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The 12 Best CrossFit Shoes 2021

If you've just started out on your journey to a fitter, stronger body through CrossFit you may have heard the same question pop amongst others in your group:

What shoes will I need and how should I choose them?

So just how exactly do you choose the Best Shoes for Crossfit ?


Your coaches are already wearing the answer!

Anyone who's already taken the plunge and committed to training CrossFit more than twice per week has already wisely invested in the correct shoes for training in.

If you are thinking:

I already have an expensive super supportive pair of running shoes can't I just wear those to my local CrossFit gym?

In a word no.

Crossfit shoes are designed and built a little differently than your regular running shoes or sneakers that you have been wearing to the gym all these years.

Your coaches and and gym mates already know this that's why they have chosen a CrossFit specific pair of training shoes.

Below you'll find the best CrossFit shoes available on the market right now. Not all are created equal and some are designed with cross training specifically in mind, others are dedicated weightlifting shoes and some are suitable for mixing CrossFit and running all in the one shoe.

If you've ever trained at a CrossFit gym or seen the CrossFit games I'm sure you'll agree that the demands that are put on a CrossFitters feet is incredibly high.

Those feet need as much support and protection as possible if they are to give you a solid foundation for your lifts and interval training.

What sets CrossFit sneakers apart from regular ones:

  • The Drop
  • Hard Sole
  • Durable Outer
  • Lateral Support
  • Versatility

The Drop

If you've ever owned a pair of running shoes then you'll already have experienced a shoe with a large drop.

The "drop" is the difference between the height of the heel and the height of the forefoot.

It is usually measured in millimeters(mm).

A running shoe will usually have a heavily cushioned heel. All that cushioning results in a very large drop, most likely about 8 mm.

Large drops might help cushion your heel on impact when you are running but a cross training shoe requires half the height so as to provide a stable platform to push as much power as possible through the ball of your heel when doing heavy lifts.

A big spongy heel is not what is required here.

Hard Sole

Hard soled shoes will give you better support throughout the foot. They are also a lot more stable than a softer sole.

A softer spongier sole on sneakers for CrossFit is going to wear away quite quickly. Having to replace you shoes because of a worn sole is a real pain especially if the upper is still in perceft condition.

Durable Outer

CrossFit is very demanding of both your body and your shoes. Climbing ropes, sprints, burpee's and box jumps puts a heavy stress on your footwear. You need a shoe that is tough enough to stand up to this abuse.

The outer material needs to have some element of grip to it. Stay away from a shoe that has a shiny, slippery plastic upper.

Lateral Support

Lateral support adds to the overall stability of your foot and lower legs when engaged in just about any dynamic movement. Side-sprints and jumping jacks for example place a lot of lateral force on your foot.

It is imperative that the shoes you choose can provide your feet with as much lateral stability as possible.


Let's face it CrossFit is the ultimate form of cross training. A shoe that can handle weightlifting, sprints, box jumps, and any other intensive repetitive bodyweight exercise needs to be both tough and versatile to handle all that movement.

Cross training shoes fall somewhere between running shoes and weightlifting shoes. Enough support to handle heavy weights and yet still usable enough for movements that require a lot of agility.

Best CrossFit Shoes 2021

1. Nike Metcon 5

The fourth in the Metcon series from Nike, the Metcon 4 is the latest flagship model aimed squarely at crossfitters.

Whether you have bought the earlier models or simply need a new pair of men's CrossFit shoes, the Metcon 4 delivers in just about every way.

Design and Construction

The Nike Metcon 4 strongly resembles the previous versions with just a few modifications to the design and construction. The biggest difference is with the upper material. The upper features a breathable sandwich mesh. The additional synthetic material is added to the upper for more durability.

The Nike Flywire is used in the lacing system while the interior has a soft fabric lining. These features add to the comfort of the shoe without taking away from the firmness and stability.

