The Best Sneakers for Running & CrossFit

Hi, friends!

I get soooo many questions about which sneakers I wear for which kinds of workouts, so I thought it would be helpful to put my all-time favorites in one blog post for you guys! 

As you’ve seen on CNC over the years, I like to keep things fresh (and fun!) when it comes to my workouts. Recently, I love switching between running, CrossFit, and Orangetheory workouts, and I’ve learned that it’s important to have different sneakers for different types of activity. There’s no “one size fits all” for every workout. Wearing the correct sneakers for the type of activity ensures that your feet, ankles, and even joints are getting the support they need. Think about it: For the majority of workouts, your feet are the body part on the ground making the most impact. You don’t want your performance to be derailed just because you wore the wrong shoes!

Below are my top three tried-and-true picks for when I’m pounding the pavement (both short and long distance) or for when I’m lifting heavy, climbing ropes, and performing high-impact exercises at CrossFit!

Brooks Glycerin (long distance running) 

The Brooks Glycerin have been my favorite running shoes for as long as I can remember. I wore them before I started working with Brooks, and they have passed the mileage test time and time again, carrying me through the Boston Marathon and lots of half marathons since with no major injuries. They provide just the right amount of flexibility and “bounce,” but they’re also stable and supportive in all the right places. Even from the first time I put them on my feet, I knew it was a done deal. I fell in love immediately with their super soft cushioning. Plus, they come in fun colors and are pretty reasonably priced! The fit just feels natural, and they make running feel practically effortless with equal support from toe to heel. There’s no doubt, the Glycerin are the absolute best long-distance running shoes I’ve ever experienced!

Brooks Launch (Orangetheory + shorter runs) 

Though I am a die-hard fan of the Glycerin for long runs, the Launch is perfect for those times when you want to work on speed rather than distance. It’s more lightweight, but supportive with a springy push-off. Basically, they’re the best of both worlds when it comes to a running shoe. And now that I’m not doing a ton of a long distance running, the Launch are my go-to shoe lately. I typically wear them to Orangetheory and on runs shorter than 6-7 miles where I am focusing more on speed. Even though they’re supportive, they don’t quite have the same support as the Glycerin.

If you need help choosing the perfect shoe for you, Brooks has a handy shoe finder tool that I’ve used before and matched me with the Glycerin and the Launch after I was already wearing them, so I think it’s pretty accurate!

Nike MetCon (CrossFit) 

I love the Nike Metcons for CrossFit and bootcamp-style workouts. The soles are firm, so they offer good stability for weight-lifting. They’re durable yet lightweight and flexible, so they’re great for all kinds of functional CrossFit-y movements – everything from kettlebell swings and rope climbs to wall balls to pistols and everything in between. You can also run in the Metcons if you’d like, but I usually keep it short (typically 2 miles or less) because running is not really what they are built for. They’re some cushion and support, but not a ton. If a longer running workout (3+ miles) comes up at CrossFit, which very rarely happens, I’ll wear my Launches. FYI: The Metcons come in rose (so pretty) and they’re on sale right now! 🙂

Brooks Hyperion (running workouts at CrossFit)

The Hyperions are a new favorite for running workouts at CrossFit. I typically wear them for any workout with 400 meter runs or longer. They transition well to other CrossFit movements, like box jumps, Wallballs, pull-ups… even barbell exercises. However, they are not made for rope climbs! I learned the hard way and ripped the bottom during a workout, so now I just wear the Hyperion for running workouts without rope climbs.

Question of the Day

What’s your go-to shoe(s) for workouts?

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  1. I bought the graces last summer so cute! Ended up getting planters faciitis. Struggling with it ever since! It’s so annoying! I’m in Metcons and they seem to be better for my foot shape! Brooks if I’m able to run but right now my foot hates running. 🙁

  2. I am loving my no bulls for crossfit! Then I rotate between a million other sneakers for bootcamp style classes. I have a slight sneaker addiction…

  3. I wear Nike Epic Reacts for Orange Theory and have found them to be perfect for the treadmill/weight floor combo. The only downside has been that the strap on the rower trashed them (they’re white).

  4. While I totally agree on the Brooks recommendations, as a sports massage therapist for the last 19 years working with Games level CrossFit athletes, the Nike Metcon is the absolute worst CF shoe on the market! The damage it does to the Achilles tendon is unbelievable! Every client that comes in that wears Metcon has serious foot mobility issues. I would rethink your recommendation there!!

  5. I have Nike Flyknits now but I don’t love them. I liked the Nike Flex RN the best.
    I thought you said a couple days ago you were doing a new workout now?

  6. I love Brooks! I’ve worn the Ravennas and Ghost for half marathons. Last year I wore the Launches for a half and it was TERRIBLE! Those are definitely for shorter runs. I switched to Glycerins, but then haven’t been running. Hope to get a fresh pair got Mother’s Day and get out there again!

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