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8 Best HIIT Workout Shoes of 2024, Picks for Classes and More

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As a strength coach and shoe reviewer, I recognize the importance of having a good shoe for HIIT (high-intensity interval training). From a performance, comfort, and biomechanics lens, your shoes for HIIT can make or break good sessions.

When it comes to finding the best HIIT shoes I’m assessing a shoe’s responsiveness for jumping and multi-directional work, keeping an eye on its outsole for traction purposes, and establishing how stable the midsole is.

I’ve extensively tested every shoe featured in this list across multiple HIIT workouts. I also broke my top picks into different sub-categories to help you land on the perfect pair of HIIT shoes for your needs.

If you primarily do HIIT workouts and classes, then yes, your shoes matter. These activities and workouts have very specific demands and your training shoe selection should reflect how you plan to use your shoes every week.

HIIT Shoes Buying Guide

Author’s Note: I updated this round-up in January 2024 to add more depth to my performance categories and to update my shoe picks to reflect newer and stronger-performing shoes.

This is Jake! I fund That Fit Friend by myself and buy all of the shoes featured in my reviews. If you decide to buy one of these shoes or if my content helped you at all, it really helps if you purchase through my links — thank you!

Coach Jake’s Buying Tips

Buying Tip 1 — Midsole Responsiveness Is Key

When assessing HIIT shoes I’m primarily concerned with a shoe’s midsole responsiveness as this can influence overall comfort for jumping, running, and lifting, and a shoe’s upper because this influences security for multi-directional exercises and breathability.

If you do a lot of jumping in your HIIT workouts, then you’ll want to explore HIIT shoes with plusher and bouncier midsoles. For those who strength train and do HIIT, you’ll want a denser midsole with more stability.

Buying Tip 2 — Good Outsole Traction Is a Must

As you get more serious with your HIIT workouts you’ll want to keep notes of what shoes work best for your training style. For example, if you primarily do HIIT and jump a lot on wooden floors, then you’ll want shoes with more plush midsole and grippy outsoles.

Every HIIT shoe in this list has been hand-tested and vetted by me over multiple workouts. If you feel overwhelmed by how many shoes there are for HIIT, please reach out and let me know how you train and what you currently wear!

Best HIIT Shoes for Women

How I Assess: For women, I lean on my training network and my girlfriend to test models and provide me feedback. This helps to cross-reference their feedback with my perceptions of models to see if they’re similar or different.

Top Choice: Nike Free Metcon 5

  • Pros: Responsive midsole is bouncy, sole is flexible with good articulation, upper is comfortable and secure
  • Cons: Heel can be annoying when getting into rowing machines, may lack enough width for some
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 5mm (per Nike’s support)
  • Weight: 10.05 oz
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size.
  • For More Info: Read My Review

Nike Free Metcon 5

$120

Nike Free Metcon 5 Product Shot
4.5
Stability
4.3
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.6

Best For

  • HIIT
  • Class Workouts
  • Light to Moderate Strength Training
  • Short Runs (3 miles)

Falls Short

  • For Heavy Lifting (225+ lbs)
  • For CrossFit

The Rationale for Choosing the Free Metcon 5

The Nike Free Metcon 5 is an awesome option for classes, HIIT workouts, shorter runs, and light lifting. This shoe features Nike Free tech throughout the entirety of this shoe’s sole, which I’m a big fan of for HIIT workouts.

Nike Free Metcon 5 Hands On Review

This feature gives this model a very maneuverable feel through the forefoot and midfoot. This shoe also features a chainlink mesh upper construction which breaths fairly well.

If you’re in hotter classes or gym settings, I don’t think the Nike Free Metcon 5 will give you any issues with your feet getting too hot. This model is also nice because you can wear them in so many different settings.

The general consensus with this model is that they’re a fantastic daily driver that can excel for HIIT workouts, short runs, and some light lifting so they’re a nice shoe to use when you don’t feel like thinking about your shoes or bringing multiple models with you for the day.

