CrossFit training is a vigorous activity. When you do it, you push your body to its limits and the right pair of shoes is the necessity which makes your training safer, more effective, and more stable.
Whether you hit the gym or do the WOD, you always engage in a variety of activities that involve multi-directional movements. Therefore, the shoes should give great traction, support, stability, flexibility, durability, and comfort. Among the great variety of different brands, Nike creates CrossFit shoes that provide great quality so that your CrossFit sessions become safer and more comfortable.
We’ve rounded up top 10 Nike CrossFit shoes for men and women
The Nike Free line features many versions but this particular shoe is perfect for Cross training because it has a unique fusion of flexibility, durability, and comfort.
The shoe is lightweight so that it is perfect for cardio training. In the meantime, it is supportive, which is great for lateral movements and lifting. The shoe is well-designed. Thus, the upper is breathable and durable, it has no-sew overlays that provide additional support. It has a Flywire technology so that you can adjust the tightness. The Phylite midsole provides lightweight cushioning, durability, and reduced weight.
The rubber outsole is grippy so that you feel stable and secure on different surfaces and deep hexagonal flex grooves in the forefoot ensure a barefoot-like ride.
- Comes in too bright colors
- Some people claim that the objects can get stuck between sole sections
- Needs a break-in period
Nike Metcon 3 is a stable and durable shoe that supports you during different exercises. They include rope climbs, deadlifts, lifting, sprinting, wall exercises. The upper is durable and breathable. It features mesh on the heel and ankle in order to create a comfortable and sweat-free environment for the feet. Besides, there is a TPU material in high-wear areas. It increases durability. Besides, Flywire cables give a lockdown fit.
That’s not all.
A drop-in midsole is firm and it gives stability you require during hard training and cushioning for sprints. The outsole is grippy and solid. The heel is supportive and it gives adequate stability during lifts and squats. Besides, the outsole has forefoot flex grooves that provide enough flexibility and cushioning during quick movements (jumps and sprints).
- Isn’t suitable for running
The Nike Train Prime Iron DF will keep you secure, comfortable, and help you to handle a transition from weights to cardio with ease. This shoe is one of the best Crossfit shoes that can cover many WOD tasks. The upper is mesh and synthetic, it is flexible, durable, and breathable. The Flywire cables in the upper provide a dynamic support and let you adjust the fit.
Cushioning is also top-notch in this shoe. The dual-density midsole provides great cushioning and support. Besides, support is also ensured by ankle support. Therefore, the shoe is great for lifts. The outsole has a rugged multidirectional pattern that enhances traction.
- Runs small
The shoe is beyond competition, not only because of its design but also because of its high level of comfort and functionality. The model offers a breathable fit and excellent cushioning.
The shoe itself is comfy and adaptive. The design is innovative as the model features overlapping bands that provide support and flexibility for different moves. The lace-up closure is simple and effective, it keeps the foot stable during the exercises. A heel pull-tab makes the shoe easy to put on and take off. The full-length Ortholite sockliner is for superior breathability and long-lasting comfort.
The outsole is made of rubber and it has forefoot flex grooves that promote a natural range of motion.
- Runs large
- Lacks cushioning
Designed for novice and experienced runners, these shoes give you comfort and cushioning you need. If your CrossFit involves running, these shoes won’t disappoint you.
The upper is lightweight and breathable thanks to the seamless Flymesh fabric, which also prevents overheating. The locked-down feel is ensured by dynamic Flywire cables that also give arch support. The Fitsole insole has an anatomically shaped construction. Therefore, it is comfortable and cushy.
The midsole gives top-notch cushioning and responsiveness. Premium Cushlon foam and Zoom Air in the forefoot and heel create a responsive feel. Air zoom is lightweight, responsive, and gives an excellent ground-feel.
The outsole is made of the Duralon material, which is both durable and flexible and it features raised rubber sections that provide traction.
