Best Aerobic Shoes Reviewed for Performance
Having become popular in the 80s, aerobics is a high-intensity type of exercise that his highly customizable, and is available for anyone, anywhere. It began as a simple rhythmic callisthenic and evolved to cover and draw from dance, stepping, the use of free weights, kickboxing, and forms of martial arts. Being rhythmical, an excellent way to get the heart rate up, and a varied form of exercise, it is completely understandable why it has such a huge following, decades after it was first practiced.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 105 hrs of research
EVA Sock Liner
Micro G Foam Cushioning
- Under Armour Micro G Assert 7
- Adidas CrazyTrain Elite
- Ryka Hydro Sport
- ASICS Conviction X 2
- New Balance 608v4
- K-Swiss ST329 CMF
- Nike Metcon 4
- Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2
- Ryka Tenacity
- Ryka Influence
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Under Armour Micro G Assert 7
EVA Sock Liner
Micro G Foam Cushioning
No Wide Sizes
Your feet will breather while landing those moves in these Under Armour shoes. They are made of a light foam and mesh in the upper, giving a good amount of breathability, while leather overlays provide stability to your midfoot. The sock liner is constructed with EVA, and the Micro G Foam down the length of the shoe takes care of shock absorption and energy return. Traction points at the high impact zone make the shoe stable and light, and the solid rubber outsole is non-marking, making it a good choice for gym floors. It’s worth to note that these are neutral shoes, made for those with regular arches.Read more
EVA Sock Liner
The EVA sock liner in this shoe will give you a custom, comfortable fit along with providing your feet with some security and stability. A good athletic shoe hugs the foot and this will do that in spades.
There is leather on the upper for midfoot stability, however, the Under Armour Micro G Assert 7 is mainly with mesh that is both extremely adaptable and great for allowing plentiful airflow. This will ensure that your foot is comfortable and cool, and with the lower amount of moisture inside the shoe, you are less likely to develop any blisters or hot spots.
Cost and Value
These shoes are mid-range in terms of price but for that cost, you are getting a high quality, meant for exercise, lightweight shoe that will leave your feet feeling great even after a high-impact workout. The Assert 7 comes in a variety of color options, so you can even purchase a pair that matches your favorite workout outfits.
2. Adidas CrazyTrain Elite
Breathable Mesh Upper
Multi-directional Traction Outsole
Stabilizing TPU Bar
This style by adidas was developed with cross training in mind, giving you the perfect combination of features that will work for a variety of movement types. With a comfort-oriented upper, a well cushioned sole, and multi-directional traction pattern that will keep your footing secure even on slick gym floors, it’s a winner style that has a large number of fans around the world. With a selection of a number of colors and gender-specific designs, these might just become your next go-to training shoes.Read more
Running and sport-specific footwear by adidas, at least those models which are made to give the best possible performance, all feature Boost cushioning - sole made with exceptional shock absorbing properties and with unparalleled energy return. An added bonus is the stabilizing TPU bar that allow for better stability without sacrificing flexibility.
The upper on the CrazyTrain Elite is made with mesh, which is a breathable material that weighs next to nothing and allows for excellent range of motion. However, in order to provide better stability, a more secure fit and a better locked in feel, it is reinforced in the midfoot area, giving a better level of lateral stability.
Cost and Value
Like all footwear made by adidas, especially that which includes their best cushioning technologies, the CrazyTrain Elite is quite expensive. Nonetheless, if your budget allows it, then splurging on this pair of footwear is more than worth it, seeing that you’ll be getting a versatile pair of footwear that will check all the boxes when it comes to the perfect pair of shoes for aerobics exercise.
3. Ryka Hydro Sport
Requires Breaking In
The Ryka Hydro Sport is a hybrid shoe designed for both aerobics and water sports. The unique constellation of features it offers, which includes materials that are water resistant, removable footbeds, and webbing ideal for workouts that are done in and around water make this a shoe you should definitely consider. There’s no specific way an aerobic workout has to be designed to provide the most benefit, but if yours involves water these are the shoes for you.Read more
The functionality of the RYKA Hydro Sport shoes is reflected in its removable, perforated nitracel footbed, as well as the drainage ports in the soles, ensuring that these sneakers dry out quicker than normal. They have a thick outsole made of a “sticky” rubber that maximizes traction on wet surfaces, and it’s made even easier for use thanks to the easy slip on and off design.
