Best Cross Training Shoes Reviews & Ratings 2017

Best Cross Training Shoes

When you are a crossfitter choosing the best cross training shoes is normally time consuming even searching on-line can be difficult to figure out which model might best fit your needs. We want to save you time as well as frustrating trial and error. We have narrowed down the top five rated best cross training shoes for men and women.

Top 5 Best Cross Training Shoes for Men 2017

Top 5 Best Cross Training Shoes for Women 2017

What is a Cross Training Shoes?

It is difficult to choose the best cross training shoes with so many different kinds from which to choose. You might think it is easier to pick a color you like and a size that fits. If the shoe is cushioned and supportive, does it matter whether it is for walking or running? Actually, it does matter.

Running shoes are built to support the foot as it moves forward. It does not move side to side, so there is no lateral stability. You land on your forefoot when running so more support and cushioning is built into that part of the running shoe. Running shoes are built to support the foot while running over two miles regularly.

Basketball and Tennis Shoes are constructed for lateral stability because there is much side-to-side foot movement. Athletes that play the game often should wear basketball and Tennis shoes.

Walking shoes are different from running shoes because walkers have a heavier heel strike than runners so those shoes have more heel cushioning. If you are walking long distances, two miles or more, several times a week you need a shoe built to take the punishment.

You may be wondering where cross training shoes fit into fitness training. The shoes support foot movement in all directions but not enough for use as a tennis shoe, running shoe and walking shoe all in one for frequent or long-distance use. As mentioned before, for repetitive sports where the feet take a pounding, sport specific shoes provide optimal support.

Cross training shoes are perfect for fitness workouts that incorporate many activities each. They are perfect for the gym workout. You can jog on the treadmill for forty minutes then transition to resistance training. Next day maybe you will use the elliptical for forty minutes and transition to step aerobics. On the weekend, you might walk for a mile or two and play basketball in the driveway. You use the same shoe for a variety of fitness activities, all of which requires countless of downward pressure through the feet. Due to this, choosing the best cross training shoes is essential to practicing the sport.

How To Get The Best Fit

  1. Find a good specialty store, at least the first time you buy cross trainers. They will measure your foot for arch length as well as width and length. Sizes are no longer universal so a size 10 in one brand and style may not be the right size for you in another brand and style. Trust their expertise.
  1. The best cross training shoes should be lightweight for ease of movement. You do not want your legs feeling tired from the weight of your shoes.
  1. Breathability, the more the better. Do not sacrifice breathability for style or your feet will feel heated tire more quickly.
  1. For stability, you want a firm heel cup to stabilize your foot.
  1. Check for good support by trying to bend the shoe. Bending should be difficult.
  1. Be sure the shoe feels roomy and comfortable right away. Cross trainers are not shoes that you break in over time.
  1. If after a few indoor uses, the shoes are causing any discomfort at all, take them back to the store and try again. Specialty shoe stores will usually allow returns, as long as you have not worn them outside.

Best Cross Training Shoes for Men 2017 Reviews

Given short reviews of each of the 5 top best cross training shoes of 2017 that can help you determine what is best for you.

New Balance MX20v4 Cross Training Shoe

New Balance advertises itself as making shoes that fit. Most buyers of this shoe found that to be true for MX20v4 Minimus Cross Trainer. With a no-sew design this blue and yellow shoe has good looks as well as excellent fit.

The shoe weighs only 6.5 ounces and has all the benefits of a light shoe. The REVlite midsole foam, a NB innovation, is lighter than foams commonly used in other shoes but just as durable and protective. There is only a 4mm heel to toe drop instead of the more common 12mm.

These shoes are specifically for the gym. When used as intended, they are durable. They give good stability for weight training and cardio workouts.

The purpose of the shoe is to provide stability while giving the feel of being barefoot. NB20v4 will not hold up well on outdoor surfaces so do not use them for roadwork. For that, you need a sport specific shoe.

Most users of this minimalist cross trainer were impressed with how the shoe snugged their foot and provided lateral and back to front stability. Some liked them so much they bought more than one pair in case NB decided to discontinue them at some future time (for example the previous version the MX20v3 was named as the best cross training shoes last year). Others found the shoes so comfortable they chose to use them for daily wear. Even while standing on their feet to work all day the shoe gave enough support to prevent foot and leg problems.

