Clever Training

Training With Cross Trainer Shoes Vs. Running Shoes: What is the Difference?

Training With Cross Trainer Shoes Vs. Running Shoes: What is the Difference?
KJ Hiramoto

Any athlete will tell you that proper footwear is crucial in both competition and workouts. Choosing the right pair of shoes before a workout or race can make the difference between setting a personal record and sustaining an injury.

Such rule applies for CrossFit workouts and running. While running shoes and cross training shoes may look very similar, figuring out which pair of shoes to take with you can go a long way.

“Cross training shoes provide the versatility that CrossFit WODs demand,” said Reebok senior product manager Tal Short. “Cross training shoes provide the durability that is required to survive the beating that CrossFit puts on shoes.”

On the other hand, running shoes like the Reebok Floatride Run feature a soft cushion, the toe parts are flat but the shoes rise toward the heel part. Its Floatride Foam technology gives a soft and lightweight cushioning for a responsive feel, something most cross training shoes don’t carry.


Clever Training got a chance to chat with Short and Jessie Petersen, product manager with Reebok, as they shared kicks-related advice like when to grab which pair of shoes, why the differences between running shoes and cross training shoes matter and some of the Reebok shoes we have on the shelf.

Clever Training Spotlight:

  • Reebok CrossFit Grace TR (Women)
  • Reebok Floatride Run Fast (Men and Women)
  • Reebok Harmony Road (Women)
  • Reebok Nano 8 (Men and Women)

What is the importance of wearing cross training shoes during CrossFit workouts?

TS: Cross training shoes provide the versatility that CrossFit WODs demand. Also, cross training shoes provide the durability that is required to survive the beating that CrossFit puts on shoes.


What are some of the major difference between working out in Reebok cross training shoes and in normal running shoes?

TS: Stability and a lower drop are the biggest differences when working out in a cross training shoes vs normal running shoes.  The stability is vital for keeping the foot locked in during lifting and other dynamic movements. A lower drop is needed for all of the squatting that is programmed within CrossFit

Which shoes are best fit for certain CrossFit workouts?

TS: A CrossFit-specific shoe, like the Nano, is the best fit for all CrossFit workouts.  Occasionally, there is a running-only WOD that would allow a person to wear their Harmony Road 2s.

Have you noticed any trends when it comes to CrossFitters picking out their shoes?

TS: One trend that we have seen recently is the importance of comfort.  It might sound obvious but years ago, CrossFitters only cared about performance.  They wanted shoes that could hold up to the performance standards they commanded even if that meant sacrificing comfort.  Now, CrossFitters still want a shoe that can perform in but also want something they can wear all day, in and out of the box.


Typically running shoes wear out around 3 months or 300 to 500 miles. What is the typical lifespan of CrossFit shoes – how often should you replace, what signs to look for, etc.?

TS: There is no perfect science around the lifespan of a typical CrossFit shoe because of so many different variables. If your shoe is showing signs of excessive midsole abrasion/compression or the rubber on the bottom is really worn out, I would suggest looking into a new pair.


Can you speak on the Reebok Nano 8 and what makes them a great fit for CrossFit workouts?

TS: The Reebok Nano 8 is the ideal shoe for CrossFit.  Similar to the elite CrossFitters, the Nano 8 is really, really good at everything, not just great at one thing.   


How about the Reebok CrossFit Grace TR?

TS: The Reebok CrossFit Grace TR is the first ever CrossFit shoe built specifically for women.  The design is built around insights obtained by scanning thousands of women CrossFit athletes.


We also sell the Floatride Run Fast, what are some of the things Clever Training athletes should look forward to when they test them out?

JP: The award-winning Floatride Run Fast is the perfect balance of cushion and responsiveness while maintaining a super lightweight feel. This shoe is Ideal for Faster running, tempo runs, and everyday mileage.

If you’re looking for a new pair of running shoes, pro triathlete and Clever Training ambassador Brad Williams put together a guide on how to find the best running shoes for every foot type. Whether your foot is a “natural arch” or a “low arch,” we’ve got you covered on picking out your kicks.

Clever Training recommends👇

Reebok Harmony Road

For running shoes, the women's Reebok Harmony Road features both comfort and power with its performance-driven design and long-lasting cushioning. The TriZone midsole delivers shock absorption in the heel, in addition to responsive propulsion in the front of the foot, allowing for a fast transition and a smooth ride.



Those interested in joining CrossFit can check out Cigar City CrossFit, located on North 24th Street in Tampa. They offer group classes, personal training and nutrition counseling. Those interested in joining or learning more about their programs can click here for more information.


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The New Year is here, and with it, a fresh start. • • It’s a great time to make changes in your life, but the hard truth is, most people wont make any significant changes at all, and that’s okay. Not everyone needs to be in, “the best shape of their life.” • • But we know some people want more. Some people want change. Doing it on your own can be a struggle. Where to start, who to talk to and how to follow through can be challenging. We can help. • • Start by booking a no sweat intro. Our coaches will walk you through our membership options that include Group classes, Personal training, individual design, nutrition counseling, and intro classes for beginners. Our coaches will be there every step of the way to help you kick start your fitness in the new year. • • Not everyone needs to reinvent themselves, but that doesnt mean you cant make a few new friends, have fun and get results. We hope to see you soon.

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