These shoes are made from a synthetic and mesh fabric upper that is quick drying and water resistant. The material is also chlorine resistant and forms a comfortable spongy wall around your foot. The webbing along the midfoot cage provides excellent medial and lateral support. These are perfect for high-intensity water aerobics, but would also do quite well in an aerobics class that has you perspiring like crazy.
Cost and Value
The RYKA Hydro Sport, cross trainers that are specifically designed for water aerobics and sports, have features that will enhance your aerobic experience and leave you feeling fresh and accomplished when you’re done. Their water resistant and chlorine resistant construction ensures that you won’t have to spend your entire workout in soaking wet shoes, especially thanks to their unique drainage system. For the price, there are no better quick drying shoes whether or not you wear them to the pool, on wet trails, or in a high-intensity aerobics class.
4. ASICS Conviction X 2
Lace Garage Technology
Unsuitable for Outside Use
Although ASICS is best known for their running shoes made with the famous GEL cushioning, the Conviction X 2 is actually aimed at those who want a stellar pair of footwear to wear during their high-intensity workouts where they need a good amount of support and an upper that won’t interfere with their performance. This is the second, updated edition of the Conviction X, and one of the biggest improvements includes the seamless upper that promotes a better fit that won’t cause any problems, even for those with more sensitive feet.Read more
Better Moisture Management
If you’re looking at participating in any difficult training, you can expect your feet to sweat quite a bit. The Conviction X 2 features a perforated sockliner that was developed with the sole purpose of offering the best of two worlds - a soft, comforting feel to the foot and a good level of moisture management that will prevent blisters, odors and infections.
Superior Lacing System
The closure system on your shoes is often forgotten about until it becomes problematic. The ASICS Conviction X 2 completely eliminates such problems by including a pair of sturdy laces in these shoes. The Lace Garage Technology is a hidden pocket in the tongue that allows you to tuck the laces in, preventing you from stepping on them, tripping, or from them getting untied while you work out.
Cost and Value
The price point for the ASICS Conviction X 2 is quite high compared to the other items on this list, but that’s to be expected from a brand such as ASICS. Also important to note is the fact that it’s a seamless pair of sneakers, as well as that it offers a firm and stable platform, which may even make it a good choice for weightlifting in addition to aerobics.
5. New Balance 608v4
Some aerobic shoes are thin and fit tightly around the foot, while others are thicker and firmer with extra padding and shock absorption. The New Balance 608V4 definitely falls in the latter category, as it is a sturdy pair of sneakers that offer a great deal when it comes to comfort and protection. Whether you decide to wear the 608 for aerobics class, for home workouts, or even for everyday wear. You’ll love the non-marking rubber outsole that is made with flex grooves which provide the best possible flexibility to ensure easy movement.Read more
The New Balance 608v4 has a thick rubber outsole that is more stable than some other models on this list. Because the materials in the upper are leather and synthetic, it has a firmer feel around your feet - comfortable for those doing intense aerobic workouts. It also makes use of an internal shank that provides additional support, especially in the midfoot area.
With its extra padded collar and tongue, there’s enough cushion to prevent irritation, and the collar extends past the ankle bone for added stability. Its shock-absorbing Abzorb technology minimizes the impact from aerobics and diffuses it along the IMEVA midsole. Since aerobic activities can involve a lot of high impact interval training, this is a welcome feature.
Cost and Value:
New Balance is a brand known for making fine athletic footwear with quality materials. They pay attention to what their customers want and then spend time researching and developing the best way to implement their needs into the designs of their shoes. For a cross trainer that provides the sort of support and comfort needed for vigorous aerobic exercise, this shoe is a great bargain. It also fits wide feet!
