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The Best Gym Shoes in 2023: Find the Perfect Pair for Any Type of Workout

CEO Tinh Phung
No matter what type of physical activity you engage in, spending a lot of time on your feet requires the right shoes. The wrong footwear can lead to discomfort, blisters, strains, and other injuries. So,...

Men training in Under Armour Charged Assert 9s

No matter what type of physical activity you engage in, spending a lot of time on your feet requires the right shoes. The wrong footwear can lead to discomfort, blisters, strains, and other injuries. So, when it comes to finding the best gym shoes, you'll need to consider your specific workout needs.

Why Choose Best Gym Shoes?

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The Best Gym Shoes - Our Top Picks

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  • Best Gym Shoes Overall: Nike Metcon 8
  • Best Nike Gym Shoes: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38
  • Best adidas Gym Shoes: adidas Trainer V
  • Best New Balance Gym Shoes: New Balance Fresh Foam X880
  • Best Gym Shoes for Women: Reebok HIIT 2 Women's
  • Best Gym Shoes for Men: Reebok Nano X2 Men's
  • Best Gym Shoes for Flat Feet: New Balance Fresh Foam Roav
  • Best Gym Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis: Hoka Mach 5
  • Best Gym Shoes for Wide Feet: Hoka Clifton 8 Max Cushioned
  • Best Budget Gym Shoes: Under Armour Charged Assert 9
  • Best Gym Shoes for Weightlifting: GoRuck Ballistic Trainers

Best Overall Gym Shoes - Nike Metcon 8

Nike Metcon 8

SPECS

  • Material: Mesh, rubber
  • Width: Standard
  • Outsole: Rubber/strong support
  • Cushion: High cushion

The best overall gym shoe is versatile and can be used for any activity. It should be lightweight, provide strong support, and offer maximum comfort. The Nike Metcon 8 checks all these boxes. With a lightweight base, strong grip, and a wide, flat heel for stability, it is suitable for both running and weightlifting. Additionally, it features hook-and-loop closures for a secure fit.

What We Like

  • Springy, propulsive cushioning
  • Wide heel for added stability
  • Incredibly lightweight
  • Vibrant designs and colorways
  • Reasonable price point

What We Don't Like

  • No extra-wide sizes available
  • Limited options for women's sizes

BUY: Nike Metcon 8

Best Nike Gym Shoes - Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38

SPECS

  • Material: Synthetic mesh, polyester
  • Width: Standard
  • Outsole: Rubber/strong support
  • Cushion: Very high cushioning

When it comes to Nike gym shoes, the Air Zoom Pegasus 38 stands out for its design and comfort. Made with synthetic mesh material and React foam, it offers support and breathability. The outsole design provides smooth transitions and excellent traction. With a curved, plush collar and a snug fit, these shoes offer maximum comfort during workouts.

What We Like

  • Very comfortable shoes
  • Outer elements designed for support and performance
  • Curved, plush collars reduce irritation

What We Don't Like

  • Wider toe box may be uncomfortable for some users

BUY: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38

Best adidas Gym Shoes - adidas Trainer V

adidas Trainer V

SPECS

  • Material: Flexible knit
  • Width: Standard
  • Outsole: Rubber/strong support
  • Cushion: Mid cushion

The adidas Trainer V is a must-have on any list of the best gym shoes. Featuring adidas' lightweight Bounce midsole, it provides excellent shock absorption and energy transfer for explosive movements. The flexible knit material ensures a comfortable fit, while areas of flexible support offer stability. With a stylish design, this shoe is suitable for both workouts and casual wear.

What We Like

  • Good grip, strong support, and lightweight
  • Stylish design for versatility
  • Made with 50% recycled materials

What We Don't Like

  • Too tight for wide feet
  • Recycled material may feel stiff

BUY: adidas Trainer V

Best New Balance Gym Shoes - New Balance Fresh Foam X880

New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v12

SPECS

  • Material: HypoKnit
  • Width: Standard and wide available
  • Outsole: Rubber/strong support
  • Cushion: High cushion

The best New Balance gym shoe is versatile and offers high-quality materials, strong support, and maximum comfort. The Fresh Foam X880 combines all these traits. With HypoKnit material for support and flexibility, it provides a snug fit. The Fresh Foam X midsole offers a springy surface to absorb impact. These shoes are suitable for both running and weightlifting.

