10 Best Sports Shoes of 2021
We made sure to include designs that boast a low profile for a wide range of motion, and are made from lightweight and durable materials that can keep up with your full dance card.
It was also important to include designs that really contour the shape of your foot and provide excellent lockdown for quick and snappy movements. Versatility is key, which is why many of the designs we selected have flexible frames with modest cushioning.
In this guide, we have rounded up some of our very favorite sports shoes that work for just about anything.
This is the best product on our list that is currently in stock:
Memory foam insert
10 Best Sports Shoes
1. Reebok Crossfit Nano 8.0
Toe Tection for targeted durability
Grippy rubber outsole
Shallow toe box
If you need to move, the Crossfit Nano 8.0 from Reebok is a great choice. It boasts a lightweight and breathable upper to keep feet cool and dry and provides athletes with a good deal of flexibility and versatility for a wide variety of workouts and movements. Whether you want to hit up the racquetball court, the treadmill, the weight room, or a Zumba class, this design is able to keep up with you wherever it boasts a low profile you go!Read more
High-intensity movements place a low of power in your toe box as you make quick turns at high speeds. The addition of the Toe Tection design in the toe box increases the durability in the tip of the foot and allows you to move with ease.
It boasts Flex Grooves on the durable rubber outsole for excellent traction that really allows you to pick up the pace as needed.
Users love that it contours to the shape of their foot and is built for quick and snappy movement while keeping your foot protected. This is a shoe that works just about anywhere in your gym!
It boasts a low profile for excellent movement in the ankles. The upper is composed of lightweight Flexweave materials that contour to the shape of your foot and eliminate the potential for hot spots. This material stretches to contour to the shape of your foot and works to keep your feet dry on intense training sessions.
2. Adidas Cloudfoam Pure
Memory foam insert
Runs very narrow
Quick and snappy movement requires a trainer that is lightweight and flexible, and the Cloudfoam Pure from Adidas checks all of those boxes. What we love most about this versatile design is that it is composed of super-lightweight materials that offer a good deal of flex, and it is incredibly breathable. The best part? It comes in at a super affordable price point that won’t break the bank.Read more
It boasts a grippy rubber outsole that provides a good deal of traction and stability in the weight room, Zumba class, or even for a nice jog around the neighborhood.
What users love most about this design is that it really contours to the shape of your foot so you can engage in quick and snappy movements.
We also love that the upper is composed of a simple layer of mesh materials that contour to the shape of your foot.
The best part of the Cloudfoam Pure (aside from the super affordable price point) is that it provides users with a thin layer of memory foam that helps with impact absorption, and also contours to the shape of your foot over time. This is a great option for those that need something minimalistic for quick movements while still offering a good deal of support.
The material works to wick hot air and moisture up and away from your foot where it quickly evaporates on the surface. It also boasts a low profile on the foot that gives your ankle excellent flexibility and movement.
3. Nike Metcon 5
Lots of colors to choose from
The Nike Metcon model is a favorite among many athletes, and their 5th model comes with a lot more benefits that make it even better! If you want a versatile pair of sports shoes that you can work out in, run in a bit, and use for several activities comfortably, then you will absolutely love these!Read more
In terms of durability, these shoes are designed for intense workouts. They have a rubber outsole and feature 3D haptic technology to increase their overall durability and extend their life.
If you want a flexible pair of shoes, these take some time to get there since they do have a bit of a break-in period. However, once you get used to them you will find that these are really flexible, pliable, and allow for a full range of motion.
These sports shoes feature a secure and comfortable fit, all the sizes run narrow—so make sure you get the right size. If you have wide feet, these shoes may be more difficult to size. They are, however, well-cushioned and provide great support and stability.
The newest Nike Metcon model is a lot more breathable than the previous versions. It features a layered mesh upper that will ensure you get the breathability that previous models didn’t provide.
