25 Best Workout Shoes For Men And Women in 2020

Best Workout Shoes for Men and Women

We’ve researched, tested and reviewed a slew of gym shoes to determine the 25 best workout shoes for men and women to wear for training in 2020.

In a world that has a ton of variety, it’s hard to determine which pair are the best shoes for working out. 

And, for athletes, it’s even harder to pick the best training shoe for your needs. You’re going to need (and want) a workout shoe that’s going to be able to handle any type of training that you throw it away. That means you’re going to need a shoe that I can handle weightlifting, explosive agility movements, running, and everything else in between.

When trying to determine the best workout shoes for athletes, we took a lot of things into consideration. That’s because having reliable and dependable workout shoes on your feet is extremely important to your performance in the gym. The type of shoe that you decide to put on your foot is going to determine your ability to do certain exercises in the gym and on the field. So, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you narrow down what you need to look for when choosing the best workout shoes for your needs. 

25 Best Workout Shoes for Men and Women in 2020

Best Workout Shoes For Men and Women

Nike Metcon 5

Nike Metcon 5 Training Shoes (Black)

Nike’s newest version of their workout shoe, the Nike Metcon 5, has just been released and receiving rave reviews from gym rats around the world. The Metcon 5 has been redesigned and reinforced with several new features that athletes will love. It’s equipped with a new heel that is wider than the Metcon 4 and comes with a new Hyperlift insert that improves your stability for dynamic movements. The shoe’s newly designed upper and outsole add more durability and grip to the shoe

Nike Metcon 5 Features

•  Redesigned and reinforced synthetic upper mesh that adds durability

•  Wider and flatter diamond shaped heel than its predecessor allows for more stability on powerful movements

•  New outsole design adds traction and enhances grip

•  New cushioning and Hyperlift insert add superior cushion and flexibility

Under Armour Men’s HOVR Phantom

Under Armour Men's HOVR Phantom

If you’re looking for the best workout shoes for gym and for when you hit the pavement running, you need to pick up the Under Armour Men’s HOVR Phantom. These running shoes with superior cushioning have been anatomically designed with a 3D midfoot panel and external heel counter to give you the cushioning and stability you want from an all purpose workout shoe. Plus, the HOVR Phantom comes with Under Armour’s Speedform 2.0 sockliner upper that gives you an ultra-breathable and snug fit that stays with your foot throughout the entire workout.

Under Armour HOVR Phantom Features

•  3D mid foot panel and external heel counter lock your foot into place and give you the stability you need

•  Speedform 2.0 sockliner gives you snug, bootie-like fit

•  UA HOVR technology gives you ‘zero gravity’ feel to maximize energy return

•  Compression mesh UA Energy Web returns HOVR foam to original shape to give you more ‘pop’

Reebok Men’s Crossfit Nano 9.0 Cross Trainer

Reebok Nano 9.0 - Best Workout Shoes for Men and Women

Regarded by many athletes as the best CrossFit shoes you can buy is the Reebok Nano line. Their latest addition to the line, dubbed as the Nano 9.0, is a welcomed upgrade over its predecessor for several reasons. Most importantly, the Nano 9.0 is one of the most comfortable CrossFit shoes you can wear due to the upgraded sock liner and heel cap. Plus, the Nano 9.0 has a little bit of a wider feel to it than previous generations, which makes it one of the best workout shoes for athletes with wide feet. 

NANO 9.0 Features 

•  Upgraded insole is thicker than previous Nano 8.0

•  Thicker shoe tongue for added comfort

•  Slip in sock liner for a tighter and softer fit

•  Redesigned TPU heel lock for increased comfort

•  Low drop & wide toe box

Nike Men’s Free X Metcon

Nike Free X Metcon Workout Shoes

Nike’s answer to a hybrid cross training and running shoe is the Men’s Free X Metcon.  And, w a newly designed fit and feel, they’re some of the best workout shoes for cross training. That’s because they come with a TPU heel locking counter, upgraded midsole support, and an interlocking lacing system that keeps our feet in place. The Free X Metcon are some of the most comfortable workout shoes for athletes by combining the comfort of the Nike Free line with the performance and stability of Nike’s Metcon line. 