Complaints were few and not serious. Some would have preferred a little more traction for indoor court use. The ideal way to wear them is without socks so even though the shoes come treated with an odor reducer, there was a few complaints about shoe odor. Please note; the odor did not come from the shoe however, it did linger. Some buyers of the shoe were disappointed that they began to fall apart in a year. NB MX20v4 shoes, used properly will usually last about a year. Actually, fitness experts recommend that all work out shoes be replaced once a year or sooner. [Read Full Review]

ASICS Gel Fortius TR Cross Training Shoe

Hot feet will love these shoes. Asics Gel-Fortius TR Cross trainers, designed with weight training, weight lifting, rope climbing and short distance running in mind, is a mesh shoe with AirMesh upper. The toe is reinforced and gel cushioning comforts your feet. Since this is a low profile shoe, there is not much padding but the gel molds to the shape of your foot. At only 10.1 ounces of weight on your feet, you will feel as though you are barefoot while the gel protects your feet and knees.

The lateral support is superb and that is why many who engage in weight training and kickboxing give them high praise. You will appreciate that lateral support for at home T25 or Insanity workouts. The quick foot movements from running moves, to squats, jumps and lunges means stability is important and these shoes perform well.

The shoe is good looking in black with yellow. For many if it looks good and feels good in the gym, they wear them all day. The mesh really is open and cooling which means if you wear them outside the slightest drizzle and your feet are wet. The shoe gets good reviews for preventing knee pain during work out. Some buyers tried many other shoes before finding the Asics Men’s Gel-Fortius TR Cross-Trainer to be the one that prevents knee pain.

The primary drawback for Asics Men’s Gel-Fortius Cross Trainers is for those with wide feet. The shoe does not come in wide sizes and in fact tend to run a little narrow and small. Buying a half size larger solved that problem for some. Ironically, a few found the shoe heel too wide, causing their heel to slip a little. None felt the problem bothersome enough to stop wearing the shoes. [Read Full Review]

ASICS Gel Craze TR Cross Training Shoe

Another winner for ASICS is Men’s Gel-Craze TR Cross Training Shoe. Weighing in at 11 ounces, these lightweight cross trainers pack a lot of versatility for a lightweight shoe. The SpEVA midsole is lightweight material that improves bounce-back. ASICS uses this material in many of their shoes because it prevents the breakdown of the midsole.

An innovative feature is the anatomically correct flex grooves named FluidAxis. What that means for the wearer is the shoe recognizes the athletes load and position then adapts and responds. It is amazing along with the GEL cushioning in the rear foot the shoe has the versatility to perform anywhere in the gym. The shoe also provides great traction and stability.

The Gel-Craze TR Cross Training Shoe gets excellent reviews for cardio and light lifting. The lightweight, comfort and style attracts many who wear there them daily as a casual shoe. As with other ASICS shoes, there were concerns from those with wider feet or who need a bigger toe box that the shoe runs narrow and small.

Cross Trainers, if not used as intended will not hold up and that was the cause of some dissatisfaction. If you use the shoes as an outdoor long distance running shoe, you will be disappointed. They are meant for cross training indoors.

Others who like the Gel-Craze TR Cross Training Shoe include boot camp leaders and physical education teachers. These people have foot and knee discomfort after years of training others. Some of them have found these particular cross trainers relieve that pain. Overall, these shoes have a high approval rating. For a few, this is not the shoe style that fits their foot. [Read Full Review]

Inov 8 F Lite 195 Cross Training Shoe

The Inov-8 Men’s F-Liet 295 Cross-Training Shoe has only one negative according to our research. The shoe runs small so buy a half size larger. Athletes love these shoes. The fabric shoe has a rubber sole with Rope-Tec reinforcement against rope burns. The sticky rubber outer sole made with Fastlift Compound provides excellent grip and stability during fitness training.

The shoes weigh 7 ounces and have a 3mm drop so you will hardly know you are wearing shoes at all. The style and blue/chili/white color makes you look good during training. The injected Eva Shank from the rear foot through the arch, which stiffens the shoe under the arch creating flexibility.

The Inov-8 Men’s F-Liet 295 Cross-Training Shoe is flexible and designed by specialists for off-road running. Inov-8 is a British based company and their brand has become one of the fastest growing brands in the U.S. Those who raved about the comfort and durability of the shoe came from all cross training preferences as well as recreational users. Instead of being suited just to the gym, the shoes perform well in various terrains and environments.

Happy buyers consider the Inov-8 F-Liet 295 as the best cross training shoes because they love the way the shoes stretch and mold their individual foot. For walking, running, weight lifting, rope climbing the shoes are a huge favorite for comfort and durability.

