What a big year for CrossFit shoes it’s been in 2021 already! With the shift of title sponsorship away from Reebok and with No Bull for the 2021 CrossFit games and other brands like ASICS and Innov8 trying to make some space for themselves within the sport, and Nike still holding on with a name in the game, there’s been a lot of new technology and options presented. While the competition is tough, we’ve nailed down the 5 best CrossFit shoes of 2021 for overall performance.
How To Choose CrossFit Shoes
Choosing a shoe, regardless of sport, comes down to the way it fits your foot, the way it feels, what's the shoe is intended to do, and of course, price. Are you planning on this being your main pair of shoes? Are you going to beat them to death or do you want them mainly for looks? Functionality always trumps looks in our book, but that being said, it does do a little number for your confidence when you feel good in them AND look good in them.
We've chosen the following list of shoes based on these things, and a few others. We're not here for the popularity contest. We're here for pure performance. So if you're in the game for a new shoe, or just trying to figure out some comparison and contrast between them, you've come to the right place.
Reebok Nano X1
If you’re looking for an overall shoe that really has it all, then we suggest ordering a pair of the Nano X1 by Reebok, aka the “Official Shoe of Fitness”. With a completely redesigned toe box on the Nano that launched in early 2021, and Floatride technology buffering the midsole material, not to mention the slight heel lift for those deeper movements, you’re going to be able to lift, run, and jump better than before.
The Reebok Nano X1's are flexible with the Flexweave woven textile upper, but sturdy. Supportive from the Floatride Energy Foam technology, but not stiff or unresponsive. They’re also not quite as ‘thick’ as the Nano X material wise and feel more like a runner that slays tension under the barbell.
Arguably the most durable shoe for CrossFit, the NOBULL Trainer has proved year in and year out to be one of the best go-to shoes for cross fitters alike. With a moderate spread in the foot, whether you have narrow or wide feet, you’re going to feel comfortable and supported in the trainers. They have a ton of color ways so you can’t get bored with them and they’ll really take any kind of beating you throw at them.
Another signature mark on the NOBULL Trainers is that they have a one-piece, seamless construction, using SuperFabric, which is this really neat, durable, breathable, abrasion resistant material. They’re not going to break down during rope climbs and as you break them in, they’re going to be there for you through long intervals, too. Did we mention the logo is reflective, keeping you safe on the sidewalk?
Nike Metcon 7
Nike’s been hanging in the CrossFit realm for a while now with the Metcon shoe and after the launch of the 7 this year, they’re better and more breathable than ever. When originally launched some years ago, they felt clunky and thick. Not to mention they had the traditional Nike ‘squeek’ of the material shifting. Nowadays, the Metcon’s are fluid and functional to support your lifting and endurance goals, which are crucial in the CF space.
The wide, flat heel provides stability, but the mid-foot remains flexible enough to support cardio. The Nike React foam gives you a little ‘pep in your step’ and on the 7, as compared to the Metcon 6, the revamped rubber wraps support the arch for better grip during activities like rope climbs.
Inov-8 F-Lite™ G 300
In the past, Inov-8 has made a great name for themselves in the endurance/runner community as a tough, high quality shoe. They’ve outdone themselves with the F-Lite™ G 300 designed for both weightlifting and side-to-side exercises, making it a great option for CrossFit. It fits like a bootie, has a graphene-infused outsole for some serious grip and sure-footedness, and has a mid-foot cage for arch support.
Under Armour TriBase Reign 2
If you’re looking for a more middle of the road trainer for your CrossFit workouts, then we’d suggest checking out the Under Armour TriBase Reign 2. It’s breathable, flexible, but strong enough to get under the weight and feel supported without a major heel lift. With the TriBase construction, you can really chase that next PR while also being able to pivot and head out for a run during the Metcon and not have to worry about your feet hurting. They are a lower profile shoe, so if you do have ankle issues, make sure to try these on before you buy them to make sure you’re getting the support you need to stay safe through your movements.
New Balance Minimus Prevail
Minimus indeed, but Maximus in its performance, the Minimus Prevail presented by New Balance makes a great shoe for crossfitters. You get that cushy knit padding in the top part of the shoe with a solid and comfortable Vibram sole on the bottom. They’ve done a nice job bridging the gap between barefoot training and running, which New Balance is known for. While they don’t have the biggest name for themselves in the sport, if you’re looking for an all around comfy shoe that gives that barefoot feel, we’d recommend scooping up a pair of these.
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