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.

Best Cross-Training Shoes

Best for Men
Reebok CrossFit Nano 9
Reebok CrossFit Nano 9
Reebok CrossFit Nano 9

The Reebok CrossFit Nano 9 offers a newly constructed midsole for comfort and a reworked outer Flexweave to improve performance and comfort in cross training workouts.

Doesn't expire

Best for Women
Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3
Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3
Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3

The Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 cross training shoe provides a dynamic fascia band outsole, PowerFlow midsole, and lightweight outer construction.

Doesn't expire

Best for the Money
Nike Metcon 4
Nike Metcon 4
Nike Metcon 4

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

Best for CrossFit
Reebok CrossFit Nano 9
Reebok CrossFit Nano 9
Reebok CrossFit Nano 9

The Reebok CrossFit Nano 9 offers a newly constructed midsole for comfort and a reworked outer Flexweave to improve performance and comfort in cross training workouts.

Doesn't expire

Best for Agility Workouts
Under Armour HOVR Rise
Under Armour HOVR Rise
Under Armour HOVR Rise

The UA HOVR Rise features a durable outer construction, 8mm heel-to-toe offset, and Under Armour's signature HOVR technology. This shoe is perfect for the dynamic athlete that wants to tackle regular agility workouts.

Doesn't expire

Best for Stability
Nike Metcon 5
Nike Metcon 5
Nike Metcon 5

The Nike Metcon 5 has a 4mm heel-to-toe offset and an outsole designed to provide the maximal stability under heavy lifts.  

Doesn't expire

Best for Jumping
Mizuno TC-01
Mizuno TC-01
Mizuno TC-01

The Mizuno TC-01 is a versatile training shoe that utilizes proprietary technology to promote balance in performance. If you're someone who performs a lot of jumps during one workout, then this is a great model for you. 

Doesn't expire

Best for Squats
Nike Metcon 5
Nike Metcon 5
Nike Metcon 5

The Nike Metcon 5 has a 4mm heel-to-toe offset and an outsole designed to provide the maximal stability under heavy lifts.  

Doesn't expire

Best for Deadlifts
NOBULL High Top Trainers
NOBULL High Top Trainers
NOBULL High Top Trainers

The NOBULL High Top Trainers are an awesome training shoe for supporting heavy lifts, dynamic activities, and are great to wear on a day-to-day basis. If you like a higher ankle for deadlifting, then these are a great option for you. 

Doesn't expire

Best for Day-to-Day Wear
Under Armour Project Rock 2
Under Armour Project Rock 2
Under Armour Project Rock 2

The Under Armour Project Rock 2 training shoe is a great shoe for casual recreational lifting and day-to-day wear. 

Doesn't expire

Best for Light Runs
Under Armour HOVR Rise
Under Armour HOVR Rise
Under Armour HOVR Rise

The UA HOVR Rise features a durable outer construction, 8mm heel-to-toe offset, and Under Armour's signature HOVR technology. This shoe is perfect for the dynamic athlete that wants to tackle regular agility workouts. 

Doesn't expire

Best for Wide Feet
Reebok CrossFit Nano 8
Reebok CrossFit Nano 8
Reebok CrossFit Nano 8

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

12 BEST Cross Training Shoes

Below, we’ve laid out 12 different categories breaking shoes into their best respective uses. We’ve covered every category from the best shoes for heavy squats to the best trainers for lighter runs!

Best for Men

Reebok CrossFit Nano 9 Construction

1. Reebok CrossFit Nano 9

The Reebok CrossFit Nano 9 offers a newly constructed midsole for comfort and a reworked outer Flexweave to improve performance and comfort in cross training workouts.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 9
Reebok CrossFit Nano 9
Reebok CrossFit Nano 9

The Reebok CrossFit Nano 9 offers a newly constructed midsole for comfort and a reworked outer Flexweave to improve performance and comfort in cross training workouts.

Pros

  • Plastic heel counter and TPU heel to promote foot security and stability.
  • Flexweave material provides a maneuverable and lightweight construction.
  • High-density foam midsole in the forefoot provides support and reactivity.

Cons

  • May be a little too wide for narrow footed athletes.

2. Under Armour Project Rock 2

Under Armour Project Rock 2
Under Armour Project Rock 2
Under Armour Project Rock 2

The Under Armour Project Rock 2 training shoe is a great shoe for casual recreational lifting and day-to-day wear. 

