While you can find specially designed shoes for activities as diverse as running and tennis, it’s nice — both for your wallet and for space in your closet — to have a pair of sneakers that you can wear for any type of workout. If you like to run, walk, lift weights and jump in cardio class, fitness experts recommend looking for sneakers that are designed for cross training, as they will support your feet in many ways.
The best cross-training shoes will provide two things: support and stabilization, says Julia Gautreau, CPT, trainer at Rumble Boxing. “When you’re running, jumping, or doing an exercise that puts a lot of stress on your legs, support and cushioning are key,” she tells Bustle. “And when you’re in a strength, weightlifting or boxing zone, stabilization is a must.”
Typically, that means looking for a pair of shoes with a little extra foam, more width at the bottom of the shoe, and a higher ankle height for support, says Heather Kiddoo, trainer and owner of Live Active 563. “If you’re going to do a workout that involves lateral movements like side lunges, skater jumps, or Cossack squats, you need a shoe with a lot of lateral stability,” Kiddoo tells Bustle.
Because they’re built for different movements, Kiddoo notes that cross-training shoes tend to look different, taller and bigger than your regular running shoes—but that’s the point. Keep scrolling for 11 of the best cross-training sneakers you can buy, according to fitness coaches.
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Julia Gautreau, CPT, Trainer at Rumble Boxing.
Heather Kiddoo, trainer and owner of Live Active 563.
Michele Riechman, DPT, trainer and physical therapist.
Isaac Robertson, CISSN and ISSA certified trainer and co-founder of Total Shape.
Andrew Lenau, ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and Sports Nutrition Specialist.
Sean Zetlin, trainer at Zetlin Fitness.
Chelsea Young, CPT, Certified Personal Trainer.
Katie Corio, Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach and Founder of Corio Fitness and Corio Active.
1. NoBull Trainer+
Kiddoo says she recommends the NoBull Trainer+ to her clients, especially those who wear running shoes to her gym to work out. “The NoBull is cushioned enough for running, but also has lateral stability for squatting, jumping and throwing,” she says. “Plus, it’s stable enough to squat in.”
The NoBull Trainer+ is made from breathable, abrasion-resistant fabric so you can run, jump, climb and sweat to your heart’s content. Thick toe armor provides extra grip on the surface for “explosive takeoffs and landings.” And there’s plenty of padding on the heel and collar for added comfort and a secure fit.
2. Nike Metcon
Gautreaux is all about the Nike Metcon, which she says strikes the perfect balance for strength and cardio training. “When I’m running around San Francisco all day, teaching and taking classes, I need a pair of shoes that can carry me between the two seamlessly.” She says she can hit the bag, hit the treadmill, and hit the weights in these .
This version of the Nike Metcon is stronger and more stable than previous versions of the shoe. It now comes with extra foam for more comfort, which is perfect whether you’re lifting or doing high-intensity cardio. “They get bonus points for having unisex and gender-neutral options in both fit and color,” Gautreau says.
3. ASICS Gel-Contend 6
Trainer and physical therapist Michele Riechman, DPT recommends Gel-Contend 6 by ASICS. “I really love this for summer and the hotter months,” she tells Bustle. “It gives a great fit and allows air to move in and out of the shoe.” That’s thanks to the breathable mesh upper.
Riechman notes that these ASICS are extremely sturdy and provide great arch support. Cushioning comes from the brand’s GEL® rearfoot technology, AMPLIFOAM™ midsole and OrthoLite™ sockliner.
4. Influence of Ryka
With over 9,000 positive reviews on Amazon, the Ryka Influence is perfect for low-impact workouts, dance fitness classes, long walks – basically anything you need or want to do. As an added bonus, they also look cute enough to wear around town while running errands.
Made from foam that cushions your feet on impact, the Influence also features a breathable mesh upper with faux leather for added durability. The padded heel and ergonomically shaped rubber sole also allow you to spin quickly and make easy turns during your workouts.
5. UnderArmor TriBase Reign
Isaac Robertson, a CISSN and ISSA certified trainer and co-founder of Total Shape, is a big fan of the Under Armor TriBase Trainer. “They offer great stability and help you perform sweaty workouts,” he says. “They’re also lightweight, so you can easily lift weights or jump around during classes.”
The shoe’s low, stable, triangular base helps you maintain contact with the floor during your workouts, while the full-length Micro G® foam midsole provides “responsive cushioning” so you can land your burpees with less hits.
6. Reebok Nano X2
According to Andrew Lenau, ISSA-certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist, the Reebok Nano X2 Cross Trainer is “a fantastic pair of cross-training shoes that can be worn for any style of training.” They have a woven Flexweave upper that’s breathable and durable, he says, and integrated support for regular exercise in any direction.
“The Reebok Nano X2 has a wide and stable base for lifting weights while maintaining comfort on shorter runs,” he tells Bustle. “If you’re looking for a cross-training shoe that you can lift, jump, run and squat with, this is a great option and the pair I recommend to clients.”
7. New Balance Minimus TR
Trainer Sean Zetlin says he always recommends the New Balance Minimus TR. “It’s extremely comfortable and very light,” he tells Bustle. “It’s also durable, providing great ankle stability for strength training and walking.”
The sneaker is also breathable, flexible and comfortable enough to wear without socks, says Zetlin. A soft midsole provides supportive cushioning while helping you feel stable and grounded – perfect for maintaining your stance during weight training.
8. He had an Avi-Vurge
The Avia Avi-Verge is a rugged and reliable casual sneaker that provides “maximum comfort and durability for an active lifestyle.” With nearly 3,000 positive reviews on Amazon, this sneaker features Avia’s Cantilever System for long-lasting shock absorption, as well as Avia MEMORYfōm for added cushioning.
9. NoBull IVY black sneakers
Another sneaker that you can wear anywhere is the NoBull Black Ivy Trainers. “Shoes are important when cross-training because they’re your foundation,” says Chelsea Young, CPT, certified personal trainer. “You want something that’s flexible and ready for whatever training you’re doing for the day.”
Young says the Black Ivy Trainers offer a solid foundation when deadlifting, but are also comfortable enough that you can do 400m sprints in them. “I’ve had mine for over a year and wear them almost every day,” she tells Bustle. “They are still very well behaved. The sole is intact, they still have comfort and look good – I highly recommend them.
10. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus
Katie Corio, certified strength and conditioning coach and founder of Corio Fitness and Corio Active, lists the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus as one of her favorites. “My workouts include a little bit of everything—box jumps, deadlifts, squats, and more,” she says, noting that this option does the trick.
This classic sneaker offers strategic breathability in the “high heat” areas of the foot. It also has a slimmer heel collar and reduced tongue volume for extra comfort. Wear them when you run, walk or drive around town.
11. Cross trainer Puma Tazon 6
With over 13,000 reviews on Amazon, the Puma Tazon 6 seems to be everyone’s favorite for cross training. It has a sleek silhouette with a synthetic leather upper and a ‘mid-foot saddle’ for maximum fit and comfort. The EVA heel absorbs shock as you move and the EcoOrthoLite lining means your feet can breathe even when you’re super sweaty.