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Home » 9 Best Cross Training Shoes (2022 Update) | Picks for CrossFit, Women, and More

9 Best Cross Training Shoes (2022 Update) | Picks for CrossFit, Women, and More

There are so many cross-training shoes on the market that finding the perfect pair can be a pretty daunting task. Each cross-training shoe is built slightly differently which will influence a shoe’s performance and durability.

Every day, I spend a considerable amount of time answering questions like, “Which cross-training shoe is best for CrossFit? Which cross-training shoe is best for women and men? Which shoes are best for HIIT and shorter runs?

The questions never stop and there are always layers of context needed when finding the best cross-training shoes for your individual needs. In this article, I’ve broken the top and best cross-training shoes into multiple categories based on their performance.

Every cross-training shoe listed below has been hand-tested by me and I have individual video and article reviews on every single shoe featured.

 

Make sure you check out the TF2 Cross-Training Shoe Calculator. This calculator matches you with cross-training shoes that I’ve reviewed that will match your needs best.

Best Cross Training Shoes for CrossFit

When testing the best cross-training shoes for CrossFit, I assess how a model responds to the demands of different CrossFit workouts. CrossFit workouts can wreak havoc on cross-training shoes so it’s important to have a model designed for this training style.

For context, when assessing cross-training shoes for CrossFit, I’m looking at a shoe’s stability, versatility, and overall durability. FYI, the three options below are all great and could easily be rotated to the number one pick based on your fit and shoe preferences.

1. STR/KE MVMNT Haze Trainer

The STR/KE MVMNT Haze Trainer has earned my top spot for best CrossFit shoes in 2021. This model continually delivers strong performance across the board for both CrossFit and heavy lifting for three reasons.

Testing the Haze Trainer for CrossFit workouts

Number one, the medium-density midsole in the Haze Trainer provides a strong blend of versatility and stability. I’ve trained well over 500 lbs in this model as well with any issues with compression whatsoever.

This midsole is also comfortable for movements like double-unders and box jumps.  Number two, this model also features a wider toe box that is comparable to what the Altra Escalante uses (if you’ve ever worn them!) and has a highly maneuverable outsole.

Testing the Haze Trainer for Box Jumps

Number three, the Cross-Platform outsole bends and flexes well to accommodate all styles of training, which is also a perk for those that like a more mobile cross-training shoe designed for CrossFit workouts.

  • Best For: CrossFit-Style Training
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 11.2 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My ReviewSTR/KE MVMNT Haze Trainer Review

STRIKE MVMNT Haze Trainer

$150

STRIKE MVMNT Haze Trainer
4.8
Stability
4.8
Versatility
4.7
Durability
4.8

Best For

  • Heavy Lifting
  • Cross-Training Workouts
  • Athletic-Focused Sessions
  • Shorter Runs (<3 miles)

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency
  • For Custom Orthotics

2. R.A.D ONE

The R.A.D ONE is one of the newer cross-training shoes for 2022 and it’s a stellar model for CrossFit across the board. This shoe features a midsole and outsole that when blended together walk a really good line between being versatile and stable.

Testing the RAD ONE for CrossFit

Whether you’re new CrossFit or maxing out your lifts, this shoe will support your needs really well. The midsole has been stable enough for my lifts up to 500 lbs and comfortable enough for more athletic-focused training sessions.

In regard to durability for CrossFit workouts, this shoe’s rubber outsole wraps over the midsole which is awesome for both traction and additional durability for things like rope climbs where abrasion can tear up the midfoot.

Testing the RAD ONE for HIIT workouts

The upper on this model has strategic layers to prolong durability around the toe and midfoot, which are both areas that can break down quickly with this style of training. For a newer model, I’m really impressed with the R.A.D ONE’s performance for CrossFit workouts. 

  • Best For: CrossFit
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 6mm
  • Weight: 12.7 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: R.A.D recommends going up a half size, I went true and they fit fine (more on that in my review article)
  • Read My Review: R.A.D ONE Review

R.A.D ONE

$150

RAD ONE Training Shoes
4.8
Stability
4.8
Versatility
4.7
Durability
4.8

Best For

  • Heavy Lifting
  • CrossFit Workouts
  • Recreational Lifting
  • HIIT Training
  • Athletic-Focused Training

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency

3. TYR CXT-1 Trainer

The TYR CXT-1 Trainer is taking my third spot as one of the best cross-training shoes for CrossFit. TYR is relatively new to the world of CrossFit and made a fairly big splash at the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games.

Testing the TYR CXT-1 Trainer for Squatting

This model can be a great option for CrossFit due to its versatility and stability. The CXT-1 Trainer comes with TYR’s patent-pending Stability Platform and Surge NRG foam midsole which gives this model a nice stable feel when training heavy.

I also like the TYR CXT-1 Trainer’s higher heel-to-toe drop and think it will resonate with certain athletes. If you like having a bit more “heel” when lifting, doing thrusters, and wall balls, then I think you’ll enjoy the TYR CXT-1 Trainer’s performance.

TYR CXT-1 Trainer Durability for CrossFit Training

Regarding durability, I think the breathable mesh upper and thicker toe bumper are great for promoting this shoe’s long-term upper durability. Granted, I do have one rope climbing durability concern, which I’m hoping isn’t an issue for everyone, and I discuss this in-depth in my review.

  • Best For: Lifting, CrossFit, and Athletic Training
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 9mm
  • Weight: 12.65 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My Review: TYR CXT-1 Trainer Review

TYR CXT-1 Trainer

$130

TYR CXT-1 Trainer Product Shot
4.6
Stability
4.8
Versatility
4.7
Durability
4.3

Best For

  • CrossFit/Cross-Training
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Athletic-Style Workouts
  • Athletes That Like Higher Drops

Falls Short

  • For Minimal Drop Lovers
  • For Athletes That Like “Minimalist-Style” Shoes

Best Cross Training Shoes for Lifting and the Gym

If you’re more of a recreational lifter and you want a pair of cross-training shoes for the gym, then you’re likely not as worried about some of the more CrossFit-geared features of some shoes.

Great cross-training shoes for the gym and recreational lifting are those that are stable with a blend of versatility. Typically, lifters want a cross-training shoe that can work under heavy weight, but also be versatile enough for the casual HIIT workout here and there.

1. R.A.D ONE

The R.A.D ONE cross-training shoes are brand new on the cross-training shoe scene and they have been really strong performers for my recreational lifting sessions.

