5 Best Cross Training Shoes for Men

5 Best Cross Training Shoes for Men

12
Hours
Researched
150
Products
Evaluated

After 12 hours of research evaluating 150 products, we picked Reebok Men's Crossfit Nano 6.0 as our top choice.

Cross training combines resistance training with aerobics and mobility training, leading to better overall fitness. CrossFit is just one of the many cross training programs that hit EVERY aspect of your conditioning for maximum results.

If you're going to try cross training, you need the best CrossFit/Cross Training shoes to keep up with you!

What Are Cross Training Shoes?

Cross training shoes are built to be used for running, jump training, resistance training, and other cardiovascular workouts. Basically, they have all the best elements of both running shoes and lifting shoes, blended into one versatile pair of trainers.

Want to know more? 

Running shoes have cushioning and lifting shoes have a high heel and low toe (to improve your squat posture/performance), but cross training shoes combine both. They're not good for long running workouts, but they're functional enough for plyometrics, dance training, HIIT training, and resistance training.

Below, we've gathered a list of the best cross training shoes around, we guarantee our list has something for everyone no matter what you're looking for.

5 Best Cross Training Shoes for Men

  • 5. Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Hi Basketball Shoe
  • 4. ASICS GEL-Craze TR 3
  • 3. Nike Metcon 2 Training Shoe
  • 2. adidas Performance Powerlift 2 Trainer Shoe
  • 1. Reebok Men's Crossfit Nano 6.0

Best Basic Cross Training Shoes

#5

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Hi Basketball Shoe

Best Basic Cross Training Shoes: Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Hi Basketball Shoe
55 Bought
76 % Editor Score
82 % User Score

Why People Love it

• A highly versatile pair of shoes for beginner cross trainers

• Comfortable, minimalist design; responsive feel

• Solid and durable, will last for months of hardcore use

Versatile, slim profile, comfortable, lightweight, flexible, affordable, highly durable, great lacing system, stylish, available in a wide range of colors, and can be purchased just about anywhere.

Lacking cushioning and impact-reduction.

Performance: For those looking for a basic pair of cross training shoes without all the bells and whistles, you can't go wrong with Chucks. CrossFit and HIIT trainers recommend this shoe because of its sleek, lightweight design and slim sole. It's far more versatile than a pair of running shoes, but with a durability you'll find hard to beat.

The shoes have a beautifully stable sole, with excellent traction on concrete and gym mats. The fit is snug, and there are few shoes as stylish as a pair of Chuck Taylor All-Stars.

Features: This is a minimalist shoe with very few features. The high-top design gives you better support for your ankles, with laces that enable you to lock your feet in place. The denim exterior isn't the most breathable, but it gives you good freedom of movement. Though not the most high-tech pair of shoes, it's a great option for anyone getting started.

Price: Expect to pay anywhere from $30 to $80 for these shoes, though you can often find them on sale in local department stores and malls. They're one of the most widely available shoes in the country, and are a highly stylish choice.

 

Most Versatile Cross Training Shoes

#4

ASICS GEL-Craze TR 3

Most Versatile Cross Training Shoes: ASICS GEL-Craze TR 3
229 Bought
81 % Editor Score
86 % User Score

Why People Love it

• Designed for natural movement; highly flexible

• SpEVA midsole adapts to your foot and enhances versatility

• Comfortable, supportive, and stable

 

Great flexibility, ideal for multiple training styles, shock absorbing design, comfortable, sleek, lightweight, breathable, good stability, supportive, allow for speedy lateral movements and turns, and feature a springy midsole.

Lacking durability, and not suitable for walking.

Performance: For those who want a pair of shoes that can keep up with just about any type of workout—from HIIT to CrossFit to running to weightlifting—these are the ones you want. They come with a solid heel that reduces impact on your joints, but they're not so thick they'll compromise your mobility. Thanks to their impact-absorbing design, you can run, lift, or train without worrying about aching knees or back.

They're not comfortable for distance walking, but they're great on the treadmill, elliptical machine, and bicycle. You get excellent traction on concrete floors, plus a solid sole that offers a stable platform and great versatility. You'll love the grooves in the sole that allow for rapid lateral movements and quick turns.

Features: The shoes come with a memory foam insole that will adapt to the shape and contours of your foot, making the shoes more comfortable with each use. The SpEVA midsole is designed to absorb impact and speeds up "bounce back" from jumps or high-impact movements. The asymmetrical design of the shoes gives you more versatility in your movement.

The shoe isn't the most durable, but the breathable mesh upper is comfortable and lightweight. It's a pair of shoes to wear inside the gym, box, or cardio workout room. Thanks to the GEL cushioning in the heel, it's very supportive for your back, knees, and ankles.

