How I Test Hiit Shoes
At That Fit Friend, I have a standard review process that I put all of the cross-training shoes that I review through. This entails countless training sessions where Im using the shoes for a variety of different activities.
When it comes to cross-training shoes that excel for things like HIIT and athletic-focused training, Ill create a slight bias in my training with these shoes. Basically, Ill tackle my standard review processes, then tack on work that is tailored to what these shoes are designed to excel in.
For HIIT testing, Ill put together class-like workouts, plyometric sessions, and high-intensity full-body training sessions. This helps paint a really good idea for how the shoes perform in different contexts.
During these workouts when assessing a shoes ability to perform in HIIT settings, Im focused on three primary construction features with the following questions.
Running Shoes Are Not Recommended For Hiit
Running shoes usually have a drop of 8 millimeters or more in addition to a great deal of foam cushioning, which makes them perfect for running, but not ideal for HIIT training.
Additionally, running shoes are only effective for going forward, and not side to side or backward.
Running is a linear activity, but HIIT training is very different, Reeboks senior product manager for training footwear Kristen Rudenauer told Shape. Movements such as side shuffles, pivots, jumping jacks, cutting between cones, ladder work, planks and push-upsyou need support from front to back.
Running shoes might be fine for a trial HIIT class, but if you plan to continue to do HIIT workouts frequently, it is a good idea to invest in shoes that are made specifically for high-intensity interval training.
Top Shoes For Hiit Comparison Chart
|New Balance Womens FuelCore Nergize V1||Low Top|
|Nike Womens Metcon 4||Low Top|
|Puma Womens Tazon 6 WNs FM||Ankle High|
|New Balance Womens FuelCore Agility v2||Low Top|
|Altra AFW1776P Womens XT||Low Top|
|Reebok Mens Crossfit Nano 8.0||Low Top|
|Nike Mens Metcon 3||Low Top|
|Inov-8 Mwnes All Train 215||Low Top|
|ASICS Mens Gel-Nitrofuze TR||Low Top|
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Does The Brand Well
Before buying a high-end product, its crucial to look for the brand. Does the brand have a good reputation for quality and service? A quick search on the internet should reveal if there are any known issues with the brand and its products. Once youve verified the brands good reputation, its time to consider the purchasing model.
How We Chose The Best Cross
We spoke with Dr. Sutera, Saylee Tulpule, D.P.M., a podiatrist with Foot and Ankle Specialists of the Mid-Atlantic in Maryland, poured through tons of customer reviews, and consulted the Good Housekeeping Institute, who tests countless products to ensure a fair and accurate representation of each item.
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How We Tested The Best Cross Training Shoes
Before we recommend a set of the best cross training shoes, we put them to the test to see whether they offer the right level of support you need for multi-activity workouts. Before we even lace up a pair, we look at whether the shoe has a men’s, women’s, or unisex edition.
One of the most important factors is how comfortable they feel, so we evaluate the overall fit, the types of materials used, and whether the shoes need to be worn before they soften. Similarly, we check to see if the fabrics are breathable to help you avoid sweaty feet.
As we use them for our own workouts, we consider how supportive they feel during different exercise styles. To see if they’re best suited for certain activities, we wear them during HIIT workouts, quick cardio sessions, and resistance training and weight lifting.
We take note of essential design considerations like the amount of lift around your heel, how much cushioning is in the sole and where on your foot it is, and if there’s sufficient support around your ankle.
Can You Do Hiit In Running Shoes
You can definitely use running shoes for HIIT workouts, but Id suggest paying attention to two key things. First, the types of HIIT workouts youre going to be doing. Second, the type of running shoe youll be using. Some running shoes will perform better than others in the context of HIIT training.
In regard to the first point, if your HIIT workout includes things like bodyweight exercises and very light lifting, then you can get away with a wider range of running shoes. Since running shoes vary a lot in regard to their sole construction some shoes will naturally be better than others for HIIT workouts.
When a HIIT workout is a bit more casual in nature or it only includes bodyweight and very light exercises, then even thicker running shoes with rounded soles can technically work. They may not provide you with the most stability or assist with balance, but if your HIIT workout isnt too demanding, then you can get away with using them.
When talking about the second point, some running shoes will perform better than others based on their sole construction, the materials used in their midsoles, and how their outsoles are built. For example, if we look at two Adidas running shoes like Ultraboost 22 and Adizero Boston 10, both of these models have drastically different sole constructions.
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What Are Cross Training Shoes
Unless you’re a dedicated runner or only lift weights, you probably do a variety of exercises in your workouts. Rather than have a dedicated set of footwear for each training style, cross training shoes offer support across a range of activities.
