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Best Cross Training Sneakers Reviewed and Compared

last updated Sep 19, 2019
Cross training is important for all athletes, especially runners! And just like you need the right pair of running shoes to run in, you also need to make sure you train in the best cross training shoes out there for you.

Nowadays it’s nearly impossible to figure out what shoes are actually the best, which is why we took the time to research and review all of your options. This research and review process led to our carefully curated list of product reviews featured below.

The right cross trainers need to offer the right levels of breathability, protection, flexibility, durability and drop that you need. So, whether you are new to cross training or have years under your belt, there is definitely something on our list for you.

Check out our top picks below!

In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research

icon
PUMA Tazon 6
94.4/100 our score
Breathability
95
Protection
98
Flexibility
92
Durability
93
Drop
94
PUMA Tazon 6
Why is it better?

Sleek, attractive design

EVA in the heel for shock absorbency

Long-lasting support

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
PUMA Tazon 6
Test Winner: PUMA Tazon 6
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
6
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1.4K
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
12
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
20
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
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By Giselle Killebrew:

For our most recent update, we have updated each of our product reviews to ensure they are easy for our readers to compare and look through. We have also added a lot of new information throughout the entire buying guide, specifically all of the criteria sections—so make sure you take a look to the end to learn everything you need to know.

Sorting Options
Breathability Protection Flexibility Durability Drop By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.4
Breathability
95 %
Protection
98 %
Flexibility
92 %
Durability
93 %
Drop
94 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.09.19)
Amazon Link
$52.00
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
Breathability
90 %
Protection
94 %
Flexibility
95 %
Durability
95 %
Drop
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.09.19)
Amazon Link
$62.00
Road Runner Sports Link
$89.95
See Deal
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
Breathability
91 %
Protection
90 %
Flexibility
95 %
Durability
93 %
Drop
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.09.19)
Amazon Link
$77.99
Road Runner Sports Link
$91.87
See Deal
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
Breathability
91 %
Protection
85 %
Flexibility
92 %
Durability
86 %
Drop
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.09.19)
Amazon Link
$80.00
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.2
Breathability
88 %
Protection
75 %
Flexibility
98 %
Durability
86 %
Drop
89 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.09.19)
Amazon Link
$60.90
Road Runner Sports Link
$74.95
See Deal
Cabelas
$89.99
See Deal
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.4
Breathability
80 %
Protection
87 %
Flexibility
87 %
Durability
86 %
Drop
87 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.09.19)
Amazon Link
$129.00
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.6
Breathability
75 %
Protection
88 %
Flexibility
87 %
Durability
91 %
Drop
82 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.09.19)
Road Runner Sports Link
$83.87
See Deal
Amazon Link
$124.95
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.4
Breathability
89 %
Protection
73 %
Flexibility
85 %
Durability
80 %
Drop
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.09.19)
Amazon Link
$71.87
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82
Breathability
83 %
Protection
81 %
Flexibility
85 %
Durability
80 %
Drop
81 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.09.19)
Amazon Link
$69.00
Road Runner Sports Link
$99.95
See Deal
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.6
Breathability
90 %
Protection
70 %
Flexibility
85 %
Durability
83 %
Drop
75 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.09.19)
Amazon Link
$119.95
Road Runner Sports Link
$119.95
See Deal

10 Best Cross Training Sneakers

1. PUMA Tazon 6

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.4
Tazon 6 shoes by PUMA
Amazon Link
Breathability
95
Protection
98
Flexibility
92
Durability
93
Drop
94
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$52.00
Pros:

Sleek, attractive design

EVA in the heel for shock absorbency

Long-lasting support

Cons:

They run small

A bit heavy for dance cardio, such as Zumba

Puma has created a great overall product with these. The Puma Tazon 6 WN'S FM Cross-Trainer provides good support and is ideal for a wide range of activities. Beautifully designed, they're the perfect shoe to show off while running around the gym, track, or neighborhood.

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Breathability

The sleek design makes them a great choice for people who want to remain stylish even while working up a sweat. Who says you can't look good while you are getting your workout in?