The Under Armour Project Rock 2 is a great general training shoe for men who perform dynamic workouts. This model has Under Armour’s signature HOVR midsole, so it accommodates a variety of activity, but also provides a decently stable base with the TriBase outsole. 

Pros

  • HOVR midsole is reactive and responsive.
  • Bootie designed is comfortable and provides the ankle with stability.
  • Durable outer construction resists early breakdown. 

Cons

  • Not the most stable option under heavy weight. 
Reebok CrossFit Nano 9
Reebok CrossFit Nano 9
Reebok CrossFit Nano 9

The Reebok CrossFit Nano 9 offers a newly constructed midsole for comfort and a reworked outer Flexweave to improve performance and comfort in cross training workouts.

Best for Women

Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3

1. Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3

The Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 cross training shoe provides a dynamic fascia band outsole, PowerFlow midsole, and lightweight outer construction. This is the perfect shoe athletes that want a tight fitting model to provide stability and reactivity is multiple types of workouts. 

Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3
Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3
Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3

The Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 cross training shoe provides a dynamic fascia band outsole, PowerFlow midsole, and lightweight outer construction.

Pros

  • Dynamic fascia band gives this model a “barefoot” feeling.
  • Durable outer construction to resist rope climbs and early breakdown.
  • PowerFlow midsole is stable under heavy weight.

Cons

  • Not a comfortable model for wider footed athletes. 

2. Nike Metcon 4 XD

Nike Metcon 4 XD
Nike Metcon 4 XD
Nike Metcon 4 XD

The Nike Metcon 4 XD offers a strong outer construction for durability and  a stable midsole and outsole to support heavy lifts. 

The Nike Metcon 4XD is a great option for women cross training athletes. This shoe offers a strong outsole for all forms of lifting and reinforced TPU heel to promote stability. On top of a strong outsole, the Metcon 4XD utilizes Nike’s Haptic 3D print to promote long-term durability from abrasions and everyday wear and tear.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • Slightly expensive and not the best for running. 

Best for the Money

Nike Metcon 4

1. Nike Metcon 4

The Nike Metcon 4 is one of the most stable cross-training shoes with a solid outsole, TPU layered heel, and mesh outer construction. Now that this model has been out for a couple years, it’s one of the better priced trainers on the market!

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.

Pros

  • 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. 

Cons

  • Tighter fitting shoe and not great for running. 

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 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.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • Wider forefoot may be too spacious for some users. 

Best for CrossFit

Reebok CrossFit Nano 9 Construction

1. Reebok CrossFit Nano 9

The Reebok CrossFit Nano 9 is our favorite cross training shoe for men. Out of all nine models, this may be our favorite Nano model to date, and this shoe has a ton of things going for it. For starters, the Flexweav 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 against compression from workouts.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 9
Reebok CrossFit Nano 9
Reebok CrossFit Nano 9

The Reebok CrossFit Nano 9 offers a newly constructed midsole for comfort and a reworked outer Flexweave to improve performance and comfort in cross training workouts.

Pros

  • Plastic heel counter and TPU heel to promote foot security and stability.
  • Flexweave material provides a maneuverable and lightweight construction.
  • High-density foam midsole in the forefoot provides support and reactivity.

Cons

  • May be a little too wide for narrow footed athletes.

2. NOBULL Trainers

NOBULL Trainers
NOBULL Trainers
NOBULL Trainers

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

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 need full toe splay and have 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.

Pros

  • Durable, somewhat breathable, and versatile Superfabric outer construction.
  • Consistent midsole and outsole with wider construction for comfortable fit.
  • Slightly wider forefoot construction to accommodate for wide and flat feet.

Cons

  • Slightly expensive. 
Reebok CrossFit Nano 9
Reebok CrossFit Nano 9
Reebok CrossFit Nano 9

The Reebok CrossFit Nano 9 offers a newly constructed midsole for comfort and a reworked outer Flexweave to improve performance and comfort in cross training workouts.

Best for Agility

HOVR Rise

1. Under Armour HOVR Rise

The UA HOVR Rise features a durable outer construction, 8mm heel-to-toe offset, and Under Armour’s signature HOVR technology. This shoe is perfect for the dynamic athlete that wants to tackle regular agility workouts. 