They’re known by this name because of the cross training approach to fitness, which encourages you to mix up your workouts to develop functional muscle, boost your fitness, and improve your performance.
So, you might be a runner who enjoys some weight lifting, or a regular lifter but want to boost your metabolism with a HIIT workout for fat loss. Each of these training styles requires different movements, and cross training shoes are designed to offer support across them all.
Many pairs have a lightweight design and breathable materials to keep your feet cool during sweaty, intense sessions. Some have a thin rubberized sole extended around the lower portion of the shoe to improve your grip if you’re switching between burpees and lunges.
Meanwhile, the soles are typically flat to help keep your weight in your heel and improve your posture during weight lifting workouts. This helps you get the most from your training and avoid injury from leaning too far forwards with the weights.
Why Is Important To Have Different Shoes For Different Types Of Workouts
Chanel Perkins, DPM, explains to Glamour that the force you exert throughout your feet for plyometric exercises, such as hopping or jumping, is a very different type of force exerted with more isometric exercises such as lunges or squats. This means that wearing the wrong type of shoessay, a running sneaker while weightlifting or strength trainingcould strain the ligaments and muscle tendons in your toes, feet, and ankles. Which ultimately can lead to painful things like heel spurs or plantar fasciitis. No thanks.
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Top Choice: Nike Mc Trainer
When it comes to performance for lifting and HIIT sessions, its really hard to fault the $70 USD price point of the Nike MC Trainer. This shoe has steadily grown as one of my top budget-friendly training shoe picks.
Besides its price point, there are multiple characteristics to like about the Nike MC Trainer. For starters, this midsole in this model provides a nice blend of stability and versatility. You can train heavily in these shoes and use them for plyometrics and sprints without beating the feet up too much.
I also like the full rubber outsole for durability and multi-directional training. Unlike other budget-friendly training shoes that lack full rubber outsoles, this models tread does an exceptional job on different surfaces and prolongs the lifespan of this shoe.
- Best For: HIIT Workouts and Lifting
- Heel-to-Toe Drop: Likely 4mm
- Weight: 10.1 oz
- Removable Insole: No
Nike Metcon 7 Training Shoes
- React foam midsole is the perfect blend of spring and comfort
- Lace lock tab keeps laces in-place during agility training
- Heel strikers might feel some discomfort when running
- Slimmer midfoot construction can deter those with wider feet
Nike’s Metcon is always a top contender in the gym space, and the latest iteration is the most feature-packed yet. The Metcon 7 boasts a breathable mesh upper and minimal drop for high stability during heavy lifts. The wide, flat heel and interior plate were a welcomed perk during squats and deadlifts, and the updated React foam midsole provided plenty of energy return when sprinting. Would we recommend taking on a marathon in the Metcon 7s? Absolutely not. But for any other training endeavor, these kicks are an easy top pick.
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Nike Superrep Go 3 Next Nature Flyknit
The Nike SuperRep Go 3 Next Nature Flyknit is my second pick for HIIT training. This shoe is a nice contrast to the Nike Free Metcon 4 because its a bit more traditional with its construction, and it has a lower price point.
This shoe features a responsive foam midsole which provides a nice level of bounce for plyometrics, class-style training, and HIIT workouts. The midsole on this model is also lightweight which keeps the weight of this shoe down.
Another perk of the Nike SuperRep Go 3 Next Nature Flyknit is that its made with sustainable materials. This composition of this shoe is built with at least 20% recycled materials. Granted, Id love to see this number increase for the next iteration, but its a good step for Nike HIIT shoes.
I think the final perk of this shoe for HIIT training is its Flyknit upper. The upper on this shoe breathes well and also makes it a good option for daily wear and some light treadmill use. You could also explore the Nike Air Zoom SuperRep Go 3 if neither this model nor the Nike Free Metcon 4 work for you.
- Best For: HIIT Workouts and Classes
- Heel-to-Toe Drop: 5mm
Best Hiit Shoes 80+ Shoes Tested In 2022
High-intensity interval training isn’t for the faint-hearted. It’s truly high-intensity, and you will surely sweat it out. To do well in this program, you need the support of good training shoes that are attuned to the unique demands of HIIT.
Of course, brands like Nike, Adidas, Reebok, and Under Armour would like you to believe that their offers are versatile enough to support the many types of exercises in an HIIT program. They may be telling the truth. But we want you to be sure, so we present our top HIIT shoe picks.
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Top Choice: Nike Metcon 7
The Nike Metcon 7 is a good shoe that can play in both HIIT and weight training worlds. This model features Nike React Foam through its midsole which gives it a much more responsive fit and feeling compared to prior Nike Metcon models that lacked this versatility.