Protection

These cross trainers provide good arch and ankle support and lots of cushioning for exceptional comfort. So if you are suffering from any related discomfort due to high arches or plantar fasciitis, for example, these would be a great option to look into.

Flexibility

They provide all-day comfort, excellent for people who have to stay on their feet all day long. They provide an especially good fit for people with narrow feet. So, this option is absolutely versatile and can accommodate a wide variety of people. Depending on which model you choose, they can be affordable to expensive.

Durability

These quality shoes feature a durable construction that allows them to last you. While you can't take these on technical terrain, they will certainly last you the long haul thanks to their high-quality materials.

Drop

Depending on the cross training shoes you get and the type of workouts you do, you will want to make sure you get something that is lower to ground so you have a barefoot feel and a firm grip on the ground while you train.

2. Adidas Powerlift 3

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
Powerlift 3 cross training shoes by Adidas
Amazon Link
Breathability
90
Protection
94
Flexibility
95
Durability
95
Drop
90
best offer for today
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Amazon Link
$62.00
Road Runner Sports Link
$89.95
See Deal
Pros:

Synthetic upper with lightweight design and materials

Open forefoot design with air mesh collar, tongue, and lining for breathability

Extremely powerful sole, ideal for powerlifting and heavy exercises

Cons:

Not as effective for other activities besides lifting

Adidas’ powerlifters are excellent for cross-training. A decently lightweight design that provides a smooth training, supported by a synthetic upper that sits really comfortably on your feet giving you ankle support and extending durability. The shoes allow your feet to breathe through the mesh and the open forefoot design.

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Breathability

The design looks really good and comes in a variety of color combinations that add some style to the overall build. These shoes do have a wide range of pricing based on which option you choose. You could spend a budget-friendly amount all the way to a very expensive sum.

Protection

These shoes are actually a great pair of intro lifters. They hold your heel in place and are a great option for heavy squats because they won't let you lean onto your toes when you go heavy.

Flexibility

Flexibility is a plus on this one, as the Powerlift 3 provides you with good vertical and horizontal flex. These Adidas cross training shoes are very stable despite being so lightweight, and the rubber sole is engineered for a clean and powerful lift with zero slipping and grip enhancement.

Durability

This model can take a gym pounding with intense exercises and heavy lifting. The heel is properly cushioned, yet solid enough to provide a comfortable stance while squatting, deadlifting or performing cleans.

Drop

Because these shoes are lifters, they have a higher drop on the heel. They are also heavier in the heel to ensure you stay firmly planted on the ground.

3. Reebok CrossFit Nano 8

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
Reebok CrossFit Nano
Amazon Link
Breathability
91
Protection
90
Flexibility
95
Durability
93
Drop
85
best offer for today
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Amazon Link
$77.99
Road Runner Sports Link
$91.87
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Pros:

Resistant and durable design built with Kevlar

Less rigid than the 7.0

Sock-like FlexWeave lining

Midsole cushioning

RopePro sole for unique grip when rope climbing

Cons:

Expensive

The previous position on this list was held by the Reebok CrossFit Nano 6.0 and is being replaced with the most current model, the Reebok Nano 8.0. While they are famous among CrossFit athletes (hence their name) they are also a top choice for all cross-training activities and sports. Previously on the list was the 6.0--the 7.0's were not a huge success among loyal users of the Nano, so it is exciting to see the excellent improvements the Nano 8.0 has to offer and know that the company was listening to feedback from users.

Read more

Breathability

This product has been updated to include reengineered breathability, flexibility, and enhanced stability plus comfort. Some extra style was also injected with the aid of its FlexWeave upper. It also has a great grip with the cross-fit outsole and added cushioning for response and comfort. This shoe develops and updates from very good to better and better. The Reebok Nano never fails to disappoint when it delivers new cross-training shoes.

Protection

While the shoes are not as rigid as previous models, this does not affect your performance during barbell work and weightlifting. This shoe is perfect for CrossFit and cross-training exercises--they provide you with the perfect fit, comfort, and stability to excel in a combination of exercises without having to switch your shoes in between sets! Pricing is a wide range from affordable to very pricey depending on which model you choose.

