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Top 10 Best CrossFit Shoes in 2021

Crossfit workouts have gathered overnight fame for all the right reasons. Apart from their high intensity, the right choice in the shoe can also add to your weight loss program this year.

Reasons to look for good CrossFit Shoes

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past few years, you’ve probably heard of the term CrossFit. Or, you’ve seen your friend, family member or colleague professing their love for it on social media.

But, what exactly is CrossFit and why is it so popular? Simply put, it’s a workout program consisting of different exercises, all of which are performed at high intensity. In a CrossFit session, you may find yourself performing a variety of exercises; from climbing ropes to weight lifting, sprinting and more.

Given the gravity of these workout sessions, it’s important that you invest in proper footwear. The right CrossFit shoes will ensure that you exercise using the right technique; hence, prevent you from sustaining injuries. In this post, we’ll look at the top 10 CrossFit shoes on the market.

Best overall for men

Nike Air Monarch IV crossfit shoes

Nike Air Monarch IV crossfit shoes

The upper part of the shoe comes in two variants: an all-leather upper and a combination of leather and mesh making it a good buy for both men and women.

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The Nike Air Monarch IV ticks most of the boxes for what we’d like in a CrossFit shoe, which is why it’s our favorite.

For one, it’s lightweight but still sturdy. This allows you to perform a range of workouts without getting fatigued too fast.

This cross trainer sneaker also boasts a leather upper, which makes it very durable. Plus, this leather upper has multiple perforations, which contribute to the shoe’s breathability. To crown it all, you get to choose from 10 different plain colors and color combinations.

Best for rope climbing & best grip

Reebook Crossfit Nano 8.0 crossfit shoes

Reebook Crossfit Nano 8.0 crossfit shoes

Unlike past models, the new bootie construction is independent of the outer shoe material to enhance comfort.

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Reebok Nano 8.0 is another popular sneaker for CrossFit workouts, and it’s easy to see why. For starters, it has the recommended 4 mm drop. This helps you to maintain your natural gait by distributing your weight evenly.

Secondly, it features Reebok’s legendary Flexweave technology. This consists of a woven material, which is used to make the upper. What makes this fabric so special is the way it strikes a good balance between breathability, flexibility and durability.

Best overall for women & plantar fasciitis

Ryka Influence Training crossfit shoes

Ryka Influence Training crossfit shoes

The dual density foam midsole stands out as it provides ample cushioning to your feet while improving shape retention

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Read our full review here

When it comes to women’s athletic shoes, Ryka is the go-to brand, and their Influence creation is perfect for HIIT workouts.

Right off the bat, you’ll notice the vibrant and stylish design of this sneaker. This particular one we’re reviewing comes in a combination of black, atomic pink, grey and hints of blue (used on the logo).

But apart from design, this shoe has some nice features, such as a rubber outsole (to provide good grip), a dual-density foam midsole (for maximum shock absorption) and a low-top structure.

Best for heavy guys

New Balance 608V5 crossfit shoes

New Balance 608V5 crossfit shoes

The dual-density collar foam of this model is thicker to reduce irritation around the ankles. Further, the use of the polyurethane insert maximizes cushioning, enhancing comfort.

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A renowned top-seller for athletic shoes, their 608V5 Cross Trainer offers individuals who need extra ankle support sufficient stability. If you examine the shoe keenly, you’ll notice that the ankle is reinforced with dual-density foam, which helps to prevent irritation when you’re exercising.

New Balance has also incorporated their proprietary ABZORB crash pad on the heel, which aids in absorbing shock. Other features that make the 608V5 perfect for CrossFit are leather upper with tiny perforations for ventilation, EVA foam midsole and rubber outsole.

Best for squats & deadlifts

Oranginer Barefoot crossfit shoes

Oranginer Barefoot crossfit shoes

This footwear’s wide toe box allows your toes to relax when performing cross training barefoot. It also keeps you stable during uphill climbs.

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If you like the freedom of walking barefoot, then you’ll love this cross trainer shoe by Oranginer. The barefoot style allows you to engage your feet when you’re working out. This results in stronger accessory muscles in your foot area.

