If you’re ready to take the plunge into CrossFit, it’s important to be kitted out correctly.
You don’t really need to buy specific clothing but it would be wise to invest in a pair of purpose-designed CrossFit shoes. Why? Because CrossFit is a variable, high-intensity, high-impact workout which incorporates activities like running, rope-climbing, weights, gym exercises and rowing.
Technique in CrossFit is critical, so it’s important your shoes are right for the task at hand, and can manage the competing demands and perform under a range of circumstances.
With so many choices of CrossFit shoes available, it can be difficult to know which to choose. Here’s a quick 7-step guide to help you select the right shoes for you.
Though it may be tempting to go for a regular training shoe, it’s important to keep the purpose in mind. Being a high intensity, high impact program, which includes a lot of weight lifting, you need a shoe that provides adequate shock absorption, stability and support so you can complete your CrossFit WODs safely and with ease.
Your feet, in particular your heels, need to be close to the floor for optimum control and balance. This allows you to increase your body strength, and also encourage better technique.
The fit of your shoes is always important however when you introduce a CrossFit workout into the mix you need to be absolutely sure that your shoe isn’t going to rub against your heels on every squat or lift, as it will hinder your performance massively.
Furthermore CrossFit shoes are designed specially to provide cushioning or shock absorption in all the right places, so having the right size shoe will ensure you gain maximum benefit.
Most shops will measure your feet first which is great if you’re unsure of your exact size.
Your feet should be the last thing on your mind when you’re in the middle of an intense workout. Pick a brand and style that’s comfortable for you, to ensure you can focus on what matters most, instead of the pain in the balls of your feet each time you jump.
Most CrossFit shoes are made with high impact training in mind, however there are several brands that have a ‘zero-drop’ heel to provide greater stability when weight lifting. If you’re used to wearing traditional road-running shoes, you might find the lack of cushioning difficult and uncomfortable. As such, you may need a transition period before training in them.
You want to milk every drop of functionality out of a shoe when you’re CrossFit training. Your shoes should help you to perform at your best, not hold you back.
That means taking a few things into consideration, namely a flat heel, flexibility, and the size of the sole, as you’re ideally looking for a very thin sole to keep you as grounded as possible. If you’re planning on doing a lot of rope-climbs, you’ll also need something more durable.
With all the stress you’re going to put this shoe through, you need something with tank-like durability. Pick a well-made shoe from a reputable brand that ‘gets’ CrossFit, like Reebok and Inov-8
Something that gets overlooked by most people is the weight of the shoe. When you’re already pushing 20kg you really don’t need a couple of cement blocks stuck to your feet.
You need to be quick, nimble and responsive. Something you can achieve with the help of a light shoe.
Whilst it’s wise to pick an excellent quality shoe, if you’re on a budget it’s still possible to pick up a solid pair.
The Inov-8 CrossFit shoes are both affordable and check all of the boxes of what makes a good training shoe. If you have a little extra cash to burn, the Reebok CrossFit Nano is an excellent choice.