For the first 6 months or so, I never wore CrossFit shoes. I had running/athletic shoes and lifters. I figured regular athletic shoes were about as good as the best shoes for CrossFit.
Plus, I didn’t want to spend the money. I was already paying a membership to my box. I had already bought Olympic lifting shoes, and was spending money on supplements and vitamins. CrossFit was expensive! (If only I knew how expensive owning one was, I would have never complained about a few hundred dollars).
I wore my lifters for basically everything except running. Box jumps, DU, T2B, burpees, everything. I remember that I only got Reebok Nanos because they were on sale and I finally thought, ‘Well let’s give them a shot. If they don’t work I only lost $60.’
Wearing them for the first WOD was awesome. They made a huge difference. I could jump higher, do more T2B, and string together more DU. They were my personal P.F. Flyers, okay, they didn’t directly make me run faster or jump higher. But, in a way, they did.
Shoes for CrossFit are very different than regular athletic shoes and even more different than lifters. They allow your feet to move and breathe differently than other shoes. They offer a stiffer, flatter sole, so you are not standing on what feels like a pillow.
Having the proper shoe for the job can make all the difference. While the gear you wear may not make you better, it can allow you to work for longer. Maybe it weighs a pound less, but a pound compiled over 50 box jumps is an extra 50 lbs your body has to move.
Just like you wouldn’t wear basketball shoes to play golf, or ballet slippers to go hiking, your footwear can make a big difference during the WOD.
Selecting the right shoe for CrossFit can be a challenge for a new athlete. If you need some help and guidance, check out our article What Shoes To Wear For CrossFit?