Shoes for CrossFit – We review the best of 2013!

by Gabriel Simon

If you are going to purchase only one item of clothing for CrossFit, make it a pair of CrossFit-suitable shoes.

Good shoes for CrossFit are essential addition to your collection of CrossFit-optimized gear.  And while you are right in thinking that any shoes can be worn to participate in your CrossFit WOD, there are certainly some attributes you should look for in a true pair of shoes for CrossFit.  You don’t wear wrestling shoes to play basketball.  Why would you wear your old-school running shoes to your WOD?

What to look for in shoes for CrossFit

While there are many characteristics you might look for in a Crossfit-optimal shoe, there are three essential qualities:

1)    Lightweight with maximum breathability.
It’s obvious that you don’t want to be weighed down by cumbersome heavy shoes when you’re trying to be quick and powerful in a WOD.  And it also goes without saying that you’re going to get hot and sweaty, so you want your CrossFit-optimal shoes to be breathable. Basically, if it’s lightweight and breathable, it’s going to be comfortable – and that’s something you want in a shoe for CrossFit. There are some great Reebok CrossFit shoes out there, and a good example of a lightweight, breathable Reebok CrossFit shoe is the Reebok Crossfit Nano.

Reebok CrossFit shoes

Get the breathable and lightweight Nano so you can get the most out of your WOD!

Click the picture to purchase.

2)    Durable.
You don’t want to spend good money on shoes, only to find that they’re ripped to shreds after a month! Let’s face it, if you’re serious about CrossFit (and I hope you are), you’re going to put these shoes through the ringer.  Therefore, you want a shoe that is quality made.  One of the guys at my box paid good money for shoes for CrossFit only for the tread to wear out in a few weeks! Not acceptable.

Reebok are the official clothing company for CrossFit and the Reebok Cross Oly is a high quality shoe CrossFit shoe.

best crossfit shoes from Reebok

Reebok CrossFit shoes are specifically designed for CrossFit and is the #1 shoe used at the Crossfit Games!


3)    A nearly-neutral or zero drop from heel to toe.
There has been a lot written about this, so I won’t go into it into too much detail. But essentially, heel to toe drops can cause a raft of problems such as ankle and knee instability, eventually leading to injury.  Just like the Paleo diet (which works on the idea of natural is better), you want a shoe for CrossFit that is as close as possible to your natural state – being barefoot.  This means, as flat as possible.

The Merrill Barefoot Trail Glove have zero heel to toe drop and are an excellent shoe for CrossFit.


Shoes for CrossFit - Merill barefoot trail glove

Merrill barefoot trail glove – Notice the zero heel to toe drop

Click on the picture to purchase.


Click the picture to purchase.

The best shoes for CrossFit of 2012

So now that you know what you are looking for in a shoe for CrossFit, let’s take a quick look at the best options available to you.   I’ll start with a couple of examples of men’s shoes for CrossFit and then follow those with a couple models for women..

New Balance MX20

The New Balance Men’s MX20 training  shoes (as mentioned above) are an excellent shoe for CrossFit.  New Balance engineered these shoes to give you the feel of being barefoot during your WOD.  The ultra-light mesh is extremely breathable and will keep your feet comfortable and cool during the toughest of workouts.


shoes for CrossFit - New Balance MX20

New Balance MX20

Click the picture to purchase

CrossFit Nano

The is described as “world’s first shoe designed and developed by and for CrossFitters.”  This Reebok CrossFit shoe provides stability for your lifts and extra cushion to lesson the impact on your feet.  These shoes also have Reebok’s U-Form technology which provides a custom fit and aids in the shoes’ durability.


Reebok Crossfit shoes

Crossfit Nano – the first shoe made for crossfitters by crossfitters

Click the picture to purchase

Inov-8  F-Lite 195

The Inov-8 F-Lite 195 have multiple features that you look for in footwear for CrossFit. Comfort and durablity are the biggest benefits of these shoes from Inov-8.  However, the soles also provide extra grip on slick, perspiration-covered surfaces and they have features to help prevent fatigue so you can blast through your WOD with extra effort.

shoes for Crossfit  - Inov8 F-lite-195

Inov8 F-lite-195

Click the picture to purchase

No matter what shoes for CrossFit you choose, take the time to do a little research and choose the footwear that is right for you.  After a brutal WOD, your feet and body will thank you for choosing the right shoes for CrossFit..

