Best Cross-training Shoes for 2021

by | Updated on August 29, 2021

Our top choices among the best cross-training shoes this year are:

  • Best all-around shoe: Nike Metcon 7, a more structured Metcon model designed for high-intensity workouts. This all-rounder has a more stable base from heel through midfoot than its predecessor with better flexibility in the forefoot.
  • Best for CrossFit: Reebok CrossFit Nano X1, a cross trainer that can do it all in the gym. It’s roomy and has a super comfortable cushioning that can last all-day.
  • Best for HIIT: Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 2, a workout shoe specifically designed for circuit training and HIIT. It has a roomy design around the toes and a snug fit that can lock the foot down in every direction.
  • Best for flat feet: New Balance 857v2, a cross-training shoe designed to give you a stable performance.
best cross training shoes

Cross-training is a group of workouts that can improve your strength, speed, and flexibility. Athletes use it to solve weaknesses in various parts of the body. It helps improve their form as well by allowing rest to the primary muscles they use for sports.

Athletes can use cross-training to prevent overuse injury by varying their workouts while improving cardio conditioning, strength, and flexibility.

Known as the athlete’s training to improve overall performance, cross-training has now become a favorite workout for non-athletes as well as achieving overall fitness.

If you’re a runner, you can still work on your cardio by targeting various muscle groups not used in running. This will allow your lower limb to recover from intense workouts and be ready for your next run.

How We Choose a Training Shoe

We spend many hours testing new training shoes and reading new technologies, expert advice, and consumer testimonials on various cross-trainers. And we choose the best shoes for specific gym workouts.

Disclosure: We provide links to shoes mentioned in this article and use our affiliate links to earn commission income from qualifying purchases at no cost to you. This site is an associate of Amazon, Nike, On, Zappos, and Runderwear.

best cross training shoes

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Best Cross Training Shoes for 2021

– Reebok CrossFit Nano X1 –

Best Cross-training Shoes for 2021 1
Image source: Zappos.com

Reebok Nano X1 can match your versatility in any CrossFit workout from physical exercise to competitive fitness sport. And it has plenty of brave colors to complement your outfit. This training shoe has been iconic since it started. Now in its new edition, it comes with subtle upgrades in technology.

Reebok Nano X1 has an upgraded Flexweave upper, a fiber technology with a single construction designed to give you the movement speed. The Flexweave upper in this new model of the Reebok Nano is breathable, stable, and durable.

This cross trainer has a more comfortable collar. And it continues to have a 4 mm heel-to-toe drop, which is the preferred heel-to-toe offset in training shoes because it offers more stability.

Shop Nano X1 »

Other top choices for CrossFit workout are:

  • Nike Metcon 7, a super breathable all-rounder with a stable base and a softer cushioning in the forefoot, designed for high-impact moves. It has a grippy outsole, which provides sure traction and grip on any gym surface even when you’re climbing a rope.
  • Nike Free Metcon 4, a versatile and durable shoe designed for a variety of gym workouts. It uses Nike Free technology designed for flexibility and stability. It is excellent on side-to-side movements with an outsole that is wide under the heel for stability during weight lifting.
  • Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v3, a serious training shoe, which now offers a 4 mm heel-to-toe drop. This new model is arguably inov-8’s best cross trainer so far. It is good-looking and has an upper construction that can provide a customized fit for better lock-in in all directions.

– Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 2 –

Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 2
Image source: Nike.com

Who says only the young can move faster in a HIIT workout? This training shoe has Zoom Air foam technology, which tunes it for speed. Zoom Air cushions your foot during landing and quickly springs back for an explosive take-off allowing you to move faster.

Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 2 is designed for a fast-paced workout like HIIT and circuit training. It has an obvious arc on the side, which offers stability and support for side-to-side movement.

The breathable mesh upper has a riblike pattern, which provides a locked-in fit that goes with your foot as it moves in any direction. This shoe has a unique divide right under it, which offers flexibility on the floor.