PUMA Voltaic 5 Cross Training Shoe

The Puma Men’s Voltaic 5 Cross-Training Shoe is well suited to most training programs including running. At 12.5 ounces, the shoe is a little heavier than the others we have compared. The heel measures 1 inch so they are not as flat and has an excellent mid-sole support cushion. The tongue and collar are padded for support and comfort and the rubber sole gives traction and stability on the court or the track.

The style of the Voltaic 5 cross trainer is a real attention getter. For many, while they understood the comfort of the shoe they bought them for their looks and the compliments they received for choosing a stylish shoe. Of course, Puma’s goal is to bring sport, lifestyle and fashion together in their athletic shoes.

We found the shoes to be very comfortable for running longer distances than the lighter and flatter cross- trainers. However, the hard sole is not made for road running more than 2 or 3 miles 3 times a week. Of course, they are perfect for the gym while doing cardio training as well as lifting workouts. The Puma Men’s Voltaic 5 Cross-Training Shoe gives good stability during squats and leg presses. Bikers like the shoe because the width of the shoe fits well on a pedal.

If you are on your feet all day for work, the Pumas get rave reviews from nurses working sixteen-hour shifts to soccer referees that are on the field all day during tournaments. For comfortm durability and design, the Puma Voltaic 5 Cross Trainer are the best cross training shoes because will take you from work to the gym and grocery store in comfort.

As with every other cross-training shoe we reviewed, the primary complaint is they run small and narrow so buy ½ size larger. The only other improvement suggested by users was more arch support. Even those who mentioned the two drawbacks to the shoe did not think the negatives should keep anyone from buying them. Most clearly thought the great style and good looks of the shoe far outweighed the slight inconvenience.

The men’s cross training shoes that ranked in the top five out of dozens of others have excellent comfort, good looks, stability and durability in common. When used as intended any one of these selected shoes will perform well.

Best Cross Training Shoes for Women 2017 Reviews

Now we want to look at women’s shoes and bring you the top five best cross training shoes on the market for women and the reason women chose them.

PUMA Cell Riaze Cross Training Shoe

Puma Women’s Cell Riaze Cross-Training shoe is a women specific style. Cushioning, comfort and style is always PUMA’S goal. The 8.2 ounce weight and along with breathable, duo toned mesh uppers definitely offer style and comfort. Since cell technology is used, foot bed compression is minimal. For that reason, these shoes stay comfortable over time because the fit stays the same.

The platform is about 1.25 inches and midsole and heel is cushioned. The tongue and collar are also padded. Eva & Bubble technology is used midsole to prove more support without adding weight. The EcoOrthoLite sock liner is comfortable while helping to keep your food dry and free of fungus. The abrasion resistant rubber sole improves durability no matter where you put the most wear.

The majority of people who buy Puma Women’s Cell Riaze Cross-Training shoes are pleased with them. Most think the shoe has good cushioning and arch support. Everyone likes the appearance of the shoe.

Whether the shoe runs small or not seems dependent on your preference for a cushioned foot or less cushioning. The shoe fits snug, can be laced to increase arch support and in general wraps itself around your foot. With that, some feel they have more stability and others interpret that feel as an uncomfortable tightness.

Running comfort was divided; some loved the shoe for running and think it is padded enough for longer distances. Others did not believe the shoe held up to frequent long runs. Their belief is that the shoe did not offer enough support, stability and cushioning.

It seems the shoe performs very well for the purpose it is designed; cardio and weight training in the gym, workouts at home 0and dance or kickboxing classes. [Read Full Review]

New Balance 711 Mesh Cross-Training Shoe

Here is a shoe that is very lightweight at 6.6 ounces. New Balance Women’s 711 Mesh Cross Training Shoe are designed to fit so you look forward to every work out session. No matter how hard you land on your feet, the CUSH midsole, SBS heel crash pad and heel pillow insert will absorb the shock, protecting you joints.

The New Balance 711 Mesh Cross Trainer has an 8mm heel to toe drop and you can see the flex grooves in the forefoot. Lightweight, flexible and supportive is just what a cross trainer should be. In fact, some with flat feet find the arch gives plenty of support. Others are convinced this particular shoe has eliminated knee problems they had been experiencing.