R.A.D ONE Training Shoes for crossfit and lifting

This shoe features a Swell Foam midsole which is R.A.D’s proprietary midsole material and it provides a really nice level of stability. There’s also an additional outsole wrap over the midsole for added stability and durability support.

Another perk of the Swell Foam is that it’s a relatively responsibly-sourced material as well. In the R.A.D ONE, I’ve deadlifted over 500 lbs in them and have squatted over 385 lbs, and have had no issues with compression whatsoever.

R.A.D ONE Training Shoes crossfit review

The R.A.D ONE features a 6mm heel-to-toe drop. I like this heel-to-toe drop for lifting, and I think it’s a nice in-between drop for most lifters who don’t want to train with a flat foot or overly elevated heel.

  • Best For: Heavy Lifting, CrossFit, and HIIT Workouts
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 6mm
  • Weight: 12.7 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: R.A.D recommends going up a half size, I went true and they fit fine (more on that in my review article)
  • Read My Review: R.A.D ONE Review

R.A.D ONE

$150

RAD ONE Training Shoes
4.8
Stability
4.8
Versatility
4.7
Durability
4.8

Best For

  • Heavy Lifting
  • CrossFit Workouts
  • Recreational Lifting
  • HIIT Training
  • Athletic-Focused Training

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency

2. Nike Metcon 8

The Nike Metcon 8 is bringing home my second pick as one the best cross-training shoes for lifting. I think if you’re looking for a training shoe primarily for lifting and heavy strength work, then the Nike Metcon 8 will fulfill your training asks.

Using the Nike Metcon 8 for Deadlifting

For lifting context, I’ve squatted over 400 lbs and deadlifted 550 lbs in the Nike Metcon 8 and didn’t experience stability issues, so they should be a solid option for most recreational lifters wanting them for barbell, machine, and accessory work.

The Nike React Foam in the forefoot gives this model’s forefoot a versatile feeling without limiting stability, and the Hyperlift insert in the heel helps add to this shoe’s overall stability when moving weight.

Testing the Nike Metcon 8 for squats

I also like that the Nike Metcon 8 can excel for things like CrossFit and athletic training in certain contexts, so it’s a good model for someone who does a little bit of everything but has a heavy weekly bias towards lifting.

  • Best For: Lifting, CrossFit, and Athletic Training
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 12.4 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My ReviewNike Metcon 8 Review

Nike Metcon 8

$130

Nike Metcon 8 Product Shot
4.5
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.3
Durability
4.6

Best For

  • Cross-Training
  • CrossFit and CrossFit-Style Workouts
  • Lifting

Falls Short

  • For Wide Feet
  • For Running

3. STR/KE MVMNT Haze Trainer

The STR/KE MVMNT Haze Trainer is taking my third pick as the best cross-training shoe for lifting. Personally, I think the Haze Trainer is one of the best cross-training shoes on the market if you want a model that articulates well for lifting.

Testing the Haze Trainer for Strength Training

What I mean by this is that this is a cross-training shoe that has a slightly more “minimalist” feel to it when training. You notice this most when doing things like lunges (unilateral work) because the sole articulates so well with the foot.

The stability in the Haze Trainer is good and if you’re primarily planning to use this shoe for things like free weight exercises and machine work, then you’ll enjoy how the midsole and outsole perform.

Testing the Haze Trainer for Lifting

The knit jacquard upper is also a perk in this shoe because it gives this model a more comfortable fit. Outside of the gym, I also like wearing my Haze Trainer for daily wear which is another perk of this model’s overall versatility.

  • Best For: Lifting (for a more minimalist feel), Athletic Training, and CrossFit
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 11.2 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My ReviewSTR/KE MVMNT Haze Trainer Review

STRIKE MVMNT Haze Trainer

$150

STRIKE MVMNT Haze Trainer
4.8
Stability
4.8
Versatility
4.7
Durability
4.8

Best For

  • Heavy Lifting
  • Cross-Training Workouts
  • Athletic-Focused Sessions
  • Shorter Runs (<3 miles)

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency
  • For Custom Orthotics

Best Cross Training Shoes for Men

When testing and reviewing the best cross-training shoes for men, I’m concerned with two key performance aspects. First, I assess how well-rounded the shoe is in regard to its stability and versatility.

Second, I assess the overall durability of the shoe’s upper, midsole, and outsole. Will it stand up to a wide range of workouts or will it break down for a particular type of training session?

1. Under Armour TriBase Reign 4

The UA TriBase Reign 4 is bringing home my top pick for the best cross-training shoes for men. This model is a good versatile cross-training shoe that can do a little bit of everything really well.

under armour tribase reign 4 for lifting

The Micro G Foam midsole in this model provides a nice level of stability for heavier sessions, yet is also responsive for power-focused training sessions. The TriBase tech on this model’s outsole is also a nice perk for stability and balance.

I think if you want a cross-training shoe that performs well for recreational lifting, CrossFit workouts, and HIIT sessions, in addition to having a lower heel-to-toe drop, then you’ll enjoy this model. With its 2mm heel-to-toe drop, this is one of the “flatter” cross-training shoes on the market.

under armour tribase reign 4 for crossfit workouts

One of the perks of the UA TriBase Reign 4 is that it breaks in and feels better over time. After a few weeks of adamant training in this model, they actually start to feel better for all types of training.

  • Best For: Lifting, HIIT, and CrossFit-Style Training
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 2mm
  • Weight: 13 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My ReviewUA TriBase Reign 4 Review

UA TriBase Reign 4

$120

Under Armour TriBase Reign 4
4.6
Stability
4.6
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.5

Best For

  • CrossFit and Cross-Training
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Athletic-Focused Training

Falls Short

  • For Wider Feet
  • For Longer Runs

2. NOBULL Trainer+

The NOBULL Trainer+ earns my second pick for the best cross-training shoes for men. This model can be a great option for the guy that wants a shoe for lifting, CrossFit, and outdoor workouts.

NOBULL Trainer Plus for lifting and CrossFit

Compared to the original NOBULL Trainer, the NOBULL Trainer+ has a thicker EVA foam midsole and herringbone tread patterning. The combination of these two features gives the Trainer+ a heightened degree of comfort and versatility for outdoor workouts.

I also think if you want a model that can accommodate wider feet and provide some motion control, then the NOBULL Trainer+ is worth looking into. The durability of the Trainer+ is also really strong for different styles of workouts.

