Best Shoes For CrossFit 2024

Someone in black leggins wearing a blue gym trainer with a brown midsole.
Credit: Inov-8

Someone in black leggins wearing a blue gym trainer with a brown midsole.
Credit: Inov-8

Finding the best shoes for CrossFit can be a challenge, especially when you factor in the need for durability and performance during intense workouts.

CrossFit training is renowned for its fast-paced, interval-based approach, focusing on functional movements to enhance strength and conditioning. However, its benefits extend beyond physical fitness, with studies indicating positive psychological impacts such as increased exercise enjoyment and satisfaction.

To get the most out of it though, you need the right footwear. Therefore we've put together a selection of top CrossFit shoes, considering factors like price, reviews, build quality, and technology. From lightweight options suitable for running to sturdy pairs ideal for heavy lifting, we've got you covered.

Moreover, we address common questions about both the shoes and the workouts themselves, providing comprehensive insights to aid in your decision-making process. So, let's dive in and explore our top recommendations for the best CrossFit shoes on the market today.

Best shoes for CrossFit

  1. PUMA Fuse Cross Trainer - a well-rounded choice for most people
  2. Nike Metcon 8 - best lightweight shoes for lifting
  3. Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 - a great option for lifting in general
  4. Under Armour TriBase Reign 5 - a top pick for beginners to CrossFit
  5. Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 - best for speed in the gym
PUMA Fuse Cross Trainer product image of a pair an all-black trainer with a blue detail on the heel.
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Credit: PUMA

1. PUMA Fuse Cross Trainer

Best shoes for CrossFit overall

Material: Fabric/Synthetic
Closure: Lace-Up

With their highly tensile mesh uppers, these PUMA Fuse Cross Trainers should be ideal for resisting tension and abrasion during fast-paced CrossFit workouts.

Comfort-wise, PUMA provides a wider, stronger toebox, which should help your stance while weightlifting and ensure you remain comfortable at the top of the lift.

Moreover, the shoes feature PUMAGrip technology which is designed to improve traction across the outsoles to help you remain planted during weightlifting, which could be the difference between achieving and failing a new PB.

On the whole, we feel these sneakers are well worth considering if you're a CrossFit and gym fan. As an aside, check out our list of the best places to buy sneakers if you're trying to find a good place to purchase a pair.

Nike Metcon 8 product image of a light grey trainer with purple and blue details around the heel.
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Credit: Nike

2. Nike Metcon 8

Best lightweight shoes for CrossFit

Material: Mesh
Closure: Lace-Up

The Nike Metcon 8s look to be a great pick for CrossFit as they upgrade in a number of key areas from the 7s to help you float through your cardio, power through your lifts and dominate your workouts.

Comfort-wise, the shoes come with Nike React foam in the midsoles to improve comfort and provide a cushioned base to help you kick into gear during the cardio sections of your CrossFit sessions.

For weightlifting, the shoes also feature flat heels designed to provide more stability alongside inner plates which distribute your weight from edge to edge to further increase your contact with the ground.

All in all, we feel there's a lot to like about these Nike trainers, particularly their cushioned, lightweight design.

Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 product image of a singular black shoe with a gum outsole.
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Credit: Inov-8

3. Inov-8 F-Lite G 300

Best weightlifting shoes for CrossFit

Material: Synthetic/Mesh
Closure: Lace-Up

For more experienced CrossFit enthusiasts, it may be worth considering a slightly more premium pick like these Inov-8 F-Lite G 300s, designed to enable your peak performance during weightlifting.

They come with a graphene-enhanced outsole that should provide insane grip and durability, and a graphene-infused internal lifting stabiliser, designed to keep your foot supported through a full range of movement.

Furthermore, they feature 360В° ROPE-TEC protection, a TPU flexible cage, and a fully-engineered knitted upper which, Inov-8 boasts, makes these shoes its most durable pair yet.

Ultimately, if you've got the budget to spend slightly more on a high-end pair of trainers for CrossFit, then these shoes from Inov-8 might be for you.

Under Armour TriBase Reign 5 product image of a white trainer featuring a black mesh pattern at the front and black accents toward the heel and tongue.
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Credit: Under Armour

4. Under Armour TriBase Reign 5

Best shoes for CrossFit beginners

Material: Synthetic / Rubber
Closure: Lace-Up

If you're new to CrossFit, then these Under Armour TriBase Reign 5 could be the trainer for you.

The shoe is designed to provide better contact with the ground and give excellent stability thanks to the "TriBase" outsole improving traction, all while promoting natural motion and flexibility during lifts. As a beginner, factors like these could make all the difference when it comes to hitting CrossFit milestones and PBs.

Furthermore, the upper features UA WARP technology to improve the stability and lockdown even further, particularly during dynamic movements such as those you no doubt perform during CrossFit sessions.

Micro G foam then adds cushioning in the midsole, plus the whole thing weighs just 10.5 oz. in total, making it an extremely lightweight option as well. So, if you want your shoes to do the work without you noticing, then consider picking up a pair of the TriBase Reign 5s.

Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 product image of a dark grey and black trainer with a brown heel.
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Credit: Nike

5. Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2

Best shoes for CrossFit for speed

Material: Synthetic/Mesh
Closure: Laces

The Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 is designed to inject a burst of invigorating speed into your daily fitness routine as the shoe seamlessly blends stability and agility within a featherweight design, enhancing your ability to swiftly navigate circuit training and high-intensity CrossFit sessions.