Nike Free X Metcon Features

  • One of the most comfortable cross training shoes you can buy
  • Soft neoprene upper combined with TPU heel, upgraded midsole and wide flexible toe box for performance
  • Low drop (5 mm) perfect for cross training athletes who want a multipurpose shoe
  • Great shoe for athletes who do both weightlifting and running

Under Armour Men’s Commit Cross Trainer

Under Armour Commit Cross Trainer Shoe - Best Workout Shoes For Men and Women

If you’re looking for a pair of the best cross training shoes with cushioning, you should take a serious look at the Under Armour Men’s Commit Cross Trainer. They have a breathable mesh upper that makes the shoe extremely lightweight and durable. These cross trainers from Under Armour are also equipped with a 4D foam sock liner that adds comfort and molds to your foot. Throw in the Charged Cushion midsole and added traction and you’ve got one of the most flexible, lightweight and comfortable workout shoes on the market. 

Under Armour Men’s Commit Features

  • Lightweight upper allows for increased cushioning in sole without sacrificing weight
  • Die-cut 4D sockliner adds comfort and gives custom fit
  • Charged Cushion midsole gives responsive cushioning
  • Added rubber traction adds durability and grip to sole

Under Armour Men’s Charged Ultimate 3 

Under Armour Charged Ultimate 3 - Best Workout Shoes for Men and Women

Another pair of the most comfortable cross training shoes for athletes are the Under Armour Charged Ultimate 3.0 training shoes. They’re equipped with a lightweight breathable upper mesh that is flexible and durable. UA’s patented Charge Cushion technology is throughout the sole of the shoe and is equipped with a full length rubber outsole for increased durability and traction. However, they have a higher drop that weightlifting shoes (10 mm), which means they would be a shoe equipped more for athletes who use cross training. 

Under Armour Charged Ultimate 3 Features

  • Lightweight, breathable upper mesh that is both flexible and extremely durable
  • UA Charged Cushion sole with full length durable outsole
  • Synthetic Strap & Wrap throughout forefoot locks foot into place and adds stability
  • Best cheap workout shoes that don’t sacrifice performance

Under Armour Men’s Commit TR EX

Under Armour Men's Commit TR EX - Best Workout Shoes For Men and Women

If you’re looking for some of the best  cross training shoes for high arches, we recommend that you grab the Under Armour Men’s Commit TR EX shoes. The glove-like fit from the shoe’s cushioned sock liners and patented Charged Cushioning provide a snug, comfortable fit. The custom fit minimizes foot slippage due to the shoe’s TPU heel cougar as well. Plus, the leather mid foot saddle locks your arches in place so that you don’t have to worry about any pain in your feet. They’re truly some of the most comfortable cross training shoes on the market today. 

Under Armour Commit TR EX Features

•  Lightweight mesh upper combined with leather mid-foot saddle provide breathability and a custom fit in your arch

•  Cushioned sockliners mood to your feet to eliminate foot movement 

•  Charged Cushioning sole provides soft, responsive cushioning

•  Specialized tread pattern for increased grip and traction for agility based movements

Nike Metcon 4 XD

Nike Metcon 4 XD Men's Training Shoes

If you’re looking for some of the most durable workout shoes out there, go with the Nike Metcon 4 XD. The even more durable Metcon 4 XD incorporates a 3-D printed and reinforced upper mesh that will take any abuse you throw it’s way. It’s the strongest and lightest workout shoe in Nike’s Metcon line as well. The Metcon 4 XD is also equipped with Nike’s Flywire cable lacing system  and TPU heel counter to ensure that your foot will stay in place when you’re doing lateral movement exercises. 

Nike Metcon 4 XD Features

•  New textured upper mesh makes shoe stronger and more durable than previous versions

•  Lightest Metcon workout shoe ever made by Nike

•  Drop-in midsole redesigned for both comfort and performance 

•  Strong, stable base allows you to grip the earth beneath you and make explosive movements with confidence

Nike Metcon Flyknit 3

Nike Metcon Flyknit 3 Men's Cross Training/Weightlifting Shoes

One of the most comfortable workout shoes for weightlifting and CrossFit are the Nike Flyknit Metcon Flyknit 3’s. Right when you slip into the Metcon Flyknits, you’ll realize why they’re the best workout shoe that you can buy that balances comfort and performance. The Flyknit 3’s have a Flyknit upper and have been recreated with an updated collar for increased performance. The sock like fit and flex fit in the sole provide a glove like custom fit that will feel like an extension of your foot. 