NOBULL Trainer Plus for versatile training

Another good option to explore that is similar to the NOBULL Trainer+ is the NOBULL Court Trainer. This model has similar construction elements of the Trainer+, but has an outsole wrap and tread designed specifically for court sports.

  • Best For: Recreational Lifting, Flat Feet, CrossFit-Style Training
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 12.7 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My Review: NOBULL Trainer+ Review

NOBULL Trainer+

$139

NOBULL Trainer Plus
4.5
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.5
Durability
4.6

Best For

  • Cross-Training Style Workouts
  • CrossFit
  • Recreational Lifting

Falls Short

  • For Versatile Training
  • For Cost-Efficiency

3. Inov-8 F-Lite G 300

The Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 is a model that often flies under most lifters’ radars. Personally, I love this shoe for tackling hybrid tasks in the gym. This model as a whole has been incredibly durable for me and has supported some of my heavier lifts.

Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 Pros

I noticed very little compression in this model when working over 450 lbs in deadlifts and the midsole construction walks a fine line between being stable, but also versatile enough for plyometrics and HIIT-style workouts.

One of the biggest pros of this model is the Graphene construction — hence the “G” in the name. The Graphene component supports this model’s overall durability and ability to perform well with stability and versatile workouts where traction is key.

Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 Construction

I think if you want a cross-training shoe for lifting, some HIIT workouts, CrossFit, and even some shorter interval-focused runs, then the Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 can be a good shoe to look into.

  • Best For: Lifting, HIIT, CrossFit-Style Training
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 6mm
  • Weight: 12.3 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My Review: Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 Review

Inov-8 F-Lite G 300

$150

Inov-8 F-Lite G 300
4.6
Stability
4.6
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.7

Best For

  • Versatile Training
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Shorter Runs
  • Plyometrics

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency

Best Cross Training Shoes for Women

When assessing the best cross-training shoes for women I look to my girlfriend and my YouTube community for feedback. Women’s feet are built differently than men’s, so finding options that perform well and accommodate a woman’s foot anatomy is key for this section.

For this section, I make my picks by blending the feedback that I receive from the women athletes in my life with my personal interpretations of certain cross-training shoes. 

1. Nike Metcon 8

For blending versatility, durability, and stability, the Nike Metcon 8 does a pretty good job. The Nike React Foam in the forefoot of this model gives this shoe a nice bounce for classes and HIIT workouts where you’ll be on your toes a lot.

Testing the Nike Metcon 8 for HIIT

Then the Hyperlift insert in the heel adds a nice level of stability for different types of lifting and stability shouldn’t be an issue in this model. I also like that the Metcon 8’s upper has been improved and is a bit more durable than the Nike Metcon 7.

The Metcon 8 does a good job for the athlete that likes to tackle a blend of training styles on a weekly basis. My girlfriend noted, “Similar to the Metcon 7s, I love the stability and support that the Metcon 8 provides…continued below” 

Nike Metcon 8 Review

The rigidity in the midfoot helps create a stable base for heavy lifting, and, because of the structured upper, my foot feels secure when performing lateral movements as well.”

One of the main complaints you’ll see against the Nike Metcon 8, is that while the Hyperlift insert does a good job with lifting, it can feel clunky at times. For example, the Nike Metcon 8 won’t be the best shoe for short runs and daily wear, and I discuss this more in-depth in my review below.

  • Best For: Lifting, HIIT, and CrossFit-Style Training
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 12.4 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My Review: Nike Metcon 8 Review

Nike Metcon 8

$130

Nike Metcon 8 Product Shot
4.5
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.3
Durability
4.6

Best For

  • Cross-Training
  • CrossFit and CrossFit-Style Workouts
  • Lifting

Falls Short

  • For Wide Feet
  • For Running

2. Inov-8 F-Lite 260 V2

The Inov-8 F-Lite 260 V2 is a seriously slept-on cross-training shoe. This model has a lower 8mm heel-to-toe drop and a Dynamic Fascia Band construction that gives it a more “natural” feeling.

inov 8 f lite 260 v2 lifting

Basically, it’s a great model to promote one’s feeling with the ground and its overall width is more neutral so its fits really well for most women’s foot anatomies.

The PowerFlow midsole in this shoe walks a nice line between stability and versatility, too. When you blend this with this model’s Dynamic Fascia Band Outsole you get a really nice reactive and maneuverable fit and feel.

inov 8 f lite 260 v2 hiit

For the athlete that loves lifting, tackling HIIT sessions, and lighter runs, the Inov-8 F-Lite 260 V2 is a great pick. The flexibility is solid, it’s lightweight, the fit feels athletic, and the stability is solid across the board.

  • Best For: CrossFit-Style Training
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 8mm
  • Weight: 10.5 oz
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size, but if you have a wider foot, then some may want to size up a half size
  • Read My Review: Inov-8 F-Lite 260 V2 Review

Inov-8 F-Lite 260 V2

$140

inov-8 f-lite 260 v2
4.6
Stability
4.6
Versatility
4.7
Durability
4.6

Best For

  • CrossFit Workouts
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Versatile Training
  • HIIT and Agility Workouts

Falls Short

  • For Wider Footed Athletes
  • For Cost-Efficiency

3. Reebok Nano X2

For women with wider and flatter feet, the Reebok Nano X2 can also be a good cross-training shoe to explore and look into. This model, like the two models above, can be a really good shoe for doing a little bit of everything.

Reebok Nano X2 for Women

Girlfriend wearing her Reebok Nano X2 for her lower body day.

My girlfriend has a flatter foot and often struggles to find properly fitting cross-training shoes enjoys the Nano X2 for its additional midfoot support.

When asking her for feedback about the Reebok Nano X2 she said, “The Reebok Nano X2s are my current favorite shoes for cross-training. They’re stable without being overly rigid, so I can use them for both heavy lower-body lifts AND short runs or plyometric work...continued below

Reebok Nano X2 In Depth Review

“They also fit really well for a woman’s foot — snugger in the midfoot and heel without being too narrow in the forefoot so I can actually keep active toes throughout my workout.”

