How To Choose The Best Gym Shoes
Figuring out what shoe works best for you and your body can be tricky, especially since your needs can change over time and even over the course of the day.
Fit is key. Your chosen shoe should be tailored to your needs. For example, treadmill runners require a different type of shoe than those who cycle or lift weights.
Still, some variables remain unchanged. Good gym shoes should be firm but flexible, offering support but allowing your foot to function. They should likewise allow you to maintain a proper stance or gait.
You should also invest in a pair of shoes that provides ample cushioning and grip. However, these variables will be subjective, and the best way for you to choose the right pair is to try them out yourself.
- Price: $$
- Pros: lightweight and supportive for running and walking
- Potential drawback: some reviewers have complained of a narrow fit design isnt ideal for weightlifting
Treadmill shoes should be stable and lightweight with a good grip.
The 25th edition of this classic Mizuno shoe lives up to its predecessors glory and the task of treadmill running, thanks to its featherlight body, 12-mm heel-toe drop, and well-cushioned and responsive midsole.
Its Waveknit fabric is breathable and hugs your foot to keep it on the shoes platform while in motion, too.
The Mizuno Wave Rider 25 is available in wide sizes and comes in a variety of colorways, including Imperial Blue and Cayenne-Phlox Pink.
What To Consider Before Buying Cross Training Shoes
Cross training shoes really cover a wide range of the market these days. You can find models that cater to nearly every niche type of training you can imagine. This can be overwhelming, but we think there are a few main factors to think about before purchasing your next pair of cross training shoes.
Nike Air Max Pegasus 37
The Air Zoom Pegasus set itself apart from other shoes in the Nike family. They introduced the new fore-foot cushioning system that was designed for added responsiveness. It also boasts an ability to adapt to your feet, which allows for enhanced comfort. With a focus on running, the lightweight foam and mesh components make this a very good running shoe indeed.
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Best For Heel Support: Reebok Print Run 30
- âSupport: âNeutral
- âFeature: âCarbon rubber trim for extra traction
The outsole of this sneaker boasts a carbon rubber trim that adds some extra traction to ensure your feet stay put on the elliptical. The precise cushioning in the foot-shaped center of the shoe offers enough support to keep you comfortable the elliptical and other exercise machines.
The four-way stretch material in the forefoot is nice and roomy, too â which allows your toes to spread naturally while you’re pedaling. In the back, an extra-high cushioned tab provides support for the back of your heel and Achilles.
âBuy it: â âPrice:â $70
Under Armour Hovr Apex 2
For Under Armour’s Apex model, it’s taken the same Hovr foam cushioning system from its running and basketball shoes, which work pretty perfectly for the gym floor too. It’s well equipped to handle those most intense lifting sessions, with deep flex grooves that make it particularly well-suited to grass-based workouts in parks and gardens. Like the first incarnation, the heel construction bulks up support for a noticeably wide fit. They offer a slightly higher base than Nike’s Metcon 6 without feeling unstable, thanks to the mid-foot support from a TriBase plate, further cementing its impenetrable tank-like status in the gym shoe market. £74.97.underarmour.co.uk
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Why You Need Cross
Mixing up the type of physical activity you do can help you avoid overtraining in any one domainand therefore, avoid getting injured.
Of course, cross-training is a broad term that includes many fitness pursuits, each of which comes with its own perks. For example, one 2017 study from theEuropean Journal of Applied Physiologyfound that high-intensity interval training boosted the metabolisms of exercisers past finishing as opposed to participants who exercised at a steady-state pace.
Under Armour Hovr Machina Running Shoes
If youre a jogger, these shoes are made for you. They provide you with speed thanks to the Pebax Propulsion plate, and they give you plenty of energy return through the compression mesh Energy Web. They can even connect to the MAPMYRUN app that tracks your running stats. A cool shoe that comes with amazing specs.
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Heel Height And Elevation
Heel height is something that can dramatically influence your training, especially if youre more into weightlifting. An elevated heel can help support mobility and give a stable base to rely on during training. A planted stable foot is a must for athletes especially when moving heavy weight so a more elevated heel can help a lifter with their training.
Heel elevation can range from 0 up to 10mm. It may not sound like much, but it can make a serious difference to the way movements feel. Extra heel height can help support a lifter moving weight through positions like squats and snatches, but little to no elevation is typically better for performing deadlifts. It all comes down to optimal posture angles and what you feel is most important in your training.
The Best Gym Shoes For Every Type Of Workout
Whether you crave CrossFit, hoist heavy weights or bounce around, there’s a sneaker here for you.
When it comes down to it, so to speak, shoes can make or break your gym or home workout experience. And no matter your style, this list has an option for you. While it can be tempting to use the same pair of sneakers for all your walking, running, jogging and gym-going, its ideal to have a pair of shoes that you use just for workouts.
