Best Shoes For CrossFit Guide And Reviews For Men And Women 2015

crossfit shoes lineup

Don’t have time to read the entire guide?
We summarize best selling models in the table 1 and 2 below:

Best Shoes For Crossfit For Women
(Table 1)

Inov-8 Bare-XF 210
Barefoot experience with conventional shoe look
8.8
  • Comfort:
  • Breathability:
  • Support:
  • Protection:
  • Running:
Reebok CrossFit Nano 4.0
Great shoe all around, great for lateral movements and rope climbing
10
  • Comfort:
  • Breathability:
  • Support:
  • Protection:
  • Running:
New Balance Minimus WX20v3
Best For indoor use, turf surface running, lateral movements
9.2
  • Comfort:
  • Breathability:
  • Support:
  • Protection:
  • Running:

 


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More Popular Models:

Vibram five fingers KMD – barefoot experience and superior flexibility in forefoot

Nike Free Trainer 3.0 – best for running and jumps

For more information go to “Ready To Browse Section Below (Click Here)


Best Crossfit Shoes For Men (Table 2)

Inov-8 Bare-XF 210
Barefoot experience with conventional shoe look
8.8
  • Comfort:
  • Breathability:
  • Support:
  • Protection:
  • Running:
Reebok CrossFit Nano 4.0
Great shoe all around, great for lateral movements and rope climbing
10
  • Comfort:
  • Breathability:
  • Support:
  • Protection:
  • Running:
New Balance Minimus MX20v3
Best For indoor use, turf surface running, lateral movements
9.2
  • Comfort:
  • Breathability:
  • Support:
  • Protection:
  • Running:

 


Reebok CrossFit Lift – best crossfit shoes for weightlifting .

Inov-8 FastLift 335 – quality weightlifting shoe .


Your grandparents probably bored you silly singing “As Time Goes By,” a 1940s tune that began, “You must remember this: A kiss is just a kiss.” Well, pardon us if we take liberties as we begin an exploration of the topic of CrossFit shoes.

We say, “You must remember too, a shoe is just a shoe,” unless it’s engineered to serve a specific audience: male and female athletes committed to undertaking a wide variety of daunting physical fitness challenges.

Athletes indulging in extreme fitness activities know the right  footwear is critical if one wishes to avoid injury and maximize performance, so if the both shoe and the CrossFit definition fits, you should buy it.

 

Behind the Science

According to the University of Southern California’s “Illumin,” a publication of the School of Engineering , shoe design is a complex process requiring collaboration between doctors, scientists, technicians, craftsmen and, yes, runners.

The goal of athletic shoe engineers is achieving optimal designs for “average” humans—a tricky concept, to be sure.

The finished product must meet fit, shock absorption, traction, sole wear, weight, flexibility and breathability specifications if it’s to serve an athlete properly, even before it sees the design software that morphs it into a wearable and commercial product.

Designers approach their bio-mechanical challenge from three points: the outsole, mid-sole and upper, but at the heart of the construction is the human body:

Running shoes are worn on running feet, and running feet are attached to running legs,

says USC’s Peter Cavanaugh.

Trying to understand the design and construction of running shoes without a clear knowledge of what goes inside and above them would be difficult, perhaps impossible.

Earliest specialty shoes were dubbed sneakers, a footwear style that spawned athletic shoes that were re-imagined for unique athletic pursuits like running, gym activities and weight lifting.

You might say that the CrossFit shoe is but the latest evolution in footwear made specifically for athletic purposes.

So how much engineering is required to produce the footwear destined for all-purpose physical endeavors that meet the CrosFit definition? More than you can imagine.

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The Process

According to the aforementioned USC newsletter, the process of creating an athletic shoe begins when bio-mechanists use ‘gait analysis’ methods via high-speed photography taken of a subject atop a force-measuring platform.

The runner (men or women) moves at 500 frames per second, but when it’s time to study the run pattern, experts search one frame at a time, identifying what are known as points of interest.

