TOP 25 Best CrossFit Shoes for Men – Field Tested and Reviewed 2023
Shoes Matter! Especially when it comes to CrossFit performance.
The right shoes can improve performance, increase your PR, and even help you prevent injury.
That’s why I searched the market for the best of 2023, and created this list of the 25 best CrossFit shoes for 2023 for MEN!
As an athlete myself, I know what CrossFit folks need when it comes to shoes. So without further ado, let’s look at those shoes!
- TOP 25 Best CrossFit Shoes for Men 2023
- Nike Men's Metcon 5 Training Shoe
- Reebok Men's Nano 9 Cross Trainer
- Adidas Men's CrazyPower TR M Cross Trainer
- Vibram Men's V-Train Cross Trainer Shoe
- Inov-8 Men’s F-Lite 235 V3 Shoe
- York Athletics Men's Henry Cross Trainer
- Mizuno Men's TC-02 Cross Trainer
- Lalo Men's Grinder Training Shoe
- Viktos Men's PTXF Core Cross Trainer
- Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Low Top
- Reebok Men's CrossFit Nano 8.0 Flexweave
- Nike Men's Metcon 4 Training Shoe
- Nordic Lifting Men's Venja Gym Shoe
- Reebok Men's CrossFit Nano 4.0 Training Shoe
- Asics Men's Gel-Craze TR 4 Cross Trainer
- Under Armour Men's Charged Ultimate 2.0 Trainers
- 5.11 Tactical Men's Recon Cross Trainer
- Nike Men's Train Prime Iron DF Cross Trainer
- Adidas Men's Pureboost Training Shoe
- Under Armour Men's Commit TR EX Cross Trainer
- New Balance Men's 20v7 Minimus Cross Trainer
- Reebok Men's CrossFit Nano 7.0 Cross Trainer
- Reebok Men's R CrossFit Lifter
- Nobull Men's Training Shoe
- New Balance Men's MX40V1 Cross Trainer
- Buying Men’s CrossFit Shoes? Here is What to Look For!
- Men’s CrossFit Shoe FAQs
- Wrapping it up
TOP 25 Best CrossFit Shoes for Men 2023
Nike Men's Metcon 5 Training Shoe
- STRATEGIC STABILITY A low, flat and wide heel now features a removable Hyperlift insert that adds offset to help improve stability for squats, wall balls and thrusters
- ZONED DURABILITY Textured print on the top of the shoe adds lightweight durability where it's needed
- ENHANCED GRIP Directional traction on the outsole wraps up the side of the shoe for grip when climbing a rope and speed when sliding down
- Enhanced Grip Directional Traction On The Outsole Wraps Up The Side Of The Shoe For Grip When Climbing A Rope And Speed When Sliding Down"
Review: This new 2019 model Metcon 5 is better for running than the Metcon 4, thanks to the dual-density midsole which puts a little spring in your stride, without adding too much bounce, so they still make great shoes for lifting and stability.
This new model now includes a hyperlift insert to use during lifting, squatting, etc. to increase range of motion.
- Hyperlift lifting insert.
- Good for running short distances.
- Run narrow, great CrossFit shoe for narrow feet.
- The upper tends to separate from the stiffer sole after wearing for a while.
Hands down, the best CrossFit shoes of 2023, especially if your feet are on the narrow side.
By now it has become a time-honored tradition to compare the Metcon and the Nano every year as they are released, and since I am not one to miss out on some good drama, I’d like to throw my opinions into the ring, so to speak.
Here are my thoughts on the debate raging between the Reebok Nano 9 and the Nike Metcon 5.
Reebok Men's Nano 9 Cross Trainer
- Keep the improvements to your health and well-being on an upward trajectory with the Reebok™ Nano 9 cross-training shoe.
- Low-cut design promotes ankle mobility.
- Improved Flexweave upper provides breathable, comfortable wear.
- Lace-up closure.
- Wide toe box offers a comfortable fit and powerful movements. 360-degree TPU heel wrap helps lock down the foot. Lightly padded tongue and collar. Comfortable fabric lining offers a great in-shoe feel. Removable OrthoLite™ sockliner. Improved dual-density midsole for enhanced comfort and flexibility in the forefoot, making this the best Nano yet for running. RopePro carbon rubber wraps the lateral side for added protection. Crystallized rubber outsole is decoupled for improved heel
Review: The new Reebok Nano 9s will quickly become your favorite CrossFit shoe, especially if you have wide feet. These shoes are designed to seamlessly transition between heavy lifting, light running, and other WOD moves, without giving you trouble.
