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What Are Cross Training Shoes

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Puma Fuse Training Shoes

Hylete Circuit Cross-Training Shoe: Like Getting Three Shoes in One

Believe it or not, the PUMA Fuse Training Shoe is a decent option for someone with flatter feet and lower arches. This models toe box has adequate room and the mid-foot offers a small level of support. Factor in the low-to-the-ground feel and this model is solid for flat-footed athletes with low arches.

This models outsole is flexible yet stable and for a first pass, PUMA did a fairly good job on this model. Its not as hyper-focused on some CrossFit construction elements as other cross-training shoes, but for the price and for the wider footed athlete, I think this model does a pretty good job across the board.

  • Best For: CrossFit-Style Training

That Fit Friends Top Shoe Picks

The best workout shoes to buy in 2022.

  • Best Trainer for CrossFit: STR/KE MVMNT Haze Trainer
  • Best Trainer for the Gym: Nike Metcon 6
  • Best Trainer for Men: Reebok Nano X
  • Best Trainer for Women: Nike Metcon 7
  • Best Trainer for Flat Feet: Reebok Nano X1
  • Best Trainer for Jump Rope: UA HOVR Rise 3
  • Best Trainer for Running: ON Cloud X

Updated as of to reflect recent changes in cross-training shoe rankings per my testing protocols and how the shoes perform and have been performing.

*Subject to change as more cross-training shoes are tested and reviewed!

That Fit Friend is a site that is supported by myself and its readers. If you purchase products through affiliates links on this site, then I may receive a small commission on the sale. These commissions help keep the lights on here at That Fit Friend so I can continue to create content and they help me purchase new models to review!

New Balance Trainer 608 V5

Supination is a major bummer, and when left unchecked can cause considerable pain and inadequate standing support. For those who are suffering from this condition, we recommend the New Balance Trainer 608v5, which gives you more wiggle room in Wide and X-Wide options.

New Balance went with comfort first, then style with the 608v5. The end product is a reliable and sturdy, yet comfortable shoe for cross-training purposes. First, you get the ABZORB heel pad for premium cushioning and outsole flex grooves for flexibility, then a padded collar foam and slip resistance for added grip. Strategic reinforcement compensates for supination and allows you to walk, move and run with less strain and greater comfort.

Design may be a bit basic but you get excellent supination support at an affordable price.


  • Several cushion and supportive features to prevent supination
  • ABZORB cushioning works great as a shock absorber
  • Doesnt scrape the ankles


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How To Choose The Best Cross

Finding the right pair of cross-training shoes is hard enough as it is. But since boutique fitness is all the rage and nobody commits to just one type of exercise anymore, finding the pair thats perfect for all your workout needs can feel near impossible. The fact of the matter is: its probably best to buy a pair of shoes for each fitness discipline that you dedicate yourself to.

For example, you might be bogged down with questions like: I do a lot of running but I love the occasional hit class, so what shoes do I go for?. In this instance, wed recommend purchasing a pair of cross-training shoes for those HIIT classes you do, but only if theyre regular, and – if your budget can stretch to it – buy a pair of trainers specifically for running so that youre best supported in each discipline. No one shoe is perfect for every occasion.

Youre not going to want the stiff heel support in a running shoe as it could cause injury and, conversely, youre not going to want that overly bouncy and flexible design when youre throwing dumbbells around in the middle of a CrossFit class. This is why cross-training shoes are crucial. Theyll give you the right balance of support and flexibility to ensure youre comfortable and safe during functional workouts.

But what else should you look out for?


It helps to know how the shoe is constructed so you can be more informed when it comes to making a decision, and know what features of the shoe are best suited to your needs.

Can I Wear Running Shoes To Workout

New Balance MX1012 Mens Cross Training Shoes

If you love both running and cross training, should you stick to one trainer or have different ones? “If you are going into the gym to do more cardio-based exercises, such as plyometrics, then running-style trainers aren’t so bad,” says Suzie, “Or if you have worn-out running shoes that you don’t want to run in anymore this could be the alternative.”

However, bear in mind that running shoes are also made specifically for forward motion, so may not be stable enough when performing multidirectional exercises that require more lateral stability.

As for whether you can run in workout shoes? The answer is a conditional yes.

“Cross training shoes are best suited for short runs or during workouts that include some running, as well as gym workouts, classes, and lifting weights,” says Solberg.

“Due to the firmer nature of the cross training shoes, you may find yourself pounding the pavements in less comfort than in your running shoes.”

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Community Choice: Converse Chuck Taylor All

Good for: People who want a reliable, inexpensive shoe with a stable base

Community Choice
  • Canvas construction isnt very durable
  • Theyre not the best for squatting
  • Narrow through the midfoot

We asked our Home Gym Community on what their favorite training shoe is and while the No. 1 pick was the Nike Metcon 7, the Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star was a close second.

Honestly, I like our readers style. I mean, whats not to love about Chucks? You get a rigid outsole, great ankle support , and they look great so you can wear them in the gym and to dinner. Talk about versatility.