UA HOVR Rise
UA HOVR Rise
UA HOVR Rise

The UA HOVR Rise features a durable outer construction, 8mm heel-to-toe offset, and Under Armour's signature HOVR technology. 

Pros

  • HOVR midsole is reactive and responsive.
  • Durable outer construction that is also breathable and mobile.
  • Lightweight design additional heel cup support.

Cons

  • Not the best model for supporting heavy weight.

2. Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3

Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3
Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3
Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3

The Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 cross training shoe provides a dynamic fascia band outsole, PowerFlow midsole, and lightweight outer construction.

Pros

  • Dynamic fascia band gives this model a “barefoot” feeling.
  • Durable outer construction to resist rope climbs and early breakdown.
  • PowerFlow midsole is stable under heavy weight.

Cons

  • Not a comfortable model for wider footed athletes. 

Best for Stability

Nike Metcon 5

1. Nike Metcon 5

The Nike Metcon 5 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. The outsole of this model is the firmest on the list, so we like how resilient this shoe is to resist compression. Additionally, this model fits snug, so there’s no block-like feeling when moving through jumps and runs.

Nike Metcon 5
Nike Metcon 5
Nike Metcon 5

The Nike Metcon 5 has a 4mm heel-to-toe offset and an outsole designed to provide the maximal stability under heavy lifts.  

Pros

  • 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.
  • Haptic outer and medial/lateral rubber outsole provides long-term durability.

Cons

  • Not the best option for cardio-focused athletes. 

2. NOBULL High-Top Trainer

NOBULL High Top Trainer
NOBULL High Top Trainer
NOBULL High Top Trainer

The NOBULL High Top Trainers are an awesome training shoe for supporting heavy lifts, dynamic activities, and are great to wear on a day-to-day basis. 

The NOBULL High Top Trainers are an awesome training shoe for supporting heavy lifts, dynamic activities, and are great to wear on a day-to-day basis. 

Pros

  • Durable outer construction last a long time.
  • Firm midsole and outsole promotes overall stability.
  • Comfortable to wear on a day-to-day basis and to the gym. 

Cons

  • Expensive. 

Best for Jumping

Mizuno TC 01

1. Mizuno TC-01

The Mizuno TC-01 is a versatile training shoe that utilizes proprietary technology to promote balance in performance. If you’re someone who performs a lot of jumps during one workout, then this is a great model for you due to its reactive midsole and outsole. 

Mizuno TC-01
Mizuno TC-01
Mizuno TC-01

The Mizuno TC-01 is a versatile training shoe that utilizes proprietary technology to promote balance in performance. 

Pros

  • Proprietary COB technology promotes overall balance. 
  • Reactive midsole is responsive and lightweight. 
  • Overall lightweight designed and comfortable.

Cons

  • Not the best option for supporting heavy weight. 

2. Under Armour HOVR Rise

UA HOVR Rise
UA HOVR Rise
UA HOVR Rise

The UA HOVR Rise features a durable outer construction, 8mm heel-to-toe offset, and Under Armour's signature HOVR technology. 

Pros

  • HOVR midsole is reactive and responsive.
  • Durable outer construction that is also breathable and mobile.
  • Lightweight design additional heel cup support.

Cons

  • Not the best model for supporting heavy weight.

Best for Squats

Nike Metcon 5

1. Nike Metcon 5

The Nike Metcon 5 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. The outsole of this model is the firmest on the list, so we like how resilient this shoe is to resist compression. Additionally, this model fits snug, so there’s no block-like feeling when moving through jumps and runs.

Nike Metcon 5
Nike Metcon 5
Nike Metcon 5

The Nike Metcon 5 has a 4mm heel-to-toe offset and an outsole designed to provide the maximal stability under heavy lifts.  

Pros

  • 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.
  • Haptic outer and medial/lateral rubber outsole provides long-term durability.

Cons

  • Not the best option for cardio-focused athletes. 

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 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.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • Wider forefoot may be too spacious for some users. 

Best for Deadlifts

NOBULL High Top Trainer

1. NOBULL High Top Trainer

The NOBULL High Top Trainers are an awesome training shoe for supporting heavy lifts, dynamic activities, and are great to wear on a day-to-day basis. If you like a higher ankle for deadlifting, then these are a great option for you. 

NOBULL High Top Trainer
NOBULL High Top Trainer
NOBULL High Top Trainer

The NOBULL High Top Trainers are an awesome training shoe for supporting heavy lifts, dynamic activities, and are great to wear on a day-to-day basis. 