One shoe that does it all. They are light, with a sturdy flat sole, secure heel, and flexibility upfront, just what you need from a good CrossFit shoe.
- Comfortable – good for wider feet.
- Roomy toe box.
- Stable at the heel and flexible upfront.
- Runs a tad large.
Lightweight, stable sole, with good heel support and flexibility in the front. Great CrossFit shoes, especially for wide feet.
Wide feet? Narrow feet? Flat arches? No worries! I have the list of shoes for you. Check out this list of CrossFit shoes for wide, flat or narrow feet here.
Adidas Men's CrazyPower TR M Cross Trainer
- Textile and synthetic upper with RPU protective cage for added durability
- Wide forefoot; Raised toe cap
- Comfortable textile lining
- Low-profile cushioning
- PRO MODERATOR heel support stabilizes the heel
Review: These surprisingly good CrossFit shoes come from Adidas, a brand not known for this type of shoe. While these shoes do have the cushion Adidas is known for, it’s not so much that it causes instability during lifting.
They are great for wide feet. They have a flat, wide base, a low drop, and good heel support.
- Low drop, plenty of stability.
- Comfortable to run in.
- Wide base, wide toe box, overall good for wide feet.
- A little heavy.
A hidden gem in a sea of men’s CrossFit shoes, these CrazyPower trainers will not disappoint for lifting or other CrossFit moves.
Vibram Men's V-Train Cross Trainer Shoe
Review: If you have never seen these shoes before, you may be surprised by the weird look. These shoes have an individual slot for each toe. That slot allows you to really spread your toes while lifting heavy, and honestly is the next best thing to lifting barefoot, which many weight lifters would do if they could get away with it.
You will not get better ground connection and feedback with any other shoe, and they are super flexible, even ok to run in.
- Super stable, great ground connection while lifting.
- Next best thing to the feel of no shoes at all.
- Plenty flexible in front, with great outsole traction – quite comfortable to run in.
- Be careful with size, it’s not standard, always check the size chart first.
Run, jump, lift and lateral movements, these shoes do it all and allow you to feel barefoot.
Inov-8 Men’s F-Lite 235 V3 Shoe
- LIGHTWEIGHT AND FLEXIBLE - These sneakers feature performance outsole technology that encourages natural foot movement for a second to none ground feel, allowing you to move through your workouts with ease.
- STABLE AND SUPPPORTIVE - A snug fit around the midfoot provides stability and the wide toe section provides room to spread the toes for the ultimate base when lifting heavy.
- DURABLE AND PROTECTIVE - These stylish trainers feature rope guard technology that extends onto the shoes uppers and a welded toe bumper for a shoe that will hold up to anything you throw at them, whether itÕs rope climbs or box jumps.
- COMFORTABLE DESIGN - A minimally constructed, yet super durable upper uses elastic mesh liners to hug the foot for added comfort and support, delivering one of the most comfortable and breathable training shoes around.
- BEST ALL ROUND SHOE - A super versatile shoe that is great for lifting, high intensity workouts and short runs. One of the most runnable cross trainers there is out there.
Review: These Inov-8 CrossFit shoes are designed for lifting and training, and short runs. They are very lightweight, have rope climb traction, minimal drop and cushion, are flexible in the front and quite stable in the heel.
Everything you want from a training shoe from a company that knows its stuff.
- Flexible front with a wide toe box.
- Good heel lock, with flat sole – perfect for lifting.
- Durability features like a toe bumper and rope tech, so you won’t shred your shoes doing CrossFit.
- Not great for long distances.
A truly great shoe for CrossFit, light, stable and flexible in the right places.
York Athletics Men's Henry Cross Trainer
- THE HENRY RUNNER: A lightweight runner with a racing shoe feel, the Henry is built for roadwork. The responsive midsole provides excellent ground feel & gives the sneaker a more natural sensation underfoot. Features breathable air mesh upper, slip-resistant carbon black injected rubber outsole for maximum durability, reinforced heel & custom PU foam sock liner for cushioning & moisture wicking.