What We Like

  • Lightweight mesh reinforced by HypoKnit
  • Good grip on the soles
  • Snug fit even for wider feet

What We Don't Like

  • Wide option might run long
  • The wider midsole may take some adjusting to

BUY: New Balance Fresh Foam X880

Best Gym Shoes for Women - Reebok HIIT 2 Women's Training Shoes

Reebok HIIT 2 Women

SPECS

  • Material: Textile
  • Width: Women's standard
  • Outsole: Rubber/strong support
  • Cushion: High cushion

For women looking for the perfect gym shoes, the Reebok HIIT 2 Women's training shoe is a comfortable and flexible option. Made with textile synthetics, it offers strength and durability. With a heel design that keeps the foot locked in place and flexible grooves on the front for movement, these shoes provide both support and flexibility. The strong outsole ensures good grip.

What We Like

  • Heel design keeps the foot locked in
  • Flexible grooves on the front of the foot
  • Strong outsole with good grip

What We Don't Like

  • Liner might make it difficult to put the shoe on
  • Liner cannot be replaced if torn

BUY: Reebok HIIT 2 Women's Training Shoes

Best Gym Shoes for Men - Reebok Nano X2 Men's Training Shoes

Reebok Nano X2 Men

SPECS

  • Material: Flexweave textile
  • Width: Standard
  • Outsole: Rubber/strong support
  • Cushion: High cushion

The Reebok Nano X2 training shoes are an excellent choice for men, especially for varied workouts that include cross-training exercises. Made with Flexweave textile, they offer strength and flexibility. The Floatride energy foam provides comfort, while the rubber outsole offers maximum grip on different surfaces. With a heel clip and a snug lace closure, these shoes provide a secure fit.

What We Like

  • Strong grip
  • Very comfortable fit
  • Heel clip and snug lace closure

What We Don't Like

  • Exposed energy foam can be damaged
  • Molding protecting the toe doesn't cover as much of the toe as other shoes

BUY: Reebok Nano X2 Men's Training Shoes

Best Gym Shoes for Flat Feet - New Balance Fresh Foam Roav

New Balance Fresh Foam Roav

SPECS

  • Material: Synthetic mesh
  • Width: Standard and wide available
  • Outsole: Foam/rubber
  • Cushion: Very high cushion

New Balance accommodates a variety of foot sizes and needs. The Fresh Foam Roav is designed for flat feet and offers lightweight and comfortable support. With a breathable mesh upper and a strategic shape to accommodate flat feet, these shoes provide flexibility and stability. The Ultra Heel adapts to the shape of your foot for maximum comfort.

What We Like

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Adaptable material on the heel to fit your foot
  • Good support

What We Don't Like

  • Mesh material isn't as durable as other shoes
  • Foam is exposed with no protection

BUY: New Balance Fresh Foam Roav

Best Gym Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis - Hoka Mach 5

Hoka Mach 5

SPECS

  • Material: Creel jacquard engineered mesh
  • Width: Standard and wide available
  • Outsole: Rubberized EVA
  • Cushion: Low/Responsive Cushion

Hoka is a well-known brand for high-quality footwear, and the Hoka Mach 5 is ideal for those suffering from plantar fasciitis. Featuring an exaggerated heel collar for extra support, these shoes offer excellent shock absorption. The PROFLY+ midsole provides support and comfort, while the creel jacquard mesh ensures durability.

