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Home » 8 Best HIIT Training Shoes (2022 Update) | Picks for Women, Wide Feet, and More

8 Best HIIT Training Shoes (2022 Update) | Picks for Women, Wide Feet, and More

If you’re regularly going to workout classes or doing HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts, then you’re going to want a good pair of HIIT shoes. The right pair of HIIT shoes will not only help you perform well, but they’ll be more tailored toward the demands of the HIIT workouts you’re doing.

With my cross-training shoe reviews, I like to make sub-categories for models that excel in certain settings. That being said, in the context of the best HIIT shoes, it’s important to note that all of the shoes below are technically defined as cross-training shoes.

However, these shoes perform exceptionally well for HIIT training and HIIT workouts, so I create a sub-category for them. Every shoe mentioned below has been tested and vetted by myself over the course of multiple HIIT workouts.

If you’re looking for the best HIIT shoes, then check out my top picks for the market’s best HIIT shoes below.

Nike Legend Essential 3 Next Nature for Outdoor Workouts

On the market for new cross-training shoes? Check out the TF2 Cross-Training Shoes Finder. This calculator pairs you with the best cross-training shoes that I’ve reviewed that match your needs best.

Best HIIT Shoes for Women

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

Great HIIT shoes for women need to be responsive for explosive training, stable for moderate strength work, and comfortable for women’s foot anatomies.

Top Choice: Nike Free Metcon 4

The Nike Free Metcon 4 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.

 

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 4 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.

testing the nike free metcon 4 for versatile training and plyometrics

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 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
  • Comparable Runner-Up: Reebok HIIT 2
  • Second Runner-Up: UA HOVR Rise 3

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

Best HIIT Shoes for Men

When gauging the best 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, and agility work.

Essentially, I determine if a shoe has the versatility to match most HIIT workouts. These shoes perform strongly across the board, and match a wide range of needs that often come along with HIIT training.

Top Choice: Reebok Nano X2

The Reebok Nano X2 is a good shoe for tackling HIIT workouts and lifting sessions. This model is similar to the Reebok Nano X1 and is vastly different than the older Nano models like the Reebok Nano X which was something that was met with backlash in the CrossFit community.

Doing Pistol Squats and Testing the Reebok Nano X2 for CrossFit

I like the Reebok Nano X2 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.

Must Read: 10 Best CrossFit Shoes | Picks for Flat Feet, Rope Climbs, and More

This model features Reebok’s signature Floatride Energy Foam throughout its midsole and has a full rubber outsole with a lug patterning. For multi-directional training and responsiveness, I like the blend of these construction features.

Reviewing the Reebok Nano X2 for HIIT Training

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 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 HIIT Shoes for Classes

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 work for lateral work, explosive lunges, air squats, mountain climbers, and this list goes on.

Then, I account for the shoe’s midsole and outsole and how they support these exercises in regard to versatility and ground feedback. A good shoe for classes needs to be comfortable, durable, and form-fitting for overall foot security.

Top Choice: UA HOVR Rise 4

The UA HOVR Rise 3 is a solid performing shoe for the HIIT and class-focused individual. More specifically, I think this shoe works really well in the context of workout classes for three key reasons.

Reviewing the Under Armour HOVR Rise 4 for running

First, the UA HOVR midsole used in this model provides this shoe with a comfortable and responsive feel. You get a nice level of “pop” in this shoe when doing HIIT-style exercises, plyometrics, and agility work.

Second, the TriBase outsole gives this shoe a nice base to train on and does a good job at supporting balance when doing single-leg work. I like this feature a lot for multi-directional work and I’m always happy when UA uses it in their training shoes.

Testing the Under Armour HOVR Rise 4 for HIIT workouts

Third and lastly, this shoe breathes fairly well and is an excellent versatile model for anyone wanting a shoe with a heavy bias towards classes, but who still likes to do short runs and some strength work on a weekly basis.