Price: Starting at just under $40 and rising as high as $180, these are on the pricier end of the scale. What they lack in durability, however, they more than make up for in versatility and flexibility.

 

Best CrossFit Shoes for High Intensity Training

#3

Nike Metcon 2 Training Shoe

Best CrossFit Shoes for High Intensity Training: Nike Metcon 2 Training Shoe
281 Bought
86 % Editor Score
87 % User Score

Why People Love it

• Ideal for jump training and fast lateral movements

• Secure fit locks your foot in place; no slipping or blistering

• Built for high-powered, high-impact, and high-intensity workouts

 

Highly flexible, great traction, versatile, secure fit, durable construction, good impact reduction, great for both running and lifting, neutral design, high quality build, excellent ground control, and responsive sole.

Sizes run small, and reviewers report the fit is a bit narrow.

Performance: For those who want the best CrossFit shoes for high intensity workouts, you won't find better than these shoes. They're designed for runners (with good cushioning and impact reduction, plus solid arch/midfoot support), lifters (thanks to the thick heel), and those performing HIIT/Plyometric/CrossFit training (courtesy of the versatile design).

The soles are solid and offer excellent traction, as well as a solid platform that keeps your ankle and feet stable as you perform quick lateral/forward-and-backward movements. If you're engaged in HIIT training or CrossFit, you'll love how sleek and responsive these shoes feel when you need to move quickly.

Features: The shoes come with extra thick padding around the ankle and tongue that will keep your feet securely locked in place. There's no risk of sliding around or blistering with these bad boys. The grooves in the outsole give you great traction on the treadmill, elliptical machine, or the track. Thanks to the impact-reducing cushioning built into the sole, you can run comfortably during sprint training.

The shoes come with Flywire midfoot technology that enhance the stability of your shoes, all while offering arch support and great traction. The neutral design includes a slimmer platform that improves versatility.

Price: Starting at $75 and rising as high as $250+, these are definitely on the expensive side. However, they're stylish, durable, and a very effective pair of cross trainers for any CrossFit/HIIT workout. Just think of them as an investment in your health!

Best CrossFit Shoes

#2

adidas Performance Powerlift 2 Trainer Shoe

Best CrossFit Shoes: adidas Performance Powerlift 2 Trainer Shoe
85 Bought
93 % Editor Score
91 % User Score

Why People Love it

• A powerlifting shoe that's compatible with most gym activities

• Midfoot strap enhances stability and grip on the shoes

• Solid sole, excellent for heavy lifts and lower body training


Lightweight, good support, comfortable, breathable, enhances ankle and foot stability, good fit, excellent durability, versatile, solid traction, and good heel cushioning.

Not good for long-distance running, and shoes run narrow.

Performance: If you're a CrossFitter who hits the lifting WODs hardest, this is the pair of shoes for you. It's not a running shoe, but it's compatible with your high intensity movements. You'll find the heel-to-toe ratio makes your Squats, Lunges, and Deadlifts more comfortable and will correct your posture. The thick heel is designed to take a pounding from your workout without showing wear. Thanks to the synthetic leather used for the upper, it's a durable pair of shoes to say the least.

Despite their heavy-duty look, these powerlifting shoes are surprisingly lightweight. The synthetic upper has a mesh lining that enhances breathability. The design increases the stability of your feet and ankles as you lift, plus offers support for your joints.

Features: You'll love the midfoot strap, which is designed to keep the shoes gripping your feet tightly. You won't have to worry about your feet slipping around in the shoes as you Squat or Lunge. The thick heel takes the strain off your back as you perform lower body movements and offers good cushioning for jump/plyo/HIIT/CrossFit training movements.

The minimalist sole lacks the grooves you'd find on outdoor shoes, but the honeycomb pattern in the outsole will give you good traction on the concrete floor of your gym or CrossFit box.

Price: Starting at $55 and rising as high as $190, these shoes are on the pricier side. However, if you're looking for a pair that will ONLY be used for CrossFit, they're a good option to consider thanks to their design, durability, and stability.


Best Cross Training Shoes Overall

#1

Reebok Men's Crossfit Nano 6.0

Best Cross Training Shoes Overall: Reebok Men's Crossfit Nano 6.0
553 Bought
98 % Editor Score
96 % User Score

Why People Love it

• Beautifully versatile; ideal for CrossFit and HIIT training

• Kevlar-infused upper offers excellent durability without adding weight

• Good cushioning and support for heels and midsole


Lightweight, highly durable, good breathability, great cushioning, comfortable, contoured fit, stable, good heel-to-toe ratio, excellent traction, flexible, versatile, unique RopePro grip for rope climbing, and very supportive.