Flexibility

It's difficult to find a cross-training shoe that offers optimal support and stability when lifting and doing barbell work AND that also provides a comfortable run. To accomplish this, Reebok combines their sock-like Flexweave with a flexible forefoot and additional midsole cushioning

Durability

These are my favorite shoes--and I can tell you from first-hand experience that they are extremely durable. They are much more durable than the nano 7's and can take a serious beating.

Drop

With a 4mm drop, these are closer to the ground than the previous model which ensures that you feel grounded through every lift that you do.

4. Puma Cell Riaze

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
Puma Cell Riaze cross training shoes for Women
Amazon Link
Breathability
91
Protection
85
Flexibility
92
Durability
86
Drop
88
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$80.00
Pros:

Excellent cushioning and grip

Flattering aesthetic

Great protection

Cons:

May feel tight

Puma thought of everything with the Cell Riaze Cross Training Shoe. Remarkable technology fused with awesome construction equates to the best in breathability, sole engineering, and comfort. Your perfect option for running, weights, and everything in between, count on the Puma Cell Riaze.

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Breathability

A fusion of intelligent design features including an EcoOrtholite footbed and an AirMesh upper with textile lining work together to create the perfect blend of odor resistance, wicking, coolness, and comfort. With its iconic PUMA graphic on a stylish design in sleek black with soft peach accents, you’ll love the way this shoe feels, and also feel great wearing it!

Protection

This is a very reasonable price point for shoes for women providing outstanding technical features. Patented EverRide and EverTrack combine for a rubber outsole that’s uber cushioned with increased traction which means perfection on the trail or at the gym. Take this shoe on the long haul or weight lifting for your better performance.

Flexibility

As far as flexibility goes, these cross training shoes are a little stiff at first but once you break them in they move with you with each and every step you take.

Durability

Featuring the Puma 10Cell heel cushion for high tech shock absorption, making each impact more fluid. PUMA couples this with the ArchTec TPU Shank to further provide stability to the midfoot while also allowing excellent range and natural movement.

Drop

With a low drop, these shoes will keep you firmly planted to the ground while you train and get through your workouts.

5. Vibram KSO EVO

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.2
Vibram KSO EVO cross-training shoes for men
Amazon Link
Breathability
88
Protection
75
Flexibility
98
Durability
86
Drop
89
best offer for today
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Amazon Link
$60.90
Road Runner Sports Link
$74.95
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Cabelas
$89.99
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Pros:

Quick lace-up system

Extremely lightweight and breathable

Easy to wash

Cons:

Not durable in rugged terrain

Toes are tight

These cross training shoes are the perfect option for minimalist runners looking for a consistent shoe for all of their athletic activities. The Vibram KSO EVO is a high-performance sole that conforms to the natural shape of an individual's foot.

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Breathability

These are by far the most breathable training shoes on our list. They are designed to be well0ventilated to ensure your feet stay cool and dry. This prevents any chafing and blisters from forming since your feet won't sweat.

Protection

These are a great option for cross training only--hence our list of reviews. These shoes ensure you get the stability you need without adding any weight and protect your feet from any debris that may be around you.

Flexibility

These shoes for men are extraordinary breathable and flexible. Conforming to the natural shape of your foot, they act like a second, protective skin. Your foot and toes have maximum movement and support.

Durability

Don't let the minimalistic design fool you. These soles pack a punch in terms of what they offer and how they are engineered. They come equipped with the XS TREK technology, which provides you with adequate durability, comfort, traction, stability, and comfort and durability.

Drop

They are the perfect minimalist shoe. They're easy to wash, they come with a quick lace system, and provide you with optimal support and stability. They are fairly priced, so you won't blow your budget trying these.

6. No Bull Trainer

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.4
No Bull Trainers
Amazon Link
Breathability
80
Protection
87
Flexibility
87
Durability
86
Drop
87
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$129.00
Pros:

Comfortable

Flexible

Durable

Responsive

Sleek design

Cons:

High cost

Few color options

No Bull is known for their excellent trainers and lifting shoes. They consistently provide athletes with optimal and excellent choices, and No BullTrainer does not disappoint.