This motion analysis helps researchers determine pace at the hip joint, heel and back of the calf, thus dots are inserted at these points of interest and then mathematics are used to compute impact on the foot.

See for yourself how involved the process is by visiting the International Society of Biomechanics Footwear Technical Group website:

Based on collection of the aforementioned data, sample running sneakers are crafted and tested for everything from heel counter stiffness and rear foot stability to water permeability.

Recommendations for feature- and functionality-changes are weighed before the final design passes to a model maker responsible for fashioning a 3D wooden shoe based on six measurements: ball girth, waist girth, instep girth, long and short heel girth and an overall heel to toe measurement.

The model next goes to a pattern maker and then the manufacturer where the production process begins. Precise? You bet.

But since running footwear must fit every  men and women seeking to purchase them for athletic pursuits, there are no shortcuts if wearers hope to return from training runs and marathons in sound health with no shoe-related injuries.


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The CrossFit Movement Triggers a New Shoe Category

According to CrossFit.com, the concept known as Cross-Fit is the brainchild of Coach Greg Glassman. It took him decades to formulate a definition of the term  Glassman defines cross fitness as a “meaningful, measurable way” to run and exercise across a wide spectrum of time and distance.

The goals of a cross fit practitioner? Maximize and optimize one’s fitness routines to achieve the highest level of conditioning possible.

(watch this video if you are  just starting out)

Once the concept of cross fit was fleshed out, a new glossary, career path and training protocols materialized. Athletic trainers began calling themselves Cross-Fit experts, and as so often happens when commercial ventures are born of trends and fads, a new category of running  footwear debuted and was dubbed the Cross-Fit.

Over time, just about every athletic shoe company on the planet has jumped on board this shoe-train, so your quest for the right style is no longer a simple one.

The good news is that given the diversity of cross fit activities, the movement toward these all-encompassing fitness programs and the proliferation of gyms and trainers identifying themselves as authorities, there are plenty of footwear choices available to consumers as a direct result of this trend. Some are pricey. Others are inexpensive.

Nobody need to abandon their newfound passion for cross fit conditioning because they can’t afford a pair of these crossfit shoes, since they come in every color, size, material and design imaginable.

To help you manage your search for the one best suited to your needs, the following data explores many of the options you may wish to consider before you take out the plastic.

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What Makes a Great Cross Training Shoe?

The aforementioned Greg Glassman says that there is no such thing as a CrossFit shoe, but that doesn’t stop manufacturers from producing them and calling them by that name.

Famous and not-so-famous commercial shoe makers slap the Cross-Fit label on athletic shoes designed to undertake a variety of exercise tasks, but if you’re trying to get a viable definition of the ideal all-purpose shoe, use these criteria:

  • Every running shoe can be considered to be a Cross-Fit model if it has less “drop” than traditional, heavily-cushioned cousins. Buy an all-purpose running shoe if you can’t get your hands on one designated for Cross-Fit activities or do what many athletes do and substitute a soccer shoe. Versatility is the key.
  • Kicks used for weightlifting usually qualify as CrossFit sneakers because they provide stability and a firm heel to minimize injury and performance-sapping compression. Some have tall heels. Some don’t. It’s a matter of preference, but if you choose shoes designed specifically for weight lifters, they should work nicely for your Cross-Fit program needs.
  • If you find a shoe that’s called “all-purpose,” it is likely a CrossFit footwear in the Witness Protection Program. All-purpose and Cross-Fit activities tend to be identical and usually include activities like running, rope climbing, jumping, burpees, kettle-bell swings, wall-balls and box jumps.

A final word about your ambitions: Are you seeking power and glory in the Cross-Fit arena?

Choose flat-soled shoes for CrossFit to get you through the most daunting dead-lifts, and if you want to be an Olympian, go for high, in-compression heels to get you to that goal.

When in doubt, ask a certified Cross-Fit trainer what he wears.