The sizes run narrow, especially in the forefoot.

Performance: For those who want a pair of hardcore cross training shoes, look no further than the Reebok CrossFit Nano. These shoes are built with CrossFitters in mind, so they combine a lightweight design with excellent durability. Both the Kevlar-infused upper and the non-marking rubber outsole are built to last, and you'll find these shoes won't wear out even after months of daily WODs.

The support and stability of these shoes are well above average, but they're not so stiff or thick they affect mobility. The breathability is excellent, making the shoes great for long workouts. They're even comfortable enough to use for a HIIT training/sprint training session. Just be warned: the fit is a tad narrow, especially in the toe box. However, those who want a snug shoe will love these bad boys!

Features: The Kevlar-infused mesh upper is lightweight and breathable, and you'll find the rubber sole gives you excellent traction. The Tri-Blend foam fusion used to build the midsole provides a combination of arch support, impact reduction, and versatility.

The grooves in the forefoot give you excellent grip on the ground for quick lateral movements, but the thick, cushioned heel will reduce strain on your joints. The rigid sole will help you hit those Squats and Lunges effectively, offering great stability and support. If your WOD includes a rope climb, you'll love the RopePro sandpaper-texture Kevlar built into the inner midfoot to give you better grip on the rope.

Price: Starting at $80 and rising as high as $130, these aren't cheap shoes. But when you consider their durability, versatility, and excellence, you'll realize they're the best choice for your cross training workouts.


Faveable Expert Tips

You’ve heard about running shoes, tennis shoes, and even football boots. These shoe types are evidently made for the specific sports and activities attached to their name. But what, exactly, are cross training shoes?

Well, if you’re someone who likes to mix things up at the gym, cross training shoes provide you with a more versatile option. They’re great for both resistance training, running, and other types of cardio like going on the elliptical machine and the stationary bike.

With constant developments in shoe technology, constant new releases, and all the factors that come into play when choosing the perfect pair of trainers, we’ve decided to craft this shoe buying guide for smart shoppers like you. We’ll help you make the best educated choice to satisfy your wants and needs. After all, the type of footwear you’re wearing can make or break or your workout.

Reasons to Get Cross Training Shoes for Yourself

Whether you’re a serious or a recreational athlete, having a pair of cross training shoes in your footwear closet will afford you several benefits. Still in two minds? Maybe the following reasons will help you make up your mind.

  1. They’re versatile. Planning a comprehensive session at the gym? Wearing a pair of cross training shoes will save you time and effort. No longer do you have to switch between a weightlifting-friendly pair and your favorite running shoes in the middle of your session. The result? You get to focus all of your energy into your workout.
  2. You get to save money. Having a good pair of cross training shoes will enable you to dive right into various physical activities without worry. Instead of buying multiple pairs for different workouts, you only have to spend your money on one.
  3. They’re comfortable and secure. Wearing running shoes while lifting weights or participating in a CrossFit class is simply not as safe as having dedicated cross training shoes. These activities require an entirely different kind of support that you won’t get from traditional running footwear.
  4. Cross training shoes provide you with the best of both worlds—wells, the best of several worlds, actually. They combine the desirable features of other shoe types to come up with the ultimate fitness shoes. For example, a pair may be designed to have the reliable cushioning of running shoes, the lateral stability of tennis shoes, and the forefoot cushioning of volleyball shoes—all combined in one convenient pair.

Knowing Your Foot Type

More than fancy shoe tech and innovative construction materials, your foot shape is the most important piece of information you have to know when buying a new pair of cross training shoes. A gal with high arches will need a pair that’s likely different from what a flat-footed fellow will appreciate. Also, do you your feet roll inward when you’re running (overpronation) or do they roll outward (supination)? If you’re having a hard time pinpointing your foot shape, ask someone from your favorite shoe store to help you out.

 

How to Shop for The Best Cross Training Shoes

No two shoes are the same, but all cross training pairs are made up of a constant list of construction features: the upper, heel support, and the sole. Understanding what these features are will help you narrow down your choices as you shop for cross training footwear.

Visiting a physical store will enable you to try on the shoes before making a purchase. When trying on a pair, you should also check the fit and traction and decide if it works well with your feet. If you’re limited to buying shoes online, however, try to go for a store that will allow you to return or exchange your pair if it falls below expectations.   

Check Out the Sole and Heel Support

A good cross training shoe will have a nice amount of flex and excellent traction on the sole. Usually made of lightweight yet durable rubber, the sole should also be a bit wider than normal running shoes in order to provide you with the stability you need.

