The appeal and efficacy of a CrossFit workout is that any single session can include a variety of movements, from heavy lifting, to agility, to straight-up gymnastics. It takes a certain kind of range to be able to handle all of the elements—from both the athlete and said athlete’s gear. Most notably: the sneaker. You’ll want a crosstrainer, but a crosstrainer with gusto. We rounded up the best eight sneakers for the job. Here’s where to start.
If you’re not sure exactly how much of a CrossFitter you’ll end up being longterm, test it out with a low-lift sneaker. Asics’ Defiance shoe uses a cushioning system that absorbs shocks from jumping or high-intensity movements. That makes it low-profile enough to withstand strength training without compromising your form.
Alpha Bounce RC 2
If you’re more concerned about fitting your sneaker to the HIIT parts of training—rather than the heavy weight-focused portion—you can’t go wrong with an Alpha Bounce. It’s the best for running, jumping, and moving laterally.
Power Perfect III
If you’re lifting heavy and often enough, it’s worth seeking out a lift-specific shoe so your form isn’t sacrificed from a too-high heel or unnatural footing. These from Adidas were made specifically for power lifting. Most important: The wedged sole is dense, so your feet stay as stable and natural as possible, and the toe box is wider than you might be used to in a running shoe, so your toes have room to move and stabilize.
One of the biggest CrossFit issues is being able to change between running and lifting without having to change gear. These New Balances nail it. They have cushioning, but not an overbearing amount, and there’s lateral support without cutting off your stride.
The Henry Mid
These shoes are actually made for boxing-style workouts, which have a similarly varied structure to them. They have a low-to-the-ground sole, which keeps you stable during lifts, but they’re still supportive enough for running and jump roping.
Nike’s Metcon 4 is the ideal sneaker to fit every workout. You can feel it as soon as you put it on: Your foot is supported and your heel is stable—the rubber coming up the middle helps to support lateral movement—but there’s also a ton of room for your toes. If you’re looking for a single sneaker that can do it all, this is it.
Metcon DSX Flyknit 2
This Nike pair has the same shape as the other Metcon 4, but it levels up on the fabric and overall structure for a more supportive fit. The Flyknit fabric is flexible on your foot as you move, and the higher sock keeps more of your foot stabilized.
Reebok is the official sneaker partner of CrossFit, so you know it has put the work in on making the perfect shoe. This one was actually made with input from CrossFitters themselves, too—notably adding things like a more comfortable fit and breathable upper. The traction-friendly outsole is especially made to ensure you stay grounded while working, too.