6. K-Swiss ST329 CMF
Memory Foam Footbed
High Grip Outsole
Shock Absorbing Heel
No Wide Sizes Available
The ST329 was originally designed as a tennis shoe, developed by K-Swiss as their signature pair of athletic footwear. Thanks to it’s quality make, leather upper, and super shock absorbing cushioning, it’s a durable pair of shoes that will work not only for tennis, but aerobics or just regular lifestyle use as well. It’s got a thick rubber outsole with generous tread that works well on a variety of indoor and outdoor surfaces, while boasting some comfort elevating features on the inside that make it stand out from similarly priced shoes.Read more
The K-Swiss ST329 CMF is made from high-quality leather on the upper anda thick rubber sole that has maximum shock absorption. It also boasts a deep multi-dimensional tread, perfect for tennis but also for aerobics where quick footwork and rapidly changing movements require non-slip designs to prevent injury. The area around the heel cup is reinforced with dual foam to ensure the most energy return. Their sleek, streamlined look also helps them go from the gym to the street without a second thought.
These shoes have been specifically designed for comfort, and though your aerobic exercise may only last an hour, these shoes could be worn for many more. Orthotic inserts aren’t needed when these shoes have custom made memory foam footbeds, allowing you ease of movement, freedom from joint pain, and the feeling of walking on air.
Cost and Value
K-Swiss may have had their origins in tennis, but these elite sneakers can be used for a variety of athletic purposes. These durable sneakers are built to last, and can be used beyond the tennis courts thanks to great multi-directional traction on the bottom of the sole, extra bounce and energy return in the heel, and a memory foam footbed that cushions your feet and protects them from fatigue, especially if you’ll still be wearing these shoes well after your workout is over. Best of all? They’re affordable, ranking low on this list when it comes to price.
7. Nike Metcon 4
Sticky Rubber Outsole
Mesh Ankle and Heel Collar
Laces Too Long
A pair of sneakers made for various types of indoor exercise, the Nike Metcon 4 is the latest edition of Nike’s highest rated cross training shoe. An incredibly stylish choice with over 9 color options, it’s a pair of footwear you’ll greatly enjoy wearing during your high intensity aerobics classes. It’s made to be flexible but supportive in the upper, soft to the touch and breathable, stable and grippy in the outsole, and most importantly, durable, so that you can wear them for quite some time to come.Read more
Like a large number of Nike’s running shoes, the Metcon is also made from a textured mesh that has an increased durability to traditional mesh materials. But, in order to add a greater level of support, Flywire cables wrap up from the bottom of the shoe, around the midfoot, all the way to the top, enabling you to move in any way possible without having to worry about stability.
Stabilizing Heel Cup
What makes aerobics such an effective form of exercise is the variety of movement types it can incorporate. From jumping, stepping, lateral movement, and even dance inspired moves, it will push you to your limits. The Nike Metcon 4 allows you to do all of this, thanks to the stabilizing heel cup that ensures a good footing with plenty of ankle stability to prevent sprains and injury.
Cost and Value
Nike footwear comes expensive, and the same goes for the Metcon 4. First and foremost, it’s the latest edition of the model, making use of high quality materials which were developed with high performance in mind. Second, it’s a stylish piece of footwear that looks so good you might even be tempted to wear it as a pair of everyday shoes.
8. Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2
Sticky Rubber Outsole
Welded Upper Overlays
Secure Lacing System
0 mm Drop
This pair of cross training shoes is so versatile, you will be able to use it for all of your workouts, be it aerobics, jumping rope, running or weightlifting. It’s made with a 0 mm drop, putting your body in a completely neutral position that won’t push you towards your toes. It only comes in two colors, but you won’t care about its appearance once you consider all the performance features it offers, including the extremely light weight that will allow you to train longer with less fatigue.Read more
The best part of the F-Lite 235 v2 is the outsole made with a sticky rubber compound that will grip all indoor gym surfaces, no matter of the way or direction in which you’re moving. 3 mm traction lugs allow for excellent surface grip, and the Meta-flex technology allows your foot to move in an unconstricted way, giving excellent flexibility in all directions.
The best workout footwear will give you a snug fit that’s neither too loose, nor too constricting. Hitting the sweet spot, the F-Lite 235 v2 is made with a breathable upper that allows a good level of moisture management, but wraps the foot with welded overlays for a more secure training session.