If you’re flat-footed, we recommend that you go for a neutral or a stability shoe. A more cushioned sole, on the other hand, will work better for a high-arched foot.

If you do a lot of high-impact workouts like plyometrics, go for cross training shoes that have extra heel cushioning for shock absorption.

Look at the Outer Construction

Also called the upper, the outer construction of your cross training shoes should provide you with stability and protection. Choose a pair that features breathable materials without compromising support.

However, if you think that anything with a 100% breathable outer construction simply can’t provide you with the support you need, shoes that feature a leather material in the upper will also work fine.

Any reputable shoe company will design their shoes with durability in mind, but know that some materials survive friction-heavy activities (like rope climbing) better than others. When doing your research, try to look for info on the recommended upper materials for the specific set of activities you’re planning to engage in.

Cross Training Shoe Tech

Shoe tech isn’t only relevant to professional athletes or sneakerheads. Those fancy terms may seem overplayed and overhyped, but the right kind of technology does bring a noticeable difference in your workouts.

Don’t know what we’re talking about? Think Nike’s Flyknit, Adidas’ Boost sole, Reebok’s Flexweave, and Asics’ MONO-SOCK. These technologies were engineered to provide a specific response. It’s up to you to determine which types of shoe technology will make the most impact on your performance.

Fit and Traction

Wearing shoes that are too small or too big will expose you to unnecessary injury risks—not to mention that they’re probably uncomfortable, too. Also, when fitting a pair of cross training shoes, make sure to wear your own workout socks so that you can assess the fit as accurately as possible. If you regularly wear shoe inserts or foot orthotics, bring those with you, as well.

Another thing that shoppers frequently forget to do when trying out a pair of athletic shoes is to mimic the movements of their favorite activities. Walking straight ahead using the shoes that you’re eyeing is not enough! Move around to really get an idea of how they’ll feel while using them.

Don’t be afraid to shift your feet from side to side. Not only should you feel adequate support around your ankles and toes all throughout, but the traction should be enough to let you comfortably execute your moves without worry.

More Shopping Tips

  • Don’t buy shoes in hopes of breaking them in. They should be comfortable and stable from the get-go.
  • Try shoes on in the afternoon for the most accurate fit.
  • If you’re buying a pair that features a lot of leather, keep in mind that real leathers will slightly stretch after several uses (and that synthetic materials won’t).
  • Try on multiple sizes of the same pair to find the best fit.
  • According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, a correctly-sized workout shoe should allow you to freely wiggle your toes when the shoe is on.

Signs That Your Old Cross Training Shoes Need to Be Replaced

  1. You’ve used the pair for more than 100 hours. Fitness experts encourage gym regulars to replace their cross training shoes after they’ve been used vigorously for more than 100 hours. If your workouts involve activities that are kinder to your soles (think an elliptical machine versus rope climbing), you can stretch their lifespan a bit longer.
  2. The midsole has deep-set wrinkles. If a shoe’s once-cushiony midsole layer starts looking like a squashed marshmallow, it’s time to grab a new pair of cross training shoes for yourself. Working out with a compromised midsole heightens your risk of injuries and prevents you from performing at your best level.
  3. The upper has holes or tears. This should be rather obvious, but if your pair looks clearly worn out, it’s time to say goodbye.
  4. The soles are unevenly worn. If you’re an overpronator or a supinator, the soles on your workout shoes are bound to become unevenly worn with time. If you feel that the disparity in wear is already affecting your comfort, chuck them out and get yourself a fresh pair.

We’re in somewhat of a golden age as far as cross training shoes are concerned. These handy little pairs of versatile footwear just get better and better with each iteration, and given the sheer number of shoe models from dozens of different brands, being unable to find something that works for you is almost impossible.

Each pair of cross training shoes will have their own pros and cons. Some pairs will have the upper hand in certain aspects and fall short in others. That said, it will be in your best interest to list down your top needs, then match them with what the benefits that a shoe’s technology and materials promise.

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Article Staff

Fitness has come hard for Andy; he's had to work for it. But, his trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, a NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise and healthy living. That’s why he’s our resident fitness expert.

His favorite food is lettuce-leaf steak tacos – though he’ll admit to a love of hot wings if you leverage the right pressure.

We know him as the guy who understands British humor and wishes everyone was as passionate about life as he is. His previous forays into the worlds of international business and education have left him wildly optimistic. And, if that wasn’t enough, he's also a best-selling, award-winning author of fantasy novels! Can you say renaissance?

Editor Jenna Holtz
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