On top of its reworked midsole, this model also features forefoot grooves that give the toe box a much more maneuverable feeling compared to something like a Nike Metcon 6. The chainlink upper construction is breathable and is also pretty durable for general HIIT workouts and weight training.
Ive deadlifted over 500 lbs and have squatted over 400 lbs in the Nike Metcon 7. That being said, there shouldnt be an issue with this models stability for most folks who want to do HIIT workouts and weight train hard in this model. If you like to bias your training in a more 50/50 split between HIIT workouts and weight training, then the Nike Metcon 7 is a good model to explore.
- Best For: Lifting, HIIT, and CrossFit-Style Training
- Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
Nike Air Zoom Superrep 3
The Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 3 is taking my top pick for class-focused workouts and training. This model is designed for classes specifically and offers a variety of features to scratch the class-loving individuals itch.
Theres a lot of Nike tech that goes in the Air Zoom SuperRep 3 like its dual Zoom Air units in the forefoot and sole construction. The Zoom Air units give this shoe a nice level of bounce when jumping and doing multi-directional exercises.
The sole also has a fair amount of tread, so traction and slip issues shouldnt be a problem with this shoe. I also like the upper breathability in this model and how much ventilation you get through this shoes mesh.
At the end of the day, the Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 3 is an interesting shoe. I think for class-specific training and for those that like Nike tech in their shoes, theyll enjoy this models overall performance.
- Best For: Class Workouts
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Under Armour Hovr Apex 3
Compared to many of the other shoes on this list, the Under Armour HOVR Apex 3s are less stiff, with just a bit more give, all while being lightweight. The grippy rubber sole is great for landing those jumps, and UAs HOVR foam cushioning is a great feature to help ensure comfort on ballistic/explosive movements. The strap construction allows for both forefoot movement and stabilization in the heel.
And while they arent going to be as stable as some heavier shoes on this list, they are going to absorb shock really well and shouldnt weigh you down, which is why theyre ideal for jumping. You can pick up a pair in your favorite of threedifferent colorways Summit White/Illusion Green, Mod Gray/White, and Black/Halo Gray.
The grippy rubber sole on this shoe is great for landing jumps, and UAs HOVR foam cushioning can ensure comfort on explosive movements. The strap construction is ideal for heel stabilization, as well.
Nike Air Zoom Superrep 3 Training Shoes
- Lighter and less bulky than previous iterations
- Two Zoom Air units at the forefoot provide plenty of spring and energy return
- Not the grippiest in outdoor training settings
- Midfoot bridge could be a weak point over time
Building off the successes of the SuperRep 2, the latest Nike kick tackling HIIT training is still a looker. Featuring two Air Zoom units at the forefoot for maximum energy return in every step, the SuperRep 3s also feature a midfoot bridge that give this silhouette a truly unique vibe. Theres also a divide at the natural flex of your toes, allowing you to effortlessly hold those pesky planks or bust out endless burpees.
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Should I Wear My Hiit Shoes For Other Activities
Honestly, you can but you shouldnt. HIIT shoes are made for being very versatile in the scope of a workout, but they are not the best for things like walking or running. You could wear them, but they dont do the best job of handling that forward motion time and time again. They just are not constructed for that purpose, so you will find them potentially making you a little bit painful after a while. Prolonged misuse will see them wear out much quicker than they would in other activities. Thats not to say all activities besides HIIT would be a poor choice with them on, but walking and running are ones to avoid if you can.
Top Choice: Altra Solstice Xt 2
The Altra Solstice XT 2 is a seriously slept-on training shoe and its a fantastic model for those with wider feet. Similar to other Altra training and running shoes, this model comes with Altras signature Footshape build which features a shape that is designed to replicate the human foot.
Basically, the toe box doesnt have a sharp taper and has a much wider width than other training shoes. Additionally, this model features Altras Balanced Cushioning and Innerflex grooves which are both features designed to promote a more natural foot positioning and movement.
The high-abrasion midsole in this model is reactive enough for plyometrics and stable enough to support squats up to 315 lbs. This model has been one of my go-tos when I want a HIIT-focused shoe that has more toe box width than my other models.
- Best For: Wide Feet, HIIT Workouts, Recreational Training
- Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0mm
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Who Shouldnt Buy The Under Armour Hovr Apex 3
- People who consistently train with heavy weight will want something with less cushion.
- Those on a budget may find this pick to be a bit pricey.
Under Armours HOVR cushioning is a game changer in terms of comfort and spring for jumping of any description if you find yourself often implementing jumping exercises into your workout routine, these are a great pair of cross-training shoes to consider.