Skip to content
Home » Cross Training Shoes

9 Best Men’s Cross-Training Shoes 2023 | Picks for Wide Feet, Runners, and More

I independently buy and hand-test everything recommended on That Fit Friend. When you buy through my links, I may earn a commission. Read more here.

The cross-training shoe market can seem overwhelming and endless at times, especially if you’re new to cross-training shoes.

Instead of hitting you with countless options that lack context, I’ve broken this article into specific performance sub-categories to help you navigate the best cross-training shoes for your needs.

More specifically, this article is designed to help men find the best cross-training shoes for their training needs. All of the models included have their own list of pros and cons, and whether you’re a guy looking into the best CrossFit shoes or cross-training shoes for narrow feet, this article will have you covered.

Below, I’m breaking my best men’s cross-training shoe picks into 9 sub-categories that select models based on their specific fit and performance.

My Top Men’s Cross-Training Shoe Picks

Under Armour TriBase Reign 5 Product Shot
Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 Product Shot
Reebok Nano X3 Product Shot
STRIKE MVMNT Haze Trainer
Nike Metcon 8 Product Shot
Overall TF2 Score
4.6
4.7
4.4
4.4
3.9
Stability
Stability
4.6
Stability
4.6
Stability
4.5
Stability
4.7
Stability
4.5
Versatility
Versatility
4.6
Versatility
4.8
Versatility
4.6
Versatility
4.6
Versatility
3.7
Price$130$130$150$130
Best For
  • Recreational Weight Training
  • CrossFit
  • Cross-Training & Athletic Workouts
  • HIIT Workouts
  • Lower Heel-to-Toe Drop Lovers
  • Cross-Training
  • CrossFit Workouts
  • Heavier Strength Training
  • Athletic Focused Sessions
  • Wider Feet
  • Recreational Weight Training
  • Functional Fitness and CrossFit
  • Athletic-Style Training
  • Short Runs/Sprints
  • Casual HIIT
  • Heavy Lifting
  • Cross-Training Workouts
  • Athletic-Focused Sessions
  • Shorter Runs (<3 miles)
  • Cross-Training
  • CrossFit and CrossFit-Style Workouts
  • Lifting
ReviewLink to ReviewLink to ReviewLink to ReviewLink to ReviewLink to Review
ShopClick to Shop AmazonShop UAShop DSGShop AmazonShop Box BasicsShop ReebokShop Box BasicsShop RogueShop Nike
×

Select a product to compare

On the market for new cross-training shoes? Make you check out my TF2 Cross-Training Shoe Finder. This calculator takes the best models I’ve reviewed and matches you with shoes for your training wants and needs.

Best Men’s Cross-Training Shoes Overall

When assessing training shoes to earn my top pick as the best men’s cross-training overall, I’m most interested in how well-rounded a shoe is. For example, can it support my heaviest training sessions while also being a good option for HIIT workouts and shorter runs?

A lot of cross-training shoes can technically work for these tasks, but I wanted to know what is currently the best of the best. Below are two of my favorite cross-training shoes for men.

Top Pick: STR/KE MVMNT Haze Trainer

The STR/KE MVMNT Haze Trainer is earning my top pick as being the best men’s cross-training shoe overall. This shoe is what I would describe as a sneaky strong performer and it works well in a variety of training settings.

Testing the Haze Trainer for Weight Training

In fact, I’m wearing them now as I write this round-up at my local coffee shop and using them as my daily wear shoes because they’re comfortable, and I’m going to wear them for my deadlift day in a few hours because their midsole and outsole stability are really good.

In my opinion, the Haze Trainer’s claim to fame is its Cush50 midsole and Cross Platform 2 outsole construction. The blend of these two gives this shoe a nice level of articulation which is awesome for training, daily wear, and tackling shorter runs (<1-2 miles).

