When it comes to hitting the gym, one of the most important things to consider is your footwear. High-quality gym shoes can make a world of difference in terms of comfort, support, and overall performance. Whether you're a man or a woman, have flat feet or high arches, or need shoes specifically designed for lifting or walking, there are options out there that cater to your specific needs. In this article, we will explore the best gym shoes for a variety of categories and activities, ranging from running and weightlifting to CrossFit and HIIT. So, whether you're a fitness enthusiast or just starting your fitness journey, keep reading to discover the perfect pair of gym shoes for you.
Best Gym Shoes for Women
When it comes to finding the best gym shoes for women, I rely on the feedback and opinions of my YouTube community and girlfriend. Their insights help me in the process of testing and reviewing different gym shoe options for women, allowing me to recommend the top choices in various contexts.
Top Choice: Nike Metcon 8
For the best gym shoes for women, the Nike Metcon 8 stands out as the top pick. This model offers versatility for gym-goers who engage in weightlifting, class workouts, and athletic training.
The Nike Metcon 8 boasts impressive features in its midsole, outsole, and upper construction. The Nike React foam midsole provides excellent forefoot support, making it suitable for jumping, explosive movements, and multi-directional exercises.
The outsole offers reliable traction on different surfaces and the midfoot outsole wraps enhance durability and functionality, particularly for activities like rope climbs. Additionally, this shoe incorporates a TPU Hyperlift insert in the heel for added stability. However, it's worth noting that the insert may affect running performance. If you require a training shoe for both lifting and running, you may want to consider the second and third options mentioned below.
Best Gym Shoes for Men
In my evaluation of the best gym shoes for men, I focus on assessing the overall construction of each shoe and how it impacts performance and durability. By doing this, I can provide specific recommendations based on where the shoes excel and where they may have shortcomings.
Top Choice: UA TriBase Reign 5
For men, the Under Armour TriBase Reign 5 stands out as the best gym shoe option. It builds upon the success of the UA TriBase Reign 4 and offers great performance for active individuals. I encourage considering both versions when exploring training shoes from the Reign line.
Three key reasons make the UA TriBase Reign 5 my top choice. Firstly, it serves as a versatile gym shoe suitable for weightlifting, CrossFit, athletic training, HIIT workouts, and sprints. Secondly, the shoe offers increased width compared to its predecessor, providing a better anatomical fit for men's feet. Lastly, the TriBase technology in the outsole, combined with the Micro G foam midsole and 2mm heel-to-toe drop, delivers stability while accommodating lower heel-to-toe drops preferred by some gym-goers.
Best Gym Shoes for Flat Feet
When assessing the best gym shoes for flat feet, my primary focus revolves around comfort. Improved comfort in gym shoes can contribute to better overall performance, considering the variations in flat feet. Once I evaluate comfort, I then delve into the shoe's performance and assess its strengths, weaknesses, and how the comfort translates to different gym activities.
Top Choice: NOBULL Trainer
For individuals with flat feet, the NOBULL Trainer is an excellent choice as the best gym shoe. It offers a sturdy midsole and construction that caters to the needs of those with flat feet.
Featuring a thick EVA foam midsole, the NOBULL Trainer provides both stability and comfort for activities such as jumping, HIIT workouts, and outdoor training. The shoe also offers decent motion control, which is beneficial to some individuals.
Durability is another advantage of the NOBULL Trainer, thanks to its thick outsole with a deep herringbone tread pattern that extends over the toe area using SuperFabric. This durability ensures longevity for most users.
If you have flat feet and engage in various training activities like lifting, CrossFit, and HIIT sessions, the NOBULL Trainer is a highly recommended option. Additionally, the NOBULL Court Trainer is also worth exploring for individuals with flat feet.
- Best For: Recreational Lifting, Flat Feet, CrossFit-Style Training, and Flatter Feet
- Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
- Weight: 12.7 oz (for size 10)
- Removable Insole: Yes
- Sizing: True to Size
- Read My Review: NOBULL Trainer Review
- Second Choice: NOBULL Court Trainer
- Third Choice: Reebok Nano X2
Best Gym Shoes for Lifting
When it comes to the best gym shoes for lifting, I assess each shoe's performance in different contexts. There are numerous exceptional options available, and each model resonates differently with lifters based on their training preferences.
Below, I will provide recommendations for the best gym shoes for lifting. In addition to dedicated training shoes, other non-training-specific shoes like the Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star and Nike Blazer Mid '77 Vintage also work well for lifting.
Top Choice: STR/KE MVMNT Haze Trainer
The STR/KE MVMNT Haze Trainer ranks as the best gym shoe for lifting. Its performance in lifting exercises is outstanding, making it a superb choice for promoting lifting performance.
The Haze Trainer excels in lifting due to three key factors. Firstly, its sole offers excellent mobility, providing optimal foot articulation during bending and stabilizing movements. Secondly, the MediumCush 50 midsole ensures stability while enabling versatile training. Lastly, this model appeals to those who prefer a more minimalist-style gym shoe for lifting, thanks to its minimalist fit, feel, and aesthetic.
Best Gym Shoes for Wide Feet
When reviewing the best gym shoes for wide feet, my primary focus is on the shoe's width in the forefoot and midfoot areas and how well it accommodates different foot anatomies. Once I determine a shoe's width, I evaluate its performance and construction to recommend the best training contexts.
