drop is the difference in height between the heel and the front of the foot. This helps to keep balance and have a good back position during all the movements.
You must refer to this scale to choose according to your activity and your flexibility. To check your ankle flexibility, just do an air squat barefoot. If you bend over, that means you will need a bigger drop than the one the minimalist shoes offer.
The flexibility of the sole is really important as it must match the exercices you practice. As crossfit is mainly based on the repetition of dynamic movements, whose strength comes from the energy rebound, the sole has to be adapted and cannot be similar to an exercice mat in which the feet sink.
As a general rule, crossfit shoes must be as flexible as possible. The majority of crossfire movements require to have one’s feet bent so the shoes have to follow the shape of your feet.
Minimalist shoes are the most flexible ones and they give the impression that you practice crossfit barefoot which is really appreciable. Weightlifting shoes present a bigger sole that is barely flexible. They are designed to deliver a best restitution of energy and balance. For those looking for a small drop but keep stability for weight wods, some shoes are designed with a wider sole.
It refers to the front part of the shoes, around the toes. It is of paramount important to pay attention to this part of the shoes because the energy is mainly given through the toes. You have to feel at ease, not too wide but yet wide enough.
If your shoes are too heavy, you might feel slowed down during gymnastics movements : tractions, toes to bar…
there is a broad range of weights for the crossfit shoes : from 6.7 ounces for minimalist shoes to more than 1 pound a pair for weightlifting ones.
Having good ankle support is particularly important in a sport such as crossfit in which you need stability and balance for changes in the feet position (burpees, jumps) or weightlifting. Minimalist shoes are designed to offer such a support, other shoes have rigid support reinforcing the heel part.
Some WOD require jumping, kneeling, running and rope climbing so crossfit shoes have to be resistant.
Top 10 best crossfit shoes
The best crossfit shoes for men
1 – Reebok Nano 6.0
For the beginning of the new season of the Crossfit Games, Reebok has launched the sixth iteration of its Nano shoes series. Reebok promised that they would look like Nano 2.0, fit like Nano 3.0 and perform as Nano 5.0. Actually, they did it.
The major differences between the Nano 6.0 and the former Nano 5.0 ? The branding is pleasantly less obvious, the delta logo replaces all the writings that were on the 5.0 model. There is less Kevlar on the Nano 6.0 which makes them more comfortable yet still indestructible. Then, the Nano 6.0 present a slightly bigger drop of 4mm against 3mm for the 5.0 ones.
Reebok is undeniably the leader in crossfit shoes with this new version of the Nano that every crossfit lover should adopt !
2 – Reebok Nano 5.0
Even though the Nano 5.0 were released in 2015, they remain one of the best crossfit shoes available on the market today.
They are covered with pieces of Kevlar on the sides and on the top. We guarantee you they won’t be damaged during a wod, and even after a few months of use, they present little signs of wear. If Kevlar makes the Nano 5.0 hard to break in the beginning, after 2 or 3 weeks of wods, they become the most comfortable shoes you have ever worn.
The design of these shoes is really original, with its writings almost everywhere. If you like it, you should not hesitate and go for the Nano 5.0.
3 – Nike Metcon 2
The Nike Metcon 2 are the proof that Reebok’s Nanos can be defeated. Indeed since they are specifically designed for crossfit, the Nike ally efficiency, comfort and style.
With this new version of the Metcon, Nike improved several features. The Metcon 2 are reinforced in several places including the toes which appeared to rip on the first model. They are also more stable, thanks to the plastic plate added to the heel.
The Nike Metcon 2 are for sure one of the best crossfit shoes on the market but the Reebok Nano 5.0 and 6.0 are still one step ahead.
4 – Inov 8 F-lite 250
As an update of the popular Inov 8 F-Lite 235, the Inov 8 F-Lite 250 could not disappoint us. In addition to being particularly lightweight and comfortable, their heels are reinforced in order to get a better balance during weightlifting. The major difference between the two models is that the F-Lite 250 have an 8mm drop whereas the 235 did not have any drop. This new feature is another asset for those who practice weightlifting.