Nike Metcon Flyknit 3 Features

•  Flyknit upper gives durable and lightweight flexibility with a sock-like fit

•  Reinforced overlays added to high wear areas to reinforce durability and stability

•  Molded groves in forefoot allow sole to flex naturally

•  Flywire lacing system locks mid-foot into place and allows dynamic fit that allows movement

Reebok CrossFit Nano 2.0

Reebok Nano 2.0 - Best Workout Shoes for Men and Women

It’s one of the most popular CrossFit shoes that you can buy. In fact that Nano 2.0 is so popular Amongst CrossFit athletes that it was brought back by consumer demand after it was discontinued was Reebok. And, the latest version of the Nano 2.0 has been upgraded with a redesigned upper to increase breathability and flexibility while adding stability through added overlays for increased lateral support. The Nano 2.0 has a low cut design as well to increase range of motion while it’s low profile midsole is equipped with EVA for increased cushioning and a low profile fit. 

Reebok Nano 2.0 Features

•  Redesigned upper with added ventilation and overlays for increased stability

•  Low-cut on ankle for increased motion

•  Duragrip toe and high abrasion rubber outsole for added durability

•  EVA increased cushioning and added flex grooves for flexibility 

Nike Free TR 8 

Nike Free TR 8 Men's Training Workout Shoes

If you’re looking for the lightest workout shoes for men and women, then the Nike Free TR 8 is the perfect shoe for you. The Free TR 8 is designed with lightweight stability in mind that allow your feet to move naturally as if you’d have nothing on them. They’re equipped with the Flywire technology that locks your feet into place and has a comfort fit bootie that creates a soft sock-like fit. Plus, the soles are equipped with strategically placed rubber pods for added traction and durability. 

Nike Free TR8 Features

•  One of the lightest workout shoes for men with added stability

•  Flywire lacing technology locks your feet into place 

•  Comfort fit bootie creates a sock like fit that is easy to slip on and off 

•  Nike Free sole for increased flexibility and rubber pods for added durability

Reebok Speed TR Flexweave

Reebok Speed TR Flexweave Workout Shoes

One of the most versatile gym shoes for athletes is the Reebok Speed TR Flexweave. They’re the best workout shoes for men and women who vary their type of training on a daily basis. The Speed TR packs in all of the features that are necessary to have covered for any type of workout. The low profile and innovative woven upper make them perfect for weightlifting, while the soft EVA midsole, Duran age heel clip and performance traction pattern give the shoes a responsive fit and feel that performs on any surface. 

Reebok Speed TR Flexweave Features

•  One of the best workout shoes for men and women who vary their workouts on a daily basis

•  Low cut design and soft EVA midsole give a responsive fit and mobility for agility movements

•  Duracage heel clip adds stability and locks feet into place

•  Flexweave upper moves with you and provides support for quick and powerful movements

Nike Men’s Pegasus 36

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Men's Running Shoes

Nike released their newest version (36th to be exact) of their best selling running shoes. If you’re shopping for the best running shoes and you lift weights a couple times per week as well, we recommend getting the Nike Pegasus 36. These superior running shoes have a 10 mm drop, putting your feet in the right position to spring forward with every stride. Plus, these shoes are extremely lightweight weighing at 9.9 ounces. However, due to the large drop and ample cushioning, if weightlifting is your priority, we recommend another shoe in the Nano or the Metcon line. 

Nike Pegasus 36 Features

•  Full length Zoom Air and Cushion ST foam provide a smooth and responsive ride

•  Slimmer and lighter than the previous version with perforations in the upper that maximize airflow and breathability

•  Flywire lacing system and enhanced sockliners adapt to your foot for a custom fit

New Balance Minimus Cross Trainer 

New Balance Minimus 20v7 Cross Trainer Shoes - Best Workout Shoes for Men and Women

If you’re looking for the best cross training shoe for flat feet, then you need to pick up the New Balance Minimus 20v7 Cross Trainer shoes. These workout shoes have a one piece Vibram outsole that gives you superior traction and provides you with a low profile to the ground, which is perfect for strength training. The Minimus is also equipped with an upper constructed of nylon infused yarn that wraps around your foot for superior lateral support. Plus, the upper is equipped with asymmetrical shaped collar and mono mesh windows that provide a ventilated natural fit. 