You get Zoom Air cushioning underfoot for starters, providing a lightweight, responsive feel during exercises like box jumps and sprints. There's also Nike React foam in there as well, providing a spring to each of your strides.

It's also worth touching on the grippy rubber outsole and the thin instep wall designed to keep everything light by being made from mesh, but also tough to handle abrasive exercises.

Overall, the Metcon Turbo 2 is an excellent shoe for weightlifting and CrossFit training, particularly if you're all about speed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

With so many options to choose from, you may have a few questions about shoes for CrossFit, but don't worry because we're here to clear up a few of the most common queries.

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit is a form of high-intensity interval training designed to improve strength and conditioning through functional movements.

Many workouts incorporate a combination of squats, pushups, and weightlifting that, unlike an ordinary gym session, lasts for a predetermined amount of time.

CrossFit also aims to keep its workouts varied to avoid boredom and to prepare your body for any physical tasks you throw at it. These workouts aren't random though, they're strategically designed to help you maximise your fitness potential and avoid atrophy.

A study by Barfield et al. supports this. Participants who took part in CrossFit over a twelve-week period improved their aerobic capacity by 6% and muscular endurance by 22% compared to the traditional training control group.

Studies like these are one of the reasons why CrossFit is quickly becoming one of the most popular exercise programmes around.

What features make shoes good for CrossFit?

The key to a good pair of shoes for CrossFit is quality.

Purchasing a low-quality pair of shoes may result in poorer performance, and they may not withstand the high-intensity nature of the workouts. That said, make sure you're selecting a shoe that is durable as you'll be constantly moving and putting your footwear under a lot of stress.

It's also worth looking for trainers with relatively flat soles as you'll want to maximise your contact with the ground during weightlifting to help with stability and power.

How long do CrossFit shoes last?

This depends on their quality, how often you train, intensity, and your size.

Generally speaking though, a regular in the gym may get one or two good years out of CrossFit shoes before they start to wear out to a point where it may be time to start searching for a replacement pair.

This isn't a set rule though, so we'd recommend only looking for a new pair once you start to notice a considerable drop-off in performance or your shoes start to become uncomfortable.

By comparison, running shoes are said to last anywhere between 300 to 500 miles according to Runners World. While this isn't a direct comparison to CrossFit shoes, we feel it gives a good indication of how long you could expect a pair to last.

What's the difference between CrossFit shoes and weightlifting shoes?

Generally speaking, weightlifting shoes are bulkier and stiffer than CrossFit shoes because they need to provide a solid platform for those looking to shift heavy weights.

By contrast, CrossFit shoes tend to be slightly lighter and more akin to running sneakers as you do significantly more cardio than during weightlifting. However, they do normally incorporate relatively flat soles to maximise ground contact during your lifts.

Should you size up or down in CrossFit shoes?

CrossFit shoes need to fit relatively snug to keep you locked in and supported whilst you work out; however, they shouldn't be so tight that they're uncomfortable to wear as this can cause your feet to cramp and sometimes even lead to injury.

Generally speaking, Clarks recommends you leave about one finger's width of space between your longest toe and the end of your shoe, something which we feel can be used as a guide to deciding upon the right size sneakers for CrossFit.

As CrossFit shoes are typically made from tight-fitting mesh though, you may find you need to go up half a size to achieve this amount of space in your sneakers.

Most manufacturers usually have a handy size guide on their website if you're completely unsure, and you can check out our guide to measuring your shoe size to help make the comparison.

Can running shoes be used for CrossFit?

As mentioned above, running shoes are not too dissimilar to CrossFit trainers in their design.

However, we'd advise picking up dedicated gym shoes for CrossFit because running shoes are primarily designed for forward motion and come with a ton of padding, making them not overly ideal for weightlifting.

This is because you usually want to maximise your contact with the ground during a lift, something running shoes are simply not designed for.

That said, there are some running shoes that try to incorporate the best of both worlds if you've only got the budget for one pair of workout sneakers. Check out our list of the best places to buy running shoes if you're looking for a pair specifically.

Can you wear Converse for CrossFit?

Converse shoes are a highly popular choice to wear to the gym due to their flat soles with minimal cushioning. As a result, they can also be particularly useful to wear during CrossFit training.

Cushioned footwear typically removes friction between yourself and the ground which can, in turn, minimise stability.

That said, due to the highly intense nature of this type of training, a little padding and extra support, as shown by some of our top picks, can be necessary on occasion to avoid damaging your feet.

So, although Converse trainers can be worn for CrossFit, we'd recommend exploring some of the sneakers designed specifically for HIIT training.

Can you wear basketball shoes for CrossFit?

Basketball shoes are perfectly acceptable to wear; however, we'd recommend purchasing trainers specifically designed for CrossFit or weightlifting if you want to maximise your performance.

That being said, basketball shoes typically come with slightly higher collars than a regular pair of trainers, so should therefore provide a little extra ankle support during some of the more dynamic movements.

The downside with some of the best basketball shoes is that they normally come packed with cushioning to absorb as much shock as possible when landing a jump on the court.

As stated above, this isn't something you necessarily want from a pair of CrossFit shoes because the cushioning reduces your contact with the ground and, in turn, can detriment the amount of power you can produce during your lifts.

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