Best HIIT Shoes for Men

How I Test: When gauging HIIT shoes for guys, I like to try and take a big-picture approach to assess shoes. I’ll look at a shoe’s performance for workouts that include strength training, explosive exercises, agility work, and how they fit men’s feet.

Top Choice: Reebok Nano X3

  • Pros: Well-rounded for all types of training, Floatride Energy Foam midsole is responsive, good ankle support
  • Cons: Can feel a little heavy at times, not the best for flatter feet
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 7mm
  • Weight: 11.9 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • For More InfoRead My Review

Reebok Nano X3

Reebok Nano X3 Product Shot
4.4
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.3
Quality
4.4

Best For

  • Recreational Weight Training
  • Functional Fitness and CrossFit
  • Athletic-Style Training
  • Short Runs/Sprints
  • Casual HIIT

Falls Short

  • For Minimalist Lovers
  • For Long-Distance Running

Why I Chose the Reebok Nano X3 for Men

The Reebok Nano X3 is a good shoe for tackling HIIT workouts and lifting sessions. In my opinion, the Reebok Nano X3 is a really good “jack-of-all-trades” style shoe for HIIT, CrossFit, and lifting.

Testing the Reebok Nano X3 for Functional Fitness

I like the Reebok Nano X3 for men because this model is built slightly wider than other cross-training shoes. This makes them a good fit for most guys’ foot anatomies and the widths that their forefoot typically requires for comfort and performance.

This model features Reebok’s signature Floatride Energy Foam throughout its midsole and has a full rubber outsole with a lug patterning. There’s also a Lift and Run Chassis System in this shoe which gives it a nice feel for explosive work and short runs.

The upper construction is breathable and lightweight and you can still lift pretty heavy in this model. I’ve lifted over 500 lbs in this shoe and have used them for HIIT training all in the same session and they were a solid model.

Reebok Nano X3

Best for HIIT Classes

How I Assess: For class-focused HIIT shoes, I’m assessing how a shoe does for particular exercises that you regularly see in classes. I assess if the shoe works for lateral work, explosive lunges, air squats, mountain climbers, and this goes on.

Top Choice: Nike Air Zoom TR 1

  • Pros: Super responsive and bouncy ride, good outsole traction, comfortable for walking and short runs, too
  • Cons: Air Zoom Unit can feel weird for some, upper isn’t the most breathable
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: N/A
  • Weight: 10.6 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • For More Info: Read My Review

Nike Air Zoom TR 1

$130

Nike Air Zoom TR 1 Product Image
4.0
Stability
3.7
Versatility
4.1
Durability
4.0
Quality
3.9

Best For

  • HIIT Workouts
  • Light to Moderate Strength Sessions
  • Short Runs
  • Jump Rope

Falls Short

  • For Heavy Strength Work
  • For CrossFit
  • For Wide Feet

Why I Picked the Air Zoom TR 1 for Classes

The Nike Air Zoom TR 1 is an awesome training shoe for the class-focused individual. In my opinion, there are few training shoes that I think are more built to tackle this training vertical and that’s where I’ve come to love this shoe.

Testing the Nike Air Zoom TR 1 for Walking

The reason why I love this shoe for classes revolves around three construction features. This shoe’s Air Zoom Unit spans the entirety of the sole so you get a nice bounce at the forefoot, midfoot, and heel in this shoe.

For jump rope, tuck jumps, and exercises like skater strides, I think you’ll appreciate this feature. The full rubber outsole is also an aspect to like about this shoe. This provides this shoe with a nice grip on different surfaces which is great for every type of workout class.

The final feature to like is the upper regarding its security. This shoe isn’t the most breathable regarding its materials, but when it comes to security that’s where I think this shoe’s upper really excels. I don’t have spillover issues in this model, for example.

