There is no one-size fits all cross training shoe, so don’t miss this guide for the ultimate breakdown to find the crossfit shoe that’s just for you. There are so many varieties of crossfit exercises, from Olympic weightlifting to long distance running and rope climbing, that only your unique routine will determine the specific cross training shoe that will take your workout to the next level. This guide will take you by the hand and walk you through the top 10 customer-rated crossfit shoes so you can find a pair that fits. As you read, bear your favorite crossfit sports, exercises, and workout intensity in mind to make the best pair jump out at you.
Best Crossfit Shoes Comparison Chart
|Image||Product||Heel Type||Price||Where to Buy?|
|1. Adidas Powerlift 3.1 Cross Trainer||Raised||$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|2. Nobull Training Shoes||Flat||$$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|3. Reebok Crossfit Nano 6.0 Cross Trainer||Flat||$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|4. Reebok Crossfit Nano 8.0 Cross Trainer||Flat||$$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|5. Nordic Lifting Powerlifting Shoes||Raised||$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|6. Adidas Performance Crazy Power Cross Trainer Shoe||Raised||$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|7. Reebok Crossfit Nano 3.0 Cross Trainer||Flat||$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|8. Reebok Crossfit Nano 2.0 Cross Trainer||Flat||$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|9. Reebok Crossfit Nano 4.0 Cross Trainer||Flat||$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|10. Puma Descendant V2||Flat||$||Check Price On Amazon|
Crossfit Shoes Buyers Guide
With so many crossfit shoes to choose from it can be difficult to determine just which shoe fits your choice in sports. Everyone assumes that one crossfit shoe can do it all, but nothing could be further from the truth. Although there is technically no limit in sports used in crossfit, this article will focus on weight lifting, running, rope climbing, and general gym training.
Weight lifters are looking for a tight fit, stability, traction, no padding, inflexible soles, room around the toes for solid footing, and the right heel height to improve their posture and, as a result, lift more weight. Runners are looking for exactly the opposite – cushioning, flexibility, lightness, and a narrow fit around the toes that doesn’t squeeze or rub. Adding jumps to that just complicates the issue – more padding to lessen the impact and less stability to lock them to the floor. Meanwhile, rope climbers need a shoe with a durable or reinforced fabric so their kicks don’t get torn to shreds.
When you combine exercises, choosing a shoe becomes even trickier because the product must sacrifice one sport or the other to be versatile. Some brands, such as Reebok and Nobull, have managed to balance different features in the shoe to do just that. Others, like Nordic Lifting and Puma, specialize in lifting or in running exclusively. That said, shoes are shoes and have the same features to work with, if in a different proportion for different athletes. The main features that will help or hurt your performance are as follows:
This is more than whether to order a size up or down to be sure the shoe fits. Some shoes fit tighter in the heel which inherently benefits stability for weight lifters. Others lock down the forefoot to prevent slipping while maintaining a flexible sole, which suits runners. You’ll also find some shoes fit a wide foot while others are more narrow in design.
In weight lifting, the only place the shoe should be flexible is in the toe. That makes lifts which need you to press on the toes as well as walking around the gym much more comfortable. Whereas for runners, the sole of the shoe should be softer and more pliable to both lessen the impact of running and allow the foot to flex.
This is of great concern if you want to combine running and lifting in your workout routine. The more cushioning you have in a lifting shoe, the more awkward your lifts will be because they don’t hold you in an upright posture. The ideal lifting shoe has little to no cushioning at all so you don’t waste force on a bouncy material. The polar opposite would be a crossfitter who focuses on jumping. You absolutely need that cushioning to take the force of impact off your feet and joints – the less you have, the shorter your routine will have to be. Runners are somewhere in between and it’s highly preferential. Some runners prefer more padding and others less. But the general rule of thumb here is that more cushioning is better to support longer duration runs.
Arch Support (Options for flat feet)
Surprisingly, most of the shoes that follow have no arches at all. This can be a blessing or a curse. A blessing because a flat sole is more versatile for different sports. A curse because having the arch might not fit your foot comfortable or not having the arch could make you more prone to injury, depending on the individual. You can easily correct that by removing the included in-sole and replacing it with your own favorite padded sole. This is your best solution if you’re continuing to workout after a foot injury like plantar fasciitis.
