6 Best Cross Training Shoes for Women

6 Best Cross Training Shoes for Women

11
Hours
Researched
100
Products
Evaluated

After 11 hours of research evaluating 100 products, we picked Reebok Crossfit Nano 5.0 as our top choice.

Most people immediately think of "cardio" as being the best exercise for women. Sure, women do tend to have more energy for running, but that doesn't mean they should only do cardio.

In fact, women benefit from lifting weights in every way—from fat burning to improved metabolic function to better hormone balance.

So why not try both?

If you're already a runner, it's time to get into resistance training as well. The combination will lead to a sleeker, better physique and improved health. What's not to love?

What are Cross Training Shoes?

You've got your running shoes and trail running shoes for long-distance runs, but you're going to need a pair of shoes to use at the gym.

The best cross training shoes are useful for both resistance training and cardio (treadmill, trail running, and other gym cardio workouts). Below is our list of the best cross training shoes out there. We know because we've tried them. 

6 Best Cross Training Shoes for Women

  • 6. New Balance WX608V4 Training Shoe
  • 5. PUMA Pulse XT Geo Cross-Training Shoe
  • 4. ASICS GEL-Fit Sana Cross-Training Shoe
  • 3. RYKA Hydro Sport Water Shoe
  • 2. Mizuno Wave Rider 19 Running Shoe
  • 1. Reebok Crossfit Nano 5.0

Best Budget Cross Training Shoes

#6

New Balance WX608V4 Training Shoe

Best Budget Cross Training Shoes: New Balance WX608V4 Training Shoe
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666 Bought
76 % Editor Score
80 % User Score

Why People Love it

• Shock-absorbing design makes them great for active users

• Durable construction and built to last

• Comfortable when broken in; supportive and stable


Affordable, supportive, durable, decent quality, cushioned heel, increases stability, great for walking and running, wide fit, great ankle support, and compatible with inserts.

Poor ventilation and high risk of blisters with these shoes.

Performance: For those who are looking for budget cross-trainers, these are a great choice. Not only are they affordable, but they're a surprisingly durable pair of shoes that can last for months of hardcore use. Thanks to the added cushioning built into the heels, you'll be able to walk or run without discomfort.

They're not the most stylish, though. They're a bit thick, wide, and heavy, and those with narrow feet will find that there's a bit of rubbing (higher risk of blisters) around the ankles. However, they offer good stability and support, which makes them a good option for cross training shoes.

Features: These shoes are fairly simple, featuring a durable rubber outsole for solid traction, an IMEVA midsole with moderate arch support, and a synthetic upper (which sadly lacks breathability). The classic lacing system will help the shoes to grip your feet tightly. The internal shank will increase stability, and you'll love the shock-absorbing design of New Balance's Abzorb heel cushion.

Price: At $40, these are some of the best-priced cross training shoes for women around. You'll find they last a long time and provide everything you need for your workouts. All in all, a great choice!


Most Versatile Cross Training Shoes

#5

PUMA Pulse XT Geo Cross-Training Shoe

Most Versatile Cross Training Shoes: PUMA Pulse XT Geo Cross-Training Shoe
Get from Amazon
1,080 Bought
80 % Editor Score
82 % User Score

Why People Love it

• A design versatile enough for ANY workout

• Excellent stability, grip, and comfort

• Responsive and dynamic; great for rapid movements

 

Dynamic design, cushioned, compatible with high impact training, supportive, great fit, slip-on design, responsive footbed, good padding, and comfortable.

Sizes run small and not great for wide feet.

Performance: For those who mix up HIIT training, CrossFit, kickboxing, and weightlifting in their weekly workouts, these shoes were made for you. Their slim design makes them perfect for cardio and HIIT training, but there's enough cushioning to protect your joints. The padding around the collar will reduce blistering no matter how much you jump around.

The shoes offer great stability and an outsole with superior traction, especially on concrete floors. The fit may be a bit narrow, but for the average person these are a snug, grippy pair of shoes that will be beautifully comfortable.

