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The 10+ Best Cross Training Shoes in 2022. Expert-tested and Reviewed

Best cross training shoes

Our guide to the best cross training shoes or workout shoes is intended to help you pick the perfect footwear for every type of exercise you can do in a gym. All of our picks are based solely on performance, with special consideration for versatility. No points for looks here. 

Our testers agree that one of the main characteristics of a good workout shoe is that it should be able to handle everything the gym can throw at it from box jumps to deadlifts. These shoes need to feature great traction, solid support, and enough cushion to keep you pain-free after a hard session in the gym. 

We have tested a large number of models from an array of different brands. From well-known brands like Under Armour or Adidas to more niche brands like GORUCK or Vivobarefoot. 

So, with that being said, check out our best cross training shoes guide!

Last updated 12.01.2022

Best Cross Training Shoes to Buy in 2022

GORUCK Ballistic Trainer  

GORUCK is an upstart training gear company founded by a Special Forces veteran, that’s also pioneering a whole new sport called Rucking. The GORUCK Ballistic Trainer is currently our favorite cross-training shoe.

GORUCK uses durable Ballistic nylon for the back two-thirds of the shoe. The nylon used on the Ballistic Trainer is tough and soft at the same time. Cordura nylon is used on very few shoes, mostly for cost reasons. It gives off a vibe that the shoe is ready for anything. The knit toe box and tongue are one seamless piece that flexes great and feels minimal on foot.

The shoe’s cushion is what GORUCK calls Gradient Density EVA. The shoe is more cushioned and better at rebounding in the forefoot to accommodate jumping, running, and explosive movement. The heel of the shoe is denser and stiffer to provide a stable platform while doing various lifting movements like deadlifts and squats. Perfect for your ever-changing workouts 

On the bottom, what looks to be an outsole made of one type of rubber is actually made of 3 different rubbers. A grippy forefoot, a harder more durable midfoot made for climbing ropes, and a denser heel to endure heel strikes while running.

But remember that the Ballistic Trainer runs “about a half size larger than other athletic trainers.” We recommend going a half size down from your normal shoe size for the best fit. Read the full review. Price: $125

Reasons to buy: The best cross training shoe on the market

Reasons why not to buy: None

9.5/10
Total Score
Buy at GORUCK

Under Armour Project Rock 5

Under Armour Project Rock 5

The Under Armour Project Rock 5 is a cross training shoe that’s durable and solid, kinda like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. You can beat these up in the weight room, on turf, or in a CrossFit box and they’ll easily handle the load.

The last is wider than most, so wide-footers will find the fit enjoyable. It’s not a great setup for running so stick to short sprints when you do run. But the TriBase outsole technology that makes running clunky also keeps you stable while you push big weights and post big PRs. Looks-wise, the Project Rock 5 is one of the better-looking cross-training shoes on the market…and likely the best-looking Rock shoe to date. See the full review. Price: $150

Reasons to buy: Durability and accommodating fit  

Reasons why not to buy: Not great for running

9/10
Total Score
Buy Men's UA Project Rock 5 Buy Women's UA Project Rock 5

Nike Metcon Turbo 2

Nike Metcon Turbo 2

The Nike Metcon Turbo 2 has a lot of things that people will want to take a look at. First is the cushioning. It’s sort of the cross training version of the Nike GT Cut 2. We have a removeable React drop-in midsole with Zoom Air in forefoot. Second is the shoe’s stability. The base is wide which makes you stable in most movements, especially lateral ones. Third is the traction. The rubber outsole does not have any breaks. It’s rubber everywhere. Wherever and whenever you land, you have that to catch you. Read the full review. Price: $150