  • Best For: General Training, HIIT Workouts, Casual CrossFit, and Wider Feet
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 7mm
  • Weight: 11.9 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: For wider feet, you should be safe going true-to-size in the Nano X2. Narrow/neutral-width feet, size down a half size.
  • Read My ReviewReebok Nano X2 Review

Reebok Nano X2

$135

Reebok Nano X2
4.4
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.2

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • Athletic-Focused Training
  • Casual CrossFit Sessions
  • Shorter Runs

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency

Best Cross-Training Shoes for Flat/Wide Feet

When testing the best cross-training shoes for flatter and wider feet, I’m mostly concerned with one key performance and fit area and that is if the cross-training shoes are comfortable for those with flatter and wider feet.

Flat and wide feet can vary from individual to individual due to the vast differences in everyone’s foot anatomy, so I’ve provided three of my favorite picks for flat feet below.

1. Reebok Nano X2

The Reebok Nano X2 is taking my top pick for the best cross-training shoes for flat feet. This model is what I would call a “best of all worlds” style of cross-training shoe for flatter feet.

Deadlifting 505 lbs In the Reebok Nano X2 Lifting Test

The Nano X2 is built to be slightly wider and it features TPU clips around the lateral and medial midfoot. These clips help give this shoe additional midfoot support which can be key for those with flatter feet in need of a bit more support.

In regard to lifting performance, I’ve deadlifted up to 505 lbs and squatted up to 405 lbs in this model with relatively minimal compression issues, so if you also plan to train heavy, then the Nano X2 should work well for you.

Squatting 405 lbs In the Reebok Nano X2 Lifting Test

For versatile training, this model’s Floatride Energy foam midsole is responsive and it’s a good shoe for tackling things like classes, HIIT workouts, and even outdoor sessions.

  • Best For: General Training, HIIT Workouts, Casual CrossFit, and Wider Feet
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 7mm
  • Weight: 11.9 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: For wider feet, you should be safe going true-to-size in the Nano X2. Narrow/neutral-width feet, size down a half size.
  • Read My ReviewReebok Nano X2 Review

Reebok Nano X2

$135

Reebok Nano X2
4.4
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.2

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • Athletic-Focused Training
  • Casual CrossFit Sessions
  • Shorter Runs

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency

2. NOBULL Trainer+

The NOBULL Trainer+ is another good cross-training shoe option for those with flat feet. This shoe has a fairly wide construction throughout the forefoot, mid-foot, and heel, so if you have wider feet, you’ll likely not feel too cramped in this model.

NOBULL Trainer Plus for lifting and CrossFit

Additionally, the NOBULL Trainer+ has minimal arch support so if you have low arches, then this model will likely fit pretty well. I also like that this model does a pretty good job with motion control.

One of the other perks for some athletes with the NOBULL Trainer+ is their stability and durability. This model is stable under heavier weight and its SuperFabric upper is super resilient to breakdown caused by abrasion.

NOBULL Trainer Plus for crossfit and lifting

I think if you’re on the market for a wide-footed-friendly model that can perform well for lifting and CrossFit, then the NOBULL Trainer+ can be a great option to look into. 

  • Best For: Recreational Lifting, Flat Feet, CrossFit-Style Training
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 12.7 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My Review: NOBULL Trainer+ Review

NOBULL Trainer+

$139

NOBULL Trainer Plus
4.5
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.5
Durability
4.6

Best For

  • Cross-Training Style Workouts
  • CrossFit
  • Recreational Lifting

Falls Short

  • For Versatile Training
  • For Cost-Efficiency

3. Altra Solstice XT 2

The Altra Solstice XT 2 is taking my final spot for the best cross-training shoes for flat feet. This shoe will work best for those who have flat and wide feet and that want a model with fairly minimal arch support.

altra solstice xt 2 for crossfit and lifting (1)

The Altra Solstice XT 2 is one of the wider cross-training shoes on the market, especially through the forefoot. If you constantly feel limited and constrained in the toe box due to having flatter feet, then I think you’ll enjoy the fit of this model.

This shoe features a responsive foam midsole construction that performs well for light to moderate lifting and for more versatile training sessions.

altra solstice xt 2 for classes and plyometrics

I think the Solstice XT 2 can be a good option for anyone that wants a shoe for doing a little bit of everything on a weekly basis. It’s not going to be your best bet for training heavy, but if you want more width and a zero-drop construction, then you’ll enjoy this model.

  • Best For: Flat Feet, Wide Feet, HIIT Workouts, Recreational Training
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0mm
  • Weight: 9.5 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My ReviewAltra Solstice XT 2 Review

Altra Solstice XT 2

$130

Altra Solstice XT 2
4.5
Stability
4.3
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.5

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • HIIT Workouts
  • Classes
  • Wide Weet
  • Shorter Runs

Falls Short

  • For Heavy Lifting
  • For CrossFit

Best Cross-Training Shoes for HIIT and Classes

When testing the best shoes for HIIT workouts and classes, I’m most concerned with two things. First, I consider the versatility and responsiveness of a shoe. Does it work well and is it comfortable for jumping and class-style sessions?

Second, is the outsole grippy for multi-directional work and is the upper durable for the stress that comes along with jumping and classes?

1. Nike Free Metcon 4

The Nike Free Metcon 4 is earning my top spot for the best cross-training shoes for HIIT workouts and classes. This model is a strong performer for HIIT workouts and a variety of different classes for three key reasons.

testing the nike free metcon 4 for classes

First, the Nike Free technology in this shoe gives it a very mobile and maneuverable feel. It’s easy to get up on the forefoot when jumping in this shoe and this shoe articulates pretty well with the foot for multi-directional work.

Second, the bootie-style construction of this model gives it a nice form-fitting feel. If you like shoes that hug the feet well and feel more athletic in nature, then you’ll like this aspect (note: wide-footed individuals may not like this fit aspect).

testing the nike free metcon 4 for versatile training and plyometrics

Third and lastly, this shoe blends stability and versatility together pretty well. For lifting, I’d suggest capping your loading to about 315 lbs as this is when you’ll start to notice a little compression in this shoe.

  • Best For: HIIT Workouts, Light Lifting, Shorter Runs
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: N/A
  • Weight: 10.6 oz
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size, but shallow instep so it may feel tight for wider feet.
  • Read My ReviewNike Free Metcon 4 Review

Nike Free Metcon 4

$120

Nike Free Metcon 4 (1)
4.4
Stability
4.1
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.4

Best For

  • HIIT Workouts
  • Classes
  • Light Lifting
  • Shorter Runs

Falls Short

  • For Heavy Training
  • For Fitting Wide Feet

2. Reebok Nano X2

The Reebok Nano X2 can also be a good cross-training shoe to explore for anyone wanting a shoe that can do a little bit of everything. I like the performance of the Nano X2’s midsole and outsole for HIIT workouts and classes.

