The Best Training Shoes for Sports & Working Out Reviewed
There are many elements to properly working out and exercising. There are hundreds of different fitness regimes that one can pursue to get into shape. One of the most popular workout methods is training. Training involves a wide range of skills to cover the entire body. Some train for marathons and some train for organized sports. For the same consideration in shoes, one would need a well-fitting shoe. Not wearing proper shoes when training can damage the foot, ankles, and legs. Not to mention if the shoes being improper for the sport causes a fall to the athlete.
When investing your time and efforts into training for something long-term it is worth the expenditure to research and purchase a great quality training shoe. When examining the shoes it is important to consider breathability of the upper (the part around your actual foot), the amount of overall support, the amount and height of the arch support, and the traction.
- ASICS GEL Venture 5
- Rearfoot GEL Cushioning
- New Balance MX608v4
- Pull Tab at Heel
- PUMA Tazon 6 FM
- Synthetic Leather Upper
All of those considerations need to be weighed against the type of sport or working out you will be actively doing. A shoe that is suited for walking will not be sufficient for weightlifting or aerobics. Below are the top 10 shoes that are the best when training for sports and working out.
10 Best Training Shoes for Sports & Working Out
1. ASICS Gel Venture 5
With this option, so many handicapped people can enjoy the comfort of these shoes. ASICS brings a revolution to a typical athletic shoe. Now handicapped individuals can enjoy working out again by having a top-rated shoe that can accommodate medical orthotics.
Rearfoot Gel Technology Cushioning System
The gel cushion system in this shoe is like walking on air. It is exactly what athletes need when doing their exercise routine. Have the proper cushioning under the heel prevents fatigue and allows the individual to push through for ultimate results.
Cost and Value
This is the absolute best value for this type of shoe. It is in a price range that everyone can afford in order to start their fitness and health lifestyle. Not only is this shoe a great purchase for beginners, the value of the shoes is justifiable for advanced athletes as well.
- AHAR outsole rubber in critical high-wear areas
- Great arch support
- Very flexible without feeling lose
- Reinforced sole for high impact areas
- Shoe creases across toes when bent in frequently
2. New Balance MX608v4
By designing the shoe with a dual-density collar it has one layer of foam that is soft for cushioning adjacent to the foot and then a layer of firmer density foam for the support that athletes demand.
The shank of a shoe is the part that runs through the sole bed. Having an internal shank reinforces the entire sole of the shoe. It provides a firm platform for the rest of the shoe to be built upon.
Cost and Value
These shoes are an incredible value. They start in a very low investment range for an athletic shoe. As well as being high-rated and from a company with a great brand, you can trust these shoes to be of the best quality even for a lower price point.
- Accommodates wider feet without being bulky
- Non-marking rubber outsole
- Pull tab at heel for ease in putting the shoes on
- Great arch support
- Laces are slick and do not stay tied
- Ankle padding wears down easily
3. ASICS Gel Nimbus 16
Complete with guidance line construction this provides middle of the foot durability and enhanced gait efficiency. This helps keep feet in line when walking to assist with posture overall and prevents fatigue of the muscles.
Plus 3 Midsole Technology
The shoes are equipped with a 3 mm additional height platform built into the shoe. It has been shown to relieve common problems associated with Achilles tension which can affect the legs, ankles, and feet overall.
Cost and Value
While these shoes come in the midrange of prices, ASICS have been making shoes for over 100 years. That is quality trust they have earned. Buyers can be certain that when purchasing from ASICS they are buying a shoe that will last a long time.
- Discrete eyelets
- Heel clutching system
- Whole foot gel designed shock absorbing technology
- FluidFit technology makes shoe fit like a glove
- Cushioned arch support
- Runs narrow
- Toe section wears easily and can rip
4. PUMA Tazon 6 FM
For a shoe to take the brunt of a workout it needs to absorb the impact before it sends shock waves through the person working out. This is especially true for people that do high-endurance workouts as they are moving frequently. These types of athletes need a shoe that can absorb as much impact as possible.
