Best Cross-Training Shoes for 2021 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide


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Your cross-training is as good as your shoes. Any pair of runners won’t stand against the stress of cross-training workouts. You need to wear the right kind of cross-training shoes with more support to protect yourself from any injury.

You just cannot put your money on any pair labeled “best” for cross-training.

You have to know and understand what you need to consider and give up altogether if you are looking to get the best value from your cross-training shoes. To assist you with this, we have reviewed the best cross-training shoes for 2021.

So read on because we have a whole lot of information coming your way!

What are cross-training shoes?

As cross-training involves different activities, a pair of specialized shoes for this category also features the same characteristics. These shoes are hybrids of a range of different athletic footwear.

They might feature a heel cushioning that looks very similar to a running pair. And their lateral stability might match that of a basketball or tennis pair. They might also feature extra cushioning for the toe as well as forefoot, just like volleyball shoes.

This shows that these shoes are mainly designed for a range of different activities in your cross-training session. Your feet will go through a lot during these sessions, and for that, you need a pair with the right kind of cushioning and support in different areas.

And if you think that you can use any of the other shoes for cross-training, then you are wrong! Your feet need to be in a great position so that you can perform well during your session.

Top 10 Best Cross Training Shoes for 2021

Tazon 6 FM by Puma  


PUMA Mens Tazon 6 FM Running Shoe


  • 100-percent synthetic leather
  • Excellent toe protection with T-toe design
  • Highly breathable with EcoOrthoLite

These are the best cross-training shoes you can find on the market. The pair has everything that you need to hit the crag. These shoes have a comfortable design and are highly supportive.

The T-toe construction of these shoes will not only keep your toe protected but also provide additional support in the forefoot region.

Puma has used highly breathable patented technology, EcoOrthoLite, to make these shoes. Therefore, your feet will stay fresh no matter how sweaty things get. The shoes feature a lace closure, which means that you are in it for a snug fit.

Additionally, there is a midfoot saddle present as well for a better fit. The midsoles are properly cushioned, while the EVA heel keeps things supportive and comfortable for your heels too.

These cross trainers from Puma are available in three stylish colors. You won’t have to compromise on style while hitting the crags. The rubber soles of these shoes offer excellent traction and a good grip during all your workouts.

These shoes have everything that an ideal pair of cross-trainers should have in them. Apart from that these shoes are also good for flat feet. However, they are not entirely waterproof but somewhat water-resistant.

Synthetic leather construction.
T-toe is there to keep your forefoot well protected.
Provide good traction with rubber sole.
EcoOrthoLite material makes the shoes very breathable
It provides good overall support.
Not entirely waterproof.

Best Place to Buy

<strong>View Product on Amazon</strong>

Gusto by Champion

Champion Men's Gusto Cross Trainer

  • Budget-friendly
  • Insole made of memory foam
  • Soft and flexible lining

If you are looking for a budget-friendly cross-training pair, then the Gusto from Champion can be your choice. But low price doesn’t mean that you are compromising on quality. There is a reason that these shoes have been featured at the second spot on our list.

These shoes offer tremendous support and comfort due to their soft and flexible construction. Champion has used fabric and mesh for the construction of the upper.

Moreover, the insole features soft memory foam construction. Your feet will be in a comfortable position when you have these shoes on.

The outsole also has no marking, which means that cleaning remains simple and efficient.

The collar of these shoes is also fully padded, and there are no chances of chafing even if you don’t wear socks. Another reason for no chafing is that the lining of these shoes is super soft.

Fabric and mesh construction.
Extremely soft lining.
Padded collar and insole also have memory foam.
Available in seven different color combinations.
Not heavy on your budget.
No cutting edge technology present.

Best Place to Buy

<strong>View Product on Amazon</strong>

Ros TR2 by Reebok


Reebok Mens Ros Workout Tr 2 Cross trainer Shoe


  • Available in nine different colors.
  • Very breathable due to mesh construction.
  • Extremely lightweight.

One of the top reasons to buy this pair of cross trainers is that they are very lightweight. They are among the lightest pair of cross-trainers that you will find on the market. The reason behind that is their construction features plenty of mesh and textile.

The rubber sole is not very thick either, so your feet will remain close to the ground, and you will be in better control of all your body’s movements.

With an anatomic design, these shoes are great for people with overpronated feet.

The outsole is multi-rubber which means that you are all set for superior traction. These shoes are designed for cross-training athletes who focus more on running.