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Breathability

No Bull is a top dog in the CrossFit world and their trainers are some of the best selections currently available. They are tightly weaved for durability but they are also really breathable and well-ventilated so you don't have to worry about your feet getting overheated,

Protection

This trainer provides excellent shock absorption, which is necessary when combining a variety of athletic activities. The stress that occurs with some exercises on the joints can wear and cause pain over time. The best pro-active step to help ease future pain and discomfort is to wear gear that can best protect against it.

Flexibility

These No Bull trainers provide the proper stability and flexibility for a combination of exercises--such as running and weightlifting/barbell work. While strict power/weight-lifters will not prefer this shoe, they are a perfect option for cross-training athletes who need a shoe that can make them efficient in each activity.

Durability

Lastly, these shoes are durable and responsive--the perfect combination for athletes who want consistent and optimal results.

Drop

These trainers are low and close to the ground but with just enough height to put the weight you need in the heel to ensure you stay stable in securely in place while you train.

7. Nike Metcon 4

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.6
Nike cross trainers Metcon 4
Amazon Link
Breathability
75
Protection
88
Flexibility
87
Durability
91
Drop
82
best offer for today
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Amazon Link
$124.95
Road Runner Sports Link
$83.87
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Pros:

Haptic Technology for optimal durability

Increased color and design options

Flexible

Comfortable

Cons:

High cost

Lacks breathability

The Metcon 4 Nike cross trainers were recently released and this position was a toss-up between one of the most popular shoes, the Metcon 2, and the most recent model. We chose the Nike Metcon 4 because it delivers everything the Metcon 2's have to offer as well as some additional great features you will love.

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Breathability

Unfortunately, there are some user complaints about breathability with the newer Mercon models, which is why we have the 4's on here. The Metcon 4's are still a top pick among Metcon lovers because they are much more breathable.

Protection

Previous models of this shoe did not offer a wide selection of color and style. Nike's use of Haptic technology not only increases the durability of the shoe without adding to much weight but also makes it possible to make a wide selection of colors and styles available to customers.

Flexibility

The outsole design of these shoes provides optimum flexibility for athletes engaging in cross-training activities. They are easy to transition from activity to activity, which is ideal for cross training activities. High cost, however, if you want to spend less (and don't mind having fewer color/design options) the Metcon 3 is an excellent option.

Durability

These Metcon 4's Nike cross trainers come equipped with a highly durable outsole, made of high-quality rubber, that extends along the sides of the shoes, providing the user additional protection from exercises, such as rope climbs, that can quickly wear out the shoe. Nike also employed the use of Haptic Technology to increase the overall durability of the entire shoe.

Drop

These shoes feature a drop in the midsole portion of these shoes to ensure you have additional support and stability while you train.

8. Adipure 360.3

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.4
Adipure cross trainers
Amazon Link
Breathability
89
Protection
73
Flexibility
85
Durability
80
Drop
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$71.87
Pros:

PUREMOTION midsole for rapid reaction

Four-way mesh upper for movement without irritation

Excellent heel-to-toe drop

Cons:

Some prefer more cushioning

This shoe has a sleek aesthetic that combines with intelligent construction for a perfect fusion of on-trend, high tech performance. The Adidas Performance Adipure 360.3 is your uber cool go-to shoe for workouts and pleasure.

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Breathability

A mesh upper with four-way stretch translates to flexible movement without irritation and simulating a natural feel with maximum breathability. A comfort collar holds the ankle snug adding yet another layer of stability for optimum workouts. Select from seven contrasting hues - seriously check out the tangerine on black for a retro-meets-urban vibe.

Protection

Lightweight cushioning in the midsole means a smoother, less injurious exercise.

Flexibility

The soles have good flexibility. A non-marking, high traction rubber sole and flex groove construction blend for grippy but natural foot motion.

Durability

Add an adjustable midfoot frame for durable workouts and the foot is kept more stable and well supported making it a perfect fit for all types of training or conditioning.

Drop

The trademark PUREMOTION midsole adds rapid reaction time by mimicking barefoot movement patterns and providing more natural stability, making workouts more efficient. They come to you at a medium price point.