Testing the Haze Trainer for Lifting

I describe this shoe as being a really good “minimalist” style cross-training shoe while also providing a nice level of comfort. The only caveat to the Haze Trainer is its price, but if you’re looking for a strong trainer and don’t mind the price, then I think the Haze Trainer is worth it.

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

STR/KE MVMNT Haze Trainer

$150

STRIKE MVMNT Haze Trainer
4.4
Stability
4.7
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.0
Quality
4.5

Best For

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

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency
  • For Custom Orthotics
  • For Thicker Feet

Runner-Up: RAD ONE

My second pick for the best men’s cross-training shoe overall is the RAD ONE. This model is relatively newer to the cross-training shoe scene and they’re worth looking into as a good all-around cross-training shoe that also excels for CrossFit.

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

I think if you’re a guy that likes to vary their training every week with a slight bias towards CrossFit workouts, then the RAD ONE will be a good pick for your needs. This shoe does a good job of walking a fine line between being stable and versatile.

The major callouts in the RAD ONE are the Swell Foam midsole and rubber outsole wrap. The Swell Foam does a good job of giving you a nice bounce while the rubber outsole wrap does a great job at prolonging this shoe’s durability and assisting with rope climbs.

R.A.D ONE cross Training Shoe

I also like the upper and the silhouette in this shoe and it has a nice “classic” look similar to the Haze Trainer. The caveat to the RAD ONE, like the Haze Trainer, is its slightly higher price point.

  • Best For: All-Around Training and 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 ReviewR.A.D ONE Review

Best Men’s Cross-Training Shoes for Wide Feet

When testing and assessing the best men’s cross-training shoes for wide feet I’m concerned with two key performance and construction aspects. First and foremost, is the shoe wide enough for a variety of foot anatomies?

Second, I assess what types of training the shoe is best for and how it fits into different training contexts. If you can understand the best uses for a wide-fitting cross-training shoe, then you can select models that fit your needs best.

Top Pick: Reebok Nano X3

The Reebok Nano X3 is taking my top spot as being a good all-around cross-training shoe for wider feet. This model’s width should work for most foot anatomies and I’d describe its width as being neutral and slightly wider.

Testing the Reebok Nano X3 for Squats

The Reebok Nano X3 works for a variety of training contexts and I describe it in my reviews as being a strong general training shoe. This model can support heavier training and it’s comfortable and responsive enough for HIIT workouts and short runs (<3 miles).

This model features Reebok’s Floatride Energy Foam in its midsole and this material gives you a nice “bounce” when jumping and doing explosive work. The Lift and Run Chassis system in this shoe is the star player for this shoe’s ability to transcend to different workouts.

Testing the Reebok Nano X3 for Running

I think if you’re in the market for a good “all-in-one” style cross-training shoe that works for wide feet, then the Reebok Nano X3 is a good option to look into.

  • Best For: General Training, HIIT Workouts, Casual CrossFit, and Wider Feet
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 7mm
  • Weight: 13.85 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: For wider feet, you should be safe going true-to-size in the Nano X3. Narrow/neutral-width feet, size down a half size.
  • Read My ReviewReebok Nano X3 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

Runner-Up: Altra Solstice XT 2

My second cross-training shoe pick for wide feet is the Altra Solstice XT 2. This model is one of the widest cross-training shoes on the market and it has a few key construction features that make it great for certain contexts and are important to note.

altra solstice xt 2 for classes and plyometrics

For starters, this model features a 0mm heel-to-toe drop so if you like a lower drop or want to use this model as a transition shoe from traditional training shoes to barefoot shoes, then the Altra Solstice XT 2 can be a really good option to look into.

Another aspect to note is that this shoe is a really good pick for anyone that varies their training every week and primarily trains indoors. This shoe’s midsole and outsole provide a nice level of maneuverability for HIIT workouts, classes, and casual lifting.

altra solstice xt 2 for walking running and standing

I think if you’re wanting a comfortable training shoe with a lower drop that can work well in most training settings for wide feet, then the Altra Solstice XT 2 is worth looking into. The main caveat with this shoe is its durability for outdoor training on concrete, so keep an eye on this if you plan to use them outdoors.