Some of our readers pointed out, and I agree, that Chucks arent the best pick for every lift, particularly the back squat. This is due to the minimal heel-to-toe drop, which is fine for deadlifts and other moves. The flat, thin midsole is another reason why these shoes are great for people who need to feel grounded during their workouts.

The shoes upper is made from canvas fabric, which isnt great from a durability standpoint but awesome because its breathable and flexible.

To put it bluntly, these arent the best if your workouts involve a lot of cardio. If youre just doing warmups, theyll hold alright, but I wouldnt do anything too competitive in them like sprints, or even burpees. On the bright side, theyre great for everyday use and should hold up just fine on long walks.

What Shoes Should I Wear For My Activity

Lets play a game! Well start with four imaginary athletes wholl describe their daily workout routine. Based on their activities, well either recommend a cross-training shoe or a running shoe. These examples should give you a clear idea about which pair to pick for your next workout. You’ll find the answers at the end of this quiz.

1. I enjoy running outside three to five times a week, with a weekly mileage total anywhere between 10-50 miles. I like varying my workouts, from tempo training to long distances. What shoes should I use?

2. I like lifting heavy weights in the gym. Most of my time is spent on the mat doing squats, deadlifts, cleans and presses. Im looking for a shoe that will help me set PRs in the weight room. What shoes should I use?

3. Im going to the gym to do a mix of weights and cardio. I like to use machines and dumbbells for my workouts. After that, Ill run on the treadmill for 30 minutes to an hour. What shoes should I use?

4. Im all about high-intensity training. Whether its quick, short bursts like sprints or explosive lifts, I enjoy the rush from hard efforts. I never know what the daily workout will demand, so I need to stay on my toes and ready for anything. What shoes should I use?


3. Running Shoes

4. Cross Training Shoes

Now that you know the difference between running and cross-training shoes, youre ready to purchase the right pair for your activity!

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Can I Wear Running Shoes To The Gym

Here comes everyones favorite answer: it depends.

If youre sticking to the machines and using free weights, theres nothing wrong with using a running shoe. But for heavy lifting and high-intensity workouts, you need a shoe with a lower drop and more stable platform to truly maximize your potential.

If youre taking fitness classes that require fast and frequent side-to-side movements, a running shoe will feel sluggish and not as supportive.

The Best Shoes For Serious Cross

Best Cross-Training Shoes To Buy In 2021

Support your next workout from the ground up with these trusty sidekicks

As a runner, what you do off the track, road, or trail often has just as big an impact on your race performance as what you do on it. Research shows that regular cross-trainingplyo circuits, power lifting sessions, bootcamp-style workout classes, or even cyclingcan help make you fitter, stronger, and faster. But first, to really boost those benefits and reduce your risk of injury, you need to swap your regular running shoes for a training-specific style, like the ones below. Keep reading to learn why and how these workout shoes give you the stability, bounce, and support you needand why your high-mileage pairs probably dont.

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Asics Conviction X Cross Trainer

Asics have a great reputation for creating high quality cross training shoes, and the Met-conviction is a testament to this statement. The midsole of the shoe is designed to improve bounce-back, while the outsole is made up of Asics patented Ahar rubber that is designed to be durable.

We found another cool feature of the Met-conviction to be the lace pocket that allows trailing laces to be stored away safely. This cross training shoe gives a high level of usability in mind and provides all the durability and flexibility that is required for cross training. The only downside is that this trainer unlike the others is not well suited for distance running.

Firmer Midsoles And Outsoles

A lot of cross-training shoes are designed to support heavy lifting. In general, compared to more general training shoes and running shoes, cross-training shoes will utilize more high-density foams in their midsoles and firmer rubbers in their outsoles.

The blend of these two construction components helps this style of shoe compress very little under external loads. So, if youre squatting heavy, cleaning, snatching, or training recreationally, these shoes will help provide you with a more stable base compared to their peers.

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The Under Armour Hovr Rise 2 Are Incredibly Comfortable Have Fool

Pros: Great traction and stability, versatile workout support, easy to slip on and off, attractive colorways, affordable, fits a diverse foot shape

Cons: None

For the Rise 2, Under Armour took its HOVR running shoe cushioning and integrated it with an outsole pattern designed to stop your momentum on side shuffles and back lunges. The cross-training shoes are also designed with an energy return to minimize jumping impact. The result is a super lightweight women’s athletic shoe that keeps you moving through burpees, ladder drills, and box jumps.

The stretch-bootie construction provides a sock-like fit and makes it easy to slip these on and off, but the side and back of the foot are supported with a leather overlay to lock your heel in on side-to-side movements. What’s more, the stretchy material makes these comfortable for all foot shapes, including if you have a wider toe box like me.

As the best cross-training shoes, they’re comfortable enough to run in, stable enough to lightly lift in, and were the only pair of cross-trainers I tested that didn’t slip out whatsoever on the burpee jump back.

These were already my top pick thanks to their performance across the board, so I was very happy to learn that they are also the most affordable on my testing list.

Ensure You Know Your Shoe Size

New Balance MX624 Mens Cross Training Shoes

Shoe size is obviously one of the most important factors when choosing an item of footwear. Check what your regular shoe size is, however, be aware that this may differ for a trainer. Also, ensure you understand shoe size conversions The cross training shoes may be listed in an international size.

