Over the last decade, functional fitness and cross-training style workouts have exploded in popularity. Cross training style workouts can include multiple exercises all in one bout, such as squats, power cleans, deadlifts, box jumps, rope climbs, and much more. These workouts are highly versatile, so they need shoes to complement their various exercises.

On top of cross training style workouts growing in popularity, the shoes that accommodate these workouts have grown, too. Every year, big brand cross-training shoes continue to increase their tech to match the high demands of these workouts. This is great news for those in need of new cross-trainers, but it can also feel tedious finding the perfect pair.

You could consider us cross training sneaker heads. Every time a new model is released, we love to give them a try and put them to the test across the board. The best part of reviewing multiple cross-training shoes is that it provides us with a large overview of what to expect from each shoe.

Every cross-training shoe will come with its own strength and weaknesses, so below we’ve divided our top picks into multiple categories to assist you in finding your best cross training shoe. 

Best Cross-Training Shoes

Best Trainer for Women
Nike Metcon 4
Nike Metcon 4
Nike Metcon 4

One of the most stable cross-training shoes with a solid outsole, TPU layered heel, and mesh outer construction.

Best Trainer for Men
Reebok Speed TR Flexweave
Reebok Speed TR Flexweave
Reebok Speed TR Flexweave

This new version of the Reebok Speed TR offers full Flexweave construction and lower heel cup for versatile training.

Widest Trainer
NOBULL Trainers
NOBULL Trainers
NOBULL Trainers

A cross-training shoe that utilizes SuperFabric material to provide a supportive and comfortable fit.

Best CrossFit Shoe
Nike Metcon 4
Nike Metcon 4
Nike Metcon 4

One of the most stable cross-training shoes with a solid outsole, TPU layered heel, and mesh outer construction.

Best HIIT Shoe
Nike Free x Metcon
Nike Free x Metcon
Nike Free x Metcon

A cross-training shoe that's designed to match every day needs and meet the demands of exercises like squats, power cleans, and box jumps.

Best Priced Trainer
Reebok Speed TR
Reebok Speed TR
Reebok Speed TR

A cost efficient cross-training shoe that's designed for both lifting and running workouts.

Best Trainer for Agility
UA TriBase Reign
UA TriBase Reign
UA TriBase Reign

The Under Armour TriBase Reign offers a low-cut boot, and strong outer construction to withstand even the toughest workouts. 

How We Rated the Shoes

The final section we need to discuss before diving into the categories is how we rated each shoe. The stability:comfort rating system doesn’t make a whole lot of sense unless we provide you with an idea of the factors we considered to come up with our numbers.

Lifting Tests  

For lifting, we performed a ton of different movements in each shoe, but we kept three tests consistent across the board. These tests were performed specifically to assess stability and compression of the shoe’s outsole. In each video, we always list tests we performed and some may be different than others, but these three tests were all performed for each shoe in this review.

(Note that the below poundages vary a bit from tester to tester based on their strength level, especially when testing women’s versus men’s trainers.)

  • Back Squat: 315 lbs
  • Deadlift: 405 lbs
  • Power Clean: 205 lbs

If you find yourself looking at a model below with a high stability rating, then chances are that shoe showed very little sign of compression under these movements.

Nike Metcon 4 Lifting Test
Nike Metcon 4 Lifting Test

Day-to-Day Tests

On a daily basis, we walk roughly 6-12,000 steps commuting to work and throughout our day in the concrete jungle. This equates to about 3-6 daily miles, so on a weekly basis, each cross-training shoe receives about 21-miles of wear on the low end and 35+ miles on the higher end.

A high comfort rating indicates that the cross-training shoe is a joy to wear for long walks and doesn’t cause any form of discomfort from something such as a hard outsole. So, in respects to the stability:comfort rating, a high score means the show was very comfortable for daily use.

