How to choose sneakers for fitness, crossfit and strength training

Sneakers for power sports

If you just go to the gym, run a little, do isolated exercises on the simulators and do not go near the bar and dumbbells more than 5 kilograms, you do not need special running shoes for power sports. There will be enough comfortable shoes for fitness programs.

If you decide to seriously take up powerlifting, weightlifting, bodybuilding, power extreme or perform complex multi-joint exercises with heavy weights, it is worth to take a more serious approach to the choice of shoes.

Features of sneakers

  1. Stiff and hard sole. During strength exercises, your feet should stand firmly on the ground, and the feet should be firmly pressed to the floor. This allows you to fully use the muscles of the thighs and buttocks. If you wear running shoes, the cushioning sole absorbs energy, does not evenly distribute the weight of the body in the footsteps and reduces the stability of the knees.
  2. Tight fit to the foot. Sneakers should provide good support. The leg should not hang in them. If the sneakers are pressed or squeezed, this will break the weight distribution in the footsteps and reduce your performance.
  3. Good grip. The sole should not slide – it is fraught with injuries.

There are several variants of sneakers for power sports. Choose according to your needs.

Kinds of sneakers


Shtangetki – a special footwear for weightlifting with a solid sole and a wooden or plastic heel height of 12 to 20 millimeters. Such shoes provide a reliable support, and the raised position of the heel facilitates the performance of a deep squat.

Stagnetki advise to buy those who work with large weights or often perform weightlifting exercises: a jerk, a push, a squat with a bar above their heads.

In addition, the pegs help fix the squatting technique with the barbell. StudyKinematic changes using weightlifting shoes on barbell back squat. showed that the pegs compared with running shoes help to correct the body tilt forward during the squat with the bar, as well as increase the activation of the extensor muscles of the knee.

A well-known and expensive model of tubercles is Adidas AdiPower with a molded polymer sole, leather upper and an additional strap for secure fixation of the foot. These rods are very light and firm, provide excellent stability during exercise.

Not inferior in quality to Nike Romaleos. They are heavier and cumbersome, provide excellent stability, which is especially important when working with large weights, and have a wider shoe.

If you want more flexible rods, consider the model Inov-8 Fastlift 335. These are lightweight and comfortable rods with a flexible front.

Minimalist sneakers

These are very flexible sneakers with a thin sole, in which you will feel as comfortable as possible in shoes.

Such models provide ideal biomechanics of movements when the legs are as stable as possible, and the feet are in full contact with the ground during the exercise. One studyInfluence of the Foot-floor Interface on Squatting Performance. revealed that minimalist sneakers provide a more stable base during sit-ups than sneakers for mixed training.

Also, sneakers without cushioning and a raised heel help to strengthen the feet. One studyEffect of increased mechanical stimulation. showed that minimalist sneakers increase the strength and hypertrophy of the foot muscles.

The most famous minimalist sneakers are Vibram Five Fingers, which you can not confuse with anything because of the unusual appearance – the division of the toe into five fingers. Vibram has a large number of models, so choose options with minimal depreciation.

A good example of minimalist shoes is the thin Nike Free Hyperfeel sneakers. Created for running, they have a very thin and flexible sole, and a small shock absorption is provided not by gel or foam, but thanks to a special insole.

Nike Free Hyperfeel has a rather narrow shoe, which can not be said of another minimalist model Altra Samson. These sneakers have an extended nose, which allows you to fully straighten your toes. Together with the flexibility and zero rise of the heel, this creates a walking effect barefoot, but it provides good adhesion to the surface.

However, such sneakers require some flexibility of the ankle muscles. If you can not maintain a neutral position of the foot during squats, lack of support can adversely affect the technique: you fall to the inside of the foot, and your knees will wrap inwards.

If you still decide to buy such shoes, at first wear it every day, so that the muscles of the foot get used gradually, and follow the technique to eliminate errors.


how to choose sneakers: sneakers

The rubber sole of the shoe does not prevent the foot from tightly pressing against the floor, and the tall models provide support for the ankle.

Keds are well suited for performing such movements as deadlift, squat with a low position of the neck on the back or with a wide setting of the legs. This is a good option for powerlifters and for those who are just starting to practice power sports and do not want to spend a lot of money on sports shoes.