Reasons to buy: Awesome cushion, wide base, excellent traction

Reasons not to buy: Lack of arch support

8/10
Total Score
Buy Nike Metcon Turbo 2

Under Armour HOVR Rise 4

Under Armour HOVR Rise 4

The Under Armour HOVR Rise 4 has all the bases covered. HOVR is used for the midsole cushion, and it does an excellent job of combining comfort and stability. What contributes most to the stability, however, is the TriBase tech built into the outsole. It keeps the back half of the shoe rigid, so your feet are always planted and steady during heavy lifts. The outsole is also durable and grippy on all surfaces, indoors and outdoors. You can just about do any type of cross training in the Rise 4. See the full review. Price: $110

Reasons to buy: Stability and lockdown  

Reasons why not to buy: No traditional tongue

8.5/10
Total Score
Buy Under Armour HOVR Rise 4

Nike Metcon 8

Nike Metcon 8

Of course, on a list of the best cross training shoes, we had to feature the current Nike Metcon. The Nike Metcon 8 is very similar to the Nike Metcon 7. With the Metcon 8, you get full-length React foam cushioning, excellent traction, and better overlays for more durability. The upper is breathable, flexible, and supportive, and the shoe’s wide forefoot will give you stability. Don’t run in them, but otherwise, this is a solid all-around workout shoe. If you enjoyed the Nike Metcon 7, you’d feel more of the same with the eighth version. See the full review. Price: $130

Reasons to buy: Upgraded upper

Reasons not to buy: Same clunky heel

7.5/10
Total Score
Buy Nike Metcon 8

Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 3

Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 3

The Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 3 is highly versatile. Few training shoes can do as much as this one does. For how the Nike SuperRep 3 performs, the retail price of $120 is a bargain. You might be skeptical at first as it’s an odd-looking shoe, but once you put the shoe through its paces, it won’t disappoint, and you’ll be able to focus on setting personal records.

One of its best assets is the cushion. Though we don’t know the specifics, the previous two models have used Cushlon, and it feels that way here. It’s probably one of the softer foams you’ll put under your feet. You won’t mind using them casually because of this.

The Zoom Air pods at the front aren’t as bouncy as we expected, but they give a lot of impact protection and stability. That’s a great combination for working out. See the full review. Price: $120

Reasons to buy: All-around comfort  

Reasons why not to buy: Outlandish design

8.5/10
Total Score
Buy Men's Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 3 Buy Women's Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 3

Under Armour TriBase Reign 4

Under Armour TriBase Reign 4

The Under Armour TriBase Reign 4 is one of the best options available for heavy lifters. If you’re one to do PRs often or want to push yourself to your limits, the TriBase Reign 4 is a good companion. What’s more, is that wide-footers will be happy with how accommodating and well-fitting this shoe is.

This shoe can also handle short cardio sessions. Emphasis on short. We don’t recommend doing cardio in these for a prolonged period of time as they’re not built for that.

The TriBase technology works wonderfully to ensure stability. Even when doing heavy deadlifting, these handled the job well and posed no problems. The grip is also excellent on gym surfaces. See the full review. Price: $120

Reasons to buy: Great stability

Reasons why not to buy: Sizing issues

8/10
Total Score
Buy Men's UA TriBase Reign 4 Buy Women's UA TriBase Reign 4

on cloud x

On Cloud X 

The On Cloud X is a hybrid cross training and running shoe from upstart running brand On. Its versatility lets the wearer bounce between various athletic activities. The On Cloud X’s high build quality handles any typical movements you’d make while working out or running. To top it off, the shoe looks great casually. Is it worth $140? Only if you’re going to use them casually as much as you will for working out. Read the full review. Price: $140

Reasons to buy: Can handle the gym and short runs seamlessly 

Reasons why not to buy: The price 

9.3/10
Total Score
Buy Men's On Cloud X Buy Women's On Cloud X

reebok jj 4

Reebok JJ IV

Reebok may have left the performance basketball world behind, but they’ve never stopped creating performance footwear. Recent examples of Reebok’s performance prowess include the Nano X and Floatride Forever Energy 2. In addition to those two, JJ Watt’s cross trainer line consistently produces some of the best performers. And now, whew, Reebok is taking it to a new level with the JJ IV. Read the full review. Price: $100