Best Cross Trainer for Women

Nike Metcon 4

Nike Metcon 4

Our favorite cross-training shoe pick for women is the Nike Metcon 4. This model earned our top spot for a variety of reasons, but more so for the fit. The Metcon 4 fits a bit more snug compared to the other cross-training models reviewed and has construction features to match even the heaviest workouts. The narrower fit and low-cut design is what really sealed this shoe as our top pick for women.

Nike Metcon 4
Nike Metcon 4
Nike Metcon 4

One of the most stable cross-training shoes with a solid outsole, TPU layered heel, and mesh outer construction.

  • Lightweight construction with signature Nike Flywire for natural reactivity. 
  • TPU layer in the heel, firm outsole, and additional toe layer for durability purposes.
  • Strong and thick outer material to support long-term durability. 
  • Read our full Nike Metcon 4 Review

Stability:Comfort — 5:3

2. Reebok Speed Her TR

Reebok Speed Her TR
Reebok Speed Her TR
Reebok Speed Her TR
A veratile cross-training shoe that is designed for HIIT work outs and CrossFit style lifts.

The Reebok Speed Her TR is a fantastic hybrid cross training shoe for somewhat heavy and dynamic workouts. This model has an additional toe lip for protection from toes-to-bar and a wave-like outsole to provide ample traction on various surfaces. 

  • Lightweight construction and durable outer material for abrasion resistant. 
  • Designed specifically for women athletes and fits snuggly.
  • Durable and cost efficient. 
  • Read our full Reebok Speed HER TR Review

3. Nike Free X Metcon

Nike Free x Metcon
Nike Free x Metcon
Nike Free x Metcon

A cross-training shoe that's designed to match every day needs and meet the demands of exercises like squats, power cleans, and box jumps.

The Nike Free X Metcon is a great shoe for those who want a casual workout shoe and more day-to-day model. This shoe offers Nike’s signature Flywire, a plastic wing tip for heel support, and foam midsole to accommodate for reactivity of jumps and shorter runs. 

  • Nike Flywire and responsive midsole for mid and forefoot reactivity. 
  • Great for casual workouts, classes, and day-to-day wear. 
  • Decently cost efficient, breathable, and durable. 
  • Read our full Nike Free X Metcon Review

Best Cross Trainer for Men

Reebok Speed TR Flexweave

The Reebok Speed TR Flexweave earned our top spot for men for a couple major reasons. First, the outsole and TPU layer in the heel make it a great option for resisting compression under heavy lifts. Second, the lightweight Flexweave is both durable and versatile for things like rope climbs and running. Also, the Flexweave supports these shoes from getting smelly super quick, which is a major perk for day-to-day wear.

Reebok Speed TR Flexweave
Reebok Speed TR Flexweave
Reebok Speed TR Flexweave
This new version of the Reebok Speed TR offers full Flexweave construction and lower heel cup for versatile training.
  • Lightweight, durable, and breathable Flexweave outer construction. 
  • Solid TPU layer in the heel and wave-like outsole to increase stability and grip. 
  • Cost efficient option with a price starting around $100.00. 
  • Want more? Read our full Reebok Speed TR Flexweave review!

Stability:Comfort — 4:4

2. Nike Metcon 4

Nike Metcon 4
Nike Metcon 4
Nike Metcon 4

One of the most stable cross-training shoes with a solid outsole, TPU layered heel, and mesh outer construction.

Our second pick for men is the Nike Metcon 4. In reality, this pick made this list for one exact reason and that’s the firmness of this shoe. If you plan to squat, weightlift, or deadlift heavy in these shoes, then these are an awesome bet at resisting compression. The solid TPU layer in the heel makes this cross-training shoe potentially the most stable on the market right now.

  • Very hard outsole and firm, durable TPU layer in the heel. 
  • Strong outer construction with rigid TPU to ensure a durable and tough shoe. 
  • Outsole also provides adequate grip on multiple surfaces. 
  • Read our full Nike Metcon 4 Review

Stability:Comfort — 5:3

3. Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave 

Reebok CrossFit Nano 8
Reebok CrossFit Nano 8
Reebok CrossFit Nano 8
The eigth version of Reebok's Nano model that offers a strong plastic heel cup, 4mm heel-to-toe offset, and Flexweave construction.
 

The Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave earns our third spot for men. While this wasn’t our favorite Nano model to date, this shoe has a ton of things going for it. For starters, the Flexweave (which was new in this model) has proven to be lightweight, durable, and breathable. Second, there’s a low offset and firm outsole, so this shoe is a solid bet at being resilient towards compression from workouts.

  • Plastic heel cup and TPU heel to promote foot security and stability.
  • Flexweave material provides a maneuverable and lightweight construction. 
  • Cost efficient model starting around $100.00.
  • Read our full review on the Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave

Stability: Comfort — 4:3

Best Cross-Training Shoes for Flat and Wide Feet

NOBULL Trainers

The NOBULL Trainers earn our top pick for the best cross-training shoe designed for wide or flat feet. These shoes have a slightly wider build when it comes to the mid-foot and forefoot, so if you’re about full toe splay with a wider foot, then these shoes should be a good bet. These are also a good shoe for day-to-day life, so if you want a pair for lifting and walking around comfortable — NOBULL fit the bill.

NOBULL Trainers
NOBULL Trainers
NOBULL Trainers

A cross-training shoe that utilizes SuperFabric material to provide a supportive and comfortable fit.

  • Durable, somewhat breathable, and versatile Superfabric outer construction.
  • Consistent midsole and outsole with wider construction for comfortable fit. 
  • Read our full review on the NOBULL Trainers!

Stability:Comfort — 3:5

2. Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave

Reebok CrossFit Nano 8
Reebok CrossFit Nano 8
Reebok CrossFit Nano 8
The eigth version of Reebok's Nano model that offers a strong plastic heel cup, 4mm heel-to-toe offset, and Flexweave construction.
 

The Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave earns our second pick for wide feet due to its ability to facilitate toe splay with ease. Reebok made this shoe with power movements in mind and kept the toe box slightly wider on this model compared to other cross-trainers. If you have a wide or flat foot, then you’ll probably find this shoe comfortable.

  • Firm outsole and wide toe box to promote full toe splay when lifting. 
  • Durable outer construction with heel cup to promote full foot stability. 
  • Great shoe for providing a wide base to maintain tripod position.
  • Want more? Read our full Reebok Speed TR Flexweave review!

Stability: Comfort — 4:3

3. Reebok Froning

Reebok Froning
Reebok Froning
Reebok Froning

The Reebok Froning was designed by CrossFit legend Rick Froning and offers a stable outsole for lifting and a comfortable midsole for every day wear.

The Reebok Froning is a relatively new shoe to the cross training market and earns our third spot for best shoe for wider feet. This shoe could be defined as a hybrid between the NOBULL Trainers and Reebok Nano 8s. The lateral and medial sides in the forefoot both offer a fair amount of toe splay, so this should be a good bet for the wider forefoot.

  • Comfortable build for both running, class-style workouts, and lifting.
  • Wider toe box to increase comfort for wider feet.
  • Strong out construction with a hybrid feeling midsole for compression resistance. 
  • Check out our full Reebok Froning Review!

Stability:Comfort — 2:5

Best Cross-Training Shoe for CrossFit

Nike Metcon 4

The Nike Metcon 4 earns out top spot for CrossFit for a few defining reasons. Granted, all of the shoes on this list will work for CrossFit, this model does an excellent job at providing maximal stability and a tight fitting shoe. The outsole of this model is the toughest on the list, so we like how resilient this shoe is to compression. Additionally, this model fits snug, so there’s no block-like feeling when moving through jumps and runs.

Nike Metcon 4
Nike Metcon 4
Nike Metcon 4

One of the most stable cross-training shoes with a solid outsole, TPU layered heel, and mesh outer construction.

