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Why Your Next Purchase Should Be A CrossFit Shoe (if you're Cross Training - which if you're reading this, that's probably a Yes!)

So, for some of you CrossFit is this new thing. You might have just signed up for a 6-week challenge or became a full-time member. If that is you then CONGRATS! Some of us have been taking WOD classes or ALL OUT classes for some time now. I am sure that one of the first questions that comes up when coming to the gym every day is...what do I need? Workout clothes, maybe you bring a water bottle or shaker bottle for protein after, maybe a towel for all the sweat, and of course proper shoes. But when it comes to CrossFit gyms, proper shoes are an interesting thing to look at. Everyone has a pair of running shoes or basketball shoes that they call their “workout shoes” and if you go to a 24-hour fitness gym then that is what you will see people wearing for the most part. But here in CrossFit land (like any other sport) we have specific shoes and if you do not own a pair yet, this blog will explain why your next purchase could be of great benefit to your feet and the way you move in class!

Let me start off by saying this. Baseball players wear cleats when they play in games and in practice, cyclists have specific footwear that they use while riding their bikes and basketball players have specific shoes they wear on the court when they play. With that being said, CrossFit is no different. Specific shoes should be worn while participating in CrossFit workouts. It all started with Reebok. They were the first partners of CrossFit Inc. and they were the first company to develop a CrossFit shoe. Now as time has progressed, other companies such as Nike, Adidas and Under Armor are throwing their hats into the CrossFit ring trying to get people to buy their shoe. But why? Why do I need to wear a CrossFit shoe? What are the benefits?

We all know CrossFit to be some of the most intense things we put ourselves through. We do things like squats (of all kinds), deadlifts, running, box jumps, rope climbs and we even go upside down sometimes. So, with all of those movements that we do (and we all know the ones above are not even close to all of them), we need to wear shoes that are able to withstand all of the wide ranges of things we put them through. Yes, running shoes are good for running and may even feel comfortable during something like box jumps. But, that soft cushioned running shoe is not what you want under your feet while you are going for that heavy 3 rep max back squat or clean and jerk. You need a shoe that is solid in its sole that isn't going to give out on you- one that can support you on those heavy lifts but can still feel good while box jumping and jumping rope. That is why we turn to the CrossFit shoe for help.

The Running Shoe
Light weight and soft on the feet is the best way to describe a typical running shoe. But CrossFit is anything but light weight and soft! CrossFit shoes tend to be more supportive and feel a little heavier. The reason being because they are made to withstand the stress and demands that we put on them during our WODs. When you think about what a running shoe is made for, it is simple-long continuous running or jogging in a straight line (maybe a slight bend if on a track), while CrossFit involves more lateral movements and jumping. The CrossFit shoe is more supportive around the ankle to keep us safe during our workouts. Yes, some running shoes now feel like you are standing on a cloud they are so comfortable. But when there is heavy deadlifts and squats on the board do you really want a cloud under your foot for support? Next time you are home try standing on a mattress and lifting something heavy, then try to lift the same thing on the floor. Which is easier? That is the comparison when it comes to running shoes vs. CrossFit shoes.

The CrossFit Shoe
The shoes that are specifically designed for what we do! Every company is coming out with their own version, so whatever company you are a fan of, I bet they have some kind of CrossFit shoe available. If you are ever on the fence or not sure, there are reviews all over the internet on the different CrossFit shoes. The CrossFit shoe is a durable shoe made with either kevlar (Reebok) or flywire (Nike) to help keep the shoe from tearing. Each brand has a solid heel for the heavy lifting and mesh throughout for breathability during those sweaty workouts (basically all of them). There are rope grooves to assist us in our rope climbs and sometimes plastic heel inserts for going upside down. With comfortable soles that lock our feet in and a strong solid heel for support, how could these not be perfect?

You can find CrossFit shoes almost anywhere these days. If you are not an online shopper then Dick’s Sporting Goods is your place to go if you are a Nike person and are looking for a Nike Metcon shoe. If you are a Reebok supporter then you can try a sporting goods store and you might get lucky. But your best bet is going to a Reebok outlet and you will find a wide range of CrossFit shoes there. If you are someone who does not mind shopping online then any website that sells athletic shoes is the place to go. On websites like Reebok.com if you sign up for their newsletter (though email) you usually get 25 percent off your first purchase and free two-day shipping. Again, buying a CrossFit shoe is something everyone should at least try on. We are at a CrossFit gym doing CrossFit things. It only makes sense to have the proper footwear. You wouldn't go play tennis in football cleats, would you? So why wear your 3 year old trail running shoes to a CrossFit gym to do CrossFit workouts? Same thing. You may not believe me by reading this, but go find a cheap pair of CrossFit shoes online or in a store and wear them for 2 weeks. Go through the strength days and the workouts with a lot of squats and jumping (basically everyday classes). Then try to wear those running shoes you used to for a few days. I bet you’ll feel a difference. Give it a shot and pick up a pair, you will not be sorry! And if you're really not sure, ASK ME or any of your Strong Together Coaches! Cheers to healthy Feet and Joints AND faster times! -- Coach Zack

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