The NOBULL High Top Trainers are an awesome training shoe for supporting heavy lifts, dynamic activities, and are great to wear on a day-to-day basis. 

Pros

  • Durable outer construction last a long time.
  • Firm midsole and outsole promotes overall stability.
  • Comfortable to wear on a day-to-day basis and to the gym. 

Cons

  • Expensive. 

2. Nike Metcon 5

Nike Metcon 5
Nike Metcon 5
Nike Metcon 5

The Nike Metcon 5 has a 4mm heel-to-toe offset and an outsole designed to provide the maximal stability under heavy lifts.  

Pros

  • 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.
  • Haptic outer and medial/lateral rubber outsole provides long-term durability.

Cons

  • Not the best option for cardio-focused athletes. 

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 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.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • Wider forefoot may be too spacious for some users. 

Best for Day-to-Day Wear

1. Under Armour Project Rock 2

The Under Armour Project Rock 2 is a great general training shoe for men who perform dynamic workouts. This model has Under Armour’s signature HOVR midsole, so it accommodates a variety of activity, but also provides a decently stable base with the TriBase outsole. 

Under Armour Project Rock 2
Under Armour Project Rock 2
Under Armour Project Rock 2

The Under Armour Project Rock 2 training shoe is a great shoe for casual recreational lifting and day-to-day wear. 

Pros

  • HOVR midsole is reactive and responsive.
  • Bootie designed is comfortable and provides the ankle with stability.
  • Durable outer construction resists early breakdown. 

Cons

  • Not the most stable option under heavy weight. 

2. NOBULL High-Top Trainer

NOBULL High Top Trainer
NOBULL High Top Trainer
NOBULL High Top Trainer

The NOBULL High Top Trainers are an awesome training shoe for supporting heavy lifts, dynamic activities, and are great to wear on a day-to-day basis. 

The NOBULL High Top Trainers are an awesome training shoe for supporting heavy lifts, dynamic activities, and are great to wear on a day-to-day basis. 

Pros

  • Durable outer construction last a long time.
  • Firm midsole and outsole promotes overall stability.
  • Comfortable to wear on a day-to-day basis and to the gym. 

Cons

  • Expensive. 

Best for Light Runs

HOVR Rise

1. Under Armour HOVR Rise

The UA HOVR Rise features a durable outer construction, 8mm heel-to-toe offset, and Under Armour’s signature HOVR technology. This shoe is perfect for the dynamic athlete that wants to tackle regular agility workouts. 

UA HOVR Rise
UA HOVR Rise
UA HOVR Rise

The UA HOVR Rise features a durable outer construction, 8mm heel-to-toe offset, and Under Armour's signature HOVR technology. 

Pros

  • HOVR midsole is reactive and responsive.
  • Durable outer construction that is also breathable and mobile.
  • Lightweight design additional heel cup support.

Cons

  • Not the best model for supporting heavy weight.

2. Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3

Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3
Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3
Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3

The Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 cross training shoe provides a dynamic fascia band outsole, PowerFlow midsole, and lightweight outer construction.

Pros

  • Dynamic fascia band gives this model a “barefoot” feeling.
  • Durable outer construction to resist rope climbs and early breakdown.
  • PowerFlow midsole is stable under heavy weight.

Cons

  • Not a comfortable model for wider footed athletes. 

Best for Wide Feet

Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave

1. Reebok CrossFit Nano 8

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.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 9
Reebok CrossFit Nano 9
Reebok CrossFit Nano 9

The Reebok CrossFit Nano 9 offers a newly constructed midsole for comfort and a reworked outer Flexweave to improve performance and comfort in cross training workouts.

Pros

  • Plastic heel counter and TPU heel to promote foot security and stability.
  • Flexweave material provides a maneuverable and lightweight construction.
  • High-density foam midsole in the forefoot provides support and reactivity.

Cons

  • May be a little too wide for narrow footed athletes.

2. Reebok CrossFit Nano 9

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 9 is our favorite cross training shoe for men. Out of all nine models, this may be our favorite Nano model to date, and this shoe has a ton of things going for it. For starters, the Flexweav 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 against compression from workouts.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • Wider forefoot may be too spacious for some users. 

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.

Cross training shoe performance tests
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.

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.

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.