New Balance Minimus Cross Trainer Features

•  Seamless up or constructed of nylon infuse yarn that wraps around your foot for lateral support 

•  Mono mesh ventilation and asymmetrical collar for a ventilated and natural fit

•  Low profile Vibram outsole provides superior traction, ideal for strength training

•  Best workout shoes for wide feet athletes that offers are lightweight, provide a low profile and give superior traction

ASICS Men’s Gel-Kayano 24 

ASICS Men's Gel-Kayano 24 Workout Shoes

The latest version of one of ASICS most applauded shoes are back and make for some of the best running shoes for arch support. If you’re a pronator, then the Gel-Kayano 24 is the shoe for you. When it comes to lifting weights, these aren’t the best workout shoes for athletes who are always in the gym because they have a 10 mm drop. But, if you’re doing a lot of conditioning or dynamic training, then these are the best workout shoes with arch support. 

ASICS Gel-Kayano 24 Features

•  Integrated I.G.S. Technology that  guides and enhances your foot’s natural gait from heel to toe

•  ASICS GEL technology through entire sole to absorb shock

•  FLYTEFOAM sole provide bounce back with every stride 

•  Multidirectional upper FLUIDFIT technology adapts to the foot providing a custom fit

New Balance Men’s 40v1 Training Shoe

New Balance Men's 40v1 Training Shoes - Best Workout Shoes for Men

Another pair of the best cross training shoes for flat feet are the New Balance Men’s 40v1 workout shoes. These are a phenomenal pair of workout shoes for men who need a flat and stable surface from their shoes. The 40v1’s are equipped with New Balance’s Rapid Rebound and REVlite technology to help propel you forward and provide the stability you need when lifting weights. Plus, the TPU heel clip locks you into place while the Vibram outsole gives you the grip you need to explode through your workout. 

New Balance 40v1 Features

•  Yarn Woven mesh upper wraps around your feet for lateral support while providing breathability

•  External TPU heel clip with REVlite technology locks your heel into place and provides stability during lifts. 

•  Rapid Revound technology propels your foot forward for running and explosive movements in the gym

•  Low profile Vibram outsole gives you increased grip for cross training and agility movements, making it one of the best gym shoes for flat feet

Merrill Men’s Trail Glove Runner

Merrill Trail Glove Runner Workout Shoes

If you’re looking for the best minimalist workout shoes for men who want a superior grip, then you need to pick up the Merrill Men’s Trail Glove 4 Runner. It gives you the feel of having a barefoot workout shoe while offering phenomenal cushion through the Vibram TC5 outsole and Trail Protect Pad technology. It’s also equipped with a mesh TPU upper that provides breathability and wraps around your feet for a custom fit. These are the workout shoes that feel like you’re not wearing anything while providing the comfort and cushioning you need for your joints. 

Merrill Trail Glove Runner Features

•  Mesh TPU upper is the perfect balance between breathability and stability

•  Vibram TC5 outsole provides superior grip for lateral and agility training

•  Trail Protect Pad gives you underfoot protection and cushioning in a minimalist 3mm profile

•  Best barefoot workout shoes for cross training athletes who want something more than the Vibram Five Fingers feel

Vibram Men’s V-Train Cross Trainer Shoes

Vibram Men's V-Train Cross Trainers - Best Barefoot Workout Shoe for Men

If you’re looking to pick up the best barefoot workout shoes for cross training and a wide range of activities, we suggest that you grab the Vibram Men’s V-Train Cross Trainers. These barefoot gym shoes proves the perfect amount of response and protection for those athletes who like to train barefoot. They’re equipped with a 2 mm drop that absorbs ground shock actually quite well. The V-Train is a barefoot workout shoe for men who want to develop strength through barefoot training but also want the protection they need to maintain the health of their feet. 

Vibram V-Train Cross Trainer Features

•  Vibram TC-1 rubber midsole sole provides stability and an increased grip with serrated grip design

•  Individual toe compartments allow foot to move naturally as if you were training barefoot

•  Lighter and more durable than its predecessor while offering increased protection

•  Increased comfort and custom fit with padded tongue and speed lacing system 

Under Armour Women’s Breathe Trainer

Under Armour Women's Breathe - Best Workout Shoes for Women

One of the best workout shoes for women who want more cushioning is the Under Armour Breathe Trainer. It’s lightweight and breathable stretch mesh upper and synthetic heel counter give your feet the breathability and stability you want from your workout shoes. The upper also has a molded EVA soft sock-liner that boosts the comfort while the workout shoe’s full length EVA midsole gives you a lightweight and responsive ride. Plus, the UA Breathe Trainer is one of the most comfortable workout shoes for women because of its sock bootie construction that stretches and conforms to your foot for a sock-like custom fit. 

