Which cross-trainer shoes are best?

Cross-training refers to engaging in various types of athletic activities to improve overall strength, ability and performance. It usually includes various exercises that cover several movements and targets different muscle groups. This training promotes overall fitness and performance, making it a popular workout strategy for anyone with fitness goals. This type of exercise requires a shoe that is light enough to accommodate agility exercises without sacrificing the stability needed for some serious lifting. 

If you are searching for a cross-trainer shoe specially designed to handle any and every workout, the Nike Metcon 7 is your best bet. The reinforced mesh top layer and React Foam cushioned base provides you with stability without sacrificing speed. 

What to know before you buy cross-trainer shoes

What are cross-trainer shoes?

cross-trainer shoes are multi-functional shoes designed to provide optimal stability in any exercise condition. Some specialty running shoes sacrifice support for a light, mesh-top design, and hard-soled lifting shoes offer little in the way of comfort. cross-trainers are the best of both worlds and act as an all-purpose workout shoe. A good cross-trainer shoe has a flexible yet durable upper portion, a cushioned midsole and reinforced tread to ensure proper grip. They have protective features in key areas to protect the shoe from the wear and tear that comes with a heavy cross-training session.  

Why buy cross-trainer shoes?

Whether you are a long-distance runner who wants to strengthen complementary muscles, or you just need an all-purpose exercise shoe, a cross-trainer shoe is a fitness staple. Designed with explosive, multi-directional movements in mind, cross-trainers are the perfect shoe for HIIT routines, heavy lifting, outdoor sports and any other activity you might encounter while training. 

Are there downsides to cross-trainer shoes?

Although cross-trainer shoes will provide you with the support necessary to tackle all sorts of exercises, do not expect to set any personal records in these shoes. Their sturdy construction and extra support add weight to the cross-trainer that specialized runners might not appreciate. Additionally, cross-trainers might not be the best choice if you are looking for an all-purpose lifestyle shoe. The bulky silhouettes and performance-centered design elements common in cross-trainer shoes may leave something to be desired if you want to dress to impress. 

What to look for in a quality cross-trainer shoe


Cross-trainer shoes can handle a wide range of high-intensity exercises, so it’s crucial that they provide proper support to prevent injury. Look for a harder sole that distributes weight evenly across your foot, as well as reinforcement along the sides that can accommodate multi-directional movement. 


Whether you are a dedicated athlete or just a casual gym-goer, your cross-trainer shoes will be one of your most work articles of clothing. If you are going to log hours in the gym with your cross-trainers, it’s important that they are comfortable and stable. 

Intended activity

While athletic companies design cross-trainers as all-purpose workout shoes, each model has its specialty. If you anticipate doing more running than lifting weights, look for a lighter model with extra heel support and cushioning. On the other hand, if you plan to make these your go-to gym shoes, you will want a flat pair with reinforcements in high-wear areas, such as the balls of your feet.

How much you can expect to spend on a cross-trainer shoe

Just like standard running shoes, cross-trainer shoes come in a wide range of prices. For a quality shoe that will withstand whatever workout you throw at it, expect to pay between $75-$120.

Cross-trainer shoe FAQ

Can I use a cross-trainer shoe as my regular running shoe?

A. Yes, you can use cross-trainer shoes as regular running shoes without risk of serious injury. But it’s not recommended due to their weight and construction. If you plan on running regularly or running long distances, consider buying running shoes designed specifically with directional support and comfort in mind. 

Can I use a cross-trainer shoe for Crossfit exercises?

A. Yes! Crossfit is a specialized workout designed to capture all the benefits of cross-training. A cross-trainer shoe is a perfect choice for anybody interested in Crossfit.  

What’s the best cross-trainer shoe to buy?

Top cross-trainer shoes 

Nike Metcon 7

Nike Metcon 7 

What you need to know: The Metcon 7 updates the classic Nike all-purpose lifting shoe with features specially designed to enhance performance in all kinds of workouts.  

What you’ll love: It features a wraparound rubber tread and a heel plate that distributes weight evenly across the shoe. The lightweight foam base lends itself to support and rapid movement, and it can handle any workout you throw at it. Whether you are climbing a rope or sprinting on a treadmill, these cross-trainer shoes will get you where you need to go.  

What you should consider: Some people may not like the unique design and bright colors.

Where to buy: Dick’s Sporting Goods

Top cross-trainer shoe for the money

Under Armour Men's Charged Commit TR 3.0 Training Shoes

Under Armour Men’s Charged Commit TR 3.0 Training Shoes

What you need to know: If you need a lightweight, all-purpose trainer that won’t break the bank, this is a great choice.

What you’ll love: It includes everything you need in a cross-trainer shoe. The sock liner and cushioned insole ensure a comfortable workout, and the durable upper layer and full rubber outsole help it withstand indoor and outdoor use. 

What you should consider: The leather midsole and hard plastic plates make this shoe a bit heavier than other cross-trainers on the market. 

Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Worth checking out

Under Armour Womens Charged Aurora cross trainer

Under Armour Women’s Charged Aurora cross-trainer

What you need to know: This sturdy, all-purpose cross-trainer comes with a rubber sole and a full-rubber outsole to create extra durability.

What you’ll love: Under Armour focuses on creating lightweight cross-trainers that are durable, yet breathable. This makes them a great shoe for the athlete doing plenty of high-impact exercises. 

What you should consider: Some people noticed the rubber toe piece started to peel after only a few wears. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Ben Shear writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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