  • Firm rubber outsole with additional TPU slip in the heel for firm base.
  • Nike Flywire to promote reactivity and firm double-layer mesh and nylon-esque outer.
  • TPU and cloth outer construction to increase durability for rope climbs. 
  • Read our full Nike Metcon 4 Review

Stability:Comfort — 5:3

2. Reebok Speed TR Flexweave

Reebok Speed TR Flexweave
Reebok Speed TR Flexweave
Reebok Speed TR Flexweave
This new version of the Reebok Speed TR offers full Flexweave construction and lower heel cup for versatile training.
 

The Reebok Speed TR Flexweave is our second cross-training shoe pick for CrossFit due to two major reasons. First, this shoe is incredibly light and has awesome breathability, so sweaty workouts won’t cause this shoe to get smelly or dingy anytime quick. Second, the construction features are incredibly similar to the well-liked Reebok Speed TR, thus making it a good option for durability.

  • Lightweight, durable, and breathable Flexweave outer construction.
  • Solid TPU layer in the heel and wave-like outsole to increase stability and grip.
  • Lower cut heel, which increases this shoe’s ability to support lateral movements.
  • Want more? Read our full Reebok Speed TR Flexweave review!

Stability:Comfort — 4:4

3. Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave

Reebok CrossFit Nano 8
Reebok CrossFit Nano 8
Reebok CrossFit Nano 8
The eigth version of Reebok's Nano model that offers a strong plastic heel cup, 4mm heel-to-toe offset, and Flexweave construction.
 

Our final pick for CrossFit is the Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave. This model is specifically designed for CrossFit, so it’s only fitting it lands itself on our list. The Nano 8 was designed to promote stability through a minimal offset and tough outsole. In addition, the Flexweave material is both breathable and durable, so things like rope climbs won’t hinder performance or this shoe’s longevity.

  • Flexweave material, which promotes durability, mobility, and breathability.
  • Minimal offset, plastic heel cup, and firm outsole to promote stability under lift.
  • Wider toebox to support toe splay and gripping in compound movements. 
  • Read our full review on the Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave

Stability: Comfort — 4:3

Best Cross-Training Shoe for HIIT/Class Workouts

Nike Free x Metcon

The best cross-training shoe for HIIT or class-style workouts is the Nike Free x Metcon. This shoe earned our top spot because it’s both stable and comfortable to wear in workouts that require a lot of heel striking movements like running, jumping, and agility exercises. The outsole is somewhat softer than the other models, so it’s not ideal for maximal lifts, but it fits the bill incredibly well for class workouts.

Nike Free x Metcon
Nike Free x Metcon
Nike Free x Metcon

A cross-training shoe that's designed to match every day needs and meet the demands of exercises like squats, power cleans, and box jumps.

  • Plastic mid-foot and heel wrap to provide heel support, stability, and security.
  • Flexgrooves on the forefoot and high-density foam and rubber outsole provide comfort.
  • Rubber and foam outsole makes for stable and comfortable option. 
  • Check out our Nike Free x Metcon review! 

Stability:Comfort — 3:5

2. Reebok Speed TR Flexweave

Reebok Speed TR Flexweave
Reebok Speed TR Flexweave
Reebok Speed TR Flexweave
This new version of the Reebok Speed TR offers full Flexweave construction and lower heel cup for versatile training.
 

The Reebok Speed TR Flexweave is finding itself on our list once more due to its impressive construction features. If you want a lightweight shoe that’s designed for versatility, but has a firmer outsole than the Free x Metcon, then this model is your best bet. The Flexweave creates a durable, yet mobile feeling, and the price tag for this model is perfect for the casual class attendee.

  • Lightweight Flexweave outer construction makes this a great shoe for HIIT workouts.
  • Moderately firm outsole can resist compression under weight, but also comfortable to wear during running and jumping workouts. 
  • Want more? Read our full Reebok Speed TR Flexweave review!

Stability:Comfort — 4:4

3. Nike DSX Flyknit 2

Nike DSX Flyknit 2
Nike DSX Flyknit 2
Nike DSX Flyknit 2

A cross-training shoe that utilizes classic Nike Metcon attributes and ties them with Nike's signature Flyknit material.