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On Cloud X Training Shoes

The Cloud X Training Shoes are a fantastic option for the lifter that wants to tackle runs on a regular basis and doesnt plan to train super heavy. This model is incredibly lightweight, features ONs CloudTec midsole technology, and is okay for casual lifts up to 225 lbs.

If youre running 1-3 miles, this shoe is perfect for you especially if you train on the lifter side. Of all the cross-training shoes up here, this is the model to go for if you prioritize running over lifting heavy in a regular training session.

  • Best For: Shorter Runs, Light Lifting, HIIT, Agility
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 6mm

Altra Mens Al0a546v Solstice Xt 2 Cross Training Shoe Black 9 M Us


  • Get Comfortable: Signature Altra Balanced Cushioning and FootShape toe boxes allow your toes to spread and encourages proper, low-impact form
  • Stay Focused: Engineered mesh uppers are light, breathable and ready for anything
  • Push Yourself: InnerFlex midsole technology ensures increased flexibility and performance

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Pay Attention To The Construction

A good cross trainer should combine support with comfort and flexibility. Here are some of the structural components to make note of:

  • Heel Support: You’ll want the shoe to provide plenty of additional heel support. Look for EVA foam on top of a thermoplastic polyurethane layer, which is both lightweight and durable. The bottom layer of a cross trainer shoe is usually rubber.
  • Outsoles: Choose outsoles that work with the midsoles to provide stability. The outsoles should be thick and offer plenty of traction, and they should be wide enough to deliver lateral support.
  • Uppers: A leather upper will provide more stability, while a mesh or synthetic upper will be more breathable and flexible. If your feet tend to sweat, opt for a breathable mesh upper.
  • For example, theNike Metcon is specifically designed for cross-training, with a diamond-shaped heel with firm cushioning for stability, ridged traction and dynamic cushioning in the forefoot.

    Best Cross Training Shoes For Men 2022

    Weighing 23 cross-training shoes…which are the heaviest & lightest??

    Cross training is a fantastic way to get in shape and improve your fitness levels. Many professional athletes use cross training as a way to improve their performance. Cross training is also becoming a predominant method of workout for the average person looking to get fit. It is challenging and requires discipline, but can be extremely rewarding and fun.

    To perform at your peak whilst cross training, it is important to choose the correct footwear. There are many different sports trainers available, but which ones are actually built for cross training? To narrow down this staggering amount of choice, this guide picks out the best cross training shoes for men on the market today.

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    Best Cross Training Shoes For The Money

    We know that price is the deciding factor for many when choosing shoes, and were sensitive to the fact that not everyone can spend up to $150 without a worry. In the Reebok Nano 9, you can still purchase a truly elite pair of cross training shoes at a more affordable price point. At the time of writing, these shoes come in between $80 and $105 depending on the retailer.

    Str/ke Mvmnt Haze Trainer

    The STR/KE MVMNT Haze Trainer has earned my top spot for best CrossFit shoes in 2021. This model continually delivers strong performance across the board for both CrossFit and heavy lifting. The medium-density midsole provides a strong blend of versatility and stability and Ive trained well over 500 lbs in this model as well.

    In addition, this model also features a wider toe box that is comparable to what the Altra Escalante uses and has a highly maneuverable outsole. The outsole bends and flexes well to accommodate all styles of training. The upper construction is also durable and resilient to abrasion.

    • Best For: CrossFit-Style Training

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    Who Shouldnt Buy The Nike React Metcon Turbo

    • Lifters looking for a shoe with less cushioning.
    • Anyone who prefers a smaller heel drop for training.
    • People looking for a shoe that places more emphasis on durability and stability.

    With the lightness and flexibility weve come to expect from each variation on Nikes Metcons, these shoes are just the ticket when you need fast, agile feet.

    What Each Supports

    New Balance WX624 Womens Cross Training Shoes

    Cross-trainers are designed to play multiple roles. You can use them in the gym for almost any activity lifting weights, your yoga class, using the elliptical machine, stretching, basketball or a Zumba workout. Running shoes, on the other hand, are specifically designed for people who pound the pavement, the track or the trail. While cross-training shoes provide cushioning, running shoes go much further in protecting your feet from impact with the ground. Regular runners shouldn’t use cross-country shoes. They simply don’t provide enough cushioning and support, whether you are running outside or inside on a treadmill. Using a cross-trainer for running leaves you susceptible to foot, knee and back injuries.

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    Can I Run In Cross

    While new technologies in cross-training shoes make this more possible than before, we still wouldnt recommend it for long-distance running. Shoes like the Reebok Nano and On Cloud X can support sprinting, but if youre planning for high mileages, stick to a running shoe.

    Most cross-training shoes are heavier than running shoes, so theyll weigh you down without providing the cushioning and support you need to reach your goals. If your aim is to enjoy these activities, then rocking the right pair of shoes is the first step to ensure success.

    Think of it this way: would you rather spend extra cash on shoes that will protect you during exercise or pay medical expenses because you suffered an injury by going the cheap route?

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