Best Shoes For High Fitness

Are you looking for the best shoes for high fitness?

If you’re anything like us, then you’re probably an avid runner. But as we’ve gotten older and more serious about our fitness, we started to realize how important it is to have the right shoes for your sport.

It’s important to know what kind of foot strike you have: do you pronate (roll in) or supinate (roll out)? And if so, how much? This will help you determine what kind of shoe is best for your feet.

Best Shoes For High Fitness

9 Best Gym Shoes for Every Workout

Person sitting on workout mat

A quick look at the best gym shoes

  • Best overall gym shoes: Reebok Nano X2
  • Best treadmill running shoes: Mizuno Wave Rider 25
  • Best track running shoes: Brooks Launch 8
  • Best walking shoes: Ryka Myriad
  • Best cycling shoes: Tiem Slipstream
  • Best weightlifting shoes: Adidas Powerlift 5
  • Best cross-training shoes: Nike Free Metcon 4
  • Best gym shoes for HIIT: Under Armour UA TriBase Reign 3
  • Best budget-friendly gym shoes: Nike Tanjun

Whether you enjoy weightlifting, logging miles on the treadmill, or attending Zumba classes, having the right shoe is key to keeping your feet comfortable and your body safe.

How we chose the best gym shoes

We rounded up the best gym shoes for every workout using the following criteria:

  • Recommendations. All the products below come highly recommended by fitness professionals and enthusiasts. We also read countless online reviews for any potential downsides.
  • Features. We looked for shoes specially designed for their intended use — paying close attention to the stability, heel-toe drop, cushioning, and grip of the shoe.
  • Price. We included shoes at a variety of price points.
  • Vetting. All shoes on our list have been vetted to ensure that they align with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. You can read more about our vetting process.

Keep reading to see our picks of the 9 best gym shoes, plus tips on what to look for when buying a pair.

Pricing guide

General price ranges are indicated below with dollar signs ($–$$$). One dollar sign means the product is less costly, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher cost.

  • $ = under $100
  • $$ = $100–$140
  • $$$ = over $140

What to consider while shopping for gym shoes

Figuring out what shoe works best for you and your body can be tricky, especially since your needs can change over time — and even over the course of the day.

Fit is key. Your chosen shoe should be tailored to your needs. For example, treadmill runners require a different type of shoe than those who cycle or lift weights.

Still, some variables remain unchanged. Good gym shoes should be firm but flexible, offering support but allowing your foot to function. They should likewise allow you to maintain a proper stance or gait.

You should also invest in a pair of shoes that provides ample cushioning and grip. However, these variables will be subjective, and the best way for you to choose the right pair is to try them out yourself.

We use “men’s” and “women’s” in this article to align with how products are sold on retail sites, but that doesn’t mean you need to stick to one or the other. Choose the product with the fit, style, and features that work best for you.

Best overall

Reebok Nano X2

Reebok Nano X2
  • Price: $$
  • Who they’re best for: frequent gym-goers

With a soft and durable knit body, responsive and flexible footbed, cushioned insole, and supportive high density foam ankle collar, the Reebok Nano X2 is our pick for the best overall gym shoe.

Breathable, comfortable, stable, supportive, balanced, and strong, it’s a great choice for those who like to play hard and train hard.

Pros

  • heel clip for stability
  • high traction sole to help avoid slips
  • foam for lightweight cushioning

Cons

  • some complaints that the backs of the shoes may rub the wearer’s ankles
  • not as affordable as other options
  • can run large, so you may need to size down

Best treadmill running shoes

Mizuno Wave Rider 25

Mizuno Wave Rider 25
  • Price: $$
  • Who they’re best for: treadmill runners

Treadmill shoes should be stable and lightweight with a good grip.

The 25th edition of this classic Mizuno shoe lives up to its predecessors’ glory and the task of treadmill running, thanks to its featherlight body, 12-mm heel-toe drop, and well-cushioned, responsive midsole.

Its Waveknit fabric is breathable and hugs your foot to keep it on the shoe’s platform while you’re in motion.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 25 is available in wide sizes and comes in a variety of colorways, including Imperial Blue and Cayenne-Phlox Pink.

Pros

  • lightweight and supportive for running and walking
  • available in a range of colors and sizes
  • enhanced breathability compared with earlier versions of the shoe

Cons

  • some complaints about a narrow fit
  • design not ideal for weightlifting
  • one of the highest priced shoes on our list

Best track running shoes

Brooks Launch 8

Brooks Launch 8
  • Price: $$
  • Who they’re best for: runners

A great choice for long-distance track runs, the Brooks Launch 8 offers a “fast, fun ride.”

This lightweight shoe features a 10-mm heel-toe drop and is available in neutral or support options.

An air mesh upper offers great breathability, while springy rubber in the forefoot helps propel you forward on the track. There are also several bright colors and patterns to choose from.

In addition to being a great pick for running, the Brooks Launch 8 is suitable for walking and cross-training.

Pros

  • extra breathable and “fast” — great for track runs
  • available in a wide range of colors and sizes
  • lightweight midsole cushioning

Cons

  • could be a bit more cushioned, according to some reviews
  • not the most supportive gym shoe
  • designed mostly with running in mind

Best walking shoes

Ryka Myriad

Ryka Myriad
  • Price: $
  • Who they’re best for: walkers

Made for women on the move, Ryka’s Myriad walking shoes have a roomy toe box and a narrow heel for a more secure fit.

They’re also designed with a comfortable, knit body and a cushioned midsole that offers shock absorption and impact protection.

Plus, the shoe comes in an array of fashionable colors.

However, the best part is these kicks come in well below $100, making them a good, budget-friendly choice.