Many Wearers of New Balance 711 Mesh Cross Trainers report the foot bed and sole is so cushy and resilient they feel as though they are bouncing when they walk or run. That kind of comfort helps with motivation. New Balance shoes usually run true to size and the toe box is roomy. Most feel the shoe is attractive enough for daily wear.

The only drawback mentioned is, for some, the arch support is not enough for their comfort. However, most find them perfect for two or three mile walking and aerobic classes.

Nike Free 5.0 TR Fit 4 Cross Training Shoe

The Nike Women’s Free 5.0 TR Fit 4 Cross Training Shoes is the heaviest shoe yet at 1.5 pounds but it gets good reviews for superior support during circuit training, cardio, core fitness. The shoe is specifically designed for support and stability during multidirectional movement and still be light-weight and flexible.

The lightweight mesh assures breathability but also provides zonal support. The support foam is durable but lightweight. Transitioning through moves is made easy by the stability of the shoe. The Nike Women’s Free 5.0 TR Fit 4 Cross Training Shoe will take your feet and knees comfortably through a mix of interval training transitioning from treadmill to rowing, weights and TRX bands.

The shoes are supportive but light enough for Zumba, piloxing and even boot camp and do not feel bulky during dancing. For those cross trainers lifting weights and sprinting the shoes are highly rated. There is not much to complain about with these shoes. Most wearers like the looks and style of the shoe well enough to wear them for daily for work. A few common complaints were noted such as being too narrow and not cushioned enough for long runs.

ASICS Gel Fit Tempo Cross Training Shoe

A cross training shoe is supposed to be versatile, easily going from one fitness workout to another. The ASICS GEL-Fit Tempo TM cross-trainer meets that expectation. It is a flexible fit rubber soled shoe with a breathable mesh upper and quarter panel bracing for stability especially for lateral movements. At 6.6 ounces, it is one of the lightest women’s cross training shoes available.

The foot bed and midsole are padded. You have GEL protection at the strike heel so your feet and joints will be protected and the rubber outsole gives the needed traction. These shoes are made to be comfortable and stable during activities that range from boot camp to dance to interval training. It is truly a low profile shoe but with good cushioning. Besides the panel bracing designed into the shoe, elastic straps cross the top of the foot giving extra stability.

The number one complaint about the shoe are the elastic straps. If the top of your foot arches or your feet are bulky or wide, the straps hurt. Thin feet that slope smoothly from ankle to toes will find these shoes comfortable. It seems more people have wide bulky feet than not. When shoes are laced, you can loosen and tighten them. Some wearers toughed it out with the elastic straps until they loosened up enough to be comfortable. Others just could not endure the discomfort. There are those who did not find the elastic straps uncomfortable but felt the added stability made their work out easier.

RYKA Influence Cross Training Shoe

RYKA designed the Influence cross training shoe for high intensity workouts. The shoe is highly rated for Zumba and Jazzercise. They are lightweight, 8 ounces, and have good arch support. The Ultrathin Flex-Foil overlay on the upper gives lightweight structure stability and the Direct-Fuse stitchless layer system adds strength. The Precise-Return insole gives comfort and protects against impact. The insole is removable if you want to insert your own orthotic insole. The toe box is perfect for those whose feet are wide through the toe area. In addition, the footprint design on the outsole offers traction and support. The padded tongue and collar comfort your feet through a variety of work- outs.

For those active in Zumba and Jazzercise, the pivot point on the shoe needs to move smoothly, no stickiness, but not slippery either. The RYKA Women’s Influence Cross Training Shoe satisfied most wearers. The spins and turns were smooth, the high impact steps were well cushioned and they felt stable but light- weight at all times.

The negative feedback for this shoe was minimal. Some found the wider toe box was actually too wide for their foot and some felt the need for more padding if using the shoes for running.

How to Choose the best cross training shoes (infographic)

how to choose the best cross training shoes infographic



We feel these are the best cross training shoes for men and women. The number one complaint is what people think is there size does not fit properly. That complaint is dismissed by being fitted at a sport store before buying the shoe on line. There is nothing wrong about buying on the Internet because you are able to learn everything about the shoe and compare styles and prices.

However, the only way to know if the shoe will fit your foot properly is try it on. Unfortunately, if you find your correct size in one style or brand, it is no guarantee the same size will fit you in another style or brand.

The second most common complaint was enough cushioning and durability for long-distance running. Yet cross trainers are not designed for long distance running so expect to be disappointed if you use them as such. Alternatively, any one of these shoes that fit you well will give you great service as a cross trainer.