- Runs narrow
Nike Metcon 2 was designed to meet all women’s needs during CrossFit training. The upper is mesh and synthetic, and it features rubber overlays in the toe area. Therefore, the upper is breathable and durable. The toe box is wide and the toe mesh is sturdy, which enhances comfort. The Flywire technology gives enough support while minimizing the weight.
The dual-density foam midsole provides lightweight and durable cushioning and lasting support. Also, the low-profile TPU heel clip ensures great stability. Therefore, these shoes are perfect for heavy deadlifts and squats. The Metcon 2 features little rubber nubs around the inside and outside of the arch. These nubs help people to grip the rope with the feet during rope climbs.
The Phylon outsole is flat and thin. Also, flex grooves on the outsole improve flexibility and promote a natural range of motion.
Overall, the shoe maximizes your performance and makes the CrossFit training pleasant.
- The upper may rip in the specific area
- Some reviewers claim that the shoe is uncomfortable for jumping, burpees, and double unders
- Runs narrow
This is a feminine and functional shoe that makes your training sessions comfortable. This shoe combines best Nike technologies. The mesh upper features synthetic material that makes it durable. Besides, there is a midfoot strap that improves lockdown support. The collar is padded and the tongue is thin. As for the insole, it is cushioned. Therefore, it contributes to the overall comfort. A Flywire technology gives support where it is needed.
A Phylon midsole is soft, it gives perfect cushioning and support. Also, a Phylite carrier ensures stable yet flexible platform. In fact, the shoe lives up to the name “Flex Supreme.”
As for the outsole, it is grippy and features hexagonal flex grooves that promote natural motion.
- Lacks durability and support
- Not suitable for running
With this lightweight shoe with a perfect ventilation your cardio and strength training will become easier and more pleasant. It comes in various colorways so that you can choose any color you want.
The upper of the shoe is synthetic and it features perforations so that you enjoy a comfortable training. Nike has integrated a Flywire technology into the shoe so that the foot stays in one place during lateral movements. The material is windproof and water resistant so that the shoe is appropriate for indoor and outdoor use.
The midsole gives great shock absorption. But the pride of the shoe is a superior outsole.
The rubber outsole is durable and grippy, it has rubber pads for improved traction and ultimate flexibility. The outsole is perfect for squats and lifting. Besides, flex grooves in the forefoot area that promote a natural range of motion contribute to the overall flexibility.
- A small toe box
With these shoes, you will enjoy a smooth and comfortable stride. It has been designed for CrossFit so that you can endure everything WOD throws at you. The upper has sandwich mesh and nylon webbing. Therefore, it is durable, stretchy, lightweight, and breathable.
The tongue is perforated and the collar has a molded foam on the inside part and a harsh material on the outside. Thus, the shoe is extra comfortable.
But that’s not all advantages of the shoe.
The midsole is cushy because Nike has integrated Zoom Air technology which provides responsive cushioning.
The rubber outsole with hexagonal flex grooves in the forefoot is both grippy and flexible.
- Runs narrow
Quick movements are super comfortable with these sneakers because they are lightweight and provide optimal impact protection. Also, they are suitable for high-intensity workouts because they are durable, supportive, and comfortable.
The shoe comes in different colorways so that even the most exquisite taste will be satisfied. The upper is made of breathable mesh with Flywire technology that keeps the foot stable and prevents sliding. Also, there are synthetic overlays that improve support and increase durability. The insole is padded so that you receive improved comfort.
The low-profile midsole is flexible and it provides cushioning and stability you need during high-intensity workouts.
As for the outsole, it is made of durable rubber that also provides grip on different surfaces. Besides, hexagonal grooves in the outsole make it flexible.
- Runs small
- Lacks comfort
Factors to Take Into Account While Choosing the CrossFit Shoes
The CrossFit shoes should meet certain standards in order to give you a safe and comfortable CrossFit experience.
CrossFit is a vigorous training and CrossFit shoes should make you feel comfortable and they shouldn’t put stress on your tissues and ligaments. Look for the shoes with padded tongue and collar that prevent blisters, the toe box should be wide so that the toes can splay naturally during jumps and lifts.
