Update March 2022 – I have ordered 10 pairs of CrossFit shoes, spending $1305.81. I will test out each shoe during the next few months of my CrossFit workouts. I’ll be adding my thoughts and reviews of each shoe after each workout. I’ll post my current favorite shoe at the top and update the list as I keep working out in each shoe more.
List of shoes I will be testing:
|Nike React Metcon Turbo|
|STRIKE MVMNT Haze Trainer (Highly Recommend)|
|Nike Metcon 7 (Recommend)|
|Reebok Nano X2 (Recommend)|
|Reebok Nano X1 (Recommend)|
|Reebok Nano X (Not Recommended)|
|Nike Metcon 5 (Recommend)|
|Nike Metcon Flyease|
|Nike Metcon 7x (TBD)|
|GoRuck Ballistic Trainer (TBD)|
Nike’s 5 pairs of CrossFit Shoes
- Metcon 7 (tested 4 workouts)
- Metcon 7 Flyease (tested 2 workouts)
- React Metcon Turbo (tested 3 workouts)
- Metcon 7x
- Metcon 5 (tested for nearly 2 years)
Reebok 3 Pairs of CrossFit Shoes
- Nano X2 (tested 3 workouts)
- Nano X1 (tested 2 workouts)
- Nano X (tested 3 workouts)
NoBull 1 Pair of CrossFit Shoes
- Trainer (tested 2 workouts)
GoRuck 1 Pair of CrossFit Shoes
- Ballistic Trainer
STRIKE MVMNT 1 Pair of CrossFit Shoes
- Haze Trainer (tested 1 workout)
I will categorize each shoe into three buckets: Highly Recommend (my 3 best CrossFit shoe picks), Recommend (Good value and overall solid Crossfit shoes), and Do Not Recommend (I wouldn’t wear for CrossFit workouts).
My 3 Highly Recommended CrossFit Shoes (2022)
Nike React Metcon Turbo
This lightweight shoe fits like a glove, and with a thick insole of React foam, I found did not need any supplemental insole. This is the shoe I having been keeping in my bag as my go to daily CrossFit shoe on days I am not testing.
3 Workout Video Reviews of the Metcon Turbo
I created 3 videos right after wearing the Nike React Metcon Turbo in varied CrossFit movements:
Get this shoe at Rogue:
STRIKE MVMNT Haze Trainer
“Holy shit – that is a gorgeous shoe” – My first thought unboxing the Haze trainer.
I love this shoe. It feels like a cloud, it’s light and looks amazing. I would wear this out as a street shoe, and have!
Initial Review of the Haze Trainer after first WOD
Holy crap this shoe is gorgeous…and insanely comfortable. It’s very light, the toe box area is bigger than normal, which felt strange on my run over to my Box, but then felt great in the workout. Loving this shoe after 2 workouts.
Now the official CrossFit shoe, the NoBull Trainer is insanely light. After two workouts, I knew this was going to be in the top 3 over my favorite shoes. It’s construction is very solid, and the minimalistic look is great.
Recommended CrossFit Shoes
Reebok Nano X2
Released in 2022, the Nano X2’s are light, comfortable and easy to wear. They are very similar to the Nano X1’s but still a big upgrade from the heavy Nano X’s.
WOD 04-35-22 – Put in Superset Carbon into the Nano X2’s – very comfortable. Felt good running and in workout. WOD was thrusters, strict chin ups, and double-unders. Shoe felt good in all movements. This may be the best Nano yet. I’ll need to compare vs the X1 again, since I did like that one decently well. My gut still feels all the Nano’s from the Reebok line, none of them are going to make the top 3 list, but this one has a shot.
Reebok Nano X1
The Nano X1 is a big upgrade from the X. Lighter and much less bulky, I enjoyed this shoe. It’s thin insole wasn’t enough support for my foot, so I needed to put in a SUPERfeet insole.
4-1-22 WOD – Much higher re-wear potential vs X. Shoe feels noticeably lighter, and looks and feels much less bulky. Did ring muscle ups in these and double-under PRd. Same thin insole as the X, so replaced with Blue SUPERfeet insole. Felt pretty good on running over to gym and warm up jog. I’d say initial review is best running and CrossFit combo shoe I’ve tried so far.
4-4-22 WOD – Absolutely crushed power clean, burpee, toes to bar WOD in these shoes today. They feel so light, and yet with the insole in them, feel great on my feet. I’m actually going to come back and review these shoes more later, because I already know they are going to be in my top picks.
