The Beginner’s Guide to Finding The Right Crossfit Minimalist Shoes


Finding athletic footwear used to be faircrossfit minimalist shoesly 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. Be sure to check out our top picks in this handy comparison chart below:

Best Minimalist CrossFit Shoes

Best Minimalist ShoeBest Barefoot ShoeBest Overall CrossFit ShoeBest Minimalist Lifting Shoe
Inov-8 BareVibram V-RunReebok Nano SeriesConverse
inov-8-bare-minimalist-shoeVibram Men's Bikila EVO Road Running Shoe-5Reebok CrossFit Nano 7.0Chuck Taylors
Check PricesCheck PricesCheck PriceCheck Prices

—>Check out our Best-Selling CrossFit Minimalist Shoe Here<—

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.

Also Consider the Zone Diet

Another popular option is the Zone Diet, which many people find easier to follow because no food is off-limits. It’s just about eating protein, fat and carbs in the correct ratios.

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.

Build Intensity When you’re Ready

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.

Compare Minimalist CrossFit Shoes

Let’s start with some information about CrossFit Minimalist Shoes

Learn More about CrossFit Myths

Myth 4. You’ll Get Seriously Injured by Doing CrossFit

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. CrossFit is a Time Consuming Workout

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.

You need shoes that are flexible in terms of use in order to meet the demands of your workout. Keep on reading for some of our picks for the best CrossFit minimalist shoes. Or, check out one of our favourites here:

—>Vibram 5 Fingers Trail Running Shoe<—

CrossFit Shoes vs Running Shoes: Which ones are Right for You?

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:

  • Stability
  • Better Grip
  • Protection from Injury

What Should I Look for in a CrossFit Minimalist Shoe?

There are 3 big things to look for when choosing a minimalist CrossFit shoe:

The Heel to Toe 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.

 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.

What Makes a Durable CrossFit Minimalist Shoe?

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
  • Stability
  • Looks

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 favourites:

Vibram 5 Fingers Zero Drop CrossFit Shoes

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.

Features of the Vibram 5 Fingers Barefoot Shoes

  • Made from polyester fabric
  • Hard, durable sole made of rubber to protect your feet from rocks, branches, etc.
  • Thin sole that’s less than 5mm allows you to maintain easy contact wth the ground
  • Lightly padded tongue and speed lacing system for maximum comfort and ease of use

Excellent Customer Ratings and Reviews for Vibram Barefoot CrossFit Shoes

“These are exactly what the doctor ordered! I’ve been having some knee pain and a fellow CrossFitter suggested trying out minimalist shoes for a while to see if they made a difference. They’re a game-changer, and I’m really happy that he mentioned them to me.”

“I’ve been wearing nothing but Vibram 5 Fingers for all my workouts, including CrossFit for a few years now and am never going back to regular cross-training shoes. These ones are just so much better for my body because they allow it to move in a more natural way.”

—>Check Customer Ratings and Reviews<—

Where to Buy CrossFit Minimalist Shoes?

Does it sound like these CrossFit shoes are right for you and your CrossFit workouts? Many people really love them and they’re our top pick for minimalist workouts. You can check them out for yourself over on Amazon:


Vibram Fivefingers Minimalist Shoe in Action

Merrell Minimalist CrossFit Shoes

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.

Features of the Merrell Glove Trail Runner

  • Thin vibram sole allows you to maintain contact with the ground
  • Protective against stones and rocks when using them outside
  • The newer versions (3 + 4) offer some additional arch support
  • Breathable mesh lining for maximum comfort
  • Vegan friendly

What People are Saying about Merrell Minimalist Shoes

—>See More Customer Ratings and Reviews Here<—

“I love that the tongue is integrated into the shoe with this new version because it allows a much more comfortable fit. Also like the addition of some arch support for my somewhat flat feet. Overall, they’re amazing for trail running, and I also find myself wearing them to the gym a lot too.”