  • Best For: 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 Review: Altra Solstice XT 2 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

Best Men’s Cross-Training Shoes for Flat Feet

To test and assess the best men’s cross-training shoes for flat feet I’m most concerned with how a shoe’s sole provides support for flat feet in different workout contexts.

Below are two of my top picks for flat feet, and if you’re interested in more flat-feet-friendly training shoes, then I’d suggest checking out my best cross-training shoes for flat feet round-up.

Top Pick: NOBULL Trainer+

The NOBULL Trainer+ is taking my top spot as being a good cross-training to explore if you have flat feet. This model provides more support than the traditional NOBULL Trainer and can be a good option for those with flat feet in need of additional sole support.

NOBULL Trainer Plus for crossfit

This model features a thicker EVA midsole and whether you’re lifting, walking, standing, or tackling short runs (<1-2 miles), you should get adequate support from this shoe. For context, this model was designed to be more comfortable and supportive compared to other NOBULL Trainers.

Another aspect to like about the NOBULL Trainer+ is its width and upper volume. If you use custom orthotics and insoles, then you should be safe using them in this model without feeling limited due to space.

NOBULL Trainer Plus for running and daily wear

The reworked outsole is also a nice feature for additional grip and prolonging this shoe’s durability when training outdoors or using these as daily wear shoes. The one caveat with this shoe is that they can feel a little clunky at times for explosive exercises and HIIT training.

  • Best For: Flat Feet, General Training, and CrossFit
  • 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

Runner-Up: Adidas Dropset Trainer 2

The Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 can be a good option for guys wanting a cross-training shoe for flatter feet. Unlike its predecessor, this model has a wider construction through its forefoot and midfoot.

Testing the Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 for Deadlifts

In the gym, this model has performed exceptionally well for lifting, and the dual-density midsole does a good job of giving you a nice level of stability under different loads.

For example, this is the type of shoe that you can deadlift 500 lbs in and then tackle a plyometric session without them feeling uncomfortable or lacking performance.

Testing the Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 for Cross Training

I also like that the Dropset Trainer 2 can work for CrossFit and has done a good job thus far in all of my testing. If you want a foolproof shoe with a little more width throughout the Dropset Trainer 2 can be a good option to explore.

  • Best For: Heavy Lifting, CrossFit, and HIIT Workouts
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 6mm
  • Weight: 9.85 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My ReviewAdidas Dropset Trainer 2 Review

Adidas Dropset Trainer 2

$130

Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 Product Shot
4.7
Stability
4.6
Versatility
4.8
Durability
4.7
Quality
4.6

Best For

  • Cross-Training
  • CrossFit Workouts
  • Heavier Strength Training
  • Athletic Focused Sessions
  • Wider Feet

Falls Short

  • For Running

Best Men’s Cross-Training Shoes for High Arches

When testing cross-training shoes that are good for high arches I’m most concerned with two aspects including a shoe’s overall arch support and how well a shoe performs in certain contexts and settings.

Arch support can be huge for those with high arch support and can be a make or break for a shoe’s overall comfort and performance.

Top Pick: Inov-8 F-Lite G 300

The Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 is taking my top pick as the best men’s cross-training shoe for high arches. This model’s last construction typically works really well and is best for those that want and need a little arch support when training.

Inov-8 F Lite G 300 for High Arches

The F-Lite G 300 delivers a good versatile construction and performance, so it’s a good training shoe for a little bit of everything. This model’s midsole is stable for heavier strength training and it works well for cross-training and CrossFit.

I also think you’ll enjoy this model if you typically like bootie-style construction shoes. This shoe has a glove-like fit and the TPU midfoot cage provides a nice level of security for explosive training and it helps protect the midfoot of this shoe.