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Ready to Browse CrossFit Shoes?

It’s anybody’s guess how many pair of shoes are currently on the market, but your needs and objectives are unique, so base your decision on price and reviews from a selection of people who have worn specific brands so you don’t rely on a single opinion.

CrossFit shoe buyers aren’t shy about commenting about best crossfit shoes that work and those to avoid.

The following list represents shoe resources and brands you may wish to consider.

Reebok Nano and Lifter

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Reebok has become so enamored with the idea of all things Cross-Fit, the corporation has adopted a cross-fit culture, manufacturing CrossFit training clothing and even sponsoring the first-ever CrossFit games.

But what about the shoes?

Start with the Reebok Nano collection, a popular shoe with many iterations; the original was followed by 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 and Reebok Nano Speed.

Lifter and CrossFit Lifter Plus are signature shoes for weightlifting activities.

Sales and performance have elevated this brand to great heights and selections from the Nano library average 4.7 of 5 stars among Reebok users.

Eastbay’s reviews mimic the corporate site, giving this line an equally impressive 4.7 review rating.

Athletes wear Reebok Nano when they lift weights, box jump, run and jump rope in cushy comfort, declaring these shoes durable, flexible—particularly in the ankle area–and stable.

Love the brand?

Rely on fans to confirm your hunch that any shoe in the Reebok Nano collection is likely to satisfy your needs.

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For lifting, you won’t find a better match than the Reebok CrossFit Lifter – it is perfect training shoe.
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Lifter has a unique way of contouring a pair of shoes to your feet: preheat your oven at 200 degrees F and “cook” the shoes for three minutes until the U-Form tab turns red.

Cool ‘em down before you take these sneakers for CrossFit or a trial run.

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Inov-8 F-LITE 240, 232 and F-Lite 185

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The first shoe produced by Invo-8 wound up on the feet of the guy who won the World Mountain Running Championship.

Runner’s World magazine named the first Inov-8 CrossFit shoe “Product of the Year,” no easy fete for a company that had yet to celebrate its first birthday.

It’s now been a decade since Inov 8 began producing footwear Cross-Fit athletes rave about.

Why?

They have been described as super-minimalist with low drop lines ranging from zero to 6mm. The Inov 8 F-LITE 240 weightlifting footwear has developed its own fan club.

From Amazon to Zappos and rating websites in-between, F-LITE competes with Nano earning raving reviews from Zappos and Amazon buyers.

Keeping great company, Amazon gives the Inov 8 F-Lite 185 women’s CrossFit trainer a perfect 5.0.

Problems with traction?

The Inov-8 F-Lite 232 has zero drop so you couldn’t be closer to the ground, and the super sticky rubber outsole practically glues you to terrain, so matter how many mistakes you make when undertaking your workout, this shoe might be the one that wins your heart.

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New Balance Minimus 20v3 and MX797v2

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The New Balance Minimus 20v3 is marketed as a weightlifting sneaker, thus athletes buy it because they prefer the 4mm drop.

Expect plenty of support when undertaking springs and box jumps when you wear this shoe.

At 6.5 ounces, this CrossFit style features welded seams that prevent wearers from rubbing blisters if they don’t wear foot coverings.

The affordable $price tag comes with this benefit: the Minimus shoe is odor resistant, so you run less of a risk of offending others when you undertake your full CrossFit workout or training. They are super lightweight.

Amazon gives the Minimus an average score of 5 points from reviewers, but while you’re comparing notes on New Balance sensations, you may also wish to look at the manufacturer’s MX797v2 CrossTrainer for men;

It’s a close ratings runner up receiving raving reviews for performance excellence.

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Adidas Power Lift Trainer and Adidas Samba

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Adidas makes one of the most affordable CrossFit footwear on the market.

The Power Lift Trainer can get you through the most arduous clean-and-jerk without suffering an embarrassing slip.

Thanks to a signature hook-and-loop strap and elevated heel, you are likely to experience more lifting power but you won’t stress out your quads and glutes in the process.