Rubber sole provides excellent traction.
Full mesh construction keeps breathability high.
The anatomical design makes them good for overpronated feet.
Better suited for cross-training athletes who prefer running more.
Available in eleven color combinations.
Not the right choice for weightlifting cross-training athletes.

Best Place to Buy

<strong>View Product on Amazon</strong>

MX517v1 by New Balance


New Balance Mens MX517v1 Training Shoe


  • Removable insole.
  • Excellent support and cushioning.
  • 100% textile construction.

If you are interested in buying a pair of cross-trainers made of textile, this is the right choice. Due to superior support and cushioning, these shoes fit snugly on your feet and will feel very comfortable while you make all those movements.

The pair also features a removable insole, which means that you don’t have to buy a separate one in case of any foot condition.

Due to the rubber soles, these shoes are exceptional in terms of traction and drip. These shoes are also focused on athletes who prefer to run.

New Balance has made sure that you get a good quality all-round cushioning no matter what type of activity you do in the gym.

Seven different color schemes to choose from.
Full textile construction for better breathability.
The rubber sole provides excellent grip for fast movements.
It also comes with a removable insole.
Your feet are not close to the ground in these shoes for weightlifting.

Best Place to Buy

<strong>View Product on Amazon</strong>

Powerlift 3.1 by Adidas


adidas Mens Powerlift.3.1 Cross Trainer


  • Synthetic sole.
  • Lightweight synthetic leather construction.
  • Full air-mesh collar.

No cross trainer looks better than these shoes. Adidas has designed these shoes for all those fitness freaks for whom looking and feeling great is second to none. These shoes are made of synthetic materials, and they will last for a long time to come.

Another great thing about these shoes is that they look heavy but are extremely lightweight. You won’t even feel them on your feet when moving around.

These shoes feature upper ankle support as well. You can use them conveniently if weight lifting and running both are in your gym activities. However, they are more specifically designed for people who lift weights and spend less time running.

The toes of these shoes are flexible, and they have open construction to keep your feet in a comfort zone at all times. It also contributes significantly to the overall breathability. Apart from the lace closure, there is a Velcro strap as well for snug-fitting.

These shoes are available in 12 different colors.
Synthetic materials make these shoes very lightweight.
Ankle support is there too.
Lace closure paired with Velcro strap for superior foot gripping.
Not the best choice for runners.

Best Place to Buy

<strong>View Product on Amazon</strong>

Megin by Nordic Lifting

Megin by Nordic Lifting

  • 1-year warranty.
  • Designed for weight lifting cross trainer athletes.
  • Olympics-level stability.

If you are a CrossFit athlete who focuses more on weight lifting than another workout, then these are the best shoes for you. These shoes will provide you with the best level of performance at powerlifting. As it comes from a weight lifting brand, no wonder the focus is on that category of CrossFit.

These shoes provide your feet with excellent support for better lifting gains. Your feet will remain planted in the ground, proving to be a good foundation for any weight lifting routine.

Another excellent feature of these shoes is that they come with a full 1-year warranty to provide you the peace of mind that you deserve.

The upper section of these shoes has synthetic in them, which means that your shoes are breathable. Velcro strap over lace closure ensures that your feet stay where you want them when you are busy lifting heavyweights.

Geared towards powerlifters.
Highly breathable construction due to synthetic materials.
Extremely durable and easy to maintain.
Improve your lifting posture for better results.
Not for running at all.

Best Place to Buy

<strong>View Product on Amazon</strong>

NoBull Cross Trainers


NOBULL Mens Training Shoes


  • Good all-round cross-trainers.
  • Available in 12 colors.
  • Fit pretty well.

These shoes will enable you to do any cross-training activity at the gym without any issues. Available in 12 colors, these shoes match any individual’s style statement. You can lift, run, climb, slide, or do anything while wearing these shoes.

The NoBull cross trainers are also very lightweight in construction, and they have a very flexible and breathable design.

NoBull has used SuperFabric for the construction of the upper, and there is no seam in it. Therefore, it is going to be durable for sure. This material is also resistant to any abrasion. So you are looking at an extremely durable pair.

The lug patterns of these shoes are designed for you to use in different environments, and you can use them both indoors and outdoors. Apart from all that, these shoes also provide good traction due to their rubber sole.

Suitable to use for all kinds of activities.
Superior tractions with rubber sole.
Good to use indoors and outdoors.
Abrasion resistant lug design has seamless construction.
The upper is a bit too stiff for walking.

Best Place to Buy

<strong>View Product on Amazon</strong>

Retaliation by Nike


Nike Mens Retaliation Trainer Cross


  • Synthetic and textile upper with mesh.
  • Wide rubber sole.
  • Breathable and lightweight.