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

If you’re wanting a training shoe that works for high arches that can wear for pretty much everything, then I think you’ll enjoy the F-Lite G 300. It’s versatile, stable, and does a good job regarding durability for most training contexts.

  • 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 ReviewInov-8 F-Lite G 300 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

Runner-Up: OluKai Mio Li

The OluKai Mio Li is taking my second spot as the best cross-training shoe for high arches. This shoe’s insole and construction provide a really good amount of arch support and it works well in certain training contexts.

Training and Testing the OluKai Mio Li for Lifting

This model’s insole is built with dual-density foam and an additional gel insert. Of all the cross-training shoes I’ve tested and reviewed, this model’s insole has provided me with some stellar arch support and I think it will work best for medium and high arches.

For general cross-training, I think the OluKai Mio Li will work well. This model’s foam midsole does a good job of providing some stability and some “pop” when doing plyometrics and HIIT workouts.

OluKai Mio Li athletic shoes for walking and comfort

I also like the Drop-In Heel construction in this shoe and how easy it makes this model to slip on and wear as loafers for casual daily wear. The main caveat to the OluKai Mio Li is that they will fall short with serious training, so I’d suggest keeping your training more casual in these shoes.

  • Best For: General Training and High Arches
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 8.5mm
  • Weight: 11.25 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size.
  • Read My Review: OluKai Mio Li Review

OluKai Mio Li

OluKai Mio Li Training Shoes
4.5
Stability
4.4
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.5

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • Cross-Training Sessions
  • Light and Short Runs
  • Daily Wear
  • High Arches

Falls Short

  • For CrossFit
  • For Heavy Barbell Training

Best Men’s Cross-Training Shoes for Narrow Feet

When testing cross-training shoes that excel for narrow feet I try to compare how a model fits compared to its peers, then I cross-reference its performance to contextualize its best uses.

If you have narrow feet, then the last thing you want is a cross-training shoe that has too much width that leaves you swimming in the model.

Top Pick: Nike Metcon 8

My top cross-training shoe for men with narrow feet is the Nike Metcon 8. This model delivers a medium width through its midfoot and toe box that gives them a snugger fit compared to other training shoes.

Testing the Nike Metcon 8 for squats

The Nike Metcon cross-training shoe line is known for its width and slightly lower-profile boot and design. These construction features give this shoe a nice “athletic” fit that gives it a sock-like feel.

The best part about the Nike Metcon 8 is that it works well for heavy lifting, CrossFit, HIIT workouts, short runs (<1 mile), and sprints. If you vary your training often and need a high-performing cross-training shoe, then the Nike Metcon 8 is a good pick.

Using the Nike Metcon 8 for Deadlifting

Another perk of this model compared to other cross-training is its durability for CrossFit and things like rope climbs. If you like adding in rope climbing work or CrossFit sessions here and there, then you’ll enjoy the Nike Metcon 8’s performance.

  • 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 ReviewNike Metcon 8 Review

Nike Metcon 8

$130

Nike Metcon 8 Product Shot
3.9
Stability
4.5
Versatility
3.7
Durability
3.9
Quality
4.0

Best For

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

Falls Short

  • For Wide Feet
  • For Running

Runner-Up: UA TriBase Reign 5

The UA TriBase Reign 5 is another good cross-training shoe option for narrow feet. Compared to the UA TriBase Reign 2, 3, and 4, the 5 was actually made to be a little wider, but relatively speaking, it can be a good pick for narrow feet while giving you some room for the feet to expand.

Testing the Under Armour TriBase Reign 5 for Weight Training

This model features a lower heel-to-toe drop at 2mm and has a good midsole and outsole construction for blending stability and versatility. This shoe’s midsole is made with Under Armour’s Micro G Foam and I think most will enjoy the stability they get from this model.

The TriBase tech on the outsole of this shoe is also a nice feature for promoting stability and balance in different training settings. I also like that the UA TriBase Reign 5 can hold its own in CrossFit workouts regarding its durability and performance.