The strength of the Inov 8 F-Lite 250 lies in their polyvalence : they will suit all crossfitters may they be begginers or professionals.
5 – Nike Free 5.0 v6
When you first try on the Nike Free 5.0 v6, you immediately feel how light they are. If you want to experience a barefoot sensation yet keeping a bigger drop than the minimalist shoes, these shoes were made for you.
As all the Nike Free, this model has the nike free sole technology which will follow every single stride closely. With its grooves, the sole is incredibly flexible and also really comfortable with an 8mm drop. Nike also added rubber pieces giving the shoes a pleasant grip in every situation.
The Nike Free 5.0 v6 are really good shoes that you can use for running sessions as well as crossfit ones.
The best crossfit shoes for women
1 – Reebok Nano 6.0
The new Reebok Nano 6.0 are perfect for crossfit. They are light, powerful and resistant with a sole specially designed to cushion and absorb the shocks.
Less branding and a tighter toes box are the major visible differences with the former Nanos. The complaints about the Nano 5.0 were that there was too much Kevlar on the top and that reduced mobility. Reebok improved that part and the Nano 6.0 are more comfortable than ever.
The various improvements on this model will give you a better support for weightlifting wods and an excellent grip for rope climbing.
2 – Reebok Nano 5.0
The Reebok Nano 5.0 comes in flashy colors for women but of course it is not their only asset. What is striking is that they are incredibly light and comfortable : it feels like wearing slippers !
Be careful, these are not specifically designed for running, they are polyvalent shoes. You will be able to run without problem during a wod but they can do far more than that, they are really stable for weightlifting. Covered with Kevlar, the Nano 5.0 promise to resist everything and last a very long time.
When they were released, they were expensive but with the launch of the Nano 6.0, their price is now lower and makes them the best value for money shoes available on the market.
3 – Nike Metcon 2
The first impression you will get with the Nike Metcon 2 is that they are incredibly stable. The wide toes box and the reinforced wide heel provide the support and the stability you need. That is why theses shoes are particularly great for squats, deadlifts and other weightlifting exercices in general. The Nike Metcon 2 are also particularly flexible allowing natural motion which is pleasant during wods.
But if you are looking for the perfect polyvalent shoes, the Nike Metcon 2 might disappoint you : they are not really comfortable when it comes to jumping exercices (burpees, double under, box jumps) and they are only good for running on short distances.
4 – Brooks Glycerin 13
The massive asset of the Brooks Glycerin 13 is the cushioning quality they offer. Once you put them on, you immediately feel comfortable almost as if you were wearing slippers. The inside was designed without stitchings so there is no risk of getting blisters.
The Brooks Glycerin 13 were designed for running more than for wods. Yet, some of their features make them really great for cross training. Even though the sole offers a big 10mm drop, it allows good dynamism and is adapted to a broad range of surfaces.
These shoes will be perfect for women who need an increased cushioning and support and for those who are used to feel foot ache during the workouts.
5 – Reebok Speed TR
The Speed TR are close to the Nike Metcons and are perfect if your wod contains cardio.
The Speed TR are hybrid shoes and to make them this way, Reebok reinforced the sole in order to bring more cushioning and flexibility. Contrary to the Nanos, the Speed TR have the KippingKlip technology. It is an addition to the back heel and reduces drag for handstand push ups. Narrower than the Nanos, these shoes are perfect for those who didn’t like how wide the nano were. For weightlifting workouts, the Speed TR are good shoes provided that you are not performing your max effort.
We hope this top will help you choosing your new pair of crossfit shoes ! We tried to be as objective as possible but of course our advice depends on our experience and preferences.
A few tips if you want to keep your shoes longer, even if crossfit training shoes are designed to last :
Wash the inside sole regularly in the washing machine with white vinegar. White vinegar is a natural method to destroy bacterias and odors. This tip also works for sports outfit in general.
Use a dust bag specially for your shoes, it will protect them as well as it will prevent them from perfuming your sports bag.