I know I’m not the only one that enjoys wearing their training shoes for daily wear and on a casual basis. Some days I don’t feel like bringing multiple shoes with me so I like to opt for one pair that I can wear to things like work, errands, and then to the gym.
Similar to a training shoe’s performance, when it comes to wearing training shoes for daily wear, not every shoe is created equal. Every training shoe will fit and perform slightly differently and understanding your wants and needs can be important for choosing the best training shoes for casual wear.
As someone who’s far too invested in training shoes, I have a list of training shoes that I’ll use for daily wear based on what I’m doing during the day and what type of workout I plan to tackle in them. By doing this, I can have the best of both the performance and casual wear worlds.
In this article, I’ve broken some of my favorite training shoes for daily and casual wear into different sub-categories. This way you can find models that suit your performance and casual wear needs best.
Can You Wear Training Shoes Casually?
The short answer is yes, you can absolutely wear training shoes casually and for daily wear in a variety of settings and contexts.
On that note, you can technically wear any pair of shoes casually — this is why Crocs are a thing. To answer this question more appropriately we need to consider a few follow-up questions here.
For example, I like to consider the following when considering training shoes for casual wear.
- Where will you be wearing the training shoes most?
- How do you plan to train in your shoes?
- How do you want your training shoes to fit?
If we can consider these questions, then we can get more granular and specific with our training shoe asks. This can ensure you’re investing in a model that actually suits your performance needs well while looking good for daily wear.
For example, do you plan to lift heavy in your training shoes and wear them to work? If so, then we’ll need to look into different training shoe options compared to someone who wants a pair of training shoes for HIIT workouts and to wear here and there for running errands.
The varied training contexts and daily wear environments that are ironed out in our follow-up questions above will drive which training shoes to explore in regard to their stability, versatility, and more importantly appearance for your needs.
Are Training Shoes Good for All Day Wear?
Yes, depending on your wants and needs training shoes can be good shoe options to explore for all-day wear. More specifically, training shoes can be good all-day wear shoes if you like shoes that are more stable in nature, but this isn’t to say they’ll be good for everyone.
Below, I’m going to discuss three reasons why training shoes can be good shoes to explore for all-day wear and two reasons why they can fall short.
1. Midsoles Provide a More Stable Feel
When it comes to shoes for daily wear, we all have our own preferences wants, and needs. If you like shoes that provide more stability through the midsole and outsole, then training shoes can be good shoes for all-day wear.
Generally speaking, training shoes will feature medium-high density foam midsoles that don’t compress nearly as much under your bodyweight as something like a running shoe’s midsole. If you want a more stable “base” under you for all-day wear, then training shoes can be worth exploring.
2. Outsoles Provide Good Durability and Are Often Multi-Directional
Another reason why training shoes can be good all-day wear shoes is for their outsole construction. Most training shoes will be constructed with full or nearly full rubber outsoles.
Outsoles composed of more rubber will typically be more durable in the long run, especially when it comes to the varied demands that can come from daily wear use. For example, a full rubber outsole will do a better job protecting the midsole from dirt and general wear and tear.
On top of their durability, training shoes’ outsoles will also usually feature a multi-directional tread pattern. While it’s not likely you’re going to be hitting lateral shuffles at work in your training shoes, it is likely that you’ll want a good amount of tread on your shoes for grip purposes.
Whether you’re rushing down the stairs to catch a train at the subway station or you’re on your feet all day working, having more tread is never a bad thing.
3. Upper Is Usually Durable and Easy to Clean
The final reason why training shoes can be good for daily wear is that their upper constructions, like their outsoles, are often built to provide high amounts of durability and breathability.
These features are great for varied environments and for prolonging a shoe’s lifespan in the gym and on a daily basis. In addition to material often being more durable, the uppers on training are usually pretty easy to clean and wipe down.
Depending on the model you go with and the context in which you plan to wear them, this can be a nice subtle perk of using certain training shoes for all-day wear.
Why Training Shoes Fall Aren’t Good for Daily Wear
As with most things related to performance and footwear, everything exists on a spectrum. While training shoes can be good for all-day in certain contexts, they can also fall short for a couple of reasons.
1. Can Lack Cushion and Comfort
If you like running or walking shoes for daily wear due to their comfort, support, and cushion, then you may not like the stability that comes with training shoes. A more stable shoe can feel uncomfortable for those that like and need additional midsole cushion.
On this note, walking shoes are built specifically for walking so they’ll feature heel-to-toe drops and construction that cater to the natural gait cycle we all move through when walking.
If you walking long distances or using walking as a workout, then you may want to consider using shoes that are specific for your needs as they’ll be more comfortable for the specificity of your activity asks.
