Am I better with cross training type shoes or running shoes?

A reader asks:

Hello from Oz! I have been reading thru all your recommendations; thanks heaps for so much detail! I have recently been to a shoe shop where they have a device called FITZI that combines video and pressure mapping to test your feet. It came back that I was neutral to slightly underpronate and slightly high arches. They mentioned staying away from shoes with too much arch support; They could only recommend what brands they carried, being ASIC Nimbus, Brooks Ghost, and Nike Pegasus. These all look like shoes you recommend as well for my type of feet. My question is, what comparable cross-training shoes would you recommend? You see, I don’t run. I am an aerobics instructor and teach cross-training/HITT training classes. So lots of quick lateral movements and med to high impact moves, including some PLYO type movements. Also, lots of lunges and squats. I have been using pretty generic shoes until now and noticed my knees aching after teaching, so I really need some shoes that will support and suit my style of exercising. In your other post on top neutral trainers (, the shoes recommended there are mostly different from those on this list. Am I better with cross-training-type shoes or the shoes in this list? Thanks, heaps, for your time!

Sorry, I prob should mention that I tend to prefer a low profile, light, and more “natural foot” feel. I am only 5’2″, and 110 pounds, so heavy bulky shoes feel huge on my feet! In the past, I have loved Nike; many years ago, my favorite shoe is the ATLAS. They are long discontinued now. I did see these you recommended, but not sure of them for high impact and lateral movements… PUMA CELL RIAZE HEATHER FM. Cheers! Thanks, Kitty.


Hello Kitty. In our view, your best shoe is a cross-trainer since it has optimal support for quick lateral movement, unlike a running shoe which focuses most of its support when pushing to propel the runner forward. But an excellent cross-training shoe can also be used for running (from short runs up to 5 miles), which can give the same level of cushioning as a running shoe.

Yes, Puma Cell Riaze can be used for high-impact workouts and could be your ideal shoe, although it appears to be a mid-range trainer. It’s well-cushioned, stable, comfortable, breathable, flexible, and stylish. But it’s not designed for a wider foot as some consumers complain that it’s narrow in size.

Since your knees ache after teaching, we think that it has something to do with your choice of shoe being a more “natural foot” feel. You can opt for a cushioned shoe (or extra-cushioned shoe) to absorb shock more efficiently so it won’t radiate through your knees.

Considering the intensity of your workout, other great options are Nike Flex Supreme TR 5, Adidas Adipure 360.3, and Reebok Crossfit Speed TR.