- RESPONSIVE ENERGY RETURN - Our bottom unit is made from a lightweight, highly responsive EVA foam compound that transform impact into energy to propel you forward. This "springboard effect" allows you to run or train longer and harder than ever before. Our slip resistant rubber outsole maximizes grip and traction on a variety of training surfaces
- FIT : Pick from our Mesh, Sweatshirt, or Leather Style. Breathable mesh- A breathable air mesh that promotes maximum ventilation. Breathable Knit -Creating a slipper like fit, this breathable 2-way stretch jersey knit . All are designed to keep your feet cool during any run or training session. No more hot, sweaty feet!
- ALL IN ONE SHOE: was designed for runners, multi-use cross training, and stability while weight lifting in the gym. Great for soccer, basketball, baseball, football, and tennis training. Great as an indoor turf or court shoe.
Review: There are a few things I really love about these York Athletic Henry trainer shoes. First, they are stylish and understated, no bright contrasting colors here.
Second, they are somewhat minimal, flat, low to the ground and have a foot conforming upper that is very comfortable and breathable.
They are excellent for lifting heavy, and flexible enough for other CrossFit moves.
- Soft breathable form-fitting upper.
- Low to the ground, minimal cushioning, and good for lifting.
- More understated style than most of the CrossFit shoes out there.
- No real rope climb protection.
Lightweight, stylish, and perfect for lifting weights, a great workout shoe.
Mizuno Men's TC-02 Cross Trainer
- Training Training Footwear Men'S Tc-02 Training Shoe
- Training Training Footwear Men'S Tc-02 Training Shoe
- Training Training Footwear Men'S Tc-02 Training Shoe
- Training Training Footwear Men'S Tc-02 Training Shoe
Review: This new CrossFit shoe by running shoe maker Mizuno is worth checking out. The shoe is designed with COB technology, which are sensor pods underfoot that give you the best ground feedback possible without going barefoot.
These cross training specific shoes have a soft flexible bootie style upper and plenty of support in the heel for lifting. There are internal support straps that keep the foot snug and the shoe secure, and the hot melt overlay provides added protection you need when you do CrossFit.
- COB sensor pod technology gives excellent ground feedback.
- Soft flexible upper and front, shoes are good for running.
- Responsive midsole is perfect for dynamic movements.
- Remains to be. Seen if they will hold up under the abuse of the rope climb.
Flexible, comfortable, form-fitting cross trainer that is good for WODs that include running.
Lalo Men's Grinder Training Shoe
- SuperFabric - a fabric overlay with tiny flexible armor plates that resist abrasion and protect the foot
- Stability Wrap envelopes your mid-foot for extra support
- Stability constructed to the outsole of the shoe creating a dynamic platrofm to aid balance.
- Used in dynamic, bodyweight-based agility drills and movements
- Designed for workouts such as jump rope, burpees, box jumps, jumping lunges, and more
Review: The quality and durability of Lalo Grinders will match or exceed the top-rated CrossFit shoe out there. They have a ceramic-coated SuperFabric toecap and are extremely breathable, light, mesh shoes with a hot melt overlay for the most durable, yet flexible upper I have seen.
The sole is stable thanks to an EVA Heel counter and because of the relatively minimal cushion, they are excellent for lifting.
- Excellent CrossFit shoe for wide feet.
- Flexible and light, great for dynamic moves and plyometrics.
- Wide base for stability and to prevent ankle roll.
- They do not hold up well to the abuses of the rope climb.
If you want a shoe that is comfortable, works well for CrossFit, looks good, and not everyone else at your box has, try a pair of Lalos.
Viktos Men's PTXF Core Cross Trainer
- Lightweight breathable mesh chassis and synthetic leather overlays for durability
- Parariggers sidewall and fitness training focused 4mm heel to toe drop
- Mobility bottom unit for traction and stability with high volume forefoot for foot splay under load
- US Veteran Designed & Developed in Portland, Oregon USA
- 1 Year Materials & Workmanship Warranty
Review: If you are not familiar with Viktos PTFX Core shoes, they are designed by a Vet, especially for functional fitness and lifting weights. The “Pararigger” sidewall provides lateral support, they have a wide toe box, fit low to the ground and have a grippy flexible sole all with make them exceptional shoes for barbell work.