The wide toe box design is another feature that makes it suitable for CrossFit. It means you can spread out your toes naturally to enhance your comfort.

Best for plantar fasciitis

Whitin Men’s Cross-Trainer crossfit shoes

Whitin Men’s Cross-Trainer crossfit shoes

Its flat zero-drop sole construction allows your feet to remain in a neutral position during exercise. This means you maintain a natural, healthy posture and don’t exert too much stress on your joints.

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Unlike some of its peers, Whitin is not a household name. But their Barefoot & Minimalist Cross Trainer is worth a mention. This shoe gives you the best bang for your buck.

Even with the low pricing, the sneaker doesn’t compromise on quality. Its anatomical structure helps you get the perfect fit for your feet. The zero-drop design helps you maintain a natural position when exercising and rubber sole  provides maximum durability.

And, if you’re conscious about the environment, you’ll be pleased to know that Whitin uses only vegan-friendly materials in their footwear production

Best for running

Nike Flex Experience Run 8 crossfit shoes

Nike Flex Experience Run 8 crossfit shoes

The outsole has a textured pattern that enhances durability and adds traction maximizing your performance

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If your CrossFit program will be centred around exercises that involve running, then the Nike Flex Experience 8 is just what you need. It’s lightweight, breathable, and comes at a decent price.

The outsole comes equipped with flex grooves, which allow for natural flexing while also offering excellent traction. Plus, the heel is reinforced with a mesh fabric, to provide an adaptive fit when performing your exercises.

Best for beginners

Feetmat Men’s Gym Sneakers crossfit shoes

Feetmat Men’s Gym Sneakers crossfit shoes

The rubber outsole stands out for this pair. Not only does it provide non-slip performance but also improves impact cushioning.

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As implied in its name, the key highlight of Feetmat Sneaker is its slip resistance. This is achieved using a rubber outsole, which also helps to cushion you from hard impact.

This sneaker’s lightweight design is another welcome feature for CrossFit footwear. Most of its exterior surface is encased in knitted mesh, which is what makes the shoe light and breathable. It also has a low-top design, offering you greater freedom of movement

Best for high arches & best premium option​

Nike Men’s Lunar Fingertrap crossfit shoes

Nike Men’s Lunar Fingertrap crossfit shoes

Its fingertrap design allows you to wear the shoe like a slip on comes in handy for many users. What’s more, you can tighten it as much as you want if you want to keep your feet compressed

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Looking for a shoe that will turn heads in your CrossFit class? Well, Nike’s Lunar Fingertrap is the perfect sneaker to buy.

It has an exceptional wrap-up design that gives it a really elegant look. But aesthetics isn’t it’s only function. This design allows the shoe to cradle your foot, which enhances your comfort when you’re exercising.

Another thing you’ll notice about this sneaker is the mesh fabric underneath the wrap-up design. This provides breathability, which is essential when you’re performing the type of intense workouts found in CrossFit programs.

Best for advanced level athletes

Under Armour Charged Commit 2.0 crossfit shoes

Under Armour Charged Commit 2.0 crossfit shoes

The shoe is extremely responsive thanks to its synthetic mesh upper and 4D foam sock liner. They ensure every movement is reflected by the shoe.

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Read our full review here

Under Armour’s Cross Trainer shoes are versatile enough to go from your CrossFit sessions to walking, running, hiking and more.

These shoes come equipped with the legendary Charged Cushioning technology. This is an advanced shock absorption technology, which guarantees minimal impact with every step you take.

The dual external heel counter is another feature that sets this shoe apart. It hugs your foot, giving you more stability during your workouts. Plus, the outsole is constructed using rubber, giving you maximum traction.

What to look for in good crossfit shoes

Drop

One of the most crucial factors to consider when choosing a CrossFit shoe is its drop. This is simply the difference between the height of the heel and that of the forefoot. An easier way to explain this is to consider the difference in the amount of material under the heel and that of the forefoot.

With running shoes, the drop is usually high (8 to 10 mm), to offer support and guide your foot as it rolls from the heel to the toe.