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

Best HIIT Shoes for Wide Feet

When testing HIIT shoes for wide feet I’m concerned about two primary shoe details. First, is the shoe wide enough for those that fall into the “wide” classification for most companies’ shoe widths

Second, does the shoe have ample toe box room, and are they comfortable? These two questions can be extremely important for anyone on the market for HIIT training shoes for wide feet.

Top Choice: Altra 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. Basically, 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.

altra solstice xt 2 for classes and plyometrics

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

$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 HIIT Shoes for High Arches

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.

There’s a pretty wide range of cross-training shoes that offer arch support on the market, so I included some of my favorite high-performing picks below.

Top Choice: Inov-8 F-Lite G 300

The Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 is taking my top pick as the best HIIT shoe 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.

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.

Inov-8 F Lite G 300 for High Arches

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

$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 Shoes for HIIT and Weight Training

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

I often refer to this style of training as “athletic-style” training as most athletes regularly blend power, strength, and HIIT-style work together on a regular basis.

Top Choice: Nike Metcon 8

The Nike Metcon 8 is taking my top pick as the best shoe for HIIT workouts that also works for high arches. While the Nike Metcon 8 is not exclusively a HIIT-only shoe, I wanted to include it because it comes with a nice wide range of versatility.

Testing the Nike Metcon 8 for functional fitness

For example, for general HIIT workouts, the Nike Metcon 8 works well and has a responsive forefoot construction due to its Nike React foam midsole. If you’re doing explosive work where you’re really digging into the forefoot this model performs well.

I also like that you can lift heavy in the Nike Metcon 8 and use them for CrossFit and functional fitness. If you’re someone who likes to blend HIIT work in with your strength and power training on a weekly basis, then the Nike Metcon 8 should fit the bill really well for you.

Testing the Nike Metcon 8 for squats

The medial and lateral side walls of the Nike Metcon 8 are also nice for additional support and durability. My only complaint about the Nike Metcon 8 for some HIIT contexts is its clunky TPU heel. If you’re worried about the heel, I’ve included other options below.

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

Best Shoes for HIIT and Running

If you’re looking for a shoe for tackling HIIT workouts and running on a weekly basis, then you’ll want a shoe with a nice blend of responsiveness and stability for comfort in both styles of training.

All of the training shoes below can work for runs that range from 1-4ish miles and can hold their own in most HIIT training settings. I also tried to include models that work well for general comfort and daily wear as well.

Top Pick: On Cloud X 

The On Cloud X is a strong 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.

can you run in the on cloud x

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 really 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.

testing the on cloud x for classes plyometrics and hiit

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’s performance and construction. This is a good dual-functionality shoe for these performance contexts.

  • 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 ReviewOn Cloud X Review
  • Comparable Runner-Up: Reebok Nano X2 Review
  • Second Runner-Up: RAD ONE 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 Budget HIIT Shoes

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

Top Choice: Nike MC Trainer 2

When it comes to performance for lifting and HIIT sessions, it’s really hard to fault the $75 USD price point of the Nike MC Trainer 2. This shoe has steadily grown as one of my top budget-friendly training shoe picks.

Nike MC Trainer 2 Performance Review

Besides its price point, there are multiple characteristics to like about the Nike MC Trainer 2. For starters, the midsole in this model provides a nice blend of stability and versatility.

You can train heavily in these shoes and use them for plyometrics and sprints without beating the feet up too much. I also like the full rubber outsole for durability and multi-directional training.

Testing the Nike MC Trainer 2 for Versatile Training

Unlike other budget-friendly training shoes that lack full rubber outsoles, this model’s tread does an exceptional job on different surfaces and prolongs the lifespan of this shoe.

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

Can You Do HIIT In Running Shoes?

You can definitely 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.

In regard to 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 in regard to 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, if we look at two Adidas running shoes like Ultraboost 22 and Adizero Boston 10, both of these models 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 being 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, midsoles that are thinner or moderately thick for stability and responsive reasons, and soles that provide a bit more surface areas and are void of harsh lips.

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, then they should last you a while so your investment will go the distance.

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 really well.

How I Test HIIT Shoes

At That Fit Friend, I have a standard review process in that 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. Basically, 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.

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 for 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.

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)!

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.

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