- Mesh upper is lightweight and breathable with synthetic leather overlay for strength.
- “Pararigger” sidewall wraps provide lateral support.
- Sole is stable with good traction, perfect for lifting and pulling.
- Bulky, relative to other more streamlined CrossFit shoes.
Comfortable, good for wide feet, just a little cushion with a wide stable base make Viktos great for weightlifting and CrossFit.
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Low Top
- Unisex design shoes - B(M) for women size / D(M) for men size (ex. 7 B(M) = US women's 7)
- Canvas upper & rubber sole
- Low Top
- By Converse
Review: Chucks may not be the first shoe that comes to mind when you think of CrossFit, but there are actually a popular shoe to use while lifting weights.
They are completely flat, have a wide sole, have a 0 drop and NO cushion and allow your feet to really spread out so you feel secure and stay connected to the ground.
- Flat with NO cushion ideal for lifting heavy weights.
- Very economical.
- Solid sole. Some of the most flat, stable shoes you can get.
- Not good for running. Not much lateral support. Not great for jumping either.
Surprisingly good and very affordable shoe for lifting heavy weights.
Reebok Men's CrossFit Nano 8.0 Flexweave
Review: The update to the Nano 8.0 Flexweaves, are a welcome change from the 7.0. Both shoes sport flexweave, but the 8.0 weave is better thought out.
Instead of a side to side weave, the 8.0 weave runs from heel to toe, moving with your foot, not against it.
The internal booty is better padded at the collar, a feature that contributes to the 8.0 being one of the most comfortable Nano’s ever. Interestingly, they dropped the “CrossFit” labels from the heel of the shoe.
- 4mm drop.
- Dual-density midsole for a flexible forefoot.
- Very light, 11 oz.
- Sole material is more pliable than 7.0.
- Internal booty may cause a small amount of heel slip.
A welcome upgrade to the Nano 7.0, with greater comfort and flexibility.
Nike Men's Metcon 4 Training Shoe
Review: The Metcon 4 is close to identical looks-wise to the Metcon 3. There are some key updates to note.
The Metcon 4 incorporates a “haptic” raised print in high wear areas over the soft upper. The Metcon 4 also has a dual-layer mesh over the forefoot which means the forefoot is slightly cushioned, unlike the Metcon 3. Nike also upgraded the laces, which stay tied better than the Metcon 3.
- Sole is flexible near the toe joints, and stiff toward the midsole and heel.
- Drop-in insole, does not compress, and stays stable.
- Scant 10.6 oz.
- A good lifting shoe and a good Cross Trainer.
- Tighter/snugger than previous Metcons.
One of the most stable CrossFit shoes available, decent for lifting and more dynamic movements too.
Nordic Lifting Men's Venja Gym Shoe
- WEIGHTLIFTING SHOES - Engineered To Improve Lifting Performance - by Premium Brand Nordic Lifting
- ERGONOMIC DESIGN - Optimal for a well-rounded workout - Better CrossFit & Weightlifting Gains
- LONG-LASTING QUALITY - Built to last, even under immense stress. Our warranty backs it up
- HEEL SUPPORT - Cross trainer shoe with specially designed heel for both lifting and cardio stability
- INCLUDED - 1 x Pair of VENJA Weightlifting Shoes, 1 x Premium Box - 1 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
Review: These Nordic Lifting CrossFit shoes don’t have much grip on the bottom and are good for lifting, not running. The sole is stiff and low, also excellent for lifting.
Strong, well-built heel helps you stay balanced under heavy weight. Stable while still somewhat flexible.
- Strap locks foot in – good heel support.
- Solid stable base keeps your feet secure so you can focus on the weight.
- Focus on heavy lifting – 1.1 inch heel height.
- For lifting only.
Many CrossFit athletes have two pairs of shoes in their gym bag. One pair dedicated to lifting, and another pair for everything else. While it’s OK to choose an all-around CrossFit shoe that does both, you may feel more secure lifting in a pair of shoes dedicated to lifting. If you are looking for shoes specifically for lifting, take a look at this list here.