Testing the Under Armour TriBase Reign 5 for Metcons

I think if you prefer a lower heel-to-toe drop and like to vary your training every week and regularly tackle CrossFit workouts, then you’ll enjoy the TriBase Reign 5’s performance. The one caveat to this shoe is that it can feel a little blocky when tackling explosive lateral work.

  • Best For: Lifting, HIIT, and CrossFit-Style Training
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 2mm
  • Weight: 12.6 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My ReviewUA TriBase Reign 5 Review

UA TriBase Reign 5

$130

Under Armour TriBase Reign 5 Product Shot
4.6
Stability
4.6
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.5

Best For

  • Recreational Weight Training
  • CrossFit
  • Cross-Training & Athletic Workouts
  • HIIT Workouts
  • Lower Heel-to-Toe Drop Lovers

Falls Short

  • For Wide Feet
  • For Longer Runs

Best Men’s Cross-Training Shoes for CrossFit

When testing and assessing the best men’s cross-training shoes for CrossFit the name of the game is CrossFit workouts and how a shoe holds up for their varied demands.

More specifically, I’m assessing a shoe’s stability for heavy lifting, versatility for plyometrics and short runs, and its ability to be durable for CrossFit workouts that often come with high levels of abrasion.

1. RAD ONE

The RAD ONE cross-training shoe is making my list for the second time as being one of the better models for CrossFit workouts. Despite being newer on the CrossFit shoe scene, the RAD ONE has demonstrated that it is very much for real.

Testing the RAD ONE for Weight Training

As a whole, the RAD ONE ticks all of the boxes that you’d want in a good cross-training shoe for CrossFit. For starters, the upper construction and outsole wrap prolongs this shoe’s durability and makes them great for rope climbs.

Additionally, the Swell Foam midsole is stable enough for supporting heavy squats, deadlifts, cleans, and snatches while also providing enough responsiveness for box jumps and double-unders.

Testing the RAD ONE for Rope Climbs

If you want a good all-around cross-training shoe for CrossFit, then I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in the RAD ONE. Plus, they’re a smaller company and use some responsibly sourced materials which is a subtle perk of this model.

  • Best For: All-Around Training and 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 ReviewR.A.D ONE Review

R.A.D ONE

$150

RAD ONE Training Shoes
4.6
Stability
4.7
Versatility
4.8
Durability
4.2
Quality
4.5

Best For

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

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency
  • For Wider Feet

Runner-Up: STR/KE MVMNT Haze Trainer

In all honesty, I think the Haze Trainer or RAD ONE could easily both fulfill the top spot for CrossFit and I regularly rotate my pairs for CrossFit training. I think if you’re someone that prioritizes “feel” in their shoes when tackling CrossFit workouts, then the Haze Trainer would be your best bet.

Testing the Haze Trainer for Jump Rope

For CrossFit specifically, I enjoy how this shoe performs when tackling any form of lifting. The toe box moves well and there’s good width in the toe box for splaying the toes and fully gripping the floor.

The durability of the Haze Trainer is also really solid for CrossFit workouts. The 3D jacquard knit upper resists abrasion pretty well and these shoes do a fairly good job at supporting rope climbing performance and prolonging durability.

Testing the Haze Trainer for Versatility

I think if you’re a guy on the market for a cross-training shoe and prioritize feel when lifting and a shoe that you can also wear for daily wear settings, then the Haze Trainer will be your best bet.

  • Best For: All-Around 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

STR/KE MVMNT Haze Trainer

$150

STRIKE MVMNT Haze Trainer
4.4
Stability
4.7
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.0
Quality
4.5

Best For

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

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency
  • For Custom Orthotics
  • For Thicker Feet

Best Men’s Cross-Training Shoes for HIIT

When testing the best men’s cross-training shoes for HIIT my main focus is on a shoe’s ability to perform highly in HIIT workouts and settings while also remaining comfortable.

