The Best Shoes for Crossfit | Weight Lifting Shoes

There are tons shoes ideal for Crossfit to choose from, and people swear by them all.  But a few stand above the rest.   The 2011 Pendlay Weight Lifting Shoes, Vibram Five Fingers, and Inov-8.  Check out our recommendations for the best shoes for Crossfit.


The Inov-8 shoe provides the classic minimalist style footwear, while still giving you the support and traction you need.  The Inov-8 gives you optimal freedom, while the breathable mesh provides an excellent cooling system.  Highly recommended and used by several elite Crossfitters, including myself, you can’t go wrong.  I absolutely love these for trail running as well.

You’ll be looking at either getting the f-lite 230 or 195 Inov-8s.  I personally own and love the 195′s, but I know a lot of Crossfitters and trail runners who use and love both.  However, as you can see from the picture on the left, the bottom two are the 195′s and they provide less heel support.  So, this is where it comes down to a personal choice of more or less padding.  If this is your first minimalist shoe, perhaps go with more padding, so you can transition into the 195′s after you’ve used the 230′s for a year.

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2011 Pendlay Weight Lifting Shoes

The Pendlay weight lifting shoes have a great comfortable fit for when you are practicing your Olympic lifts, or when a workout calls for a good number of them.   Just be aware, like any Olympic lifting shoes, you can’t be doing box jumps and high reps of other plyometric type movements with them.  Actually, you can, but you simply risk wearing them out faster.

The heel is solid cork, surrounded by black leather, at a 3/4 inch height which makes it a lot easier to get deep in those squats while still having your torso upright.  As crossfitters, we take the best from each kind of training methodology.  Do the same with your equipment.  These are very popular in the Olympic lifting scene for a reason.

As far as sizing goes, make sure to go a half size down from your regular gym shoe

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Vibram Five Fingers

Used for Crossfit, your weekend excursions rock climbing or white water rafting, walking around building up a strong arch, on and on…  Many people swear these have solved their feet problems.  Your doctor probably won’t recommend them, but most Crossfitters who have used them, love them.  There is a “break in” period though, which means you can’t throw these on and go for a 5 mile run right away.  Also, your break in period depends on your physique and athletic background as well.

I own a pair personally (won them in a CF comp!), and love them to death.  I prefer a bit more padding like Inov-8′s when it comes to box jumps or a more typical Crossfit workout, but when it comes to using kettlebells, or low to medium impact bodyweight movements, I love them. With dozens of types and colors to choose from, it’s easy to find the pair you want.

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Which are the Best Shoes for Crossfit?

So you need to figure out which shoes are the best for Crossfit?  Look no further as we have listed the best shoes on the planet for Crossfit and Olympic lifting.  Tried and true, these have been used by the editor’s of the site, hundreds of Crossfitters, including many Crossfit Games competitors and affiliate owners that I personally know.  The best shoes for Crossfit vary depending on the exercises you are doing, and what you feel comfortable using.   Getting a high quality pair of Olympic lifting shoes like the Pendlay weight lifting shoes listed above make a lot of sense.  They are so comfortable, and provide the best support for your feet while Olympic lifting.  Shoes ideal for Crossfit include Inov-8s, Vibram Five Fingers, and the Pendlay weight lifting shoes.  If you own all of these shoes for Crossfit, you will be very happy, because they are all extremely ideal shoes for Crossfit.

Minimalist Shoes for Crossfit are the Best!

Minimalist running shoes have been around for a long time, but we have moved away from them with all the one hundred+ dollar stiff running shoes.  There has been a huge push back to them though in the past couple years. Good training shoes always revolve around the minimalist running shoe philosophy.  One important factor to remember when getting rid of your mobile casts (typical high padding shoes), is that your food and lower leg is incredibly weak.  Make sure you take weeks.. months.. to adjust to them starting off very slowly.

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