5 alternative to the big two
If you’ve been around long enough you remember a simpler time. A time without sponsors, extensive gear for specific workouts and getting a t-shirt from a local competition was the biggest deal in the world. Since then we’ve seen a shift in just about every direction of the sport of CrossFit. The weight has gotten heavier and the names bigger. With it comes more money, sponsors and companies vying for your attention.
I can remember the first year going to Regionals in 2011, when it was still a thing, and seeing the first CrossFit specific shoe. Finally, a shoe for us! Reebok entered the CrossFit realm and for a time had the market locked down. Nike entered the race for your money a few years later with the Metcon and depending who you talk to is either the best or second best of the CrossFit specific shoe. The question is, are there other options out there? I’m here to help guide you if you’re looking for something different. Below are five alternatives to the big two in the game.
The list is based off of what we consider to be a good shoe for all things in the sport. Low heel rise, protection from rope climbs, decent for short to moderate runs and durable. While we’re looking outside the big two here, there is a third, being No Bull that has recently taken some market share. We’ll be looking outside that brand as well.
Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Way back in the day if you were a real CrossFitter you wore Inov-8’s. The company’s origin is based in the running world, providing minimalist running shoes. Since then, seeing the opportunity in the sport, they’ve created functional fitness shoes by adding rope bridges to their earlier 230 series. Their quality is great and will last as long as your current Metcon or Nano.
** Note the F-Lite 235 is a great option as well!*
Adidas Crazypower TR Fun story about Adidas, it’s based off of the name of it’s creator Adolf Dassler by shortening the two names and mashing them together. Additionally it’s pronounced “addy-daas”. Hit brother Rudolf Dassler created what’s now known as Puma. Fun history fact for the day. Anyways, Adidas may be a little late to the functional fitness shoe game but by no means should they be counted out. The Crazypower looks great as a shoe with a wide toe box, bracing for climbing and a slight heel rise for squatting.
5.11 Men’s Recon Trainer While not in the fitness world per say. 5.11 Tactical shoes tie very closely in with Crossfit’s military esq background. With all the features we look for in a good shoe to run, jump and climb things in the 5.11 trainer checks all the boxes.
New Balance Minimus Prevail If you’re looking for comfort and a well fit shoe, New Balance has almost always been the answer. The Prevail takes that principal and adds it to a functional fitness shoe. The shoe is engineered to be both comfortable and supportive for just about any situation. “Our Minimus Prevail has an engineered knit upper that’s infused with TPU fibers to help offer support to your stance for weight training, and beyond.”
__asics men’s met-conviction __ As stated “The conviction x shoe is specifically designed for high intensity training. A firm and flat heel structure creates stability during heavy lifts and volume weight training, while the quarter panel is lined with rynoskin technology to reduce wear and tear during the toughest workouts.” Like the rest on this list, it’s a great alternative to the Nike or Reebok and a chance to stand out from the rest in the class.