I look for shoes that prioritize midsole constructions that deliver a high level of responsiveness and outsoles that are durable and provide adequate traction and tread.

Top Pick: Nike Free Metcon 5

The Nike Free Metcon 5 is taking my top pick as the best men’s cross-training shoe for HIIT. This model delivers versatile performance for high-intensity exercise, classes, and moderate strength training.

Me testing the Nike Free Metcon 5 for jump rope

The Nike Free midsole in this shoe gives the forefoot and midfoot a nice level of maneuverability which is great for activities like jump rope, box jumps, and lateral movements like skater strides

This model’s forefoot also feels a little more spacious regarding its upper which is a nice change from the slimmer fitting Nike Free Metcon 4. 

Me testing the Nike Free Metcon 5 for lunges

In the context of lifting, Nike Free Metcon 5 will work decently well up to loads at around 275 lbs. If you’re keeping your lifting at or below that threshold and want a shoe for primarily cross-training, you should enjoy the Free Metcon 5’s performance.

  • Best For: HIIT Workouts, Light Lifting, Shorter Runs
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 5mm (per Nike’s support team)
  • Weight: 10.05 oz
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size.
  • Read My ReviewNike Free Metcon 5 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

Runner-Up: UA HOVR Rise 4

The UA HOVR Rise 4 is another great option for HIIT training and I think this model will be best for those that like having a bit more cushion in their HIIT sessions. If you like more stability, go with the Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 and for more “bounce” go HOVR Rise 4.

Reviewing the Under Armour HOVR Rise 4 for running

This shoe’s main callouts for HIIT training include its outsole and midsole construction. This shoe features Under Armour’s HOVR technology in the midsole and this feature provides this shoe with a nice “bounce” for jumping and explosive movements.

The outsole features Under Armour’s TriBase tech which is nice for promoting overall stability and balance. When doing lateral work and single-leg work, I like how this shoe’s outsole helps me feel grounded.

Testing the UA HOVR Rise 4 for Jump Rope

I think if you’re a guy that regularly tackles classes, HIIT workouts, short runs (<3 miles), and some light to moderate lifting every week, then the HOVR Rise 3 will be a good pick for you. The main drawback to this model is its midsole durability for outdoor training on concrete, so keep this in mind if you invest in this model.

  • Best For: Jump Rope, HIIT, and Classes
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 8mm
  • Weight: 11.2 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: No
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My ReviewUA HOVR Rise 4 Review

UA HOVR Rise 4

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 Men’s Cross-Training Shoes for Runners

When discussing and reviewing the best cross-training shoes for runners I’m considering how a shoe will perform for running and how it will feel when training compared to other running shoes that someone may be used to.

By considering these two aspects, I’m able to make the best picks for runners that would like to run a little bit in their cross-training shoes while also feeling confident in the shoe’s ability to perform in a variety of contexts.

Top Pick: STR/KE MVMNT Vimana Hybrid Runner

The STR/KE MVMNT Hybrid Runner is a really good niche training shoe that can also excel for running. This model is designed to tackle cross-training sessions while also being able to hold its own for casual trail and road runs.

strike mvmnt vimana hybrid runner trail run

The Vimana Hybrid Runner features STR/KE MVMNT’s Cush50 midsole which is composed of a blend of EVA/EPE materials. This blend gives this shoe a nice level of responsiveness for both lifting and running.

I like using this model most when hitting a training session, then going straight into tackling quicker 5k trail runs. It’s a good hybrid training shoe for both contexts and I don’t have to bring separate shoes for these training days.

strike mvmnt vimana hybrid runner

If you’re on the market for a more minimalist and hybrid-style training shoe, then the STR/KE MVMNT Vimana Hybrid Runner is a good option to look into. They work well for a variety of training contexts and excel for daily wear, too.

