A traditional running shoe has a cushion and fit meant for the road or trail.
Basketball shoes have cushioning, outsole and midsole designs that are made to last out on the court.
Soccer shoes are meant for digging in the grass, but a CrossFit shoe has to perform a 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 while cross training.
In A Hurry? Here Are The Top Picks
Reebok Nano X
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Nike Metcon 6 Women’s Training Shoes
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NOBULL Women’s Training Shoes
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Nike Metcon DSX Flyknit 2 Womens Trainers Cross Training Shoes
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New Balance Women’s 577 V4 Cross Trainer
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New Balance Women’s Minimus 20 V7 Cross Trainer
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Among their many uses, a CrossFit shoe is built for cross training, it is designed to throw in your bag and 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 a cross training shoe that is designed specifically with CrossFit training in mind.
What are CrossFit-Specific Shoes?
A CrossFit shoe is tailored for the needs of a CrossFit athlete.
There is a range of cross training 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 toe 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 a Crossfit athlete knows, loves and (sometimes) hates.
These shoes are traditionally a little heavier than a regular CrossFit training shoe 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 high-quality CrossFit shoe.
Benefits of CrossFit Shoes
A CrossFit shoe boasts the right amount of stability to keep you balanced while you’re doing a CrossFit workout, 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 a CrossFit shoe does have to stand up to a number of activities, they also are flexible enough for all the jumping and crawling you might have to do during a Crossfit Training session.
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 any intense workout the box throws at you.
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 women’s CrossFit shoe needs to have, but what are the specifics you need to know in order to buy a pair of the best CrossFit shoes for women?
Take a look at the following:
You need your shoes CrossFit training shoes to be light enough to make those jumps and to be able to make quick sprints. They shouldn’t feel as heavy as a weightlifting shoe.
You want this training shoe to last. A standard training shoes lasts about six months with heavy use, but can last up to a year. Take a good look at the outsole of the shoe and make sure it looks like it can handle a CrossFit workout.
We know your shoes have to stand up to a variety of CrossFit 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 midsole that provides stability. You don’t want too much cushion. You should be able to feel the floor solidly beneath you.
Read Also: Top 5 Best Deadlift Shoes in 2021
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.
Top CrossFit Shoes Reviewed
The Reebok Nano X is the culmination of years of reliable CrossFit footwear. Celebrating ten years since the first Reebok women's CrossFit Nano, the Nano X offers the blend of lightness, stability, durability, and comfort that customers have come to know and love.
This iteration of the Reebok women's CrossFit Nano X offers upgraded Flexweave technology, with interlocking of fibers that creates the unified outside upper of the shoe.
Its biggest benefit? This Reebok CrossFit 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 feel comfortable when you’re tackling lifts. Finally, it’s durable enough to stand up to your endurance activities, such as running.
With a minimal drop outsole and compression molded midsole, the Reebok Nano X is the best when it comes to stability and cushioning.
- Rubber traction outsole for rope climbing
- Hyperlift heel insole
- 6 styles available
The Nike Metcon brand women's CrossFit shoe is another well-known CrossFit specific shoe. The latest iteration, the Nike Women's Metcon 6 Training Shoe, boasts numerous improvements that enhance stability, stability, and speed.
The Metcon 6's outsole is abrasion-proof, built to withstand rope climbing and general wear and tear. The wide sole and Hyperlift insert provide stability during squats and every lower-body dominant WOD imaginable. The Hyperlift insert insole is also removable and designed to fit previous iterations of the Nike Metcon shoe.
But there’s some foam cushioning in this CrossFit shoe too, so you get some extra comfort. Like the other Nike Metcon CrossFit Trainers, the Nike Metcon 6 has a sticky rubber sole in the forefoot for that extra traction.
This athletic shoe boasts a 4 mm heel drop and carbon rubber outsole. This Nike Metcon was created to be a high-quality lifting shoe, with the heel lift to help athletes push the weights.
Another Nike option for CrossFitters is the Metcon React and the Nike Metcon DSX Flyknit 2.
- Outsole lug pattern for all-weather use
- Seamless one-piece construction
- 15 colors available
The NOBULL Trainer is a stylish and light training shoe for CrossFitters— one that works hard in the box, and you can leave on when you meet your friends for lunch thanks to the transition-style outsole.
It’s a tough shoe, though, with its own SuperFabric® guard plates wrapped around the mesh upper exterior that’s meant to keep your shoe from wear and tear— whether that abrasion is caused by climbing ropes, engaging in intense kettlebell workouts, or fighting zombies (so they claim).
The Trainer is highly breathable, boasts a 4mm heel drop, 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.
- High-top style
- 3 colors available
Another Nike Metcon option for CrossFitters is the Metcon DSX Flyknit 2.
What makes this athletic 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 CrossFit training shoe that’s lightweight, thanks to the knit material.
But there’s some foam cushioning in this CrossFit shoe too, so you get some extra comfort. Like the Metcon 5, the DSX has a sticky rubber sole in the forefoot for that extra traction.
The New Balance Women’s 577 V4 Cross Trainer is one of the more affordable CrossFit training shoe options and one of the best brands for athletes with plantar fasciitis. This workout shoe is versatile, making it appropriate for both CrossFit exercise and general training. In other words, if you're looking for CrossFit Sneakers that double as a great running shoe or something you can wear to the store, this is it.
With a durable outsole and extra cushioning inside, the New Balance Women’s 577 V4 Cross Trainer is a fantastic minimalist shoe for new athletes, those who need additional support, and athletes on a budget. While it lacks the notoriety and recognition of the Reebok CrossFit Nano, New Balance shoes are high-quality and built to last.
- Minimalist design
- Lightweight cushioning
- 6 styles available
Whereas the 577 is a versatile cross-training shoe, the Minimus 20 V7 is more CrossFit specific. It boasts a lower heel to toe drop than the 577, making it less ideal for athletes with plantar fasciitis, but a better minimalist shoe that offers a natural foot feel. In other words, if you wish you could safely complete your CrossFit exercise in bare feet, this is the shoe for you.
The New Balance Women’s Minimus 20 V7 Cross Trainer is significantly more expensive than other New Balance options but well worth the expense. The knit mesh upper and lightweight cushioning make this shoe breathable and light, giving you everything you need to get through an intense workout.
Invest in a high-quality CrossFit shoe if you want to keep injuries at bay and make the most of your CrossFit WOD.
The best CrossFit shoes for women 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?
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?