Heel Height (Flat or Raise)
The distance from the heel to the outer sole of the shoe makes a big difference in how the shoe feels. This feature is both preferential and depends on how advanced your form is. Almost no heel height is a minimalist-style shoe that gives a natural feel of being practically barefoot. Some lifters prefer to train barefoot for stability in the splay of their toes for certain lifts. Others require a stiff, uncushioned platform with a .75” height difference in the heel to help their posture for a different variety of lifts under heavy weight. Some runners also prefer the barefoot (or almost barefoot) feel for lightness, flexibility, and agility. Runners don’t necessarily need a platformed heel, just a comfortable padding with some give.
Rope climbers, this one’s for you. Those ropes will rip the fabric of most cross training shoes to shreds and the rubber at the base of the shoe won’t help you grip. Certain shoes listed below correct that problem by reinforcing the shoe and adding rubber grips higher up on the foot, but not all of them, so be sure to look for that in the review.
Here is where cross training shoes get confusing. Some shoes try to be the jack-of-all-trades for crossfit exercises and sports. Very few do it well. For example, some balance a weight lifters need for stability with a minimalist, low-drop heel and support their runners and jumpers with a minimal padding. The result is generally shorter runs and lighter lifts. But there are exceptions – Nobull and Reebok’s Nano series, for example, did this well. Other shoes are strictly for weight lifting or strictly for running. Weigh your options carefully based on which crossfit exercises you use most often. Rather than having a different shoe for every exercise, versatility could serve you well.
This is closely related to versatility because different exercises put different stresses on the various parts of the shoe. High-intensity crossfit training where you drag your feet may tend to rip the toes with exercises like burpees, while lifters may bust their straps with a heavy load, but runners may wear out their treads and in-sole before anything else. Be sure to look at which specific parts of the shoe are breaking down as well as the intensity of your own workout to judge durability.
Shoes for Stability
This feature refers to a solid, inflexible platform that helps you hold your balance on the ground. As such, it is a major concern for weight lifters whose form depends on it. Athletes who jump should stay away from crossfit shoes specializing in stability because they are the opposite of agile – you will feel locked on the ground and have trouble flexing your foot for balanced landings. Runners will feel awkward and lose speed in a shoe focused on stability like running in a pair of boats. But for lifters, stability means the difference between aching knees and increasing the weight on their bars because it strengthens their posture. Better posture means better technique and weight distribution, which in turn improves their performance and reduces lower body injuries. There are different ways to achieve stability in a shoe, from a larger toe box that allows your toes to splay for firmer footing, to platformed heels, and stiff, unpadded soles.
Traction refers to how well the shoe grips the ground, climbing rope, or gym floor. Some shoes perform better outdoors (running shoes), others do better indoors (lifting shoes), while still others handle both without much distinction (look at Nobull or any one of the Reebok Nano series, both of which include reinforcement for rope climbing).
In the article, when we reference ‘slipping’ it has to do with how much or how little your foot moves around on the inside the shoe. It is slightly different from the tightness of how it fits in that you can have a tightly-fitting shoe with a heel that slips when you lift off of the floor, or conversely, a shoe with a fitted heel that slips in the mid-foot or rubs your toes. It varies from brand to brand quite a bit. Most of these crossfit shoes have eliminated that problem one way or another, but not all. I can think of one that has an in-sole that slips around a little too easily (which could easily be corrected by replacing it).
Based on these features, the review will make it easier to tell which cross training shoe is right for you. Before we begin, there are a few things we won’t be including in these reviews and I’d like to clarify why.
HIIT vs Running vs WOD Workouts
In the reviews below, you won’t find specific discussions on HITT or particular WOD exercises. Lifting, running, and rope climbing were the most popular workouts customers who bought, used, and gave feedback on these shoes were concerned about. So, we focused on those exercises. You will see references to specific exercises in those categories such as Olympic lifting and long distance running.
