CrossFit Gear

Reebok Crossfit Men's ApparelReebok Crossfit Nano 2.0CrossFit StoreReebok Crossfit Women's Apparel

Recently I’ve gotten a bunch of questions regarding CrossFit footwear….which is great! I love the desire to be more prepared for WODs and the hunger for more information. Before I provide you with my brief opinion on CrossFit footwear, I want to point out that I recently enrolled our affiliate in the Reebok CrossFit Affiliate Revenue Sharing Program. What this means is if you use any of the Reebok ad links you see on our home page (any of the ones above, in the right-hand column, or at the very bottom of this page) to purchase gear from the Reebok CrossFit online store, our affiliate receives 10%. With this 10%, I promise to earmark it back toward the gym. This is your money so I’d like to make sure you get everything out of it! Just make sure you use these links!!! If it asks you for an email to reference back to the affiliate, please use

With that being said…..SHOES:

Reebok Nano: I have very little experience with these shoes outside of the currently unreleased pair I have been testing the past couple days. They, like all of the shoes I am discussing, have a minimal sole. The ones I have have a nice tight grip. Initially, I didn’t feel much arch support but as I have worn them a bit they’ve felt better in that sense. Reebok shoes tend to run a little wider so if you have a narrow foot, you should try to find a pair to try on first. Many CrossFitters have enjoyed this shoe and they are definitely a great place to start. They also recently came out with a lot of different ways to customize this shoe, style-wise.

Nike Free: I have a pair of the Free 3.0 V3s (last year’s model). These are fairly suitable for CrossFit. They are better for WODs with running involved as they offer some heel cushion but are still relatively flat. Unfortunately, they do not offer much lateral support. This tends not to be an issue with CrossFit as we don’t do many agility drills involving sharp cuts. As I do a search for the latest Nike Frees though, I’m reminded that you need to be careful as to WHICH versions you look at. Try to stay away from any of the Run+, 5.0, or TR versions. These seem to have a taller heel than the 3.0s. The 3.0s may be more difficult to find but they are the only Nike Frees I would recommend getting. If somehow you can track down a 2.0 from years ago then even better. The number previously determined the height of the heel – this may not be a reliable gauge now so pay attention to the shoe itself.

Inov-8s: There are many versions of Inov-8s out there now. The most popular ones for CrossFit are: BARE-XF 210s, F-LITE 195s, and the F-LITE 215s (these are women’s only). The BARE-XF 210s boast a zero differential from the heel to the toe but they don’t offer much traction in the sole – that has kept me from purchasing a pair of them. The F-LITE 195s and the F-LITE 215s are pretty well used in the CrossFit world. They come in various color schemes too. They boast a 3mm and 6mm differential, respectively. These are good shoe to start CrossFitting with, as well.

New Balance Minimus: This is a fairly new shoe line and hasn’t penetrated the CrossFit world that deeply yet. It seemingly came on right around the time Reebok began producing their own CrossFit shoe (the Nano). I really don’t have any experience with this shoe at all but the lineup does have a zero differential version (the Zero, aptly named). I believe one of our members has a pair of these and when asked about them, he said he liked them. So take that for what it’s worth. You can likely find this lineup at a running store since they tend to carry the full line of New Balance running shoes.

Vibram Five Fingers: Ah, yes. The “toe shoe”. Love em or hate em, they are out there. You will definitely see CrossFitters wearing these shoes. Not to stereotype but many come from the running world and they swear by them. I am all for them IFF (not a typo – quick math lesson AGAIN [we already have learned about the !] – this means “if and only if”. so, there’s your one thing today. 😉 )  you already know how to run WITHOUT heel striking or if you are willing to put in the time to learn how not to heel strike. They are about as bare as it gets. Basically only allowing enough protection on your soles to keep your feet from getting sliced up. They also have individual toe slots, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Converse All-Stars aka “Chuck Taylors” aka “Chucks”: I love these shoes for non-running or short run days. Zero differential, very little padding, and very stable for heavy barbell lifts without getting fancy with Oly shoes (we’ll save Olympic Weightlifting shoes for a later post). These are about as basic as they get and are probably the cheapest of the lot mentioned here. It never hurts to have a pair in your gym bag, especially when we are simply weight training.