Great CrossFit shoes for Lifting day, good as a second pair for CrossFit, a solid lifting shoe.
Reebok Men's CrossFit Nano 4.0 Training Shoe
- Duracage protective upper
- RopePro protection wrap
- Open weave mesh upper for breathability
- Forefoot and heel pods provide cushioning and shock absorption
- Multi-surface outsole for traction
Review: These classic CrossFit shoes have a 4mm heel to toe drop are more flexible than Nano 5’s and the grip is good, but not great. They include a Rope grip, and the grip is sufficient for CrossFit, but not running on dirt or gravel. This is one of the best Nano editions, which is why they are still around.
- Wrapped in a “duracage” for all-around traction and durability.
- Wide toe box.
- Not enough traction for running outdoors or on trails.
The Nano 4.0 is a well-rounded “Jack of all Trades” which is perfect for CrossFit. Among the best men’s CrossFit shoes.
Asics Men's Gel-Craze TR 4 Cross Trainer
- Rearfoot GEL Cushioning System: Attenuates shock during impact phase and allows for a smooth transition to midstance.
- AHAR Outsole: Acronym for ASICS High Abrasion Rubber. Placed in critical areas of the outsole for exceptional durability.
- Solyte Midsole Material: A lighter weight midsole compound than ASICS' standard EVA and SpEVA. Also features enhanced cushioning and durability.
- Weight: 9.8. Heel Height: 20mm. Forefoot Height: 10mm
Review: These shoes have a 10 mm heel to toe drop which is excellent for running. They have a very flexible sole, which is quite grippy, but there is no rope grip on these shoes, so you might not want to use these when the WOD calls for a rope climb, but are great for WODs with running.
- Excellent for WODs with running or jumping.
- They absorb shock due to their “fluid ride” technology.
- Not as durable or cushioned as previous models.
If you are looking for other good all-around training shoes that are not specifically geared toward the CrossFit crowd, check out this lineup of the best gym and workout shoes.
These are a good all-purpose CrossFit show at a budget price.
Under Armour Men's Charged Ultimate 2.0 Trainers
- Under Armour's ClutchFit technology wraps your foot in a second skin for stability
- Innovative lacing system locks your midfoot in place
- Molded toe cap : Support and durability
- Full-length Charged Foam sockliner : Comfort
- Charged Foam and Micro G foam midsole : Support and responsiveness
Review: The sole of this CrossFit shoe has a heel counter and low profile for stability. It is flexible and responsive and great for agility movements. The tread will grip any gym or box surface easily.
- Good arch support.
- They provide stability for lifting.
- Flexible enough for running.
- On the narrow side.
These are great trainers for those who need arch support and have a narrow foot. Well suited to agility movements. The best CrossFit shoes for high arches.
5.11 Tactical Men's Recon Cross Trainer
- Minimalist design
- 8mm heel to toe offset
- HELCOR Rope Ready abrasion resistant panels
- Mid-foot cinch system
Review: These 5.11 CrossFit shoes have an 8mm heel to toe drop. These are good runners, but the sole is somewhat rigid.
They have an Ortholite insole which adds a layer of comfort and although they are somewhat rigid, they are flexible enough for running. The rope zone is for good grip, they have great indoor/outdoor tread, and are truly all-terrain CrossFit shoes.
- Versatile CrossFit shoe.
- The sole and tread work in several environments.
- Rope zone tread for rope climb.
- No arch support.
Go anywhere and be prepared for just about anything with these excellent all-around functional training shoes. These are top rated CrossFit shoes.
Nike Men's Train Prime Iron DF Cross Trainer
- Lightweight mesh provides excellent breathability
- Rugged multidirectional outsole pattern for great traction
- Flywire cables in the forefoot add dynamic support
Review: While these shoes are snug and narrow on the inside, the front sole flares a bit on the outside edge to add stability for lifting. These shoes are flexible, and use dual-density foam and flywire cables to secure your feet for dynamic movements. The tread pattern is multi-directional for excellent traction.
- Comfortable cross trainer.
- Good ankle and support for lift days.
- Flexible enough for agility and running.
- These Nike’s run small.
Well balance cross trainer that covers many WOD tasks, one of the best Nike CrossFit shoes.
