Those of you who are passionate or at least interested in cross-training should know just how important it is to always employ the right apparel. Given the physically challenging nature of cross-training as a sport, you absolutely must wear comfortable, flexible, and reliable shoes at all times. This, of course, if you want to maximize your gains and to hopefully improve your form over time. Seeing how cross-training is intended to stimulate different muscle groups, you want a pair of shoes that won’t just fit you perfectly but a pair that will also help you achieve your workout goals long-term.
That said, let us point out that good cross-training shoes aren’t exactly easy to come by, despite the galaxy of choices that the market has to offer at this point in time. In fact, you will find that very few of these shoes are made to meet the high standards experienced cross-trainers want, a good enough reason as any for you to take the extra time and figure out which of these shoes would best fit your needs. Let us then find out what are the ten best cross training shoes money can buy and what to look for when buying a pair.
Best Cross Training Shoes – Top List
10Inov-8 Men’s F-LITE 235-M
If you’re looking for a reliable yet very lightweight pair of cross-training shoes, then the Inov-8 F-LITE 235-M should be first on your list. This zero drop shoe features great cushioning and improved flexibility for greater comfort, thanks to a new integrated multi-directional Meta-Flex technology. Its rubber outsole delivers great stability and durability, with the upper being supportive, comfortable, stylish and durable as well. Overall, it is also one of the lightest shoes on the market, one that also stands out for its surprising toughness.
9Adidas Performance Men’s Cloudfoam Ultra Zen
The Adidas Performance Cloudfoam Ultra Zen for men is a shoe any man will appreciate for cross-training purposes. It features a swim slide design that combines a sneaker style and slide functionality to provide total recovery and relaxation. An air mesh upper offers optimal ventilation to the foot; A forefoot wide fit provides toe comfort and movement freedom; A Cloudfoam ultra unique footbed offers extra-smooth, soft cushioning; and injected EVA rubber outsoles make it both durable and lightweight.
8New Balance Men’s 20v5 Vibram Minimus
The New Balance Men’s 20v5 Vibram Minimus is a dependable Lace-up cross trainer shoe that features burrito tongue and unique, asymmetric collar with quality molded foam for incredible foot comfort and support. Its upper is made of premium synthetic and fabric materials that offer flexibility, breathability, and support. At the same time, a shaft measuring about 2.5 inches from its arch delivers an improved performance. Moreover, it has Revlite midsole for superior fit and motion support, while unique Vibram rubber outsole offers traction and durability.
7PUMA Cell Surin 2 FM Cross Training Shoe
The PUMA’s Cell Surin 2 FM is a shoe any enthusiastic cross trainer can be proud of. Boasting a great design, it delivers a sleeker, lighter, and modern feel yet retaining the heritage of PUMA excellence. From the premium-grade synthetic materials to its structure, it is one of the best performance and comfortable shoes in this category, ideal for wearing before, during and after your workouts. Furthermore, its quality rubber outsole offers optimum flexibility and durability, which is definitely something to look for in a cross-training shoe.
6Reebok Men’s Crossfit Nano 7.0
Count on the Reebok Men’s Crossfit Nano 7.0 for incredible workout performance and great comfort. This particular shoe features a re-engineered anatomical design that delivers a more locked-in comfort and stability, which makes it great for running on rough terrain. At the same time, its precision details such as the textures rope PRO+ shank, allow you to perform cross fit-specific programs with greater confidence whereas its Kevlar-infused upper improves the shoe’s support and durability.
5New Balance MX857 Cross Training Shoes
Made by New Balance, a world-renowned sports gear brand, the Men’s MX857 is a reliable and among the best cross-training shoes available today. It features a lateral TPU support and ROLLBAR technology that greatly assist overpronation. Furthermore, this shoe boasts innovative N-ERGY & C-CAP shock absorption technologies that provide you with foot comfort and protection throughout your training sessions. An EVA foam midsole, as well as breathable and strong leather and mesh upper add to its comfort, support, and durability. The shoe also has a non-marking, stable and durable rubber outsole for good measure.
4ALEADER Men’s Mesh Cross-Traning Running Shoes
As the name suggests, this is another leading cross-training shoe, one that stands out through an impressively sturdy construction. The ALEADER shoe boasts a double mesh upper that allows great ventilation to your foot while remaining highly durable and supportive. Not only that but its 5 claws side design integrates a firm lace up, offering you full foot support and adding comfort along with a high standard of foot protection. A cushioned insole integrates breathable lining for extra comfort and support, while a hydro-grip quality rubber outsole delivers superior traction plus stability on any terrain.
3Reebok Men’s Royal Trainer MT
For an incredibly improved cross training, you better slip on the high-performance Reebok Royal Trainer MT for men. This shoe features a memory sock liner that offers a well-padded footbed for the ultimate comfort, as its durable rubber outsole is both flexible and stable. Moreover, forefoot flex grooves plus a low-cut profile design provide superior motion ease, a flexibility few other cross-training shoes offer, unfortunately. It also has to be said that the Royal Trainer MT is among the most lightweight yet sturdy cross-training shoes, a standard Reebok is known to meet with most of their shoes.
2Vibram KMD LS Cross Training Shoe
Featuring a slightly meatier durable ice-trek rubber outsole, the Vibram Men’s KMD LS is a great cross-training shoe, inside or outside the gym. This ingenious shoe is expertly designed for improved intense workouts and stable lateral motion thanks to a circular lug pattern, providing the flex and feedback akin to a barefoot shoe. Its premium polyester and nylon mesh upper is breathable and supportive, which recommends it to anyone who engages in long workout sessions. Not only that but this interesting shoe also boasts a design that few other such shoes have, a design that Vibram is well-known for at this point in time.