Reviewing the Reebok Nano X2 for HIIT Training

The Nano X2 is constructed with Reebok Floatride Energy foam in its midsole. This is a medium-density foam that walks a fine line between being stable, yet responsive.

The full rubber outsole with additional lug patterning is also awesome for multi-directional work and outdoor sessions. If you want a model that can be stable under 405 lb squats, but also versatile for things like box jumps and burpees, then the Nano X2 is a good shoe to explore.

Doing Pistol Squats and Testing the Reebok Nano X2 for CrossFit

I also like the upper and midfoot construction of the Nano X2. The knit material in the forefoot breathes well and the additional TPU midfoot clips provide this shoe with a nice level of midfoot support.

  • Best For: General Training, HIIT Workouts, Casual CrossFit, and Wider Feet
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 7mm
  • Weight: 11.9 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: For wider feet, you should be safe going true-to-size in the Nano X2. Narrow/neutral-width feet, size down a half size.
  • Read My ReviewReebok Nano X2 Review

Reebok Nano X2

$135

Reebok Nano X2
4.4
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.2

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • Athletic-Focused Training
  • Casual CrossFit Sessions
  • Shorter Runs

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency

3. On Cloud X

The On Cloud X can be a pretty cross-training shoe to explore for HIIT workouts and classes. This model’s CloudTec midsole provides you with a nice responsive performance and is lightweight.

Testing the On Cloud X for hiit workouts

This shoe will work best for workouts that involve more jumping and forward and backward movements. You can also do light runs in this model and they’ll be fairly comfortable.

For HIIT workouts and classes that include interval-style runs and cardio work, the On Cloud X should be a good fit for that context. The upper also breathes well so it’s a good model for hotter classes and settings.

testing the on cloud x for classes plyometrics and hiit

My only gripe with this model in this context is its performance for explosive later work. Multi-directional training in the On Cloud X can be hit or miss, so use that knowledge to help guide you when you’re deciding on if this model is a good fit for you.

  • Best For: Shorter Runs, Light Lifting, HIIT, Agility
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 6mm
  • Weight: 8.8 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My Review: On Cloud X Review

On Cloud X

$139.99

On Cloud X Training Shoes
4.3
Stability
3.8
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.2

Best For

  • Plyometrics
  • Short/Mid-Range Runs
  • HIIT Training
  • Agility Workouts

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency
  • For Heavy Lifting
  • For Long-Term Durability

Best Cross-Training Shoes for Jump Rope

If you train with jump ropes often and need a highly responsive cross-training shoe, then the list below is perfect for you. All of the shoes listed below have reactive forefoot constructions for accommodating jump roping.

Whether you’re adding in jump rope here and there to your weekly training or tackling full jump rope workouts, the shoe below all does a good job for this performance context.

1. YORK Athletics Frank Trainer

The YORK Athletics Frank Trainer is taking my top pick for the best cross-training for jump rope. This model has an influence from boxing and boxing-style workouts which often entail jump rope work for conditioning.

Reviewing the YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer for jump rope

The Frank Trainer’s midsole is built with a lightweight and responsive EVA foam. This material gives this shoe a nice responsive feel and it provides a nice level of maneuverability when doing jump rope and things like plyometrics.

I also like The Frank Trainer’s bootie-style construction and upper. The boot of this model locks the foot down really well and the one-piece mesh upper breathes well for sessions in warmer settings.

Reviewing the YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer for versatile training

The Frank Trainer’s performance for jump and being pretty good at a little bit of everything is why it’s taken my top spot for jump rope. The fact that you can also wear this model on a daily wear basis is another perk of this shoe.

  • Best For: Jump Rope, Light Runs, Classes, Lifting, and HIIT
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 9mm
  • Weight: 10.4 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My Review: YORK Athletics Frank Trainer

YORK Athletics Mfg. The Frank Trainer

$155

YORK Athletics Mfg. The Frank Trainer Product Photo
4.5
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.4

Best For

  • Boxing/Class-Style Workouts
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Boxing/Class-Style Workouts
  • Light Runs and Jumping

Falls Short

  • For CrossFit-Style Workouts
  • For Wider Feet
  • For Cost-Efficiency

2. UA HOVR Rise 4

The UA HOVR Rise 4 model is a solid option for jump rope due to its HOVR midsole construction. The forefoot is reactive and provides a nice bounce for both jump rope and more athletic-style bounding activities.

Testing the UA HOVR Rise 4 for Jump Rope

Under the forefoot, this model also has grooved under the forefoot to improve its overall “bounce” and they break in fairly easily. This model also features Under Armour’s TriBase outsole technology which adds a nice layer of stability to this shoe.

I think if you’re someone who likes to primarily tackle classes, light runs, HIIT workouts, and moderate lifting on a regular basis and plans to do jump rope regularly for training, then you’ll like the UA HOVR Rise 4.

Testing the Under Armour HOVR Rise 4 for HIIT workouts

The bootie-style construction and breathable upper also helps give the UA HOVR Rise 4 a comfortable feel. I also like the HOVR Rise 4’s price point better than a majority of its peers as it comes in at $110 USD.

  • Best For: Jump Rope, HIIT, and Classes
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 8mm
  • Weight: 11.1 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: No
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My Review: UA HOVR Rise 4 Review

UA HOVR Rise 4

$110

Under Armour HOVR Rise 4 Product Shot
4.3
Stability
4.3
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.1

Best For

  • HIIT Workouts
  • Class-Style Training
  • Light to Moderate Lifting
  • Short Runs
  • Daily Wear/Walking

Falls Short

  • For Heavy Lifting
  • For CrossFit-Style Training
  • For Long-Term Durability

3. Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2

The Nike Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 is a stronger performer for jump rope sessions and HIIT-style workouts. This model features a Nike React foam insole with an additional Zoom Air packet in the forefoot.

Testing the Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 for HIIT Workouts

For jump roping specifically, the Zoom Metcon Turbo 2’s Nike React foam insole with the Zoom Air packet gives this model a nice responsive performance. When jumping on the forefoot you get a nice level of “pop” from this.

This outsole construction on the Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 also helps provide this shoe with a nice maneuverable fit and feel. I think if you like a more “minimal” feeling shoe that fits more athletically, then you’ll enjoy this construction feature.

