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
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.
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.
Synthetic, breathable fabric
RopePro rope-climbing technology
Supportive heel and toe
- 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.
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.
Nike is another brand that you can just trust to make an amazing trainer. This has to be one of the best-looking CrossFit trainers around and comes in loads of different color options. So, if appearance is everything to you, then this is one of the best. But it’s not a case of style over substance. The technology behind this trainer is pretty amazing as well. Like all Crossfit trainers, NIKE Men’s Metcon Repper DSX Training Shoe has a breathable fabric (in this case it’s mesh) and a solid rubber sole. On top of that, it has super-strong Flywire cables that keep your trainer tight on your foot. Plus, these Nike sneakers have foam cushioning on the inside that takes the impact of running, jumping, and climbing.
Solid, rubber sole.
Breathable mesh fabric
- ModelMetcon Repper Dsx
- Weight12 ounces
One of the coolest CrossFit shoes available.
Loads of design and color options.
A small number of reviews on Amazon questioning the quality of the product.
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.
Altra has only been around since 2009, so you might not have heard of them. In that short time, they’ve built up a great reputation as one of the best running footwear brands, and now they’ve branched out into CrossFit trainers. They have a solid rubber sole and a synthetic mesh upper. Altra Hiit XT Men’s Cross-Training Shoes have a few great features that make them perfect for CrossFit and HIIT training. First, the midsole is made from a sticky rubber that makes it easy to get traction on the ropes. Secondly, the insole is removable, which means you can change the fit of the shoe. It’s designed to be comfortable with the insole. Then, it has a natural foot position and plenty of room to have your toes slightly spread, allowing you to have perfect technique. They’re not the most attractive trainers on the market, but a lot of people swear by Altra and will only buy their trainers. Our guide to the best tennis shoes features more amazing sneakers like this.
Breathable mesh fabric
Sticky rubber midsole
- ModelMen’s Hiit Xt
- Weight3 pounds
Impressive technology for the price.
Designed specifically for CrossFit – perfect for rope climbing etc.
New company means less track record.
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.
Use inside and outside
Carbon side guards
One of the best-loved CrossFit shoes on Amazon.
Very well-made and attractive training shoe.
More expensive than alternatives from well-known brands.
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.
Inov8 are another smaller company that focuses on making running shoes. That means they have a certain level of expertise that helps them make some of the best CrossFit shoes in the business. The upper part of 215 Knit Cross Training Shoes is super lightweight and breathable. Inov8 claims that their shoe is the lightest and most efficient in the business – but we’ll leave that up to you. They actually weigh 215 grams and you’ll notice how light they are as soon as you pick them up. They have a patented outsole, which provides a huge amount of grip, whether you’re climbing a rope or completing an obstacle course. Plus, they have extra support features, like the external heel cage, to keep you safe from injury. Find more great footwear like this by checking out our guide to the best Asics shoes.
Synthetic mesh upper
Patented sticky rubber outsole
Extra support features
- BrandInov-8, USA
- Weight1 pounds
One of the lightest CrossFit shoes available.
Full of extra features designed specifically for CrossFit.
Some complaints that the fit is too tight. Built for people with narrow feet.
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.
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.
Asics are a Japanese shoe manufacturer that started out in 1949 making athletic shoes. As a company, they’ve always seemed to have been in the shadows of companies like Nike, Adidas, and Reebok. But, because of the quality of their trainers, they’ve always had a cult-like following of athletes that swear by their products. They’ve been worn by athletes all around the world, including wrestlers, basketball players, and even gold-medallists in the Olympics. So, they have a pretty impressive pedigree. It was no surprise when they joined the race to create the best trainer for the world’s new fitness fad, CrossFit.
On first impressions, there doesn’t appear to be anything special about them. ASICS Men’s Met-Conviction Cross-Trainer Shoe looks like any other ordinary trainer. The synthetic body of the shoe is interrupted by a bright green Asics logo, but other than that, the design is relatively low-key. The other material used is called AHAR Plus. It’s designed and used by Asics to make the shoe more durable. In fact, it’s 50% more durable than standard high-abrasion rubber. Having this strategically positioned around the shoe makes it a lot tougher on the outside than a standard trainer.
AHAR Plus rubber
- Weight14.1 ounces
Great mid-range trainer that is designed specifically with CrossFit in mind
Nostalgic choice for anyone into professional wrestling.
Could be too narrow for wider feet
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.
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, but if you’re moving from normal trainers you won’t notice.
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.
