There’s an interesting thing that happens when people come to work out with us. The running shoes that people walk in wearing end up in a pile at the door.
“Running shoes are good for one thing – the sport of running, which is about moving in straight lines,” says Patrick Manner, co-owner of CrossFit Unbroken. “Life doesn’t happen in straight lines.”
A typical running shoe has a raised toe and a raised heel, which isn’t the best choice for a CrossFit workout.
“You can’t get a true sense of your own balance or really feel the ground during a workout when you’re wearing running shoes,” said Manner. “In fact, depending on what we are doing in class, we sometimes even ask people to remove their running shoes.”
While we don’t recommend a specific brand of shoes specifically designed for CrossFit – and there are many good ones out there – we do recommend a shoe that offers good lateral support and a flatter sole.
“Ideally, it should have a somewhat rigid sole with enough support to do some aerobic activity in it,” says Manner. “We do sometimes run as part of the WOD, for example.”
A CrossFit class asks a lot of your shoes. One day, you may be wearing them to lift, the next day you could be using your feet on the ropes. You could be on your toes for planks. CrossFit shoes are designed to manage a wide range of movements over time.
What’s a good way to find out which shoe might be right for you? Ask around when you’re in the box. You’ll find out which shoes are the most comfortable and the most durable as well as those that don’t really hold up so well.
We also recommend that your CrossFit shoes are just that and used only for your workouts. We ask that our members wear street shoes to the box and then change into their CrossFit shoes. This helps keep our box clean, but it also stops people from accidentally bringing things in on their soles. It’s not fun to roll a knee or a palm over a tiny pebble during a workout. Plus, dedicating a pair of shoes to CrossFit means they’ll have a much longer workout lifespan.
As added bonus: You’re welcome to leave your shoes at the box so you don’t have to worry about bringing them to your workouts.