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Joe March 10, 2012 at 6:33 am

Really helpful website – thanks a lot! Bought a pair today, looking forward to using it and posting my review here! J

Frank Zedar May 4, 2012 at 4:05 pm

I am a 66 year old guy with a good bit of arthritis in my joints. I have a shoulder replacement and a hip replacement. Oh, and I had triple bypass open heart surgery 2 years ago. Back in the day, I ran marathons, etc., and spent 20 years in the Army. BUT today is today. I started CrossFit 8 weeks ago and am making great progress. I’m about 20 years older than the next oldest at my new box. I am loving it!!!
I have very bad flat feet, a much operated on knee, and a new hip. I don’t run at CrossFit, so much as I “glide” or “power walk.” The running shoe experts have me in “Brooks Beasts” (Max motion control & cushioning) and they work great for the roadwork. But what do you recommend for the box… and helping me keep weight on my heels for squats and deadlifts, etc?

brian May 20, 2012 at 8:15 am

When will more colors of the oly shoe become available?

Walter May 20, 2012 at 3:09 pm

I am very flat footed as well so i replaced my inov8 flite 195 insole with a custom made insole and it works perfect. I made sure the heel to toe drop stayed at 3mm. I have not tried the oother shoes listed but the flite 195 is something i cannot do without when i exercise, be it crossfit or lifting or treadmill. The shoes feel flimsey to the touch but actually provides excellent support and cushioning, i run in these without any problems. Highly recommended!

Gabriel - CF Clothing Review June 7, 2012 at 5:47 am

 Thanks for your comment Walter! Flat feet is an issue that a lot of people deal with and it’s great to hear that you’ve found a solution so that you can benefit from good crossfit shoes while also dealing with your flat feet.  We’ll be writing an article soon specifically dealing with CrossFit shoes and flat feet. 

Gabriel - CF Clothing Review June 7, 2012 at 5:47 am

 Hi Brian, I’m not sure about the Oly, but the new Nano 2.0 just came out – so check that out!

David June 26, 2012 at 3:24 pm

The nanos only come in size 8!? What is up with that?

Gabriel - CF Clothing Review June 27, 2012 at 10:53 pm

 Hi David,  the original nanos are out of production now so sizes are running out, but check out the Nano 2.0s which are better anyway! They’ve been selling like hot cakes so some particular styles already have limited styles, but most styles/colors still have full range of sizes. Hope that helps!

Those Things That math games Professionals Could Teach You July 14, 2012 at 10:48 am

I know this web site offers quality dependent articles or reviews and
extra data, is there any other website which gives such things in quality?

Brooks Glycerin July 15, 2012 at 7:45 am

I really love your site.. Very nice colors & theme.
Did you build this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m wanting to create my own blog and want to know where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Cheers!

Anthony September 17, 2012 at 8:27 pm

I just picked up the Nano 2.0 not the flex.  I’m wondering if the heating cycle would work on these or ruin them.  The front feels a little wide.  I don’t see a definitive statement on whetther or not it would work.  Does anyone know for sure??

Joey September 27, 2012 at 1:10 pm

What about Skora?

Armysoldier1073 November 3, 2012 at 6:57 pm

There is a company called altra. They are actually running shoes with zero drop heal. Maybe next time should include these.

Test November 17, 2012 at 12:58 am


True Teg December 11, 2012 at 2:04 am


WODder boy January 17, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Squats and deads, kick off the shoes and go bare feet, But don’t do socks with box jumps. I’ve slipped several times. Try a barefoot shoe like the Vibram classic… easy shoe to kick off when needed but it’s a barefoot so you probably won’t need it… Glad to hear you’re in the gym. Keep rockin!

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