So you’ve decided it’s time to trade in your runners or gym shoes for more CrossFit specific footwear.
These shoes are designed to excel in the dynamic and challenging environment of a CrossFit workout.
They will perform better and last longer than an ordinary shoe, meaning you can focus on achieving your goals.
In this article, we review the best CrossFit shoes currently on the market in Australia and then outline the key things to look out for when making your choice.
Our top pick: Nike Metcon 7
Pros: Versatile, responsive, stable, comfortable
Cons: Not a pure weightlifting shoe
Why we chose them: These shoes are built for weight training but are versatile enough to be used for cardio thanks to their flex. The inner plate distributes weight from edge to edge for stability, while the Nike React foam provides a responsive cushioned base. The tab locks down your laces and the rubber grip from all angles makes them suitable for CrossFit rope climbs.
What’s changed from the Nike Metcon 6? The Metcon 7 has been redesigned with an improved rubber wrap. The shoe is also tougher and more stable than previous versions. Finally, the Metcon now features Nike React foam that improves comfort—so you can train harder and longer.
Runner up: Inov-8 F Lite 235
Pros: Lightweight, wide fit and toe box, dense heel for lifting, 4mm drop
Cons: Rope gripping could be better
Why we chose them: Another super popular CrossFit shoe, the F Lite 235 from Inov-8 is a minimalist, super tough, stable, and lightweight option designed for people pushing their limits in the box.
The super sticky outsole wraps onto the upper for rope climbs, while the grooved design of the sole maximises flexibility, improving movement and responsiveness.
The F Lite 235 has a 4mm drop for superior stability and control.
Also great: Reebok Nano X2
Pros: Very versatile, secure and stable, good for weight and strength training
Cons: Less suited to running
Why we chose them: The Reebok Nano X2 is an incredibly versatile gym shoe that can be worn for almost any activity. The soft and durable upper is made from a Flexweave knit, which is comfortable and breathable. The supportive heel clip helps to keep the foot secure in the shoe, and the durable rubber outsole provides traction on all types of surfaces.
The Nano X2 has a responsive and flexible forefoot that provides you with better control during your workout. The Floatride Energy Foam in this model provides responsive cushioning without feeling too squishy or unstable underfoot.
Nike Free X Metcon
Great for those who value a flexible, breathable, and lightweight Crossfit shoe, the Free X Metcon excels in these areas without too much compromise in terms of durability and stability.
With extra-durable material in high-wear areas, rubber wraps for rope climbs. deep grooves in the sole for flex, comfortable cushioning for lifting, flywire cables to lock your foot in place, and an inner sleeve for a sock-like fit, this is an awesome training shoe from Nike that will withstand whatever your WOD throws at you.
- Super comfortable
- Good for Running
- Less durable and stable than other options
Reebok CrossFit Speed TR 2.0
Why we chose them: Probably the best value, all-around CrossFit shoe, the Speed TR is super comfortable, lightweight, and flexible, while a tough upper will withstand wear and tear.
The rope protection works very well, while a multi directional sole provides superior traction in a range of activities.
As the name suggests, this shoe is designed to excel in high-speed WODs and would suit people who prioritise this, however, it still performs perfectly well for lifting.
- Great for running
- Great grip
- Less stable than other options
How To Choose CrossFit Shoes
Here are the key considerations to keep in mind when choosing a pair of shoes for CrossFit:
CrossFit specific shoes
Firstly you’re going to want to ensure you are looking at shoes designed with CrossFit in mind.
Here are the key differences between CrossFit shoes and general running or exercise footwear:
- Less of a “drop”, meaning the heel is not as high in comparison to the toe. This flatter shape allows for optimal weight distribution for lifting and jumping.
- The outsole is solid, providing stability when landing from rope climbs or box jumps, as well as for activities such as deadlifts or back squats.
- They are more durable. Crossfit shoes are designed to take a beating, and have extra protection in high impact areas.
- A wider toe box allows your toes to spread, improving weight distribution when landing and lifting.
- They are also built for flexibility, allowing for movement in a range of different activities.
Types of CrossFit shoes
Your shoe choice may differ depending on what types of CrossFit activities you spend the most time on, or an area of weakness you want to improve on.
All CrossFit shoes are a balance between the disciplines of weightlifting, running, and gymnastics, and all have to make compromises in one area in favour of another.
For example, the Nike Metcon 4 is a stable, lifting shoe adapted for running and gymnastics, while the Free X Metcon is more of a running shoe adapted for weightlifting and gymnastics.
The best shoe for your needs is really personal preference, and you should ensure you pick something that is aligned to your style and requirements.
However, if we could only pick one shoe we’d go with the latest Nike Metcon as they combine a range of awesome CrossFit technology, are super comfortable, and look great.