Adidas Men's Pureboost Training Shoe
Review: Another CrossFit shoe from Adidas. What I first noticed about this shoe is the wide flat base. I like that for lifting, but can the boost midsole provide stability? I think they work for some athletes.
They are not as soft as traditional boosts, so they do have more stability in the heel. They are, of course, great when the Metcon calls for running, and a wider, flexible forefront allows you to keep your footing.
- Wide stable sole.
- Wider in the toe box, and flexible too.
- Comfortable for WODs with running involved.
- No rope climb protection, may get shredded.
A good CrossFit shoe that works great for running and is comfortable enough for casual wear.
Under Armour Men's Commit TR EX Cross Trainer
- Lightweight mesh upper delivers complete breathability
- External, TPU heel counter adds support & low platform lockdown
- Leather, mid foot saddle provides comfortable, custom arch fitting support
- Cushioned sockliner molds to the shape of your foot, eliminating slippage & providing ideal underfoot comfort
- Charged Cushioning midsole delivers the ultimate in responsive cushioning
Review: These Under Armour shoes are designed for training, not for running, but they do perform surprisingly well for short runs.
They have a solid stable base for lifting and feel great to squat and lunge in. These shoes have a glove-like feel and fit snug. You should probably order a size up from your usual shoe size with these.
- Flat, grippy solid sole.
- External TPU Heel counter for heel stability – feels secure lifting and squatting.
- Responsive cushioning, OK for short runs.
- Run small.
Attractive, form fitting Under Armour training shoes with a good base for lifting and enough flexibility for short runs.
New Balance Men's 20v7 Minimus Cross Trainer
- Vibram outsole delivers reliable traction
- Asym shaped collar offers more natural fit
- Mono mesh and engineered knit upper
Review: These New Balance minimalist style trainers have very little padding, keeping your feet close to the ground and the one-piece Vibram rubber sole makes them good for lifting.
They also allow your foot to move freely because the mesh upper and rubber sole are plenty flexible.
- Low to the ground with a solid sole – great for weightlifting.
- Nylon infused yarn provide lateral support.
- Mesh is breathable and flexible – lightweight and allow your foot to move.
- Runs small and narrow.
Lightweight, good looking, with a firm yet flexible sole – perfect shoe for CrossFit athletes with narrow feet.
Reebok Men's CrossFit Nano 7.0 Cross Trainer
- NanoWeave upper
- Low-cut design, 360-degree TPU heel wrap for a locked-in feel
- 4mm heel-to-toe drop
- Forefoot flex grooves, High-abrasion rubber outsole
Review: This stiff-soled shoe is good for heavy weights, but too stiff for running long distance. The toe box is more flexible than the previous version and these have a strong grip and rope pro on the upper allowing you to climb a rope with awesome grip and without destroying the shoes.
- Nano 7.0 Weave is flexible.
- Durable upper with rope pro traction.
- Flat sole with locked-in heel – good for lifting.
- Slightly heavier than the predecessor.
The redesigned weave on the new Nano 7.0 Weave has both horizontal and vertical weaves, whereas the original Nano 7.0 had just vertical weaves.
One of the best CrossFit best shoes for men!
Reebok Men's R CrossFit Lifter
- Reebok CrossFit Lifter 2.0 - Men's
Review: These CrossFit shoes have a stiff rubber sole and are somewhat stiff throughout. The grip is sufficint for a lifter; it has a flat at the heel with some grip at the toe.
- This CrossFit shoes does it all, lifting, Metcon and agility.
- Supportive heel.
- Flat wide base – great for lifting.
- The insole compresses to provide a stable lifting surface, which some do not like.
These combo CrossFit/Lifting shoes provide the stable platform you need to achieve correct posture while lifting. One of the best CrossFit shoes for flat feet.
Nobull Men's Training Shoe
Review: No Bull training shoes are stiffer than the Nanos, not like soft foam. They have a 4mm heel to toe drop, a hard sole that is low to the ground and they are flexible and are fine for running and agility movements.
These CrossFit shoes include rope grip on the sole and multidirectional grip pattern, plus the upper offers grip for the rope climb.
- Understated style.
- Indestructible Superfabric upper.
- Long lasting minimal CrossFit shoe.
- The shoe has very little cushion.