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
We understand that it’s hard to choose the perfect Crossfit shoe. That’s why we’ve created this Buying Guide & FAQ section, to answer any of your questions and help you make a purchasing decision you’ll be happy with.
How We Chose Our Selection of Crossfit Shoes
Brands – There are certain brands in the world of fitness equipment that you just know you can trust. Brands like Nike and Adidas consistently make some of the best trainers around and are always innovating to make our fitness experience even better.
Reviews – You can always trust customers to have an opinion about a product. Whether they love it or hate it, you know that they’ll take to the internet to tell the world what they think. This is the perfect opportunity for us to find out more about a product than you could ever tell from the product description. Having said that, a couple of bad reviews doesn’t mean a product is not worth considering. Some customers just might have had a bad experience or bought the wrong shoe for their training needs. We also look at professional reviews to get a more detailed opinion of the features and benefits of each CrossFit shoe.
Quality – Quality is everything when it comes to training shoes. Your shoes are going to come under some heavy stress when you’re training hard, so they need to be able to take that beating. We check the quality of each product to make sure you’re not going to be disappointed with your purchase.
Features To Look For In Crossfit Shoes
Support – Your ankles and feet and going to be moving in all sorts of positions during a CrossFit workout. That means they need to be properly supported or you could risk hurting yourself. Injuries are still possible but having the right support should reduce this risk dramatically.
Durability – Once you get into CrossFit, it’s easy to get addicted. That means you’re going to be working out all the time, so your trainers need to be able to withstand it. The materials used in high-quality CrossFit shoes are durable and made to last.
Style – We didn’t want to mention this, but for some of us it’s important to look good when working out. You never know who’s going to be watching. So, you want some stylish trainers. Just make sure you choose trainers that have both style and substance.
Breathability – CrossFit is tough. You’re going to sweat. Therefore, you need shoes that will let your feet breathe, otherwise, you’re going to be standing in puddles of sweat. Breathability comes from the materials used. Look for a CrossFit shoe made from a mesh material that lets air get to your feet.
Weight – Cross Fit is all about in high-intensity functional movements. You are going to be moving around, a lot. So, it’s important not to have any unnecessary weight that will make it any harder than it needs to be. All Cross Fit shoes are designed to be lightweight, but some do better than others at achieving it. When you’re choosing your shoes, look for lightweight material and even have a look in the product description for the weight of the shoe. The Innov8 215 Cross Training Shoe is one of the lightest, weighing just 215 grams.
Comfort – Working out isn’t about comfort. It’s about putting yourself into an uncomfortable position to achieve results. However, you shouldn’t make the experience any more uncomfortable then it needs to be. Whatever you’re wearing when you work out, it needs to be well fitted and breathable. Otherwise, you’ll end up a sweaty mess with blisters on your toes. A good pair of Cross Fit shoes will be padded inside and have a thick rubber sole to give your feet some support and comfort.
CrossFit Shoes FAQ
Q: Are CrossFit shows good for squatting?
Yes, squatting is a vital part of Cross Fit, so the shoes are often designed with this in mind. When you’re squatting, you need support around your heel and ankle. Weightlifting shoes, in particular, have great ankle support, but all Cross Fit shoes will have them to some extent. It’s also important to have flexibility in the shoe so that you can arch your foot and give yourself a stable platform to squat from. The last thing you want is a stiff shoe.
Q: Is it better to squat with or without shoes?
It’s probably better to squat without shoes, rather than wearing them. That’s because, when you’re squatting, you need to push your butt backward and removing your shoe naturally shifts your weight back towards your heel. Plus, it’s easier to arch your foot without a shoe, which is your foot’s most stable position. People also tend to be able to get lower in the squat when they’re not wearing shoes. Of course, if you’re doing Cross Fit, you’ll need to wear trainers because there are a few exercises that require the extra protection and stability given to you by shoes.
Q: Can you run with CrossFit shoes?
A: The simple answer is yes. Most CrossFit shoes are multi-purpose and you can use them for running, training, weightlifting, and more. But, if you’re regularly running long distances, we would recommend buying specific running shoes. These will provide more support for your ankles over a long and grueling run.
Q: Are CrossFit shoes good for lifting?
A: Yes, CrossFit shoes are very versatile. They can be used for a number of different training activities.
Q: How often should I replace CrossFit shoes?
A: You should replace your CrossFit shoes when they aren’t functioning properly anymore. If they don’t provide you with support, breathability, grip, and stability, then they probably need replacing.