4. Reebok Yourflex 10
Micro-Web lacing for a locked-in fit
Tri-zone mesh upper
Quite an affordable shoe
Some colors may appear different than actual
A customized fit with an integrated lacing system and high heel drop for added cushion combined with a high tech outsole means your every stride will feel stronger and your performance will be at its all-time best. The Yourflex Train 10.0 MT training shoe supports hardcore workouts in style and with all-encompassing, stellar technology.Read more
These running shoes are pretty durable and built to last. We found few durability issues reported from actual users--but you do need to make sure you don't take these running shoes out on technical terrain or in places where they weren't designed to hold up to the environment.
The foot feels one with this sports shoe thanks to the remarkable Memory tech sock liner. Meet muscles and tendons you never knew with a shoe that both supports your own natural ability and introduces you to new body strength and capability. At a mere 7.2 ounces, this lightweight phenomena is packed-full of engineering to enhance your ride - or any other athletic pursuit.
Support your athletics in style and with advanced technologies that will enhance your performance and strength. The Yourflex Train is incredibly on-trend. We love the side-detailing and choice of dual tones like reflective orange with black. The contrasts are each stylish and sleek. With the patented Reebok Memory tech sock liner and IMEVA 48d foam midsole, feel great no matter how hard you train.
A Tri-zone mesh upper creates substantial breathability with its remarkable ventilation system and with a 10mm drop, the foot feels cushioned and comfortable. Add targeted carbon rubber outsole and take this shoe (and the rest of you) anywhere, on any terrain, and in any condition!
5. New Balance MX40V1
Outsole durability issues
This option, which is also known as the Minimus, is in the lightweight sport shoes category, that does a good job of balancing those factors with sturdiness and stability. This allows users to switch between running, weightlifting, and other training activities without having to worry about their footwear.Read more
For the most part, it holds up well to repeated long-term use but there were a few mentions of the outsole rubber starting to come off quicker than it should. This is often the trade-off we make with lightweight shoes like this.
It's designed to be very pliable and users confirmed this. This product feels really good to wear, and even extremely large and heavy users were satisfied with how it felt on their feet.
When it comes to comfort, these running shoes offer loads of it. They are really lightweight and provide excellent stability. They won't weigh you down and will help you get your workouts in pain-free.
Users found this option was comfortable for all sorts of different activities from running to weightlifting, but that it did run about a half size larger than their normal shoe size so we recommend checking the sizing chart carefully before ordering and consider sizing up. It also runs a bit narrow.
The synthetic fibers and mesh upper allow moisture to escape fairly easily, but it's not the most ventilated shoe out there.
6. Nike Legend
React foam midsole
What users love most about this design from Nike is that it is incredibly versatile. It boasts a lightweight fit that is perfect for high-impact cardio training but still offers a good deal of cushioning and support to keep your joints protected. It comes in a wide variety of stylish and modern designs and comes in at a super affordable price point that is worth checking out.Read more
If you are in the market for something durable that feels like a minimalistic trainer that is packed with smart features to keep your feet comforted and protected, this design from Nike is a great option.
The Nike Legend walks that fine line between stability and minimalism. It boasts a very flexible outsole that allows users to engage in quick movements in their cardio classes, and the breathable mesh upper works to keep feet cool and dry. Plus, it also boasts supportive features to help keep your joints protected.
The midsole of this design is composed of Nike’s patented React EVA foam that runs from the toes to the heel for a springy and supportive fit. This foam helps to absorb the impact from running and HIIT while maintaining a high level of flexibility and lightweight designs to keep you quick on your feet.
We love that it is made from lightweight and breathable materials that are perfect for high-intensity cardio workouts, and can easily transition to the track or weight room as needed.
7. No Bull
Flat and stable
Wide toe box
Only one color option
These No Bull trainers are excellent for intense workouts and lifting. They are not the best for long distance running but they are fine for sprints and short runs that are incorporated in your workouts.Read more
These lightweight and breathable shoes use SuperFabric for optimal durability. This material makes these shoes abrasion resistant and allows them to withstand a lot more than traditional shoes. This, combined with the SuperFabric Guard plates, make these shoes virtually indestructible.
The outside lug pattern makes them perfectly adaptable to both indoor and outdoor environments, while their high carbon medial and lateral guards further increase their durability.