Intense workouts put a stress on the body so that the shoe shouldn’t add excessive weight. It should be made of lightweight and breathable materials, the midsole should have a flexible and lightweight foam, a flat outsole and a low profile.
CrossFit training involves different types of exercises; they include rope climbing, box jumping, running, etc. That is why the shoes should be able to endure everything. Thus, there should be synthetic overlays that give additional support, stability and enhance durability. The outsole should be made of hard rubber that gives good traction and stability. Also, there should be traction pods on the outsole. The toe box should have a protective layer against a rapid wear and the sole at the toe should be stiff.
CrossFit training involves high-intensity exercises both indoors and outdoors. So, sweat shouldn’t be an issue. The shoe should be made of a breathable and lightweight material, and have perforations in the upper. The insole should be removable and it should have moisture-wicking properties and anti-odor properties.
Heel and arch support
During running or Olympic lifts, much pressure is put on the ankles and the heel so that the shoes should provide great heel and arch support in order to prevent arch pain. The shoes should have a heel counter, a padded collar, the lace-up system that ensures a snug fit. Besides, the shoe should have a stiff outsole toward the heel, with flexion at the ball of the foot.
The shoe should provide efficient shock absorption during cardio training. In the meantime, it shouldn’t be too soft because weightlifting requires rigidity. The midsole should be bouncy, soft and responsive. Nike uses different materials while manufacturing their sneakers. Thus, midsoles are often made of Phylon, polyurethane, Phylite, and EVA. Phylon is very lightweight and responsive. PU is stable, dense, and durable. Phylite midsole is made of 60% Phylon and 40% rubber. EVA midsole compresses faster than other materials and it is soft and flexible. Also, Nike has introduced LunarLite Foam cushioning, which is cushy and lightweight.
Cross training incorporates different movements so that you should be sure that you can handle them with ease. The outsole should be flat and stiff, it should feature traction pads for excellent grip. Besides, the shoe should have a strap that runs across the midfoot toward the instep. It helps to stabilize the foot. Besides, the heel cup should be reinforced and provide a stable platform.
The drop defines the difference between the height of the heel and the height of the forefoot. Usually, CrossFit shoes have a 4mm heel-to-toe drop. It means that the weight is distributed evenly across the foot so that you get a natural position.
Types of CrossFit Shoes
CrossFit shoes require superior cushioning, stability and balance in order to help the athlete to handle intense sessions and protect the athlete. There are three major types of CrossFit shoes.
- Minimalist shoes
Minimalist shoes offer additional protection. They have a zero heel-to-toe drop that gives the athlete a barefoot feeling. The stack height (the height of the sole of the shoe) is small so that you have the feeling of the ground. As for the toe box, minimalist shoes usually feature a wider toe box than other shoes.
- Running shoes
Running shoes give support during your workout sessions. The heel-to-toe drop is usually small and it allows the person to feel closer to the ground. Also, running shoes are stiff in the middle area and flexible where the toes bend at the ball of the foot.
- Lifting shoes
Lifting shoes are called to provide additional support. They may feature a strap or several straps for additional support. Also, they have a special lacing system that ensures a snug fit and prevents slipping. Also, these shoes have the heels, made of different materials. Thus, a TPU heel gives necessary stability and it is more durable than its wood and leather counterparts. Wood and leather heels are used by Olympic weightlifting athletes who like a solid base in an old school look.
Benefits of CrossFit Shoes
CrossFit shoes are universal sneakers that give you stability, support, and comfort. The CrossFit shoes have certain benefits.
- Help to maintain a proper position during weightlifting
A torso misalignment is a major reason for injuries. Good shoes help to keep the distribution of weight over the center of the foot that helps to maintain a proper position.
- Ensure lateral support
The shoes should provide a snug fit so that it doesn’t move during lateral movements. If the foot rolls, it may result in ligament tears, dislocations.
- Provide ankle support
It doesn’t matter whether you are engaged in cardio training or lift weights, you need ankle support to feel grounded and stable. Good CrossFit shoes ensure ankle support.
