Best Shoes For Indoor Workouts

Indoor workouts are a great way to get in shape, but they can also be a challenge. You’re stuck inside, you don’t have much room to move around, and you have to be careful not to hurt yourself by falling off of your treadmill or dropping weights on your toes.

But that doesn’t mean you have to leave all of your favorite workout clothes at home when it comes time for an indoor workout. There are plenty of shoes that can help protect you from injury while still looking good enough to wear out on the town after your workout. Here are some of our favorites:

Best Shoes For Indoor Workouts

The Best Gym Shoes for Every Type of Workout

Don’t sweat it. Put your best foot forward with these kicks ready for any fitness endeavor.

When it comes down to it, so to speak, shoes can make or break your gym or home workout experience. Training ill-equipped can leave you disinterested, uncomfortable and, worst case, injured. To get the most out of your exercise regimen, it’s best to have a go-to pair of gym shoes.

But which shoe is best for your routine? Which features should you look for to give your workouts some traction? From CrossFit to running and every discipline in-between, we’ve traversed the landscape to determine the best gym shoes for every fitness goal. Let’s lace up and get into it.

Running Shoes vs. Gym Shoes

If your main fitness activity is running, or if you frequent the treadmill more than the weights, there are some great running shoe options available to fit your needs — we’ve included a handful below. Kind of like how different sports have different cleats, running shoes and training shoes are designed for their specific activity.

Training shoes often offer a lower heel drop to keep your feet closer to the ground. This can help add stability to your frame, especially when lifting heavy weights. Running shoes, on the other hand, are designed to cushion your steps as you move forward, returning your energy in an efficient manner to propel you forward.

To keep your feet comfortable and your progress on the right path, it’s best to have separate shoes for training and running. Plus, having separate kicks can help preserve your running shoes for more cardio-focused endeavors, like say, taking off for your fastest mile.

Getting fit isn’t just about buying the right gear, it’s about setting goals and creating lasting habits.

How Your Gym Shoes Should Fit

Unlike buying your favorite pair of sneakers, you want your gym shoes to be snug and ready to perform. A common practice for other types of sneakers is to leave a little space in the toe box to allow your feet to splay out. While this may be helpful for running shoes, you want your training shoes to support your feet during unilateral movements. A snug, locked-in fit is the better choice for your workouts.

New and Upcoming Releases

Our recommendations are based off real-world testing. Here’s a snapshot of new and unreleased gym shoes our testers are considering for future updates to this guide.

Puma Fuse 2.0 Training Shoes: One of our favorite budget-friendly workout shoes is set to get a facelift this October. The Fuse 2.0s will boast higher sidewall coverage for improved traction and grip, as well as a new TPU heel clip for support where it’s needed most. According to Puma, the Fuse 2.0s will retail for $90.

Under Armour UA HOVR Phantom 3: Released September 7, this all-new silhouette from Under Armour builds off previous Phantom iterations with an improved HOVR midsole technology spanning the full length of the midsole. Available for $140, these versatile sneakers also features a highly-textured UA Intelliknit upper for added breathability, stretch and flex.

TYR CXT-1: TYR made quite the splash in the CrossFit community when six of the top 10 male finishers at the 2022 CrossFit Games took the podium dawning the brand’s yet-to-be-released CXT-1 trainers. While TYR states the CXT-1s should be available sometime in November for roughly $130, we’re more than anxious to test the patent-pending stability platform and uncommon 9mm-heel-to-toe drop. With a dominating Games performance already under its belt, who wouldn’t be excited?

Nike Metcon 7 Training Shoes

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BEST OVERALL GYM SHOE

Nike Metcon 7 Training Shoes

nike.com

$130.00

pros

  • React foam midsole is the perfect blend of spring and comfort
  • Lace lock tab keeps laces in-place during agility training

cons

  • Heel strikers might feel some discomfort when running
  • Slimmer midfoot construction can deter those with wider feet

Nike’s Metcon is always a top contender in the gym space, and the latest iteration is the most feature-packed yet. The Metcon 7 boasts a breathable mesh upper and minimal drop for high stability during heavy lifts. The wide, flat heel and interior plate were a welcomed perk during squats and deadlifts, and the updated React foam midsole provided plenty of energy return when sprinting. Would we recommend taking on a marathon in the Metcon 7s? Absolutely not. But for any other training endeavor, these kicks are an easy top pick.

APL TechLoom Tracer

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BEST UPGRADE GYM SHOE

Athletic Propulsion Labs TechLoom Tracer

athleticpropulsionlabs.com

$250.00

pros

  • TechLoom fabric provides ample breathability
  • Molded Lycra collar and tongue make for easy on-and-off

cons

  • Laces sit inside, which could be awkward for some
  • Premium pricing

We’ve covered APL’s innovative designs before, so it’s no surprise that the TechLoom Tracer piqued our interest. Boasting the familiar TechLoom fabric for superb breathability, the Tracer reinforces the upper for non-stretch construction. This helps keep your feet centered on the footbed for improved stability. And as you trudge through your training, the Propelium midsole is there to provide a nice blend of cushioning and energy return, all in a low-profile silhouette.

Puma Fuse Training Shoes

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BEST BUDGET GYM SHOE

Puma Fuse Training Shoes

puma.com

$90.00

pro

  • Comfortable, fashionable gym shoe at less than $100
  • 4 mm heel-to-toe drop keeps feet close to the ground

cons

  • Recommended to order a half size up
  • Limited colorways available

Keep your workouts on track with this wallet-friendly training essential. The Puma Fuse boasts a wide toe box for ample stability, while the high tensile mesh upper is capable of withstanding any movement you throw at it. A 4 mm heel-to-toe drop keeps your feet close to the ground, creating a great base for squats, presses, kettlebell swings and more. And don’t worry about losing traction, either. The PUMAGRIP outsole and rubber wrap-ups help ensure your paws are locked in for optimal grip when grinding through your workout.

Best Gym Shoes for CrossFit and HIIT

Reebok Nano X2 Training Shoes

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Reebok Nano X2 Training Shoes

reebok.com

$135.00

pros

  • RopePro outsole midfoot teeth provides great traction for rope climbs
  • Great structure and stability for heavy lifts

cons

  • Stiff sole can be uncomfortable during runs
  • Limited breathability in the toe box

We’ve been big fans of Reebok’s Nano lineup for quite some time, and the latest Nano X2 carries the torch well. The more defined heel clip helps provide plenty of support for intense training in the box. The lightweight Floatride Energy Foam provided a nice ride through weighted exercises as well. The Nano X2 is not an all-around all-star, however. The stiff sole, while great for HIIT training, left a little to be desired in agility or running exercises.

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