We also won’t be discussing the use of fitness machines you’d find at a gym. However, if you know you will be regularly using a particular type of fitness machine, these same topics and features discussed above should be enough give you a leg up on understanding whether these shoes will work for you. Rowing machines, for example, may be tough on the fabric or laces of your shoe so the reinforced outside might be a good idea. Leg presses would be easier in a shoe with high stability. And padded shoes specialized for running would be more comfortable for a treadmill. The basic exercises with a machine you’d use at a gym or without one are the same and will stress the shoe in similar ways.
Now, you’re ready to read through the reviews below. These are the top 10, best customer-rated crossfit shoes on Amazon. Consider your favorite exercises and the primary exercises in your routine and scroll down to read on. You’re sure to find something to suit you.
Best Crossfit Shoe Reviews
Adidas Powerlift 3.1 Cross Trainer
Adidas Powerlift 3.1 Cross Trainers are ideal for crossfit routines focused around weightlifting. They are perfect cross trainers for everyday weight training, squats, and heavy-lifting. They are supportive of the ankle and extra wide in the foot with a heavy-duty mid-sole wedge for excellent stability. Your form will improve as you find more even distribution of your weight. They are lightweight and durable for heavy-duty use. Powerlift 3.1s run on the narrow side for men (women will want to buy one full size down) and fit your foot like a glove thanks to the mid-foot strap, so no worries about injuries from your foot slipping inside the shoe. Look forward to cleaner technique and extra mobility whether you are lifting for fun or competition. Not really recommended for walking, running, jumping, or cardio routines. If you’re looking for surefootedness and even weight distribution through your lower body when lifting, these are worth every penny.
- Quality construction for lightness and durability
- Stable sole improves form and technique
- Less pain in lower body from improved weight distribution
- Mid-foot strap shreds the laces
- Poor color choice for women
- Not versatile for crossfit training except for lifting
Nobull Training Shoes
Nobull is the most versatile, unique, and functional crossfit training shoe in its class. Walk, run, rope climb, lift, squat, and burpee in comfort and style. It has a stiffer sole, narrower fit, and better support for running and squats than its competitors, Nike Metcon and Reebok Nano. The main thing about Nobull is versatility. This is the kind of cross training shoe you can deadlift and then sprint 400m in back to back, no problem. Indoors routines, outdoors routines, zombie defense drills (yes, check their site) – these are crossfit shoes that move with you. They are made to take the punishment of daily training, but the aesthetic and comfort will make you want to replace your dress and walking shoes. They definitely stand apart from other cross training shoes in quality, but also in price. You probably won’t find them on sale. And you’ll find they release new models and colors before you’ve broken in your old ones. Then again, you might need multiple pairs of shoes to handle all the exercises and sports in your crossfit routine. For that one shoe that supports them all, convert to Nobull.
- Versatile enough to use for lifting, running, and rope climbing
- Durable fabric, lightweight, and supportive
- Indoor and outdoor use
- More expensive than competitors
- Heavy use may separate sole from the rest of the shoe
- Doesn’t breathe well
Reebok Crossfit Nano 6.0 Cross Trainer
Reebok Crossfit Nano 6.0 Cross Trainers are comfortable and ready for crossfit training right out-of-the-box – no break in period needed. It has a spacious toe-box to improve your balance and fitted heel to protect your foot against slipping around inside the shoe. And it grips well, so don’t worry about blisters or “hot spots” around your heel or toes. The 6.0 is Reebok’s combination of the very best aspects of its previous Nanos – stylish aesthetic like 2.0, comfortable fit like 4.0, and durable performance like 5.0. These crossfit shoes feature a firm, supportive sole well suited to weight lifting and jumping. They are also light and flexible enough to be comfortable for running; the arch support in Nano 6.0 can help prevent shin splints. These shoes run slightly small so it is recommended to order half a size up, to be sure they fit. Considering the performance for the price, these may be the very best crossfit training shoes you’ve ever owned.