- Increase overall stability
Stability is the key in Cross training so the shoes should have ankle support, a grippy outsole, a comfortable lace-up system, and the heel cap so that you receive superior stability.
- Provide core control
During the squats, the position of the lumbar spine and pelvis is crucial because it prevents strains. CrossFit shoes help to control the core and they enhance the effectiveness of training.
- Ensure knee protection
CrossFit shoes align the feet and knees properly so that during the movement upward you don’t experience the brunt.
Types of Pronation
Pronation means the way the foot reacts to the stride. The heel contacts the ground first and rolls inward a little. Neutral pronation reduces the stress put on the ankles, hips, and knees.
If the person underpronates it means that the foot rolls outward rather than inward after the contact with the ground. It puts stress on the knees. People with underponation should buy the shoes with extra cushioning.
Overpronation means that the foot rolls inward too far upon impact and it may result in the knee injury. Overpronators should buy the shoes with stabilizing features and structured cushioning.
- What are the common injuries in CrossFit patients and how to treat them?
The most common injuries in CrossFit patients are Achilles tendonitis, Peroneal Tendonitis, Plantar Fasciitis, Metatarsal stress fractures. In most cases, these injuries may be treated with rest, physical therapy, forms of immobilization, and surgery is a last resort.
You should choose the proper shoes that meet your needs in major types of training. You should go for one pair of shoes for weightlifting, jumping, and running. Also, orthotic devices help to alleviate pain and prevent injuries.
- Heel elevation in CrossFit shoes – how much?
It is believed that the most appropriate shoe for the CrossFit training has a zero drop. However, there is an evidence that the shoe with an elevated heel may reduce the risk of injury, reduce tension on the Achilles tendon that improves motion of the ankle joint and allows you to squat deeper. Anyway, it depends on the kind of the WOD you focus on.
- Which is more important: flexibility or support?
Decide which features you are looking for in the shoe and take into account the type of exercises you are engaged in. Choose a supportive shoe that gives a locked in feel if you are into weightlifting. If you focus on running, barefoot shoes with enhanced flexibility are what you need.
- Are CrossFit shoes good for running and weightlifting?
Generally, CrossFit shoes are designed to provide excellent support during heavy lifts and squats. That is why they are heavier compared to running shoes. As for running shoes, they are lighter but they sacrifice support. So, if you choose CrossFit shoes you may use them for running and weightlifting because they provide sufficient stability, support, and motion control during intense workouts and necessary comfort during short runs. If you use them for long runs, they may cause arch pain.
Thus, Nike offers many lines of CrossFit shoes that keep you safe, stable, and comfortable during your training. Having analyzed ten best Nike CrossFit shoes we have come up to the conclusion that our recommendations will be Nike Metcon 3 for men and Nike Free 5.0 Tr Fit 5 Training Shoe for women.
Nike Metcon 3 has the following benefits:
- Lightweight Flywire cables provide great support and comfort.
- The shoe features abrasion-resistant TPU skins in the exterior areas that are prone to a rapid wear: the toe box, the heel area, the upper forefoot area.
- Has a small heel-to-toe drop – 3 mm.
- Provides lateral and medial grip for rope climbs.
- Breathable thanks to the mesh upper.
- The midsole is stable and cushy.
- The outsole is solid and it provides enough stability during hard training and it features flex grooves that give flexibility during running.
- Nike Flywire technology ensures a snug fit.
Nike Free 5.0 Tr Fit 5 Training Shoe offers the following benefits:
- It is suitable for indoor and outdoor use as it is made of waterproof and windproof materials.
- The upper has the mix of mesh and a synthetic material. Therefore, it provides excellent ventilation and durability.
- A Flywire technology provides a lockdown feel.
- The outsole is solid. It features a durable rubber, traction pads for improved traction and flex grooves for enhanced flexibility.
Thus, choose these Nike shoes for your CrossFit training and you’ll be able to handle a formidable array of challenges with safety and comfort!