The original design of the Metcon outsole is relatively unchanged. This shoe has a short, firm rubber outsole with a four-millimeter drop. The sides of the outsole wrap around the edges of the shoe, which is useful when climbing and helps prevent wear.

These shoes possess many of the features that made this series so popular for cross-training and general fitness. This also includes one drawback. The Metcon shoes include a mid-sole that is connected to the insole for easy removal. While this insole offers the right combination of firmness and comfort, you may notice that it squeaks occasionally.

Other than the squeaky noises, these are among the most recommended cross-training shoes. With the Nike Metcon 4, you get stability, durability, and just the right amount of cushioning.

Key Features:
  • 4mm drop from heel to toe
  • 6 eyelets
  • Two layer mesh upper
  • Hybrid hard plastic soft silicone sole

These sneakers provide the perfect balance of stable design and comfort. The rubber outsoles grip surfaces to prevent slipping whether you are running, jumping, or climbing. The firmness of the insole is also great when performing a variety of exercises, though it does lack absorption.

Although these can be used for shorter, sprints and farmers walks etc they are never going to be able to match a dedicated running shoe when it comes to covering large distances, but the same could be said for most shoes for crossfit.

The best CrossFit shoes for the money available on the market today!


  • Highly versatile
  • Stable with good support
  • Big range of colors
  • Durable soles


  • Not suitable for long runs

2. Reebok CrossFit Nano 9.0

The Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 is one of many cross-training shoes currently available. These shoes are designed to offer the flexibility of a tennis shoe with the stability needed for intense CrossFit exercises.

Design and Construction

The Nano has a simple low-top design with synthetic material for the upper and rubber soles. As with most CrossFit shoes for men, these have an outsole with a low profile and minimal drop for more stability. The drop measures just four millimeters. They also have a wide toe box for greater support when placing your weight on the tips of your toes.

The design used for the upper is called FlexWeave. This is an update of the NanoWeave used in previous Reebok shoes and is built for flexibility and stability.

The Nano 8 is the eighth version of the Nano shoes and features one of the biggest differences from earlier versions. This model has a removable bootie that is not connected to the rest of the shoe. The removable bootie does add comfort and does not feel like it may slip out of position.

The Nano 8 does not have any major drawbacks. The only potential issue is the removable bootie. While the bootie remains firmly in place and does not slide around, some people may feel that the fit is a little loose.

The advantages include the breathable FlexWeave material and the design. These shoes are functional and should offer quite a bit of use before showing signs of wear.

Key Features:
  • 4mm drop
  • Nanoweave upper
  • Low top design
  • Removable inner

Reebok recommends these shoes for CrossFit training and weightlifting. The wide toe box and the heel cup provide support when performing squats. The rubber soles also grip the floor well. You should not feel limited while wearing these shoes and they provide the right support for a variety of exercises.


  • Highly versatile
  • Breathable upper
  • Wide toe box


  • Removable inner may slide with age

3. Inov8 F-Lite 195

The Inov8 F-Lite range of men’s cross training shoes includes a wide variety of options for any athlete or fitness enthusiast. Before getting a new pair of training shoes, learn more about the Inov8 F-Lite range of shoes.

Design and Construction

The original Inov8 training shoe is the F-Lite 195. The 195 refers to the weight of the shoes in grams. Besides the 195, Inov8 offers several other weights up to 275 grams.

The multiple designs also possess a few other differences, starting with the drop of the outsole. The F-Lite 195 has a very low three-millimeter drop, while the 275 features an eight-millimeter drop. The drop is the difference in height between the heel and forefoot. A lower drop helps place more pressure on the middle area of the foot as opposed to the heel and ankle.

The sole provides good traction and enough padding for dynamic exercises. The upper is made with a synthetic material and added toe protection. Even with regular use, these shoes should continue to provide support and comfort.

These shoes are built for cross-training and should provide adequate grip and support when performing squats, burpees, and other training exercises. If you prefer a lower drop, the Inov8 F-Lite 195 is a great option.