Using the Nike Air Zoom TR 1 for HIIT

Best for HIIT and Wide Feet

How I Assess: When testing HIIT shoes for wide feet I’m concerned about two primary shoe details. First, is the shoe wide enough for those who fall into the “wide” classification? Second, does the shoe have ample toe box room, and are they comfortable?

Top Pick: Altra Solstice XT 2

  • Pros: Medium-density midsole is responsive yet stable feeling, good forefoot width, lightweight and breathable
  • Cons: Outsole durability can be problematic, upper can lack security at times
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0mm
  • Weight: 9.5 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • For More InfoRead My Review

Altra Solstice XT 2

$130

Altra Solstice XT 2
4.1
Stability
4.1
Versatility
4.5
Durability
3.8

Best For

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

Falls Short

  • For Heavy Lifting
  • For CrossFit

My Rationale for Choosing the Solstice XT 2

The Altra Solstice XT 2 is a seriously slept-on training shoe and it’s a fantastic model for those with wider feet. Similar to other Altra training and running shoes, this model comes with Altra’s signature Footshape™ build.

altra solstice xt 2 for walking running and standing

This feature is an Altra staple in some of their shoes and it’s essentially their last construction that is designed to replicate the human foot. The toe box doesn’t have a sharp taper and has a much wider width than other training shoes.

Additionally, this model features Altra’s Balanced Cushioning and Innerflex grooves which are both features designed to promote a more “natural” foot positioning and movement.

The high-abrasion midsole in this model is reactive enough for plyometrics and stable enough to support squats up to 315 lbs. This model has been one of my go-to’s when I want a HIIT-focused shoe that has more toe box width than my other models.

altra solstice xt 2 for classes and plyometrics

Best for HIIT and High Arches

How I Test: If you have higher arches, then you’re going to likely want a shoe that has some natural arch support built-in. This will help this shoe feel better for your foot anatomy and not leave your feet feeling beat up after every single HIIT workout.

Top Pick: Inov-8 F-Lite G 300

  • Pros: Great for high arches that need support, good cross-functionality, comfortable upper construction
  • Cons: TPU midfoot cage can rub on high-volume feet, not the widest midfoot
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 6mm
  • Weight: 12.4 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • For More Info: Read My Review

Inov-8 F-Lite G 300

Inov-8 F-Lite G 300
4.6
Stability
4.6
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.7
Quality
4.5

Best For

  • Versatile Training
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Shorter Runs
  • Plyometrics

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency

Why I Chose the F-Lite G 300 Here

The Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 is my top pick for high arches. In the world of cross-training, the Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 is somewhat of a slept-on training shoe and it really shouldn’t be, especially for HIIT workouts.

Trying on and assessing the fit of the Inov-8 F-Lite G 300

This shoe’s EVA foam midsole works well for heavy lifting, but it’s also responsive enough for HIIT workouts and explosive training. I like to put the Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 into the “athletic-style” shoe category as it can hold its own in so many training contexts.

I like the bootie-style construction of this shoe and how the lightweight knit and mesh upper hugs and locks down the foot. The TPU midfoot cage also promotes this “locked-down” feeling and it boosts this shoe’s overall durability.

For a training shoe that can do a little bit of everything with adequate arch support, the Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 works well. My only concern with this model is that if you have notably thicker feet you may find the TPU midfoot cage uncomfortable and you’ll want to explore the other options below.

Inov 8 F Lite G 300 Arch

Best for HIIT and Weight Training

How I Test: To test shoes for HIIT and weight training, I’m splitting my sessions between high-intensity workouts and more recreational lifting. I’m working to assess and learn how a shoe handles different weights and what its capacity is.