9. Reebok Crossfit Speed TR

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82
Reebok Crossfit Speed TR shoes
Amazon Link
Breathability
83
Protection
81
Flexibility
85
Durability
80
Drop
81
best offer for today
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$69.00
Road Runner Sports Link
$99.95
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Pros:

All-direction stability

Suitable for high-speed running

Great impulse

Cons:

Not suitable for running long distances

The Reebok Women's Crossfit Speed TR possesses the ultimate design in all-direction stability to provide a solid grip to the ground for you to get the most out of your running power and velocity. Designed especially for those who engage in CrossFit to have a comfortable experience and high performance during every WOD.

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Breathability

These cross training shoes are pretty breathable, although they are not the most well-ventilated selection on our list of reviews.

Protection

You can forget about slipping and sliding thanks to its RopePro Shank and advanced ultra-flexible design that enhances shock absorption and provides a solid stand for lifting. This design also assists in providing a secure balance.

Flexibility

The Crossfit Speed TR also brings you some awesome designs and color combinations to feel good while you train. Moderately priced, you'll drop some dough but it's not the most expensive option on the market.

Durability

Engineered to reach the highest of running speeds while keeping unique durability and a lightweight design that gives you a flying-like experience.

Drop

This model is ideal for running and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Its focused support allows the carriage of incredible momentum, providing the users an outstanding running performance.

10. New Balance Minimus 40

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.6
new balance trainers
Amazon Link
Breathability
90
Protection
70
Flexibility
85
Durability
83
Drop
75
best offer for today
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Amazon Link
$119.95
Road Runner Sports Link
$119.95
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Pros:

Great for cross training

Flexible

Good grip

Good cushion

Good stability

Good flexibility

Good breathability

Good energy return

Nice style

Cons:

Expensive

These New Balance cross trainers are designed for the purpose of improving cross-training performance. The New Balance Minimus 40 offers all the required features and performance expected from a shoe targeting cross-training.

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Breathability

Yes, the price is a bit more but in return for your dough, you get multi-functional reliable footwear. This model has everything a cross-trainer shoe should offer and tops it off with a very nice style. You get the opportunity to choose from a nice selection of unique and trendy colors.

Protection

With versions for both ladies and men, these New Balance cross trainers one is multi-purpose and performs very well for cross-training purposes outdoors or indoors. It's good for short to medium distance running but not challenging trail runs. This versatile shoe offers reliable performance, comfort, stability, and protection mixed with style.

Flexibility

You get good structural stability, nice flexibility, strategic cushioning, and good energy return. Additionally, its breathability level is impressive and the surface grip is really good. Whether training indoors or outdoors, these New Balance cross trainers will perform.

Durability

These cross-training shoes are really durable and built to last.t hey are made of high-quality materials that are built to handle the training you want to put them through.

Drop

Enjoy the rapid rebound midsole, the performance feels impressive and helpful while giving a similar response to the response and cushion in a purpose-designed running shoe. The heel has built-in RevLite which means performance and lightness combined. The Vibram outsole gives a grip and traction which runs as similar to a sturdy hiking shoe for reliable surface grip.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Breathability

Your shoes should never cause any hot spot, chafing, or blisters--which is why breathability is incredibly important.

When it comes to finding good workout shoes, one thing many people overlook is the importance of breathable material and design. With good airflow, your feet will stay cool and dry and you will not have to deal with smelly foot odor and you will be at a reduced risk for blisters and bruising as well. Breathability is a key factor that far too many runners ignore or overlook in their search.

Being such intense activity, cross-training can get messy when it comes to sweating. We can’t help you stop sweating, and that would be unhealthy anyway, but we know how uncomfortable it is to have your feet suffocated because of a combination of sweat and heat, which is why our picks for this buying guide consisted of breathable shoes made out of materials that allow the flow of air to your feet.

Additionally, having especially wet and sweaty feet can lead to hot spots and blisters, which can stop your cross-training and running routine dead in its tracks. Fortunately, modern shoe technology has come up with several design techniques and strategies to combat foot wetness as you work out.

Uncomfortable dampness within a shoe is an obstacle to many cross trainers, along with side effects such as odors, internal slipping, and unwanted fungi. We made sure to select the models that are properly designed and equipped to prevent your feet from overheating, allowing you to perform intense activities while keeping a fresh inner shoe.