Shop SuperRep 2 »

Other top choices for fast-paced workouts are:

  • Reebok HIIT TR 2.0, a super lightweight trainer with a breathable upper and a comfortable sockliner. The HIIT TR 2.0 offers a stable and responsive platform that can also take on some agility training.
  • Reebok CrossFit Nano X1, an all-rounder with a roomy fit and a super comfortable cushioning that can last all day. It’s an excellent shoe for fast-paced workouts and offers true comfort right out of the box.
  • New Balance Minimus Prevail, a new training shoe that replaces New Balance’s flag ship cross trainer. It is well-built and has a classic construction unique to New Balance.

– Adidas Adipower Weightlifting II –

adidas Adipower Weightlifting II
Image source: Zappos.com

This weightlifting legend can give you all the support you need when lifting weights. It has plenty of inner reinforcements yet allows your toes to splay and flex naturally when lifting heavyweights. It has a woven textile upper with laces and straps for added locked-in fit and stability.

This training shoe has a TPU midsole, which provides extra support that doesn’t compress. And a grippy outsole, which provides an ensured footing.

Shop Adipower Weightlifting II »

Other top choices for weightlifting are:

  • Nike Metcon 7, an all-around training shoe, which offers a more stable platform and a flat base. The outsole is broader under the heel, which provides an excellent feel of the ground when lifting weights.
  • Nike Romaleos 4, an olympic lifting shoe that performs best on heavy lifts. It has added upper straps for reinforcement and a stable base that help lock the foot down and provide stability as you make determined efforts to reach your new perfonal best.
  • UA Project Rock 3, a weight lifting shoe (approved by Dwayne Johnson) with a raise ankle collar and a more pliable upper material, designed to provide comfort and stability. It uses UA HOVR cushioning technology with Energy Web for zero gravity feel and UA Tribase technology on the outsole for maximum ground contact.
  • Reebok Legacy Lifter II, a well-built weightlifting shoe with a better locked-in fit than its predecessor. It provides plenty of stability around the under the heel with an outsole that provides a nice feel of the ground.

– Altra Solstice XT –

Altra Solstice XT
Image source: Zappos.com

If you are looking for a zero-drop training shoe, this is arguably the best shoe to wear. Although it’s still a minimalist shoe, which means you’ll get less support, it’s a cushioned shoe having a stack height of 23 mm.

Altra Solstice XT has a Balanced cushioning technology, which offers better alignment, form, and reduced impact. It has a High Abrasion EVA midsole with InnerFlex technology designed to deliver a soft, responsive, and flexible ride. This shoe has a unique FootShape toe box, which allows your toes to splay naturally and generate power when pushing off.

Shop Solstice XT »

– Nike Metcon 7 –

nike metcon 7
Image source: Nike.com

This versatile cross trainer can take on a wide variety of gym workouts. Some experts consider it as the best all-around training shoe. And it has plenty of brave colors to match your athletic outfit.

Nike Metcon 7 allows you to sprint, jump, push, pull, make quick lateral movements, climb a rope, lift weights, and so on. It’s breathable and has a strong, durable all-mesh upper that can withstand rope climbs and can keep your foot cool and dry even when the gym temperature rises. This shoe has a 7 mm heel-to-toe drop and is more lightweight than its predecessor.

Shop Metcon 7 »

Other top choices for general fitness workouts are:

  • New Balance Minimus Prevail, a versatile training shoe with a classic design unique to New Balance. It has a breathable engineered knit upper and a grippy Vibram outsole that extends to the shoe’s sidewalls.
  • Mizuno TF-01, a training shoe that can give you total control over your workout. It uses MIZUNO COB technology to help improve balance. It has a super breathable and supportive upper. And an outsole that provides extra traction and grip during speed and agility workouts.

– Nike ZoomX SuperRep Surge –

Nike ZoomX SuperRep Surge
Image source: Nike.com

This training shoe is specifically designed for indoor workouts. It has ZoomX technology, which is now becoming more affordable to consumers. The ZoomX foam is superior in energy return and helps you move a lot faster on your feet.