I’m sure there are others out there but these are all I can think of at the moment. PLEASE feel free to share your experience with CrossFit shoes in the comments.


Strength Training:

3 RM snatch balance



12 min AMRAP

    • 3 power snatches (75% 3 RM snatch balance weight)
    • 6 squat jumps
    • 9 C2B pull-ups


Post 3 RM snatch balance weight and WOD score to comments.

by admin in Announcement, Coach's Tips, WOD

8 Responses to CrossFit Gear

  1. Tim S

    I’m on my second pair of Inov8 F-lite 230’s and love them. They’re awkward at first for running but as you learn pose running (flat foot (thats another post)) you begin to appreciate these shoes much more. I’ve even ran a half marathon in them/ I’d plan on 1/2 size smaller than normal for these.

    I also have a pair of Nike Free 3.0. I like them for running. Enough support bust still a good feel of the ground. I don’t like these for box jumps or oly movements because they don’t feel very solid.

  2. Justin

    Ordered the Nano 2.0s in super hot green. Looking forward to giving em a shot next week.

    I’ve got a pair of FiveFingers I’ve done a fair amount of hiking in. I don’t know how I’d feel about box jumps (or even running) in them since there’s so little support, but maybe I’ll try them out sometime. I do love them for hiking in steep/slippery terrain since you get such a great feel for the ground.

  3. joey

    I have used the frees, minimus, nano’s, and a variety of innov-8s so i’ll give my take on each…

    Frees- These are a start to the minimalist style of footwear, but not a drastic one. These are much better than your average running shoes because of the natural flex they allow the foot, but personally I’d hesistate to recommend these. Keep in mind when doing barbell work/squatting movements, power is generated through your heel so you want as little compression as possible, and these have a decent amount of heel padding. With that said, for those who run with a heavy heel strike, these are a decent choice and a step in the right direction.

    Minimus- I have the trails, and although I don’t use them very often anymore, I do love them. I started off using Five Fingers and although I loved them, I had trouble feeling comfortable in them while doing box jumps, rope climbs, rowing, etc. The Minimus (,default,pd.html?dwvar_MT10_color=Grey_with_Yellow&start=1&q=minimus) is about as glove-like and bare as the Five Fingers, but slightly more practical in my opinion. I would highly recommend them.

    Nanos- I think the Nanos may be one of the best all around CrossFitting shoes out there, and despite my initial protest to the whole Reebok thing, if you are only going to get one shoe I would recommend you try these. They were my go to shoe until I realized I had entirely too many shoes and gave them away… They are very durable, comfortable, and don’t have hardly any heel compression. A good all around workhorse.

    Innov-8s- I have had the 230s, 195s, and my current pair, the Bare x-Lite 150. The 230s and 195s are both a solid choice with the 195s having a flatter/less cushioned heel, but being a fan of more minimalist footwear like Five Fingers and the Minimus 10, I like the Bare X-lite 150s the best. I wear these everyday that doesn’t involve heavy lifting, and sometimes when it does. They are like the Minimus 10, but with a sole designed for pavement opposedt o a trail. My favorite shoe by far.

    Sorry for the long post, but footwear does matter in this game!

    • Tim S

      You’re a stud.

  4. Jon K

    All good stuff! Really helpful in helping me figure out which pair would be best. Leaning towards the inov-8’s, pretty much only wear flip flops or Sanuk’s and these sound like they might be a good fit with the flat heel and minimalist feel.

  5. Jon K

    The clymb has inov-8 shoes and gear for 50% off today just picked up a pair.

    • JJ Christopher

      Nice! Which Inov-8s did you get?

  6. Jon K

    The 195 only had the gray though really wanted the neon green