Second Wind

Second Wind
"Run With Purpose!"

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Best of the Best 3: Crossfit/Gym specific shoe

Here's entry number 3 in the best of the best series:

Crossfit/Gym specific shoe  (EDIT:  since the writing of this review I got a pair of Reebok Nano 3.0s and I really like them a lot!  I didn't care for the originals or the 2.0 but the 3.0 is a great Crossfit specific shoe and the one that I use daily now.  The only time I don't use the Nano is if it's an all running day, in which case I go for one of my more minimal running specific shoes)

This was an interesting one because it was largely a "process of elimination" task.  I tried lots of shoes that I didn't like (sole tore up, sole too 'squishy' and then not enough (for coming down off of AMRAP box jumps), to being too slick for rope climbs, to just getting torn all to pieces from rope climbs).

Here's what I found:

Right now, my default Crossfit shoe which I am mostly happy with is the

Inov8 Bare-XF 260

It has a perfectly flat sole, zero drop, reasonably 'sticky' sole for in the gym, super thin, and flexible in the Right places.  For that flexible part, the sole is stiff from the heel to the front pad of your foot (how you need it for power/OLY lifting) and then flexes from their to the end (to make them still reasonably nice for running).  The huge rubberized/plastic sides make them indestructible on the rope climbs.  Now, they also claim that it makes them grip better and thus make climbs easier but I have not found that to be true (the grip                                                   great... but no better than most other shoes).

My one knock on them is the dang velcro straps.  Why they did that?  According to them it's so you can get them 'super tight'... because apparently I lack the dexterity in my opposable thumbs to do that with laces?  There's the basic "I like laces better" but the big thing is is that these shoes are nearly entirely built around rope climbs.  Nearly every regrip (and certainly every climb) the velcro straps come undone.  This is bad.  If they had laces, or even a hook & loop closure I would like them immensely more.
That being said, the velcro is my one real knock, other than that, I DO find them (even with that) to be the best Crossfit shoes I have tried.
Here's the caveat:  I have tried Nike, Adidas, Saucony, 2 kinds of Inov8, Skora, and others for the purpose of this test but I have Not ever tried a new pair of the Crossfit specific Reebok Nano 3.0.  It looks like it would be a great one and I'd like to try it someday to compare.


  1. I have owned all 3 shoes, and my personal choice will have to be the Inov8′s. I have slightly more narrow feet than most, so these fit me perfectly. The Nano’s are a great, all around shoe, but they run pretty wide, which I don’t care for all that much.
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  2. which are really great all-around CrossFit shoes and New Balance Minimus are good as well if you are budget conscious.
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  3. Since this I actually got a pair of Reebok's crossfit Nano 3.0's and really like them.
    Wasn't a huge fan of the original or 2.0 but the 3.0's are a great improvement and my standard Crossfit shoe now (except for days with Lots of running and then I go for my more minimal running specific shoes)

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