Much less they are suitable for weightlifting movements. When kneeling forward with a raised chest, for example, during the taking of the rod into the saddle, a good stretching of the calf muscles is required, otherwise the heel will come off the floor. Stagnetki can compensate for the lack of mobility and slightly improve the technique, and sneakers and minimalist sneakers – no.

Sneakers for CrossFit

CrossFit includes exercises not only from weightlifting, but also from other sports: gymnastics, weightlifting, power extreme, running and others. Therefore, cross-trainers must be universal.

Features of sneakers

  1. Stable, non-resilient sole. Sneakers with a sole made of foam or gel are not suitable for crossfit, as they do not provide enough stability during strength exercises.
  2. Durable outsole. Sneakers with a soft sole can not stand climbing the rope.
  3. Good grip. Running, jumping on the curb, jumping over the bar, walking the farmer and exercising from extreme extreme things like turning a giant tire or pushing a sled requires a good grip on the surface.
  4. Breathability. That during the superintensive complexes of the day (Workout of the Day), the legs in the sneakers are not sweated, the shoes must have a mesh top and let the air in.

Sneakers for cross-training

Unlike rods, cross-training shoes have a slight heel lift – only about 4 mm, which provides convenience during other exercises.

The sole of the sneakers is hard enough to provide stability, but it bends well, so running and jumping in them is also quite convenient. As a rule, such sneakers have a mesh top made of textile. It does not give a foot sweat.

The most famous crossfit footwear is Reebok Crossfit Nano. Each year, new models of this line are produced with some improvements like better grip of the sole or new material of the top. The advantage of Crossfit Nano is a firm sole that does not fall apart from climbing on a rope. The sole of sneakers from a softer material is already erased in six to ten lifts. It is especially insulting if new expensive sneakers are erased.

Also among cross-fitters are popular running shoes Nike Metcon. These sneakers are popular with many athletes and meet all the criteria of good cross-flick shoes: a hard and flexible sole, a light textile top, a slight heel lift and good grip on the floor.

Tip: buy a few pairs of shoes and change them depending on the tasks in the training.

Some athletes weightlifting exercise in stunts, and WOD perform in cross-training sneakers or minimalist models, if the complex does not have a rope. This approach helps to get all the benefits from footwear and extend its service life.

Sneakers for fitness

There are a huge number of types of fitness and constantly emerging new ones. Among the most famous are aerobics, zumba, step aerobics, fitball, tai-bo, exercises on Bosu. All these types include aerobic exercise, fast coordinated movements, rotation and jumping, do not involve serious force or shock loads.

Features of sneakers

  1. Ease. The lighter the sneakers, the more convenient it is to move around, jump, pacing, or maintaining balance.
  2. Breathability. The mesh top is a definite plus for a fitness shoe. It reduces weight and prevents feet from sweating.
  3. Flexible outsole. The plastic outsole allows the foot to move as naturally as possible.
  4. Soft sole. Running shoes for fitness do not need a lot of cushioning, since the shock load in class is minimized. However, some softness of the sole does not hurt. In such sneakers it will be more comfortable to step and jump.

Sneakers for aerobic training

For aerobic training, sneakers are excellent for cross-training with some features like improved depreciation, flexibility and ease.

An excellent example of such sneakers are popular female models for fitness Ryka Vida and Ryka Influence. Both models are very light, have a breathable mesh upper and a special soft footbed, which provides comfort during walking and jumping.

Ryka Vida has a special cushion in his heel, which increases cushioning, and in the front there are special grooves that make the sneakers even more flexible. Rika Influence reinforced the arch of the foot. Such sneakers are suitable for people with flat feet.

If in your form of fitness often there are jumps, turns and lateral movements, choose shoes with good shock absorption and enhanced foot support. A good example of such sneakers is Nike Air Zoom Strong with an enlarged outer roller and elastic band. Also support a stop above the ankle model from the Hayasu line from Reebok. They have a seamless top that eliminates rubbing, a sole with additional cushioning and an orthopedic insole.

If you are engaged in a zombie or plan to master some kind of hip-hop, pay attention to the sole of the sneakers: it should have a turning point.

how to choose sneakers: sneakers for fitness
The sole of the sneakers Domyos 360 with the turning point /

The turning point makes it easier to rotate, which is often found in modern dances. Such a sole is found in many sneakers designed for dancing and zumba, for example in Domyos 360 or Asics Gel Fit Nova.

Write in the comments which sneakers you prefer for strength training, crossfit and fitness, and why you like them.