These shoes also have a wider fit than most training sneakers, which is useful for anyone with wider feet who struggles to find shoes that fit properly.

The Inov8 F-Lite training shoes feature a durable construction and are versatile enough for all types of exercises except running. When running long distances, you may start to feel the impact on your feet and knees a little more.

Key Features:
  • 3mm drop from heel to toe
  • Lightweight 195 grams
  • Rope-tec reinforced upper
  • Super sticky rubber outsole

While there is limited shock absorption, the firm sole of the shoe and stable upper are suitable for weightlifting. Overall, this is a quality pair of training shoes with a versatile design.


  • Smallest drop in this line up
  • Super lightweight
  • Wide fit


  • Rather harsh cushioning

4. Nike Romaleo 3

The Nike Romaleos 3 shoes are the latest addition to the Nike weightlifting lineup. As with most shoes in a series, the Romaleos 3 is very similar to the Romaleos 2 and contains a few updates.

Design and Construction

The Nike Romaleos 3 shoes have a sleek design and a signature Nike look. The upper features the Nike Flywire material, which lowers the weight of the shoes and provides more flexibility. The lacing system is slightly different from the previous Romaleos shoes. Instead of two straps across the top of the shoe, there is a single strap.

As with most weightlifting shoes, the Nike Romaleos 3 has a lifted heel to help improve the range of motion for the ankle. This provides more depth when performing specific exercises, including squats and weightlifting exercises that require stretching the Achilles.

The extra strap on top of the lacing system offers extra support and stability above the midfoot. You can feel this added support when lifting or squatting.

These shoes are also lightweight, which is useful when performing a variety of exercises. They do not feel thick or restrictive.

You also have the option of making the shoes heavier. The Romaleos 3 shoes come equipped with two soles. The dual-weight soles provide two weight options. The harder sole adds a few ounces that can help when planting your feet.

Key Features:
  • Nike Flywire upper
  • High lift for weight lifting
  • Interchangeable soles

These shoes are meant as a hybrid option for weightlifting and other strength exercises. However, the higher heel may work best for lifters. When performing cross-training exercises, some people prefer a lower drop.

These shoes are another fantastic addition to the weightlifting and cross-training world. The Nike Romaleos 3 weightlifting shoes include a taller heel that is helpful for lifting and other strength training activities.


  • Two different soles included
  • Light yet supportive
  • Great for stability during lifts


  • Only suitable for lifting

5. Adidas Powerlift 3

The Adidas Powerlift 3.0 weightlifting shoes are an affordable option. Costing less than most name-brand lifting shoes, the Powerlift shoes are a budget choice with durable material.

Design and Construction

The Powerlift 3.0 lifting shoes include several features that should help with lifting. These include a raised heel and a solid sole. The heel height is 15 millimeters, which gives more depth for squatting and places less pressure on your knees. The sole base is thick and helps grip the floor for better feet planting.

The upper contains a breathable mesh fabric. However, there is an additional layer of material over the forefoot. While this adds more stability, it also limits flexibility. The interior of the shoe is comfortable with a soft fabric lining.

The Powerlift 3.0 shoes are great with a few minor drawbacks. Some people may find the forefoot less flexible than other weightlifting shoes. It also has a wider fit than the previous Powerlift shoes. While this may appeal to people with wider feet, some may find that this extra space creates some wiggle room.

There are also several advantages to these shoes. They are incredibly durable and include a thick strap over the middle of the laces for more support. The breathable material also adds to the comfort and helps the shoes dry quickly after your workout.

Key Features:
  • 15mm drop for deep squating
  • Leather upper
  • Mesh tongue for breathability
  • Open forefoot

The main strengths of the Adidas Powerlift 3.0 weightlifting shoes include the durability and style. They are still more flexible and supportive than a typical shoe. However, there is less flexibility in the forefoot area.

Overall, this is considered one of the best value-for-your-money options. If you do not want to spend a lot of money on a pair of lifting shoes, consider the Powerlift 3.0.