Nike ZoomX SuperRep Surge can take on a simple walk to a sudden surge of adrenaline on the treadmill. It has a rower clip at the heel, making it an excellent shoe for the rowing machine. It has a grippy rubber outsole designed to provide sure traction on any gym surfaces. And side arc, which provides lateral support during strength training.

Shop ZoomX SuperRep Surge »

– On Cloud X –

on cloud x
Image source: On-running.com

On Cloud X is On’s gym-specific shoe. It has excellent support for side-to-side movements with raised sidewalls that can take on any intense workouts. It has a comfortable and supportive upper that hugs the foot like a sock and a soft sockliner that can give long-lasting comfort even if you decide not to wear socks during your workout.

This versatile shoe uses Helion superfoam, a durable midsole foam cushioning designed to provide a stable platform with plenty of energy return. It has a Speedboard technology between the midsole and outsole, a plastic-like layer that creates an explosive toe-off. And Cloud elements on the outsole, designed to adapt to your unique movements to give you personalized cushioning in all directions.

On Cloud X is most suitable for HIIT, mixed-sports training, gym sessions, workout classes, and short runs.

Shop Cloud X »

– New Balance Minimus Prevail –

New Balance Minimus Prevail
Image source: Zappos.com

New Balance Minimus Prevail is one of your best options if you have difficulty shifting from conventional to minimalist shoes. This training shoe uses a REVlite midsole, a foam cushioning technology that sits between conventional and minimal designs. This shoe has a classic New Balance touch to it.

The Minimus Prevail is quickly becoming the New Balance flagship training shoe. It’s a versatile shoe designed to take on any gym workout. It has a 4 mm heel-to-toe drop, which is the go-to shoe offset in training shoes. It has a grippy Vibram outsole, which extends to the shoe’s sidewalls to provide grip and protection during rope climbing. And a breathable engineered knit upper to increase airflow.

Shop Minimus Prevail »

– Reebok HIIT TR 2.0 –

reebok hiit tr 2.0
Image source: Zappos.com

If your gym workout involves plenty of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Reebok HIIT is one of your best options (and it’s only $90). This shoe is designed to keep up with your pace and give you the support you need during any intense interval training.

Reebok HIIT TR 2.0 has a breathable mesh all over it designed to keep you from overheating. It has a lightweight EVA midsole with a flexible, grippy outsole. And a padded tough, which offers a comfortable fit.

Shop HIIT TR 2.0 »

Other top choices for HIIT workouts are:

  • Reebok CrossFit Nano X1, an ultra-stable training shoe with a roomy yet supportive construction. It has a heel clip that provides a stable support for lateral and back and forth movements. This new model has a better midfoot stability than its predecessor.
  • Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 2, a training shoe designed for fast-paced workout like HIIT. It has a Zoom Air foam technology that gives you speed, cushions the foot, and quickly springs back for an explosive toe-off.

– New Balance FuelCore NERGIZE –

New Balance FuelCore NERGIZE
Image source: Zappos.com

New Balance FuelCore NERGIZE is a training shoe specifically designed for women. It’s easy to slip on, super lightweight (only 5.3 oz), has a soft NB memory sole that can provide all-day comfort, and a snug, breathable textile upper.

This training shoe uses a REVlite midsole, a foam cushioning that is equally responsive and durable as any New Balance midsole foam but 30% more lightweight. New Balance FuelCore NERGIZE is for general fitness workouts but may struggle to perform on serious cross-training.

Shop FuelCore NERGIZE »

Other top choices in training shoes for women are:

  • Ryka Influence, a training shoe for women with a dual-density midsole and an N-Gage EVA, designed to provide sufficient cushioning and energy return during high-impact movements. It has an extra arch and heel support. The upper is structured and provides support in every direction. And the outsole has Ryka’s Pivot Points for ease of movement.
  • Ryka Devotion XT, an award-winning training shoe for studio fitness. It has a breathable mesh upper with an interior direct-attach support system for lateral movements. The midsole uses a full-length RE-ZORB responsive cushioning. And the outsole has a Pivot Point under the forefoot for easy transitions.

