The 8 Best Gym Workout Shoes in 2022
Gym workout shoes don’t just have to be worn in a physical gym – they’re also great for indoor workouts from home, which we’ve all been doing a lot more of!
Your shoes are one piece of gym kit that you need to get right! Going for something that looks good just isn’t enough. You need to consider a lot to find the best shoes to match your workouts and the activities you do. Depending on what exercises you are doing you need to have a solid base and stability to your shoes otherwise you can hurt yourself during sessions.
So, what do you need to think about when shopping for a new pair of gym or workout trainers? We recommend thinking about these key criteria:
- What type of exercise you are doing: It is important to match your shoes to the particular gym or workout activities you are doing. By taking this into account you not only get a shoe that can help your performance but significantly reduce your risk of injury.
- Comfort and fit to your foot: it may seem obvious but having a shoe that doesn’t quite fit is a big problem when it comes to workouts. If your foot is moving too much in the shoe it compromises your stability and reduces your effectiveness in the gym. Not to mention reduces your own safety and that of other gym users.
- Shoe Weight: This goes hand-in-hand with comfort but having a shoe that is too heavy or bulky for you can hamper your workouts. It needs to be lightweight enough to not impede you but strong enough to protect your feet from harm.
- Stability: This is one of the most important things to think about. Depending on what you are doing at the gym or in your personal training sessions, you need to choose shoes that have a wide sole to give you the area needed to perform the exercise safely.
There is one other thing to consider, your budget. You need to set a budget for your gym kicks, there is a very wide range of prices for these kinds of shoes. Don’t feel forced to overspend but do make sure that you get everything you need from the shoes so if you need to up that budget slightly to give you the best all-rounder or tailored shoe – do it, you won’t regret it later on.
Here are our picks of the top gym workout shoes out there right now.
1. Nike Free Metcon 2
The Nike Free Metcon 2 is a great all-rounder shoe. They take the build of a dedicated weightlifting shoe and combine it with the feel of a lightweight trainer to offer a strong but flexible platform that is perfect for a wide range of gym activities.
The flexible front of the shoe gives you the movement needed for exercises such as lunges and squats and the React Foam gives you the comfort and padding needed for HIIT or fast-paced cardio. While the rear heel provides great ankle support and provides a strong grounding for weightlifting. All the while the light and breathable upper mesh keeps your feet cool.
Making them the perfect gym buddy giving you an all-rounder for those core gym routines, while ensuring great support for the heavier workout days.
2. Reebok Nano X
These shoes were designed for Crossfit use, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a great option for the average gym-goer. Due to the focused design, they’re incredibly versatile and will work for whatever gym workout you’ve got planned. They are built to help you to run, climb, jump or lift your way to your goals!
The extra cushioning that Reebok’s Floatride Energy Foam provides ensures that they deliver the core support you need with the comfort for long duration workouts. Plus, a sock lining means you don’t need to stress about what kind of sports socks to wear – you just have your trainers and you’re good to go! For added support the shoe features a high-density foam collar and taller tongue which provides extra grip to really hold your ankle in place.
If you are looking for a well-rounded gym shoe that offers comfort for longer, more intense workouts, these are well-worth considering.
3. Adidas Adipower Weightlifting II
These shoes offer a great sense of grounding and grip making them the go-to for heavy lifting. Designed specifically for weightlifting, they feature a stabilised raised heel to help support the Achilles tendon and improve lifting posture. The improved traction pattern helps to keep you securely rooted to the floor for added pushing power, plus, by using a double-closing system of laces and straps you are ensured a firm fit with zero slip.
But this isn’t to say that the Adipower are only for lifting weights, they offer a flexible front that allows for the foot to bend more easily making them suitable for other types of cross training.
If your preferred gym workout involves heavy squats, these trainers will provide you with maximum stability
4. Nike Varsity Tr 3
Acting as a jack-of-all-trades shoe providing the support you need for those intensive workouts but also giving you the flexibility for casual sports as well. They offer lots of stability with strong straps that really hold your feet well without the feel of being too tight. This creates a definite feeling that no matter what activity you are doing you are planted and secure on any floor type. Augmenting that secure feeling is the grips, the Nike Varsity’s offers a strong and powerful hold with multi-directional treads that grip the floor that will not disappoint most gym users.
The stability of these shoes isn’t the only impressive factor, they offer a surprising amount of flexibility which makes them amazingly well suited to running and other activities that require a good range of foot dexterity. The upper mesh gives the shoes a cool breathable feel that keeps your foot feeling fresh throughout your workouts. One warning we do have; these can come up a little small due to the narrow toe. Best looking at a size bigger than you are for a good fit.
With a lightweight and comfortable feel combined with stability and hold make it easy to recommend these to all but the most intensive gym-goers.