The importance of having a manmade upper is it alleviates a lot of problems and quality control issues with irregularities. The quality of a shoe that is at least party handmade is higher than those put together on an assembly line.
Cost and Value
The PUMA Tazon 6 comes in at a low price starting point. It is a great investment because the shoe will last a long time. Quality standards guarantee this shoe for durability and longevity. With such a low initial investment, every buyer can be assured with their purchase.
- Rubber sole
- Midfoot saddle
- Synthetic leather upper
- Short break in period of a few days
- Impact absorbing
- Heavy and clunky
- Stiffer than others in the category
5. Nike Tanjun
Providing a padded collar and tongue for the user means extra support for the wearer. It also helps to stabilize the ankle to help prevent ankle rolls and injury. A padded tongue is for comfort again the top of the foot when bracing the laces.
Foam midsole and outsole
Extra foam being applied to the midsole and outsole gives extra support and cushion. By using foam, it takes the bulk and weight out of the shoe leaving this shoe lightweight and soft for absorption.
Cost and Value
Nike is a the most recognizable brand in athletic shoes but luckily the shoes are not astronomical. In fact, they come in at a price where most other shoes in this category fall. Buyers will confident in purchasing the Tanjun based upon the legacy that Nike has built. Their quality is high-rated and the value of these shoes will last.
- Made from mesh for high breathability
- Rounded toe silhouette
- Thick synthetic outsole
- Full-length Phylon midsole
- Shock absorbing
- Not strong side walls
6. On Cloud
By changing the soles innovations were made that reshaped the previous cloud sole elements. The also increased the grip pads and updated the central channel to make the shoe more suitable for all activities.
This shoe has an unmatched step-in feel. The sockliners were updated with a dual-density material to make the shoe even more luxurious. The ON shoe provides a cloudlike feel without the added bulk into the foot bed.
Cost and Value
The ON shoe is in the higher price range of the shoes we reviewed. However, the company wants all buyers to be more than 100% satisfied with their purchase. If for any reason you are unhappy they have a liberal exchange policy. The shoes have only been on the market for a few years but are received with great reviews so the durability is fairly certain that the upfront cost will be backed with a great value shoe.
- Breathable mesh upper
- Easy tie non-slip laces
- Lightweight sole with great traction grooves
- Cloudlike landing and firm take off
- Newer company
- Too shallow to accommodate orthotics
7. Hoka One One Bondi 5
The shaft is what provides rigidness to the shoe and the arch being offset 3" translates to a super cushioned run. The 3" is reinforced layers that strive to be the most comfortable innersole area on any competition shoe.
Important aspect 2
Otherwise known as the "rocking chair", this intuitive midsole design has a purpose. It has a low heel to tow differential and sculpted outsoles. Thus, allowing a complete roll through movement and perfected gate with every landing impact to toe-off step.
Cost and Value
These shoes are definitely at the higher price range but an outstanding and thoughtfully designed shoe should be. Engineering attributes have made this shoe so high tech for runners as well as people just wearing them every day. So, if you are walking around your house or preparing for a 10K, this shoe will withstand the work it is put through.
- Breathable mesh upper
- 3D Puff Print Frame
- Compression properties for stability
- Zonal rubber installed in high impact areas to resist wear
- Good for people that walk or stand a lot at their job
- Clunky and heavy compared to others in the category
- Soles separate easily
8. Nike Air Max Torch 4
Whatever workout conditions you are faced with while wearing these shoes, do not worry. They have advanced traction control treads for the toughest runs in the rain all the way to keeping you stable on the aerobic benches.
Breathability and flexibility are a must for avid runners and for people that work up a sweat some other way. In these shoes the entire upper leather portion is made of a highly breathable mesh material to keep your feet dry all day.
Cost and Value
Nike has built a brand on dependability and quality. The same is true for these shoes. They start in our upper mid-range price selection but with the backing of the company they have and dependability Nike has grown from trust, buyers can be confident with their purchase.