Top Choice: Nike Metcon 9

  • Pros: Stable for lifting and responsive enough for HIIT training, wider forefoot construction, durable upper for CrossFit
  • Cons: Not great for running, lacks breathability
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 12.4 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • For More Info: Read My Review

Nike Metcon 9

$150

Nike Metcon 9 Product Shot
4.0
Stability
4.1
Versatility
4.0
Durability
4.0
Quality
3.8

Best For

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

Falls Short

  • For Running
  • For Overpronators

Why I Chose the Metcon 9 for HIIT and Weight Training

The Nike Metcon 9 is my top pick for HIIT workouts and weight training. In the Nike Metcon 9, you have a dual-density midsole that is designed to blend elements of responsiveness with stability.

Nike Metcon 9 That Fit Friend

For general HIIT workouts, the Nike Metcon 9 works well and has a responsive forefoot construction. This gives it a nice bounce for things like jump rope, skater strides, tuck jumps, and box jumps.

I also like that you can lift heavy in the Nike Metcon 9 and use them for CrossFit and functional fitness. If you’re someone who likes to blend HIIT training in with your strength and power training every week, then the Nike Metcon 9 should fit the bill well for you.

The Nike Metcon 9 has a wider forefoot construction compared to its predecessor the the Nike Metcon 8. This change gives the Metcon 9 more room for toe splay and a wider range of foot anatomies that it will work with.

Me Testing the Nike Metcon 9 for running cross training

Best for HIIT and Running

How I Assess: If you’re looking for a shoe for tackling HIIT workouts and running every week, then you’ll want a shoe with a nice blend of responsiveness and stability. All of the training shoes below can work for runs that range from 1-4ish miles

Top Pick: On Cloud X 3

  • Pros: Good option for blending HIIT with running, great for walking, breathable and lightweight
  • Cons: Durability can be highly variable, high price point, and lacks stability when training heavily
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 6mm
  • Weight: 8.8 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • For More Info: Read My Review

On Cloud X 3

$149.99

On Cloud X 3 Product Shot
4.3
Stability
3.9
Versatility
4.5
Durability
4.2

Best For

  • Light Strength Training
  • Versatile Training
  • Classes/HIIT
  • Short Runs (1-5 miles)
  • Daily Wear

Falls Short

  • For Outdoor Workouts
  • For Heavy Training
  • For Wide Feet

Why I Chose the On Cloud X 3 for HIIT and Running

The On Cloud X 3 is a good cross-training shoe for HIIT workouts and some casual running. This model’s CloudTec midsole is responsive and it provides a nice bounce when jumping and doing runs at various speeds.

Testing the On Cloud X 3 Running and Walking

The upper on this model also breathes well and is lightweight which feeds well into both of these activities. This shoe’s upper construction never feels overly hot on the feet and it breathes well.

I like this because it keeps the feet cool in hotter training settings, and on a daily wear basis, which adds to this shoe’s functionality. The CloudTec midsole in this model is responsive and provides a comfortable ride for both indoor and outdoor runs.

If you’re someone who regularly does HIIT workouts and wants a shoe for tackling shorter runs that range from 1-4 miles, then you’ll like the On Cloud X 3’s performance and construction. This is a good dual-functionality shoe for these performance contexts.

Testing the On Cloud X 3 for Versatile Training

Best Budget Option

How I Test: When testing and considering budget HIIT shoes, I consider one key aspect and that’s price. Is the price point fair for the shoes and do they perform well for HIIT training sessions?

Top Pick: Reebok Nanoflex V2

  • Pros: Great cost-efficiency, good cross-functionality for lifting and HIIT, decent upper volume
  • Cons: Can feel a little clunky at times
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: N/A
  • Weight: 10.7 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size for Neutral/Wider Feet. Narrow Feet Size Down a Half-Size.
  • For More Info: Read My Review

Reebok Nanoflex V2

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

Why I Chose the Nanoflex V2 for Budget

Despite being a shoe that costs under $100, the Reebok Nanoflex V2 doesn’t necessarily feel like a budget-focused training shoe. This model is well-rounded and it’s one of my favorite picks for HIIT workouts on a budget.