Top Choice: Reebok Nano X2
For individuals with wide feet, the Reebok Nano X2 is the top pick among gym shoes. It offers ample forefoot and midfoot width, ensuring a comfortable fit for a variety of wide-footed gym-goers.
The Reebok Nano X2 stands out with its lateral and medial midfoot clips, providing additional midfoot support. The shoe's Floatride Energy foam midsole strikes a balance between stability and versatility. It performs well in various activities such as heavy lifting, HIIT workouts, and short to moderate runs.
If you prefer to vary your training routines and have wide feet, the Reebok Nano X2 offers exceptional performance. Furthermore, its stylish aesthetic and diverse colorways make it appealing to a wide range of tastes.
- Best For: General Training, HIIT Workouts, Casual CrossFit, and Wider Feet
- Heel-to-Toe Drop: 7mm
- Weight: 11.9 oz (for size 10)
- Removable Insole: Yes
- Sizing: For wider/neutral width feet, true-to-size is recommended. Narrow feet should consider sizing down half a size.
- Read My Review: Reebok Nano X2 Review
- Second Choice: Altra Solstice XT 2
- Third Choice: NOBULL Trainer
Best Gym Shoes for High Arches
When determining the best gym shoes for individuals with high arches, my focus is primarily on two performance aspects. Firstly, I assess the shoe's arch support during different training styles. Secondly, I review its performance in various contexts, highlighting where it excels and where it may have limitations. With numerous excellent gym shoe options available for high arches, each model has its own unique strengths and weaknesses.
Top Choice: Inov-8 F-Lite G 300
For the best gym shoes suited to high arches, the Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 stands out as the top choice. It is a cross-trainer that performs exceptionally well in various contexts, making it an excellent all-around gym shoe for individuals with high arches.
The Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 provides excellent arch support, making it suitable for individuals with high arches across different training styles.
Who they’re best for: walkers
Ryka's Myriad walking shoes are specifically designed for active women. They feature a spacious toe box and a narrow heel, providing a secure and comfortable fit.
These shoes are made with a comfortable knit body and a cushioned midsole that offers optimal shock absorption and impact protection.
In addition to their comfort and functionality, the Myriad walking shoes come in a variety of fashionable colors.
What makes these shoes even better is their affordability, priced well below $100. They are a budget-friendly choice for anyone in need of durable and stylish walking shoes.
Price: $$ ($$$ if you want SPD cleats as well)
Who they’re best for: biking enthusiasts
The Tiem Slipstream cycle sneaker is a perfect blend of style and functionality. While it resembles a traditional sneaker, it offers breathability and comfort specifically designed for cycling.
Unlike regular cycling shoes, the Slipstream features the option to install a recessed SPD cleat, allowing wearers to easily move on and off the bike.
Available in various colors, including black, white, gray, and blue, the Tiem Slipstream is a versatile choice for biking enthusiasts.
Adidas Powerlift 5
Who they’re best for: weightlifters
The Adidas Powerlift 5 is specifically designed for weightlifters. It offers a narrow fit and a midsole wedge, providing better flexibility and mobility during deadlifts and squats. The shoe's rubber sole ensures stability and keeps you firmly planted while lifting.
Not only is the Powerlift 5 functional, but it is also made with environmentally friendly materials. It is an affordable option compared to other weightlifting shoe choices.
Nike Free Metcon 4
Who they’re best for: those doing cross-training
Whether you're into CrossFit, circuit training, or HIIT workouts, Nike's Metcon Free 4 is the perfect choice. It offers both firmness and flexibility, ensuring breathability and stability during intense workouts.
The shoe features a wide platform for improved stability and support. It is available in a range of fashionable colors to suit your style.
Shop for men's shoes at Nike [link] or shop for women's shoes at Nike [link].
Under Armour UA TriBase Reign 3
Who they’re best for: those who like HIIT workouts
Choosing suitable shoes for HIIT workouts can be challenging, but the Under Armour TriBase Reign 3 fits the bill perfectly. It offers stability for weight training and cushioning for jumps and intense cardio bursts.
With traction in the forefoot, added grip, and low-to-the-ground construction, this shoe allows for optimal power transfer and mobility during any move in your HIIT workout routine.
Shop for men's shoes at Amazon [link] or shop for women's shoes at Amazon [link].
Who they're best for: casual gym-goers
The Nike Tanjun is a sleek and simple option for casual gym-goers. Priced under , this shoe is perfect for cardio exercises or aerobics classes. It is also suitable for casual weightlifting.
However, if you plan on running, doing HIIT workouts, attending CrossFit classes, or lifting heavy, it is recommended to choose a shoe with more support.
Shop for men's shoes at Nike [link] or shop for women's shoes at Nike [link].
In conclusion, finding the perfect pair of gym shoes is essential for your workout routine, as they provide the necessary support, comfort, and stability to help you reach your fitness goals. Whether you're a woman, a man, have flat feet or high arches, prefer running or weightlifting, or engage in various types of workouts like CrossFit, HIIT, or spinning, there are plenty of options available for you. From the stylish Mizuno Wave Rider 25 to the versatile Nike Metcon 8, each shoe on our list caters to different needs and preferences. So lace up, step into the gym, and let your feet do the talking while you focus on achieving your best performance yet!