What should you look for in a CrossFit shoe?
Believe it or not, not all shoes are created equal when it comes to CrossFit. Just like your old Reebok pump high tops (please tell me you remember those from the 90s....) are not awesome for running a marathon, not every shoe is the best for doing CrossFit. Here are some things to look for in a CrossFit shoe:
1) Durability. You're going to be running, jumping, lifting, rope climbing (this one is the biggest culprit in ruining shoes) and all sorts of other stuff in these shoes so they need to be built to last. Shoes with a lot of small rubber pieces on the bottom are not particularly sturdy and tend to get ruined fast.
2) Lightweight. Try doing toes to bar in a pair of boots vs. a pair of tennis shoes. I promise, especially when you're tired, you can tell a difference. Those trail running shoes may be sturdy, but they often weigh quite a bit. Anything that involves lifting your feet off of the ground will be much more comfortable in light weight shoes.
3) A flat sole. This is something lots of new CrossFitters are unaware of. You want a shoe with a flat sole for several reasons: 1) They offer a wider and more stable base for those times when you're box jumping or lifting weight. 2) Shoes with lots of padding on bottom have been linked to all sorts of ankle and knee problems because they encourage the dangerous and damaging heel strike while running 3) Shoes with lots of padding on the bottom tend to make it more difficult to control your weight in your heels and 4) if you can't feel the ground through all of that padding, it's more difficult for your body to make adjustments to force and balance. Want more information? I highly recommend the book Born to Run. It's a fantastic and enlightening book that sparked this huge barefoot running movement (and the rise of chia seeds). I'm more of the quick read type person (the last books I've read have all had movies made about them - Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games...don't judge) but this isn't a borning non-fiction/history book. I couldn't put this one down.
So which are the best ones? I'm partial to the Reebok CrossFit Nano (original or 2.0) which was designed by Reebok specifially for CrossFitters. Phil and I each own 3 pairs - not because they don't last, but because we can't decide on colors :) In fact, you can even customize your Nanos with your name and any color combo you can think of. There are plenty of other good shoes out there though, so here are some links to reviews and recommendations for men's and women's CrossFit shoes.
10 power snatch (75/55)
10 wall ball