2. May Not Last Nearly As Long
Another drawback to using your training shoes for daily wear is their long-term durability. While most training shoes are made to be more durable, there’s no denying that you’ll get more out of your training shoes if you only limit their wear for working out.
This can be important to consider for the lifter and athlete that doesn’t necessarily have unlimited to buy training shoes more often. If you want your shoes to last longer, then you may want to wave their primary use for training.
Can I Wear Training Shoes for Walking?
For casual walking, training shoes can work fairly well depending on your needs and what you want out of your shoes.
For example, if you’re debating between walking shoes, running shoes, and training shoes, then it’s important to consider your foot anatomy and the walking demands you plan to put on the shoes.
In regard to foot anatomy, we can look at the foot’s arch to suggest which models will work best for certain individuals. Generally, there are three classifications for different foot arches which include high, normal, and flat.
If you have high arches, then you’ll usually want to explore shoes with a bit more cushion and support. If you want a pair of training shoes, then you’ll want to look into models that have more midfoot support or high-arch-friendly insole constructions.
For normal and flat feet, a more stable shoe can feel more comfortable for your foot’s needs. Normal arches can generally get away with wearing a wider range of shoes while flat feet can vary greatly and will usually want a model with more motion control and stability.
It’s important to note that there will always be a high level of individuality here with what shoes fit and feel best for your feet. Our feet all have subtle differences which can change how we interpret certain shoes’ fits and feels.
In regard to walking demands, it’s important to recognize that there’s a difference between casual walking and training that involves longer walks. Typically, training shoes will be best served for casual walking if you want to use your training shoes for walking.
If you plan to log serious miles in your shoes, then you may want to explore shoes that are more specific to walking. This can ensure you’re using shoes that feed better into the act of walking and the biomechanics that come along with this activity.
It’s similar to the age-old, “using the right tools for the job” saying. As you get more specific with your activity and the demands that activity will place on the body, then you’ll want to get more specific with your shoe selection. For example, this is why I recommend not squatting and deadlifting in running shoes.
Can You Wear Training Shoes With Jeans?
Yes, you can wear training shoes with jeans, especially if you style them properly. Some training shoes look more formal than others which makes them easy to style and wear with jeans.
For example, training shoes with plain uppers that are built with canvas or knit will usually pair best when worn with jeans. Good examples here would be the STR/KE MVMNT Interval Knit AF Trainer and the NOBULL Canvas Trainer (featured below).
When discussing styling training shoes with jeans it all comes down to the style you want to go with. I personally like training shoes that are more subtle with their design and construction when wearing them with jeans whereas you might like models that look more performance-oriented.
Best Overall Training Shoe for Casual Wear
When testing and reviewing the best training shoes for casual wear I’m concerned with key performance characteristics. First, how does the shoe work for casual wear? I look for comfort, styling, and overall durability when assessing this.
Second, I account for a shoe’s performance so I can better assess its dual-functionality as a daily wear shoe and training shoe. What types of workouts will be best for the model in question.
Top Pick: STR/KE MVMNT Interval Knit AF Trainer
My top pick is the STR/KE MVMNT Interval Knit AF Trainer and this training shoe is my top pick for three key reasons. First, this shoe can do it all in the gym. Whether you’re lifting heavy, doing CrossFit workouts, or tackling a HIIT session this shoe performs well.
Second, the blend of this shoe’s Cross-Platform outsole and medium-density AF midsole give it a comfortable and minimalist-style fit and feel. This shoe articulates really well when training and if you want something that feels more minimalist, then you’ll enjoy this model.
Third and lastly, this shoe looks great for both casual and more formal wear settings. I like to call this the “business casual of training shoes”. I’ve worn this model to work and even nicer dinners and its subtle appearance fit in well for a variety of contexts.
If you want a simplistic cross-training shoe that feels minimalist in nature and looks for daily wear, then the STR/KE MVMNT Interval Knit Trainer could be a good training shoe to explore.
- Best For: Daily Wear, Cross-Training, HIIT, CrossFit-Style Training
- Heel-to-Toe Drop: 2.5mm
- Weight: 11.2 oz (for my size 10 model)
- Removable Insole: Yes
- Sizing: Go up a half size.
- Read My Review: STR/KE MVMNT Interval Knit AF Trainer Review
STRKE MVMNT Interval Knit AF Trainer
- HIIT Workouts
- Lifting and Cross-Training
- Daily Wear
- Short Runs
- For Those That Want More Midsole Cushion
Runner-Up: NOBULL Canvas Trainer
The NOBULL Canvas Trainer is another great dual-functionality training and daily wear shoe. This model also features a simplistic construction and they go well with a lot of different outfits.
