As far as CrossFit goes, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with general-purpose trainers. When I first started I used some New Balance Minimus 10v2s that I got from REI on clearance and liked them pretty much all around except that there was almost no heel stability. I occasionally used whatever running shoes I was training in (my first year of CrossFit coincided with my first marathon) and overall I was pretty happy but I wasn’t really focusing on getting better at lifting or anything CrossFit related.
After that year’s season I focused more on improving my CrossFit game and started using a new pair of New Balance Minimus 20v4s and initially loved them since they had much more in the heel for lifting and were a little beefier of a shoe. After a bit of use I came to the conclusion that as big as I am, minimal running shoes aren’t the best fit for me. Those shoes do stand as my second favorite shoes for CrossFit though.
Enter the Nike Metcon 2. I was focusing more on CrossFit than running in early 2016 and Nike had just updated their relatively new entry into the CrossFit shoe game so I decided to give them a try. It seems like a lot of trainers marketed towards CrossFitters are of the “lifters you can run in” type since they all seem to be pretty stiff and have really stable heels. I liked them initially and for all-around shoes they are pretty good and people seem to really like them. My issue with them came down to this: I HATED running in them. They made me feel like a flat-footed klutz. The soles are super flat and not very flexible laterally so if you’re running around a corner there’s very little to keep you from slipping. Keep in mind that I’m being super picky about how well these perform as running shoes and Nike doesn’t put anything out that says they’re amazing for running, just that you can run in them and they have a nice stable heel for lifting (among other things that make it a fine shoe).
Switching shoes up during a workout isn’t ideal and my wises for shoes apparently lean more towards the “running shoe that works really well for CrossFit & lifting” variety kept me on the lookout for better shoes. Well, I found them and they’re kind of amazing.
New Balance recently unveiled the Minimus 40 and I picked up a pair based on my love of my previous Minimus usage and also the hope that there was enough new tech introduced into them that I’d finally found my perfect CrossFit shoe. Since it’s still winter here and generally cold there haven’t been too many running workouts at my box. Having to try these shoes out during all those probably made me fall in love with them a little more cause everything I threw at them they knocked out of the park and felt great during every movement. They’re nice and light (10.2oz) for a stable trainer. Almost 2.5 oz lighter than my Metcon 2. Within the first couple weeks of use, I’d improved my box jump rebound and added 20 pounds to my 1RM split jerk. I’m not saying they’re magical or anything but at last I have found the one shoe I can do everything in cause this Monday we had a running WOD and these shoes performed flawlessly. I’d even reach for them for shorter runs during training over my regular running shoes.
Honestly, if you’re looking for shoes for CrossFit workouts and you have experienced the same “meh” feeling from other trainers like I have give these a try. You’ll be happy with them, for sure.