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

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

It can be overwhelming when looking into new shoes for strength training. We all have different strength training goals, levels of strength, and shoe preferences, which can make the search for new strength training shoes even more tedious.

Plus, when considering the best shoes for strength training, we have to consider how wide that range can be. For example, some lifters prefer the tried and true Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star while others prefer a good stable cross-training shoe.

Below, I’m going to provide a plethora of my favorite shoe picks for strength training. The models I’ve included in this article are all training shoes that work really well in different strength training contexts.

In this best shoes for strength training round-up, I’m going to break my top picks into different performance-focused categories. This way, you can select options that align best with your strength training goals.

Testing the YORK Athletics Mfg The Frank Trainer for working out

Looking at new cross-training shoes? Make sure you try out my TF2 Cross-Training shoes Finder. This calculator takes models that I’ve reviewed and matches you with the best shoes for your training needs.

Author’s Note: If you’re specific with your strength training, then I also have more specific round-ups for certain activities and shoe types like the best deadlift shoes, best shoes for squats, and best barefoot shoes for lifting.

Best Overall Shoes for Strength Training

When assessing the best overall shoes for strength training, I’m concerned with a shoe’s stability and how its sole interacts with different strength training contexts.

This section is also tough to pick just one shoe for because there are always layers of context needed when picking the best shoes for strength training per your preferences.

Top Pick: STR/KE MVMNT Haze Trainer

The STR/KE MVMNT Haze Trainer is my top pick for the best overall shoes for strength training. This model takes my top pick for three key reasons. First, the maneuverability of the Haze Trainer’s sole is solid for different types of strength training.

Testing the Haze Trainer for Lifting

This model takes relatively no time to break in and if you like the sole of your shoes to move and articulate well with the foot, then I think you’ll enjoy the fit and feel of the Haze Trainer. Second, the stability of the Haze Trainer’s midsole is good for heavier strength training.

Whether you’re training heavy with free weights or machines, the Haze Trainer’s Cush50 midsole should do a good job at supporting your overall stability. It also provides a nice level of responsiveness for exercises like power cleans and dumbbell snatches.

Testing the Haze Trainer for Strength Training

The third and last reason why I like the Haze Trainer for strength training is its upper construction. The jacquard knit upper locks the foot down and breathes well. Plus, it looks pretty good so you can easily wear this model as a daily wear shoe as well.

STRIKE MVMNT Haze Trainer

$150

STRIKE MVMNT Haze Trainer
4.8
Stability
4.8
Versatility
4.7
Durability
4.8

Best For

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

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency
  • For Custom Orthotics

Best Men’s Shoes for Strength Training

To test and review the best men’s shoes for strength training, I’m looking at how different models perform for different thresholds and contexts of strength training.

By looking at things like where stability is capped and how mobile a sole is, I can make the best-educated picks for men’s shoes for strength training.

Top Pick: RAD ONE

The RAD ONE is taking my top pick as the best men’s shoes for strength training. This model was originally launched to tackle the demands of CrossFit, but it has quickly grown as one of my favorite shoes for strength training.

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

It’s a model that can pretty much do it all and it delivers a good amount of stability for heavier sessions. I haven’t experienced any compression issues with this model when squatting over 400 lbs and deadlifting over 500 lbs.

This model features a SwellFoam midsole which walks a fine line between stable and versatile. If you plan to do heavy static strength work or more dynamic work, you should enjoy the overall stability and feel you get from this model’s midsole.

R.A.D ONE Training Shoes crossfit review

I also like the outsole treat and construction on the RAD ONE for strength training due to its grip and durability. This model grips different surfaces really well and is a great option for recreational lifters who also do CrossFit workouts here and there.

