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Thursday 2 August, 2012

By 08/02/2012No Comments

What kind of shoes should I wear?

There are a TON of different shoes out there, so I’ll run down some basics.  First off, ask yourself WHY you’re looking to buy a shoe.  Is it for running?  General CrossFitty stuff?  Weightlifting?  Everyday work shoe?

Most shoes built for athletic use (everything we do) are going to cost in the $90-120 range.  So be ready for that.

RUNNING:  We teach/use the Pose Method (google it, or use your private skill session to learn it!).  This method has you landing on your mid-foot, with your heel barely kissing the ground.  The optimal shoe will have near-zero heel lift (so very flat), and just enough cushion to sustain longer runs.  You want something that breathes well and is very flexible around your foot.


  • Inov-8 F-lite 195 or 230.  These are what you’ll usually find Lawrence and Jeff wearing day-to-day.  Soft sole and minimal heel lift, Inov-8’s are designed by and for runners.  Cost: ~$100.  Drawbacks:  They do wear over time, so I’d recommend limiting them to workout-only to extend their lifetime.  Not recommended for climbing rope, as the tread will melt as you slide down.

CROSSFIT:  Often times, running shoes double as CrossFit shoes.  We want a shoe that has minimal heel lift (so we can run), a small amount of cushion (so box jumps don’t hurt), a flat sole (so we can squat), and a solid rubber bottom (so we can climb ropes without melting our shoes).


  • Reebok CrossFit Nano 2.0.  Built by/for CrossFitters.  I was initially skeptical of a major shoe company marketing to our fringe group, but Reebok has shown they understand and love CrossFit.  I tried on these shoes at the 2012 CrossFit Games, and they feel like Inov-8’s with Vibram treads.  Probably my next shoe.  Cost: $115-140 (depending on customization).

WEIGHTLIFTING:  Ah, NOW we’re talking!  Anyone who is serious about picking up heavy stuff should be considering a weightlifting-specific shoe.  We’re going to use this shoe for any squat-based movement- so back/front/overhead squat, clean and jerk, and snatch (not the deadlift).  An ideal shoe will give you superb stability and “feel” of the ground (called “proprioception”).  Weightlifting shoes also feature a raised heel, allowing you to achieve a deeper squat without needing as much ankle flexibility.  A good weightlifting shoe will probably add 5-10% to your ability immediately.


  • Nike Romaleo’s.  The industry standard, and you’ll see them being worn every day at the Olympics.  Cost: $150-190
  • Adidas AdiPOWER.  Also seen at the Olympics.  Cost: $200

Cost your concern?  Look into the Reebok CrossFit Oly ($150) or a set of Do-Wins ($100-120).  If you’re REALLY short on cash, professionals have been lifting in Chuck Taylor’s for decades.  Totally flat, but lack the heel stability or lift of a good WL shoe.

What about Vibram five-finger shoes?  I’ve owned a pair, and honestly LOVED running through grass with them.  Feels like how a human was meant to run.  Probably a great choice for bouldering as well.  However, the lack of cushion may bother you on longer runs and jumping movements, and if you don’t have the Pose technique down, you could be looking at some painful days ahead.  The heel also doesn’t provide as much support as a weightlifting shoe.  The Merrells and New Balance Minimus fall into this category as well.

Bottom line: If you’re serious about CrossFit, stop shopping at Payless and get yourself a good pair of shoes.  Soft cushy soles & heels = BAD.  It’s ultimately up to you and your budget, so find something you’re happy with!



20 mins to work up to a HEAVY 1 Rep deadlift


21 Kettlebell Swings
21 Burpees
200m Run
15 Kettlebell Swings
15 Burpees
400m Run
9 Kettlebell Swings
9 Burpees
800M Run


Brian Lee

About Brian Lee

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