Just to be clear, there are no actual Crossfit brand shoes. What we mean when we say ‘buying Crossfit shoes’ is getting a specific type of shoe to be used in your Crossfit workout.
Now some people think that you can use any old type of shoe for multiple purposes. For example, a basketball high top is used in a sport that involves lots of running and jumping. Therefore some people might think that it would be good as a pair of running shoes for jogging; but that is not the case. Specific sports shoes are designed to reduce impact based on how that impact will occur. A running shoe, for example, attempts to reduce impact on the heel and then redirect that force.
Unlike a basketball shoe, you want more ankle freedom which is why there are no running hi-tops. The same type of discussion applies for a shoe you will be using for a Crossfit workout. So what works best?
Needs for Crossfit Shoes
Ideally you want a low-top shoe that is somewhat of a cross-training model. The shoe should be durable, lightweight, have good traction, and be made with solid materials to last. Ideally you want something for all-around use or specifically for running or jogging as those are both aspects highly utilized in Crossfit training.
- Neutral Sole (flat from heel to toe)
- Minimal Support
- Wide Toe Section
Nowadays many major brands make shoes marketed for Crossfit that even include the name Crossfit in the description or Cross Training. New Balance, Reebok and Inov-8 both have a few very popular shoes made specifically for this sports genre. Nike has their ‘Free Series’ line that is popular because of the lightweight design and barefoot feel. Merrell also makes a nice trail shoe that goes towards more of the minimalist style.
Does that mean you have to use this type of shoe? Of course not. Some people might prefer a well fitted running shoe if it feels comfortable to them and provide better support that their body (knees, ankle, back) might need.
Buying Crossfit Shoes
Just like buying any other type of shoe such as running or tennis, you get what you pay for. Often times people try and save a few dollars and get a shoe that is ‘okay’ instead of the shoe that is right for them. You have to figure that if you exercise X number of hours each week then that shoe is going to be responsible for a lot of wear-time. Investing in proper footwear is something that should always be done to help alleviate stress on the body as well as improve your overall performance.
While it might seem like spending up to $100 for a pair of shoes is a bit much, consider how much use you will get out of them. Speaking from experience, bad shoes usually leave you with either pain that could have been avoided or a less than optimum workout. Does saving a few bucks really make it worth it? In my opinion the investment in your body and health is well worth it whether we are talking about Crossfit shoes or any other type for your chosen athletic endeavors.