What are the best shoes for CrossFit? This article considers how the Vibram Five Fingers measure up as CrossFit-optimal shoe. Be sure to also check out our article outlining the key characteristics to look for in shoes For CrossFit!
Running sucks. Really, I hate it. Every time I see that our WOD includes running of any sort (400m runs, miles, you know the deal) I want to pull the covers over my head and stay in my warm bed. While nothing can completely wash away my fiery hatred of running, the right pair of shoes can help.
Enter Vibram five fingers.
What’s the deal with these weird looking shoes? The first rubber soled shoes were actually mountaineering boots; however, this concept was applied generations later to running shoes. As a former collegiate runner and CEO of Vibram USA, Tony Post recognized the power that these shoes had.
Vibrams come with many unique benefits:
- Decreased pain. These shoes tend to prevent knee pain and soreness . Vibrams allow the foot the strike in a natural way, allowing for a strong grip in a variety of settings. When running in Vibrams, the forefoot strikes the ground, just below our natural center of gravity. This leads to greater balance with less impact on joints.
- Quality material. While the shoes seem to provide minimal protection, the sole is actually quick sturdy; I have had my pair for over two years now with no damage.
Click here or on the pictures to check out some Vibram Five Fingers!
- Increased lower leg strength. Due to the forefoot strike, the calf and foot muscles are targeted more heavily than in regular shoes.
- Style options. These shoes come in a variety of colors and styles, including open or closed toed, lace up or Velcro, and “five fingered” or normal.
Click here or on the pictures to check them out!
Vibrams do, however, come with some other characteristics:
- The look. Let’s face it…they look a bit, well, odd. When I wear mine (outside the box, of course), I get some weird looks. The normally toed versions do attract less attention however.
- The (good) muscle soreness. I was actually excited to go for a run when my vibrams first arrived. The next day, however, my calves were sore like never before! The new style of running takes a while to adjust to, and should be done incrementally.
- The smell. If not washed properly, these shoes stink. There are some ways to avoid the smell, however. One way is to purchase five fingered socks (or just wear normal socks for the other version.) If you do not wish to do this, simply follow the washing instructions.
Overall, I really like these barefoot shoes for CrossFit. They fit in nicely with my primal lifestyle as I feel more connected to the earth without a big chunk of synthetic material between my foot and the dirt. They’ve also helped me develop my calf and foot muscles, and have lasted quite a long time. Most importantly, they make me more excited (definitely not excited, but more so than before!) to run my butt off!
In terms of the best place to buy them, there are many options, but one of your best bets, and cheapest I’ve found, is at Amazon. The link to their Vibram shoes is here.