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The Best CrossFit Shoes Picked By CrossFit Coaches

CrossFit athlete Tia Toomey performing a kipping pull-up while wearing the Reebok Nano 9 shoes
CrossFit athlete Tia Toomey performing a kipping pull-up while wearing the Reebok Nano 9 CrossFit shoes (Image credit: Reebok)

Is anything more demanding on footwear than a CrossFit workout? We doubt it. Your CrossFit shoes have to cope with a lot, because of the varied and challenging nature of the HIIT-meets-lifting workouts with running and callisthenics thrown in. That means you need elements from the best gym trainers, the best weightlifting shoes and even the best running shoes. When you’re crushing your workout of the day (WOD), the last thing you want to be thinking about is your shoes, so it pays to make sure they’re up to the job.

“Versatility is the key factor when it comes to shoes for CrossFit,” says Nico Salton, the head coach at CrossFit London (opens in new tab). “Your shoes need to be cushioned enough for running, box jumps and burpees, yet stable enough for lifting.”

What else should you look for when shopping for CrossFit shoes? “The shoe should have a large toe box so your toes can spread out when lifting,” says Salton. “The heel needs to slide well on the wall during handstand push-ups and the side of the shoe needs to have a rugged texture to provide grip during rope climbs.”

We asked coaches at some of the UK’s top CrossFit boxes which shoes they use and why, drawing on their first-hand experience to help you choose the best CrossFit shoes for you.

Christine MacFarlane uses Reebok's Nano 8, Khi Leonard swears by the Inov8 F-Lite 260

From left to right: Christine MacFarlane uses Reebok's Nano 8, Khi Leonard swears by the Inov8 F-Lite 260 (Image credit: Christine MacFarlane and Khi Leonard)

The Best CrossFit Shoes

Reebok Nano X2 CrossFit Shoes

(Image credit: Reebok)
Supportive all-rounder that’s good for running

Specifications

RRP : $135 / £110
Weight: 331g (men’s size 10)
Drop: 7mm

Reasons to buy

+
Grippy, durable sole
+
Supportive 
+
Comfortable and breathable

Reasons to avoid

-
Some find the stiff heel clip rubs

The latest Nano offers more support for lifting and a tough exterior improves durability during rope climbs and other contact moves, while more cushioning makes them suitable for running and for wearing all-day. 

“It’s Nanos for me,” says Alex Allen of CrossFit Glasgow (opens in new tab). “They are pretty durable and comfy.” 

“Although the Nano is not my go-to at the moment, I do find them best for running,” says Harry Hanford of CrossFit London.

Read more in our Reebok Nano X2 review


Inov8 F-Lite 300

(Image credit: Innov-8)
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Inov8 F-Lite G 300

Tough, stable, comfortable graphene-enhanced all-rounder

Specifications

RRP: $150 / £140
Weight: 300g
Drop: 6mm

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable for all-day wear
+
Tough, grippy sole
+
Lifting stabiliser in the heel

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as flexible as other shoes

Featuring a lifting stabiliser in the heel and a graphene-enhanced outsole for extra grip, the versatile F-Lite G 300 is Inov8’s top CrossFit shoe.

“The Inov8 F-Lite G 300 is my current go-to,” says Martin Fishwick of CrossFit Glasgow. “I can lift, run and jump easily in them. I find they’re a better all-rounder than the Nobulls and Nano Xs I had before. They’re comfy enough if you’re on your feet for long stretches of coaching, too.”


Nike Metcon 7

(Image credit: Nike)
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Nike Metcon 7

Stable, lightweight, low-drop shoe with a rubber wrap for rope climbs

Specifications

RRP: $130 / £114.95
Weight: 283g
Drop: 4mm

Reasons to buy

+
Very stable, well-suited to lifting
+
Durable rubber wrap is great for rope climbs

Reasons to avoid

-
A little firm and flat for running

“I look for stability when lifting, comfiness for running, box jumps and so on, and durability,” says Harry Hanford of CrossFit London. “My go-to at the moment is the Metcon 7. It’s the best for moderate to heavy lifting as I find it the most stable.”


Nano Froning CrossFit shoes

(Image credit: Reebok )
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Reebok Nano X1 Froning

Lightweight, flexible all-rounder

Specifications

RRP: $155 / £120
Weight: 324g
Drop: 7mm

Reasons to buy

+
Wide toe box for stable lifts
+
Comfortable, lightweight and fairly well cushioned

Reasons to avoid

-
Less suited to running
-
Drawstring laces can give a less secure fit

This redesigned version of the Nano was created in collaboration with CrossFit Games champion Rich Froning, featuring a sock-style upper and an elastic lace system.

“The CF shoes that I'm using the most at the minute are the Reebok Nano X1 Froning,” says Nico Salton, the head coach at CrossFit London. “They offer good ankle support, and with no traditional laces there’s no problem mid-WOD, especially during rope climbs. They have a large toe box so are comfortable and are more rigid and stable than the previous Nanos – perfect for Olympic lifts at light to moderate load.”


R.A.D ONE CrossFit shoes

(Image credit: R.A.D)
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R.A.D One

A cushioned, stable all-rounder

Specifications

RRP: $150 / £130
Weight: 360g
Drop : 6mm

Reasons to buy

+
Cushioned and comfortable
+
Stable for lifting
+
Durable

Reasons to avoid

-
More expensive than most other options

“Another favourite for me is the R.A.D One,” says Hanford. “It’s cushioned, stable and durable – it can cope with all the different CrossFit movements and is very comfy.”


Inov-8 F-Lite 260

(Image credit: Inov-8)
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Inov8 F-Lite 260

Lightweight, breathable graphene-enhanced shoe with excellent grip

Specifications

RRP : $140 / £134.99
Weight: 260g
Drop: 8mm

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight and breathable
+
Comfortable enough to wear all day

Reasons to avoid

-
Greater drop less suitable for lifting

The F-Lite 260 is lightweight with a breathable knit upper, and has a met-cradle for stability and a protective toe bumper.

“They’re a good all-rounder: nice and flat for lifting, surprisingly good for running and a really good fit,” says Khi Leonard of CrossFit Glasgow.

“I find them very comfortable,” says Niko Gergov of CrossFit Glasgow. “The bonus is that they’re so breathable that you don’t get stinky feet in them after a long day of coaching.”


Reebok Nano 8.0 CrossFit trainers

(Image credit: Reebok)
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Reebok Nano 8.0

Versatile, breathable all-rounder with a low drop

Specifications

Price: From $40 / From £72
Weight: 317g (men’s size 10)
Drop: 4mm

Reasons to buy

+
Supportive and durable
+
Comfortable and breathable
+
Machine washable

Reasons to avoid

-
Hard to find older model

With its durable, breathable Flexweave outer layer and wide toe box, the Nano 8 remains a popular choice among CrossFitters.

“I find Nano 8s are best for training,” says Viv Henry of CrossFit Glasgow. “They do what you want them to do in most things including rope climbs, which is rare.”

“They’re comfortable, supportive and great for all movements, even running,” says Christine McFarlane of CrossFit Glasgow. “And best of all they’re machine washable.”


More About CrossFit

  • Functional movements, ultra-high intensity… and injuries? Not if you do it right – read our handy guide to CrossFit for beginners
  • CrossFit couples: “Never ‘no rep’ your girlfriend” and other essential advice from a couple who set up their own box together
Camilla Artault
Camilla Artault

Camilla Artault is a writer and keen runner. She has covered women’s running gear – testing leggings, jackets, bras, tops and shorts – for Coach since 2018, as well as interviewing experts and writing about a range of health and lifestyle topics.