  • 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 ReviewSTR/KE MVMNT Vimana Hybrid Runner Review

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

Runner-Up: NOBULL Ripstop Runner

Another good option to look into if you’re interested in a shoe for tackling some light cross-training sessions and running is the NOBULL Ripstop Runner. While this shoe isn’t a true cross-training shoe, it does work well for light lifting and bodyweight workouts.

nobull ripstop runner running performance review

For example, if you’re someone that wants a shoe for track workouts where you’re going to be blending running together with bodyweight training or kettlebell circuits, then the Ripstop Runner can be a good option to explore.

This model features a high-rebound phylon midsole so you get a nice level of pop from this shoe’s midsole and if you’re wanting a shoe for quicker-paced 5ks and mid-range runs, then the Ripstop Runner could be worth exploring.

Testing the NOBULL ripstop runner for running

The NOBULL Ripstop Runner is also decent for daily wear and features a 10mm heel-to-toe drop which could be a good thing for those that like having a higher drop for walking, daily wear, and running.

  • Best For: Bodyweight Workouts, Short Runs, Mid-Range Runs
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 10mm
  • Weight: 11.1 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My Review: NOBULL Ripstop Runner Review

NOBULL Ripstop Runner

$149

nobull ripstop runner
4.1
Versatility
4.3
Durability
4.2
Quality
4.0

Best For

  • Casual Outdoor Runs
  • Treadmill Running
  • Daily Wear
  • Longer Walks

Falls Short

  • For Serious Running Workouts
  • For Wider Footed Runners

Best Men’s Cross-Training Shoes for Bad Knees

When considering the topic of cross-training shoes for bad knees I’m trying to be conscious of the wide range of definitions that come along with “bad knees” for lifters and athletes.

As someone who’s struggled with countless knee injuries (near full quad rupture on my left leg), I get the importance of having good training shoes for mitigating knee discomfort when training. Do note, that knee discomfort can come in all forms and it’s always a good idea to work with someone in person when assessing footwear for “bad knees”.

That being said, below are two good men’s cross-training shoes for bad knees options to get you started on your search for a good pair of trainers for your specific needs.

1. Altra Solstice XT 2

The Altra Solstice XT 2 can be a really good option to explore if you’re constantly navigating knee discomfort while training. I like this model for this context for three key reasons.

First, this shoe’s width is nice for allowing the feet to fully splay and interact with the ground. This can potentially be useful for building the feet’s musculature slowly and increasing the surface area that you have to train on.

altra solstice xt 2 for walking running and standing

Second, the midsole and outsole move well and provide a nice blend of cushion and support. This feature can be nice for mitigating ground reaction forces for a wide range of activities.

Third and lastly, the heel-to-toe drop in this model is 0mm which could be useful in some contexts where knee discomfort is present in training. If flat shoes feel better for you when training, walking, and running, then this model is worth exploring.

  • Best For: 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 Review: Altra Solstice XT 2 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

2. Reebok Nano X3

The Reebok Nano X3 could also be a viable option to explore if you have knee discomfort and need a good general training shoe. Unlike the Altra Solstice XT 2, this model has a slightly higher drop at 7mm so if you like higher drops, then this model could work well for you.

Testing the Reebok Nano X3 for Lifting

The Floatride Energy Foam midsole does a good job of promoting stability and cushion for different training settings. This shoe doesn’t feel overly firm when jumping and it provides enough support when lifting.

I also like the Lift and Run Chassis system on this model and the additional support that can provide for the ankle. These can be useful for anyone that needs a little extra structure in their shoes when tackling single-leg exercises and work.

Testing the Reebok Nano X3 for Functional Fitness

If you’re considering the Reebok Nano X3, then I’d suggest trying them on in-store before investing if you can. This way you can wear them and see if they align with your training needs and goals.

