Working out at the gym may seem like an activity that can be done in just about any type of shoe as long as it’s comfortable and breathable. However, the efficiency and even safety of certain activities and exercises are going to depend on your ankles, feet, and of course, gym shoes
Shoes need to be supportive. Here we have rounded up these 15 amazing gym shoes that will be able to accompany you in your training sessions for years.
If you need a reliable pair of CrossFit sneakers, you can’t go wrong with the Techloom Pro model from APL. These shoes offer all the stability you need when doing various exercises such as planks, squats, and mountain climbers. They are also reasonably comfortable for running, although it is probably a better idea to get a pair of dedicated shoes for all your running and jogging endeavors. The Techlooms might provide a decent amount of cushioning for a short run, but runs longer than a couple of miles should be done in professional shoes with ample cushioning and support.
These sneakers may not look very stylish, but they are very durable and practical. The surface of the Techlooms is made from neoprene that’s reinforced with a breathable sock liner on the inside of the shoe. The tongue is attached, so it isn’t going to wobble as your feet move inside the shoes. The lacing lies underneath the tongue by default, but you can also re-lace your Techlooms if you prefer the more traditional look.
Those who are into weight lifting may want to take a closer look at the Altra HIIT XT 2 shoes. These sneakers offer great stability, which is very important when lifting weights. Their low-profile base and wide toe box make sure that your feet have good contact with the ground. This will make your lifts more stable, help your muscles work in an optimal way, and minimize the risk of injuring your ankles.
However, the HIIT XT 2 shoes do not just shine in the weight room, as you can also wear them when you want to shoot some hoops. The extra layers of rubber that strengthen the sides of these trainers make sure that your feet don’t move around inside the shoes, so they’re very good at protecting your ankles when playing basketball.
Lifting up these sneakers is likely going to leave you impressed, as they feel extremely light. It is easy to assume that they are going to feel somewhat flimsy and unstable due to the light weight, but that’s far from the truth. The Flexweave woven textile upper manages to provide a very sturdy and reliable build. In addition, it was also designed to provide targeted support for your feet during crucial movements, minimizing the risk of injury.
The insides of these shoes boast adaptive cushioning that works great for a range of CrossFit activities, and can even be sufficient for running. There’s even a special strap inside the shoe to comfortably lock in your foot and prevent it from moving around, so you can totally use this model for running unless you’re used to running shoes with huge amounts of padding and support.
Running doesn’t have to be an outside activity as you can still reap all the benefits of a good run if you simply do it on a treadmill. However, since the surface of the treadmill is very different from the natural ground or even concrete pavement, you can’t just grab your regular running shoes and head to the gym. If you want your feet to be prepared for the treadmill, grab a pair of the Saucony Kinvara 9 sneakers. Their lightweight and flexible soles don’t have much cushioning, and that works great for treadmill runs.
You might be confused because cushioning is supposed to be very important for running shoes, isn’t it? Well, most treadmills already come with ample amounts of cushioning designed to take the strain away from your feet. If your sneakers also have a lot of cushioning, your body may lose the ability to stabilize itself properly while you’re running. This is why flexible, responsive shoes such as the Saucony Kinvara 9 Everun are a must have if you’re going to be running on a treadmill.
The Minimus 40 cross trainers from New Balance are one of the best universal gym shoes you can get. The innovative materials used in these sneakers make sure that they can provide a lot of support and stability for your feet while remaining remarkably lightweight and flexible. This means that they can be worn while lifting weights, running on the treadmill, using different machines at the gym, and even going to various fitness classes.
Of course, you might be better off with dedicated shoes for certain kinds of activities if you’re particularly into them and spend the most time doing them. The Minimus 40 are still going to be an excellent pair of footwear for all the in-between activities you do occasionally or new ones you want to try out. However, if you’re trying to keep your fitness routine as well-rounded as possible and aim for diversity rather than focus, these sneakers might have you covered in the gym shoes department for a very long time.
While investing in yourself is always a good idea, sometimes, you simply have to stay within a certain budget when buying fitness gear, clothes, and shoes. Fortunately, you can go for the Puma Tazon 6 Fracture sneakers and save a considerable amount of money as long as your intended use scenario matches this shoe’s strengths.
It’s worth noting that these shoes are not good for running. Being on the heavier side and rather rigid, they just don’t provide the support and flexibility that are expected from a good running shoe. Nevertheless, these very same qualities make them great for low-impact activities. The shoes provide a lot of stability that’s crucial for weight lifting, walking, and strength training. They also have reasonable amounts of padding that make them very comfortable for daily wear, especially if you’re doing shift work and/or need to stand for hours straight.
You might’ve been somewhat surprised when you first saw people sporting the original Vibram KSO shoes some years ago. Since then, Vibram has experimented with a number of different styles and ideas, but the KSO sneakers remained the iconic model that had to be revamped at some point. The KSO EVOs are a new, improved version of the model that introduced the world to barefoot and toe shoes.
It may feel weird at first to wear a gym shoe without a sock, but the inner lining of these shoes is very comfortable, so that shouldn’t be an issue. What’s more, these sneakers are also very breathable, so you might end up feeling more comfortable in them than in all those regular gym shoes you’ve had over the years. Either way, Vibram KSO EVO sneakers are a great allrounder suitable for just about any form of CrossFit activity – and you can try running in them, too!
