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The Best Crossfit Shoes For The Money – 2016


P.S. This is a super long and detailed article, if you just want to know what crossfit shoes out readers love the most – click here.

So what are the best crossfit shoes?

First, Why Do I Need CrossFit Shoes, And Not Just Regular Shoes?

Newbies to CrossFit should start out with the proper footwear. You need a shoe recommendation, but you are not quite sure where to start. In fact, at first you may not have even realized that this type of training requires a special kind of shoe. Wearing shoes designed for CrossFit will help you with your new fitness routine. They’re designed for exactly what you need. If you already own a pair of running shoes, and think it will be “good enough,” think again. If you have already been to the gym, hopefully your coach gave you the footwear lowdown at your first session. Here’s the deal: wearing running shoes to CrossFit is like wearing roller skates on an ice rink. They may both be for skating, but they’re made for entirely different situations. Running shoes are for running, CrossFit shoes are for CrossFit. Make sense?

It is not just about the workout itself.  It is also about your body. You will need to take a good hard look at your fitness background. Each person has their own personal workout history, and each person has suffered his/her own injuries or conditions. You know what your strengths and weaknesses. Keep these in mind when choosing the right shoes. There is not a one-size-fits-all CrossFit shoe. With the rising popularity of the fitness regimen, numerous footwear options have become available. Do your research and choose the pair that is best for you. Otherwise, you will be very sorry later! Wearing the wrong shoes can lead to injuries, cramps, muscle aches, or any number of painful outcomes.

Not only do you want your shoe to prevent potential injury, but you also want to choose footwear that will enhance your workout. Again, this is something specific to each individual. What will benefit one person may not benefit another. In the same way, what one person needs improvement on may be completely different for the next person. Some may need work on their air squats, while others may need to work on their wall balls. Everyone is unique, as are the shoes you will choose.

Another thing to consider is your current exercise program. Are you using CrossFit to supplement your aerobics, yoga, and spin regimen, or will it be your main focus for fitness? If it will be your primary form of exercise, you will want to invest in a high quality pair that will endure the painstaking hard work that you are about put them through. If you will only be doing sessions here and there, there is no reason to buy the most expensive pair in the store. You can find a decent pair for what you are trying to accomplish, but at a fraction of the cost. Once you figure out how big of a role CrossFit will play in your exercise schedule, you will need to do your homework on the best option for you.

What Makes Certain CrossFit Shoes Better Than Others?

The three parts of the shoe to take a look at are the drop, the sole, and the outer body of the shoe.

What is the drop? The drop is the shortened form of “heel to toe drop.” Also called the “offset” or “ramp angle,” it is the measurement of the height difference between the heel and forefoot. For example, if you have ever owned a pair of standard running shoes that had a lot of support, the drop would have been quite large. The large drop, presumably somewhere around 8mm, is meant to guide your foot to move from heel to toe. In general, CrossFit shoes will have a much smaller drop (i.e. 4mm). The shorter distance from heel to toe is actually a much more natural foot position. It also helps distribute your weight across your foot evenly, which is helpful when you need to stay back on your heels for squats. If for any reason you feel the 4mm drop is too much and you feel some discomfort, it is recommended that you start with a 6mm drop. Once you have been using those for a while, you can gradually transition to the smaller drop of the typical CrossFit shoe.

When it comes to the sole of the shoe, you probably want something that gives you stability. CrossFit shoes should make you feel grounded and secure enough to handle the specific exercise you are working on. A hard sole will give you the feeling of a solid foundation beneath your body, which is most helpful for lifts, kettlebell swings, and more. If the sole is not hard enough, you may not be able to gauge your footing as well. It is important that you are able to feel steady in the midst of training. When you can feel every pulse of your body, you have a better sense of how you are progressing as you move deeper into the program.

The third part of the shoe to think about is the outer body. If the shoe has a cage-like feature in the middle portion, it will help with certain CrossFit moves. For example, it will give you better traction if you are working on your rope climbing. The feature, along with a well-structured instep, will allow you to better grip onto the rope with your feet. Similarly, you might see a show with a rubber cage around the toe area. This would help when doing movements associated with jumping, as with double unders. The cage helps soften to the blow to your feet as you come down hard and fast. As a rule of thumb, if you plan on doing CrossFit on a regularly basis, it would be worth your while to get a pair that is as durable as possible. Training sessions are notoriously difficult on the trainees, but they are just as hard on their footwear.

Reviews

In order to help you in your quest for the best CrossFit shoe, here are some reviews on three of the most popular pairs of shoes for CrossFit training currently available on the market. Each review will highlight the features of each of the different models and then expand on what each of the highlighted points will do for you as far as benefitting your workout. They also include various recommendations for style, sizing, adjustments (if necessary), and more. It is important to keep in mind that every single person is different, and it is ultimately up to you to make your own decision based on your own unique situation, your standards, your backstory, and your desired features.