  • Best For: CrossFit
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 6mm
  • Weight: 12.7 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: R.A.D recommends going up a half size, I went true and they fit fine (more on that in my review article)
  • Read My ReviewR.A.D ONE Review
  • Comparable Runner-Up: Nike Metcon 7
  • Second Runner Up: Haze Trainer

R.A.D ONE

$150

RAD ONE Training Shoes
4.8
Stability
4.8
Versatility
4.7
Durability
4.8

Best For

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

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency

Best Women’s Shoes for Strength Training

When assessing and reviewing the best women’s shoes for strength training, I’m constantly referring to my girlfriend and my YouTube community for their insights and feedback.

That feedback tied with my personal in-depth analysis and assessment of different shoes for strength training helps me make the best-educated picks.

Top Pick: Nike Metcon 7

The Nike Metcon 7 is taking the top pick for the best women’s shoes for strength training. This model works great for heavier strength training and versatile training. It’s also a good shoe for those who like doing CrossFit workouts.

nike metcon 7 for squats

In the context of lifting, the Nike Metcon 7 provides a nice level of stability across the board for different strength training settings. The Nike React Foam midsole is responsive yet stable and the built-in TPU Hyperlift insert in the heel adds to this shoe’s stability.

Outside of its stability, the upper durability is also a nice perk with the Nike Metcon 7. This model features overlays to prevent breakdown from abrasion and it’s one of the better cross-training shoes on the market for rope climbs if you regularly program them.

Must Read: 9 Best CrossFit Shoes | Picks for Wide Feet, High Arches, and More

Nike Metcon 7 Rope Climbing

My girlfriend wearing the Nike Metcon 7s for rope climbs.

The width and fit of the Nike Metcon 7 also do a fairly good job at aligning with the anatomical needs of women’s feet. This model has more of a form-fitting feel to it and hugs the foot well without feeling too clunky.

  • 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 7 Review
  • Comparable Runner-UpInov-8 F-Lite 235 V3
  • Second Runner-Up:R.A.D ONE

Nike Metcon 7

$130

Nike Metcon 7
4.5
Stability
4.6
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.4

Best For

  • Heavy Training
  • CrossFit Workouts
  • Rope Climbs
  • Plyos and Agility Workouts
  • Short Runs

Falls Short

  • For Long-Distance Runs
  • For Wider Feet

Best Shoes for Strength Training and HIIT

When testing and assessing the best shoes for strength training and HIIT workouts, I’m mostly concerned with two key performance aspects. First, I’m concerned about the stability a shoe’s midsole and outsole provide for strength work.

Second, I’m assessing how much “pop” you get from the shoe’s midsole and the level of responsiveness it delivers when tackling different types of HIIT workouts.

Top Pick: Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2

My top pick for shoes for strength training and HIIT workouts is the Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2. This model is taking my top pick for three key reasons. First, this shoe has a good amount of stability for heavier strength training.

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

For heavier strength training, the Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 does a good job and provides a nice stable base to train on. Second, I like the maneuverability and versatility that you get this shoe for HIIT workouts.

This model features a maneuverable sole construction and an insole built with Nike React and a Zoom Air Packet. The blend of these construction elements gives this model a nice lightweight and responsive feel. The Zoom Air packet in the forefoot gives this shoe a nice level of bounce.

Testing the Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 for Lateral Explosive Work

Third and lastly, the overall fit of this shoe is very athletic so if you like a more form-fitting shoe for strength training and HIIT workouts, then I think you’ll enjoy the fit of this model. It almost feels similar to how low-profile cleats fit, which can be hit or miss depending on your preferences.

Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2

$150

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

Best For

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

Falls Short

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

Best Shoes for Strength Training and Conditioning

When assessing the best shoes for strength training and conditioning I try to back to my days tackling dryland sessions as an ice hockey player. Good shoes for strength training and conditioning need stability, versatility, and durability.

A model needs to be able to support different types of strength training, but also provide enough versatility and durability for tackling the demands of plyometrics and other circuit-style sessions.

Top Pick: Inov-8 F-Lite G 300

The Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 is taking my top pick for the best shoes for strength training and conditioning. When it comes to performance, the Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 somewhat does it all.

Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 Construction

Its midsole is stable for heavier strength training and responsive enough to accommodate HIIT workouts and more athletic-style sessions. Essentially, it’s a good model to tackle something like heavy back squats, power cleans, and broad jumps all in one workout.

This model features a Graphene outsole which is a material that is designed to be both durable and grippy. On wooden platforms, turf, and rubber gym floors, the Inov-8 F-Lite G 300’s grip performs exceptionally well.

Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 Pros

I also like the bootie-style construction of this and its upper. Both of these components give this model a nice form-fitting feel and a good level of breathability. The forefoot is also fairly wide to accommodate different foot anatomies.

Inov-8 F-Lite G 300

$150

Inov-8 F-Lite G 300
4.3
Stability
4.4
Versatility
4.2
Durability
4.5

Best For

  • Versatile Training
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Shorter Runs
  • Plyometrics

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency

Best Shoes for Strength Training and Running

When it comes to the best shoes for strength training and running it’s important to recognize the contrast between these two activities.

For strength work, you’ll want a stable shoe, and for running, you’ll generally want a more cushioned ride (unless you like barefoot running). That being said, there will always be a give and take for both of these when finding a training shoe that works well for running and lifting.

Top Pick: On Cloud X

The On Cloud X is taking my top pick as the best shoe for strength training and running. It’s important to note that this model will not necessarily be the “best” in either of these categories, but it works well as a hybrid training shoe.

can you run in the on cloud x

For example, when it comes to lifting, you’ll want to cap your loading around 275-315 lbs in this model. If you go heavier than that, then you may start to notice compression with the CloudTec midsole.

Additionally, for running, this model will work best for distances between 1-7ish miles. I found that this distance tends to be the sweet spot in the On Cloud X for both road and treadmill running.

Must Read: 5 Best Hybrid Training Shoes | Best Models for Running and Lifting

nike metcon 7 vs on cloud x for crossfit

 

The On Cloud X is a good hybrid training shoe for strength training and running, but it does have its limitations as you get more niche and serious in both directions of running and strength work. That being said, if you fall into the parameters mentioned above, then I think you’ll like the On Cloud X.

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 Shoes for Strength Training for Wide Feet

To assess the best shoes for strength training and wide feet, I’m concerned with two key performance and fit criteria. First, the shoe needs to work for different forms and intensities of strength training.

Second, the shoe needs to be wide enough through the forefoot and midfoot to accommodate a variety of foot anatomies.

Top Pick: Reebok Nano X2

The Reebok Nano X2 is taking my top pick as the best shoe for strength training for wide feet. This model is a good “all-in-one” style cross-training shoe for the wide-footed athlete and lifter that likes to vary their weekly training.

Squatting 405 lbs In the Reebok Nano X2 Lifting Test

This model is stable enough to support heavier squat and deadlifts and provides enough width throughout for most foot anatomies. When squatting 405 lbs and deadlifting 505 lbs in this model, I didn’t have issues with compression whatsoever.

The Reebok Floatride Energy foam midsole blended with the full rubber outsole provides this shoe with a good amount of stability and tread for different strength training contexts. For static and more dynamic strength work, the Nano X2 works fairly well.

Deadlifting 505 lbs In the Reebok Nano X2 Lifting Test

On top of being a good model for wider feet, I also like the level of midfoot support that you get from this model’s reinforced TPU clips. If you have wider feet and need additional midfoot support, then I think you’ll enjoy the overall fit of the Reebok Nano X2.

  • Best For: General Training and Wider Feet
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 7mm
  • Weight: 11.9 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: For wider feet, you should be safe going true-to-size in the Nano X2.
  • Read My ReviewReebok Nano X2 Review
  • Comprarable Runner-Up: STR/KE MVMNT Haze Trainer
  • Second Runner-Up: NOBULL Trainer+

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 Budget Shoes for Strength Training

To assess and test the best budget shoes for strength training shoes need to have two key criteria to make my list. First, they need to have price points under $100 USD.