I often consider this model a “leveled up Vans” in regard to its classic style and performance. The NOBULL Canvas Trainer features a durable canvas upper which is awesome for both durability and all-season wear. Plus, they’re easy to clean.
Additionally, this model features a full rubber lug-pattern outsole and stable midsole construction. If you like training shoes that offer a bit more stability and that work well for heavier training, then the Canvas Trainer would be worth looking into.
The only drawbacks to this shoe are that it’s definitely best suited for those that love firmer midsoles and outsoles for daily wear and they’re not the best training shoe for more versatile training due to their “blocky” midsole feel.
- Best For: Daily Wear and Lifting
- Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
- Weight: 13.2 oz (for my size 10 model)
- Removable Insole: Yes
- Sizing: True to size for narrow feet, for neutral and wide feet, go up a half size.
- Read My Review: NOBULL Canvas Trainer Review
NOBULL Canvas Trainer
- Heavy Lifting
- Recreational Training
- Casual Cross-Training Workouts
- Daily Wear
- For Running
- For Athletic-Focused Training
- For Plyometrics
Best High-Top Training Shoes for Casual Wear
I personally love wearing and training in high-top shoes from time to time. My tests for the high-top shoes featured below are similar to my picks above in the sense that I’m most concerned with a model’s appearance and performance.
Plus, with high-top shoes, I’m also considering how a model fits and feels since the higher boot can have a different feel and break-in process compared to traditional training shoes with lower boots.
Top Pick: Nike Blazer Mid ’77 Vintage
My top high-top shoe for training and daily wear is the Nike Blazer Mid ’77 Vintage (and regular ’77 models for that matter). It took me a minute to appreciate this model and I was reluctant to start wearing these over my Converse, but once I made the switch, I fell in love with these shoes for three reasons.
The first thing to like about the Nike Blazer Mid ’77 Vintage is its surprising performance in the gym. Note, it’s not built for lifting, but I’d argue that the sole construction of this shoe outperforms most Vans and Converse models.
This shoe’s midsole and outsole articulate really well and provide a nice level of ground feedback when tackling strength and hypertrophy workouts. The second aspect to like is that this model is all-season-friendly and it has good overall durability.
The third and final why I like the Blazer Mid ’77 is their appearance and classic look as they can be worn in a variety of settings. This model does take two weeks to break in, but once you get past the break-in process they feel great.
- Best For: Daily Wear, Casual CrossFit, and Lifting
- Heel-to-Toe Drop: 5mm
- Weight: 13.8 oz (for my size 10 model)
- Removable Insole: No
- Sizing: True to Size
- Read My Review: Nike Blazer Mid ’77 Vintage Review
Nike Blazer Mid '77 Vintage
- Recreational Lifting
- Barbell Training
- Daily and Casual Wear
- For Versatile Training
- For Breathability
Runner-Up: GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top
My second pick for my favorite high-top shoes for training and daily wear is the GORUCK Ballistic Trainer Mid-Top. This model is similar to the NOBULL High-Top Trainer in the sense that it’s similar to its low-top predecessor.
The GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top has a Cordura nylon upper construction that delivers a high level of durability. It’s also easy to clean so if you get this model dirty from daily wear, rucking, or wearing outside, then you’ll likely find that it’s easy to quickly wipe these shoes down.
In regard to performance, I like the dual-gradient midsole that you get in the Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top. This midsole blended with the rubber outsole that features multiple types of rubbers gives this shoe a stable, yet somewhat versatile feeling.
I also like that this shoe comes with two different insoles that can swap in and out based on your preferences. One insole contains arch support for the foot’s three arches, while the other is flat for those that love a flat insole fit and feel.
- Best For: Daily Wear, Casual CrossFit, and Lifting
- Heel-to-Toe Drop: 8mm
- Weight: 15.1 oz (for my size 10 model)
- Removable Insole: Yes (comes with two insole options)
- Sizing: True to Size
- Read My Review: GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid-Top Review
GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid Top
- Recreational Lifting
- Barbell-Focused Work
- Daily Wear
- Casual Cross-Training
- For Running
- For Serious Versatile Training
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q:Can you wear training shoes casually?
Q:Can you wear training shoes with jeans?
Training shoes can be worn on a casual wear basis depending on multiple factors. Some of these factors include what type of training shoes you’re going to wear, what setting you’ll be wearing them in, and how you want them to fit.
If you plan to do a lot of walking or if you want your training shoes to last as long as possible, then you may want to explore other models for daily wear that better suit your needs.
If you have any questions about this topic or the shoes mentioned in this article, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly).
I buy and test the products featured on That Fit Friend using a regimen of training tests that I’ve developed over years of testing training shoes and gear. I may earn commissions on sales made through the links on my site.