ImageLinksStylesWeightRatingCostBrand Highlights
reebok-nano-6-15010+9.8 oz9.4$$$Reebok- kevlar protected
-Polyurethane Nanoshell
- 4mm drop
- Very durable
- High performance
metcon-2-15010+11.2 oz9.2$$$$Nike
mx20v4-read-review-15046.5 oz9.0$$$New Balance
nike-free-150246.9 oz8.8$$$Nike

Reebok Men’s Crossfit Nano 6.0

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If there was ever a one shoe for all activities, the Nano 6.0 would be it. These Reeboks are incredibly versatile and are great for any CrossFit workout. They’re comfortable and light, and will improve your performance no matter what type of physical activity you are using them for. They feel as though they were custom-fit for your feet and don’t take very long to break in. In fact, they are pretty comfortable right out of the box. Due to such a high level of comfort and design, your feet do not feel fatigued as quickly. Since the shoe is so form-fitting, it will not move around much during your workout. This will minimize the chance of blisters or callouses due to sweat and friction within the shoe. The breathability factor is also important to mention with these shoes – your feet will not feel stuffy or cramped.

These shoes are the next generation of the Reebok Men’s Crossfit Nano line. They have been reengineered to be more anatomical to the toe, allowing more room for your toes to spread out. This will give you more power for your workout, whether you are running, jumping, or planting. The updated toe box gives you the room to draw as much energy as you need from your feet. They also minimize the shock of coming down on your feet. In addition, the tongue of the shoe is comfortable.

The outer shoe is made of Kevlar, which is often described as stronger than steel. Kevlar is a very strong type of plastic. Its superior quality is due to its internal structure and the way it is made into fiber that is knitted tightly together. One of Kevlar’s best properties is that it is strong, but lightweight. It can withstand any challenging workout, but will not weigh you down. It is really soft and flexible, making it easy to work within all ranges of CrossFit-specific movements. It cannot melt, which gives it a very high resistance to heat. Not that you will try to set your shoes on fire, but it is a testament to the durability of the material. The Kevlar outer body will definitely benefit your rope climbing, giving you enough traction to move swiftly without the worry of wearing out the shoes too quickly.

The Nano 6.0 was also designed with a new rubber outsole. The concept was to keep CrossFit-specific exercises in mind, including running, overhead squats, rope climbing, and more. It was designed to offer more stability within your movement. The heel feels very solid, which allows for great support under power lifts, or Olympic lifts. They provide good lateral support for shuttle runs, or any activity when you need to quickly change directions.

Aside from the clearly exceptional performance, the Reebok Men’s Crossfit Nano 6.0 look good, as well. They have a simple and clean aesthetic, which is preferable for many people. Since the durability of the shoes is so high, they stay looking good for a lot longer. No matter how many times you try to break them down during your challenging WOD, they are incredibly resilient and will look as new as the day you bought them.

 

Reebok Women’s Crossfit Nano 5.0

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The Reebok Women’s CrossFit Nano 5.0 are a terrific option for a women’s training shoe, whether you are a CrossFit pro, or just getting the hang of it. They are strong and durable and will last you through many hours of challenging workout sessions. Just like the Reebok Men’s Crossfit Nano 6.0, the Reebok Women’s Crossfit Nano 5.0 uses Kevlar for its outer shoe material, making it one of the more invincible shoes on the market. It is infused in the entire upper portion of the shoe to provide ultimate support and protection of your foot. The use of Kevlar gives the pair enhanced durability to withstand the most challenging workouts. Though tough as nails, the material is breathable, so your foot won’t feel claustrophobic. Since they are so light and form-fitting, they are great for practicing double unders.

The Women’s Nano 5.0 are good for short runs or sprints, but are not recommended for a long distance run (e.g. greater than a mile at a time). They will be fine for a short run during a WOD (e.g. 400 meters at a time). If you do attempt to go for a run that is over one mile, you might find that your feet will slide up into the top of the shoe. They are not engineered for that type of activity. If you plan on making running part of your daily workout routine, it might be best for you to seek out a better option for a traditional running shoe, and use this pair exclusively for your CrossFit sessions. As you will recall, CrossFit shoes are not really meant for anything other than CrossFit training. They should not be expected to help you train for any sort of competitive race. That said they are very comfortable for short distance runs, running in place, and jumping jacks. They are also great for diverse strengthening and conditioning workouts.

The Women’s Nano 5.0 also has a large toe box, so you will be able to draw on that energy from your feet to go the extra mile during your workout. It helps to provide you with better balance, flexibility, and power you need for your CrossFit training. It also features a molded heel and foot bed that will secure your foot for extended comfort and performance.