Features: The responsive footbed is the major selling point of these beauties. The midsole is designed to compress and expand, giving you a certain "bounce" that makes your jumps and sprints faster. The rubber outsole is thin enough that you can feel your feet flat on the ground, but the groove running along the middle of the sole enables you to make quick lateral movements.

The snug fit will keep the shoes tight on your feet as you run and jump. The shoes come with a "slip-on bootie" design that makes putting them on a breeze. You'll love how lightweight the shoes are, yet they don't sacrifice durability.

Price: Starting at $45 and rising as high as $120, these are definitely on the pricier side of the market. However, they're worth it if you're looking for a shoe that's comfortable on the dance floor, among the free weights, and on the treadmill.

 

Best Cross Training Shoes for Comfort

#4

ASICS GEL-Fit Sana Cross-Training Shoe

Best Cross Training Shoes for Comfort: ASICS GEL-Fit Sana Cross-Training Shoe
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2,144 Bought
83 % Editor Score
86 % User Score

Why People Love it

• Incredibly comfortable; great heel cushioning ideal for resistance training

• External heel cage offers excellent stability for Squats and Lunges

• Slim, minimalist design ideal for Cross-Training

 

Good heel to toe ratio, lightweight, breathable, GEL cushioning in heel, great weightlifting shoes, good padding, excellent balance, flexible, and dynamic.

Lacking midsole and forefoot cushioning.

Performance: If you want a pair of shoes to keep up with your workouts, you'll love these beauties. The GEL cushioning built into the heel will reduce impact on your knees, and the toe drop (thick heel, thin forefoot) is great for more natural movement when lifting weights.

The shoes are beautifully comfortable, with good padding and a durable insole that will keep your feet cozy and snug as you train. They're balanced and flexible, compatible with most types of training—everything from dance training to kickboxing to weightlifting. They're not running or HIIT shoes, but you'll love them on Leg Day.

Features: The external heel cage adds extra stability to your ankles when performing Squats, Lunges, and rapid lateral movements. The sole is thick enough to offer cushioning for your feet but not so thick you lose stability. The dynamic, sleek design makes them ideal for anyone who wants to mix things up in the gym.

The upper is made of an ultra-lightweight synthetic mesh, and it's beautifully breathable. The low profile design makes it ideal for training on the cardio machines and with free weights. All in all, a great pair of cross training shoes.

Price: Starting at $45, these shoes are great value for the price. They're not useful outside the gym/CrossFit box, but they'll keep up with all your indoor workouts easily.

 

Best Cross Training Shoes for Water Sports

#3

RYKA Hydro Sport Water Shoe

Best Cross Training Shoes for Water Sports: RYKA Hydro Sport Water Shoe
Get from Amazon
296 Bought
89 % Editor Score
89 % User Score

Why People Love it

• An amazing water shoe; great for running in the rain or on the beach

• Quick-drying design with excellent drainage

• Lightweight, supportive, and comfortable

 

Great for wet conditions, comfortable, good support, breathable mesh upper, dries quickly, good value, easy lacing, good traction, stable, lightweight 

Laces come loose when wet, and she features a narrow toe box.

Performance: If you like to run in the rain or on the beach, these are the shoes for you. The water shoes are designed to be comfortable and supportive even when wet. The traction actually improves on wet roads, and you'll find the stability of the shoes is excellent for running in soft sand.

The shoes are lightweight but offer decent durability. They're a lot more comfortable than you'd expect from such a minimalist design. The thick cushioning built into the heel reduces impact on your joints, making them a great shoe to use even if you run long distances in the rain.

Features: The shoes are designed to be used in wet conditions, meaning they have a synthetic upper and insole that can handle a lot of wear and tear. The breathable mesh allows for good air flow, encouraging the shoe to dry quickly. The draining ports in the outsole and midsole ensure the water drains away easily. They can be worn with or without socks, but they won't cause blisters to form.

The lacing system is easy to tighten, though you may find that the laces come loose if they are wet. Whether you do water aerobics, beach running, or running in the rain, these shoes are a versatile option that can handle all water sports.