Under Armour Women’s Breathe Features

•  Stretch mesh upper with integrated lack lockdown system for a breathable and lightweight feel that gives you increased stability

•  Molded EVA sockliner and full length EVA midsole delivers a lightweight ride and make it one of the most comfortable workout shoes for women. 

•  Soft bootie like construction for a custom fit that is seamless and comfortable

•  Full rubber outsole for added traction for cross training and treadmill running

Nike Women’s Free TR8

Nike Free TR8 Women's Gym/HIIT/Cross Training Shoes

One of Nike’s best HIIT workout shoes for women is the Women’s Nike Free TR8. This women’s workout shoe is designed specially for the ladies who like to sweat it out in the gym with weights and running. It’s one of Nike’s strongest gym shoes with it’s reinforced heel, extra cushioning, and flexible lightweight sole. Plus, the Free TR 8’s Flywire lacing system will lock your feet into place comfortably in the shoe’s sock like fit. The TR 8 has a sole with integrated rubber pods in the high wear areas of the sole to add increased traction for lunges and box jumps too. 

Women’s Nike Free TR8 Features

•  Best workout shoes for women who CrossFit and Cross-train 

•  Extremely lightweight women’s workout shoe that locks your feet into place with Flywire lacing system and reinforced heel

•  Durable with a flexible, lightweight sole equipped with rubber pods for extra traction

•  Sock-like feel that provides a custom fit

Nike Women’s Metcon Flyknit 3

Nike Metcon Flyknit 3 Women's Cross Training/Weightlifting Shoes

In one of the most comfortable women’s workout shoes to date, the Nike Metcon Flyknit 3 is the perfect blend of performance and flexible breathability you want in a gym shoe. Just like the Men’s Metcon series, this workout shoe delivers in comfortability with its Flyknit upper and sock like feel. Combine its drop in midsole and TPU plastic heel and you’ve got yourself one of the best fitting women’s gym shoes on the market today. If you’re a lady in the streets but a freak in the gym, there’s no better shoe for you than the Nike Metcon Flyknit 3. 

Nike Women’s Metcon Flyknit 3 Features

•  Flyknit upper with updated color for increased comfort and breathability

•  TPU plastic heel and rubber midfoot locks your feet into place for agility in your cross training

•  Extra overlays in high wear areas add durability

•  Rubber outsole provides added traction for box jumps and power lifting movements

•  Best workout shoes for women who need durability and are tough on their shoes

Nike Women’s Free X Metcon 2

Nike Free X Metcon 2 Women's Training Shoes

If you’re a woman who like to jump from boot camp to running to the gym, then the Nike Women’s Free X Metcon 2 are the best workout shoes for you. They’re specially designed for a wide range of workouts and deliver the perfect blend of comfort and stability that you want in a women’s workout shoe. The durable strap locks your feet right into place after you slide them into the Free X Metcon 2’s sock like fit. With its reinforced mid foot and hexagonal sole designed to allow your feet to expand, it’s easy to see why these are some of the most comfortable gym shoes for women that are available today.

Nike Women’s Free X Metcon 2 Features 

•  Specially designed for women who want the best gym shoe that will perform across a variety of workouts

•  Inner sleeve design creates a sock like fit while the shoe’s durable strap works with the laces to lock your feet into place

•  Breathable upper and patented foam sole make for one of the lightest workout shoes for women on the market

•  Rubber tread in high wear areas on the sole and rubber wraps up the sides of the mid foot provide stability and extra traction 

Reebok Women’s Nano 9.0

Reebok Women's Nano 9.0 - Best Workout Shoes For Women

If you’re shopping for the best women’s CrossFit shoes on the market today, you need to take a long hard look at the Reebok Nano 9.0. Reebok’s latest version of its popular women’s workout shoe incorporates flex weave technology in the upper to create added durability without sacrificing comfort. It’s equipped with an all new soft rubber midsole and forefoot flex grooves for increased flexibility. The Nano 9.0 added midsole cushioning and a bootie construction to make it the most comfortable CrossFit shoe that Reebok has ever made. 

