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Sport Shoes

Sport Shoes


Did you know that there is a correlation between the rise of sneakers and knee injuries? More likely than not, you'll find this type of shoe on your "sporty" person. Although they come in different colors and with different features, they all have a big foam heel which claims to "reduce injury" and help you run faster. Actually, the only thing they do is promote bad running form by allowing you to plant your heel first. Over time, this can result in various shin, hip, and knee injuries. These are ok for walking since you land on your heel, but stay away for any sort of running.

Converse Chuck Taylors are very popular amongst CrossFitters. They bridge the gap of running and heavy lifting by providing a flexible shoe that you can box jump in, but also a stable platform to do some heavy backsquats. Biggest advantage? The price! A pair can be as low as $25 compared to $199 weightlifting shoes. Low or high top is personal preference. Also in this category are Adidas Sambas, Puma H-Streets, DC shoes, and Vans.

Inov8 is the newest brand CrossFitters love. A more athletic look than the Converse, they still provide that low heel than promotes proper running form and are stable enough to do some heavy (sub-maximal) lifting. Practically a perfect metcon shoe. Pictured are the F-Lite 230s.


Adidas, Pendlay, Do-Win,Risto, VS Athletics, and even Nike all make olympic weightlifting shoes. Why spend $70-$199 to lift some weights? If you are serious about training olympic lifts (and you should be since they provide strength, power, speed, agility, etc) then you need a stable platform to perform your lifts on. The soft foam of most sneakers absorbs all of that good energy you want to make a lift. Oly shoes have a very hard bottom which allows for full power transfer off the ground. Also, they have a raised heel (anywhere between 0.75-1.5in.) which allows for a better squatting position. This comes in handy for those with poor flexibility to get down in a proper squat clean, squat snatch, or overhead squat. Do your research as these shoes are expensive, but will last you a long time with proper care and use. Pictured here are the Adidas Ironworks III.


Vibrams are an attempt to get back to nature. Essentially, they provide a covering so that you can be as "barefoot" as possible, without risk of injury from sharp rocks or glass while running or walking. Although I'm not much of a fan of these, a lot of CrossFitters love them. They are very much an attention getter, especially if you wear them to the supermarket. They obviously have very little heel which will help promote proper running, however, I think they take away from the proprioception that your feet feel when you are truly barefoot. Pictured are the Vibrams FiveFingers Sprint. *update 1/28/11: Vibram Five Fingers are coming out with a casual line for the office and social situations. Check them out here.

Nike Frees. I actually like the look of these, but their marketing is misconstruing. They say the Frees are meant to imitate bare foot running, but there is still clearly a lot of foam on that heel. Frees come in different foam heights, so if you love the look, or if you want to wear them just for walking around, go with 3.0's. Anything thicker (5.0's, 8.0's, or even 10.0's) is just asking for trouble when it comes to running.

Skecher Shape-Ups.These are advertised as shoes that can help you exercise as you walk. I think these are just ridiculous looking and will do very little, if anything, to help you get in shape. I wouldn't even think about trying to run in these. Other terrible fitness marketing schemes are FitFlops, Reebok's EasyTones or ZigTechs, or any other shoe that claims to "cushion," "tone," or "shape your butt." Where the Nike Frees might be used for casual walking or errand-running, I wouldn't even recommend the Skechers for those activities.


Rogue Weightlifting shoes. The heel is lower than traditional weightlifting shoes (.75 vs. 1.5in) because Rogue knows that CrossFitters powerlift as well and do not always need a huge heel. I notice much more stability in all of my lifts, especially down in the squat position of a squat clean, squat snatch, or overhead squat.Well worth the investment of $119 (and free shipping!)

Adidas Adizero Pros. These are advertised as road racers, but work perfectly for what I need. Like the Converse or Inov8's, these have a flat, low heel which allow for proper form while running and adequate base for most CrossFit style metcons, even those involving relatively heavy weights. (Anything at a maximal load I will use my Rogues).
At any running race, you will see most elite runners wearing this type of shoe and as the crowd trickles over the starting line, you'll notice the heels of their sneakers get bigger and bigger and bigger. I'm not calling myself an elite athlete, but I do want to point this fact out if people are worried about injuring their feet from "not enough foam protection" this is clearly not an issue. And because I land on the ball of my foot, the shoes have lasted over 10 months and still look great on the sole. (I basically wear these every day)