Testing the Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 for Lifting and Weight Training

I think this model will work best for those that plan to do jump rope, HIIT, lifting sessions, and athletic-style workouts on a weekly basis. The Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 is a relatively stable cross-training shoe with a nice level of responsiveness.

  • Best For: Jump Rope, Lifting, HIIT, Agility, and Classes
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 12.50 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: Length Is True, Width Is Narrower
  • Read My Review: Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 Review

Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2

$150

Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2
4.3
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.0

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • HIIT Workouts
  • Athletic-Style Training
  • Casual CrossFit
  • Short Speed-Focused Runs

Falls Short

  • For Rope Climbing
  • For Long-Term Durability
  • For Longer Runs

Best Cross-Training Shoes for Running

It’s important to note that when I reference running in cross-training shoes, I’m specifically talking about shorter runs. Cross-training shoes are typically not ideal for longer runs. Generally, there’s always an ebb and flow in regard to running and lifting performance.

For example, as you get more serious with your strength work, then models will typically start to lose their responsiveness. However, this does not mean you can’t run in certain cross-training shoes. As the cross-training shoe market continues to expand so do the options for hybrid training shoes.

1. ON Cloud X Training Shoes

The Cloud X Training Shoes are a fantastic option for the lifter that wants to tackle runs on a regular basis and doesn’t plan to train super heavy. In regard to hybrid performance, I have three things that I like about the On Cloud X.

can you run in the on cloud x

First, this is one of the few cross-training shoes that you can lift with that actually feels comfortable and responsive for running. The CloudTec midsole is responsive and forgiving for runs ranging from 1-7ish miles.

Second, this is a good model for those that want a shoe for lighter lifting and class-style sessions. This shoe’s stability is pretty good up to about 275 lbs, so if you’re lifting lighter than that, then you should enjoy the level of stability this shoe delivers.

nike metcon 7 vs on cloud x for crossfit

Third and lastly, the On Cloud X can double as a daily wear shoe on top of being a strong hybrid performer. Of all the cross-training shoes up here, the On Cloud X is the model to go for if you like blending running and lifting together on a weekly basis and want a shoe for daily wear.

  • Best For: Shorter Runs, Light Lifting, HIIT, Agility
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 6mm
  • Weight: 8.8 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My Review: On Cloud X Review

On Cloud X

$139.99

On Cloud X Training Shoes
4.3
Stability
3.8
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.2

Best For

  • Plyometrics
  • Short/Mid-Range Runs
  • HIIT Training
  • Agility Workouts

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency
  • For Heavy Lifting
  • For Long-Term Durability

2. STR/KE MVMNT Vimana Hybrid Runner

The STR/KE MVMNT Vimana Hybrid Runner is a phenomenal model for tackling trail runs, some road runs, and decently heavy lifts. This model also works as a daily driver if you want a shoe for a little bit of everything.

STRKE MVMNT Vimana Hybrid Runner for Lifting

This model features STR/KE MVMNT’s Cush50™ EVA/EPE Midsole which provides a nice blend of stability and versatility. In the context of lifting performance, I’ve trained up to 455 lbs in this shoe with no stability issues whatsoever.

For running, this is one of my go-to models for light and shorter trail runs where I’m concerned with speed. I like the firmness that you get from this model and if you want a more “minimalist” feel when running, then the Vimana Hybrid Runner makes sense.

strike mvmnt vimana hybrid runner trail run

This model also features STR/KE MVMNT’s Meta Platform outsole which provides ample ground feedback and stability and an Omni-directional tread for outdoor training. The Vimana Hybrid Runner is definitely worth looking into if you love trail running and lifting and want a shoe for tackling it all.

  • Best For: Trail Runs, Road Runs, Lifting, Daily Wear
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 10.8 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My Review: STR/KE MVMNT Vimana Hybrid Runner

STR/KE MVMNT Vimana Hybrid Runner

$160

strke mvmnt vimana hybrid runner
4.7
Stability
4.6
Versatility
4.7
Durability
4.7

Best For

  • Trail Runs (Easy to Semi-Technical Terrain)
  • Short to Mid-Range Road Runs
  • Recreational Training
  • Outdoor Workouts

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency
  • For Highly Technical Trail Runs

3. YORK Athletics Frank Trainer

The YORK Athletics Frank Trainer is my third and final pick for the best cross-training shoes for running. This model will perform best for those that plan to do shorter runs in their shoes.

Reviewing the YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer for running

If you’re running 1-3 miles regularly in your cross-training shoes, then I think you’ll enjoy the overall performance and comfort that The Frank Trainer delivers. The midsole is responsive and this model feels lightweight and form-fitting.

For classes and lifting, The Frank Trainer also performs exceptionally well. If you’re the athlete that likes to blend HIIT workouts, things like boxing classes, lifting, and lighter runs on a weekly basis, then I think you’ll enjoy this shoe’s performance.

Reviewing the YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer for lifting weights

Another subtle perk of The Frank Trainer is that it works really well for daily wear. In my opinion, this is one of the better and more “classy-looking” cross-training shoes on the market and they’re easy to dress up.

  • Best For: Light Runs, Classes, Lifting, and HIIT
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 9mm
  • Weight: 10.4 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My Review: YORK Athletics Frank Trainer

YORK Athletics Mfg. The Frank Trainer

$155

YORK Athletics Mfg. The Frank Trainer Product Photo
4.5
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.4

Best For

  • Boxing/Class-Style Workouts
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Boxing/Class-Style Workouts
  • Light Runs and Jumping

Falls Short

  • For CrossFit-Style Workouts
  • For Wider Feet
  • For Cost-Efficiency

Best Cross-Training Shoes Under $100

When testing and assessing the best budget cross-training shoes, I’m concerned with two key performance aspects. First, the shoe’s price point and if it’s truly a budget-friendly model.

Second, how does the shoe’s performance do for the price? Is it actually a good cost-effective model or does it fall short and is it actually a waste of money despite the lower price tag?

1. Reebok Nanoflex TR 2

The Reebok Nanoflex TR 2 is earning my top pick as the best cross-training shoe for under $100 USD. When it comes to well-rounded performance at a budget-friendly price it’s really tough to fault the Reebok Nanoflex TR 2’s $90 USD price point.