 

The Nike DSX Flyknit 2 earns our final spot for the best class-focused cross-training shoe. This model is somewhat a mix of standard Nike running shoe and the cross-training focused Metcon model line. If you need a firmer outsole, but want a lightweight breathable shoe, then the DSX Flyknit 2 is a pretty safe bet. This shoe also offers a couple signature Nike shoe tech options, which includes Flywire and Flyknit.

  • Versatile shoe option that offers Nike tech options with Flyknit and Flywire. 
  • Strong TPU heel and firm outsole to resist compression in weight bearing classes. 
  • Sock-like fit with no additional tongue, so the shoe feels slim and comfortable. 
  • Check out our Nike DSX Flyknit 2 Review Video!

Stability:Comfort — 4:3

Best Cross-Training Shoe for the Money

Reebok Speed TR

The best cross-training shoes for the money will be models you can wear for at least one full year of serious training. These shoes have a higher turnover rate compared to weightlifting shoes, so they have prices that tend to trend a little lower overall. For example, you have shoes like the Reebok Speed TR that starts around $80.00.

Around $80
Reebok Speed TR
Reebok Speed TR
Reebok Speed TR

A cost efficient cross-training shoe that's designed for both lifting and running workouts.

Around $85
Nike Free x Metcon
Nike Free x Metcon
Nike Free x Metcon

A cross-training shoe that's designed to match every day needs and meet the demands of exercises like squats, power cleans, and box jumps.

Around $100
Reebok Speed TR Flexweave
Reebok Speed TR Flexweave
Reebok Speed TR Flexweave

This new version of the Reebok Speed TR offers full Flexweave construction and lower heel cup for versatile training.

We’d also recommend higher priced shoes like the Nike Metcon 4, which comes in around $130.00.

A good price for cross-training shoe not only includes the total dollar amount, but also how versatile and durable the shoes will be. Our list above accounts for all of these attributes.

 

Best Cross Training Shoes for Agility Training

Under Armour TriBase Reign

Under Armour TriBase Reign

The Under Armour TriBase Reign, while being relatively new to the market, has been a top performer for agility-specific workouts. These agility-specific workouts include things like jumps, lateral movements, sprints, and other forms of dynamic movement commonly performed during cross training workouts. The TriBase Reign offers a very low-cut design with a responsive Micro G Foam midsole and Under Armour signature TriBase outsole to provide ample ground feedback in multiple activities, and they can support weight.

UA TriBase Reign
UA TriBase Reign
UA TriBase Reign

The Under Armour TriBase Reign offers a low-cut boot, and strong outer construction to withstand even the toughest workouts. 

  • Low-cut, extremely lightweight feeling shoes. 
  • Responsive midsole and outsole provide ground feedback and a decent level of support.
  • Mesh and ripstop outer construction provide a flexible and maneuverable shoe.
  • Check out the full Under Armour TriBase Reign Review!

Stability Comfort: 4:3

2. Nike Metcon 4

Nike Metcon 4
Nike Metcon 4
Nike Metcon 4

One of the most stable cross-training shoes with a solid outsole, TPU layered heel, and mesh outer construction.

If you’ve made it this far in the review, then the Nike Metcon 4 making our second pick is probably no surprise. Similar to the TriBase Reign, the Metcon 4 offers a snug and low-cut design that makes agility movements feel like a breeze. The Nike Metcon 4’s outsole is slightly harder than the Reign, so if you’re looking for maximum stability with the ability to perform agility workouts with ease, then this is the best option for you.

  • Low-cut, lightweight design makes sprints and lateral movements feel great. 
  • Strong and stable outsole can support weight and multiple jumping activities. 
  • Read the full Nike Metcon 4 Review to learn more!

Stability Comfort: 5:3

Reebok Speed TR Flexweave

Reebok Speed TR Flexweave
Reebok Speed TR Flexweave
Reebok Speed TR Flexweave
This new version of the Reebok Speed TR offers full Flexweave construction and lower heel cup for versatile training.

