What shoes should I wear for Crossfit

I had a new athlete say to me the other day, ” I see people with a gym bag full of shoes. How do they know which ones to wear?”

Here is a list of the 3 different types of shoes Crossfitters wear

  1. Running Shoes – These shoes have lots of cushioning especially in the heel. They are great for box jumps, jump rope, running, and generally any movement that involves impact on your legs. One issue with these shoes is that they are designed to help your foot roll forward’ This is great for running but awful for deadlifts or any movement that is heel dominate (a movement where your bodyweight needs to stay over your heels). You’ll find yourself fighting to stay on your heels while your shoes are pushing you forward.
  2. Crossfit Shoes – These are flat and have very little padding, what is the appeal? Crossfit shoes are more about function than comfort. Over the years these shoes have evolved in style, comfort, and function ( some even have a rough area in the arch to help with rope climbs). That being said these shoes aren’t the ones you would wear for a 5k because of the lack of cushioning. The short runs ( 1 mile or shorter) during a metcon are fine.
  3. Lifters – The awkward shoe of the bunch. They are set with a hard elevated heel and absolutely no cushioning in the sole. Lifters were originally made for Olympic lifters. They set your body up for better positioning during the squat with the clean and snatch. When would Crossfitters wear lifters? Anytime you’re squatting in movements like wall balls, thrusters, cleans, snatches, front and back squats. These shoes aren’t great for running, box jumps, or anything where you need some cushioning.

If you are on a budget, Crossfit shoes are your best bet. They will not hinder any of the movements you do. Multiple companies are making them so they come in many different styles and colors. If you’re not sure of which ones to buy, try asking your fellow Crossfitters most of them have tried multiple brands.

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