Are CrossFit Shoes Good for Running?

Whether you are planning to expand your CrossFit training to running or you are novice health-conscious just planning to start running, you need a reliable training shoe. Choosing the right shoe for a workout is a crucial part of the training arrangement. If you are wondering if your CrossFit shoes are good for running or sprinting, this article will answer all your questions.

Every workout is different and thus requires shoes specially catered to their requirements. A training appropriate shoe can make a huge difference. It makes selecting the most suitable trainer for your feet a prerequisite to maximum performance.

At first glance, CrossFit shoes and running shoes don't appear very different. It can be puzzling to figure what shoe will fit your needs. You might be wondering if they have the same features and functions or if they are interchangeable. 

So what should you use for running? CrossFit shoes that you already own? Or should you buy a pair of running shoes? 

This article has the answer to all your questions. We will guide you on the specific features and the differences between CrossFit and Running shoes to help you choose.

Don't forget to check the list of the best running shoes at the end of the article, it might be of help to you.

You can also check: Best CrossFit Shoes for Running

CrossFit Shoes vs. Running Shoes

Although cross-trainers and running shoes share some similar features, they also have some significant differences. A deeper look into both types of shoes will help you identify their key features and how they differ from each other.

CrossFit Shoes

CrossFit shoes are specifically designed footwear that supports intense CrossFit exercises. A typical CrossFit training consists of several strength and conditioning training made up of day-to-day functional movements and actions. The training stresses the elements of weight, distance, and speed. 

CrossFit trainers are all-purpose fitness shoes are intended to provide maximum possible support for a variety of training like weightlifting, push-ups, plyometric training, and more. The shoes have flat and wide soles, expanding beyond the width of the upper part of the shoe to provide extra support for enhanced lateral movement.

CrossFit shoes are strong and heavy. They are firm, flexible, and very durable to withstand these training and give the best possible output. 

CrossFit shoes provide maximum protection for the foot and reduce the risk of strains and injuries.

Running Shoes 

Running is considered high-impacting training as typically one hit the ground with three times the body weight while running. Running shoes are specifically designed to cater to the needs of a runner and maximize performance. 

The shoes have a high heel drop that supports heel-to-toe movement and helps to move forward. These shoes are intended for stretching or regular running. So it's lightweight as extra weight results in a lower speed and fatigue over time. 

Running generates a lot of heat, so the shoes are made with a decent amount of mesh to keep the feet cool and dry during the run.

Running shoes are also highly shock-absorbent to aid maximum impact on the ground and help frontward movements. To further assist fast movements, the shoes have denser heels and curved soles are resulting in an upward arc on the shoe tip.

are crossfit shoes good for running

Photo by Jeremy Lapak

Differences between Running Shoes and CrossFit Shoes

Here are some major differences between Running shoes and CrossFit shoes – 

  • CrossFit shoes are somewhat heavier than running shoes.
  • Running shoes have a heel-to-toe height of 10 mm or more. CrossFit shoes have lower heels. While an average heel height is 4 mm for a CrossFit shoe, the maximum heel-to-toe difference you can find is 6 mm.
  • CrossFit shoes are devised to suit various types of actions. CrossFit trainers work best for side to side or lateral motion. Running shoes, on the other hand, are designed only for forward movement.
  • Running shoes are designed so that they can absorb maximum shock in the heel to help move forward. CrossFit shoes, on the other hand, focus their support on the forefoot aiding lateral movement.
  • CrossFit trainers are a lot more durable and resistant in comparison to running shoes.

Should You Use CrossFit trainers for Running?

Now comes the most important question, are CrossFit shoes good for running?

The answer, sadly, is NO! 

First, CrossFit shoes are designed for a wide range of movements. While it might be fantastic for lateral and sudden movements, it is not ideal for continued forward movement. Meaning you can't walk or run in these shoes for long. 

Second, they are heavier than running shoes. The unnecessary weight will hamper your running speed. Especially if you are planning to run a marathon, it will exhaust you and cause fatigue. 

That being said, CrossFit training does include some running exercises. But they are short and infrequent. So, CrossFit shoes are fine to use for warmup runs and short sprints. You can also use them in the gym if you are running on a treadmill for a short period. 

However, for long hours and longer distances, CrossFit shoes are a big no. Unless you enjoy discomfort and injuries, it is wise that you consider wearing a pair of good-quality running shoe.

Best Shoes for Running

Now whether you already own a pair of CrossFit shoes or not, if you plan to take running seriously, you need to invest in a reliable running shoe. Even if your wallet doesn't like it, your body will thank you! 

To give you a head-start, here is our recommendation for the 5 best running shoes in the market - 

  1. Adidas Ultraboost 20
  2. Under Armour HOVR Infinite 2
  3. Reebok Floatride Run Fast 2.0
  4. Solomon S lab Ultra 2
  5. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20.

Bottom Line

Lastly, CrossFit shoes are not flexible enough. They lack the proper heel size and cushioning needed for running. So, there is a huge possibility that you may end up injuring yourself. Even if you don't severely injure yourself, using CrossFit shoes for long runs will cause foot strains and back pain.

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