Finding Your Optimal Training Shoe

January 17, 2019


Which Gym Shoes Should You Get For Optimal Training Performance?

By Monique Martin | January 2019

At Godspeed, your goals become our mission.

We strive to provide you with the best training experience possible while training you to reach your optimal performance potential. While your workout attire won’t necessarily make or break your workout, (…although some may beg to differ…) you can select shoes that will set you up for success for the cross training services we provide at Godspeed.

Shoes are always a personal preference, so what may work for one person, may not work for another – but as a beginning guide here’s our staff’s recommendations on our favorite training shoes. Some of these shoes are an investment, but truly can enhance your workout experience.

(And as a side note, we’re not endorsed or sponsored by any of these companies, so these really are our staff and many of our member’s personal preference.)

There was a time when you would walk into Godspeed and you would think we were sponsored by Nike Metcons because it seemed like everyone on our staff and a high majority of our members would exclusively wear Metcons. We even converted many of our athletes on teams we train remotely to become Metcon enthusiasts like us. Although many of us shoe enthusiasts have branched out and dabbled in other training shoes, most of us return to the Nike Metcon to suit all of our training needs.

Would recommend for:

  • Training that includes weight lifting, strength training, box jumps, rope climbs, sprinting, jumping rope…basically anything CrossFit or MOVE (HIIT/Bootcamp) like
  • Narrower feet
  • If you need a little support

Maybe not for you if:

  • You have wider feet (most everyone that didn’t convert to a Nike Metcon fanatic had wide feet)
  • Plan to run more than a mile (DO NOT do any long distance running in Metcons or any training shoe really…your feet and body will thank you)

Additional side note(s):

  • Many of us have tried the variations of Metcons Nike has released like the FlyKnit and Frees and for the most part we really like them…however be forewarned of potential heel slippage. As a rule of thumb we suggest starting with the original Metcons.
  • Keep an eye out for the Metcon 5 releasing May 2019!


Arguably, the original CrossFit shoe. And the new models are helping the Nano make a comeback! (Although there is hear-say that the Nano 9 might be the last Nano they release due to legal issues…perhaps another blog post for another time.) In general, for most people, if you’re not Team Nike Metcon then you’re Team Reebok Nano.

Would recommend for:

  • Anything CrossFit (basically see the description above for Metcons and if you’re not a Metcon fan, try the Nanos)
  • Wider feet

Maybe not for you if:

  • You don’t like flat shoes without any support
  • You have narrow feet


If you’re not Team Nike Metcon or Team Reebok Nano then you might be Team NOBULL. For some Nobullers it’s more about the fashion statement you can make with them. Similar to the Nanos, these are flat and don’t offer support like the Metcons. On their website, it literally says “if you think gimmicks in your shoes make you a better athlete, NOBULL is not for you. NOBULL products perform with you when and where you need them. That’s it.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves on how to differentiate the NOBULLs from a Metcon or a Nano. Basically NOBULLs offer cool designs and just enough functionality for your workout.

Would recommend for:

  • Again, anything CrossFit or high intensity training (refer back to the description under Metcons for a reminder)
  • You want a flat, no support shoe like the Nanos, but have a narrower foot
  • You’re looking for a lightweight shoe
  • You’re a fan of high tops or mids

Maybe not for you if:

  • You don’t like very flat training shoes
  • You’re waiting for the price to drop…NOBULL offers a military discount (active and veteran), but they don’t really offer any coupons or specials. You might be able to find discounted NOBULLS or use promo codes on on CrossFit “niche” stores like Rogue.


(Specifically The Cloud X or Cloudflow)

Usually, we wouldn’t recommend running shoes for the type of training we do here – but we’re making an exception for these shoes. Their CloudTec technology really does feel like you’re walking on clouds. We’re including these shoes on this list because many of our members swear by these shoes revolutionizing their workout and alleviating pain issues that used to hinder their workouts.

Would recommend for:

  • You really can’t get comfortable in how flat the above training shoes are – while these are still considered running shoes, these are better for the training we do at Godspeed compared to traditional running shoes
  • Someone who has pain issues in their feet – some members have said they haven’t been able to find better shoes that really helped with their plantar fasciitis or other foot and pain issues that still work for the type of training we do here

Maybe not for you if:

  • You’re doing an abrasive activity…the durability of these during rope climbs are still under investigation
  • You need an extremely stable, sturdy, flat shoe to train
  • You don’t think you’ll be able to wear anything else on your feet ever again (…they’re that addicting)


Other General Guidelines

If none of these options work for you or are out of your price range, as a general rule for CrossFit style or high intensity training shoes we suggest:

1.) Flat, sturdy bottoms

  • Highly cushioned shoes are great and comfortable for walking around in and some are good for running, but anything with thick soles is pretty awful for training

2.) Durable material and something that has grip

3.) Keep the athleisure shoes for your daily walk around shoes, but don’t wear them for the gym for both the longevity of the shoes and the health of your body (particularly your feet, legs, and back)

  • Basically, training shoes aren’t really meant to be super fashionable or extremely comfortable shoes unless that training look is a look you’re going for and you’re accustomed to the lack of cushion and support


Honorable Mentions

(Shout out to Katie G. for the recommendations!)


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