For this factor, we took into consideration the breathability of the materials used in the overall shoe design and build, such as mesh, and the distribution with which they are placed to keep the whole foot fresh instead of just part of it. All in all, breathability needs may vary, so just keep what you need in mind.

Protection

Cross-training is completely different from running, so they deliver a different level of protection so you can cross-train in them.

Shoes are meant to protect your feet, and a good pair of running shoes will protect your feet from the terrain and environment you are running in. A solid supportive sole, durable material on the upper side, and a comfortable overall fit will ensure your shoes are doing their job and keeping your feet protected.

A well-made pair of training shoes are worth their weight in the cold if they protect your feet! With cross-training, we do all kinds of intense activities such as performing rope climbs, box jumps, rope jumping, and other similar exercises. One must be prepared to train on any terrain, whether it’s mud, grass or uneven surfaces, which is why we took into consideration proper shoe protection.

We selected those shoes that provide superior protection based on their shock absorption qualities and similar features; these might be more expensive, but safety has no price. However, too much of anything is bad for you, so we’re not looking for bulletproof shoes that are as armored as a tank. That would be too heavy anyway, and not realistic.

What you do want to make sure of when selecting a pair of cross-training shoes is that they give your toes adequate protection from weights or other exercise implements that might fall on them, as well as protecting your ankles from sprains and rolls that might occur. A secure and well-designed ankle cuff is one of the protection features we looked for, as well as closed toes and a secure lacing system.

Flexibility

You should have a full range of motion while you train, which is why we rook a close look at the overall flexibility offered by each of our top picks.

Another key factor that can help you find the best pair of shoes for your wants and needs is to look at what level of flexibility you need. Flexible shoes allow your foot to bend and move more freely, which can allow you to get a better grip on rocky or uneven terrain. Having good flexibility in your shoes can also make you more efficient and can reduce foot pain and fatigue as well.

When looking for the top training shoes, we thought of flexibility. With cross-training, we’re talking about intense exercises that involve jumping, running, climbing and bouncing, so flexibility is something you’ll want to have in your shoes. But it’s not all about just flex with cross-training, so we’ve taken into consideration the multi-direction flexible designs of cross-training shoes to come up with the best of them.

You see, in a pure running shoe, the design will be optimized to give the highest performance for running in a straight line, but won’t give you much in the way of support or torsional rigidity for performing the more complex movement patterns necessary for sideways and other variable movements.

Some of this torsional rigidity comes at the price of pure running performance, however, and since we’re runners first and foremost we looked for shoes with a good balance of features and design that make a pair of shoes good for both running and cross-training. We also took into consideration the placement of the flex zones, as we don’t want the shoe flexing when it’s not supposed to.

When used for running or similar activities, we looked for models that ensured a natural gait that still provides plenty of support for cross-training exercises.

Durability

We all want something that is built to last, and training shoes are no different--which is why we made sure to take a close look at the durability of each of our shoes.

No runner wants to invest good money into a pair of shoes just to have the soles start to peel apart or the material begins to shred a few months into use. When you invest in shoes you want to make sure you are getting a durable pair that will last. During our search for the best sneakers, we made sure to look at how each pair was rated for durability and how well they hold up to wear and tear.

Cross-training is a pretty intense activity that puts a lot of stress on your shoes. With this list, we made sure to bring you shoes that can take a pounding repeatedly at the gym, track, park, city streets, or wherever else you might train. To do this, we paid close attention to the quality of the materials used for the overall build of the shoe.

From a solid sole to a tough and wear-resistant mesh that won’t start falling apart within the first few months of use. The material of the sole is also important since you don’t want the rubber grip on the outsole to deteriorate after just a few weeks of use, leaving you with a slippery shoe that is about as effective as a stick of butter of helping you stay solid and upright on your feet while you’re training.

Unfortunately, durable materials can be considerably more expensive than their lesser counterparts. We can’t blame you for feeling tempted by those low-price shoes, but keep in mind that their low price is usually a predictor of low quality. You’ll be far better off buying an expensive pair of quality shoes than having to buy 3 pairs of low-quality shoes that rip wide open every month.

