Finding athletic footwear used to be fairly easy.
There simply weren’t many options and your body suffered as a result.
Times are different. Athletic shoes are now available for every sport – including CrossFit!
But if you’re a beginner to CrossFit, where do you begin?
We’ve created the Beginner’s Guide to Finding the Right CrossFit minimalist shoes.
Compare Minimalist CrossFit Shoes
Let’s start with some information about CrossFit Minimalist Shoes
1. Common Myths About CrossFit Workouts
Since this is a beginner’s guide to CrossFit minimalist shoes, it’s safe to assume you’re new to CrossFit.
Let’s explore some common myths to help you get the most out of this sport:
Myth 1. You’ll Bulk Up: Not usually. Those bulked-up people are the top competitors in the world. Most people use CrossFit to become stronger, fitter and more toned.
Myth 2. You Have to Eat a Paleo Diet: Not everyone benefits from the same diet. Not everyone has the same diet goals, either.
Paleo consists of a high-fiber, high-protein, low-carb diet which works well for many athletes.
But not everyone has the sam budget, time or diet goals.
Start with your workout routine and then consult a doctor if you want to change your diet.
Myth 3. You’ll Pass Out Or Vomit During Workouts: CrossFit is an intense sport. But if you’re passing out, you’re doing harm to yourself, not good.
In CrossFit, you first build yourself a foundation to build on. You need to learn the proper techniques. It’s about consistency.
The intensity comes when you’re ready. It’s okay to feel tired and sore, it’s not okay to exhaust yourself into respiratory distress or injure yourself.
If you feel like you’re about to vomit or pass out, stop and rest or get help.
Myth 4. You’ll Get Seriously Injured: As with all athletics, an injury is possible. However, CrossFit is designed to strengthen muscles and prevent injury.
Here are some ways to prevent serious injury:
- Wear at least CrossFit minimalist shoes to protect your feet
- If it seems too heavy, don’t lift it
- Listen to your body – it will tell you when it’s time to stop
- Stay hydrated and eat Omega 3’s to reduce inflammation
Myth 5. It’s Time Consuming: While not everyone will have the schedule to become a CrossFit fan, it doesn’t mean countless hours in the gym, either.
- 3-4 workouts per week are all it takes for big changes.
- 2 workouts per week are all it takes to maintain your current fitness level.
- Workouts can last anywhere from 8 minutes to an hour.
Myth 6. You Can Just Wear Running Shoes: In general, we don’t recommend running shoes for CrossFit workouts.
Running shoes have a high heel to toe drop. This helps to propel you forward when running, but sprints are just a small part of a CrossFit workout. You also have rope climbing, weight lifting, box jumps and more.
2. What Are CrossFit Minimalist Shoes?
80% of runners suffered injuries of some type last year.
Studies are showing fewer injuries are occurring when an athlete chooses CrossFit “minimalist shoes” or no athletic footwear at all.
So why not just choose to go barefoot? Here’s why:
CrossFit Minimalist shoes offer more:
- Better Grip
- Protection from Injury
3. What Should I Look for in a CrossFit Minimalist Shoe?
There are 3 big things to look for when choosing a minimalist CrossFit shoe:
1. The Drop
The drop measures the difference between the height of the heel and the height of the forefoot. This guides your feet from heel to toe.
So if you’re a runner, you want additional support and may choose an 8mm drop.
But in a CrossFit minimalist shoe, a 4mm drop or lower is chosen.
With CrossFit, you want a shoe that evenly distributes your weight. You want to feel as though you’re barefoot for better balance.
2. The Hard Sole
A CrossFit athlete looks for stability. Lifting heavy weights demands that your feet are planted firmly on the ground.
However, not all athletes are the same and not everyone wants the same kind of workout.
To find the perfect sole for your needs:
- Know how you plan to workout – Not everyone works out the same way. It’s important to match your shoes to your fitness levels and goals.
- Know how you plan to use the shoe – Certain activities will cause more wear on your shoes. Plan ahead of time which activities you plan to participate in to help you find a shoe that lasts.
- Know your climate – Snow and rain will ruin any CrossFit trainer’s workout and their shoes. Choose wisely in climates with varied weather.
- Know your own personal shoe preferences – These are your shoes so make sure you feel comfortable and supported in them.
CrossFit means variety.
One moment you might be lifting Olympic-sized weights. The next you’re running down a long trail, and later on you might plan to do some rope climbing.
You need an athletic shoe that can handle all that variety. You need a shoe that will last.
Look for CrossFit minimalist shoes that feature traction on the top of the shoe as well as the back. Otherwise, you’ll find your shoe wears out quickly when rope climbing.
Inspect the sole where the upper meets the instep. If there is soft foam with no added protection your shoes will most likely wear out very quickly.
In online reviews CrossFit enthusiasts wrote they also looked for:
- Fits Like a Glove to Your Feet
- A Good Buy
- Good Flexibility
4. Who Makes CrossFit Minimalist Shoes?
Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to take a look at the companies making CrossFit minimalist shoes.
Let’s start with a few fan favorites:.
Reebok CrossFit Shoes: The official shoe of CrossFit. For 10 years. Enough said. Check out the Reebok CrossFit Nano Series for just one example.
Nike: Legally speaking, Nike doesn’t make a CrossFit shoe.
But that hasn’t stopped Nike.
In a recent, but small poll, over 50% of a CrossFit class were wearing Nike shoes. 50% more than Reebok. One of the shoes from Nike that we love for CrossFit is the Nike Metcon 2.
Converse: Chuck Taylors, a shoe so well made it’s barely changed in over 100 years.
Perfect for powerlifters. The flat sole helps you remain planted. It also helps you feel the ground and push with your heels.
Merrell: Another company that makes some minimalist shoes for Crossfitters is Merrell. In particular, we love the Merrell Trail Glove Series. It’s a top-quality minimalist shoe that can be used for trail running, as well as for serious CrossFit workouts.
Inov8: This company boasts they’re “all terrain specialists”. They have dedicated themselves to providing the best shoewear to support athletes’ interaction with the environment. Check out the Inov-8 215 Cross-Training Shoe. It’s one of our favourites.
Vibram: You’ve probably seen Vibram shoes out on the trail, or in the gym. They make the minimalist shoes with “toes.” While originally designed for trail running, more and more CrossFitters are trying them out, and loving them.
Created in the 1970s, CrossFit reached the height of its popularity after 2008 and is still growing. We’ll have to wait and see what the future holds for the best CrossFit shoes.
Even More Recommendations for the Best CrossFit Minimalist Shoes
So is the athletic shoe market.
These were just a few of the brands that CrossFit enthusiasts recommend for a safe and effective workout. There are more, and business is growing.
So whether you’re warming up, increasing your skill and strength, in the middle of your WOD or are in recovery, choosing the best minimalist shoe is an important decision that can easily make or break your workout.
To help you choose that shoe wisely, read our reviews on various brands of CrossFit minimalist shoes for beginners.
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