Your workout is only as good as the shoes on your feet. That’s especially true when it comes to cross-training, which calls for all kinds of movement: front to back, side to side, up and down, you name it.
If you’re going to go all-out in a HIIT or bootcamp workout, you need a shoe that can handle everything from box jumps and cardio machines to weight lifting. Not only will the right shoes enhance your performance, but a secure and comfortable fit can help you prevent injury, too.
Shop our top picks
Best For High-ImpactAir Zoom SuperRep 2 Training Shoes Nike Read More
Best Designed For WomenInfluence Training Shoes Ryka Read More
Best for HIITWomen's HIIT Training Shoe Reebok Read More
Best for Strength TrainingWomen's Minimus Tr Boa V1 New Balance Read More
Easiest Slip-OnFuelCore NERGIZE New Balance Read More
Why You Need Cross-Training
Mixing up the type of physical activity you do can help you avoid overtraining in any one domain—and therefore, avoid getting injured.
Of course, cross-training is a broad term that includes many fitness pursuits, each of which comes with its own perks. For example, one 2017 study from the European Journal of Applied Physiology found that high-intensity interval training boosted the metabolisms of exercisers past finishing as opposed to participants who exercised at a steady-state pace.
The Best Cross-Training Shoes
When it comes to finding the perfect shoe built for cross-training, there are a few things you should keep an eye out for. “I think it’s important to find a sneaker that provides a moderate amount of cushion and support without feeling bulky,” says Lindsey Clayton, a trainer at Barry's Bootcamp and co-founder of Brave Body Project.
But of course, different pursuits call for different shoe deets. To make shopping a little easier, we rounded up 18 cross-training shoes with rave reviews. We gave each of them a superlative, too, to help you find your match.
These next-level sneakers from Nike were constructed to absorb impact from high-intensity movement and provide cushion for lifts. They're made with a special plate that runs the length of your foot to support multidirectional movements by distributing pressure and activating responsive cushioning.
Rave review: "These have great traction for floor workouts, the design makes them perfect for burpees, and the wide heel base is great for squats. They hit on everything I do in my workouts and make for a more comfortable workout overall."
This shoe shines in high-impact studio workouts. You’ve got "Flex-Foil" layers that support lateral movement, midsole cushioning that targets pressure points for extra comfort, and an ergonomic design specifically made for women’s feet. What more could you want in a cross-trainer?
Rave review: "The MINUTE I put them on and walked around, I felt like my feet were sighing with relief and saying "finally"...They are lightweight, yet support your feet so well and have padding in all the right places."—Amanda F., amazon.com
Made for explosive movement, these sneakers were designed with stability, grip, and durability in mind. They offer targeted support and a secure fit that will get you through all your jumps.
Rave review: "These shoes are the perfect shoe for HIIT workouts. The shoes grip the floor and have a very comfortable base when doing squats."
—Debra Killen, amazon.com
These cross-trainers from New Balance are made with mesh fabric for increased ventilation and cushy foam for a customized fit. They're also designed with premium liners that allow you to go sock-free if you want to.
ICYMI, this New Balance cross trainer is both easy for slipping on and off your feet *and* is great for those who need arch support. Basically, you can wear these sleek, comfy shoes through all of your training needs without your feet feeling achy AF.
Rave review: "I love these shoes. They are great to slip on and go, match any outfit, and are super comfy."
These Cloud X's offer some of the best heel support thanks to a precision-molded heel cap. And the brand also touts the shoe's ability to help your foot better absorb impact.
Rave review: "Love the way this shoe fits and looks! They give me the stability during HIIT workouts that I’ve been looking for!!"
These trainers boast a breathable upper that helps keep your feet cool and dry. They weigh just 7.8 oz, so they won't weigh you down.
Rave review: "So good! I wear these 3-5x a week to a variety of classes at the gym and after 3 months they have held up very well! This was probably the 5th pair I tried and they were so worth it! Comfortable, durable, are TTS AND work well for running, HIIT and lifting."
One of the coolest features of these Hoka shoes is the unique lace-up closure with double eyelets, which delivers additional lockdown across the instep during quick movements. Plus, the open knit fabric is super breathable.
Rave review: "Use them at the gym for HIIT training! Easy to lunge in and do plyo movement then straight to the treadmill for a run. The shoes are comfortable, true to size, and are multi purpose."