Cost and Value
Ranking above average when it comes to price, the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2 may be a bit too expensive for some people, but if you’re in need of a versatile pair of sneakers for a variety of training sessions, then it’s definitely worth the investment. You’ll appreciate the fact that these shoes are quite durable, so you’ll be able to use them for more than just a few months.
9. Ryka Tenacity
Hook and Loop Closure
High Top Style
The Ryka Tenacity is a cross trainer that looks like something out of Back to the Future II. It sits higher on the ankle and resembles more of a boot than a shoe. It’s ideally suited for dance training and aerobic workouts in a gym setting that might combine weights. It’s not as lightweight as other RYKA shoes, but some wearers will welcome the added stability of a little more rubber, padding, and upper materials.Read more
This is the only high top shoe featured on this list, and because of its 4” shaft measurements, it goes well beyond the ankle bone and wraps around to provide lots of support and stability. The adjustable hook and loop strap lets you customize the fit to your own preference. It is made of a combination of mesh and synthetic materials, giving you lots of breathability but also flexibility.
The Tenacity can be worn for your aerobic workout, your gym session, or even out and about, with its youthful, futuristic style. RYKA has put some time into the design of this shoe, making it both fashionable and functional. It also features an N-gauge EVA foam pad under the forefoot so that calf exercises will be a breeze, and dance workouts involving leg extension or pronation will be comfortable. Their design also allows for easy pivoting, essential in aerobics classes. They require almost no break in time so you can get right to your workout without any problems!
Cost and Value
RYKA has put a lot of thought and care into the design of the RYKA Tenacity, culminating in the perfect shoe for both aerobics, dance, and a gym session. Their high top design supports the ankle, while the N-gage EVA foam pad supports the forefoot. The highly breathable mesh design keeps your feet cool and dry, and the synthetic components bring the support and the style. The addition of a hook and loop lacing system means you can easily adjust the fit of the shoe throughout your workout. For the price, they’re definitely one of the best aerobic shoes on the market, particularly if you dig a retro style.
10. Ryka Influence
A brand known for colorful shoe designs that fit a wide variety of active lifestyles, RYKA has geared the RYKA Influence specifically towards high-impact fitness lovers. It is a more lightweight shoe than other cross trainers, perfect for aerobics and all the maneuverability it requires. It has a glove-like feel and unique features for flexibility that will allow you to blast through your workouts and achieve results.Read more
For fitness enthusiasts wanting a lightweight, springboard-like feel to their aerobic shoes, the flex-foil and direct-fuse layers of the RYKA Influence provide support for lateral movements while cushioning direct pressure points. The narrowed heel and roomy forefoot are perfect for athletes with specific wearing requirements. The increased instep volume and more secure footbed give a fit that is stable and flexible enough to match the pace of any aerobic workout.
These shoes have arch support where it counts due to the medial post, a key component of their comfortable feel. With a dual foam midsole you’ll have lots of cushions, and the ergonomically designed sole, including a pivot point, lets you enjoy natural movement through your fitness activity. The great traction provided by the outsole (in the shape of a foot no less) keeps you stable and upright.
Cost and Value
RYKA is a brand renowned for its innovation and versatility. Its attention to detail and customized features help it stay fresh and current in a market saturated with athletic shoes. It knows that certain shoe designs are appropriate for certain activities, and it’s made the Influence to be one of the best aerobic shoes out there. Its lightweight feel, direct-fuse layers, and ergonomic cushion ensure you’ll get the most out of your workout sessions.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
A good aerobic workout will leave you sweating and breathing hard. Your feet should not have to work as hard to breathe. A breathable shoe is important when you’re exercising to keep your foot comfortable and dry. Good aerobics shoes will allow air to circulate near your feet to regulate their temperature. This is especially important if you have sweaty feet or if you suffer from athlete’s foot or other skin condition.
Breathability in shoes is achieved in a number of ways. Shoe manufacturers can use:
Portholes – add small holes at the sides that allow air in and that work really well in a leather or synthetic leather upper.
Mesh or Canvas – which provide great breathability as well, although, canvas does tend to be a little too stiff for aerobics.