These sports shoes are flat and stable and provide adequate comfort and stability for your workouts. They have a wide toe box for athletes with wider feet, as well as to provide room for those intense workouts that end up causing your feet to swell a bit. Their excellent arch support makes these shoes a great option for athletes with flat feet.
If you want to keep your feet cool and dry, then you will love these because they provide you with excellent ventilation.
8. Under Armour Ultimate Speed
May have durability issues
This is a good pick for all-around performance and they aren't too expensive either. Users loved the comfort and stability, although a few experienced some durability issues. These hug the feet nicely and seem to run true to size.Read more
These are lightweight so there is a trade-off to be made with longevity. Most users were satisfied however and it didn't seem to be a major issue.
They are about average in terms of pliability for this type of shoe, which is all designed to be pretty malleable as it is.
They have good cushioning and keeping your feet happy is one of their best qualities.
The synthetic mesh uppers are designed for good ventilation and users confirmed they did a good job of letting moisture escape.
9. Asics Conviction
RhynoSkin for increased durability
Perforated sock liner
Several color options
Sizes run small
Narrow toe box
The Asics Conviction cross-training shoes are the perfect multi-functional shoe that will let you jump from activity to activity without having to sacrifice comfort, flexibility, or stability during your workouts.Read more
These shoes have an upper that is composed of synthetic RhynoSkin and mesh. This increases their durability and further protects the shoe from tears, abrasions, and other elements that can damage the shoe over time.
They are pretty flexible and pliable--which is why they are a great option for so many athletic endeavors.
They come equipped with a perforated sock liner, which improves the breathability of the shoe as well as improves its moisture drainage. They also have a low drop, which also makes them a pretty good lifting shoe.
When it comes to breathability, these are not the most breathable on our list but they do allow for great ventilation--so they will definitely keep your feet cool and dry.
10. On Cloud
Great for lots of different activities
Great grip and traction
Good option if you have wide feet
Not great for running
The On Cloud X shoes are a versatile pair of shoes that are also comfortable, flexible, and perfect for those of you looking for a multi-functional pair of shoes. So, if you are looking for a lightweight pair of shoes that you can also use for almost all workout activities, then these are the way to go.Read more
These shoes are incredibly durable. They have a thick outsole that is designed to be abrasion and wear resistant. Overall, users report these shoes are incredibly durable and built to last.
If you want a pair of shoes that allows for a full range of motion, then these are it. They are incredibly flexible and pliable—without sacrificing stability and support—which is why they are so versatile.
As far as comfort, these are incredibly comfortable. They offer excellent cushioning and are really lightweight. They have a wide toe box and the heel is padded as well. They fit securely, so you won’t have to worry about them moving around or causing any chafing or blisters.
When it comes to breathability, we did not find any negative reviews about it. These lightweight shoes allow for great ventilation and ensure that your feet stay cool and dry when you workout in them.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
When buying shoes that are just for running, especially if you're regularly going distances of 10 miles or more, it can be a good idea to get a size that's a little bit larger than your normal one. This will allow you to maintain a good fit as your feet swell due to the blood accumulating there over many miles and causing some swelling.
For multi-sport shoes, however, you may want to think about getting something truer to your actual size because while wearing these shoes you may be doing activities that require a lot of lateral movement and you don't want your feet sliding around. At best this can be uncomfortable, at worst it may lead to injury.
Talk of a no-brainer. This one goes through every runner’s mind, no one would want to go to the store and purchase a shoe that has a short lifespan, what is the use if you need to waste money having the same results?
We all want something that can last the test of time. We looked for a material that will not disappoint and can serve well. You will consider the leather upper for support and durability in most cases.
You want something flexible that will allow your feet to move in different directions around the gym or training field. If a shoe isn't flexible, your feet will be uncomfortable and your freedom of movement limited.
There is a trade-off here, however, and flexibility often comes at the cost of support and stability. Also, flexible shoes are often very lightweight, which can be a good thing, but also result in them not being as durable because materials that are light in weight are typically less inherently durable.
Nevertheless, it's important for this type of footwear to be flexible, and we chose shoes for our list that are flexible while still maintaining at least a decent amount of durability.