Second, they need to actually perk well for different types of strength training. Being a budget-friendly model is great, but if the shoes fall short for strength training, then they’ll be a waste of your money.

Top Pick: Nike MC Trainer

The Nike MC Trainer is taking my top pick for the best budget shoes for strength training. This model comes in at a price point of $70 USD which is less than half of the price of other Nike training shoes like the Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2.

Reviewing the Nike MC Trainer for Weight Training

I like the Nike MC Trainer because its performance is overall really strong for strength training despite its budget-friendly price point. For heavier strength training, the medium-density foam midsole does a good job of providing you with enough stability.

Additionally, the full rubber outsole also supports multi-directional activities and grips different training surfaces really well. This is a good model for those that like to strength train and do some versatile training on a weekly basis and don’t want to break the bank.

Must Read: 8 Best Budget Cross-Training Shoes | Picks for Men, Women, and More

Reviewing the Nike MC Trainer for Lifting

There are a few quirks and drawbacks to this model, which I discuss in my full review, but there really aren’t any glaring issues with this shoe that would knock this model’s overall performance for recreational strength training.

  • 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 MC Trainer Review
  • Comparable Runner-UpPuma FUSE
  • Second Runner-Up: UA Project Rock BSR 2

Nike MC Trainer

$70

Nike MC Trainer
4.4
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.4
Durability
4.4

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • Athletic-Style Training
  • Hybrid Workouts (Sprints:Lifting)
  • Agility Training

Falls Short

  • For Running
  • For Long Walks
  • For Long-Term Durability
  • For Wide Feet

What to Look for In Shoes for Strength Training

When looking into new shoes for strength training, it’s important to define how you primarily like to strength train in the first place. For example, an avid barbell-focused recreational lifter will train slightly differently than a beginner who is just getting into strength training.

Strength training takes a lot of different forms and if you can understand how you plan to use your shoes, then you can pick the best model for your needs.

What makes a good shoe for strength training

Personally, I think there are three primary details to explore and assess when looking into new shoes for strength training. These details will influence a shoe’s overall stability and performance for strength training and they include:

  • Midsole Material/Stability: How stable is the midsole and what is its threshold for different forms of strength training?
  • Outsole Construction: How is the outsole constructed? Is it durable? Does the outsole grip floors and machines well?
  • Upper Durability: Is the upper durable enough to withstand the stress that can come along with strength training? If you’re training heavy, does the upper lock the foot down properly?

These details and how you should assess them will then ebb and flow based on your strength training goals. For example, if you’re planning to train super heavy in your shoes, then you’ll want a model with a firmer midsole.

Testing the NOBULL Court Trainer for CrossFit

Conversely, if you like to blend your strength training with running, then you’ll want a shoe that can perform properly for both of these contexts. So, looking for shoes with responsive midsoles and breathable uppers could be good in this context.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:
What are the best shoes for strength training?

A:
The best shoes for strength training will be individual based on your training needs, wants, and preferences. For example, if you're a barbell-focused lifter, then you'll want a model with enough stability to match your strength levels, and if you like blending strength training with running, then you'll want a shoe that can work well for both of those contexts.

Q:
Do you need shoes for strength training?

A:
No, you do not necessarily need to wear shoes for strength training. However, when discussing the topic of something like strength training barefoot versus with shoes on, you need to recognize that different heel-to-toe drops can influence performance and that some gyms will not allow barefoot strength training.

Q:
Can you strength train in running shoes?

A:
If you're serious about your strength training, then you'll want to avoid wearing running for strength-focused sessions. Their midsoles can limit overall stability and their often rounded soles can decrease performance and force output.

Takeaway Thoughts

There are a lot of great shoes for strength training on the market. When searching for the ideal pair of strength training shoes for your training needs, it’s important to identify your core asks you from the shoes you’re looking into.

By narrowing down how exactly you plan to use your shoes for strength training, you can invest in the perfect model for your context.

If you have additional questions on any of the shoes for strength training featured here, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend).

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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