Beyond extending the life of your running shoes, swapping out that pair for a gym pair does a lot for your workouts. Shoes designed for that purpose are closer to the ground, lending more support to your muscles and joints, giving you better stability during unilateral moves and providing a reliable platform for lifting heavy weights.
Note: when purchasing true running shoes, people often leave space in the toe box for toe splay. It makes sense and can improve your running form and performance. But with gym shoes, its best to avoid unnecessary space in the toe box. You want support for your feet during unilateral moves, so go with a snug fit and one of these winners.
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Nobull Black Sunset Trainer
A lightweight and breathable cross-trainer, this shoe has you covered no matter the activity youre going for. The seamless one-piece upper is made with SuperFabric, an extremely breathable and durable material. The outsole provides you with ultimate flexibility, support, and traction, while the reflective Nobull logo makes the shoes visible in the darkness. A great understated option for those who like to set themselves apart from the crowd.
Nike React Metcon Turbo
Nike has taken their popular Metcon training shoe and shaved down the weight by a noticeable degree . That means a shoe that still boasts features for rope climbs, handstand push-ups , and heavy lifts, just a bit more streamlined and, well, lighter. We love Nikes Metcon models for squats and even Olympic lifts, but the sleek and light design means theyre no slouch when it comes to speed work. The soles maintain a nice level of stability, too, thanks to their firmer outer layer, balancing out the softer inner core. The breathable upper is another plus for comfort, but wont be quite as durable as some of the other shoes on this list.
Nike’s React Metcon Turbo is ultra-light to maximize running, jumping, and cutting performance. It still features the rope wrap and heel clip Nike Metcons are famous for, all with a focus on reducing any excess weight that could slow athletes down. That means a slightly thinner upper construction that still maintains some padding for comfort.
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Best Overall Training Shoes Reebok Nano Training Shoes
- Key feature: Wide toe box
- Drop: 7 mm
- Sizes: Men’s 7-14 women’s 5-11
Combines comfort and stability, the Reebok Nano X1 helps keep you on your feet no matter how grueling your daily workout is. It has a wide toe box, which is ideal for people with wide feet who typically have a harder time finding a good training shoe.
The Reebok Nano X1 has better midfoot cushioning than most other pairs of shoes, so they’ll keep you comfortable whether you’re doing plyometric movements or lifting weights. The rubber outsole is grippy, helping you get plenty of traction every time your foot hits the ground. We also like the thermoplastic polyurethane casing, which helps provide some additional heel support. Bottom line? Whether you’re into running, CrossFit, or weightlifting, this is a shoe that should serve you well.
- Slightly more limited size range
- Limited color options
Best Training Shoes For Walking And Running Salomon Index01 Shoes
- Key feature: Traction for all terrains
- Drop: 9 mm
- Sizes: Men’s 4-13
Looking for a shoe that will be comfortable and supportive on any kind of terrain, no matter whether you’re mall-walking or road-running? Take a look at the Salomon INDEX.01 Shoes. While they aren’t the cheapest shoes on the market they’re nevertheless a great, all-purpose, unisex option. They’re designed to keep your body supported and your feet comfy during even the longest of runs.
The shoes are made with recycled materials, making them an outstanding option for eco-conscious buyers. Theres ample cushioning to keep landings comfortable, minimizing shock and impact. And, the bottom of the shoe is made to supply traction across any type of terrain.
Some additional distinctions between training shoes and running shoes include:
- Training shoes are made to support multi-dimensional movements
- Compared with running shoes, training shoes furnish greater stability for lifting weights
- Training shoes also offer protection for rope climbing
- A wider platform helps training shoes keep you more sure-footed
- A thinner sole promotes better control for foot movement
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Best Cross Training Shoes For Light Runs
Running is a divisive subject. Many people find it tedious and only grudgingly add it into workouts when its absolutely necessary. Others love it and find themselves supplementing weight training to benefit their running. If youre cross-training, then light runs are a standard part of your workout.
Str/ke Mvmnt Haze Trainer
The STR/KE MVMNT Haze Trainer is a great workout shoe for CrossFit for three key reasons. First, the Cush50 midsole used in this model does a really good job at walking the line between being versatile and stable.
The midsole in this model has a nice level of responsiveness and it works well under heavyweight. Second, the Cross-Platform Outsole construction in this shoe gives this model a highly maneuverable fit and feel which is great for foot articulation and versatility.
If youre tackling cleans, unilateral lower body training, wall balls, or whatever it might be, then youll likely enjoy the performance of the Haze Trainers outsole. I almost categorize this shoe as a bridge between traditional training shoes and barefoot shoes due to its maneuverability.
Third and lastly, the durability of the Haze Trainer is overall pretty good. The 3D jacquard knit upper breathes well while doing a good job for abrasion resistance when tackling rope climbs and burpees.