Reebok Women’s Nano 9.0 Features

•  Integrated flexweave technology make a strong and flexible upper portion of the shoe

•  Redesigned rubber midsole with forefoot flex grooves for added grip and flexibility 

•  Bootie construction and added cushioning make for the best CrossFit shoes for running

•  Low cut design for added mobility

•  Comfortable and durable, arguably the best workout shoes for women who CrossFit 

Vibram Women’s KSO EVO Cross Trainer

Vibram Women's KSO EVO - Best Barefoot Workout Shoes for Women

If you’re looking for pair of the best women’s barefoot workout shoes, you should go with the Vibram Women’s KSO EVO Cross Trainer. Designed for barefoot training, this minimalist workout shoe fits like a glove for each individual toe. It’s Vibram sole gives you superior traction and it’s mesh upper gives you the sock like fit to make it feel like you’re not wearing any shoes at all. 

Vibram Women’s KSO EVO Features

•  Vibram outsole with reinforced tread gives you added grip

•  Breathable mesh upper with lacing system locks the shoe into place and makes it feel like you’re wearing nothing at all 

•  Individual toe compartments and anti microbial lining allow feet to breathe and feel free

•  Snug and comfortable, one of the best workout shoes for barefoot training

What are the characteristics of an elite workout shoe? 

First off, one of the best things you can do when choosing workout shoes is to pick a pair that are designed for your type of training. For instance, if you have a lot of running incorporated into your workout routine, you’re going to want to pick a pair of workout shoes with cushioning. Thats because you’re going to need ample cushioning to minimize the impact on your knees and shins from all of those miles that you’re going to log. 

If you’re going to be doing a lot of agility training or explosive plyometrics, you’re going to want a workout shoe with a low profile that locks your heel in place and supports your arch with a snug fit. Cross-training shoes would be better suited for these types of workouts because they offer reinforced heel caps and lateral support. 

Important Things To Remember When Shopping For the Absolute Best Workout Shoes:

  • “Low Drop” vs. “High Drop”
  • Cushioning vs. Durability
  • Sole Surface Area & Grip
  • Foot Locking Technology (Heel Cap vs. Strap)
  • Breathability
  • Weight
  • Lacing System

Why You Need To Have the Best Workout Shoes Specifically for Your Style of Training

For Comfort

If you’re a runner, you’re going to want to pick up a running shoe that has a significant amount of cushioning. Cushioned running shoes minimize the stress on your shins, knees, and hips while you’re logging all of those miles. 

The same concept applies if you’re doing a significant amount of agility training. You’re not going to want to use a running shoe for that because it won’t be comfortable. You’ll be trying to cut, explode and shuffle your way through drills on a higher platform (due to the cushioning) without any superior features that lock your feet into place. By doing so, you’ll increase the chances that you’ll roll your ankle when you use running shoes for cross training exercises. 

For Performance

If you’re a Weightlifter, you’re going to want to shoe that is relatively flat and has a “low drop”. In weightlifting, when you use workout shoes with a low drop, you give yourself a more stable platform, which allows you to take a stronger stance in your lifts. Instead of having to fight the cushioning in a traditional running shoe, you’re lower to the ground and have a more solid base than the athletes who are cross training in running shoes.

If you’re doing a lot of running, you’re not going to want to log a lot of miles with low profile cross training shoes that offer minimal cushioning. Due to  that flat sole in cross training shoes, your stride is not going to flow as it naturally would with cushioned and contoured running shoes. Your running stride will be clunky and will lack fluidity as you try to set a smooth pace while you’re running too. It’s better to opt for a cushioned running shoe with a contoured heel that will land smoothly with your running stride instead. 

how to pick the best workout shoes

How to Pick the Best Workout Shoes For Your Style of Workout

CrossFit & Cross Training 

If CrossFit workouts and cross training are your preferred methods of exercise, there are some key things you should consider when choosing the best workout shoes for those types of training.

First off, if you’re into Crossfit or cross-training, your workout shoes should have a flat sole. A flat sole gives you the most amount of surface area possible touching the ground, which will increase your foot grip and stability when you’re lifting. You’re also going to want to pick a shoe that has a wider toe box than normal running shoes. This is because during heavy, explosive lifts, your feet will expand outward and your toes will spread. Lastly, you’re going to want to pick a shoe that has a heel cap because it will lock your foot into place and minimize any movement while you’re in the shoe.

