What is the Difference Between CrossFit Shoes and Running Shoes?

What is the Difference Between CrossFit Shoes and Running Shoes?

There are many people out there that love to run or just simply enjoy doing some cardio. You may be one of those people who need a new pair of shoes, but don’t know where to start. One question you might have is what’s the difference between CrossFit shoes and running shoes? 

The answer isn’t so simple either way, as both can come in handy for different workouts. Running shoes are great for long distance runs while Cross fit Shoes help with lifting exercises. Both types of shoe has its benefits depending on your workout routine! Let’s break it down even more below so: you too can figure out which shoe is best for you!

What is the Difference Between CrossFit Shoes and Running Shoes?

The Following Article Will Explain This in Detail:

Running Shoes Crossfit Shoes 1. What type of workout are they used for? Running Shoes: Great for running and long-distance workouts that require a lot of foot movement and padding. Anything from jogging, to marathon training (10-20 miles a week). Crossfit Shoes: Great for heavy-duty workouts that require more of a barefoot feel or close to it. This includes weightlifting, powerlifting, jumping rope and any exercise where your feet have to remain flat on the ground at all times. 

  1. What’s underneath? Running Shoes: Thick cushioning is inserted in running shoes as this type of shoe increases mobility and creates more comfort while working out. There are variations of cushioning such as high-density foam or gel, with varying levels of height and shock absorption depending on preference. Crossfit Shoes: Minimalistic cushions are used in CrossFit shoes as these training methods require you to be close to the ground (with an ample amount of rubber grip/traction to avoid slipping). There are no significant shocks or padding in CrossFit shoes. 
  1. Barefoot or Near-Barefoot Feel  Running Shoes: In running shoes, you usually have a decent amount of padding underneath your feet and a sole that is too thick for practically going barefoot. This makes it impossible to mimic the feeling of going barefoot while working out with running shoes on! Cross fit Shoes: Unlike running shoes, Cross Fit enabled people to feel closer to the ground, by having a flat sole and little cushioning. More often than not, cross fit enables people to go barefoot during workouts (though this isn’t always encouraged by trainers/coaches).
  2. What do they cost?

Running Shoes: Running shoes are on the expensive end of the spectrum, costing anywhere from $70-200 per pair.

Cross fit Shoes: Most cross-fit sneakers retail at about \$90-\$150.

Running Shoes VS Cross fit Shoes

Both running and cross fit shoe types have their own benefits depending on your workout routine! The following table below will help you choose which is best for your activity! 

Which Type of Shoe To Choose When Running Shoes When Cross Fit Shoes

1. You want a lot of comforts to be able to run a marathon without worrying about the shape or condition of your shoes. Great For Race Times Not So Great For Powerlifting.

2. You need to make sure that you have a cushion when running long distances over 10-20 miles per week. Great for Powerlifting Not So Great For Running.

3. You want to improve your sprint speed and agility while running on the treadmill or outside. Great for Sprinting/Running on Treadmill Not So Great When Jumping Rope.

4. You need extra shock absorption when doing intense cardio workouts like HIIT, CrossFit, P90X, etc etc … Not Good for Intense Cardio Workouts (HIIT/P90X) Great for Lifting Weights.

5. You like the feeling of being practically barefoot or close to it when lifting weights or working out at an intense level Better Grip/Traction + Barefoot Feel = Good for Weight Lifting & Strength Not so great if you prefer high impact workouts. Best for Weight Lifting/WODs = Great For Powerlifting, Sprinting & Running on Treadmill.


Cross Fit shoes are designed to be more rugged and offer a higher amount of protection. Running shoes typically feature less stability, but will have a better ground feel due to the lack of cushioning on the bottom. When you’re looking for new workout footwear, think about what your primary activity is going to be before making your purchase decision. This may sound like an obvious point, but it can make all the difference in how effective your shoe investment will be!

3 thoughts on “What is the Difference Between CrossFit Shoes and Running Shoes?”

Leave a Comment