- No break-in period needed because they feel great right out of the box
- Excellent fit prevents training related injuries like shin splints and blisters
- Stable, supportive arch benefits both moderate lifters and runners
- Not durable for rope climbing
- Not stable for squats, dead lifts, or military presses
- Not much cushioning for jumping
Reebok Crossfit Nano 8.0 Cross Trainer
Reebok redesigned their Nano 8.0 based on user feedback for comfort, comfort, comfort. They are most comparable to Nobull, with a few exceptions: better ventilation, better in-sole padding, and bootie design for better fit around the ankle. The end result is a shoe that won’t hurt your feet for longer duration and intense workouts that include running and jumping. The sole is flexible enough for jumps and agility training yet still has the traction, stability, and firmness for light weight lifting. It is designed to be slim with a 4mm drop on the out-sole which is a boon for those who like training with minimalist (or no) shoes. It runs true to size. And Nano 8.0 features traction and protection for rope climbing as well as a reinforced toe for durability against high-intensity workouts. Reebok did well integrating the features of its previous Nanos with feedback from the athletes that swear by them. For an advanced shoe that can keep up with a variety of crossfit routines and keep you comfortable, go with Nano 8.0.
- Comfortable for long workouts
- Versatile for jumping, agility, lifting, running, and rope climbing
- Low 4mm out-sole drop for the feel of a minimalist shoe
- Flexweave fabric not durable for high-intensity routines
- Less room in the toe-box as other Nano designs
- Spongy sole not supportive for heavy lifting
Nordic Lifting Powerlifting Shoes
If your crossfit routine is all about lifting, you need to take a look at Nordic Lifting Powerlifting shoes. Rather than being versatile for a variety of sports and exercises Nordic Lifting made a shoe for heavy lifting and did it exceptionally well. Perform powerful Olympic lifts, squats, military presses, dead lifts, and other heavy weight exercises with stability and traction. They fit snugly to prevent slipping. The height differential from heel to forefoot is 1.4” to .47” at the toes. That helps improve your form and ultimately lift more weight because your posture becomes more upright so you can better direct your force. And, although you generally want a flat shoe for dead lifts, you can still perform them in these shoes even if slowly due to the stiffness of the sole. The flexible toe and solid grip are great for overhead and bench presses. They are built to be durable, but there is a noticeable weakness in the strap – which brings us to Nordic Lifting’s outstanding customer service. They are friendly and known to send replacements quickly, free of charge. So if all you’re after for your crossfit routine is a stable shoe to help you lift more weight, look no further than Nordic Lifting’s Powerlifting shoes.
- Perfect for heavy weight lifting exercises
- Excellent customer service
- Top notch stability and traction
- Foot strap tends to break
- Not suitable for exercise other than lifting
- Insoles slip occasionally
Adidas Performance Crazy Power Cross Trainer Shoe
For an advanced lifting shoe at an affordable price, consider Adidas Performance Crazy Power Cross Trainers. Although they are called cross trainers, these shoes are made for hard core lifters through and through. And they simply crush most of the competing lifting shoes in their category, being comparable with the Adipower, Nike Romaleos, and Reebok Legacy Lifters. They stand apart for their stability in the heel. Crazy Power features a rigid, incompressible TPU heel. The heel height is .65” which is lower than the preferred .75” ‘sweet spot’ for ankle stability but is considerate of taller athletes. It is flexible in the forefoot which allows for easier movement and makes it comfortable for longer workout sessions. It’s built as a bootie, which has no tongue and slips on more like a sock – which, may make putting the shoe on less comfortable even if the overall fit is more snug for it.
- No lost effort thanks to rigid TPU heel
- Flexible forefoot for easier walking and pressing around the toe
- Highly stable lifting shoe
- No versatility for other crossfit exercises
- The heel height is lower than the ideal .75”
- Difficult to put on with snug bootie construction
Reebok Crossfit Nano 2.0 Cross Trainer
Reebok’s Crossfit Nano 2.0 is the all-star of crossfit shoes. They are stable for weightlifting, flexible and light for running, reinforced for rope climbing, and are a crowd favorite, well-rounded crossfit shoe. There is just enough padding for jumps and a 4mm drop for a minimalist feel with a flat sole. The difference in the transfer of power in these versus regular sneakers is noticeable. The heel fits well to prevent slipping. The mesh breathes well. And the bottom has great traction. Nano 2.0 is known for its fit as opposed to newer models, even providing a satisfying fit for those with wide and extra wide feet. There can be variance in the size and quality from shoe to shoe. It runs true to size. Nano 2.0 is a great, affordable all-rounder that can take a variety of crossfit exercises. Reebok found the sweet spot between a stable lifting shoe and a flexible, minimally padded running shoe with the 2.0 that you’ll have trouble finding even in a more expensive option.