A weight distribution plate built into the shoe helps a wearer stay balanced during the heaviest lift, and the rigid sole adds to the shoe’s performance.

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At just $90, expect this shoe model to perform nicely, but a better bet if you’re on a budget is the $55 Samba, another Adidas newcomer.

It’s a men’s shoe. A kid’s shoe. A soccer shoe. Great review from beginners and enthusiasts alike. And it could become your favorite Cross-Fit choice based on price alone. A torsion bar on the shoe’s bottom stabilizes the mid-foot, so if you wind up wearing Sambas for hours on end, they will still feel comfy and get you through your most arduous workout in style.

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Merrell Hammer Glove

Run in them. Undertake box jumps. And do it all without socks if you invest in a pair of Merrell Hammer Glove cross-trainers shoes featuring a zero millimeter drop from heel to toe. Look forward to experiencing a stable, secure stance and low-to-the-ground performance even while attempting difficult dead lifts.

Fans of the Merrill Hammer Glove are particularly complimentary about the lateral and medial support they experience while wearing these CrossFit shoes–the thin-as-a-glove mesh upper wraps come as close to wearing socks as any shoe experience delivers. Shoes are lightweight as it can get. At $110, the Merrell Hammer Glove Running Shoe earned 4.5 star review score from a small sampling of reviewers (men and women), but those who did weigh in were enthusiastic.

One reviewer who has been running for 40+ years was hesitant to try a pair of shoes and then fell hopelessly in love with them, vowing not to switch brands again. That stated, one of the reasons the Hammer Glove disappointed has to do with weather: the rubber composite on the sole makes it easy to slip in the rain if one undertakes physical activities on concrete and asphalt.

Puma Bioweb Elite

Admit it: The Puma Bioweb has a unique look, but when it comes to performance, they behave like champions. This shoe does it all: you can run in them, train in them and undertake myriad endurance challenges thanks to a flexible heel wrap that stabilizes your feet—even if you’re on a daunting high endurance road run.

Take long, smooth strides courtesy of the flex groove outsole configuration, yet you won’t have to pay a fortune for the experience.

At $100 per pair of shoes, this is an investment you will want to consider seriously if you’re a Renaissance Cross-Fit fanatic in need of shoes that won’t let you down, no matter what sport you undertake. That stated, sizing seems to be an issue with shoppers when we look over review of these shoes on websites such as Zappos and Amazon. Some order them half a size larger.

Others went for a full size larger and still weren’t happy. Balanced by plenty of folks who found them idyllic and awarded the Bioweb Elite 5 of 5 stars, this could be an expensive way to experiment, so try them on before ordering a pair to avoid buyer’s remorse.

OESH La Vida

Don’t recognize the pedigree? You should. This Cross-Fit is the brainchild of Harvard-educated Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Professor D. Casey Kerrigan, MD. Kerrigan’s research into walking and running—particularly her launch of Harvard’s first 3D gait and motion laboratory—is world renowned.

Now, she is morphing her theories into practices by designing and licensing her own shoe. Called the OESH La Vida, this footwear is designed for running, jumping and lifting based on Kerrigan’s decades of bio-mechanical research.

The La Vida Cross-Fit offers a flexible, durable, dynamic fit with ample forefoot room and a wide toe-box. Shoppers report feeling less strain on joints when they wear them during a variety of physical endeavors.

Durability is key to the La Vida design and manufacture, Kerrigan reports. Other training shoes may fall apart, but La Vida’s carbon fiber composite sole holds up and won’t leave scuff marks.

If you are a Nike fan, they have a decent line of Nike trainers for crossfit but they are not so popular as other brands when it comes to crossfit (except Nike Free Trainer model).

Need more data to help you make a choice? Your search engine can take you to scientific and commercial sites loaded with information to help you make your CrossFit shoe selection. Hope we’ve been helpful.

Good Luck

Read our crossfit equipment guide here