Athletes have a host of footwear choices for WODs. Richard Grimes surveys experts and top athletes to determine what their advice means in a GPP fitness program.
I remember the first time I thought about the importance of shoes in CrossFit.
I was in my garage looking for my shoes so that I could work out. I had been looking for 20 minutes already and I was itching to get started on my box jumps. When I couldn’t find the shoes, I decided that I was just making excuses, so I walked up to the box, planted my socked feet and started jumping. I performed exactly three perfect box jumps. On the fourth jump, my socks slid like butter on a hot skillet and I fell backward and ended up in a position my less polite friends call the “Hucklebuck.”
While I was in the air, though, I could see both of my huge, gorilla-like feet with the ceiling just beyond them. I remember my thought at that exact moment: “Maybe I should have worn shoes.”
So when the CrossFit Journal asked me to survey people about what shoes they wear when they CrossFit, it seemed like a slam dunk. But look around the gym lately and you’ll see people exercising barefoot or in lifting shoes, runners or Chuck Taylors. Even Nike, the biggest athletic-shoe company in the world, is selling a shoe called the Nike Free for people “who want to reap the benefits of barefoot training.” Some CrossFitters are even wearing Vibram Fivefingers.
What are you wearing—and why?