- Best well-rounded crossfit shoe
- Fits average, wide, and extra wide feet comfortably
- Minimalist 4mm drop combines stability and flexibility
- No arch or padding support
- Size varies from pair to pair
- Wear out quickly (6 months or less)
Reebok Crossfit Nano 3.0 Cross Trainer
Reebok improved upon their 2.0 with the Nano 3.0 in a few key ways. The first, is cushioning. The 2.0 was notoriously lacking padding and arch support. The 3.0 is still a minimalist shoes in many ways but Reebok responded to customer feedback and added some give to the in-sole. The second change to the Nano 2.0 was increasing the size of the toebox. That lends more stability as it allows your toes to spread which gives more solid footing. As the toebox widened, the heel narrowed. Narrower heels prevent your foot slipping around inside the shoe but if the shoe is not the right size you may find yourself developing blisters. About sizing, these are the kind of shoes you have to break-in first. After a couple uncomfortable workouts, the shoes will adjust to the shape of your feet and serve you well. They run true to size or possibly a half size too big. Nano 3.0 is a lighter, sturdier, more comfortable, and more durable option compared to its predecessor that didn’t sacrifice the minimalism Nano 2.0 is known for. In other respects, these shoes are very similar and upgrading is a matter of taste more than necessity.
- More cushioning than Nano 2.0
- Roomier toe box than Nano 2.0
- Durable for intense crossfit workouts
- Painful break-in period
- No arch support
- Not suitable for wide feet
Reebok Crossfit Nano 4.0 Cross Trainer
Reebok did it again with their Crossfit Nano 4.0 – stable heel and large toebox for Olympic lifts, flexible forefoot for running, 4mm minimalist drop for balance, plus they managed to make it even more comfortable and durable than their previous models. These shoes may well last you over a year even under the stress of high-intensity training. They continued the reinforcements to protect your shoes from tearing on your rope climbs. They fit true to size, beautifully, with a tongue and lace construction for easy on and off. But what makes the Nano 4.0 stand apart from the previous models are the compliments you will receive for style. They look that good. Not that style is more important than the improvements to your form and technique as well as enjoying more comfortable workouts overall. For those that think a shoe is a shoe, how much could this possibly help, you’ll think again. These may be the most comfortable shoe you ever wear straight out of the box for those with normal arches. If you have plantar fasciitis or large arches, replacing the sole with something more comfortable is easy enough and worth the perfect workout.
- Stability for Olympic lifts
- Flexible and cushioned enough for runs of several miles
- 4mm minimalist drop for natural balance
- No arch support
- Too narrow for wide feet
- Short length uncomfortable for long feet
Puma Descendant V2
If you’re looking for a light and super comfortable running shoe that will last you for over a year, Puma did it right with the Descendant V2. They have good padding for frequent, long distance treks. The fit is true to size and spot on – order half a size up for wide feet. It features something called a Forefoot Lockdown, which basically locks the forefoot in place to you don’t slip and slide inside the shoe. The toe-box may feel somewhat narrow when you start out, but they do break in nicely after a run or two. The mesh makes it very breathable, so watch out for water. The suede overlay on top of the mesh adds durability and style. The shoe weighs just 11 oz and feels light as a feather. The footbed is ecoOrthoLite which not only provides cushioning, but removes odors. Puma Descendant V2 best suits crossfit routines for long distance walkers, runners, and general gym use.
- Comfortable and durable running shoe
- Locks forefoot to prevent slipping
- Fits average and wide feet
- Not suitable for lifting or rope climbing exercises
- Absorbs water easily due to high breathability
- No arch support
Final Recommendations About Crossfit Shoes
You’ve seen how your choice in crossfit sports, exercises, and training intensity shifts the priority in which features make the shoes choose you. Out of the top 10 customer-rated cross training shoes, every single one of them specializes in a different set of exercises that fit your routine, or not. Some crossfit shoes are purely about weightlifting, others running, while still others try to be a jack-of-all trades – but very precious few hit that almost impossible sweet spot between opposing sports and do it well. After reading this ultimate crossfit shoe buyer’s guide, you understand which shoe will improve your lift while another will shoot you in the foot, which ones grip versus tear on the ropes, which will help you run light as a feather or hang like anchors on your feet, and why versatility is not always the answer. Some shoes are more hardcore than others. And your crossfit routine is up to you. Now you can choose a cross training shoe to take you to your limit, and then beyond, in comfort and style.