These stiff-looking cross-trainers from Nike have synthetic materials and also feature textiles. This means that they are breathable. The rubber sole of these shoes is wide, and it provides a solid ground grip while you make fast movements.

Nike has used mesh in the upper part of these shoes to make them even more breathable. If you sweat a lot during your workouts, then these shoes are made for you. Additionally, the upper features fly wires for locking down your feet.

These cables ensure that your feet and shoes become one, and you become more comfortable in your movements.

The tongue of these shoes also features a mesh construction, and your feet will remain dry and super comfy while you are burning some serious calories.

The tongue has a sandwich mesh.
Fly wires allow the shoes to strongly hold your feet in place.
Mesh, textile, and synthetic materials improve overall breathability.
Wide sole made of rubber offers goof tractions.
Not much toe protection available.

Best Place to Buy

<strong>View Product on Amazon</strong>

F-Lite 235V3 by Inov8


F-Lite 235V3 by Inov8


  • 4mm drop best for functional movements.
  • Durable upper with protective overlays.
  • Flexible construction.

Inov8 has used mesh and synthetic in the construction and development of these shoes. Therefore, these shoes are perfect when it comes to breathability. They have a 4mm drop, which means that they are perfect for functional movements and lifting.

Due to excellent support and cushioning, your feet will remain in their natural posture, and you will feel a lot more comfortable in your workouts.

The upper is lightweight but durable and flexible. Due to the rubber soles, these shoes provide you with good traction.

These shoes also feature multiple protection layers. There is a welded bumper for your toe, and it will keep you safe during box jumps and burpees.

There is a rope guard that extends onto the shoes for even more protection of your feet.

Snugs tightly.
Available in five different color combinations.
Highly breathable mesh construction with toe protection.
Excellent traction with good support.
These shoes tend to feel slightly heavier.

Best Place to Buy

<strong>View Product on Amazon</strong>

Hovr Rise by Under Armour

Under Armour Mens HOVR Rise Cross Trainer

  • Zero gravity feel.
  • Mesh with foam for breathability and comfort.
  • Abrasion-resistant and lightweight.

The rubber sole of these shoes provides excellent traction. If you are into quick movements and features in most of your workouts, then these shoes will work well for you.

These cross-training shoes boast the zero-gravity feature that will significantly reduce ground impact during all your movements.

The upper of these shoes feature compression mesh, and your shoes will give back the energy you put in with every step. These shoes feature plenty of cushioning for all sections of your feet but remain lightweight.

The upper also features a 3D print that is abrasion-resistant and makes your shoes last for a long time. These cross trainers have the full capability to withstand any workout that you do daily. Last but not least… These shoes fit snugly, and you feel confident with each step you take.

Zero gravity feel keeps your feet comfortable.
Great traction with rubber sole.
These shoes are resistant to abrasions and are lightweight.
Breathable and durable.
The upper doesn’t tighten up very well with laces.

Best Place to Buy

<strong>View Product on Amazon</strong>

How to find the right cross-training shoes?

You need to consider certain factors before buying the right kind of pair for your cross-training sessions. These aspects will allow you to find the best cross-training shoes that meet all your needs and requirements. And we have listed them down as follows:

1) Sizing

Sizing is critical when buying any cross-training shoes. If your pair is not the right size, you will not feel comfortable during the workouts.

If they are too tight, your mobility will be affected, and if they are too loose, then there are chances that you might get injured. Therefore, you should look for the right pair of shoes for your session because happy feet lead to a satisfied mind.

2) Support

Cross-training shoes need to have a lot of cushioning and support in various sections. An adequate amount of cushioning and support in the toe section, the forefoot area, and the heel region is necessary because of the varying nature of the exercises you will carry out.

3) Flexibility

The upper section, as well as the sole of your shoes, needs to be flexible. Your feet will be facing a lot of pressure from the range of different workouts.

Every muscle in your feet and legs will be under stress, and hence you need to wear an extremely flexible pair. Too stiff of a pair will not make your movements comfortable at all.

4) Durability

Cross-training has a lot to do with a plethora of different routines. Your feet will be under a lot of pressure as your entire body. Therefore, your shoes will experience all of it, along with your body weight and ground impacts.

Therefore, if they are not durable, they will not last for more than a couple of months. And you will have to start your search all over again.

There are chances that they might break up at the worst time when you are in your routine. This might also cause an injury. Therefore, look for good quality, long-lasting pair that stays with you days in and days out.