- Good for wearing every day and not just for exercise training
- Scuff resistant
- Shock absorbing/impact resistant
- Fits narrow feet
- Runs small and narrow
- Cons can be found on amazon reviews
9. Adidas Ultra Boost 3.0
The torsion system on this show was specifically designed to provide for a stable ride. It makes the athlete feel more protected and can allow one to enjoy their workout without fearing a fall or injury as a result of ill-fitting shoes.
Continental rubber outsole
Whether inside working out in a gym or outside with the CrossFit crew, these shoes are made to handle a numerous amount of conditions and surfaces. It provides extraordinary traction in wet or dry conditions.
Cost and Value
The Adidas Ultraboost 3.0 comes in at the higher end of the price range. It is a superior shoe produced by an amazing company that stands behind their products. Buyers should feel confident in their purchase of these shoes; confidence that they will last for years with proper care.
- Ultra-responsive cushioning
- Fit counter molded heal
- Supportive cage system wraps around the center
- Rubber soles with high durability
- Not thick enough to allow medical orthotics
- Sole comes detached from shoe easily
10. RYKA Influence
Designed to provide extreme cushioning in the heel and forefront of the shoe simultaneously. This was engineered this way in order to prevent fatigue on any one part of the foot. As well as to prevent injury if the whole shoe is absorbing the impact.
For ultimate breathability and air flow the shoe has a mesh and synthetic upper portion. It aims to keep feet dry and energized by allowing air flow to circulate through the shoe. Also, keeping the breeding grounds for fungus caused by wetness at bay.
Cost and Value
This RYKA Influencer shoe is at a strong price point. It falls just into the range with many other shoes in the category. It is not a large investment so it hopes to bring in many new customers and repeat customers by keeping the price at a point most people can afford.
- Rubber sole
- Blended eyelets for a uniform look
- Padded tongue and collar
- Direct-fuse support layers
- Runs narrow
These 10 shoes were the highest rated and withstood rigorous guidelines to even be considered for this list. All of these training shoes were explimary in structure and support, breathability, cushioning at levels to absorb high impact, and traction. Many of the shoes can be worn as every day shoes as well as for training for sports or working out.
The price range that we evaluated in had most shoes falling in the low to middle of the range with only a few falling into the upper middle to high price range. With low prices on my different options, everyone can afford to get a pair of training shoes and start on their path to wellness and health.
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Training Shoes for Sports and Working Out
A myriad of factors come into play when examining the best shoes for training. While it is important to have a shoe that is tailored specifically to a sport, for example, basketball, it is also convenient to have a shoe that is considered cross-genre in exercise. Picking a shoe that qualifies itself as the best training shoe for sports and working out needs to meet a large set of criteria. The most important thing in an exercise outfit is not the yoga pants or cut-up tank top. It is the shoes! Without the proper shoes, you risk injury to your feet, legs, or ankles. Worse yet, if the shoes are ill-fitting, it could cause a fall and a much more serious injury to the back or head.
The overall fit is the most important thing to judge a shoe by. Without it “feeling” good on your particular foot, the rest of the guidelines won’t matter. From the moment you put the shoe on your foot, if it feels off, then it will never become the best shoe for you. Once you decide that the shoe has at least a 9 out of 10 on overall fit, you can begin to examine the other categories to make sure you have the shoe that is right for you. When buying the shoe online it is a great idea to go and have your foot measured by a professional. Stop into any shoe store and have someone properly measure you. That will give you the best idea of what size to purchase when buying online. Remember that a size 7 in one brand will be slightly different than a 7 in another.
When putting a shoe on for the judgment phase, it is best to be wearing an athletic sock that you normally wear when working out or exercising. A thick sock will alter the feeling of the shoe versus trying it on with a thin sock or no sock at all.
What determines a properly fitting shoe and comfortable shoe? For a shoe to be proper fitting and endure the workouts that the owner will be putting it through, the shoes must be durable. By durable it is good to look for a stiff shoe; not so stiff it is like George Washington’s wooden shoes, but not so flimsy that the ankle support is non-existent and collapses when supporting the foot. By a shoe being too rigid and stiff, it can do injury itself to the foot and/or ankles.