The final pick on our list for agility-specific cross training shoes is the Reebok Speed TR Flexweave. This shoe offers a “best of all worlds” feeling with its lightweight Flexweave outer construction, and the firm TPU layer in the heel. For agility specific training, the Flexweave outer made this shoe maneuverable, while the TPU and firm rubber outsole provided responsiveness to ground impact.

  • Extremely lightweight with a dynamic Flexweave outer construction. 
  • Firm rubber outsole with a strong TPU heel provides support and heel strike feedback.
  • Read our full Reebok Speed TR Flexweave review!

Stability:Comfort — 4:4

Why Cross-Training Shoes?

Like weightlifting shoes, cross-training shoes are designed with purpose and functionality. If you’re thinking, “cross training shoes are just regular sneakers,” hold that thought for one second while we cover some of the construction differences. At the end of the list, it should be pretty clear as to why they’re different in nature from your standard sneaker.

Outsole and Midsole

The outsole and midsole of cross-training shoes are different in design because they’re made firmer. The midsole is the layer of material that’s in-between the bottom of the shoe and the outer construction. Most cross-trainers will combine a slightly firmer rubber with some TPU-esque material. In addition, some cross-trainers provide a medial divot that extends upwards to support movements like rope climbs.

The combination of these two construction traits provide these shoes with harder feeling than normal tennis shoes/sneakers, and an outsole that’s pretty resilient to compression under weight, but also somewhat reactive for jumping movements. Basically, these shoes try to capture a firm, yet somewhat forgiving feeling to provide stability and versatility.

Cross-Training Shoe Construction Features
Cross-Training Shoe Construction Features

Outer Construction

When it comes to outer construction on cross-training shoes, there’s not a one-size-fits-all formula. Each shoe offers its own take on versatility and durability. For example, some shoes from Reebok offer their signature Flexweave material, while shoes from Nike have a cloth, nylon, and TPU mix.

The takeaway: Every cross-training shoe’s outer construction is designed to withstand things like rope climbs, jumps, and heavy lifts, so every company will provide their own take on this feature.

Shoe Tech

Another cool cross-training shoe construction perk worth noting is the tech that comes in certain models. For this article, we’ll consider any unique construction characteristic as tech for the shoe itself. Tech could be considered the signature features in shoe’s like the Flyknit and Flywire offered in Nike shoes or the Flexweave in Reebok’s models. Also, things like TPU inserts and extended misoles could also be considered tech.

Cross-Training Shoe Factors to Consider

Working Out Or Day-to-Day?

Besides construction another important consideration to think about is how you’ll primarily be wearing the shoes. Cross-training shoes are different from weightlifting shoes because they can be worn for both working out and on a day-to-day basis. This makes the art of choosing the right cross-training shoe slightly tougher because you have camps of athletes who want shoes for only working out or for everything.

Cross-Training Shoes Day-to-Day Wear
Cross-Training Shoes Day-to-Day Wear

At BarBend, we test all of our cross-training shoes in heavy workouts and day-to-day settings. Since we’re New York City based, all of our shoes receive miles and miles of walking on a weekly basis, so we have good idea of their comfort and support.

For this article, we’ve created a stability:comfort rating system to provide a quick idea of how these shoes will work in each setting. The scores provided for each model range from 1-5 on each characteristic.

  • 1 = Not Stable/Not Comfortable 
  • 5 = Very Stable/Very Comfortable

So if you read a score below that states a shoe is 3:4, then you’re looking at a cross-training shoe with moderate stability under heavy weight and in workouts with a high comfort rating for day-to-day wear.

Wrapping Up

Before impulse buying your next pair of cross-training shoes, it’s probably a good idea to spend some time doing research. These shoes continually get upgraded every year, so their construction is constantly improved for the workouts and asks being put upon them. Our advice, create a hierarchy checklist for your top cross-training shoe attributes. What do you value most?

  • Versatility?
  • Durability?
  • Price?
  • Stability?

This type of list can help support your next logical cross-training shoe purchase.