If your fitness routines mostly revolve around weight lifting and strength training in general, you can’t go wrong with a pair of Adidas Powerlift 4 sneakers. As the name suggests, they were designed keeping the needs of weight lifters in mind, and the result is nothing short of impressive. The shoes are very stable, allowing you to achieve perfect balance in your stances without overloading the ankles. The lockdown Velcro strap and hard soles make sure that your feet really feel planted to the ground when you do squats and deadlifts.
While the Adidas Powerlift 4 sneakers can work miracles when used for weight lifting, they are not going to do well as running shoes due to their heavy build and lack of arch support. So, do not expect them to double as running shoes even for occasional runs.
Adidas is a well-known brand, and of course, when it comes to gym shoes because they know what they’re doing. It should therefore come as no surprise that we’ve decided to feature multiple Adidas models on our list because these sneakers always seem to offer great value for money.
The AlphaBounce Beyond sneakers are no exception to this rule. Unlike their heavier cousins, the Powerlift 4 shoes, these ones are actually very flexible and adaptive. This makes them a less fitting option for weight lifting, although they do provide a decent amount of stability for squats and deadlifts. Yet, they do shine in a number of other use scenarios. For instance, you will be hard-pressed to find a better shoe for HIIT sessions thanks to the unique cushioning and lightweight build of this model. You can also wear them when running on a treadmill or even on grass, as their light, responsive soles allow your feet to regain balance and stabilize your body extremely well.
Mizuno isn’t necessarily the first brand that comes to mind when thinking of gym shoes, and yet the TC-01 model may actually be the ultimate gym shoe for some of you. Granted, they are going to work best for weight lifting due to the features we’ll describe below, but they also make a great shoe for everyday gym use.
Mizuno TC-01 are very breathable shoes thanks to their knit upper. The inner soles are soft and provide just enough cushioning for your feet to easily find and maintain balance when you’re lifting heavy weights. Combined with the 4mm drop, the cushioning seems to be perfect for power lifts and squats. The shoes are also very comfortable despite grasping your feet quite firmly and securely. Overall, they are a solid choice for weightlifters and casual gym goers alike.
You can forget about running on the treadmill in these shoes because they’re sturdy and, consequently, rather inflexible. Since this is actually desirable in weightlifting shoes, you can already see why we still decided to include the TriBase Reign model in our list.
The outsole of these shoes is made of firm rubber that helps your feet maintain a strong contact with the ground when lifting weights. What’s more, it also wraps up around the front edge of the sneaker, so the TriBase Reigns provide additional grip for rope climbing. The upper of these sneakers is made from abrasion-resistant synthetic materials, so you can be sure that they are going to serve you well for years, regardless of the wear and tear you put them through.
Those looking for a pair of high-quality, extremely versatile gym shoes are not going to be disappointed with the Nike Metcon 2 model. The Metcon 2 sneakers feel great the moment you put them on, and you’ll need to really put your mind to it if you want to find an activity that can’t be comfortably done in them.
The flexible rubber soles provide a lot of flexibility and control, so you can wear these shoes for climbing, body weight exercises, and weight lifting. At the same time, the sneakers boast a significant amount of cushioning, making them a great option for mid-distance jogging, sprinting, and running. They are also going to be an ideal companion for a well-rounded day at the gym, and as a bonus, they are stylish enough to be casually worn on a daily basis! Did we mention they’re sturdy and durable as well?
Women looking for a good pair of CrossFit shoes may end up feeling disappointed because many models are only available in men’s versions and sizing. Consequently, they often have to compromise and get men’s sneakers in small sizes (as long as those are available). Fortunately, Reebok decided to play fair and offer their popular CrossFit TR 2.0 model in both men’s and women’s versions.
The women’s version has been slightly redesigned to accommodate for the particularities of a female foot, instantly making this shoe a great fit for most female CrossFit enthusiasts. Other than that, it’s very similar to the men’s version and naturally boasts the same advantages: breathable sole and upper, comfortable cushioning, stable grippy outsole, and impressive durability. Overall, this shoe was designed to work best for indoor activities, but we can totally imagine going for a mid-distance run or a long walk in these sneakers without feeling any discomfort.
Speaking of sneaker models that have distinct male and female versions, we have to mention the NOBULL Clay gym shoes. Sturdy and reasonably flexible, they are a great match for just about any low-impact activity, and you could probably pull off some short- to mid-distance runs in them as well. Given how casual they look, it is amazing that they offer so much balance support and stability for activities such as weight lifting, squatting, or rope climbing.
Since their casual look is also pretty stylish, you can wear them on a daily basis. The sneakers have an extremely durable synthetic upper and are overall well-made, so you can expect them to last for multiple years even if you wear them a lot. As a bonus, these sneakers come in a variety of colors and designs, so you can pick a model that truly fits your personal style (something that may not be the case with many other models on our list). We think it’s a good idea to go with a darker color since the lighter ones are likely going to be a dirt magnet, but, of course, practicality doesn’t always have to outweigh style.
Our final entry is actually a unisex model, but the manufacturer claims that the shoe is equally comfortable for men and women. We found that to be true, so we encourage the ladies to take a closer look at these great sneakers.
The Henrys were originally designed for fighters, so you can safely assume that they come with all the features required to make a good weightlifting shoe. The modern version of this model has been redesigned to provide more cushioning and arch support, striking a balance between stability and flexibility. The breathable mesh upper looks good, feels comfortable, and is sturdy enough to withstand a lot of wear and tear.
The intentionally minimalist design is likely one of the major selling points, making the Henrys suitable for gym, work, and casual outings with friends. Despite that, these sneakers can still be excellent gym companions that will make your feet feel comfortable and protect them from injuries.