They’ll offer support whether you run, lift, jump… the list goes on.
While you can find specially-designed shoes for different activities like running and tennis, it’s nice — both for your wallet and closet space — to have a pair of sneakers that you can wear for any type of workout. If you like to run, walk, lift weights, and jump around in a cardio class, fitness experts recommend looking for a sneaker that’s designed for cross-training, as it’ll support your feet in a multitude of ways.
The best cross-training sneakers will provide two things: support and stabilization, says Julia Gautreaux, CPT, a trainer at Rumble Boxing. “When you’re running, jumping, or doing an exercise that puts a ton of impact on your feet, support and cushion are key,” she tells Bustle. “And when you’re in a strength, weight lifting, or boxing zone, stabilization is a must.”
Usually, that means looking for a pair of shoes with a little extra foam, more width across the bottom of the shoe, and a higher rise at the ankle for support, says Heather Kiddoo, a trainer and owner of Live Active 563. “If you are going to be doing a workout that involves lateral movements, like side lunges, jumping skaters, or cossack squats, you need a shoe with a lot of lateral stability,” Kiddoo tells Bustle.
Because they’re built for a variety of movements, Kiddoo notes that cross-training shoes tend to look different, higher, and bigger than your usual go-to running shoes — but that’s kind of the point. Keep scrolling for 11 of the best cross-training sneakers you can buy, according to fitness trainers.
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Julia Gautreaux, CPT, a trainer at Rumble Boxing.
Heather Kiddoo, a trainer and owner of Live Active 563.
Michele Riechman, DPT, trainer and physical therapist.
Isaac Robertson, a CISSN and ISSA-certified trainer and co-founder of Total Shape.
Andrew Lenau, an ISSA-certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist.
Shaun Zetlin, trainer with Zetlin Fitness.
Chelsea Young, CPT, a certified personal trainer.
Katie Corio, a certified strength and conditioning coach and founder of Corio Fitness and Corio Active.
Kiddoo says she recommends the NoBull Trainer+ to her clients, especially those who wear running sneakers to her gym to train. “The NoBull is cushioned enough for running but also has lateral stability for squatting, jumping, and lunging,” she says. “Plus, it’s stable enough to squat in.”
The NoBull Trainer+ is made with a breathable, abrasion-resistant fabric so you can run, jump, climb, and sweat to your heart’s content. A thick toe bumper provides additional surface traction for “explosive takeoffs and landings”. And it has plenty of heel and collar padding for extra comfort and a secure fit.
Gautreaux is all about the Nike Metcon, which she says strikes the perfect balance for strength and cardio training. “When running around San Francisco all day, teaching and taking classes, I need a pair of shoes that can carry me between both seamlessly.” She says she can hit the bag, hit the treadmill, and hit the weights in these.
This version of the Nike Metcon is tougher and more stable than previous versions of the shoe. It now comes with extra foam for more comfort, which is ideal whether you’re lifting or doing high-intensity cardio. “They get bonus points for having unisex and gender-neutral options in both fit and color,” Gautreaux says.
Trainer and physical therapist Michele Riechman, DPT recommends the Gel-Contend 6 from ASICS. “I really like this for the summer and hotter months,” she tells Bustle. “It gives a great fit and allows air to come in and out of the shoe.” That’s thanks to the breathable mesh upper.
Riechman notes that these ASICS are extra sturdy and provide great support to the arch of the foot. The cushioning comes from the brand’s rearfoot GEL® technology, an AMPLIFOAM™ midsole, and an OrthoLite™ sockliner.
With over 9,000 positive reviews on Amazon, the Ryka Influence is perfect for low-impact workouts, dance fitness classes, long walks — basically anything you need or want to do. As an added bonus, they also look cute enough to wear around town while you run errands.
Made with foam that cushions your feet on impact, the Influence also has a breathable mesh upper with faux leather overlays for extra durability. The padded heel and ergonomically-shaped rubber sole also allow you to pivot quickly and make easy turns during your workouts.
Isaac Robertson, a CISSN and ISSA-certified trainer and co-founder of Total Shape, is a big fan of the Under Armour TriBase Trainer. “They offer great stability and help you perform sweaty workouts,” he says. “They are also light in weight so you can easily lift weights or jump during classes.”
The low, stable, triangular base of the shoe helps you maintain contact with the floor during your workouts, while the full-length Micro G® foam midsole provides “responsive cushioning” so you can land your burpees with less impact.
According to Andrew Lenau, an ISSA-certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist, the Reebok Nano X2 cross trainer is a “fantastic pair of cross-training shoes that can be worn for any workout style.” They have a Flexweave woven upper portion that’s breathable and durable, he says, as well as integrated support for regular exercise in any direction.
“The Reebok Nano X2 has a broad and stable base for weightlifting while also maintaining comfort for shorter runs,” he tells Bustle. “If you’re looking for a cross-training shoe that you can lift, jump, run, and squat in, these are a great option and the pair I recommend to clients.”
Trainer Shaun Zetlin says he always recommends the New Balance Minimus TR. “It’s extremely comfortable and very lightweight,” he tells Bustle. “It’s also durable since it provides great ankle stability for strength training and walking.”
The sneaker is also breathable, flexible, and comfy enough to wear without socks, Zetlin says. The soft midsole provides supportive cushioning while still helping you feel stable and connected to the ground — perfect for maintaining your stance when weight training.
The Avia Avi-Verge is a sturdy and dependable everyday trainer that provides “ultimate comfort and durability for an active lifestyle.” With nearly 3,000 positive reviews on Amazon, this sneaker features Avia’s Cantilever System for long-lasting shock absorption, as well as Avia MEMORYfōm for additional cushioning.
Another sneaker that you can wear anywhere is the NoBull Black Ivy Trainers. “Footwear is important when cross-training because that is your foundation,” says Chelsea Young, CPT, a certified personal trainer. “You want something that is versatile and ready to go in whatever training you are doing for the day.”
Young says the Black Ivy Trainers offer a sturdy foundation when you’re doing deadlifts, but they’re also comfy enough that you can do 400-meter sprints in them. “I’ve had mine for over a year and wear them almost daily,” she tells Bustle. “They are still holding up very well. The sole is intact, they still have comfort, and they look good — I highly recommend them.”
Katie Corio, a certified strength and conditioning coach and founder of Corio Fitness and Corio Active, points to the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus as one of her faves. "My workouts include a little bit of everything — box jumps, lifts, squats, and more," she says, noting this option holds up to the task.
This classic sneaker offers strategic breathability across “high-heat” areas of the foot. It also has a slimmer heel collar and reduced tongue bulk so you feel extra comfy. Wear them when you run, walk, or bop around town.
With over 13,000 reviews on Amazon, the Puma Tazon 6 seems to be everyone’s go-to for cross-training. It has a sleek silhouette with a synthetic leather upper and “midfoot saddle” for maximum fit and comfort. The EVA heel absorbs shock as you move, and the EcoOrthoLite sockliner means your feet can breathe, even when you’re super sweaty.
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The 11 Best Cross-Training Sneakers, According To Fitness Pros – Bustle