Frequently Asked Questions about Crossfit Shoes
My coach suggested a strictly weight lifting shoe for days we shoot for 1 rep. maxes. I’m new and cheap. What do you think? Just get a good cross trainer?
Good question. One rep max would be your heaviest weights, so it would make sense to get a shoe that helps you with weight distribution and posture. You know what they say – perfect practice makes for perfect performance. So for a strictly weight lifting shoe I would recommend the Nordic Lifting or the Adidas Crazy Power or Powerlift 3.1. But if you want to save money on shoes you can use for multiple exercises, your most solid cross trainer would probably be the Nano 8.0. It would be the more economical solution that would do well with lifting but it wouldn’t be the extra help your coach suggested.
If these are good for different things, how do you know which ones to wear when going to the gym? Like do y’all know what the workouts gonna be before you get there?
It depends. If the gym you go to has a Workout of the Day that changes, you might need to bring multiple pairs of shoes so you are prepared with something specialized for each exercise. You might need three different pairs of shoes if you want to go the specialized route. If you have your own workouts pre-planned you could more easily just bring the shoes just for those. Otherwise get a quality cross trainer that can handle most exercises reasonably well. Take a look at Nobull or any of Reebok’s Nano series (especially Nano 4.0 as well as Nano 8.0).
I’ve never had weightlifting shoes and I was wondering if you all can make some recommendations on shoes good for crossfit and Olympic lifts. Is it as simple as getting a pair of the Reebok Nanos or Nike Metcons?
It depends on your crossfit routine. If you are hardcore into lifting, a shoe specific for lifting will serve you better just for your Olympic lifts. Adidas Crazy Power and Nordic Lifting both make great shoes just for lifting. The trouble is, getting strictly lifting shoes won’t get you through the rest of your crossfit workout if it includes any running, jumps, or rope climbing at all. It could be as simple as getting a pair of Reebok Nanos if you know you need the versatility and will NOT be specializing in one sport or set of exercises over another.
I am looking for some good quality crossfit shoes. I would like to find any afforadable option just under or around 100. Can you recommend some alternatives to nanos and no bulls?
You might check out Puma Descendant V2 Training Shoes. They are right within your budget and it’s different than the popular brands you mentioned, Nanos and Nobulls. That said, both Nano and Nobull will be a more flexible option for a variety of crossfit exercises. The Puma Descendant V2 is very much focused on comfortable running. I don’t know what exercises you want to focus on, and, at the risk of sounding redundant, you will probably get more for your money with a Reebok Nano. One of the older Nano models will fit in your price range. Have a look at Reebok Nano 2.0, 3.0, or 4.0 as they are the closest match for the budget you mentioned.
I’m thinking about buying a pair of crossfit shoes because I’ve been using running shoes for a long time now and I think it might be time for an upgrade. I’m assuming that most people will say that, yes, I should get the crossfit shoes, but the real question I want to know is why? I assume they’re not great for a three- or four-mile run, but for the 1- to 2-mile runs that are sometimes part of workouts they’re fine. Is this a correct assumption or am I way off? I appreciate the info and feedback. Thanks!
Why get crossfit shoes over running shoes? Because they will help improve your performance for a wider variety of cross training exercises like rope climbing, weight lifting, and jumps. You definitely can run several miles in certain crossfit shoes – check out Puma Descendant V2 and Reebok Nano 4.0. Your assumption isn’t way off considering the vast majority of cross training shoes compared to shoes specialized just for running. If you want to integrate more exercises into your routine definitely upgrade to cross trainers. But if you’re going to stick to your usual running then stick with a shoe for that because you will be more comfortable – just remember, they won’t help you with any other form of crossfit exercise.