Drop

The drop of the these shoes is dependent on your preferences, but for the most part they range between 4mm and 6mm.

The final factor we considered as we search for shoes to add to our list was the drop in the shoes. When you are doing a lot of walking or running, the impact from your steps can affect your feet, legs, back, and the rest of your body as well. Keeping the drop rate to a minimum and finding a pair of shoes that help reduce these problems rather than contributing to them is our ultimate goal with this guide.

For these shoes, we focused on those designs that have a low profile to help you stay in control of your movements as you quickly move from exercise to exercise. We took into consideration an appropriate midsole height that allows decent shock absorption and that works as a steady, yet not the too thick platform.

When it comes to heavy lifting, you won’t want to be standing on a huge midsole that makes you uncomfortable and might even affect your balance. We targeted low profile models that give you the sensation of being closer to the ground instead of floating around the gym. Floating is fun, but save it for the river.

The sole is another important factor to consider when looking for the best cross-training shoes. A very thick sole will be uncomfortable for the heel and the rest of the foot when performing balance, heavy lifting, or running. We looked for soles that are thick enough to provide good support and cushioning while still being able to provide a comfortable and secure feeling of grip to the floor.

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Remember To Rest

When cross-training, you run the risk of overtraining. If you fail to give your body the proper amount of resting time, your performance can suffer and you can actually lose muscle strength and mass.

The best way to avoid this while keeping your level of activity as high as possible is to develop a split routine where you work different parts of the body on different days of the week.

However, you should still work in a rest day every so once in a while for the best results.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!

This is extremely important and cannot be stressed enough: you need to be properly hydrated when cross-training! The risks of injury are significantly higher if your body lacks essential fluids and you are going to sweat a lot more during your training sessions.

Remember to drink at least 8 ounces of water for every 20 to 30 minutes of physical activity.

Other Factors to Consider

Versatility

You’ll want to keep in mind what kind of activities you’re thinking of using the shoes for. Certain models might enhance your performance on certain cross-training activities while reducing your potential on other ones. With cross training being such a varied sport, this is an important factor to keep in mind.

For example, if you’re going to do powerlifting you’ll be better off using shoes designed specifically for powerlifting. However, powerlifting shoes might not come in too handy when going for a long run. On the other hand, these shoes that are excellent for running might not provide the most optimal performance for other activities, such as rope climbing.

Analyze your training routine to decide whether you prefer shoes that adapt to a specific activity, or a pair of shoes that allows you to perform a greater variety of exercises if your routine is mixed. All in all, make sure you consider the cross training shoes that offer you the versatility you need to get through your dynamic workouts.

Support

Overpronation and underpronation can become an annoying obstacle when it comes to selecting the best pair of training shoes. If you suffer from a specific condition, you want to pay attention to the ability of the shoes to adjust to your condition. If you have arch issues, you should be looking for shoes that offer adequate arch support which matches your anatomy.

For other similar conditions, you should check that the pair of shoes you’re selecting allows you to modify them to suit your symptoms and provide comfort. For example, if you have flat feet you should be looking for a pair of shoes with a removable inner sole, so you can insert a custom device that adapts the shoe to your necessities.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you’ll have to reconstruct a whole pair of shoes. Don’t be afraid of taking your device (if you need any) and trying it at the store with the pair of shoes that you’d like to take with you. Wear them and see if they can adapt to your condition. Having the right support can make or break your performance, so don't ignore this factor.

Style

Some people consider styling as a critical factor when selecting shoes. We can’t blame them, as we can’t help it but feel great when we’re rocking a pair of awesome-looking shoes. But there’s much, much more to a shoe than just a fancy design, especially when we’re talking about shoes that must provide specific and demanding qualities to support the heavy exercise.

There’s no problem with including fashion as a parameter because let's be honest, it feels good to look good, and believe it or not looking good brings the extra spice of motivation. No one wants an ugly pair of shoes combined in senseless colors, but always keep in mind that you’re wearing these shoes to train in so functionality should always win over style.