1New Balance Men’s MX623v3
If what you need is longer cross-training comfort in a durable high-performance shoe, then the Men’s MX623v3 from New Balance could be your perfect solution. This is an enhanced model that delivers excellent versatility and durability while increasing comfort by its larger absorb heel capsule, an EVA footbed, and a reinforced collar foam. Its suede upper is breathable while the non-marking quality rubber outsole offers traction and durability, all being the markings of a great workout shoe. Last but not least, you will find this shoe to be surprisingly affordable given its impressive build quality.
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Cross Training Shoes Buying Guide
You don’t have to be a fitness enthusiast to recognize the importance of wearing proper apparel when you work out and this applies to all workout-related gear the market has to offer. In the case of cross training shoes, the best ones are usually highly popular and proven to meet the highest possible standards. Not all, however, can be expected to meet these standards, thus the need to educate yourself on the matter before making a purchase. To help you through, we thought it would be wise to compile a small guide with what you need to consider when buying a pair of cross-training shoes.
What Are Cross Training Shoes?
In order to purchase the perfect cross-training footwear, one must first understand what the term “cross-training” means. In essence, it involves multiple exercises or activities that help keep you fit, active, and healthy. Cross training can include jogging and basketball exercises or even walking and rock climbing. To properly attack every activity, you need the correct footwear that not only provides comfort, but also protection, traction, and overall flexibility. Cross training shoes or cross trainers are specifically designed to help you get through various exercises without having to worry about injuries to your ankles and feet.
What To Consider?
Foot Shape – The very first thing you need to do is understand whether you have flat feet or arched feet. For those people with arches, shoes with a lot of cushioning in the sole will keep you comfortable for hours together. For flat footed people, a neutral shoe does wonders in terms of comfort and performance. You may not think much of it, but the shape of your feet have a very big impact on the overall quality of your workouts.
Size – Finding the correct size for your feet might seem easy, but is quite daunting when it comes to cross trainers. A size too small and you will find it uncomfortable. A size too big and your feet will be covered in blisters. With half size shoes being introduced nowadays, it isn’t too hard to find your perfect size in any store. Like always, you must first measure up your feet as accurately as possible.
Upper Material – Cross training shoes are designed for athletes and so, should be made from high-quality materials, in theory at least. Here too, you must distinguish between your workout process and how the shoe will help you long-term. If you run a lot or play intense sports, a mesh upper is good for allowing the feet to breathe and stay dry. Similarly, leather uppers are great at protecting the feet while providing a certain standard of breathability and flexibility.
Traction – Whether you run on the track or over rough terrain, proper traction is what you need when choosing a cross-training pair of shoes. A good shoe will offer superior traction on every surface, even wet areas, albeit at a slightly bigger price tag. In this respect, keep in mind that rubber soles come in many different builds and that perhaps you should consider more peculiar styles when buying a pair of training shoes.
Benefits Of Wearing Cross Training Shoes
Using the right pair of shoes while cross training reduces your chances of injury during lengthy and intense workouts. But the benefits go far beyond that. Buying a cross trainer means you’re essentially buying a pair of hybrid shoes that can tackle any activity. From lateral stability for basketball to cushioning on the heel for running and even toe cushioning for volleyball, these shoes have it all. They are made of leather, mesh, or other flexible materials which means you get breathability and protection along with flexibility. And finally, they save you a lot of cash overall in the sense that you only need one pair for multiple activities.
What Kind Of Activities Can Cross Trainers Be Used For?
As we already said, a cross trainer is basically an all-in-one training shoe that helps you take on various activities and exercises without having to switch footwear. As such, they can be used in the gym or outdoors with similar benefits. This versatility comes as a result of their ingenious and in some cases even peculiar build, a design specific to cross-training shoes. In principle, cross trainers can be worn for the following activities:
Walking – This is probably one of the most common activities cross trainer owners use their shoes for. The added cushioning in these shoes make it ideal for long walks on grass and concrete as well. So if you’re a fan of power-walking, then why not invest in a pair of cross-training shoes? It should be a lot more convenient than regular shoes while giving you the capacity to also employ them for other activities.
Tennis – As a sport, tennis puts a lot of stress on your ankles. Cross trainers provide the lateral support you need around the ankle as well as great traction for getting across the court quickly. You could, of course, get yourself a pair of tennis shoes; although you aren’t likely to be able to use them for nothing else rather than playing tennis because of how tennis shoes are usually built.
Basketball – This is another intense sport that works on your ankles, heels, and knees. A cross trainer shoe adds lateral support here as well and also adds cushioning on the inside to give you a soft landing when you jump. Interestingly enough, most cross-training shoes are built to meet roughly the same structural standards as basketball shoes. To such an impressive standard, however, that many people prefer them to standard basketball shoes.
Indoor Activities – Working out in the gym or at home also requires your feet to be protected at all times. By design, cross trainer shoes offer you stability, comfort, and traction whenever you hit the gym. This is due to the ingenious design that enables them to perform well when running on the treadmill, lifting weights, jumping rope, doing push-ups, and even during your average fitness class.
When Do You Replace Your Cross Trainers?
Most of us hold on to our shoes until the very end or at least, up until they can be worn no more. Cross trainers, on the other hand, need to be replaced after a certain amount of time. For hardcore users, it is vital to replace your trainers every six months or less. For moderate or casual users, a change after 100+ hours of exercise is ideal, although you should use your common sense on the matter at the end of the day.