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Between the squat snatch, ring muscle-up, pistol single-leg squat, and clean and jerk, there’s no shortage of hard-to-learn movements in CrossFit training. But in my experience as a CrossFit athlete, coach, and reporter, even more difficult than mastering the various movements is figuring out which shoes to wear to class.
Why is finding a CrossFit shoe so difficult, exactly? Well, unlike a running shoe that only needs to excel at one modality (running), a CrossFit shoe needs to work well for running as well as the many other movements that make an appearance in the sport. “A great CrossFit shoe is versatile enough in that it can support you when you’re running short and long distances, jumping, doing gymnastics, rowing, lifting heavy, climbing, and more,” explains CrossFit Games Athlete Fee Saghafi, a coach at CrossFit Mentality in Mentor, OH.
Typically, that means a CrossFit shoe provides some cushion for your midsole, as well as a slight heel for lifting and enhanced toe box, she says. Another feature that’s extremely important in a CrossFit shoe — especially for individuals competing locally or globally — is a resilient midsole. “The material needs to be able to sustain the stress and friction from things like rope climbs, as well as outdoor elements you might see in competition,” Saghafi explains.
So which CrossFit shoes have all of these elements? Ahead, CrossFit athletes and coaches (like me!) share our favorite CrossFit training shoes to train, toe-to-bar, and touch-and-go in.