Reasons to buy: Floatride cushion, comfort, traction, price 

Reasons why not to buy: Shoe length 

9.5/10
Total Score
Buy Reebok JJ IV

vivobarefot magna FG

Vivobarefoot Magna FG

If you’re interested in reaching for a zero drop cross training shoe, this is the best and most versatile option on the market. The shoe features excellent materials and some grippy traction. Zero drop shoes do take some getting used to though. Read the full review. Price: $190

Reasons to buy: The zero drop set up  

Reasons why not to buy: The zero drop set up

8.9/10
Total Score
Buy Vivobarefoot Magna FG

Best Budget Cross Training Shoes

Nike Renew Retaliation 4

Nike Renew Retaliation 4

The Nike Renew Retaliation 4 is an upgrade from its predecessor, the Nike Renew Retaliation TR 3, and takes the crown as the best budget cross training shoe. The most significant and notable difference is replacing the lockdown wings with a strap. It locks your feet in so nicely that you are never unstable—lockdown at its finest. The Renew midsole, though, performs the same as the 3. The price-to-performance ratio doesn’t get much better than this. See the full review. Price: $80

Reasons to buy: Great lockdown, Functional strap

Reason not to buy: Cheap materials

8.5/10
Total Score
Buy Nike Renew Retaliation 4

Puma Fuse 2.0

Puma Fuse 2.0

The Puma Fuse 2.0 is a minimalist cross training shoe that’s ultra-stable and packs insane traction. Where does the insane grip come from? Puma Grip. It’s Puma’s proprietary rubber compound that’s best in class. It sticks to the ground, so you won’t slide or shift during lifts.

The stability is also top of the line as the outrigger at the lateral forefoot, raised midfoot sidewalls, and a beefy TPU heel counter combine to keep the foot in place no matter how much weight you’re slinging. The cushion is super thin (don’t run in them), so some people may get too much ground feel for their liking. But for those lifting weights, you can spread your toes inside the roomy toebox and press into the ground, and generate extra force.

The mesh and fuse upper is surprisingly comfy in large part thanks to the sewn-in comfy padded tongue. The Fuse 2.0 is better than the current Reebok Nano X2 AND $30 less expensive. You’re unlikely to find a better weightlifting shoe at this price. Price: $100

Reasons to buy: Stability, Traction, Price

Reason not to buy: Cushion

8.5/10
Total Score
Buy Puma Fuse 2.0

Nike Legend Essential 2

Nike Legend Essential 2

The Nike Legend Essential 2 is by far the cheapest shoe on this list, but don’t be fooled. Although nothing will surprise you and make you feel like you got the steal of the year, you won’t be disappointed because it has all the basics down. The performance lives up to the name. Read the full review. Price: $60

Reasons to buy: Great flexibility, Breathable  

Reasons why not to buy: Flimsy heel counter

7/10
Total Score
Buy Men's Nike Legend Essential 2 Buy Women's Nike Legend Essential 2

Best Training Shoes For Weight Training

This is our top pick, but you can check out our full list here.

Nike Metcon 8

Nike Metcon 8

The Nike Metcon 8 shows up on several of our lists and categories, and that’s because it is just a great shoe for the weight room. It’s an excellent shoe for weightlifting because it provides a stable base and a flexible forefoot while remaining a versatile shoe for the gym. See the full review. Price: $130

Also, don’t be confused by our score. Our score is an overall rating that takes into account things like cushioning. In this case, the lack of cushion is a plus. If you’re looking at it as a weightlifting shoe only, the Metcon 8 is a 9.5 out of 10.

