Strong Opinions & Strange Looking Shoes
If you’ve been following CrossFit for any amount of time, you’ve likely noticed some strong opinions about footwear. You’ve probably been introduced to some pretty, shall we say, “unique” shoe designs and styles as well. Or, maybe you’ve noticed folks advocating running, sans shoes, feet totally naked. Have you found the geriatric bowling shoes yet? I’d laugh at them if saw them on a shoe store shelf but, for some reason, I see a guy dead-lifting 400lb in those shoes and I want them…
All this to say, shoes are a big part of CrossFit. And, for good reason – there is a direct relationship between the health and condition of our feet and our CrossFit progress. Proper foot care and appropriate footwear are the primary ways we take care of these precious assets. Of course, a lot more is at stake than breaking our last PR. CrossFit places tremendous stress on our bodies, particularly our feet. If we don’t take care of them now, we will pay the price later. Even without CrossFit, the majority of us will face some some form of foot pain or ailment at some point in our lives. In fact, a significant reason for deteriorating quality of life in old age can be attributed to foot related ailments.
Some Foot Facts
Never experienced any foot pain or discomfort yourself? That’s pretty impressive, actually. Consider the following:
- Our feet account for 25% of the bones in our body (26 each or 52 for the pair)
- Each of our feet contains 33 joints, 107 ligaments, and 19 muscles
- There are roughly 250,000 sweat glands in our feet which can produce as much as 1/2 a pint of moisture per day
- The pressure on the feet when running can be as much as 4X the runner’s body weight
- During an average day of walking, the total forces on your feet can total hundreds of tons, approximately equivalent to an average fully loaded cement truck
Worthy of Your Attention
Well, hopefully I’ve caught your attention. My aim with this site is to serve the CrossFit community by researching a wide range of shoes for various CrossFit applications. I want to lead you to the best shoes for CrossFit. I also hope to provide everyone with a basic overview of foot anatomy, biomechanics, and injury prevention. I’m no podiatrist, but hopefully my efforts will save you time in your own shoe research and keep you injury free in your CrossFit pursuits. If there’s a particular shoe you’d like me to research, let me know. Or, if you have particular shoe-related frustration that you and your pals are all facing, shoot me an e-mail and I’ll kick in to research mode.
Best Shoes For CrossFit Shortlist
Brand & Model Rating Price
576 @ 4.6 stars $120
71 @ 4.8 stars $120
135 @ 4.6 stars $100
23 @ 4.7 stars $75
The Nano 4.0 is Reebok’s flagship CrossFit model. They are continually improving the shoe based on the input of the CrossFitters it sponsors. The Nano 4.0 is a “jack of all trades” that will serve you well on most CrossFit WODs. The only time it might fall short is if you’re focused on improving your olympic lifts and you need extra drop to help you keep proper form.
The F-Lite 240 is one of Inov8’s most popular models. Like the Nano 4.0, it’s geared toward doing everything well. Again, the only time you may feel it’s falling short is on the olympic lifts.
The Minius 20v3 is New Balance’s minimalist, low, or no-drop cross trainer. It’s received fantastic reviews from many CrossFitters.
The CossFit Lite Lo TR is a new entry from Reebok that has received very strong reviews. It’s also a great option because of the price (you can find them between $50 and $75). They look like an updated, beefier Chuck Taylor, or a skater shoe. If you’re really into the power lifts, this would be a great option to consider.
If you’re interested in a more comprehensive list including options from Asics, Nike and others check out my comprehensive table of the Best CrossFit Shoes HERE.