Reebok Nanoflex V2 Review

This shoe features a medium-density midsole that gives you a nice bounce when jumping and doing class-style workouts, but also, enough stability to promote strong performance with heavier strength training.

To be fair, the Reebok Nanoflex V2 has been one of the few budget training shoes that has truly surprised me with its performance. This model can also work for things like CrossFit and short runs which is a nice bonus.

I think if you want a shoe for a little bit of everything and you don’t feel like breaking the bank on premium models, then you won’t be disappointed with the Nanoflex V2’s performance.

Testing the Reebok Nanoflex V2 for HIIT workouts and jump rope

Can You Do HIIT In Running Shoes?

Coach Jake’s Advice: You can use running shoes for HIIT workouts, but I’d suggest paying attention to two key things. First, the types of HIIT workouts you’re going to be doing. Second, the type of running shoe you’ll be using.

Some running shoes will perform better than others in the context of HIIT training. Concerning the first point, if your HIIT workout includes things like bodyweight exercises and very light lifting, then you can get away with a wider range of running shoes.

Since running shoes vary a lot regarding their sole construction some shoes will naturally be better than others for HIIT workouts.

can you do hiit in running shoes

When a HIIT workout is a bit more casual in nature or it only includes body weight and very light exercises, then even thicker running shoes with rounded soles can technically work.

They may not provide you with the most stability or assist with balance, but if your HIIT workout isn’t too demanding, then you can get away with using them.

When talking about the second point, some running shoes will perform better than others based on their sole construction, the materials used in their midsoles, and how their outsoles are built.

For example, two Adidas running shoes, the Ultraboost 22 and the Adizero Boston 10, have drastically different sole constructions.

running shoes for hiit workouts

The Adidas Ultraboost 22 has a slightly more traditional sole while the Adizero Boston 10 has a fairly large midsole and a pronounced lip on the heel to promote smooth strides.

This lip and thick midsole will make the Adizero Boston 10 less of a strong performer than the Ultraboost 22 due to the lack of stability they’ll have for different exercises.

That said, if you’re doing HIIT in running shoes, then I’d suggest trying to use pairs that have a bit more rubber tread on their outsole and midsoles that are thinner or moderately thick for stability and responsive reasons.

Can you do HIIT training in running shoes

My advice for anyone thinking about using running shoes for HIIT is to invest in a good pair of HIIT-focused training shoes. It’s like playing basketball with a pair of running shoes.

Will they work? Technically, yeah, but they’re not the best tool for optimizing your HIIT workout performance. A good pair of HIIT shoes will be better tools for getting the job done and if you limit their wear to only your HIIT workouts and classes.

How Should HIIT Shoes Fit?

I like to suggest sizing HIIT shoes similarly to cross-training and CrossFit shoes. That being said, opt for shoes that have anywhere from .2″-.6″ of space at the end of the toe box. This will usually be a good range for most athletes, lifters, and others interested in HIIT workouts.

Ideally, you want enough room in the toe box to not jam your toes when jumping, cutting, and doing other ballistic exercises, but not too much room to where you’re sliding around and your heel is popping out, leading to heel slip.

how tight should hiit shoes be

Everyone’s preferred HIIT shoe size will be slightly different and this is due to personal preferences and the vast differences between everyone’s foot anatomy. However, if you work within the suggested sizing range above, then you should be well on your way to finding HIIT shoes that fit well.

What Shoes Should You Wear for HIIT Workouts?

Shoes that are great for HIIT workouts fall under the cross-training shoe category. Cross-training shoes are a style of shoe constructed to handle a wide variety of training tasks and needs.

This means that cross-training shoes will have construction features designed to promote versatility, stability, durability, and responsiveness.

If we look at the different types of cross-training shoes and the construction that comes along with them, then we can start to pick out and filter which models will be best for tackling HIIT workouts.

what shoes should you wear for hiit workouts

This is why in my cross-training shoes reviews I always include a “versatile training” section because cross-training shoes can all technically work for HIIT training, but not every shoe is created equal with their construction.

