Getting the right shoe can make an important difference to enjoying Crossfit. It can also preserve your expensive joggers for jogging, as you probably shouldn't be subjecting them to the grind of regular Crossfit workouts.
If you get a decent shoe, you'll notice your lifts go better, and minor improvements to a number of other exercises.
Choosing the right shoe is obviously personal, just like your foot. :) However, when I was shopping, I wished there were unbiased comparative reviews available, and in hindsight, it turns out these two products represent very different approaches to making a shoe for high intensity work outs.
This is a comparison between two leading shoes for Crossfit training; the Reebok Nano 5.0 and the Inov-8 F-lite 240. I'm between 18-24 months into training, and like to go 4 times a week. We're based in California, so conditions are fair-weather. We might do a little less rope work than some boxes, and a bit more running. There is a healthy blend between Oly and body-weight work.
I owned the F-lite 240's first, and am now 3 months into the Nano 5.0s. Very different shoes. (I'll add links at the bottom for you if, you're shopping).
The F-lite 240 is one definition of a minimalist shoe. Low elevation heal made of moderately firm, decently grippy rubber. The body of the show is made of a light polymer material I'd bet. It is soft (but thicker thread and weave) than a modern wind breaker. The shoe is extremely light and you immediately feel the floor in a whole new way when you're lifting.
The transition from a jogger (moderately high, soft healed runner) to the Inov-8 F-lite 240 was more difficult than I imagined. I had spent more than 20 years on runners, and as a result my calf muscles and hamstrings had become accustomed to that heal height. The Inov-8s lowered me significantly, and required substantially more extension of those tissues. If I didn't stretch regularly I'd get cramps in my lower calf. By placing my toe on something elevated above my heal, and stretching regularly, this went away, but it was an interesting surprise. I'm pretty sure it would have happened with any minimalist shoe.
I enjoyed the F-lites. Light, comfortable, breathable, tough. After about 12 months I started to break through near my baby toe, and the rope work had started to damage the toes. I didn't realize it had been almost 12 months (3-4 days per week), and for $120 I figure that is decent value.
The Nano 5.0 is a more substantial shoe. It feels tougher, blockier, and a little more heavy. The material feels more rugged, and the plastic protections are much more substantial. The heal is still minimalist, and the rubber soul low. It might feel a little less flexible. It is interesting, I feel slightly more supported in the Nano 5.0 than I did in the Inov-8's. There is a lot more plastic on the Nano 5.0s. This gives them a more protective, supportive, and rigid feel. I've found it an improvement for burpees and pushups where you're toes to the ground. Though truth be told, I liked running in the Inov-8 F-lite 240s more.
Neither shoe is fashionable or attractive to my eye at all, but I'm a middle aged man, so you can take that as you like it. If you forced me to pick for looks, I'd likely lean slightly in favor of the Inov-8s.
If you've got a wider foot, then you'll need to be more careful when ordering the Nano 5.0. The composition of the Inov-8 shoe is more forgiving, for better and worse. The Inov-8 F-lite 240s size in a more European style, so I ordered a half size smaller than I normally would. This wasn't true with the Nano 5.0s, in fact I probably could have gone half a size up.
Net net, both shoes are high quality, and worth the dough. I found it easier to buy the Nano's and got a sweet discount by buying them direct from Reebok with a coupon that automatically landed in my check-out from www.joinhoney.com
I'd happily buy the Inov-8's again though, and will look for them as an excellent option the next time I am in the market.