Running shoes have a cushion and fit meant for the road or trail.
Basketball shoes have the skills to make it on the court.
Soccer shoes are meant for digging in the grass, but CrossFit shoes have to perform double duty of sorts.
A good CrossFit shoe needs to hold its own both on the pavement or track and in the box when you’re working out at maximum intensity.
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Among their many uses, CrossFit shoes are built to take on road running, jumping, sprinting, climbing, crawling and lifting.
This article will walk you through exactly what makes a CrossFit shoe worth the buy and what to look for when you head to the store.
So before you lace up and hit the box, here is what you need to know about CrossFit shoes for women.
What are CrossFit-specific shoes?
CrossFit shoes are tailored for a CrossFitter’s needs.
There is a range of shoes on the market for women— many in just as impressive of a range of colors and styles, but every good CrossFit shoe boasts a few necessary qualities.
Here you’ll have a low drop (the difference between the height of the heel and height of the forefoot), a durable outer and a hard sole.
The shoe has to be able to withstand the very intense workouts that CrossFitters know, love and (sometimes) hate.
These shoes are traditionally a little heavier than regular running shoes with a little more support and stability— and sometimes a few other cool features, such as increased traction for those days when you’re working the ropes.
That brings us to the benefits of investing in a solid pair of CrossFit shoes.
Benefits of CrossFit Shoes
CrossFit shoes boast the right amount of stability to keep you balanced while you’re lifting weights, but they also are lighter than traditional weightlifting shoes, so you can take them for a run when you need to.
They’re built with just the right amount of cushioning and shock absorption to keep you feeling comfortable when you’re lifting or running.
And because CrossFit shoes do have to stand up to a number of activities, they also are flexible enough for all the jumping and crawling you might have scheduled.
Some people have turned to basketball shoes for CrossFit activities, and while they do offer stability, basketball high-tops offer too much restriction in the ankles and are too bulky to power through the variety of CrossFit activities.
Most CrossFit shoes have extra traction along the bottom of the shoe, so you can conquer any climbs.
And lastly, CrossFit shoes have a tough outer so they can take on any grueling workout you throw at them.
Considerations Before Buying
We’ve mentioned what a good CrossFit shoes needs to have, but what are the specifics you need to know before you buy?
Take a look at the following:
You need your shoes to be light enough to make those jumps and to be able to make quick sprints. They shouldn’t feel as heavy as lifting shoes.
You want this shoe to last. Shoes last about six months with heavy use, but can last up to a year. Take a good look at the outer of the shoe and make sure it looks like it can handle a barrage of workouts.
We know your shoes have to stand up to a variety of activities. Make sure they feel comfortable and move well.
Because you have to also get in weight lifting in these shoes, you need to make sure they have a solid sole that provides stability. You don’t want too much cushion. You should be able to feel the floor solidly beneath you.
The drop of a CrossFit shoe usually ranges from a medium to low drop, no higher than 6 millimeters from the height of the heel to the height of the forefoot.
If you need to, start in that mid-range drop at 6 millimeters, and then switch to a shoe with a lower drop, about 4 millimeters.
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4 mm drop
Using its own Flexweave technology, Reebok’s Nano 8 Flexweave boasts a shoe that is a blend of lightness, stability, durability and comfort.
Its Flexweave technology is an interlocking of fibers that creates the unified outside upper of the shoe.
It’s biggest benefit? The shoe flexes naturally with your foot. And because of that flexibility, the shoes are very breathable.
The shoe also has a wide toe box so it will fill comfortable when you’re tackling lifts. Finally, it’s durable enough to stand up to your endurance activities, such as running.
4 mm drop
Nike already has a handle on the sports shoe market, so it was no surprise they added a Crossfit shoe to their inventory.
The Metcon 4 is a strong CrossFitter’s shoe.
It has a stable base with just the right amount of flexibility and it’s super durable.
The shoe boasts six eyelets, and while that may seem like a minor detail, it’s a big deal when it comes to getting that perfect fit.
Like other CrossFit shoes, the Metcon 4 also has sticky rubber on the forefoot so you have extra traction with exercises such as sled pushes and there’s also textured rubber in the midfoot so you can conquer rope exercises.
6 mm drop
Another Nike option for CrossFitters is the Metcon DSX Flyknit 2.
What makes this shoe more unique (and a little pricier) is the one-piece construction of the tongue and rest of the shoe.
What you get is an upper that has a sock-like feel so you’re locked in and ready for your WOD.
It’s a breathable shoe that’s lightweight, thanks to the knit material.
But there’s some foam cushioning in the shoe too, so you get some extra comfort. Like the Metcon 4, the DSX has sticky rubber in the forefoot for that extra traction.
4 mm drop
The NOBULL Trainer is a stylish and light option for CrossFitters— one that works hard in the box and you can leave on when you meet your friends for lunch.
It’s a tough shoe though with it’s own SuperFabric® guard plates wrapped around the mesh outer that’s meant to keep your shoe from wear and tear.
The Trainer is highly breathable and also features its own one-piece, “sock-like” fit.
It has the makings of a solid CrossFit shoe with features such as, rope grip and it comes with two pairs of laces, so you’re prepped when your laces start to show some wear.
Invest in a good pair of CrossFit shoes if you want to keep injuries at bay and make the most of your WODs.
Good CrossFit shoes will be able to stand up to the test of your workouts both in and out of the box and really, who doesn’t love a new pair of shoes?