  • Great for deep squatting
  • Very durable
  • Quite breathable


  • Heel too high for anything but lifting

6. Nike Free Trainer V7

The Nike Free Trainer V7 is a low-cost men's CrossFit shoe from one of the top shoe companies. With the updates from the previous design, the V7 may offer a convenient solution for those who want an affordable training shoe.

Design and Construction

The V7 is the seventh version of the Free Trainer shoes from Nike. The upper on this shoe has a slip-on design with a mesh material and the Nike Flywire technology. These features increase the breathability and flexibility of the shoes. The material is also lightweight as the shoes weigh just 9.75 ounces.

The midsole is made of foam cushioning, which may feel too soft for specific situations such as running or interval training. The outsole has a triangular pattern for more flexibility while the rubber material has suitable traction.

The flexibility, breathability, and support all add to the comfort of the Free Trainer shoes. However, this comfort also makes the shoes less versatile. They may not offer the stability and firmness that you want for your high-intensity interval training exercises or weightlifting.

Besides the comfort, the biggest advantage is the price. While Nike produces some of the top cross-training shoes, the Free Trainer V7 shoes are their budget option. This makes these shoes a great entry point for those who have never bought a pair of lifting or cross-training shoes.

Key Features:
  • Flywire mesh construction
  • Weighs 9.75 ounces
  • Budget friendly price

There are a couple of potential issues to be aware of though. Some people may find that the flexible upper material does not offer enough support. These shoes also run a little small so you may want to go up one size when purchasing. However, the comfortable, lightweight design and the low cost are big advantages.


  • Super breathable
  • Good for running
  • Super lightweight


  • Not suitable for heavy lifts

7. Asics Conviction X

The Asics Conviction X training shoes have a minimalist design with plenty of cushioning. They are also reasonably priced, making them a great option for budget-conscious shoppers. Explore all the main details of the Conviction X shoes.

Design and Construction

The Asics Conviction X resembles a standard tennis shoe more than a cross-training shoe, with more cushioning and a thick upper shell made from synthetic leather. This synthetic leather adds durability to prevent wear when rope climbing. There is also breathable mesh near the toe to help vent the shoes.

Depending on the size you get, the slip-on design should offer a tight fit. When running or performing high-intensity exercises, your feet feel snug and secure in the shoes. The rubber sole also provides great traction. The midsole and insole offer good arch support, which is useful for people with flat feet.

The heel height is 10 millimeters, which is a little lower than weightlifting shoes. However, this does add more versatility to the shoes.

The biggest complaint about the Asics Conviction X shoes is the lack of adequate lateral support. This may be an issue when running or sprinting. However, it is also very flexible, which is useful when suddenly changing directions during shuttle runs.

The Conviction X does have a useful feature to keep your laces from getting untied. You can tuck the shoelaces in a small pocket that is built into the tongue of the shoe. The upper material is also very durable, increasing the likelihood that these shoes will last through quite a few uses.

Key Features:
  • 10mm high heel, 6mm forefoot
  • Tough synthetic leather upper
  • Super grip rubber sole
  • Perforated sock liner

The bottom line is that the Asics Conviction X training shoes are not the most effective shoes for improving your CrossFit performance. However, they are reasonably priced and well built.


  • Good ventilation
  • Fairly versatile


  • Drop not as high as dedicated lifting shoes
  • Poor lateral support

8. No Bull Training Shoe

The NOBULL training shoes are quickly becoming a popular choice in the gym. While they have a simple style that may not appeal to everyone, the quality of the shoe is hard to ignore.

Design and Construction

Created for all types of athletic training, the NOBULL shoes are well constructed using quality durable materials. The design is simple. However, there are many color combinations to choose from.

The simplicity of the design is due to the seamless one-piece upper material. This unique material feels as if it is a combination of rubber, plastic, and mesh. The result is better breathability and durability. These shoes are designed to last while providing comfort and a stable platform for performing a variety of exercises.

