CrossFitters are pretty loyal and picky customers. We like what we like and we tend to stick with companies that do well by us. More than anything else equipment wise, CrossFitters are big shoe people. We like shoes for lifting, shoes for running, shoes for doing a bit of everything. CrossFitters like shoes that go against the common grain a little–flat soles, no heel, little cushion, and shoes that can handle a variety of tasks. We talk about shoes, we compare them, we test them, we search them out. Yeah, shoes are a big deal in CrossFit.
Contrary to pop CrossFit culture, I am not a big shoe guy. My idea of shoe shopping is anything under 25 bucks at Ross, preferably Converse. I’ve had the same Oly shoes for almost 4 years, and my one big CF shoe purchase was a pair of the venerable Sambas, a good all-around CrossFit shoe, due to a gift certificate (thanks Cliff).
Until now. Feeling flush and on a whim I went out and got a pair of the New Balance Minimus. Man, am I glad I did. I had heard a lot of good talk and a bunch of people at the gym were raving about them. Within in a minute of putting them on, I knew these were the shoes I have been waiting for. I have always liked ‘minimal’ shoes, but never jumped on the Inov8, or the Vibram 5 Finger bandwagon, preferring to stick with Converse, which are only arguably a minimal shoe. The Minimus, on the other hand, is everything I want.
Lifting, running, jumping, bodyweight movements, whatever, the Minimus rocks. It is light and cool and super comfortable. I still wear lifting shoes for dedicated weightlifting, but the Minimus handles anything a WOD can throw at it. I have seen power cleans in the upper 200s, squats in the mid 300s, and 4 plate deadlifts pulled in the Minimus, as well as everything in between. I stand most of the day (hard to coach a class sitting down) and the Minimus seems to cradle my arches. I tend to pronate a bit and the Minimus feels like it evens my stance out. This is a big plus for me.
I have only had the Minimus for a few weeks, so I can’t speak to longevity, but I have heard good things, especially compared to other minimal shoes. There is also another style of New Balance Minimus, black and red with a little thicker sole, that Sean is wearing in the pic below.
I tried on these thicker soled Minimus, and they felt great, but I when I next tried on the thinnest ones (the black and yellow ones), I knew right away it was the pair I wanted. However, the black and red may be perfect for those who want a bit more cushion.
Shoes are a pretty personal thing. What works for one person may not work for another, and I have not worn a lot of the big name shoes out there, but I have enjoyed the Minimus so much that I wanted to spread the good word a little. Give them a try, I don’t think you will be disappointed. I got my pair at Fleet Feet in Aptos, where they were cheaper than I could find online. Good shop with knowledgeable people, and very CrossFit friendly. While there, stop in at Taqueria Sofia right around the corner and get their Burrito LA. It’s cheap and nothing but meat and salsa, which makes for a great Paleo lunch when eaten with a fork.
What are your favorite shoes for CrossFitting? Please post to Comments.
Hang Squat Snatch
Snatch Grip Deadlift
Go 20# heavier than 1RM above.
21 Kettlebell Swings 53/35#