What We Like

  • PROFLY+ midsole absorbs shock and transfers energy
  • Strong support for the heel and throughout the shoe
  • Creel jacquard mesh is more durable than other materials

What We Don't Like

  • Soft foam wears out quicker than other materials
  • Curve of the shoe may take time to get used to

BUY: Hoka Mach 5

Best Gym Shoes for Wide Feet - Hoka Clifton 8 Max Cushion

Hoka Clifton 8 Max Cushioned

SPECS

  • Material: Mesh
  • Width: Standard and wide available
  • Outsole: High abrasion rubber
  • Cushion: Very high cushion

Hoka Clifton 8 Max Cushioned is designed specifically for wide feet. With a wide toe box and a relatively flat outsole design, these shoes offer a comfortable fit. The mesh material ensures breathability, and the durable outsole provides excellent grip. The plush and lightweight midsole offers maximum cushioning.

What We Like

  • Very durable
  • Relatively flat outsole design
  • Wide toe box

What We Don't Like

  • Level of arch support might be uncomfortable for flat feet

BUY: Hoka Clifton 8 Max Cushioned

Best Budget Gym Shoes - Under Armour Charged Assert 9

Under Armour Charged Assert 9

SPECS

  • Material: Lightweight mesh, leather overlays
  • Width: Standard
  • Outsole: Rubber/strong support
  • Cushion: High cushion

For those on a budget, the Under Armour Charged Assert 9 offers all the necessary features at an affordable price point. With a lightweight mesh exterior reinforced with leather overlays, these shoes provide durability and breathability. The sock liner and Charged foam midsole offer support and energy transfer. Taking good care of these shoes ensures they will last.

What We Like

  • Budget-friendly
  • Neutral style for versatility
  • Basic supports of more expensive workout shoes

What We Don't Like

  • Runs large, so sizing could be an issue
  • Collars are not very plush and may cause irritation

BUY: Under Armour Charged Assert 9

Best Gym Shoes for Weightlifting - GoRuck Ballistic Trainers

GoRuck Ballistic Trainers

SPECS

  • Material: Engineered knit/CORDURA
  • Width: Standard
  • Outsole: Rubber/very strong support
  • Cushion: High or low cushion inserts available

If weightlifting is your focus, the GoRuck Ballistic Trainers are the perfect choice. These shoes offer strong support throughout and are made with extremely durable CORDURA material. The triple-enforced rubber outsole provides maximum strength, and the customizable cushioning allows for personalized comfort.

What We Like

  • Strong support in all areas
  • Very durable
  • Customizable cushioning

What We Don't Like

  • Not very flexible
  • Midfoot outsole may be uncomfortable for some users

BUY: GoRuck Ballistic Trainers

How to Choose the Best Workout Shoes for You

Type

When choosing gym shoes, it's important to consider the type of workout you'll be doing. Weightlifting shoes are flat to provide better stability, while running shoes offer flexibility and dynamic support for movement. Cross-training shoes are a hybrid option. Determine which type suits your workout needs best.

Support and Comfort

Balancing support and comfort is crucial when working out. Running shoes generally offer more cushioning, while weightlifting shoes and cross trainers prioritize support. Finding the right balance for your needs is key.

Outsole and Grip

Consider the shape and grip of the outsole. Running shoes are typically curved, while weightlifting shoes are flat. Gym shoes come in a variety of grip styles, so choose according to the surfaces you'll be working out on most.

FAQs About Gym Shoes

Is it better to work out in flat shoes?

For weightlifting, flat shoes are better as they provide a stable and neutral position. However, for dynamic movements like running or jumping, more supportive shoes are recommended.

Can I use running shoes for the gym?

Yes, running shoes are designed to provide flexible support and comfort, making them suitable for gym workouts. However, if weightlifting is your primary focus, specialized lifting shoes may be more beneficial.

Are flat shoes better for weightlifting?

Flat shoes offer stability and balance, making them better suited for weightlifting exercises. However, if weightlifting is your sole focus, specialized weightlifting shoes may not be necessary.

With these top picks for the best gym shoes in 2023, you can find the perfect pair for any type of workout. Consider your specific needs, such as support, cushioning, and grip, while choosing the right shoes for your fitness journey. Invest in quality footwear to maximize your performance and prevent discomfort or injuries.

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