7.5/10
Total Score
Buy Nike Metcon 8

Best Training Shoes For Wide Feet

Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 3

Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 3

The Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 3 is one of the best training shoes overall but is especially good for wide-footers. The shoe’s main highlight is the cushion with Zoom Air pods in the forefoot with a lot of impact protection and stability. Add to that the wide base, and the stretchy yet supportive materials, and these guys are a great choice for wide footers in the gym. See the full review. Price: $120

Reasons to buy: All around comfort  

Reasons why not to buy: Outlandish design

8.5/10
Total Score
Buy Men's Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 3 Buy Women's Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 3

Best Training Shoes For Stability

Nike Metcon 8

Nike Metcon 8

There are a lot of stable gym options out there. Stability is one of the main features you need when it comes to weightlifting. That being said, we chose the Nike Metcon 8 for this pick because of the added versatility the shoe offers.

The Metcon 8 offers a ton of stability thanks to its wide base and torsional setup while not sacrificing mobility. On top of that, the Metcon was designed to be versatile and adapt to most movements in the gym. A great, stable shoe for the gym. Read the full review. Price: $130

Reasons to buy: Upgraded upper

Reasons not to buy: Same clunky heel

7.5/10
Total Score
Buy Nike Metcon 8

Under Armour Project Rock 5

Under Armour Project Rock 5

The Under Armour Project Rock 5 is a durable and solid cross training shoe like the Rock himself. You can beat these up in the weight room or other areas in the gym, and they’ll handle it easily. The last is wider than most, so wide-footers will find the fit enjoyable. Aesthetically, these cross training shoes are one of the best looking out there. The TriBase technology makes these as stable as they are. Train at peace and with power in these all day without a problem. See the full review. Price: $150

Reasons to buy: Durability and accommodating fit  

Reasons why not to buy: Not great for running

9/10
Total Score
Buy Men's UA Project Rock 5 Buy Women's UA Project Rock 5

Best Training Shoes For Squatting

vivobarefot magna FG

Vivobarefoot Magna FG

First off, if you can squat barefoot, squat barefoot. If your gym has basic hygiene rules, go with a barefoot shoe, and our favorite barefoot shoe at the moment is the Vivobarefoot Magna FG.

For MOST squatting you want to find a shoe that is close to the ground, with not a ton of cushion, with plenty of space in the forefoot for your toes to splay and grip the floor. The Magna FG checks all these boxes. if you are going super heavy for your squats, you may want to pick up a squat-specific shoe like the NIKE ROMALEOS 4, but for most of your squatting needs, the Magna FG has you covered and can keep up with everything else in the weight room. Read the full review. Price: $190

Reasons to buy: The zero drop setup  

Reasons why not to buy: The zero drop setup

8.9/10
Total Score
Buy Vivobarefoot Magna FG

Best Agility Training shoes

UA HOVR Apex 2

Nike Metcon Turbo 2  

The Nike Metcon Turbo 2 is great for those looking for a training shoe that’s sure to keep you agile. The react drop-in midsole with its forefoot Zoom Air unit will make sure you don’t have much delay in movements, and you’re well protected against impact. The base is wide so you remain stable on whatever exercises you put this through. To top it all off, the traction is consistent on most surfaces. Read the full review. Price: $150

Reasons to buy: Awesome cushion, wide base, excellent traction 

Reasons why not to buy: Lack of arch support

8/10
Total Score
Buy Nike Metcon Turbo 2

How We Test Cross Training Shoes

In this case, we are looking for a blend of performance and versatility. There are so many different exercises that can be performed in a gym, and each demands different characteristics out of your footwear. Heavy weightlifting requires a flat, stable base with very little cushion, plyometric training will require support and good traction, cardio will probably require more cushion, etc. So you can either go super specific with your workouts, carry around 10 different pairs of shoes, or go with a great do-it-all model. And that’s where we come in. 

We test the essential criteria as we do in our basketball and running shoe reviews: traction, materials, support, cushion, and fit. Then we give the shoe an overall rating. For training shoes, however, models get extra points for universality and versatility. Essentially, will most people will like them, and they can perform most gym activities. 

If a model isn’t featured, it’s either because the model has yet to be tested/reviewed or because we feel it does not belong among the current top cross training shoes. If you’d like to suggest we test a certain model, comment below or reach out via Twitter.

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