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Can You Wear Training Shoes Casually? Yes, Here’s Why and the Best Casual Trainers

I know I’m not the only one who enjoys wearing training shoes for daily wear and casual occasions. 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 work, errands, and the gym.

Similar to a training shoe’s performance, not every shoe is created equal when it comes to wearing training shoes for daily wear. 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.

NOBULL Trainer Plus for running and daily wear

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.

Can you wear training shoes casually

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 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.

what are cross training shoes (1)

Generally speaking, training shoes will feature medium-high-density foam midsoles that don’t compress nearly as much under your body weight 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.

STRKE MVMNT Haze Trainer Vs RAD ONE Outsole Construction

In addition to their durability, training shoes’ outsoles usually feature a multidirectional tread pattern. While it’s unlikely you’ll be hitting lateral shuffles at work in your training shoes, you’ll likely 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.

OluKai Mio Li athletic shoes for standing review

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 daily. In addition to material often being more durable, the uppers on training are usually pretty easy to clean and wipe down.

How to clean training shoes

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 who like and need additional midsole cushion.

Trying On the Reebok Floatride Energy 3

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 walk long distances or use walking as a workout, then you may want to consider using shoes that are specific to your needs as they’ll be more comfortable for the specificity of your activity.

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 who 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.

Testing the Nike Legend Essential 2 for Daily Wear

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.

Reviewing the Reebok Nano X2 for Running

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.

Testing the UA Flow Velociti Wind 2 for Outdoor Runs

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 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).

nobull canvas trainer daily wear

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

That Fit Friend is supported by its readers. I [Jake Boly] run this site myself and buy the gear I review. If you purchase through my site, I may earn commissions on sales, read more here!

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.

STRKE MVMNT Interval Knit AF Trainer Lifting Testing

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.

Best Casual Wear Training Shoes

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.
  • For More Info: Read My Review

STRKE MVMNT Interval Knit AF Trainer


STRKE MVMNT Interval Knit AF Trainer

Best For

  • HIIT Workouts
  • Lifting and Cross-Training
  • Daily Wear
  • Walking
  • Short Runs

Falls Short

  • 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.

nobull canvas trainer for lifting
NOBULL Canvas Trainer

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.

nobull canvas trainer crossfit

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.
  • For More Info: Read My Review

NOBULL Canvas Trainer


nobull canvas trainer

Best For

  • Heavy Lifting
  • Recreational Training
  • Casual Cross-Training Workouts
  • Daily Wear

Falls Short

  • 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.

Trying the Nike Blazer Mid 77 for Lifting

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.

Testing the Nike Blazer Mid 77 Vintage for walking and daily wear

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
  • For More Info: Read My Review

Nike Blazer Mid '77 Vintage


Nike Blazer Mid 77 Vintage

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • Barbell Training
  • Daily and Casual Wear

Falls Short

  • 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.

goruck ballistic trainers mid for lifting

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.

goruck ballistic trainers mid top training shoes

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
  • For More Info: Read My Review

GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid Top


GORUCK Ballistic Trainers Mid Top

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • Barbell-Focused Work
  • Daily Wear
  • Casual Cross-Training

Falls Short

  • For Running
  • For Serious Versatile Training

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can you wear training shoes casually?

Yes, you can wear certain training shoes casually. When looking for training shoes for daily wear there are three things to consider including a shoe's fit, its appearance, and its performance so you can assess its dual-functionality.

Can you wear training shoes with jeans?

Yes, you can absolutely wear training shoes with jeans. I suggest looking for models with simple upper constructions made with materials like knit or canvas as these models will usually look best styled with jeans.

Takeaway Thoughts

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 or @that_fit_friend).

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

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

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

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