To test the eight different pairs of shoes for CrossFit, it was important to use a list of movements that would showcase exactly how these shoes perform. Because CrossFit incorporates such a wide range of movements, it meant that we had to try to cover all our bases. The best way was to put them through a series of workouts, including the demanding CrossFit Open, and then a series of head-to-head tests. We scored each of the shoes for CrossFit on comfort, support, protection, sensitivity, and most of all how they performed in weightlifting and running.
We used head-to-head testing in the critical areas of weightlifting and running, as well as some movements where shoes for CrossFit can make a big difference like jump rope double-unders and rope climbs. Our weightlifting tests included heavy squats, explosive Olympic lifts, and loaded carries. Squats require stability and support and often benefit from an elevated heel. During the Olympic lifts, we looked for shoes with enough stiffness in the sole to transfer power to the lift and enough sensitivity to stick a quick landing. Loaded carries are becoming more popular in CrossFit competition, and showcase a shoes' balance between comfort and support. Our head-to-head run tests included hill sprints, shuttle sprints (with multiple changes of direction), and longer jogs.
We also wore each shoe for a series of workouts to get to know its qualities. During the CrossFit Open testers occasionally performed the same workout twice in different shoes to provide a sharp comparison between similar shoes. This provided us with valuable performance insights. We gave each product a similar overall time frame of testing, about two weeks. One of the best indicators for a successful CrossFit shoe was whether we were happy to move on to the next pair, or nostalgic once we switched.