Wide and stable, durable with minimalist styling and great indoor or out, these CrossFit shoes cover all the bases. Easily one of the best minimalist CrossFit shoes out there.
New Balance Men's MX40V1 Cross Trainer
- EVA midsole
- Vibram outsole
- Rapid rebound
- no sew
- molded external counter
Review: The sole support of these New Balance training shoes has rapid rebound from the outsole foam for agility and running. They are flexible and comfortable, neutral shoe. And are extremely grippy and responsive with a Vibram sole that gives ample feedback.
- Reasonable amount of cushion to them.
- They are stable and comfortable.
- Flat rubber outsole.
- Narrow fit.
All around versatile WOD shoe that gives good ground feedback and stability, all in one shoe.
CrossFit is different from other sports, and requires a different type of athletic shoe.
Basketball calls for ample ankle support, and good cushion for impact protection which gets in the way while doing squats and lunges and deadlifts.
Running shoes have a large heel to toe drop to propel you forward and lots of padding underfoot which would throw you off balance while lifting heavy weights.
Do you see where I am going with this?
Let’s break it down.
There are 6 items to consider when choosing the best CrossFit shoe.
Buying Men’s CrossFit Shoes? Here is What to Look For!
CrossFit Shoes Need Hard Soles
Stiff hard soles are for stability while jumping and rope climb. But where solid stable soles are really necessary is during heavy lifting.
Solid soles help you stay planted on the ground, giving you confidence that your feet will not shift during a lift.
Do you want to know how to lift more weight?
Use the right shoe!
Running shoes absorb shock, and that shock is your power which is being lost through your feet if you use standard running shoes for CrossFit.
Hard soles and minimal padding return that power, allowing you to propel your energy into your lift.
CrossFit Shoes Need to be Durable
CrossFit can be hard on shoes. The rope climb especially is known for shredding inferior shoes.
Other shoe destroying CrossFit moves include:
- rope climbing (or sliding back down the rope).
- lateral like thrusters and wall balls place stress on the seams of shoes.
- box jumping which can wear the shoestring area if they are laced tight.
- running wears the sole at the toe.
- lifting heavy weight compresses and breaks down any padding or cushion.
CrossFit Shoes Need Good Heel Lockdown
Lockdown applies to shoes you wear for lifting. Lifting shoes are meant to secure your feet snug with a strap, and keep your feet planted on the floor.
Some multi-purpose CrossFit shoes also offer some lockdown. When you hear the term lockdown, just know it means securing your foot in the shoe and on the floor.
CrossFit Shoes Need a Wide Toe box
You need a wider toe box for many CrossFit moves, and especially when lifting heavy weights. Heavy weights cause your feet and toes to spread, which is what you want, because you are more stable this way.
CrossFit Shoes Need a Low to 0 Heel to Toe Rise
Most CrossFit activities call for a shoe with a small heel to toe rise, or a relatively flat sole.
A 4mm rise is very common, but you can also find some of the best rated CrossFit shoes with a 0 rise.
Running shoes rise higher in the back to propel you forward.
Contrast that to a good CrossFit shoe.
CrossFit shoes have a low to NO rise to keep you stable and distribute weight to the midsole.
CrossFit Shoes Need Some Flexibility in Front
Some functional training exercises call for flexible shoes. While this is not the case when lifting weights, flexibility is needed for jumping, agility drills, short runs, agility ladder, wall balls, thrusters, sled pulls and jump rope exercises all call for flexible shoes.
Sometimes you can find shoes that perform double duty as lifters and for agility movements. Nike Men’s Metcon 5 and Reebok Men’s Nano 9 Cross Trainer are great examples of multi-purpose CrossFit shoes.
On the other hand, some athletes prefer to change shoes for lifting day and wear a proper pair of lifters like these Adidas Powerlift 4 (link to amazon.com)
It is up to you if you and the budget you have if want to use two pair of shoes.
Men’s CrossFit Shoe FAQs
Do CrossFit Shoes Make a Difference?
Yes. Shoes that are not designed for CrossFit can slow you down, cause you to become unstable during a heavy lift, and limit your range of motion.
Many CrossFit beginners use a pair of running shoes they already had lying around to do CrossFit.
So, what’s the problem with running shoes?