Cushioning is a big factor here, but too much cushioning isn't necessarily a good thing since a highly cushioned shoe will be heavier and less responsive than is ideal for this type of use. As always, it's about finding the right balance between cushioning and performance, comfort and stability.
All of the shoes on our list have been rated as being comfortable by real-life users, but some more so than others. Take a look at the individual comfort score in each product review to help find the pair of sports shoes that are best for you.
You know how uncomfortable sweaty palms feel like, now imagine yourself having sweaty legs and to make matters worse you have them in a shoe that does not provide a breathable space or mesh to help keep them dry and cool; that is the reason as to why you need to consider having a well-ventilated running shoe when buying sports shoes.
You will need a shoe that has a grid under layer for enhanced breathability and a full length ventilated mesh lining to create an unparalleled cool, dry condition.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
You can assess your own foot at home by getting your soles wet and making normal walking prints. This will give you an idea of your arch height.
Look at your old shoes and where you wore them down. That will give you an idea of how you're striking the ground and the type of shoes that can help mitigate those habits.
Other Factors to Consider
You do not want a high raised shoe for running. You’ll want to find something lower profile, with a “closer to the ground” design. This will allow better and more natural balance when running and climbing, which adventure runners do often.
Super thick and high profile soles are something that you will probably want to stay away from. Aside from making it more difficult to find balance in them, it can also result in injuries that would have been avoided in the first place, the lower the heel the more stability it offers.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What is the difference between running shoes and sports shoes?
Running shoes are designed to accommodate one very basic motion. They support frames that work to shift your weight evenly throughout your foot and provide cushioning throughout your gait. Sports shoes, on the other hand, are not only built for basic running motions but dynamic side-to-side and lateral movements as well.
They often boast a low profile for excellent ankle flexibility and place more durable features in the toe box (unlike running shoes that add more reinforcement in the heel).
q: Can I wear training shoes every day?
You are free to wear your snappy new trainers whenever you want, but there are a few things to consider first! We typically discourage wearing your comfy trainers out of the gym for a few reasons. First of all, there is a sort of metaphysical shift that happens in your brain when you lace up your workout shoes. On days that you just won’t want to workout, the simple act of putting on your dedicated workout shoes can shift your brain into gear!
It’s also important to consider the durability of these shoes. They are more expensive than your casual shoes, which means that they have a limited lifespan. Reserving your trainers for workouts means that they will last just a little bit longer than if you wore them all day.
q: As a runner, will I benefit from one of the sports shoes featured here?
Well, a comfortable shoe is a consideration. The amount of cushioning is a balance between how much you want to feel the trail and how much protection and softness you want under your foot.
Look for a rubber sole it provides excellent traction also look for a patented EVA foam which creates a dense cushion for shock Effective cushioning reduces the impact on the body, but it’s always a great idea to have trail shoes with a variety of cushioning levels, just as we do in training on the road or track.
q: How should I clean my sports shoes?
Most people want a clean and spotless shoe, we agree with you but just until that very point. When it comes to cleaning your sports shoe consider the fabric first, not all fabrics are treated the same, we tend to ignore that very basic element and just dip shoes in water take a scrub and wow the shoe is clean.
Consider cleaning your shoes by using a soft bristle brush to scrap of dirt first before you embark on having warm water and some detergent to do the trick while using a soft sponge.
q: Are sports shoes versatile?
Sports shoes are not just running shoes--so if you need running specific shoes you will need a different pair of shoes. The best sports shoes, however, are designed to really versatile and multi-functional. While you can use them for running, it is best to only use these for very short distances.
The best sports shoes should allow for the right traction and grip for athletic activities--from Zumba and HIIT classes to CrossFit or Bootcamp style workouts.
q: Can I use sports shoes for running?
Absolutely! Most sports require a modest amount of running, which means that they are up to the task! However, you may want to invest in a dedicated pair of sneakers for running in a few instances. If you love long-distance running, or you need a little extra support, we suggest investing in a good pair of stability trainers.
These sports shoes are great, but they won’t provide you with the same level of support and cushioning found in dedicated running shoes.
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