- Best For: CrossFit-Style Training
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Running: Brooks Womens Ghost 13 Running Shoe $172
Cheyenne Tilford, a Hawaii-based certified yoga instructor, runs half-marathons often and is a big fan of the Brooks Womens Ghost 13 Running Shoe.
When Im long runs, I like that extra cushion to prevent injury, Tilford said. They also last for a long time! I had my last pair for four years until I finally decided it was time to get rid of them.
Tilford isnt the only one loving the Brooks sneakers. These babies have almost 23,000 ravings reviews on Amazon.com.
Best Training Shoes For Men Hoka One One Bondi 7
- Key feature: Massive bed of cushioning foam
- Drop: 4 mm
- Sizes: Mens 7-15
Men need maximum cushioning to support their feet, particularly during intense workouts. The HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 7 provides that higher level of cushioning via a massive bed of EVA foam. This foam level offers a plush underfoot feel, making this one of the most comfortable and supportive running shoes around.
The shoe also offers a lightweight, mesh top, which is both breathable and lightweight. And, the natural feel of the shoe lends itself to quick transitions from landing to takeoff. All in all, the HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 7 is a great smooth shoe that will make any mans workout more pleasant.
- Other shoes are better for traction and grip
- Not the most affordable shoe on our list
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Under Armour Hovr Apex 2 Training Shoes
Great for cross-training, the TriBase technology UA invented maximizes contact with the ground while providing you with extreme flexibility. Your natural movements will be enhanced, which will prevent you from putting additional strain on your body. You can also take advantage of the energy return of the advanced cushioning the brand offers through the durable layering system. A great option for the guys who like to play hard.
How I Rank Test And Review Shoes
Every workout shoe included in this round-up has been personally tested and reviewed by myself. Im the only one that reviews workout shoes for That Fit Friend and I keep it this way to increase the depth and context I can apply to round-ups and reviews.
When assessing workout shoes in the variety of categories mentioned above, I try to create a hyper-focused assessment for each specific category.
With every workout shoe, I have a larger review testing process that I perform, and then this process ebbs and flows based on the context of how a workout shoe is intended to be used.
For example, when I niche down on shoe reviews the tests I perform will then shift accordingly. For context, how I test a CrossFit-focused shoe in the gym will be slightly different than a HIIT-focused shoe.
From here, I then assess a shoes overall fit, stability, versatility, durability, and all of the finite construction details that go into the shoe in question.
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Nike Fs Lite Trainer 4
These shoes are a combination of attractive design, comfort, and quality in one. The shoes are extremely lightweight due to the mesh upper, which makes these cross-trainers breathable too. The Flywire chain link laces provide you with lateral support, and the outsoles zonal rubber provides enhanced traction. The insole features dual-density plush cushioning that is excellent for ultimate shock absorption.
When Should You Replace Workout Shoes
At That Fit Friend, I have a system that I like to use to help others learn and understand when its time to replace their workout shoes. The system that I like to use is called OMU and it stands for a shoes outsole, midsole, and upper .
When assessing when to replace your workout shoes these are three areas that I want you to explore. The reason I use OMU is that if these areas are breaking down, then your performance could be compromised which would warrant the need to replace your workout shoes.
In this example, the midsole and outsole are both breaking down, which would warrant the need to replace the workout shoes. Generally speaking, midsole and outsole breakdown are two areas that will most impact performance.
To take it a step further, if the upper was just breaking down in the example above and the midsole and outsole were fine, then there wouldnt be such an immediate need to replace the workout shoes.
This is also why I ordered OMU in the way it is as its based on a hierarchy of importance for performance. If the outsole and midsole are breaking down, then you likely should look into replacing your workout shoes sooner than later.
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On Running Cloud Mesh
This is another brand that is not as popular as the big names, but definitely worth considering. This synthetic sneaker is a lightweight training shoe that comes with a substantial mesh upper and the brands energy-converting Speedboard technology. The sock-like design promotes comfort and tactile feet. Your feet will stay protected yet comfortable, even when youre training hard.
Best Overall: Adidas Cloudfoam Qt Racer Shoe
Lightweight, comfortable, and versatile, Adidas Cloudfoam QT Racer is ready to help you get through just about any workout. The shoes breathable mesh upper promises to keep air flowing as you tackle long, challenging workouts. And its rubber outsole is designed to protect your foot without weighing you down.
Step into the Adidas Cloudfoam QT Racer, and youll feel Adidas Cloudfoam Memory sockliner hugging your foot. The liner molds to your foot over time, cushioning your step in the places you need it most. This personalized padding works alongside the shoes thick rubber outsole to ensure every step you take feels soft, smooth, and totally supported.
The Adidas Cloudfoam QT Racer is currently available in sizes 5 through 11.
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