Nike Metcon 7
You can’t go wrong with the Metcon 7. I wore this shoe for a week of workouts and had no real complaints. It’s well made, not too heavy, and should last for years. The laces lock works great to put your mind at ease that your laces won’t untie while flying through burpees.
Nike Metcon 7 Flyease
The toebox feels tighter than the normal Metcon 7, my guess is this is to make sure the shoe stays more snug without laces. The strap to tighten the mid area of the shoe works great, and you can slip in and out of the shoe very easily. A heavier shoe, I would pick this on days I’m feeling lazy and just want to grab a comfortable shoe and go.
WOD 05-06-22 I did not realize this shoe doesn’t have shoelaces! LOL. Fun. I actually really like the no laces element of the Flyease.
Shoes Waiting to be Tested
Nike Metcon 7x
GoRuck Ballistic Trainer
Not Recommended for CrossFit
Reebok Nano X
A heavy CrossFit shoe that feels bulky and has about 5 too many design elements. I found the shoe pretty ugly to look at, and the thin insole required an extra custom insole purchase adding to the downsides of this shoe. Skip the Nano X and get the X1 or X2s.
03-28-22 Initial impressions – comfy feeling. Feel heavy. Feel bulky, but first comparison vs Metcon 5s. Everything is thick, thick padded tongue, top part of shoe. Could be OK to run in. Going to run to workout and use for Back Squats, Box Jump Overs, Assault Bike WOD.
Reebok Nano X Initial Impressions Video
Reebok Nano X Post Workout Raw Thoughts Videos
CrossFit Shoe Features
CrossFit is a unique sport in that it involves a range of activities. Runners have specific demands from their shoes for their singular activity, so too do tennis players and other dedicated sports. A CrossFitter however is doing all sorts of different activities involving running, lifting, jumping, skipping, climbing, pushing, pulling. All of these activities involve a lot of downward pressure through the feet. As such, the perfect pair of shoes for CrossFit will be something that can perform across a variety of activities.
You’ll also need a shoe stable enough for weightlifting. But you’ll need a shoe light and flexible enough for sprints or plyo box jumps and burpees. That’s because these WOD actions need a swift bit of explosive footwork. A versatile shoe for CrossFit might be a tricky find. In fact, some CrossFitters do prefer to work with a couple of different pairs of shoes on the go for whatever WOD they’re doing that day.
Like every other type of training shoes, shoes for CrossFit will come in all shapes and styles. And your best choice will depend on your own body and your CrossFit training needs. There’s generally not going to be a lot of difference between the best women’s shoes and men’s. The only aspects that will differ are the colors and designs. In fact some brands, the Innov8s for example, even come in unisex sizing. For both men and women’s shoes, there are four essential features to consider when looking for the best shoes for CrossFit in 2022. These are weight, flexibility, durability and the heel to toe drop.
CrossFit involves a lot of quick movement in running and jumping. So the last thing you’ll need for your WOD will be a heavy shoe. Can you imagine doing a box jump with a shoe that fits like a lead weight putting you off your game? The best shoes for CrossFit in 2022 should be lightweight with maximum breathability to ensure your feet aren’t weighed down and they stay cool.
CrossFitters also require a great deal of flexibility in their shoe to achieve maximum foot mobility. In the same way that a heavy shoe impedes your movement and reduces your training effectiveness, so too does an inflexible shoe.
Good shoes for CrossFit need to be light and airy with a flexible range of motion. But any CrossFit athlete will tell you, you’re also going to need a quality shoe that can take a serious pounding and still go the distance. That’s why durability is also important. A training shoe that balances durability with a lightweight and flexible construction is the holy grail of CrossFit shoes (see my top 3 picks above that all are lightweight with great durability and construction).
Heel to Toe Drop
Shoes for CrossFit are most effective and most safe with the smallest heel to toe drop, also called the heel to toe offset or differential. This refers to the difference between your heel height and your forefoot height, and for CrossFit, a shoe with a zero or close to zero heel to toe drop – as close as you can get to being in bare feet – is your best choice.
If your foot is sitting firmly in your shoe and your heel and the ball of your forefoot is the same height off the ground, then your shoe has a zero drop. The lower your heel to toe differential, the easier it is to land on your mid-foot which means your step is firm and stable and you’re minimizing your risk of ankle, knee, foot and back injuries.
Any minimal natural movement shoe you use, you’ll probably need to take time to get used to it as you’ll be using different muscles in the foot, especially if you’re making the transition from heavier or bulkier traditional training shoes.