16 Pairs of Shoes for Your Most Versatile Workouts
Much like any menswear staple, finding the right pair of workout shoes depends on the occasion. Sure, you can get by wearing whatever’s allowed on the gym floor for general strength training, interval workouts, and studio classes. But if you want to make the most of your workouts, you’ll use trainers that are designed for the type of exercise you’re doing.
If you’re training for a half marathon, then consider investing in running shoes featuring plenty of cushion that can handle lots of milage. A group interval class calls for a trainer with a larger base and secure fit to get you through a variety of workouts. Meanwhile for weightlifting, you’ll probably need athletic sneakers with a restrictive material and a harder sole to help maintain proper form and reduce lower back strain, especially for squats and deadlifts.
Ready to shop for a new pair of cross-trainers to be your go-to workout shoes? We reached out to fitness experts to find 13 of the best shoes for a wide range of needs.
Best for Most Workouts: Mizuno TC-11
If you need a do-it-all pair of trainers, go for Mizuno’s marquee trainers. The TC 11 is designed with Mizuno’s C.O.B. technology, a patent-pending design featuring sensor pod clusters that enable enhanced feedback from the feet to aid in balance and, ultimately, allow you to pursue improved athletic performance.
Also Versatile: Altra Solstice XT 2
The beauty of Altra’s remodeled Solstice is its goldilocks design, which strikes the perfect balance between stability and cushion, so you can wear this for quick runs and cross-training. Just like its OG model, these Altras have a reinforced cage and full rubber outsole for added durability.
Best for HIIT Training: Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 3
An HIIT shoe needs to have ample cushion to absorb shock during jumps and sprints, while offering stability for quick lifts. The Air Zoom SuperRep 3 ticks both boxes, while being its lightest model yet, for added mobility. Customers also love its roomier design for extra comfort, while still keeping a secure fit.
Best for Running: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22
Podiatrist Mark J. Mendeszoon, DPM, FACFAS, swears by this bestseller from Brooks for most runs. “It provides the perfect amount of support and cushioning,” he says. “As most feet style fall into this category.” He also notes the smooth ride it provides, thanks to it proprietary cushion midsole that’s extra soft.
Read more: Best Running Shoes for Men
Best General Use Weight Room Shoe: GORUCK Ballistic Trainers
These GORUCK trainers have 3X Support™ and 3X Stability for all three (3) of your arches (the medial longitudinal arch, the lateral longitudinal arch and the anterior transverse arch). Squat, lunge, or ruck, they’re designed to take a beating. Featuring a streamlined, minimalist design, these trainers are easy on eyes and feet.
Read more: Best Weightlifting Shoes
Under Armour Project Rock BSR
These Project Rock trainers, designed and approved by Dwayne Johnson, have a 3D molded midfoot panel that provides added structure and support perfect for cross-training. Plus, it has an extra grippy rubber outsole to provide ample traction during weightlifting.
Read more: Best Cross-Training Shoes
Under Armour HOVR Rise 3
These UA shoes are great for cross-training thanks to their TriBase™, which maximizes ground contact, promotes natural motion and provides flexibility to grip during lifts.
Read more: Best Sneakers for Men
Reebok Nano X2
Reebok’s latest CrossFit-centric Nano X model are perfect for cross-trainers (and CrossFitters) alike thanks to Floatride Energy Foam cushioning.
Read more: Best Workout Clothes for Men
Reebok J.J. IV
These Reeboks were specifically designed for NFL great J.J. Watt’s cross-training sessions. If they’re good enough for him, they’re definitely good enough for us mere mortals.
Nike Free Metcon 3
Nike’s Metcon line has long been a favorite in CrossFit boxes, and the Free line is a versatile trainer that’s just as good for your set of squats as it is for short runs.
NOBULL Black Sunset Trainer
NOBULL is a CrossFit-first company, and these trainers have high carbon lateral and medial guards for added protection on sidewalls perfect for cross-training.
Read more: Best Workout Shirts for Men
Nike SuperRep Go
These trainers were specifically designed for circuit-based fitness classes or streaming workouts at home, and come with a “burpee break” in the forefoot for planks and mountain climbers.
These Adidas trainers are designed to mimic the shape of your foot, with a wider forefoot and heel than other pairs to enhance stability.
Adidas Dropset Trainers
Adidas’ new trainers are incredibly versatile. Made with a dual-intensity midsole and a stiff heel, it’s both supportive and comfortable, and works double duty for interval training and cardio workouts. Plus, half of its upper is made with recycled goods.
New Balance Minimus TR
These New Balance Minimus TR’s have an underfoot rubber for extra traction and a stable base.
Read more: Best Gym Shorts for Men
How We Selected
For the past two years, we consulted with Men’s Health‘s Fitness editors and writers on the top workout shoes for men. Experts including our fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. and fitness editor Brett Williams, NASM, put countless men’s workout shoes in a variety of exercises to evaluate their fit, support, and effectiveness. We also considered top-reviewed men’s workout shoes that had at least 100 five-star customer ratings on e-commerce websites that we trust.
Read more: Best Shoes for Men
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