One of the first pieces of gear that most people purchase when they begin their CrossFit journey is a new pair of shoes. The proper training shoes can make or break your training experience.
When it comes to shoes, you will usually find that most people at a CrossFit box fall into 1 of 3 groups: Team Nano (Reebok), Team Metcon (Nike), or Team No Bull. All are fantastic shoes and, minus the No Bull trainers, I have tried and owned various trainers by all of them.
When it came time to purchase a new pair of trainers I (like many) looked at the typical 3 options; however, this time around I wanted to break the mold and go against the status quo. I wanted to look for a brand that wasn’t typically seen at a CrossFit box. So after some research I stumbled upon a pair of shoes from Under Armour called the Charged Ultimate.
Thanks to a generous gift from my mother-in-law, I was able to get a pair.
Before I get to my review, I want to talk about what you should generally be looking for in a good pair of training shoes for CrossFit.
Things to Consider When Buying Shoes for CrossFit
1. Offset differential – aka “The Drop”
The offset differential of a shoe refers specifically to how much of a height difference there is between the heel and the toe. To help evenly distribute weight across your foot in a more natural foot position, you want to find shoes with a low offset differential. Most training shoes that are used in CrossFit have a drop of 4mm.
In contrast, running shoes are not ideal for CrossFit due to their 8mm-12mm drop which is meant to help propel you forward for a more ideal running position.
2. Top Material
Box jumps, burpees, and rope climbs all put your shoes through a beating. You want to make sure that the outer material is durable and flexible.
Low tread yet “grippy” is optimal. The last thing you want to do is have your jump rope snag on the treads of your shoe. You also want to make sure that the sole is durable yet flexible enough to allow for explosive movements.
4. Personal Fit and Comfort
At the end of the day you have to see what works best for you. It may take some trial and error so just take your time.
Under Armour Charged Ultimate
I have been using the Charged Ultimate trainers for the last few months and absolutely love them! Here are the stats in comparison to the other common shoes you’ll see at the box.
Having been using these shoes for the past few months, I am absolutely a fan of these shoes. Here are some of the things I really liked about the shoe in particular.
Under Armour has added an additional layer heel support that keeps my heel securely locked in place when doing box jumps. The added security also gives me increased confidence when doing high repetitions of olympic lifts in a WOD.
The multi-surface sole of the shoe provides a firm grip when doing box jumps and makes me feel like I won’t slip off. The dual layer midsole provides comfortable adaptability and flexibility when transitioning from lifts to 400 meter sprints in a WOD.
From a running standpoint, I found that the separation in the sole of the shoe that is reinforced with a structured shell provides optimum stability for me since I tend to pronate while running. The others didn’t provide much support in that aspect.
The top material feels strong and not cheap and flimsy. The stitching and seals are strong and the lace loops help to reinforce the structure of the shoe to provide a snug fit. With the amount of abuse I have put on these shoes, they still look solid and I haven’t seen any areas of wear yet.
At the end of the day, this was probably the most attractive feature. Coming in at under $100, I couldn’t ask for a better deal on a pair of solid trainers.
To be fair, you can also pick up a pair of earlier models of the Nanos and Metcons which will bring the price down the the same price point.
Let me know what your experience has been with these or any other brand of training shoe you have used.
If you’re interested in picking up a pair of the Under Armour Charged Ultimate, you can do so here.
I do not receive monetary compensation from any of these manufacturers so what you are getting is my honest and personal review based upon how I use these shoes or any other products that I review for that matter. That being said, if any product manufacturers would like to send me products to review, I wouldn’t be opposed to it 😉
Since receiving my pair of Charged Ultimates, Under Armour has released a second generation of the shoe. I haven’t tried them yet but once I get a pair I will do an update.