When most people start weight training, they’ll often just wear any old pair of trainers. Either the oldest, most battered pair of sneakers they own or a pair of dedicated running shoes.Table could not be displayed.
Running shoes seem to make sense, don’t they? They are shoes that are designed with the sole purpose of athletics in mind so many people wrongly put 2 and 2 together and think that they’ll be perfect for the gym and weight training too. As stated in a previous post, this is not true.
Running shoes have a thicker built in heel to absorb the impact from hitting the concrete, to cushion you and your feet from the blows.
Whereas in weight lifting, you need the flattest shoe possible to plant yourself on to the floor and build up kinetic energy. So, running needs a thick heel, weight training need a flat heel. Pretty easy to understand.
Things get a bit more complex, however, when you start talking about Crossfit. With Crossfit, you do such a wide variety of exercises and movements that you can’t rely on just a thick, running heel or just a flat weightlifting shoe. You need to be somewhere in-between to achieve that happy medium in Crossfit.
Realising this vital need, many sports companies have put their thinking caps on and started to release Crossfit/cross-training sports shoes that allow you to be effective in a wide variety of different exercises. These hybrid style shoes aren’t completely flat but the soles aren’t quite as thick as running shoes either.
Best Crossfit Trainers Reviewed
- NanoWeave upper
- Low-cut design, 360-degree TPU heel wrap for a locked-in feel
- 4mm heel-to-toe drop
- Forefoot flex grooves, High-abrasion rubber outsole
Reebok have been in business for a long time, producing many different ranges of sports equipment and clothing. You could argue though, that they’re most well-known for the sneakers. The quality of Reebok gear is so high that they are the only sports company to provide official UFC attire.
These Crossfit Nano 7.0 shoes are no departure from those high standards. They are available in over ten different colours and each of them look both stylish and trendy. Inside the shoe is even a removable insole that you can take out so you’re closer to the ground if you’re doing a particular lift-intensive WOD.
Reebok do state, however, that if you’re in-between sizes then it is best to go for the size up. So just a warning for those who sometimes have trouble finding trainers that fit.
Inov-8 Women’s F-Lite 235 Fitness Shoe
- For fitness workouts, weightlifting, and running.
- Supreme stability - the powerheel is 40 percent denser than the forefoot of the shoe, delivering maximum stability when lifting weights
- Natural flexibility - next generation meta-flex technology allows optimal multi-directional flexibility, while the met-cradle lacing system holds the foot secure. Both ensure the shoe moves naturally...
- Unrivaled grip - the all-new 360 degree rope-tec system extends onto the shoe's upper, delivering traction and durability on rope climbs
- Increased durability - the toe bumper has been reconstructed for ultimate protection against burpee fatigue
As Crossfit and cross-training shoes have to be hybrid in nature to meet a modicum of needs, there is a lot of variance between heel sizes on different shoes. If you’re after a shoe with a flatter heel and you want the best support for lifting, then these shoes from Inov-8 are a great pick.
They are made from an ultra-lightweight mesh material and TPU upper materials that allow your feet to breathe and for the trainer to be as light as possible. When you’re going after those personal bests, you want as little additional weight on you as possible.
Like the Reebok Nano, they also include a removable insole.
Crossfit has an extremely prominent female community so the supreme quality of women’s crossfit gear reflects that.
Nike Metcon 2 Cross-Training Shoes
Like Reebok, Nike have been in the game for years and years and arguably the absolute king of sporting goods. No other company has a bigger name or brand than Nike.
Whatever the sporting need that must be met, Nike can produce a quality shoe that meets it, and then some. This shoe has been designed for intense workouts including crossfit (of course), heavy lifting, sprints, climbing and many more. One shoe to to allow you to do almost anything.
As can be expected, there are a ton of style/colour options available for this shoe, including the more modest all-black model all the way to the vibrant, extroverted styles like bright rainbow colours for example.
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ASICS are once again another trainer legend on our list. This shoe for women trainees features a variety of different technologies to make it as lightweight and comfortable is it possibly can be.
Their Solyte midsole material allows the shoe to be far lighter than their more standard sports shoe and their enhanced cushioning makes it more comfortable and more durable.
All in all, this is a shoe that can withstand the heavy rigours of crossfit for an extended period of time.
The rear-foot and fore-foot gel cushioning system attenuates the shock during impact and spreads it across the entire shoe, rather than your foot and joints. This is incredible when you consider how flat, compact and low-profile this sneaker actually is.
ASICS ComforDry sock liner provides even more cushioning ability as well as helps keep the shoe as clean, dry and fresh as possible so the shoe stays odour-free for longer.
5.11 Tactical Men’s Recon Trainer
- Minimalist design
- 8mm heel to toe offset
- HELCOR Rope Ready abrasion resistant panels
- Mid-foot cinch system
Most of the flatter crossfit shoes out there are generally made for women. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t also some excellent flatter options for the guys out there too.
The Recon trainer from 5.11 features a flatter, more compact profile which allows for a performance boost when doing heavy lifts such as deadlifts, snatches, etc.
Like the name Recon suggests, the shoes style options tend to follow a more off-road, military style than some of the more sporty shoes on the market. This is great if you prefer something a little more muted and understated than the loud and proud multi-coloured shoes from Nike and such.
5.11 do not advertise this shoe as slip resistance but many customers claim that the shoe has excellent anti-slip properties, which can be a life-saver when moving across sweaty mats/workout stations.
Sport specific shoes are one of those things that you think isn’t going to make that much of a difference… until you actually try them.
As soon as you blast through your WOD with a pair of dedicated crossfit shoes, you’ll never want to workout without them again. After all, it’s the smallest details that make the biggest difference.