Testing the Reebok Nanoflex V2 for versatile training

This model features multiple construction updates that make it better than the original Reebok Nanoflex TR which had a less-than-stellar fit through the midfoot. The Nanoflex TR 2’s last has been widened and it should work for most foot anatomies.

The medium-density foam midsole in this model also gives this shoe a nice blend of stability for lifting and versatility for HIIT and athletic-style training. You can lift fairly heavy in these shoes and use them for classes and they work well.

Reebok Nanoflex V2 Lifting Performance and Review

The RopePro tech on the midfoot is also an underappreciated feature on this model, and I like the Nanoflex TR 2’s performance for CrossFit workouts here and there. If you’re on a budget or are a beginner/intermediate and need a shoe for a little bit of everything, the Reebok Nanoflex TR 2 does a great job.

  • Best For: HIIT, Light Running, and Recreational Lifting
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 7mm
  • Weight: 11.8 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My ReviewReebok Nanoflex V2 Review

Reebok Nanoflex V2

$90

Reebok Nanoflex V2 Product Shot
4.5
Stability
4.4
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.5

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • CrossFit (for those on a budget!)
  • Cross-Training
  • Versatile Training
  • Budget-Friendly Shoppers

Falls Short

  • For Serious Barbell Training

2. PUMA FUSE 2.0

The PUMA FUSE 2.0 is another great budget-friendly option and comes in at $100 USD. There’s a lot to like about the Puma Fuse 2.0 and it seems that Puma made multiple tweaks to this shoe based on some of the negative feedback on the original Puma Fuse.

Testing the Puma Fuse 2.0 for Versatile Training

Performance-wise, I really like the stability that you get from the PUMA FUSE 2.0. It’s one of the more stable cross-training shoes on the market for heavy lifting and that costs around $100 USD.

Note, the stability of this model will start to fall short as you pass 455 lbs in deadlifts and 335 lbs in squats, but for most recreational lifters, the stability of this model should be plenty fine.

Puma Fuse 2.0 for Weight Training

I also like the PUMAGRIP that comes built-in to this shoe’s outsole. This feature gives this model a mobile and maneuverable feel for CrossFit workouts and more versatile training. The Puma Fuse 2.0’s construction has been leveled up compared to its predecessor.

  • Best For: CrossFit-Style Training and Lifting
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 13.3 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My ReviewPUMA FUSE 2.0 Review

Puma Fuse 2.0

$100

Puma Fuse 2.0 Product Shot
4.5
Stability
4.6
Versatility
4.5
Durability
4.5

Best For

  • Cross-Training
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Casual CrossFit
  • Athletic-Style Training
  • Budget-Conscious Shoppers

Falls Short

  • For Very Wide/Flat Feet

3. Nike MC Trainer 2

The Nike MC Trainer 2 is taking my third spot for the best cross-training shoes under $100. When it comes to being purely budget-conscious training shoes, it’s tough to fault the Nike MC Trainer 2’s $75 USD price point.

Testing the Nike MC Trainer 2 for Lifting

Despite having a lower price compared to other options on this list, the MC Trainer 2 has a fairly well-rounded construction and performance. In the context of lifting performance, this model’s medium-density foam midsole provides a good amount of stability.

I also like the full rubber outsole that comes with the Nike MC Trainer 2. This outsole and its tread do a good job of prolonging this shoe’s overall durability and providing a nice grip on different training surfaces, which is something that lacks in other budget-friendly training shoes.

Nike MC Trainer 2 Performance Review

I think if you’re looking for a purely budget-friendly training shoe that works fairly well for lifting and athletic-style training, then the Nike MC Trainer 2 is a good and viable option to explore.

  • Best For: Lifting, HIIT Workouts, and Athletic Training
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: Likely 4mm (per Nike’s support team)
  • Weight: 11.1 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: No
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My ReviewNike MC Trainer 2 Review

Nike MC Trainer 2

$75

Nike MC Trainer 2 Product Shot
4.3
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.1
Durability
4.3

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • Narrow/Neutral Width Feet
  • Cross-Training
  • Sprints/HIIT Workouts
  • Budget-Conscious Shoppers

Falls Short

  • For Wide Feet
  • For Serious Barbell/CrossFit Training

Cross-Training Shoe Benefits

Cross-training shoes have surged in popularity over the last decade with the boom of CrossFit and the mass acceptance of more women and men resistance training. By nature, cross-training shoes are designed to tackle a wide variety of needs, wants, and preferences.

If you’re looking into cross-training shoes — especially for the first time — it’s important to understand some of the benefits that come along with this style of footwear. This way you’ll know exactly how to answer, “Why cross-training shoes?”

1. Great Versatility

The first benefit of cross-training shoes is their ability to tackle a wide variety of tasks. Whether you’re lifting, tackling plyometrics, HIIT training, or CrossFit workouts, cross-training shoes will usually be able to stand up to the task.

Must Read: 7 Best Barefoot Shoes | Picks for Lifting, Running, and More

Reviewing the Nike MC Trainer for Lifting

It’s important to note that some cross-training shoes will ebb and flow in regard to their specialties. For example, some shoes will be on the more stable end of the spectrum while others will provide more versatility.

2. Firmer Midsoles and Outsoles

A lot of cross-training shoes are designed to support heavy lifting. In general, compared to more general training shoes and running shoes, cross-training shoes will utilize more high-density foams in their midsoles and firmer rubbers in their outsoles.

Nike Metcon 7 Vs Reebok Nano X1 Showdown

The blend of these two construction components helps this style of shoe compress very little under external loads. So, if you’re squatting heavy, cleaning, snatching, or training recreationally, these shoes will help provide you with a more stable base.

3. Specialty Construction Features

The cool thing about cross-training shoes is that they all come with their own list of unique features. Some shoes are better at supporting niche activities like rope climbs, while others are better for supporting maximal loads over 500 lbs.

When searching for cross-training shoes, generally, you’ll start to see trends of certain construction traits that correspond to functionality purposes that more general training shoes lack and don’t possess.

How Should Cross-Training Shoes Fit?

A cross-training shoe’s fit will be individual, however, as a general rule of thumb, you’ll likely want between .2-.6″ of room in the toe box. This will provide enough room to avoid jamming the toes excessively in every workout while also not making them too loose to where you experience heel slip.

how should cross training shoes fit (1)

It’s important to recognize that every shoe will fit slightly differently and this is due to the multiple types of lasts companies can use when creating models. This is why some models feel wider than others, it’s not you, it’s the companies using different last (foot molds) to create their models.

