You can describe CrossFit fashion – which I shall refer to simply as CFF – in much the same way as you can a CrossFitter: well-made, attentive to detail, and normally rather attractive. CF’ers are a discerning bunch who understand the demands of the sport: quite rightly, we also want clothing that’s up to the challenging mixture of gymnastics and lifting, and then sprinting about just for the hell of it.
There isn’t a rule book as such that comes with dressing for CrossFit, but the sport varies from yoga, running, and typical gym activities in a number of important ways. Failure to realise this can result in embarrassing moments such as: tennis skirt draped across armpits whilst attempting a handstand, or getting thumb stuck in stringer* halfway through a muscle up. I’ve only witnessed one of those (alright – yes it was me, and no it didn’t involve muscle ups. I wear it strictly on Upright WOD days only now). There are also things I’ve learned through trial and injury – usually on days combining rowing, pull ups and kettlebells – and have adjusted my attire accordingly (any excuse to wear gloves, frankly). Also, a tip-off that knee socks are a staple indulgence of CrossFitters the world over would’ve been useful. Normally these are the reserve of pretend schoolgirls and rugby players – but my goodness am I glad we get to wear them for CrossFit. Maybe that’s why I like doing it so much.
If there’s no rule book you say, then what should I go out and buy when I start CrossFitting? Because, let’s face it, there’s something about a shiny new pair of shorts or wrist wraps that makes it much easier to go and sweat your skin off. (Eugh, gross image there. Hopefully that won’t actually happen to any of us.)
CFF List – Item #1: Knee Socks
C’mon, I had to put them first. There are a lot of options when it comes to CrossFit socks, but these are the best two in my opinion.
Gryphon socks from Kit4Sports
My Gryphon socks are the most vibrant neon pink you will ever see and I love them. They never fail to attract compliments from women at my gym, and I’ve even seen a few guys eyeing them up (yes, I do mean the socks and not my legs). I gave my lovely Gryphons a good trial run:
5 rounds of 5 x thrusters and 10 x lateral bar burpees
8 x 200m sprints
21-15-9 kettlebells, box jumps and sit ups
collapsing in a sweaty neon pink heap (I think my face matched my socks by that stage).
How did the Gryphons hold up? Unintentional pun there, but I must say they did incredibly well. They didn’t budge even after countless burpees, and my shins were kept graze-free through all the deadlifts and box jumps. These are well-made socks with thin footbeds so they’ll fit into your Nanos or your Merrells, and you get a good compression effect from them too. The men’s socks are equally as good, with even better moisture-wicking fabric – the only warning is to watch out on polished wooden floors, because these dudes are seriously slippery. You can become the most popular CF’er at your box by treating them all to a pair customised with your logo, colours: you choose it, Kit4Sports will sort it for you. Easy.
KGB socks (£12.00) KGB Clothing
An item of KGB clothing is fast becoming the sign of a true CF athlete. Made by CrossFitters for CrossFitters – not old-school Russian intelligence as the name suggests – their whole range is designed to meet the demanding quantities of sweat and washing CF clothes have to sustain. KGB socks come with an accent colour to suit every pair of shorts and training shoes you could possibly own: my advice is to get a pair of each so you have one for every training day of the week.
I’ll leave you to go and buy – and try out – your new CF socks, and I’ll get on the case testing some more gear to give your CrossFit wardrobe all kinds of gains.
*Just to be clear, I have never met a stringer-wearing CF’er. Not ever.
Lucy Denver is a freelance fitness and motivational copywriter with a keen interest in unique fashion, travel, CrossFit and making sushi. For more information or to get in touch, you can follow her on Twitter @denvertronix.