Home » What Are Cross-Training Shoes? (Types of Activities They’re Best For!)

What Are Cross-Training Shoes? (Types of Activities They’re Best For!)

The cross-training shoe market continues to grow with new models coming out every year. More than ever, recreational exercisers are switching from traditional training shoes and running shoes for their workouts.

If you’re someone who has never worn a pair of cross-training shoes, then you might be wondering, “What are cross-training shoes good for?” Cross-training shoes are great for a variety of activities. In fact, the name “cross-training” is a nod to this style of shoe’s ability to cross multiple exercise categories and excel.

If you’ve landed on this article, then you’re likely wanting or looking for a list of activities that cross-training shoes are good for. I’ll provide that below, but also shed more context as to why one should own a good pair of cross-training shoes.

What Are Cross-Training Shoes Good For?

Cross-training shoes can help you excel at multiple activities. Some of the most popular forms of activity that exercisers use cross-training shoes for include:

  • Lifting
  • HIIT Workouts
  • Shorter Runs
  • Plyometrics
  • Agility Workouts
  • Various Workout Classes
  • Short-Medium Walks
  • Some Recreational Sports

And this list can continue. The main takeaway is that cross-training shoes are good for a variety of activities and are designed to be a “jack of all trades” in the workout setting.

If we look at cross-training shoes on a scale of exercise specificity, then usually they’ll land somewhere in the middle. For example, on one of the spectrum, we could have dedicated running shoes, then on the other end, weightlifting shoes.

what are cross-training shoes good for

With both of these shoes, they’re only really good for their specified tasks, and that’s why cross-trainers will usually land somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.

Why Are Cross-Training Shoes So Versatile?

The versatility that comes with cross-training shoes relates fully to their construction. These shoes are constructed to purposely promote stability, versatility, and responsiveness all at the same time.

Construction details that most cross-training shoes will have in common include:

  • Lower Heel-to-Toe Offset (to promote stability and multi-directional movement)
  • Dense Midsoles (to limit compression when lifting)
  • Firm, Grip-Focused Outsoles (to promote traction and stability)
  • Durable Upper Construction (to resist abrasion from the ground, ropes, and other implements)

Note, there’s a lot more that goes into cross-training shoes than what’s listed above, but these are the big four (in my opinion). To learn more about the intricate construction details, check out my cross-training shoes explained article!


Hopefully, this article helped clear up some initial cross-training shoe questions you may have. If you ever need help deciding on which model would be best for your goals, then please feel free to reach out.

Oftentimes, different cross-training shoes will be better for some exercisers, lifters, and athletes than others based on what one’s weekly training looks like. Also, make sure to check out my cross-training shoe reviews before you invest


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, created thousands of articles, reviewed countless products, and produced a large list of training videos. And truthfully, I'm only getting started! As for my educational background, I have my Masters in Sports Science, Bachelors in Exercise Science, and have my CSCS.

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