But with CrossFit shoes, the ideal structure is a low drop. This helps to distribute your weight uniformly inside your footwear. More importantly, it allows the shoe to be versatile enough for different workouts. So what’s the best drop for a CrossFit shoe? Well, it should range between 3 and 4 mm.

That said, it’s important to consider the health of your feet as well. For instance, if you have very rigid feet, an overstretched Achilles tendon, or calf problems, a shoe that provides a bit of a lift is better. This is because it will minimize strain on the injured parts.

Breathability

Another aspect you should pay attention to is the breathability of the sneaker. You should opt for footwear made of breathable materials- such as mesh on the upper layer.

This way, your feet will stay cool, allowing you to exercise for longer without getting overly fatigued. Besides, less sweaty feet are less susceptible to slips and falls.

Moisture-wicking fabrics or technologies are another way to reduce accumulation of sweat inside your CrossFit footwear. Remember that moisture buildup not only makes your feet wet, but also creates a risk of bacteria and foot odor.

Cushioning

Determining the right amount of cushioning is a bit tricky. You have to find the sweet spot between cushioning and support.

If you choose a CrossFit shoe with very little cushioning, you might exert too much stress on your feet, especially when you’re performing high-impact exercises. However, too much cushioning can compromise your power and responsiveness.

Wide toe box

You will also want to ensure that the pair of shoes you choose has ample room up front. A wide toe box is recommended, to provide enough room for spreading your toes. It also aids in distributing your weight evenly on your feet.

Durability

High-intensity workouts are the name of the game in CrossFit. It means that you should pick footwear that can withstand these demanding exercises.

If you intend to perform routines, which involve rope climbs, handstand push-ups and box jumps, these can cause your shoes to wear out fast.

Thus, look for CrossFit shoes made of durable materials like rubber for the outsole and EVA foam for the midsole. This way, they’ll be able to hold up to whatever workout you throw at them.

Weight

When shopping for CrossFit shoes, you’ll want to choose ones that are as light as possible. CrossFit workouts are intense enough without having brick-heavy shoes weighing you down and preventing you from exercising efficiently.

Even if a shoe boasts to have built-in support, this mechanism should not add too much to the overall weight of the footwear.

FAQ

Why do you need crossfit shoes?

While you can use other sneakers for CrossFit exercises, this is not recommended. There’s a high likelihood that they won’t be able to put up with the demanding workouts of this regimen.

Furthermore, CrossFit footwear enhances your safety. These sneakers are designed to offer ample stability, which is fundamental to performing CrossFit exercises safely.

What’s the best way to clean crossfit shoes?

The good old fashioned technique of using soapy water is the best way to clean your CrossFit footwear.

Simply fill a basin with water, then add a couple of drops of a mild liquid detergent such as dish soap. Next, dip a clean cloth into the soapy water and gently clean the surface of the shoes. For the insole and outsole, use a soft bristle brush instead of the cloth. Once you’re done cleaning, wet another cloth with plain water and use it to rinse out the soap.

Finally, wipe your shoes dry using paper towels before air-drying them in an open space. While you can use a dryer or fan to fasten the drying process, we don’t recommend it as the heat can damage the fabric used in your footwear’s build.

How often should you replace your crossfit shoes?

As often as you have to. Here’s the thing, you should never perform CrossFit workouts in worn-out or damaged footwear. Doing so increases your risk of sustaining injuries. So if you feel your current shoes aren’t providing the necessary stability, support or comfort, consider getting a new pair.

Final verdict

If you’re passionate about CrossFit workouts, then you probably know that having the right footwear can improve your performance. The best CrossFit shoes are designed to give you good traction on different surfaces. They also offer maximum cushioning to prevent you from landing too hard on your feet.

To find the best CrossFit shoes, there are a few features you should focus on. For one, it should have a low heel-to-toe drop, which helps to distribute your weight uniformly across your feet. Two, it should have ample cushioning to reduce impact on landing.

A wider toe box is another feature you should look for. This helps to enhance your stability and provide a more comfortable fit.

If you’re struggling to find suitable footwear for your CrossFit workouts, you will find our guide above to be really helpful. It includes reviews of the best CrossFit shoes and a couple of pointers to help you narrow down your options. 

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