– Under Armour Project Rock 3 –

Under Armour Project Rock 3
Image source: Underarmour.com

UA Project Rock 3 is the most popular and best-selling item of Under Armour. It’s a weightlifting shoe for the hardest worker in the gym.

This training shoe has a UA HOVR, a three-layer technology that runs from the midsole through the outsole. This new technology offers a super light and soft foam cushioning designed to return energy and maintain form even after carrying heavy loads. And it has a tough, grippy outsole with a UA Tribase designed to maximize ground contact.

UA Project Rock 3 has an external heel counter, which helps secure the heel and adds more stability. It has a comfortable upper with a unique lacing system, which provides a tough locked-in fit.

Best Training Shoes for Flat Feet

Flat feet occur when you have long-term issues with overpronation. It’s a natural condition where many who have problem gait don’t suffer pain and other problems. If you have flat feet, you need shoes with stabilizing features. And orthotics may be required to help with foot alignment.

Here’s a list of the best cross trainers for overpronation and flat feet:

– New Balance 857v2 –

Best Cross-training Shoes for 2021 2
Image source: Zappos.com

Of all the cross trainers with arch support, the 857v2 could be your best option, thanks to New Balance for keeping this shoe over the years. New Balance 857v2 offers proper arch support by using Rollbar technology on the medial side of the shoe. This will help align the foot and solve common issues of the problem gait.

This trainer has a leather upper with breathable mesh inserts. It has a soft lining and molded foam insole for extra comfort and support. And it uses a dual-density ENCAP midsole for long-lasting comfort with an internal shank for added stability.

Shop 857v2 »

– Ryka Vida RZX –

Best Cross-training Shoes for 2021 3
Image source: Amazon.com

Ryka Vida RZX is arguably the best women’s cross training shoes for overpronation. It is one of the cross trainers with arch support perfect for those who need alignment on the medial side of the foot.

This trainer has an RZX technology platform featuring Ultra Flex in the forefoot for flexibility and RE-ZORB cushioning in the heel, designed to absorb heavy impact. It has a smooth lining and an Anatomical Precise-Return footbed, which molds to the shape of your foot for added comfort and support.

Ryka Vida RZX has a breathable mesh upper with supportive synthetic overlays that follow the foot in all directions. And a flexible outsole with pivot points for ease of movement during intense workouts. This trainer also helps reduce forefoot pressure during toe-off.

Shop Vida RZX »

– Ryka Influence –

ryka influence
Image source: Amazon.com

Ryka Influence is one of the best cross training shoes for women who have a problem gait. The Anatomical insole of this shoe will provide proper arch and heel support for those who overpronate.

It has a dual-density midsole and an N-Gage EVA, which provide sufficient cushioning and energy return during high-impact movements. And the breathable mesh upper has strong reinforcements that provide stability and support in every direction.

Shop Influence »

Note: If you have mild overpronation, you can wear a neutral cross trainer without any issues because neutral shoes can give support up to mild overpronation. But if you have foot issues because of overpronation and flat feet, choose the shoes built for stability.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are training shoes?

Training shoes (or cross-training shoes) are athletic shoes you can use for different cross-training workouts – running, CrossFit, weight training, power training, metabolic training, swimming, cycling, core workout, rock climbing, etc.

What are the best training shoes for flat feet?

The best training shoes for flat feet are supportive cross trainers with stabilizing features. The best examples of these shoes are New Balance 857v2, Ryka Vida RZX, and Ryka Influence.

What are the best cross-training shoes for high arches?

The best cross-training shoes for high arches are the most supportive neutral training shoes. The best examples of these shoes are Nike Metcon 7, Reebok CrossFit Nano X1, and Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 2.