The characteristics that make a shoe great for running, make them terrible for CrossFit, even though, ironically, the WOD does sometimes call for running.
Running shoes are well cushioned and have a high drop, or are higher in the heel than the toe.
The cushioning that protects your joints from running impact and puts a spring in your step as you jog are not what you want for CrossFit. All that padding in running shoes makes your foot and ankle unstable when you are under the weight of the barbell.
The high drop of running shoes also adds an element of instability because it tends to tilt you forward.
Running shoes are not designed to provide lateral, or side to side, support, which can spell trouble with dynamic and agility CrossFit moves.
Do You Really Need CrossFit Shoes?
Yes! CrossFit shoes are designed to have traction in all directions. This helps when you are pulling a sled, trying to flip a tire, climbing a rope, lifting weights or jumping.
Running shoes, on the other hand, have a more singular focus. They are designed to propel you forward, and if you flip over your favorite pair of running shoes to take a look at the tread, you will see that the tread is usually only flexible in a back and forth motion, not a side to side, or multi-directional motion.
CrossFit shoes are wider in the toe area and have a little cushion.
This is because when you are using a weighted barbell, the cushion can cause instability, at worse, or the padding can wear prematurely from the excessive weight, at best.
The wide toe on CrossFit shoes allows your feet to spread out so your feet create a wide, stable, safe base to lift from. The heel of a CrossFit shoe will also have stability, to keep your heel secure and locked in as you lift.
How Long do CrossFit Shoes Last?
CrossFit shoes will last anywhere from 6 months to a year. Some brands, such as NOBULL Men’s Trainers can last as long as two years.
If you add a second pair of shoes to your routine, naturally both pair of shoes will last longer.
Some athletes keep a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Low Top in their CrossFit bag and use them as dedicated lifters, thereby saving their other shoes for other CrossFit movements, which can prolong the cushion and life of the shoe because it is not used for lifting heavy weight.
Converse all stars are so inexpensive, it is a very economical way to prolong the life of your other athletic shoes and get the stability you need for heavy lifts.
Are CrossFit Shoes Good for HIIT?
Yes. HIIT style workouts include some of the same dynamic movements you find in CrossFit, so the shoes can be used interchangeably.
Keep in mind, a HIIT workout, just like a CrossFit workout, include a huge range of functional fitness moves, so it’s best to choose the right shoe for the specific activity you are doing that day.
On the days the HIIT workout or CrossFit workout call for weightlifting using the barbell, a pair of dedicated lifters like the Venja Weightlifting Gym Shoes by Nordic Lifting are a good choice.
But for agility, lateral movements, plyometrics and running short distances, you may be better off with a multipurpose CrossFit shoe like the Nike Men’s Metcon 5.
Can You Run with CrossFit Shoes?
Kinda, and it depends.
Remember, CrossFit WODs usually call for short distances, under a mile. Not every WOD will include running.
Running shoes are NOT ideal for most CrossFit workouts, excluding running.
…since you will be doing relatively little running, a good multi-purpose CrossFit shoe like the Reebok Men’s Nano 9 Cross Trainer is a better choice if you want a CrossFit shoe that covers all the possible exercise that a WOD might include.
If you want to see a list of CrossFit shoes that function well as running shoes I have a list right here.
Wrapping it up
I hope you found the best CrossFit shoe for you by reviewing these 25 different CrossFit shoes for men.
Certain brands stand out as head of the pack. Reebok looks like the leader of the pack with many shoes available designed specifically for CrossFit.
Nike is also another great brand when it comes to CrossFit shoes for men. Nike offers their carefully constructed Metcon line as stiff competition to Reebok, No Bull, and Inov-8.
Vibram is doing their thing with the most minimalist, feel the floor shoe out there, and 5.11 made a tactical CrossFit shoe worthy of police and military use.
Lalo and Viktos are the new CrossFit shoes coming on board this year, and if you want a NEW CrossFit shoe for 2023 you should check these brands out.
The selection is wide, choose with care. Stay fit!
If you are a lady looking for your own pair of CrossFit shoes, I have just the list for you. I hand-selected my favorite women’s CrossFit shoes and reviewed them right here.
And while I have you here, don’t forget to sign up for the Garage Gym Power newsletter and always be the first to hear about new CrossFit shoes, gear and equipment.