The benefits include a reflective logo on the sides of the shoes so you are more visible to motorists when exercising at night. Another advantage is the high-carbon outsole guards that provide protection and prevent wear.

One of the only drawbacks to the NOBULL training shoes is the coating on the upper. The material has a rubbery feel that does not provide as much grip as you might expect. This could be an issue if you use your feet when climbing a rope.

Another possible issue is the style. Some people may not like the basic design with a large NOBULL logo on the side. As this logo is reflective, it is even more noticeable. If you do not care about the style, this is one of the best cross-training shoes available.

Key Features:
  • Super versatile
  • High carbon lateral outsole guards
  • Lightweight

Should you get a pair of these popular shoes? The NOBULL training shoes are very comfortable and provide the support you need for high-intensity interval training, cross-training, and other strength exercises. You may even enjoy wearing them outside the gym.


  • Very well built
  • Versatile
  • Look good even outside of gym


  • Super slick upper

9. Asics Gel Fortius TR

Considered a minimalist gym shoe, the Asics Gel Fortius TR is a low-profile shoe made from durable materials. Examine the rest of the features of this cross-training shoe.

Design and Construction

This is an attractive shoe with a lot of color choices to consider. However, the aesthetics are less important than the quality of the shoe. The Gel Fortius men’s CrossFit shoe features a durable synthetic leather upper. This material is tear-resistant and breathable.

If you examine the upper, you will also notice added support throughout, including a stitched-down toe bumper and a double-stitched brace. Despite the extra support and material, the shoe is lightweight, weighing just 9.9 ounces.

The low-profile rubber outsole offers a flat platform for helping you remain stable during lifts or sprints. The traction is decent and the sole reaches around the edges of the shoe to reduce wear. You should also find plenty of color choices.

If you have wide feet, you may need to consider other options. These are narrow shoes that offer a tight fit. However, if you have normal or narrow feet, you may enjoy the tight fit.

The firm support of the soles may appeal to weightlifters. The extra stability and support always helps with feet planting. In fact, the overall stability of these shoes applies to most types of exercise. Besides weightlifting, these shoes perform well when running, climbing, and cross-training.

Key Features:
  • Low profile design
  • Tongue pool loop closing system
  • Mesh lining sockliner
  • Breathable air mesh

The Asics Gel Fortius TR is a versatile shoe that provides all the features you want in a good cross-training shoe. It is flexible, is durable, and offers quality support. If you do not have wide feet, you may want to consider trying these shoes for your next cross-training session.


  • High lateral support
  • Suitable for sprints etc
  • Reinforced toe box


  • Not suitable for wide feet

10. 5.11 Tactical Recon

The 5.11 Tactical Recon does not resemble a typical cross-training shoe. It looks built for rugged outdoor hiking. However, it may be one of the better high-performance training shoes currently available.

Design and Construction

The design is unique and rugged. They do look bulky and are not the most attractive shoes, depending on the color option you choose. The upper is made with a mixture of materials. The base layer is a breathable textile and is covered with layers of durable leather.

The interior of the shoe features a two-millimeter sock liner insole and a full-length midsole. This extra padding adds comfort and makes the shoes feel more similar to a typical pair of running shoes. However, you still get the support that you need for weightlifting and other strength exercises.

The synthetic sole has an eight-millimeter drop, which is a good median between a low profile for cross-training and a higher heel for weightlifting. This makes the shoe more versatile and suitable for a variety of exercises.

The primary benefit of these shoes is their rugged design. You can wear these shoes anywhere. If you prefer to perform your cross-training outdoors, these are the shoes you should consider. The outsole has a rugged design for improved traction on all types of terrain, including muddy or uneven areas.

Some people may not like the appearance of these shoes. This is the only disadvantage to the 5.11 Tactical Recon shoes. However, if you are more worried about the performance, the style is not a real drawback.