“I can’t stress how amazing these things are. I work for the postal service and have to walk for hours everyday. I’m always searching for something that won’t leave my feet aching at the end of the day, and these ones did the trick.”

“These things are amazing for CrossFit workouts that are heavy on the sprints and jumping. They’re very light, and also extremely durable. I’d buy them again for sure.”

Where to Buy Merrell Glove Minimalist Shoes

The best place to find these popular Zero Drop CrossFit Shoes is over on Amazon. You can check them out for yourself there:


Merrell Trail Glove Review

Nike Men’s Free FlyKnit

One of the new additions to the minimalist athletic shoe world is this popular running shoe from Nike, the Free Flyknit. It’s an interesting looking shoe, in that there’s a bit more coverage than the other options, but it’s still ultralight and mimics barefoot running.

Although it’s a running shoe, many people are using them for CrossFit workouts with good results. Try out the Nike Free to find out for yourself.

Key Features of this Nike Minimalist Shoe

  • Foot-hugging fit, for extreme comfort while running or working out
  • Allows for a more natural movement and mimics the body in it’s natural state
  • Ultra-light support
  • Innovative lacing system allows for a nice fit

What People are Saying about Nike Free FlyKnit Minimalist Shoes:

—>Check More Customer Ratings and Reviews Here<—

“These are very light, but well-made shoes that are more durable than I thought they would be. They’re my go-to shoes for all kinds of things—running, hiking, gym workouts, casual walks, etc.”

“They’re the most comfortable pair of Nike shoes I’ve ever owned. I just bought a pair for my Chef boyfriend who always has sore feet at the end of the day and he loves them.”

“I’ve been using these Nike Minimalist shoes for my CrossFit workouts and they’ve done well, especially at the sprinting and jumping. If the WOD is heavy on the weights, I’d probably opt for something else though.”

Where to Buy the Best Minimalist CrossFit Shoes

If you’ve looking for one of the best pairs of minimalist shoes for CrossFit, you’ve come to the right place. Check out the Nike Free over on Amazon:


Nike Free FlyKnit Review

Reebok CrossFit Shoes

The official shoe of CrossFit. For 10 years. Enough said. Reebok shoes really are that good, and they’ve dominated the CrossFit shoe scene for 10 years.

They make a wide range of choices, from ones best for lifting to others for workouts focused on sprints.

Check out the Reebok CrossFit Nano Series for just one example.

—>Check Customer Ratings and Reviews for the CrossFit Nano Series Here<—

Converse (Chuck Taylors)

Chuck Taylors, a shoe so well made it’s barely changed in over 100 years.

—>Check out Chuck Taylor’s on Amazon<—

Perfect for powerlifters. The flat sole helps you remain planted. It also helps you feel the ground and push with your heels.

Inov8 CrossFit Shoes

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.

—>Find the Best Deals on Inov-8 Training Shoes Here<—

Learn More about Inov-8 Barefoot 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.

Best Minimalist CrossFit Shoes

Best Minimalist ShoeBest Barefoot ShoeBest Overall CrossFit ShoeBest Minimalist Lifting Shoe
Inov-8 BareVibram V-RunReebok Nano SeriesConverse
inov-8-bare-minimalist-shoeVibram Men's Bikila EVO Road Running Shoe-5Reebok CrossFit Nano 7.0Chuck Taylors
Check PricesCheck PricesCheck PriceCheck Prices

Minimalist CrossFit Shoes: Have your Say!

What’s your top pick for a CrossFit Minimalist, or Barefoot CrossFit shoe? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us.



  1. I’m not sure about the whole minimalist thing. Although the idea of it seems good, I’ve heard some mixed reviews of people getting stress fractures, etc. What are your thoughts?

    • There are some reports of this, yes. But, there are also lots of people out there who found that they solved their knee, leg and foot problems. I think it’s a case of just having to try them out for yourself to see.

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