Cut Ventilation – added ventilation in the sole that is really great for wet conditions like water aerobics.
The best ventilation in an aerobics shoe is provided by mesh uppers. This allows air in all around the foot while still providing for a shoe that hugs the top of your foot, keeping it in a good, stable position.
Poor ventilation can cause your feet to stay uncomfortable, sweaty and hot which will ruin the workout. Retaining sweat inside the shoe will also lead to a build-up of microbes and an unpleasant smell. We recommend that you allow your shoes to air out after use, no matter what type of ventilation it may have. We also recommend wearing a fresh pair of natural fiber socks while in your aerobics class, to keep your feet and your shoes in their very best shape.
Whether you are participating in lower or modified impact aerobics or high-impact, high-energy kickboxing aerobics classes, your feet need to stay comfortable throughout. The amount of cushioning you need and where will depend on the shape of your foot and your preference.
For those with high arches, padding around the tongue and top of the foot will be important. Some people will prefer to have a little thicker padding around the ankle. Most importantly for aerobics though are:
Cushioned, fitted insole
The bottoms of your feet take a pounding during aerobics. A passed, fitted insole will help to soften those blows and keep your feet from becoming sore and exhausted.
EVA or other cushioned midsole
No one thinks about the midsole until they go home to soak their feet in an Epsom bath. EVA is a material that is firm but cushioned to absorb the impact of your weight as you walk, jump, kick or, yes I am going to say it, do burpees. Gel materials also work well. If the shoes have memory foam, the foam should be thicker rather than thin. The all-over shock absorption and cushion are important for the ongoing comfort of your feet.
Extra heel cushioning
Your heels are designed to take some impact. They evolved with a little shock absorption of their own but they can always use a little help, especially while doing aerobics. Extra cushioning in the heel will prevent fatigue.
Other factors will contribute to your comfort as well. A good aerobics shoe will close properly with traditional laces or with velcro straps, to ensure a proper, firm but not tight fit. It will also be constructed of quality materials that won’t cause sore spots or irritation while working out. Overall, look for these extra comfort features when you are considering a shoe for aerobics.
When considering fit, the shoe should not be loose. You want the perfect snug but not tight hug. Your feet should not lose circulation especially while working out. Because feet swell with exercise, they should be adjustable. If you want a little extra support in the ankle, choose a high top that is well fitting and adjustable.
If you have high arches, look for a shoe with extra arch support so it fits the bottom of your foot well, or choose to wear a custom insole or orthotic. Make sure there is enough room for your toes, to avoid having them compressed during the workout. The better the fit, the more comfortable you and your feet will be.
Aerobics exercise requires a lot of flexibility to move safely and smoothly through the various exercises at a pace that benefits your body. Jumping, running, kicking, the dreaded burpee, squatting, and scissor kicks all require that we support our body weight while making the most of the flexibility in our joints. They also require a shoe that can move to keep pace with the rest of our body.
When it comes to flexibility, the perfect aerobics shoe has:
A pliable sole. Rubber is an excellent choice.
A flexible, not too stiff upper.
More support if you have flatter feet; and
Greater flexibility if you have high arches.
What to avoid
Rubber that is too thick. It should be able to fold in on itself or have cut grooves that allow it to fold.
Soles that are too thin or too flexible, you will not have enough stability (kind of like trying to run a marathon in a pair of flip-flops)
Rigid soles (like chemically hardened rubbers) that will not flex.
The ability to move in the shoe also means the ability to pivot. Pivoting is an important part of most aerobics routines these days. A good aerobics shoe will have traction in the right places to keep you safe on your feet while pivoting. In an aerobics shoe, traction is most important in the forefoot because you pivot using the ball of the foot and all of the pressure of your body weight and momentum is on the ball at the moment of the pivot. Look for a shoe that has good traction in the forefoot and most especially under the ball of the feet.
Most shoe manufacturers don’t make anything they call an aerobics shoe. This is because they know that aerobics is a varied exercise that may be best suited to a cross-trainer, a running shoe, a trail runner, a water shoe, or a cross-fit type shoe. What you need will be based entirely on the type of aerobics you want to participate in.
look for a shoe that has extra shock absorption and excellent traction, like cross-training shoes and trail runners.