If a cross-training shoe’s fit feels weird on you, then I’d highly suggest looking for models that have molds that work better for your foot’s anatomy. Trial and error will be your best bet as you find your ideal pairs and brands that work well for you.

How to Clean Cross-Training Shoes

If you want your cross-training shoes to last, then you’re going to want to clean somewhat regularly to avoid the build-up of dust, dirt, and other materials that can cause polyurethanes and foams to break down.

I always recommend spot cleaning cross-training shoes and using a three-pronged approach to do it thoroughly. DO NOT put your cross-training shoes in your washing and drying machines. Instead, follow the four steps below for properly cleaning cross-training shoes.

How to clean training shoes

  • Step 1: Grab your cross-training shoes, a clean washcloth, a soft soap void of harsh dyes and fragrances, and you’ll need lukewarm water.
  • Step 2: Get your washcloth a little wet with lukewarm water and dab less than a dime’s size amount of soap on the damp washcloth.
  • Step 3: Remove your cross-training shoe’s insoles and spot clean areas on the shoes that need a little attention. Do not soak your shoes. Repeat this process of getting your washcloth damp and rubbing trouble areas until your shoes look noticeably cleaner. If you have bright colorways, rub softly to avoid ruining your shoe’s colorway.
  • Step 4: Once you’re satisfied with your shoe’s appearance, place them by a vent or dry area in your house and keep their insoles removed until fully dried.

If you do this regularly and take the time to properly clean your cross-training shoes, then you’ll make them last longer which can be a good thing for prolonging your favorite shoe’s lifespan.

How I Rank Cross-Training Shoes

Every cross-training shoe featured in this article has been personally reviewed by me and tested in a similar format. By testing models in a similar format, I can then draw more context between shoes and where they’ll be the most appropriate.

Cross-training shoes are designed for different activities based on the context of their construction. That being said, when I have cross-training shoes that are specifically designed for certain activities, I’ll then take my standard approach and create a slight bias toward their specificity.

what are cross training shoes (1)

In layman’s terms, if I have a cross-training shoe that is designed specifically for CrossFit and a cross-training shoe that is designed specifically for HIIT workouts, then I’ll test each model with my standard review format, then create additional testing biases accordingly.

For the CrossFit model, I’ll do things like more heavy lifting, rope climbs, and burpees, which are specific to this style of training. I’ll then assess how the shoe performs and its durability for these specific CrossFit-focused activities. For the HIIT model, I’ll do full sessions where I tackle dynamic full-body workouts and class-style workouts.

Testing the Nike Legend Essential 3 Next Nature for Running

That being said, since both of these shoes in our example are cross-training shoes, I’ll test them with my standard testing process, then I’ll create additional biases accordingly to create more context within my cross-training shoe reviews.

Key Cross-Training Shoe Performance Areas That I’m Looking At

Outside of physically testing every model, I’m also making consistent notes on certain areas of each cross-training shoe’s construction. Basically, areas on the shoe that matter most for cross-training and working out. The key areas I’m looking at and comparing to other models and asking questions about can be seen below.

  • Midsole: How responsive and stable is it for lifting, jumping, etc.? How does it compare to other cross-training shoes in its class?
  • Outsole: How much traction does it provide on different surfaces? Does it work well for outdoor sessions? How durable is it long-term?
  • Upper: Does it breathe well? Is it durable against abrasion based on how it is intended to be used? How lightweight and maneuverable is it?
  • Sizing: Does a shoe run large, small, or do they fit true-to-size? How does this compare to prior models in the shoe line and other similar shoes? How long do they take to break in? How wide is their toe box? How much volume is there in this shoe?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:
What are cross-training shoes good for?

A:
Cross-training shoes get their name from being able to crossover multiple training disciplines. In cross-training shoes, you can lift, do HIIT workouts, athletic-focused training, tackle shorter runs, and much more.

Q:
How should cross-training shoes fit?

A:
I always recommend having between .2-.6 of space in the toe box of your cross-training shoes. This is usually enough space to prevent toe jamming and heel slip. If you have a wider foot, then I'd suggest sticking towards the larger end of the range.

Q:
Is it OK to run in cross-training shoes?

A:
You can tackle shorter runs in cross-training shoes. I'd suggest capping your mileage to 3-miles max in more versatile cross-training shoes like the On Cloud X and 1-mile for cross-training shoes that are more stable in nature like the Nike Metcon 6.

Takeaway Thoughts

The cross-training shoe game continues to innovate just like the talent in strength sports and the training methodologies we use on a weekly basis. There are countless options on the market, so it’s totally normal if you feel overwhelmed especially if you’re new to cross-training shoes.

If you ever have any questions at all, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally on Instagram (@jake_boly), and I’ll gladly help direct you to the best models for your contextual needs.

That Fit Friend is a site that is supported by myself (Jake Boly) and its readers. If you purchase products through affiliates links on this site, then I may receive a small commission on the sale. These commissions help keep the lights on here at That Fit Friend so I can continue to create content and they help me purchase new models to review!

nv-author-image

Jake Boly

I've been in the fitness and strength training industry for nearly a decade. In that time, I've trained hundreds of clients, written thousands of articles, reviewed over 100+ pairs of training shoes, and have produced a large list of training videos. I live and breathe fitness and training gear, and I think it's important that reviewers walk the walk with the gear they're testing. As for my educational background, I have my Masters in Sports Science, Bachelors in Exercise Science, and have my CSCS.

2 thoughts on “9 Best Cross Training Shoes (2022 Update) | Picks for CrossFit, Women, and More”

  1. Thank you so much for this information.. For the Haze trainer’s width comparison you mentioned the Altra Escalante. Which version of the Escalante? I know that some are wider than others. More specifically to my reason for asking is that I currently have the Innov8 G300, which is a bit too narrow for me, how do the haze compare to that?

    1. Hey! I believe they rival it off of the first Escalante model, so in modern days likely close to the 2.5 or 3 (unless Altra has widened them since the OG model). Compared to the G 300, the Haze Trainer’s toe box width is about the same, but it has a wider midfoot.

      IMO, if it’s the midfoot that’s too narrow with the G 300, then you may like the Haze’s fit better. Toe box is similar though, once again. If you want, shoot me a message on Instagram and I can send you a video breakdown comparing the two shoes so you can see their sizing firsthand!

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