5) Breathability

Breathability is essential for any activity shoes to let alone the cross-training pairs. It ensures that your feet don’t have any hot spots, and you don’t have to experience blistering or chafing. Breathability will ensure that your shoes remain comfortable no matter how hot you get during the session.

6) Protection

For cross-training, you will need a serious amount of protection for your feet. As you will be doing your running activities and workouts in different environments and terrains, it is important; the shoes have durable materials, a supportive sole, enough cushioning, and a comfortable feel to keep your feet safe.

7) Drop

This is more of a personal preference because cross-training shoes come in a range of different drops. However, a majority of these pairs range between 4mm and 6mm. You choose based on different types of activities you refer to during your cross-training sessions.

For example, if you do a lot of running and walking, then the drop needs to be decent. But this is not the case if you do a lot of weight lifting during your sessions. But this doesn’t mean that if you do both, then the low drop is a better choice because you will compromise with shock absorption. Therefore, 4mm to 6mm is a better choice.

Who uses cross-training shoes and why?

Cross-training shoes have to keep your feet protected from all corners. Of course, these shoes are specifically designed for cross-training athletes who participate in different types of exercises. These include running, walking, weight lifting, jumping, and different other body workouts. Therefore your feet need to be in proper shape to take all that.

These shoes also have a decent drop, so your feet remain close to the ground, and you remain in control of your movements. But the best part is that you don’t have to compromise on shock absorption either.

Basic Cross-Training Drills for the Beginners

If you are looking to immerse yourself with cross-training but don’t know where to start, then here are some drills that will get you on track.

10-to-1 WOD

You can do ten kettlebell swings with moderate weights. Follow it up with 10 dumbbell thrusters by holding a light dumbbell right in front of you (chest height with both your hands and squat while keeping the dumbbell in place.

Then stand straight and raise it overhead. After that, do 9 of each and then 8 of each, all the way down to one.

Simple Burpee

You can do as many simple burpees as you can manage in eight minutes.

Body Weight WOD

The next workout is to carry out 3 rounds (10 reps each) of the following exercises. But keep the intensity low.

  • Sit-ups
  • Air squats
  • Ring rows
  • Push-ups
  • Burpees

Squats, presses, pull-ups and running

Next, you can do three rounds of:

  • 12 front squats using a barbell
  • 10 pull-ups
  • 8 push presses
  • finish the activity running for a quarter-mile

Lunges and jumps

After that, you can do five quick rounds of:

  • 15 lunges using a barbell
  • 60 jumps using a jump rope

Cross-training shoes – Maintenance and care

Maintenance and care of cross-training shoes are essential if you want them to last longer. We recommend that you follow all the instructions provided to you by the manufacturers when it comes to taking care of your shoes. If you don’t have access to that care and maintenance instructions, then here are some of the steps that you need to follow:

  • Always wipe your shoes using a damp cloth.
  • Ensure you can get rid of any debris, sticks, mud, and stones from your shoes’ tread.
  • Do the same with the inside of the shoes.
  • Ensure spot cleaning of any dirty section using mild soapy water and a soft cloth.
  • In the end, set your pair for air drying out in the sun.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between running and cross-training shoes?

They both are significantly different. Cross trainers are suitable for medium runs, while runners are suitable for long runs. Running shoes offer more shock absorption as compared to cross-trainers.

Runners also have heavy support in the heel and toe region as compared to cross-trainers. On the other hand, cross trainers have a thicker midsole, and their heel-to-toe drops are low than runners. Runners have superior traction, while cross trainers have superior cushioning.

When is it time to replace my cross-training shoes?

Wearing shoes can be experienced by sight as well as feel. However, upon looking, a pair might seem perfectly fine, but its midsole might have lost all its support and shape. Therefore, as soon as your pair starts to disturb you, then you need to replace them.

Due to my special feet conditions, I can’t wear regular shoes, what can I do here?

There are different types of cross trainers available. If you have any feet conditions like flat feet or overpronation, then you can always go for the customized inner sole, or many manufacturers can also replace a bigger section of a shoe.

Our Verdict

All-in-all we think that Tazon FM 6 is the best cross-training shoe in every aspect. They provide excellent support and cushioning and also have superior traction. Breathability is high, and your feet remain safe no matter how you move in the gym.

When buying good quality cross trainers, you must consider what kind of activity you will focus on in the gym. There are different types of cross-trainers available, and they all specialize in different aspects. Just focus on your needs and requirements, and everything will turn out just fine.

So which one of these have you tried before, and what was your experience? Did we miss your favorite cross trainers? Share your thoughts in the section below with your comments.

Time to get going!


*Last updated April 2021


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