CrossFit was invented back in the year 2000 in Santa Cruz, California, but it really started getting popular around 2007. Since then, it’s taken gyms around the world by storm and is currently one of the most popular, if not the most popular workout discipline. And, as with most athletic activities, it requires the appropriate footwear. Since we review a lot of cross training shoes, we decided to put together a list of the best CrossFit shoes currently available.
One of the most attractive aspects of CrossFit is the wide variety of exercises that are tackled: everything from sprints to deadlifts to burpees are all regularly done in the same session. This is great for building strength while simultaneously gaining endurance, but it also means that you will need gear that can keep up with the diverse workload.
At Weartesters, we test hundreds of sneakers each year. To put together this list we found outstanding cross training performers that can offer a little bit of everything in the gym. We chose shoes that cushion jumps and sprints, can grip the floor like no one’s business, and remain as flat as possible for heavier lifts. CrossFit is no easy task for one shoe, but we think you’ll enjoy our picks for the best CrossFit shoes.
Categories are used below so you can easily find what’s important to you. If you know what you need, you can simply click the category link. If not, feel free to browse the whole list.
Best CrossFit Shoes
GORUCK Ballistic Trainer
The GORUCK Ballistic Trainer may not stand out visually but never judge a book by its cover or, a shoe by its picture. The GORUCK Ballistic Trainer is so high on our list because it excels in the most crucial feature of a CrossFit shoe: versatility.
The upper uses a ballistic Cordura mesh which is soft, flexible, and tough. For the cushion, the Ballistic Trainer features Gradient Density EVA foam which means the shoe is more cushioned in the forefoot to accommodate jumping, running, and explosive movements, while the heel is denser and stiffer for a stable platform while lifting. The traction is also a highlight. The outsole actually uses 3 different rubbers. A grippy compound in the forefoot, a harder more durable formulation in the midfoot, and a denser heel to endure heel strikes and create a stable platform. One thing to remember is that the GORUCK Ballistic Trainer fits longer than other training shoes so make sure to go down half a size. Read the full review. Price: $125
Under Armour HOVR Rise 4
The Under Armour HOVR Rise 4 has all the bases covered for CrossFit. HOVR is used for the midsole cushion, and it does an excellent job of combining comfort and stability. What contributes most to the stability, however, is the TriBase tech built into the outsole. It keeps the back half of the shoe rigid, so your feet are always planted and steady during heavy lifts or compound movements. The outsole is also durable and grippy on all surfaces, indoors and outdoors. The Rise 4 can handle any exercise the WOD throws your way. See the full review. Price: $110
Nike Metcon 8
Of course, on a list of the best CrossFit shoes, we had to feature a Nike Metcon. The Nike Metcon 8 is similar to the Nike Metcon 7. With the Metcon 8, you get full-length React foam cushioning, excellent traction, and better overlays for more durability. The upper is breathable, flexible, and supportive, and the shoe’s wide forefoot will give you stability while lifting. Don’t run in them; otherwise, this is a solid all-around workout shoe. If you enjoyed the Nike Metcon 7, you’d feel more of the same with the eighth version. See the full review. Price: $130
Under Armour TriBase Reign 4
The Under Armour TriBase Reign 4 is a great, versatile shoe for the gym, that will excel most when lifting. The shoe has a very wide base (that also makes it a good option for wide footers), and the shoe’s drop is only 2mm for added stability when handling heavier weight. But the Under Armour TriBase Reign 4 is also versatile enough to handle both polymetric exercises and light cardio. The traction is great, and the TriBase packs enough cushion to keep your joints ache-free. However, if you’re planning on running in these we do suggest keeping it short. Read the full review. Price: $120
Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 3
The Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 3 was made specifically for HIIT (high-intensity interval training), though you can use it for much more. The Zoom Air pods might look like an issue for lifts, but they remain very stable due to the high PSI of the air within them. You can also run on the treadmill in these with no issues, but just be sure to get a feel for the arch support. The foam midsole is plush and comfortable so even walking to and from the gym in these is a treat. See the full review. Price: $120
Reebok Nano 6000
The Reebok Nano 6000 is an accommodating fit for just about everyone. The nice wide forefoot means no pinky toes getting crunched. The Nano 6000 is also versatile which means it can handle any of the various CrossFit or weightlifting exercises. It doesn’t do any one thing perfectly, but it’s a jack of all trades. The knit, nylon, fuse, and synthetic suede upper doesn’t feel premium, but it gets the job done and can be worn casually as needed. Is the Nano 6000 great? No. But Nano fans get what they’re used to (with some small tweaks). Just remember to go down a half size as the Nano 6000 runs long. Price: $135
Under Armour Project Rock 4
The Under Armour Project Rock 4’s midsole is softer than the previous iterations thus making the shoe better for running. The soft cushioning does cause the heel to crash a little on squats and lunges, but that’s mitigated a bit by the TriBase midsole geometry. The traction and stability are fantastic and shine when doing drills or slinging heavy weights. The Project Rock 5 is a solid choice for CrossFit because it’s a shoe that can do everything without any major drawbacks. Just remember that you’ll get the most out of it during workouts that require running and jumping in addition to traditional strength work. Price: $150
Best Budget CrossFit Shoes
Nike Renew Retaliation 4
The Nike Renew Retaliation 4 is an upgrade from its predecessor, the Nike Renew Retaliation TR 3, and takes the crown as the best budget CrossFit shoe today. The most significant and notable difference is replacing the lockdown wings with a strap. Although you might be skeptical about it, the strap locks your feet in nicely for all the various movements and CrossFit exercises. It’s lockdown at its finest. The Renew midsole, though, performs the same as the previous model. See the full review. Price: $80
Thinking of a shoe we should add to the best CrossFit shoes list? We’d also like to hear your thoughts on this list and see your best CrossFit shoes list in the comments. Comment below or message us on Instagram or Twitter.