CrossFit is a pretty hot workout style and brand that’s blown up in the last 10 years. We should know. That’s why we’ve written almost 70 articles on the subject here at Noob Gains.
But with the rise of this fitness movement comes the rise of very specific gear and equipment targeted specifically towards participants in the workout industry. And one of the hottest pieces of gear that you might feel pressured to buy before you hit the box are CrossFit shoes.
But are CrossFit shoes really necessary? You’re about to discover the real definition of CrossFit gym sneakers, the benefits, some frequently asked questions, and whether they’re actually worth the money when you take the time to think about it.
Table of Contents
- What are CrossFit Shoes?
- 3 Benefits of CrossFit Shoes
- Are CrossFit Shoes Worth It?
- CrossFit Shoes FAQ
- Wanna Know What CrossFit Shoes We Like?
What are CrossFit Shoes?
CrossFit shoes are basically cross-training shoes designed to improve your performance in workouts that span different styles of training you might encounter in a typical CrossFit WOD (workout of the day).
These training styles include, but are not limited to:
- HIIT cardio
- LISS cardio
- Rowing workouts
- Bodyweight training
And if we’re talking about the literal definition of “CrossFit shoes”, then only Reebok can claim that title since they have a sponsorship agreement with the CrossFit name and are licensed to include the brand in some of the most popular shoes including the CrossFit Nano 9.0.
But honestly, many brands including Nike, NOBULL, and Altra have shoes that are marketed as CrossFit-specific.
One of Our Favorite CrossFit Shoes
- Excellent design and build
- Versatile for both cardio and lifting weights
- Very comfortable
3 Benefits of CrossFit Shoes
Now that you know what CrossFit shoes are, why should you wear them? Well, here are 3 important reasons why these specifically-designed shoes rise above other traditional cross-trainers.
1. They’re very durable.
CrossFitters know that every workout is not only a beatdown on their body, but it’s also a beatdown on their footwear too. It’s not uncommon for dedicated gym-goers to wear down multiple pairs of shoes throughout the year.
That’s why targeted CrossFit shoes are usually very durable and made from high quality material. This way they can last for months or even a year or more of continuous abuse through tough workouts.
2. They’re highly versatile.
Like typical cross-trainers, CrossFit shoes are designed to provide performance benefits for a number of activities. That’s why your run-of-the-mill running shoes won’t cut it.
Shoes that are designed for lifting, sprinting, jumping, and even rope climbing can shave precious seconds or even minutes off your daily WOD if you’ve been training in your street shoes. (And make the whole experience more enjoyable too!)
3. They’re extremely comfortable.
If you’re going to be jumping, sweating, straining, and grunting for a couple hours at a time, don’t you want your feet to be comfortable at least?
It’s actually quite difficult to design shoes that can provide adequate comfort for a variety of uses, but that’s exactly what targeted CrossFit shoes do. They aim to provide tons of support and cushioning on every landing and impact throughout your workouts.
Plus, you’ll decrease your chances of getting any CrossFit-related injuries.
Are CrossFit Shoes Worth It?
In the end, we think… yes, CrossFit shoes are worth it. Like any other shoe designed for a specific activity or sport, there are pros, cons, and tradeoffs.
But the reality is these targeted workout sneakers provide so many more performance benefits and comfort features that not using them for a daily WOD could have long-term consequences on your feet.
Of course, the choice is ultimately yours. You could always get different pairs of shoes to satisfy different WOD activities, or take a gamble in your tennis shoes that you picked up from Walmart.
In the end it’s all about weighing the price tag with the comfort and experience you’ll receive in these high quality specialty shoes.
CrossFit Shoes FAQ
Do You Really Need CrossFit Shoes?
To be perfectly honest… no, you don’t need CrossFit shoes to do CrossFit. However, you would be missing out on some important performance and comfort benefits that these sneakers are specifically designed for.
Sure, you could probably find comparable shoes that provide similar benefits, but why waste hours of your time researching shoes when you could just pick from a list of high quality training sneakers like these?
Are CrossFit Shoes Good for Lifting?
Yes, CrossFit shoes are good for lifting. However, if you wear shoes that fall under the umbrella of cross-training, then you’re going to see some lifting benefits sacrificed for improvements in running or rope climbing. If that’s a concern for you, you might want to consider wearing dedicated lifting shoes like the Adidas Powerlift 4 vs Nike Metcon 5s.
When to Replace CrossFit Shoes
After you’ve been to a few CF workouts and you see your sneakers begin to wear, you might ask yourself “How often should I get new CrossFit shoes?”
According to CrossFit Toronto, a typical athletic shoe’s lifespan is about 500 miles. This usually equates to a 6 month lifespan, but can be lengthened if you choose to rotate between 2 or more pairs of shoes at a time.
Can You Wear CrossFit Shoes Everyday?
Sure you can! CrossFit shoes are built for comfort so that they can be worn casually as opposed to just working out in.
Just be aware that it’s not the best idea to wear your gym shoes at all hours of the day unless you want to severely decrease their lifespan. It’s a better idea to have one pair for casual use and another for gym training.
How to Break in CrossFit Shoes
Some CrossFit sneakers require a short break-in period before they’re comfortable and responsive to training. Here are some basic steps to follow:
- Wear Them at Home – Start by wearing your new shoes around the house during everyday activities. This will give your shoes a chance to conform to your foot’s shape including its natural arch.
- Stretch Out the Insides – Try wearing multiple pairs of socks at once while wearing your shoes to stretch out the insides. This will make them roomier through the midsole and toe box.
- Manually Bend and Flex Them – Take a little time to actually pick your shoes with your hands and rotate and bend them along their natural flex points like the balls of the feet. Don’t stress them too much on the midfoot.
- Perform Warm-Up Activities – Try performing light CrossFit warm-ups to test how they feel under stress. If they still feel tight or stiff, run through some of the other tips again before testing them out with another light activity.
Wanna Know What CrossFit Shoes We Like?
Now that you know everything you need to know about CrossFit shoes, why not check out one of our top recommendations… NOBULL Trainers.
There are a few reasons we like NOBULL Trainers. First, they are designed very well with high quality material so you don’t have to worry about them falling apart after only a handful of workouts. Second, they’re quite versatile so switching from lifting weights to a short jog is a very easy transition. Finally, they’re been reported as extremely comfortable, even during a very intense workout.