Pros

  • reasonable price and good variety of color options
  • suitable for a variety of workouts, including walking, aerobics classes, and cross-training
  • specifically designed for women’s feet, according to Ryka

Cons

  • some complaints that the wide version is too wide
  • not designed for distance running
  • available only in women’s sizes

Best cycling shoes

Tiem Slipstream

Tiem Slipstream
  • Price: $$ ($$$ if you want SPD cleats as well)
  • Who they’re best for: biking enthusiasts

Breathable, comfortable, and lace-free, the Tiem Slipstream cycle sneaker looks more like a traditional sneaker than a cycling shoe.

Unlike traditional cycling shoes, this shoe features the option to install a recessed SPD (“two-bolt”) cleat. This allows wearers to easily get around the studio (or street) while off the bike.

The shoe is available in several colors, including black, white, gray, and blue.

Pros

  • easy to walk around in when you hop off the bike
  • several color options available
  • no need to worry about laces

Cons

  • limited use
  • one of the more expensive shoe options on our list
  • some complaints that the shoe is hard to put on
  • a bit narrow, according to some reviews

Best weightlifting shoes

Adidas Powerlift 5

Adidas Powerlift 5
  • Price: $$
  • Who they’re best for: weightlifters

With a narrow fit and a midsole wedge, the Adidas Powerlift 5 allows for better flexibility and mobility during deadlifts and squats. Plus, its rubber sole helps keep you firmly planted while you’re lifting.

What’s more, it’s made with some recyclable materials and is one of the more affordable weightlifting shoe options.

Pros

  • narrow fit and midsole wedge for plenty of stability
  • rubber sole to help keep your foot planted
  • reasonably priced for a weightlifting-specific shoe
  • made with some recycled materials

Cons

  • limited color options
  • not great for running or lots of walking
  • might be a bit tricky to find the perfect fit — users suggest sizing up from your usual shoe size because of the amount of padding

Best cross-training shoes

Nike Free Metcon 4

Nike Free Metcon 4
  • Price: $$
  • Who they’re best for: those doing cross-training

Whether you’re doing CrossFit, “sprintervals,” circuits, or HIIT workouts, Nike’s Metcon Free 4 is a great choice.

Firm and flexible, the shoe is breathable and has a wide platform for improved stability and support.

It also doesn’t hurt that the shoe is available in a wide assortment of fashionable colors.

Pros

  • versatile for gym-goers who continually want to change up their exercise routine
  • lots of color and size options
  • includes “chain-link” mesh for breathability and flexibility

Cons

  • runs small, according to some reviews
  • not great for running long distances
  • can work for weightlifting but may not be the right shoe for those lifting lots of heavy weights

Best gym shoes for HIIT

Under Armour UA TriBase Reign 3

Under Armour UA TriBase Reign 3
  • Price: $$
  • Who they’re best for: those who like HIIT workouts

HIIT shoes have to check a lot of boxes. They need to provide stability for weight training, yet be cushioned enough for jumps and intense cardio bursts.

That’s where the Under Armour TriBase Reign 3 shoe comes in.

With traction in the forefoot for greater mobility, added grip, and low-to-the-ground construction for better power transfer, this shoe is a great choice for any move that your HIIT workout throws your way.

Pros

  • plenty of stability and grip for HIIT workouts
  • full-length foam midsole for cushioning
  • gets high marks for durability from many users

Cons

  • some complaints that the laces are too long
  • not ideal for distance running
  • narrow toe box, according to some reviews

Best budget-friendly gym shoes

Nike Tanjun

Nike Tanjun
  • Price: $
  • Who they’re best for: casual gym-goers

“Tanjun” means “simple” in Japanese, and that’s exactly what this pair of shoes is — sleek and simple.

A steal at under $70, this shoe is a good option for using a cardio machine or taking an aerobics class. It’s also a good option for casual weightlifters.

However, as it lacks the stability and support offered by other shoes, you’ll want to choose a shoe with more support if you plan on running, doing HIIT, attending a CrossFit class, or lifting heavy.

Pros

  • sleek, versatile gym shoe that won’t break the bank
  • interest-free payment plan available
  • mesh top for flexibility and breathability

Cons

  • provides less stability than some more expensive shoes
  • not ideal for serious distance running or frequent HIIT workouts
  • some complaints that the shoes fell apart more quickly than other shoes

Product comparison

Here’s a quick look at how our picks of the best gym shoes compare:

PriceSuitable activitiesHeel-toe dropWeight
Reebok Nano X2$$• aerobics classes
• cardio machines
• cross-training
• HIIT
• running
• walking
• weightlifting
not disclosednot disclosed
Mizuno Wave Rider 25$$• aerobics classes
• cardio machines
• cross-training
• running
• walking
12 mm9.4 oz
Brooks Launch 8$$• aerobics classes
• cardio machines
• cross-training
• HIIT
• running
• walking
10 mm8.6 oz
Ryka Myriad$• aerobics classes
• cardio machines
• cross-training
• HIIT
• walking
not disclosednot disclosed
Tiem Slipstream$$ ($$$ if you want SPD cleats, which are not included)• cycling classesnot disclosednot disclosed
Adidas Powerlift 5$$• weightlifting15 mm15.38 oz
Nike Free Metcon 4$$• aerobics classes
• cardio machines
• cross-training
• HIIT
• running
• walking
not disclosednot disclosed
UA TriBase Reign 3$$• cross-training
• HIIT
• weightlifting
2 mm10.84 oz
Nike Tanjun$• aerobics classes
• cardio machines
• cross-training
• walking
• weightlifting
not disclosednot disclosed

Keep in mind the weights above are from the manufacturers and based on the average-sized men’s shoe. Actual weights will vary depending on the size you purchase.

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