For example, you wouldn’t want something like a Nike Metcon 6 purely for HIIT training because that model’s stability would likely get uncomfortable over time.

That being said, I define shoes for HIIT as a sub-category of training shoes that fall under the cross-training shoe umbrella.

These are shoes that are versatile and walk a fine line between versatility and stability. I then identify which shoes have the best features and construction for assisting with HIIT workouts, classes, and training.

What to Look for In Shoes for HIIT Workouts

If you’re in the market for HIIT-focused shoes, then there are a few key construction characteristics to explore when looking into various models. Every company will design its more HIIT-focused shoes with different technologies and materials, however, there are some commonalities across the board to keep in mind.

Below are three construction aspects that every great HIIT shoe should have.

  1. Responsive Midsole
  2. Breathable Upper
  3. Outsole With Good Traction

If you’re completely lost about what to look for in your shoes, if you use these three construction characteristics below, then I’m confident you’ll be in a pretty good spot.

1. Responsive Midsole

Shoes with a responsive midsole are a must for tackling HIIT workouts. If you’re doing HIIT training with a super stable training shoe, then you’ll likely find them uncomfortable over time especially if you’re tackling longer sessions with a lot of plyometrics. Every company’s HIIT-focused shoes will use different technologies to provide their shoe’s midsole with responsiveness.

UA HOVR Rise 3 Midsole

For example and to provide some context here as to what these materials will read as for certain companies. Reebok uses a foam they call Floatride Energy Foam, Nike has Nike React Foam, and Under Armour has their HOVR midsole technology.

All of these midsoles are essentially each company’s take on providing a foam construction in their shoes to provide various levels of responsiveness and stability.

What to Look For: Look at the shoe’s midsole and note how the company languages that midsole and its performance. Most shoes will have slightly thicker midsoles and companies will discuss their “reactive” nature when training.

2. Breathable Upper Construction

Another important aspect to explore is the upper construction. Ideally, you’ll want shoes with a breathable upper construction to keep your foot cool when training. Since most HIIT workouts take part in class settings or warm gym settings this aspect can be huge.

Reebok Speed 21 TR Upper

Also, more breathable upper constructions typically lead to lighter-weight shoes as well which is also nice to have. Note, that breathable upper constructions are not technically a must, but I prioritize this feature based on this context.

What to Look For: Look for shoes that have mesh and knit uppers or a blend of these materials. Typically, if a shoe uses a mesh or knit upper construction then it’ll breathe fairly well and be lightweight.

3. Outsole With Good Traction

Outsole traction is another aspect to explore. This construction characteristic can be influenced based on where you plan to use your shoes. For most HIIT workouts, you’ll likely be on a wooden gym floor in a class, on rubber mats, or outdoors.

UA HOVR Apex 3 Outsole

That being said, it’s a good idea to explore what types of outsoles companies use. The last thing you want is to do something like a lateral hop in a HIIT workout and have your shoe slip because there isn’t adequate traction to help promote your balance and stability.

What to Look For: Look for outsoles and shoes that have adequate rubber traction around the forefoot and heel. Some shoes lack this and I’d say steer away from those if you plan on going hard for your HIIT workouts. More rubber will equate to more traction.

How I Test Shoes for HIIT

At That Fit Friend, I have a standard review process in which I put all of the cross-training shoes that I review through. This entails countless training sessions where I’m using the shoes for a variety of different activities.

When it comes to cross-training shoes that excel for things like HIIT and athletic-focused training, I’ll create a slight bias in my training with these shoes. I’ll tackle my standard review processes, then tack on work that is tailored to what these shoes are designed to excel in.

For HIIT testing, I’ll put together class-like workouts, plyometric sessions, and high-intensity full-body training sessions. This helps paint a really good idea of how the shoes perform in different contexts.

What I Look for When Reviewing HIIT Shoes

During these workouts when assessing a shoe’s ability to perform in HIIT settings, I’m focused on three primary construction features with the following questions.