Price: You can expect to pay around $60 for these shoes, though it's possible to find them for as little as $22 (in smaller sizes). Definitely a worthwhile pair of running/training shoes to have if you train in the rain!

 

Best CrossFit Shoes for Runners

#2

Mizuno Wave Rider 19 Running Shoe

Best CrossFit Shoes for Runners: Mizuno Wave Rider 19 Running Shoe
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1,692 Bought
94 % Editor Score
93 % User Score

Why People Love it

• Great for lateral movements/jump training

• Comfortable when running or resistance training

• Good cushioning; designed to reduce impact

 

Impact-reducing design, stable, supportive, reactive shoes, great versatility, comfortable, ideal for weightlifting and running, beautiful, and durable.

Noisy on hard floors.

Performance: For CrossTraining women, these are the dream shoes. The shoes are built with a wave-shaped plate down the midsole that helps to cushion impact, protecting your forefoot. You'll find these shoes are highly stable and supportive, making them perfect for jump training, CrossFit, and other high-impact activities.

The shoes come with solid cushioning, but not so thick or inflexible that it reduces versatility. The shoes are great for lateral movements, jumps, and running. The design of the forefoot encourages a more natural stride and adds a bit of spring into your toe-off.

Features: The upper is made with a synthetic mesh that is breathable and lightweight, yet offers good grip on your feet. The shoes fit just right, with a toe box that isn't too narrow or wide. You'll love the padded sock liner, which has added padding to reduce impact and increase resiliency.

The shoes have good arch and heel support, with a stable forefoot base that allows you to make quick direction changes. Some users complain that the elastic in the laces reduces grip, but the shoes have a snug enough fit that you won't need to worry about your feet sliding around.

Price: Starting at $51, these shoes tend toward the pricier side of the scale. However, the construction is durable—from the synthetic upper to the rubber outsole, everything is built to last. All in all, a great investment if you're a cross-trainer and runner!

 

Best Cross Training Shoes for Women Overall

#1

Reebok Crossfit Nano 5.0

Best Cross Training Shoes for Women Overall: Reebok Crossfit Nano 5.0
Get from Amazon
3,196 Bought
98 % Editor Score
96 % User Score

Why People Love it

• Ideal for CrossFit, plyometrics, HIIT, combat classes, running, and weightlifting

• Comfortable even after hours of strenuous activity

• Great movement and flexibility with excellent support

 

Lightweight, good stability, versatile, excellent mobility, minimalist, responsive design, comfortable, decent cushioning, low cut, and perfect for CrossFit and resistance training.

Lacking durability, and features an extra wide toe box.

Performance: Want a pair of shoes that can keep up with any gym workout? Look no further! These shoes really do have it all. Thanks to their low cut design and minimalist feel, they're perfect for just about any workout or fitness training you can throw at them.

The shoes are designed for CrossFitters, and they'll keep up with your plyo training, combat class, and HIIT session. They're comfortable enough to wear for hours at a time yet provide great stability and support for your feet. The re-engineered shape of the latest-model shoes give these shoes a great fit. If you want to avoid sore feet after a hardcore training session, these are your top pick.

Features: The upper is made using synthetic material, but with Kevlar material infused into it to provide good support and protection for your foot. The outsole and midsole may not be the most durable, but you'll find the minimalist design makes the shoes a sleek ride. You'll have no problem running, jumping, and squatting in these beauties.

The NanoShell midsole is made from thermoplastic polymyer, giving your arches great support for heavy lifting and high impact training. The shoe has good cushioning without raising your feet too high off the ground. You'll find you have excellent stability for those lateral movements as well as jumps and squats.

Price: Starting at $55, this is one of the best-priced pairs of shoes on the list. They may not be the most durable cross trainers, but they're comfortable, well-designed, and the best choice overall.

 

Cross Training Shoes Buying Guide

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
Researcher Ronnie Langston
Art Director Cherry Barbacena

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