By Cameron McKirdy
My friend Ira Evansen owns an MMA and CrossFit style school in Gearhart, OR called Valhalla Combat. Like me, Ira is simplifying, and trying minimalist, zero drop shoes for working out. This is our review of several kicks we’ve used for cross training, running, Olympic weightlifting and more.
When Ira first opened his mixed martial arts and cross fitness gym he was exercising in plain old Converse Chuck Taylor’s and Vans. He liked doing CrossFit in these throwbacks because they are minimalistic. Ira even tore out the insoles for a better feel. Ultimately, the toe box of the Chuck T’s felt too narrow for lifting weights. Ira said they were clunky, and heavy. Both pairs worked in the beginning as a transition shoe.
Next coach Ira invested $110 into toe shoes called the Vibram Komodosport. He loves these Paleolithic, minimal training shoes, and they are still in good shape after over 6 months of abuse. In Vibrams he has more feel, and isn’t cramming into narrower shoes. These kicks are made for strength and conditioning. They are machine washable too. Air dry. Ira says they help space his toes out, and are better than normal shoes for his back, hips, and knees.
Another shoe Ira has used during CrossFit workouts is the Reebok Flex Nano. He loves these ones, and wears them most. They were designed by CrossFit athletes for the sport. Ira says they are durable, flexible, and supportive. They’ve even survived countless rope climbs, which would destroy lighter shoes. Ira uses them for everything, from running, to Olympic Weightlifting. His favorite feature is the comfortable, wide toe box, so he can spread his toes out for stability. If you’re serious about CrossFit, check these babies out.
Then there’s the Inov-8 F-Lite 195. These bad boys are super light, yet supportive, with a thin sole. You can feel pebbles and the ground, but not enough to make it uncomfortable. The Inov-8’s are ideal for running. They are very flexible, and they look really cool. Ira told me these shoes are unreal, in a good way. They are the white pair pictured below.
Finally, let’s review the newest Vibram running shoes, called Seeya. They are the flashy, yellow and black ones pictured in the bottom right. These are the lightest you can get! They have a convenient strap, so you can easily loosen them for more comfort. The Seeya’s are great for sprinters, plus they are heavy duty, so they aren’t going to rip. So sick! They retail for $100.
In summary, there are many quality shoes out there now for CrossFit. Most are minimalistic, low top, and zero drop. All around, we like the Reeboks most for strength training, but the Vibrams for running. It all depends on how you workout. Try a few types on, just get into minimalistic shoes. They are the future of footwear. Now go workout.