For low-impact, modified aerobics, look for good traction and lots of cushion and support in the insole. You also, as much as possible, want to have a shoe that is lightweight.
For dance aerobics, look for a shoe that has extra flexibility, is lightweight, and shock absorbing.
The bonus of looking for an athletic shoe that will suit the type of aerobics that you want to do is that you will have a shoe that you can also wear to participate in other sports and activities. Take that aerobics class on Monday and go ahead on to cross-fit on Tuesday. Go from the gym to a run on the trail. Whatever your life style, an aerobics shoe will be versatile.
No matter how you get your exercise, there is sure to be a shoe on this list to suit your needs.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Aerobics are a wonderful activity to help you burn calories, lose weight, and get better cardiovascular endurance. There are several kinds of aerobics you can get involved with, whether it be classes like step, spinning, dance or zumba, each will get your heart rate up and pumping.
Go out of your comfort zone for some fun, and sign up for a new class you've never done before-you'll feel accomplished, energized, and learn something different!
While aerobics can help you lose weight and get in shape, it's really down to changing your lifestyle habits that can help you stick to your healthy lifestyle. Here are a few beginner tips to help you in the kitchen:
1). Sit down for breakfast: carve out the time in your busy day to actually ENJOY your breakfast, even if it's a quick 10 minute sitting in front of the window watching the sunrise.
2). Swap out things gradually: making small changes you can stick to in your nutrition can add up over time, and doing it in a gradual way will make you less likely to slip up. Swap out candy for fruits, fried foods for grilled foods, and sodas with sparkling waters.
Other Factors to Consider
Aerobic shoes come in an array of shapes and sizes, suitable for the beginner to the high-performance athlete. Though there is not one particular style of shoe you should exclusively use for this type of exercise, there are key features to look for – stability, traction, flexibility and comfort are important whether you’re hitting the gym or doing a home workout.
Whether you participate in high-impact, high-cardio, sweat until you drop aerobics, or low-impact, improving your health and flexibility aerobics, in the water or out, at home or as a break from your Iron Man training schedule, there is a shoe for you in this list.
Including a lot of high-impact movement, aerobics can take its toll on the body, which is why you want something that will take care of your feet. To prevent your muscles and joints from experiencing too much fatigue, discomfort or even pain, a high quality pair of shoes is crucial.
The right shoe for aerobics is a balance of stability so you move confidently, cushion to help you through those higher-impact moves, breathability to take care of sweat, and sturdy construction so they last. They don’t have to be expensive but they should be well built. We’ve gathered a list of the best shoes for aerobics for you to choose from below. Wearing any of these will let you focus on your moves without having to stop to think about your shoes. Happy Workout!
Frequently Asked Questions
Aerobics can encompass a lot of different types of activities from dance to calisthenics to yoga to stepping. It may be very high-impact or low or modified impact. As a result, a lot of different types of athletic shoes can be used for aerobics. What you want to look for are the specific features of the shoes that will be the most beneficial for your aerobic workout. Whatever your specific needs, you will find a shoe above that suits.
Cross-training sneakers are one of the best shoes for aerobics, because they’re designed to be used for a variety of different athletic activities. They’re great for basketball, for running, for the gym, and for HIIT. They often have great arch support, mesh for breathability and airflow, rubber for shock absorption, and provide a lot of stability without sacrificing flexibility. They range from very lightweight to a heavier shoe, depending on the fit and feel that athletes want. They are great for energy return and eliminating foot fatigue.
Aerobic shoes should generally feel lightweight and be snug but not tight on your feet. They should never feel tight or cut off circulation. Remember that your feet will swell after exercise to be sure to accommodate that. Also, see our criteria above for tips on a good fit.
Since aerobics shoes can be runners, cross-trainers, trail runners or another type of athletic shoe, they certainly can be used for other activities. However, if you regularly participate in aerobics and another form of exercise, like running or cross-fit, it is probably best to purchase a specialized pair for the other activity. Both pairs will last longer and you will not wear then down unevenly. Also, some gyms prohibit the use of shoes that are used outside, a good thing to keep in mind.