  1. Outsole Traction: Is the shoe good for multi-directional activity? Does it provide adequate grip on different surfaces? Does the outsole help with propulsion in any direction?
  2. Midsole Responsiveness: Is the midsole accommodating for jumping, lifting, bodyweight training, and running? Does it provide enough stability to promote balance but enough versatility to not leave you feeling beat up after sessions? Is it comfortable?
  3. Upper Construction Performance: Does it breathe well? Is it comfortable? Does it break in relatively easily? Is there ripping or durability concern to have with HIIT training?

All of these questions and features are points of discussion during my HIIT shoe review process. This helps shape how I see certain models and how I rank them compared to one another.

Since I’m the ONLY ONE reviewing cross-training shoes on my site (this does not include running and trail running shoes), I have a really good idea of how certain shoes perform compared to one another. Doing this helps add layers of context to the shoes you find in these lists on That Fit Friend.

Why Trust That Fit Friend HIIT Shoe Reviews

I’ve been reviewing training shoes for over 6 years, coaching for over a decade, and have my Masters in Sports Science and my Bachelors in Exercise Science. When performing shoe reviews, I blend my review background with my exercise science brain.

This allows me to assess how a shoe’s construction influences biomechanics when training and doing activities like HIIT. On top of this, I use a protocol of tests that I’ve built from countless hours of testing and trying different shoes.

Me testing the Nike Free Metcon 5 for plyometrics

For HIIT shoes, I’m testing a shoe’s versatility for different types of HIIT workouts. In this context, I’m looking at things like traction and responsiveness. I’m also looking at a shoe’s overall durability.

Every shoe in this list has been tested over multiple weeks and months with various HIIT workouts that I program for myself based on the shoes that I’m testing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:
Can you do HIIT in running shoes?

A:
You can technically do HIIT workouts in running shoes, but that may not always be the case. Ideally, if you want to do HIIT workouts in your running shoes, then you'll want a slightly more stable running as this type of shoe will give you more ground feedback when doing HIIT workouts.

Q:
What are HIIT class shoes?

A:
Shoes that excel in HIIT workouts and class settings are generally a sub-division of cross-training shoe. I like to categorize cross-training shoes as HIIT shoes when have highly responsive midsoles and lightweight uppers, which help them excel in class settings.

Q:
Is it OK to do HIIT barefoot?

A:
It's totally okay to do HIIT workouts barefoot. The only concern when doing HIIT workouts barefoot is that you're acclimated to this style of training. Since HIIT workouts generally come with high impact exercises, it's a good idea to ease into these workouts if you plan to do them barefoot to avoid getting overly sore.

Q:
How tight should HIIT shoes be?

A:
You'll want your HIIT shoes tight enough so there's no heel slippage, or occasions when your heel is coming out of the shoe when jumping, sprinting, and doing other high-intensity exercises.

Takeaway Thoughts

The right pair of shoes can make a big difference in classes and HIIT workouts. Since these activities are often fast-paced with high-impact exercises, you’ll want a pair of shoes that don’t leave you feeling beat up and sore after workouts.

The options above are all viable HIIT shoes for slightly different reasons and I’ve tested every single model for high-intensity exercise.

If you have any questions about the shoes above or if they’re right for the context of your training needs, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly)!

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of That Fit Friend. He's often regarded to as a go-to resource in various performance shoe communities. He’s been formally reviewing shoes and training gear for over 7 years and has hand-tested over 400 pairs of shoes. Jake is known on the internet and YouTube for blending his review process with his educational, strength sports, and personal training background.

Jake has a Masters in Sports Science, a Bachelors in Exercise Science, a CSCS, and he's been personal training for over 10 years helping hundreds of clients get stronger, lose weight, and accomplish their goals. He uses his exercise science brain and personal training background to make curated and thoughtful review content on the fitness gear he's testing.

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