So, although style should not be at the top of your list, we understand that you still want to look great. Lucky for you, most of the selections on our list are available in lots of colors and patterns to choose from--so you can look and feel great when you train in the cross training shoes you decide to buy.

Comfort

Regardless of how much you pay for a pair of training shoes, if they are not comfortable then they are not worth much at all! You want to make sure you have shoes that give you the comfort and support you need. Your feet take a great deal of abuse during your runs and workout sessions.

It is important to make sure your shoes are designed to reduce pain and fatigue and will cushion, support, and protect your feet. Here at RunnerClick, we made sure to find the workout shoes that are rated high for comfort as well as all the other features outlined throughout our entire page.

At the end of the day, only you can decide what works for you and what fits your comfort needs. If you know you have arch or foot issues, make sure to get a pair of shoes that work for your comfort needs and help you prevent any foot pain. Keep your own needs at the forefront and you will get just what you need.

Value

We also made sure to look at the shoes we selected for our list from a financial viewpoint. While a good pair of running shoes will cost more than a standard pair of sneakers. They do not have to cost you an arm and a leg to be good. We made sure to find shoes that spanned a range of price points and made sure that everyone has features and benefits that would make it a smart choice for any runner.

That is how we determined what shoes are the most valuable and which ones would be the best choice for beginners and experienced runners alike. When you look at what brings the most value to you, make sure to do the same. Establish your budget or how much you are willing to spend and then decide what you need from your shoes.

Go through our selections and see which ones offer what you need and then compare them to the overall initial cost you will spend on them. The shoes on our list are built to last but some are more durable than others--so just remember to compare the cost-benefit between price sand features.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What’s the difference between cross trainers and running sneakers?

a:

There is a very, very large list of differences between these two. While there are cross-training shoes that might suit you for medium runs, each style of shoe is equipped differently to provide other kinds of support, impulse, and functionality to their respective activity. From the sole thickness to cushioning and traction.

q: Does an expensive shoe guarantee quality?

a:

While we made sure to select only the highest quality of shoes, you should never let a pricetag decide for you. Like we’ve previously mentioned, each pair of shoes might fit specific areas of cross training. This means some of the shoes are equipped with technology and materials that are different from the rest, hence the price might fluctuate between models.

q: How often should I replace my cross training shoes?

a:

Shoe wear and tear is something that can be noticed by both plain sight and feeling. While your shoes might seem like they’re perfectly fine on the outside, the midsole inner cushioning might have completed its lifecycle and it’s time for a replacement. As soon as the shoes start bothering you or providing an inferior sensation, you should consider getting new shoes.

q: My conditions (overpronation, flat feet, etc) don’t allow me to wear normal shoes, what should I do?

a:

Like we mentioned, you shouldn’t be afraid of taking your personalized equipment with you when shopping for training shoes. Make sure that the shoes you select can be adapted to your conditions. Every body is different and symptoms vary so this can go from placing a custom inner sole in the shoe to perhaps replacing a bigger part of the shoes.

q: Are these shoes limited to CrossFit?

a:

This really depends on the model of your selection. It’s not impossible to find shoes that possess qualities similar to the ones of a specific sport’s requirements. For instance, some cross training models might serve you for sports such as dodgeball thanks to their specific traction style.

It all comes down to the shoe build, and you can always ask a store expert if a certain pair of cross training shoes would fit a specific sport.

q: How should I wash my training shoes?

a:

It is always advised to follow any and all instructions on care labels that come with your shoes. If you are unable to follow those instructions or you do not have access to the care label then follow these steps:
1. wipe down your shoe with a damp cloth
2. remove any mud, sticks, stones, or other debris from the tread
3. remove any leave of sticks or dirt from inside your shoe
4. spot clean really dirty areas with a soft cloth and mild soapy water
5. set shoes to air dry inside in the sun.

To get the most of any of the best cross training shoes on our list, make sure to follow the care instructions properly.

Sources

  1. Gina Shaw, WebMD, Medical Website
  2. Jim Thomas, Livestrong, Article
  3. Barbara Lloyd, New York Times, Newspaper Article
  4. American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, AAPSM, Website
  5. Kiera Carter, Runner's World, Article
  6. Editorial Team , How to Choose Running Shoes, Web Article