Too stiff equates to the tightness level as well. A shoe is too tight when you put it on and it is uncomfortable and the laces barely tie even when they are stretched and extended. Think about it being too tight and cutting off circulation to the foot, the damage could become longterm from repeatedly wearing shoes that are too tight. Blisters can also be a result of too tight of a shoe from where the fabric of the shoe is chaffing the skin.
Furthermore, if a shoe does not feel comfortable right out of the box, do not keep it by thinking it will break in over time. Athletic shoes are not made to be “broken in” as that means they will become so broken in, they fall apart quickly. What you see or feel is what you get with athletic shoes.
Secondly, if the shoe is not stiff enough to keep the ankle and foot in place, not only do you risk rolling or spraining an ankle, one can start to suffer from shin splints. The whole alignment of the foot, ankle, and leg will be awkward when exercising if the foot is bouncing inside the shoe from step to step. Proper form when exercising is essential even if the activity is yoga with little movement to HIIT workouts with lots of movement.
Finally, a shoe that is proper for the types of activities performed while wearing trainer shoes has to have enough flexibility as most exercises require movement of the foot aside from a walking position.
Training shoes for sport and working out, need to have a great and durably constructed sole. There are many gimmicks to say that a sole is nicely constructed but do not get fooled. A good sole for a trainer shoe should be made of a high-quality rubber or foam with strong stitches. The soles of training shoes wear down pretty quickly because of the vast array of workouts that can be performed in them. Most of which are high-impact on the sole. Some of the shoes we reviewed had reinforced layers in the areas of the sole that typically wear the quickest. It is a great tip to buy a shoe with a reinforced sole if the activity you perform the most puts a lot of impact on specific parts of the sole.
Make sure to purchase a moderately thick sole as it will add to the longevity of the overall shoe. As well as it adding to the life of the shoe, a thick sole absorbs and protects the foot, ankles, and legs. Every impact whether walking or doing squat jumps is a jolt to the body. The only thing between your body and the floor is going to be the sole of that shoe.
Finally, pick a sole that has good traction. If working out indoors, and depending on the type flooring, many things could make it slick. Gyms, for example, that have wooden floors and people having sweat drop off of their body onto the floor, if not cleaned up a person could slip with low-traction shoes. Furthermore, if using your shoes outside in the rain, they need to provide grip. Regardless of the environment, no one wants to fall because the soles of the trainer shoes are slick. We looked while doing our evaluation of shoes for soles that had a varied thread pattern. This helps to distribute the weight throughout the shoe and to provide strong traction.
Material and Breathability
It is vitally important to pick a shoe that has a high breathability level based on the material it is constructed from. If the shoe cannot breathe, not only will this cause a terrible smell inside the shoe, but it can set up a perfect breeding ground for fungus and germs. Therefore, the life of the shoe is cut dramatically short and will need to be replaced sooner. Also, the fungus can transpose to the skin of the foot and give the person the fungus.
Moisture inside of the shoe can also cause blisters from water being trapped against the skin. Blisters can make one’s foot uncomfortable to even walk on and the person will possibly have to forego working out until the blisters heal. Blisters also open up a chance for infection on the foot if the blister does not heal.
A shoe needs to preferably be made of a mesh or mesh-like material on the upper portion so that it can breathe as much as possible. By the shoe breathing, it keeps the person working out more comfortable and they can continue to work out longer. Mesh also allows for a small bit of stretch in the material which can accommodate feet swelling when working out or playing sports.
Picking a shoe with a good and strong arch support is imperative to the protection of your foot. For some people, this can mean purchasing a shoe that has a removable footbed because the arch is flat and does not need any extra cushion. Further, ensuring the correct arch support helps the shock absorption of the shoe. Otherwise, some individuals need to purchase special medical orthotics because their arch requires more support than the show provides for. In this case, one needs to consider a shoe that has a good enough interior height to accommodate the foot as well as special inserts. Measuring the thickness of the foot and the insert required and comparing it to the room inside the shoe will let you know if it can handle the two without pinching or putting too much pressure on the foot.