If you’re looking for a cross-trainer that can help you crush your workout and score some serious Instagram likes, look no further than these trendy sneaks from Athletic Propulsion Labs (APL). Not only are they super light and breathable thanks to the Techloom upper, but they also feature a mid-cut silhouette that offers plenty of support and ankle stability. Go ahead, do it for the 'gram.
Rave review: "These are the best studio cross-trainers I’ve found. The perfect amount of grip and support, but still very light."
—Katie M., athleticpropulsionlabs.com
You can log miles and cross-train in the latest iteration of the Brooks Adrenaline. Their lightweight design allows you to move freely while still providing cushion. They also include new tech that helps limit excess foot movement that can harm your knees.
Rave review: "These shoes are like wearing supportive clouds on my feet. They actually position my foot and ankle properly so I don't have pain or fatigue."
—Jennifer B., amazon.com
These sneakers are made with cushioning and shock-absorption technology that truly makes each step comfortable no matter what terrain you're conquering. And with a design inspired by luxury sports cars, they're as fashionable as they are functional.
Rave review: "Great shoe for lifting and light cardio. I feel very stable when squatting or doing any leg work. I usually do cardio on the treadmill before lifting, and light running is easy in this shoe." —T. Williams, amazon.com
No need to lace these up. Instead, these sneakers come with a pair of straps that can be tightened according to your preference. And if sweaty feet is a concern, you'll love the breathable mesh fabric that they are made with.
Rave review: "I exercise at least five times a week and needed a good pair of cross-trainers. My instructor recommended Ryka. These are extremely comfy."
—Christy Picard, amazon.com
These cross-trainers come with three interchangeable insoles that you can swap out depending on what activity you're doing including:
lift. - 0mm drop - Stability. Ideal for weightlifting.
train. - 4mm drop - Versatility. Perfect for cross training
run. - 6mm drop - High impact. Built for running
Rave review: "I am extremely pleased with the Hylete shoe. It is the best training shoe I have ever worn. Very comfortable in the toe box and just the right cushioning in just the right place. The three different inserts are brilliant! I love being able to quickly switch out the insert to match the WOD. You will not regret buying these shoes! I love Hylete merchandise and have been telling all my CrossFit friends about them." —Whitney M., hylete.com
The perfect mix of cute and comfy, these sneakers by Stella McCartney and Adidas provide an ultra-secure fit to keep you moving, whether you're making it through dance cardio or circuit training. The knit upper is as cozy as it is breathable, BTW.
Rave review: "I really love these sneakers. They are so comfortable and so stylish. Jeans or gym wear, you can rock these! I receive compliments each time I wear them!!!"—Anonymous, adidas.com
These sneakers are designed to handle powerful movements thanks to their support cage and responsive cushioning. They're also constructed with a wide toe box to ensure you're comfortable while you perform. No squished toes here!
Rave review: "This was my first time purchasing a pair of Reebok's Nano Shoes and the Nano X is such a great shoe! I have been doing Crossfit for over 2 years, I'm used to being hard on my feet and doing high intensity workouts and these shoes kept my feet comfortable throughout the entire workout. My arches didn't get sore at all, which is a big win!"
—Taryn Whiteaker, amazon.com
Under Armour designed these sneakers with a foam that molds to your feet to maintain energy and limit the impact you feel with each step. Plus, webbed lacing locks your foot in place, giving you a secure, glove-like fit.
Rave review: "There is so much cushion inside the shoe I don’t even need to tighten the laces, I can even just slip them on and go. I love these shoes so much that I may even get a second pair just because!" —Shelbeee, dicksportinggoods.com
These NOBULL shoes were specifically designed for cross-training, and are on the stiffer side due to intentional guard plates that create a 360-degree shield around your foot.
Rave review: "Great shoe for cross-training. Stiff enough for lifting and flexible to get all the burpees done!" —Amy W., nobull.com
If you prefer a minimalist shoe, these Vibrams are the perfect cross-training shoe for you. The rubber sole offers just enough grip and support, while the Velcro straps help keep them secure during any workout.
Rave review: "I workout everyday and walk roughly 3 miles each evening at least 5 nights a week. I absolutely love these from yoga to lifting. I am a huge fan of walking barefoot, these help have a layer of safety between you and whatever if lying on the ground, but doesn't provide cushion for say walking on rocks and such. It is just like walking on them barefoot."
—A Harwood, amazon.com