  • Best For: General Training, HIIT Workouts, Casual CrossFit, and Wider Feet
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 7mm
  • Weight: 13.85 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: For wider feet, you should be safe going true-to-size in the Nano X3. Narrow/neutral-width feet, size down a half size.
  • Read My ReviewReebok Nano X3 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

Are Cross-Training Shoes Necessary?

While no rule says cross-training shoes are absolutely necessary for training, I think it can be useful investing in a good pair that matches the context of your training needs and wants well.

As a strength coach, I often discuss and take the approach of using the right tools for the job when it comes to strength equipment and gear. For example, let’s say you’re planning to regularly lift, tackle HIIT workouts, and even perform short runs all in one workout, then using a pair of cross-training shoes will be a really good idea.

what are cross training shoes (1)

Could you use something like running shoes for this style of training? Sure, but their performance will always be limited and capped due to their level of specificity with their construction.

This is similar to the idea of using a pair of general training shoes for CrossFit workouts. The more general the training shoes are, the more prone they’ll be to breaking down or not matching the CrossFit-specific tasks at hand.

That all being said, investing in the right pair of cross-training shoes for your needs and taking care of them will both support your training goals/performance and your investment.

How Should Cross-Training Shoes Fit?

When looking into investing in a new pair of cross-training shoes for men, I often recommend sizing your shoes so you have between .2″-6″ of clearance at the end of your toe box.

how should cross training shoes fit (1)

This length will generally be enough to promote a nice “locked-down” feeling while also not feeling too tight or too loose and running into the issue of heel slip.

When it comes to sizing and fit, it’s important to recognize that everyone’s shoes will fit differently based on one’s foot shape, length, width, and personal fit and feel preferences.

Sizing, especially between different cross-training shoes, can be overwhelming so if you need additional sizing help with any cross-training shoe mentioned in this article, drop a comment below and I can help you out accordingly.

How I Test and Review Cross-Training Shoes

Every cross-training shoe featured in this article has been personally tested by me and every model has an individual review designed for providing more depth on whatever pair of shoes you’re interested in.

When testing cross-training shoes, I perform similar baseline tests to assess stability, versatility, and durability, then I perform specific tests based on how the cross-training shoe is intended to be used.

Testing the Reebok Nano X2 Stability for Lifting

For example, every shoe receives similar lifting tests to assess midsole and outsole stability, then as a shoe gets more niche, I’ll ebb and flow the tests accordingly.

A good example would be assessing the stability in the UA HOVR Rise 3 versus the Haze Trainer. Both models are designed for different contexts. So when lifting, I’ll stop loading in the HOVR Rise 3 once I notice compression, then I’ll continue with heavier sets for the Haze Trainer since it’s marketed as a more stable cross-training shoe.

Outside of these tests, I’m also keeping an eye on how versatile a shoe is for different training contexts and noting the durability of the shoe’s upper, midsole, and outsole. This can then further direct my efforts to identify which cross-training shoes work best in certain contexts.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:
What is the difference between a cross trainer and a running shoe?

A:
Cross-training shoes will be designed to deliver a more stable fit and feel to promote balance and stability for things like lifting, CrossFit, and HIIT workouts. Running shoes will generally have more cushion and mobility in the forefoot to accommodate the demands of running and its repetitive foot strike demands.

Q:
Can I wear training shoes everyday?

A:
It depends. Not all training shoes are created equal when it comes to their comfort and accommodating daily wear. Training shoes that have more flexibility and midfoot support can generally be good options for daily wear, especially if you like more stability in your daily wear shoes.

Takeaway Thoughts

There are endless cross-training shoe options on the market and every model will come with its own list of pros and cons. When looking into the best men’s cross-training shoes, I’d suggest identifying your core cross-training shoe needs, then looking into models that fit best for your context.

Since every cross-training shoe is built slightly differently and will perform accordingly to its construction, then I think it can be really useful for your investment to find the correct models for your specific wants.

If you have additional questions on any of the cross-training shoes mentioned in this article, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly).

Jake Boly

Jake Boly

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *