16 Best CrossFit Shoes (Review) in 2021
If you haven’t heard about CrossFit, you must have been living under a rock. Over the last few years, it’s become one of the most popular ways to get fit and has been endorsed by plenty of celebrities and athletes. Without going into boring detail, it’s basically a fitness program that combines a variety of functional movements into a timed workout. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, think squats, push-ups, weightlifting, gymnastics, running, and more.
So, now you know what CrossFit is, you need to get the right gear to do it. In terms of your clothes, you just need comfortable sportswear and workout clothes that gives you plenty of flexibility and isn’t going to make you sweat too much – the workout will do that itself! But for your CrossFit shoes, you need to think a little bit harder about your choice. The best CrossFit shoes will provide plenty of stability, grip, breathability, and support. Without this, you could end up slipping and hurting yourself or twisting your ankle. Here are the 12 best CrossFit shoes for men.
The Best CrossFit Shoes
Reebok is another brand that has a long and illustrious history of making trainers. These Reebok shoes are designed specifically for CrossFit and you can see that in the design. Firstly, they have that recognizable flexible material on top that gives your feet plenty of space to breathe. Then, they have a supportive rubber sole. But these shoes have a bit more than that in their locker. Reebok has designed a technology called RopePro that makes it easy to keep traction when climbing a rope. They’ve also designed the toe and heel specifically to provide durability and support during a high-intensity workout.
Reebok Men’s CROSSFIT Nano 8.0 Flexweave Cross Trainers are, without doubt, some of the best CrossFit training shoes available. Throughout the design, you can see how they have thought about making the CrossFit experience better.
100% man-made shoes
Forefoot flex grooves for better flexibility
- Weight2 pounds
Designed with CrossFit in mind
RopePro technology and supportive heel and toe make this one of the best CrossFit shoes around
Some complaints of the shoes being the wrong size
The CrossFit journey is no easy one, and with others probably forging ahead, it’s unacceptable to fall behind because of unreliable footwear. The Women’s Reebok Crossfit Nano 8.0 Flexweave Cross Trainer is designed for increased traction, stability and control. It allows you to be yourself, and feel comfortable while breezing through those workouts. The reinforced rubber soles provide enough tenacity to keep you up and going; the heel and the tip are designed to withstand abrasion and provide the stability needed.
Those beautiful manicured feet don’t have to be compromised during an intense workout and the wide toe box ensures just that. It’s more generously spaced, making squats, landings and those tough jumps more graceful while providing a better grip. For even better breathability, the flex-weave upper sports a Nano-weave fabric that lets in adequate airflow as well as an optimally flexible form. Stay on top of your game and make bold moves with shoes that won’t falter or compromise your stance.
Minimal drop outsole
- Weight12 ounces
You might think that these NOBULL training shoes are a bit of a wildcard option. They come from a small company and are priced above many of the alternatives from Nike, Reebok, and Adidas. But, to get an idea of how much people love these shoes, just take a look at the Amazon reviews – 79% of their reviews are 5 stars, which is rare for a product like this. So, why do people love them so much?
The top of the shoes is made out of one-piece of SuperFabric, which is one of the most breathable and flexible materials available. This layer is put on top of mesh-fabric that gives an extra level of support and protection. They are designed for both inside and outside use, which is great for people who like to keep their fitness regime varied. Apart from that, they are just well-made, normal CrossFit shoes. It’s hard to know exactly why people prefer them over the alternatives – but they do. If you can afford them, they’re well worth considering. Don’t forget to also check out our pick of the best Gore-tex running shoes.
Seamless one-piece construction upper
Super fabric side plates
Textured outsole lug pattern
Medial rope grip
One of the best-loved CrossFit shoes on Amazon
Very well-made and attractive training shoe
More expensive than alternatives from well-known brands
These pair may not be the fanciest shoes in the market or sport the most stylish design, but they highly make up for that in performance. For the balance, comfort, and durability required, the design sacrifices look for a smarter, versatile and tenacious form. The Nobull Woman’s Training Shoes are designed for the determined woman who is ready to lay aside limitations and train to the fullest. For maximum performance, they are practically designed the same way as the male version. Climb, lift, run and perform other cardio activities with shoes that are reinforced to go the extra mile with you.
The seamless one-piece super-fabric protects the mesh base uppers from scratches and abrasions vigorous workouts come with. High carbon lateral and medial guards equally protect the feet from injuries while the mesh layer ensures adequate breathability throughout its form. Without leaving out the phenomenal lug design, this feature provides a great grip and flexibility that can durably withstand any terrain. These shoes have a lot of individuals that were formerly loyal to other brands completely converted. If the price doesn’t hold you back, go for it.
Reflective Nobull logo
Flexible mesh base layer
Abrasion and scratch-resistant
Sturdy soles with great traction
You can trust Nike when it comes to manufacturing shoes that don’t only perform but stay in top form for the long haul. These CrossFit shoes go the extra mile, providing superior comfort, traction and performance for the optimal cross-training experience. Made for the sportsman who desires the necessary edge, the Nike Metcon 4 Men’s Cross Training Shoes takes a workout to a whole new platform. These extra comfortable and breathable shoes have mesh uppers that provide good airflow. The flywire lacing creates tight webbing that locks in the feet for secured footing during intense exercises. Intent on comfort, the insoles are extra-comfortable thanks to the cushioned form and well-padded tongue.
Rubber soles coupled with a firm heel ensure these shoes can keep up to high energy activities like climbing, squatting and the various cardio-activities. The hardened soles stick to the midsoles firmly ensuring they never compromise balance and great form. They also facilitate equal weight distribution for exercises like squats and weight lifting. Perform different activities with these shoes and enjoy the balanced and convenient stance they provide.
Breathable mesh Uppers
Firm rubber outsoles
Great traction and grip
Well-padded collar with full comfortable tongue
- ModelMetcon 4
- Weight2 pounds
When running and performing intense workouts that require speed and agility, barefoot shoes take the top spot. They provide that extra comfortable and natural feel required to go the extra-mile without feeling boxed in or limited. The zero-heel to toe drop enables a well-balanced form that supports equal distribution of weight and an ergonomic running posture. This eases up the body and prevents pressure on the joints and muscles.
The WHITIN Men’s Cross-Trainer Barefoot and Minimalist Shoe are classically designed to provide extra flexibility and durability in the long run. It features a wide toe box that allows the toes the freedom and stance for a better grip and leverage when running, squatting and the likes. The anatomical form provides a naturally comfortable form that fosters better performance and enhanced convenience. The slim and flexible rubber sole equally provide better contact with the floor without compromising its durability. These shoes definitely mimic the natural form of the feet while providing that barefoot feel sportsmen need for enhanced speed and sufficient feedback from the ground.
Flat-zero drop sole
Thin flexible sole
Wide anatomical toe box
- Weight12.3 ounces
What if you could just train in your bare feet? But instead of skin, your feet were made of rubber. Well, that’s not as crazy as it sounds. Vibram Men’s KSO EVO CrossFit Training Shoes are basically that. Unlike traditional shoes, your toes fit into separate compartments, giving you maximum flexibility and grip. This is absolutely perfect for CrossFit because you need as much grip as you can get.
The rubber sole is less than 5mm thick, which means you are about as close to the ground as possible. The rest of the shoe is made from a breathable polyester that provides plenty of protection, whilst letting plenty of air to your feet. Plus, they feature a speed lacing system, so you don’t have to waste any time getting them on or off. We’ve chosen this as our Best Choice product because it provides maximum grip and flexibility. You just need to choose if you like the style of shoe, it’s not for everyone. Find more great footwear like this by checking out our guide to the best weightlifting shoes.
Speed lacing system
- ModelKSO EVO-M
- Weight12 ounces
Toe-holes provide maximum grip and flexibility
Speed lacing system prevents the risk of tripping over laces
Not everyone likes the look of these shoes
If you’re looking for something a bit more affordable, these trainers from ALEADER are a great option. They do everything they need to do, but at about half the price of a lot of CrossFit shoes on the market. You get a tough rubber sole, which provides loads of grip, and a breathable mesh fabric for the rest of the shoe. They’re not going to be the most durable shoes on this list, but you can’t have everything. The inside of the shoe is nicely cushioned, and it has a 5-claw side lace-up system that means you can get these CrossFit running shoes really tight on your foot.
The last thing you want for CrossFit is a pair of heavy trainers, which is why these ones are designed to be super lightweight. You’re not going to get a better pair of trainers for the price.
Breathable mesh fabric
5-claw lace-up system
- Weight2.03 pounds
The price is great for the quality of the shoe
Ticks all the boxes for an entry-level CrossFit shoe
Not as durable as more expensive shoes
The Adidas Powerlift range was originally designed specifically for weightlifters, but they have been adopted as a favorite amongst CrossFit enthusiasts. That’s because they basically have the same requirements. Adidas Men’s Powerlift.3.1 Cross Trainer will provide you a lot more support than some of the trainers on this list, because of the thick material and synthetic leather support around the ankle. But these Adidas shoes are still pretty breathable. In fact, the tongue, collar, and lining are all made from air mesh, which means plenty of air is getting into your feet. You’ll also notice that the sole is higher at the back – that’s because it provides extra support for weightlifters.
Of course, you’re going to be paying more because Adidas is one of the most respected brands in the fitness world. They have the technology to make the best trainers and you have to pay that little bit extra to get it.
Synthetic, slanted sole
Air-mesh collar, tongue, & lining
Strap and lining for extra support
- Weight12 ounces
Support lining and strap gives maximum support to your ankles
One of the most trusted brands in fitness
Less flexible than some CrossFit trainers, because they’re designed for weightlifting
You might not have heard of 5.11 before, but that’s because they mainly make clothes for military personnel and law enforcement. CrossFit has become a popular workout in the military, so it’s no surprise that 5.11 have developed their own CrossFit shoe. The best thing about this shoe is that it’s really tough and can be used for any number of activities. It’s just as comfortable in the gym as it is running a trail. The frame is made from synthetic textile and leather, which provides a huge amount of support. The rubber sole has jagged edges to give you even more grip than a traditional CrossFit shoe.
Like the Reebok shoe before, it has a rope-ready design that allows your feet to get enough traction as you climb. It also has a breathable Ortholite insole. If the military uses this company, you can guarantee that this shoe is going to be one of the toughest on the market. So, if you want a shoe to last, 5.11 Men’s Recon Trainer-M is the one for you. Our guide to the best Puma shoes features more great products like this.
100% leather and textile
Jagged, rubber sole
- ModelRecon Trainer-M
- Weight4 pounds
5.11 makes apparel for military, so you can guarantee the shoes will be tough
A versatile shoe that can be used for weightlifting, CrossFit, & trail-running
Some customers say they need time to break in
Here’s another CrossFit shoe from Reebok. This one is similar, in many ways, to the Adidas Powerlift 3.1 trainer. It is designed for weight-lifting and has an extra strap on top of the laces that provides extra support. But that’s not to say it’s not a perfect shoe for cross-training. It has a strong and solid rubber sole and the mesh holes in the synthetic fabric provide plenty of airflow into the trainer. The biggest piece of technological advancement on this trainer is the heat-activated u-form insole. When you put the shoe on, it molds to the foot and provides a perfect fit. This is something we haven’t seen in any other CrossFit shoe. If you struggle to find shoes that hug your feet properly, Reebok Men’s Lifter Pr Cross-trainer is definitely the shoe for you. Don’t forget to check out our guide to the best white sneakers for more great footwear like this.
Breathable mesh holes
Strap on top of laces
- ModelLIFTER RB
- Weight2 pounds
U-form technology provides a really solid and comfortable fit
The strap provides extra support on top of the foot
Some people struggle to buy the right size – best to try them on in-store
New Balance shoes have been around forever (well, since 1906 if we’re splitting hairs), but in recent years they’ve seen a huge spike in popularity. So, we had to include their CrossFit shoes on this list. They’re on the more expensive side of the spectrum, but you get plenty of features and a high-quality finish for the price. The upper part of the shoe is made from a nylon-infused yarn, with mesh windows for extra ventilation. It has a thin Vibram® rubber sole that provides plenty of support, whilst keeping you close to the ground. Plus, it has an Asym collar that fits perfectly around the top of your foot. New Balance Men’s 20v7 Minimus Cross Trainer also comes in a variety of awesome colors that make it one of the best-looking shoes on this list.
Vibram® rubber sole
5 color options
- BrandNew Balance
- ModelMX20BK7 D 105
- Weight12 ounces
Asym collar makes them very comfortable
One of the best-looking CrossFit shoes
Reports of them being too narrow for people with wide feet
Under Armour are well-known for making equipment for contact sports. So, they know how to make tough products. These trainers are just that. They are designed for weightlifting but can definitely be used for CrossFit and other types of training. The lightweight synthetic and mesh upper provides plenty of airflow to the feet and the rubber sole is solid. Unlike some CrossFit shoes, this Under Armour shoe has a snug Burrito tongue that gives you a great fit and provides the middle of your foot with plenty of support. It also has an external panel on the heel, which gives extra support to stop you rolling an ankle. Under Armour Men’s Charged Ultimate 2.0 Sneaker is one of the best shoes around for lifting, so if that is the main focus of your fitness regime, it’s a great trainer.
Synthetic and mesh upper
External heel panel
- BrandUnder Armour
- Weight2.09 pounds
One of the best shoes for lifting
Some complaints about the tongue being too thick
It’s actually pretty hard to get your hands on a pair of Reebok Workout Advance Ultraknit Cross Trainers. In fact, Amazon is one of the only places left that stock them. You can’t even get them on Reebok’s website. The reason? Basically, companies like Reebok have to be constantly updating their products, to give the impression that they’re making improvements. The unfortunate reality is that a lot of great products get discontinued, even though they are just as good, or better, then the new stuff. So, you need to act quickly if you want this trainer.
So, what boxes does it tick? Well, for starters, it’s cheaper than a lot of the Reebok CrossFit shoes on the market, despite the fact it’s hard to find. It’s also a bit more old-school in the way it looks. Instead of the new-style of wrap around trainers, that could be mistaken for socks, this shoe looks like a real trainer. It has that thick rubber sole that’s synonymous with classic Reebok sneakers. From a distance, you could mistake this shoe for a classic, but, up close, you can tell that it’s definitely not. That’s because of the UltraKnit mesh that covers the shoe and the plastic support structure surrounding it. These features, along with the snowflake-patterned tongue, give the shoe its modern touch, making it the perfect mash-up of old and new.
In terms of performance, it’s everything you could expect from a Reebok. It’s well-supported, breathable, and feels like you’re barely wearing a shoe. Reebok’s goal from day one was to create shoes to help athletes become faster. They’ve definitely achieved that here and you can too. That is if you can find a pair. For more sports footwear, check out our guide to the best barefoot running shoes.
Synthetic mesh upper
Thick rubber sole
- Weight13 ounces
The mix of old and new in the design makes it a great looking trainer
Plenty of support and breathability for CrossFit
It’s hard to get your hands on a pair and there isn’t much information on the internet about them
The Adidas Men’s Leistung. 16 li looks like something out of a parallel universe. We’ve selected the Ash Silver/ Trace Cargo/ Raw Amber color scheme, which gives it a sort of vintage/futuristic vibe. Almost as if it had been designed as a futuristic trainer but in the 1980s. Actually, when you get up close to it, it’s a pretty attractive design. The majority of the shoe is covered in a strong, synthetic weave, which is broken up by a canvas colored textile. The only other noticeable design features are the three stripes down the side that let everyone know you’re wearing Adidas.
These shoes are actually designed for weightlifters, but they make the transition over to Cross Fit pretty well. You can tell they’re weightlifting shoes from the raised heel at the back of the shoe. This pushes the whole foot forward and is designed to take the pressure away from the Achilles tendon, as well as helping you stay more upright and preventing imbalances in your lower body muscles. Basically, they force you to have a better posture when you’re lifting. But, how does that affect your Cross Fit performance? Well, not much to be honest. Except that it will promote heel striking when you’re running. Depending on your style of running, you might need to make some adjustments. The front of the foot is flat and very flexible, which makes it easy to transfer your power when you are making quick movements.
Other features include the Boa Closure System, which helps you find the exact right amount of tension when you’re tightening the shoe. This sort of technology is more commonly found on snowboarding boots and cycling shoes, but now you can get it built into your Cross Fit trainer. As long as you find the right size, this should give you the perfect fit. On balance, this is one of the best training shoes around. It gives you plenty of stability, makes it easy to transfer your weight, and keeps your foot tight and secure in the shoe. There have been some concerns raised about the breathability of the shoe, but it’s still going to be better than most trainers out there. If you are looking to upgrade your sports footwear, check out our guide to the best trail running shoes.
Synthetic weave upper
Boa Closure System
Flat flexible front
- ModelLeistung 16 II BOA
- Weight3 pounds
Raised heel is great for the lifting part of Cross Fit
Boa Closure System provides a really tight fit
Some professional reviews have complained about the breathability
We already featured Inov-8’s 215 CrossFit training shoe earlier in the list. The company has a growing reputation as one of the most innovative trainer companies around. This shoe, the F-Lite 260, is one of their flagship trainers and, from most shops, will cost you a little bit more than the 215 model. It has that same look about it that is somewhere in between a trainer, soccer boot, and a walking shoe. You can tell that the look is all about functionality. They’re not trying to win any fashion awards, and because of that, they’ve ended up with a shoe that really looks fit for purpose.
The top of the shoe is made from a mixture of a highly breathable knitted fabric and rubber that gives it a solid and airy feel. As you look around the shoe, you’ll notice it’s covered in buzzwords like ‘Powerheel’ and ‘Rope-Tec’. If this shoe wasn’t so awesome, you could be forgiven for thinking they’re trying too hard with all those power phrases. But, looking past that, it’s got some serious technology that will help you when you’re training.
It has an External Heel Cage that wraps around the back of your foot and provides extra support and the ‘Powerheel’ gives you extra power when you’re pushing up from the heel. The ‘Rope-Tec’ sides make it much easier to grip onto a climbing rope with your feet. And, the Sticky Grip sole gives you the confidence to put 100% into your workout, knowing you have an amazing amount of grip to the floor. It even has a welded toe bumper that protects your toes when you’re doing burpees and other exercises. You’re not going to find a shoe company that has put more effort into making their trainer perfect for CrossFit. They really have thought about every aspect. So, the decision is: Do you buy this shoe, or go with a trainer from a better-known brand like Nike or Adidas. It’s a tough one.
Breathable knitted fabric
EHC – External Heel Cage
Sticky Grip sole & welded toe bumper
- Weight1 pounds
It has a ton of features that are perfect for CrossFit
Super lightweight and breathable
The price means you have to decide between this and the CrossFit shoes from Nike, Adidas, & Reebok
Could be too narrow for wider feet
Crossfit Shoes Buying Guide & FAQ
Now we have outlined some of the best CrossFit shoes to buy, we’ll go ahead and give some useful tips on how we came up with these products. We’ll also provide some useful information on the key features every reliable CrossFit shoe should possess and also throw in some information that should help you in the long run.
Features To Look For In A Pair Of CrossFit Shoes
Lightweight - For better comfort and flexibility, the shoes have to provide a lightweight form, especially if they will be worn for long periods of time. The lightweight form enhances speed, flexibility and lessens the pressure that could hold any athlete back.
Breathability - Depending on where and how long CrossFit shoes are worn, they should have a breathable design that allows proper ventilation for enhanced comfort. Such shoes usually have a mesh design that allows enough airflow through the uppers of the shoes for a cooler and less-suffocating workout.
Hard Sole - The outsoles are an exceptionally important part of a CrossFit shoe; they provide the traction, stability, and flexibility required across practically all terrain-types. They should be tough and robust enough to withstand the various textures on different landscapes and terrains.
Lateral Support - Lateral support is created from the external sides of parts of the shoe, especially the rear part. This ensures your feet have the right support during activities to maximize performance and prevent injuries.
Crossfit Shoes FAQ
Q: What is a CrossFit shoe?
A: They are specific shoes designed for all the different activities that could possibly be done during training. These shoes have the form, breathability, comfort, traction, durability, and tenacity for such a wide range of activities. As Crossfit training combines a number of exercises and tasks to provide an intense and thorough full-body workout, the shoes don’t just help in one dimension; they keep good form and offer the required support when running, lifting weights, climbing, squatting or doing gymnastics.
Q: Do CrossFit shoes really help?
A: Basic running shoes won’t cut it, CrossFit shoes are built for the various activities performed. Having good CrossFit shoes can make all the difference, protecting the feet and providing the stability, comfort, and traction needed for maximum performance.
Q: How often should you replace CrossFit shoes?
A: Once your CrossFit shoes are no longer performing well; providing the traction, support, and stability they once did, it’s a good time to change them out.