A main point to consider when examining the arch support is the quarters, otherwise knowns as the areas around the heel upper. The heel quarter is reinforced with a stiffener made to aide in the heel support portion of the arch. Some are one piece and others are constructed of multiple pieces sewn together. The quarter is also what keeps the heel in place during exercise to prevent injury from not landing securely on the heel. That is not possible if the heel is not secured inside the shoe.
Another part of the arch support is the shank. This is the portion of the shoe that runs from the front to the back and directly underneath the arch. The shank can be made of a few different materials such as steel and reinforced rubber that is compacted. The arch support will fail if the shank is not made to outlast any other part of the shoe. Picking the proper material to make the shank is in direct relation to the viability of the arch.
With all of this being said, and to go more in depth regarding the construction of the arch support, there is a component called the waist. The waist is not only just the arch, but it is, in fact, the step of their foot that impales the welt. The welt is the part that joins the upper part of the shoe to the sole. During the first half of one’s stance, the arch deflects, inferiorly stretching the many muscles and ligaments that hold the arch together inside the foot. While these tissues are trying to recoil in the second phase of the gait, releasing elastic energy to help raise one’s body center point in the matter of a millisecond. If a particular material that is not strong enough or designed to properly support the arch is used to make certain shoes, it will very much weaken the intrinsic muscles and also increase the likelihood of a “low” or collapsed arch; also known as planos. Over time and wear of the shoe, this could lead to the arch’s ability act as a spring and shock absorber. It is imperative to select a cross trainer shoe that will fully support the arch as it is constructed from very high-quality materials. One should think while choosing the support level of their shoe to avoid any impact on the tarsal and metatarsal bones. This is the body’s natural shock absorber; they need proper protection from the correct arch support.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What’s a trainer shoe?
A: A trainer shoe is a versatile athletic shoe that can be worn for many different exercises. It is a good shoe for walking, running, sprints, aerobic activity, CrossFit, and more. This is the main reason for the popularity of the cross trainer shoe.
Q: What makes a good cross trainer shoe?
A: A good cross trainer shoe needs to fit the following criteria: made of a good breathable material such as mesh, a thick sole for proper shock absorption, a solid tread pattern for stability and resistance from slips, and a strong arch support to prevent injury or collapsed arches. The shoe also needs to be a good stiffness to support the sides of the foot and the ankles from rolling while exercising.
Q: Is a training shoe good for walking?
A: While there are shoes specifically designed for only walking, it is better to purchase a cross trainer type shoe if you plan to do anything other than walking in the said shoe. Otherwise, the foot, ankle, legs, etc. will not be properly supported and you risk injury to your body without the proper footwear.
Q: Is a training shoe good for running?
A: A training shoe is a great option for running if it meets certain criteria. Running shoes are made specifically for running and high-impact. A good running shoe needs to have a good roll-through flexibility, meaning the ability to follow through with the landing on the heel to the roll through and take off on the ball of the foot. Most cross trainer shoes will fit this category.
Q: Are cross trainer shoes for good high arches?
A: Cross trainer shoes are a perfect solution for individuals with high arches as they are generally designed with high cushion inside the insole to cup the arch. However, depending on the height of your arch, you might need to order additional medical orthotics to make sure the foot arch is entirely cradled. Then, you must take into account the interior shoe accommodation for an addition insert it if is needed. You must not get such an insert that the foot will not fit without pressure against the top of the foot.
Q: What material is best for a great cross trainer shoe?
A: When selecting a new cross trainer it is important to pick a shoe that has a high breathability. It is a worst case scenario to purchase a shoe that restricts airflow. Not only will the shoes stink but they will be trapping moisture against your skin. That sets up a petri dish for fungus, germs, and blisters. Usually mesh is the the best material for a cross trainer shoe to be constructed from.
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