These days, shoe companies are coming out with all these new shoes to fix your gait or relieve pain while running. Now every running shoe has so much cushion, the foot has lost its feel of the ground. This is where crossfit shoes have come into play, as a leader in making big changes in what kind of shoes people wear while training. Big shoe companies have just started to figure this out, and they have been creating products to grab this new market too. Crossfit shoes is a general term, that describes a few different types of shoes that are necessary for training.
Depending on the type of training you are doing, will determine what type of shoe you should wear. If you are working out doing more body weight movements, like squats, pull ups, push ups, and so on, you should wear either nothing or Vibram Five Fingers. I add in the Vibrams because depending on your gyms protocol on shoes, or how clean the floor is, you may not be able to go barefoot. Vibrams are basically shoes that have no padding and toe pockets. Now, the idea behind barefoot training is making your feet tougher, and building up the strength in your ankles and lower legs to prevent injury. This is a great thing to do for anyone, not just those people who train seriously. I personally love the Vibrams because they add a bit more grip to the ground, and I don’t have to scrub really hard after my feet turn black from all the dirt on the floor.
The next pair of shoes that are necessary for doing crossfit and training in general, would be Olympic lifting shoes. These shoes aren’t just for Olympic lifts though, they are also used for slower lifts, like squats or deadlifts. These shoes generally resemble a wedge, and that wedge is made out of wood, like Pendlay shoes. They are great for getting deeper into a squat while still maintaining great form. This is key when moving serious weight, because if your back starts to cave at all, your lift will fail.
Now your final pair of crossfit shoes, is your more general day to day shoe for training and just walking around. I still am a big fan of less padding. As I wrote in the first paragraph, some of the bigger shoe companies have started to take notice of this movement, and Nike has created the Nike Free to try and take advantage of this. It is pretty expensive, at around eighty dollars, but if you figure some of the high end running shoes go for well over one hundred dollars, it isn’t so bad. However, another shoe that is way cheaper, that a lot of people absolutely love, is the old school Converse shoe. This shoe has been around for a very long time, but it follows the guidelines of having very little padding and is a flat shoe.
If you’re concerned about barefoot running being bad for your feet, you are smart, as you should be concerned. Imagine taking off a cast from a broken arm, your arm is weak and has lost some muscle. Well, that is similar to finally taking off your super advanced running shoe. Your ankles, arches, and lower leg is generally pretty weak. You have to ease into having less padding, allowing your strength to slowly build up. However, after you’ve done this, you’ll be stronger for it. So try all these crossfit shoes, or no shoes in some cases, and have a great training experience.