TYR CXT-1 Review

It wasn’t love at first lift but I’m ready to eat my words—these are the best CrossFit shoes I’ve tried

(Image: © Harry Bullmore / Future)

Our Verdict

This brilliant CrossFit shoe provides a secure fit and impeccable stability because of a cleverly designed heel and firm-gripping outsole. It also offers a comfortable ride for running intervals. There are smart features, such as a protruding heel tab for smooth handstand push-ups and rubber toe bumpers for wall walks.


  • Stability platform great for lifts
  • Toe guard and side gripper for gym moves
  • Comfortable for mid-WOD runs


  • Durability concerns
  • Took a while to break in

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TYR began as a swimsuit brand but it has been getting increasingly involved in CrossFit, having recently added Patrick Vellner, Annie Thorisdottir and Noah Ohlsen to its roster of athletes. 

Despite the backing of those big names, I was unsure about TYR’s first training shoe, the TYR CXT-1. The white-and-gum colorway made it look too much like a tennis shoe, and I couldn’t imagine it would coax me away from my collection of Nanos, NoBulls and Nike Metcons.

How wrong I was. 

I’ve been testing a sleek black-and-gum pair for three months and haven’t trained in anything else. That’s longer than the standard CrossFit shoe review period at Coach, but what can I say? I’m a fan. 

It wasn’t love at first lift. It took a while to break in and the rubber guard at the front of the shoe was initially unforgiving on my toes during box jumps and lunges, but once this teething phase was complete the shoe felt fantastic.

The midsole foam was comfortable for short mid-WOD sprints, while the stability platform around the heel was a star performer during cleans, jerks and snatches. 

TYR CXT-1 Unisex Trainer: Price And Availability

TYR CXT-1 trainers from above

(Image credit: Harry Bullmore / Future)

The TYR CXT-1 was released in mid-2022 and is available on the TYR website for $129.99 in the US and £112.75 in the UK, with limited-edition colorways up to $159.99/£139.91. It’s also available from other retailers, such as WIT Fitness in the UK and Rogue Fitness in the US. It’s still new enough for the price not to have fallen. 

How I Tested This Shoe

I’ve worn the CXT-1 for three months, using it for every training session in that time, aside from a few longer runs. My weekly routine involves five 90-minute sessions consisting of at least one strength or weightlifting piece, occasional gymnastic practice and a metcon, finishing with a collection of accessory movements to strengthen specific muscle groups. I also have an active recovery session on one of my rest days, which could be anything from a longer, less intense EMOM to a mid-pace run.

Design And Fit

The brand has a torrent of fun, fresh colorways to suit most gym-goers, from my understated black-and-gum sneakers to the eye-catching edition for Wodapalooza, one of the biggest annual events in the CrossFit calendar.

The rubber side gripper, mesh upper and ridged heel tab are stand-out features that grew on me the more I wore the shoes. And they’re not just for show. The heel tab allows the shoes to glide on walls during handstand push-ups, the rubber side gripper helps with rope climbs, and the breathable mesh upper kept my feet cool during particularly gruesome metcons

Toe bumpers on TYR CXT-1 trainers

(Image credit: Harry Bullmore / Future)

The true-to-size shoes fitted my narrow UK size 10 feet well, locking them into place with no unwanted movement during runs or explosive plyometric exercises, like burpees and box jumps (something I experienced with the Inov-8 F-Lite G 300). Slipping them on took some wiggling because the heel was so snug. I liked this secure fit, but would advise anyone with wider feet to try them on before they buy if possible.

None of these features is my favorite thing about the shoe, though. That honor goes to the “patent pending stability platform”. There’s limited information available about this tech, but the combination of a solid heel and a wide, grippy outsole offered impressive stability during the big three and Olympic lifts (particularly for a narrower shoe).

Is the TYR CXT-1 Good For HIIT?

For fast-paced sessions and HIIT workouts this shoe is up there with my NoBull Trainer, even if the latter is still better for lifting and running. It’s slightly heavier than that rival (about 12oz/350g compared with 10.5oz/300g, on my scales) but I didn’t notice much of a difference during workouts; the secure fit and slim profile meant they still felt nimble. The outsole offered great grip, so I didn’t have to worry about slipping during fast workouts. 

The midsole is responsive, allowing for great power transfer through the ground during moves like burpee box jumps. If you want to go easier on your knees with more cushioning, the Nano X3 with its Lift and Run chassis may be more your bag, though for a firm and fast feel I got on well with the CXT-1. 

Is The TYR CXT-1 Good For Resistance Training?

Heel tabs on TYR CXT-1 trainers

(Image credit: Harry Bullmore / Future)

Whether you’re hitting a hypertrophy training squat session at a commercial gym or limbering up for cleans and snatches in your local box, the TYR CXT-1 will excel if if there’s a barbell involved. This is largely down to what I think is its biggest selling point: its stability. Despite offering a secure fit for my narrower feet, the wider rubber outsole and sturdy heel construction provided a strong foundation for lifting heavy. 

There was no compression of the midsole or unwanted movement of the foot during back squats, front squats or deadlifts, and I felt confident dropping under snatches and cleans. It offers what TYR describes as an “anatomical toe box” too, allowing me to spread my feet and boost my balance. 

The shoe also has a 9mm drop—high for CrossFit shoes which tend to fall between 4mm and 7mm. This may help taller lifters or those with limited ankle mobility to get into good positions at the bottom of a squat. 

Is The TYR CXT-1 Good For Running?

TYR CXT-1 upper and sole from above

(Image credit: Harry Bullmore / Future)

For a CrossFit shoe, the TYR CXT-1 is good for running. However, the standard disclaimer applies: use a purpose-built running shoe if you’re tackling anything above 2km.

For WODs with running intervals of 200m to 1km, this shoe kept my feet in good nick. While it’s never going to give you the cushioned ride of an everyday running shoe, I found the firm, responsive Surge NRG foam midsole to be comfortable, and I was able to hit the prescribed distances without worrying about what was on my feet. This topped my experiences with the NoBull Trainer and older Nike Metcons (namely, the 5 and earlier). 

Is The TYR CXT-1 Worth It?

There were signs of wear and tear after three months of use, with the material around the heel of the left shoe wearing away and some scuffs on the midsole foam. But the mesh remained unscathed. 

It’s not the cheapest, but the combination of stability and great grip means TYR CXT-1 holds a strong claim to being the best CrossFit shoe on the market, duking it out with the R.A.D. One, as well as the latest iterations of the Nanos and Metcons.

Harry Bullmore
Staff writer

Harry covers news, reviews and features for Coach, Fit&Well and Live Science. With over a decade of training experience, he has tried everything from powerlifting to gymnastics, cardio to CrossFit, all in a bid to find fun ways of building a healthy, functional body.