5. APL Techloom Breeze
These are a more premium trainer but for good reason – they’re not only gorgeous and great for everyday wear, but also technically advanced to support you for all gym training, cushioning and molding to your feet. The APL’s give your feet an amazingly comfortable experience with what can only be described as walking on ‘soft foam’. They are so lightweight and comfortable that you really don’t need to worry about foot pain at all. Making them perfect daily shoes as well as great for those tough workouts at the gym.
What’s more surprising is that while they have a comfortable and lightweight feel, they are still supportive across your foot and give great performance throughout a workout. Never once feeling clunky or cumbersome. APL uses a sock-like fit for the trainers that help to ensure that they grip your feet but give enough freedom to enable you to complete full movement exercises. Plus, the knit upper keeps your feet dry and cool even in the most intense workouts, adding to the comfort levels.
While these are a more expensive trainer the comfort level and support as well as grip are second to none. If you are in the market for a premium trainer for the gym and the street look no further.
6. Under Armour Women’s Charged Aurora Fitness Shoes
These shoes are the perfect companion for gym users of almost every level, whether you are just starting out or a seasoned enthusiast. Using Under Armour’s extensive knowledge of the sports and gym industry they have produced a comfortable and hard performing shoe that can live up to any requirement placed on it.
One of the key innovations with the Charged Aurora shoes is Under Armour’s Charged Cushioning technology. This uses impact sensitive foam to absorb the shock as your foot hits the ground. While also converting the impact into energy for an extra push when jumping or pushing off the ground. To increase your force further, these shoes feature a slight heel elevation that pushes you up onto the balls of your feet more, so you are more in an engaged stance. These combine to give you not only great comfort levels but also give the shoe a stability and grounded feel.
The Charged Aurora’s use of protection doesn’t just stop with your feet, it features a TPU film that crosses over the upper mesh section of the shoe to protect the fabric of the shoe from damage and scuffs. The added texture also enhances the aesthetic of the shoe as well.
Overall, the Charged Aurora not only looks great, but is one of the most comfortable gym shoes to us. It gives enough stability and support to take on even the most intensive workouts.
7. Under Armour Women’s HOVR Infinite 3 Running Shoes
Under Armour HOVR Infinite 3’s are primarily running shoes but that doesn’t mean that it can’t serve as a go-to gym shoe. It offers a cushioned and comfortable fit that supports your foot well plus as a running shoe the HOVR Infinites provide excellent sweat wicking to keep your feet dry and cool.
One of the best features of these trainers is the comfort level. The midsole provides a secure fit with excellent cushioning, holding your foot securely without a reduction of responsiveness. Plus, the cushioning protects your joints against impacts on hard surfaces and keeps your ankles secure as well.
Talking of security, the construction of the upper helps to really lock your feet in-place and never once do you feel like your foot is moving about no matter what exercise was being done. The build also lends itself well to rougher terrain or conditions. When going off-trail these shoes held up well and seemed to take the harder surfaces with ease.
Something in particular that makes these shoes stand out from the rest is the connectivity options, they offer a built-in Bluetooth microchip to track your activities. While it works best for running (tracking your pace, location and intensity), being able to see your performance in a workout without the need of a smartwatch or band is a plus. Under Armour’s app great and gives you solid insight.
8. PUMA Women’s Prowl Slip-on Shine WN’s Gymnastics Shoe
Puma’s slip-ons offer amazing fit and grip while also feeling solid and durable. Taking a lot of the positives from other shoes within their line-up the Prowl Slip-ons hold your feet well with a sock-like inner, giving you the grip you need without the bulk. The inlayed elastic straps that crisscross the top of the shoe add to the feeling of a secure fit and reduce the feeling that the shoe might fly off with a heavy kick that is common with slip-ons.
Moving onto the comfort, the Softfoam memory foam offers the expected level of comfort and cushioning you would want from memory foam. This combined with an additional series of cushioning around the collar of the shoe and long tongue provides a supremely tight and secure fit but keeps the pleasant feeling while wearing. The memory foam also works with a spongy midsole that adds a strong defensive layer to the shoe to absorb impact shocks.
One element that the Puma’s lack slightly is ankle support, however, this is to be expected as they are slip-ons. The rear support is fairly rigid but flexes to allow you to put the shoe on. This does mean that overtime the back support does loose a bit of its supportiveness reducing the overall effectiveness of the collar.
There are many factors that go into considering a workout or gym shoe and finding the right kind of shoe that matches the way that you workout can be difficult. But keeping in mind the key pillars of comfort and stability, shoe weight, the fit to your size of foot, and finally what types of exercise you are doing, you can’t go wrong.
Remember when you are looking at new trainers for personal training sessions or workout use make sure that you test them out, they may feel good new, but will they be the same when you are hitting the road on a run? Follow our simple steps to get a good test in the store before buying or you might regret it later.
We are confident that there is something for everyone on our list, with some great options that are suitable for most gym or workout activities, alongside some more specialist ideas too.