Key Features:
  • 2 mm sock liner
  • 8mm drop
  • Rope ready zone
  • CMEVA midsole

The 5.11 Tactical Recon training shoes are perfect for all types of exercise. Whether you train indoors or outdoors, these shoes provide stability and traction. They are also built to last for a while. If you are shopping for an all-purpose training shoe, the 5.11 Tactical Recon should be at the top of your list.


  • Super versatile
  • Great for rope climbs
  • Tough enough for lots of outdoor use


  • Not the best looking

Best Running Shoes for CrossFit

A pair of sneakers for CrossFit that can double as a decent pair of running shoes is worth it's weight in gold if you intend on mixing in a lot of running with you CrossFit training.

Running requires a slightly higher drop than a cross-training or weightlifting shoe. A little extra cushioning is also advisable especially if you are doing a lot of long distance work.

Ultimately the shape of your foot, your stride and how you heel and forefoot strike the ground will determine just how suitable a pair of running shoes are.

For most people this means a little trial and error. And, unfortunately most running shoes do take a few weeks to break in so you may not know immediately.

11. Nike Free X Metcon

The Nike Metcon line of training shoes is considered among the best training shoes on the market. The Free X Metcon is the latest offering in this lineup and improves upon several design elements.

It differs from other shoes in the Metcon lineup however in that it is one of the best running shoes for crossfit.

So if you are a runner who wants to use CrossFit as a cross training tool or a CrossFitter who is looking to up their long distance cardio then the Nike Free X is one of the better options available along with the New Balance 40v1 Minimus below.

Design and Construction

The Free X Metcon is very similar to the other Metcon training shoes. The biggest difference is the outsole. The Free X Metcon includes Tristar grooves on the heel and forefoot for added comfort when jumping or transitioning.

Comfort is the main advantage of the Free X Metcon nylon training shoes. The Metcon line of shoes offers superior stability compared to many other training shoes, while the Nike Free training shoes are more focused on comfort. The Free X Metcon is like a cross between these two shoes.

You get the same quality that you expect from the Metcon line, along with a few improvements for added comfort. Besides the grooves, the Free X Metcon is designed as a single bootie, which provides more flexibility and reduces the total amount of material surrounding your foot.

These design features help make these shoes more breathable and flexible. They also provide great grip when performing burpees and other jumping movements.

There are no significant disadvantages. However, the Free X Metcon do not feel quite as stable as the other shoes in the Metcon line.

Key Features:
  • Mesh upper sole
  • Flywire technology for the laces
  • Made from synthetic materials
  • Dual density rubber midsole
  • Tristar grooves on the heel and forefoot

Training shoes are designed to offer stability and comfort, making them suitable for a wide range of sports and physical activities. Nike has done a great job at meeting these requirements, with the release of the Free X Metcon.

In the end, the Nike Men’s Free X Metcon nylon cross training shoes are best suited for those that enjoy the Metcon series, but want a little more comfort especially when running.


  • Good running shoe
  • One piece design
  • Light weight


  • Not as much lateral stability as regular Metcon's

12. New Balance Mx20v6 Minimus

Finding the right training shoes is never easy. There is a lot to consider, including the overall compression, stability, and comfort of the shoes. The New Balance Men’s Mx20v6 Minimus training shoes attempt to address all of these areas.

Unlike the Nike's above these have a more free running based design i.e not as much cushioning or as high a drop. They are more like Vibram 5 finger free running shoes than regular.

Design and Construction

These have a very minimalist design and as a result are an extremely light pair of cross training shoes.

With a very small drop they are really only suitable for those who are used to running in minimalist shoes and have mastered the more natural free running foot strike technique.

The Vibram outer soles however do offer some of the highest grip levels of any of the CrossFit shoes listed here and are particularly good of trail runs.

Key Features:
  • Revlite midsole
  • Vibram outsole
  • Asym collar
  • 4mm drop


  • Decent running shoe
  • 4 mm drop
  • Vibram outsole
  • Bare foot experience


  • Not as much cushioning
  • Non-standard feel running shoes