CrossFit & Cross-Training Must-Have’s:

  • Flat sole with a “low drop”
  • Wide Toe Box
  • Arch Support
  • Locking Heel Cap
  • Strong Lacing System


If you’re an athlete looking for the best running shoes for your off season training, then there are some things that you need to consider before making a purchase. Unlike CrossFit or cross training shoes, you are going to want to purchase a pair of workout shoes that have a solid heel to toe drop. The drop will put your feet in a position where you will be on your toes more, which is a more natural position for running. 

You should also be aware that the best running shoes for athletes are shoes with an ample amount of cushioning. The reason why is because you’re tough on your joints as an athlete. The extra cushioning is going to alleviate the impact that running has on your bones and joints. Lastly, when choosing the best running shoes for your feet, make sure that they’re both breathable and light. The last thing you want is to wear a running shoe that does not allow air to flow freely through it.

Running Shoe Must-Have’s:

  • Arch support (for athletes with high arches)
  • Cushioned Sole
  • Strong Lacing System
  • Heel to Toe Drop
  • Lightweight & Breathable Upper Mesh


When it comes to hardcore weightlifting, there’s a large majority of exercise scientists who recommend that you leave your running shoes at the door. In fact, when it comes to looking for the best weightlifting shoes, kinesiologists and exercise scientists recommend several criteria for weightlifting shoes that are similar with cross training shoes. You should looking for workout shoes with a flat sole equipped with a “low drop” that runs from heel to toe. Also, you should consider picking up a pair of weightlifting shoes that have a serious grip and lock your foot in place with a secondary mechanism (either a strap or TPU locking heel). 

Weightlifting Shoes Must-Have’s:

  • Stable, Flat Platform
  • Designated Shoe Tread (For Increased Grip)
  • Lacing/Strap System (To Lock Foot Into Place)
  • Low Heel To Toe Drop
  • Heel Cap & Side Support

How to Pick the Best Gym Shoes for Your Foot Type

The Best Gym Shoes for Flat Feet 

If you’re an athlete with flat feet, you’re going to want to choose a shoe that allows your foot to lay naturally within the shoe. A common mistake that flat feet athletes make is choosing a narrow shoe that has a ton of arch support, which in turn causes you to have pain in your feet, ankles, knees and hips. Instead, you should be choosing a pair of workout shoes that are wider and allow your feet to expand naturally. Unless you’ve been evaluated by a physician and have been given orthotics to correct your posture, you need to pick a pair of the best workout shoes that are comfortable to the anatomy of your feet.

There are many barefoot workout shoes on the market today that a lot of athletes are using as well because they allow your feet to flow naturally. If you’re not into barefoot workout shoes, then we recommend that you go with a shoe that has a wide profile. From there, you can determine if you want to go with workout shoes with cushioning or if you want a pair of low profile gym shoes for explosive lifting.

The Best Workout Shoes for Wide Feet

If you have wide feet, we recommend going with the Reebok Nano line. Their brand of shoes are generally a wider fit when compared to their competitors. If you have to buy Nike workout shoes because you’re brand loyal, we recommend for you to go with the Metcon line if you have wide feet. The wider toe box in the Metcon line will give you a little bit more room than the Pegasus line or the Free line.

Just remember that with any of the above lines of shoes, you’re going to be sacrificing cushioning to accommodate the wider fit for your feet. If you happen to run a lot, make sure you are taking preventative measures such as icing and foam rolling to help your body recover. 

The Best Workout Shoes for Narrow Feet and High Arches

Athletes with high arches or Plantar Fasciitis should be buying the best workout shoes with arch support. There are several brands, such as ASICS, that specialize in making gym shoes for people with high arches. Athletes with high arches usually have a narrow foot, so its important to make sure that you purchase workout shoes with arch support if you want to feel comfortable and minimize any pain you experience from your workout.

There are a lot of options when trying to decide what are the best workout shoes for your high arches. You should also keep the level of cushioning that the shoe provides in mind when you’re shopping. You’re going to want your feet to be on a supportive and cushioned platform due to the symptoms you may experience with your plantar fasciitis.

Final Verdict

There’s our list of the 25 best workout shoes for men and women who love to hit the gym as elite athletes. When you’re digesting and trying to decide the gym shoes for you that are on our list, keep in mind what you want to experience in both performance and comfort when it comes to your footwear. There’s a wide variety of workout shoes and cross training shoes that meet a ton of different needs. Instead of guessing, do your research and decide what the best workout shoes for you will be before you make a purchase.