The shoe is designed with a raised outsole lug pattern for increased surface area and improved traction and grip. The stability is great for doing exercises such as side lunges, burpees, and lifts. The shoes will ground you well enough to be able to feel the floor beneath your feet. This will allow you to be better in tune with your body to better gauge your progress. You will be able perfect your technique and positioning for not only CrossFit-specific exercises, but also generic ones such as squats and jumping jacks.

This model does tend to run slightly small, so you may want to get a half-size bigger to be on the safe side. The support is standard, so if you need a little bit more support, you should look into getting additional insoles. The insoles that come with the Women’s Nano 5.0 are removable, so you will not have a problem if they need to be replaced.

 

Nike Metcon 2

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The primary updates were made to the heel, the sock liner, the toe box, and the heel clip. The heel is now firmer and has been given additional reinforcement; there is little give when you put excessive force on the shoe. This feature will give you more stability and confidence when working on lifts. The sock liner in the heel has been improved to eliminate the heel slip that was a recurring issue with the first incarnation of Metcons. The new toe box and mid-shoe now have an outer coating allowing for a better grip when doing activities such as the rope climb. Another new addition is the little plastic clip on the heel. This is meant to remove friction when doing exercises like handstand push-ups.

The Metcon 2 tend to be a bit wider than the Reebok Nano line of CrossFit shoes. This feature makes it a great option for crossfitters who need the additional width. The extra room in the body of the shoes, as well as the large toe box, make these are a very comfortable option for your CrossFit endeavors. The shoes should form-fit to your foot; they should not be moving around too much, or at all, when you are in the middle of a session. For those of you who worry about your arches, the Metcon 2 does provide a solid arch support. You will not be disappointed there.

The sole has a strong grip, which is very helpful for squats and deadlifts. No longer will you worry about slipping when you try to lift at the gym. They keep your heel close to the floor, which provides greater stability. The wider platform is perfect for Olympic lifts with its solid heel and sole support. The pair is definitely recommended for heavy leg training. The side grips are great for box jumps and high step ups. Your foot will remain snug and secure, so you will not hurt your foot or ankle. Though, the shoes are quite versatile, it is important to remember that these are not meant for long distance running. They are just fine for shorter distance runs, however.

The Nike Metcon 2 has an abrasion-resistant film around the middle for a tough exterior. They are very durable, and can take any beating that you try to force upon it. The laces are made of Kevlar, so they will not break off or split. They hold up pretty well during high friction activities, such as rope climbs. They wrap around your feet to offer great lateral support. The shoes are also very lightweight, which makes them valuable for agility exercises. You will be able to move swiftly without any difficulty. The Metcon 2 have a zero-drag heel clip, which were designed for wall activities, such as handstand pushups.

The style of the shoes is appealing.  The design and colors are sharp and attractive, making them a pair of shoes you will want to put on in the morning before your workout. For those who prefer a clean look without any of the fancy logos or insignia, you should consider taking a look at the black on black model. There are no bright and shiny emblems causing distractions for you or others. They are even good looking enough to wear out as a casual shoe.  Overall, the Metcon 2 are a great all-purpose training shoe for any type of CrossFit challenge. They are well suited for any physical activity, from jumping and weight training to squats and wall balls.

The Best Crossfit Shoes

Choosing the right shoes for your CrossFit sessions is not an easy task. There are many things to take into consideration. You need to examine your physical needs and match them to the features of those CrossFit shoes available on the market. Ask yourself questions like – Do you need a shoe that will accommodate a wide foot? Do you feel comfortable with your foot’s heel so close to the ground? Is it important that you have solid arch support? Are you going to make CrossFit your main source of exercise on a daily basis, or will it only be a supplemental workout? The answers to these questions will only benefit you in the long run. These seemingly small characteristics of the shoes will define your form, posture, and comfort level – three crucial points to heed.

It seems that the best choice for CrossFit shoes is the Reebok Men’s Crossfit Nano 6.0 Cross-Trainer. They hit all of the right notes when you are looking for a shoe that will endure intense training and persistent hard work. The Nano 6.0 are flexible for any physical activity or situation, whether you are working on your air squats, box jumps, sprints, rope climbs, or Oly lifts. These shoes will give you the stability and support you need. Not only will a solid pair of shoes improve your CrossFit game, but it will do so much more. It will help to prevent any potential injury you might face, or worsen any existing condition from which you may be suffering.

When looking at the different structures and designs for each of the shoes, you need to decide what is going to make you feel the most comfortable, while also helping you improve your training. Ask yourself if the shoe will give you an edge – Will these shoes help to improve my form for air squats? Will this pair give me the added stability and safety to increase my weight for lifting? Are these shoes tough enough to withstand rope climbs on every day? Will these shoes give me the comfort to work harder and longer? You want your progress within your own program to continue to move forward. The right footwear is the key to unlocking your full potential.


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