There are some great shoes designed specifically for the rigors of CrossFit. I have been trying 3 models to see how they hold up to the Constantly Varied… Not being a professional shoe scientist, I kept it simple and focused on 4 distinct movements where shoes are crucial: rope climbing, jumps (box/rope), weightlifting and running. Some people change shoes for running, lifting or climbing. My evaluation was on a quest for the best all-around shoes.
To be fair – they can all do the job. Some are more fun then others though…
Inov-8 Bare XF-210 – A
Climb: A, Jump: A, Lift: A, Run: A
My new favorites to replace my Vibrams. Superb flat sole for climbing that won’t tear and very stable surface for weightlifting. If you like elevated heels for lifting then it’s not for you but if barefootlike stability is your main goal, you will love it. I was not quite converted to barefoot running due to achilles injuries in the past but these shoes may just do the trick.
New Balance Minimus – B+
Climb: C, Jump: A, Lift: B, Run: A
For comfort, Minimus has been my favorite pair of shoes in and outside the gym. I wish they had stronger soles that hold up to the beating of CF. I love running and jumping in these but ropeclimbing destroys the soft soles and I find them a little shaky for lifting heavier weights.
Reebok Crossfit Nano – B
Climb: A, Jump: B, Lift: A, Run: C
I so wanted to like my new Reeboks… The company is awesome for the sport and the heat-activated custom shoes sounded great. So far we haven’t warmed up to each other. The climbs and lifts are fantastic – as the soles are very strong and stable but I found the shoes very rigid running longer distances and not comfortable for high volume jump ropes or box jumps. These shoes run a little large so I may give a smaller size another shot.