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The best women’s cross-training shoes will help you get the most out of your workout.
Wearing the appropriate sneakers for your specific routine is crucial to achieving your performance goals and preventing injury — so before hitting the gym, it’s important to make sure you’re lacing up the correct shoes before you get started.
When shopping for a cross-training shoe, there are several key factors to consider. You should be sure to look for a style that offers stability and support lateral movements during various activities such as strength training and dance fitness. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that your shoes offer support without feeling too bulky.
For many shoppers, the below feature set will likely help ensure that your cross-training shoes fit well:
- Durable Uppers: Uppers made entirely of mesh are typically more breathable, but if your goal is durability, you may prefer a shoe constructed from a mix of TPU, mesh and other materials.
- Supportive Outsoles: In general, the best cross-training shoes will likely feature fully rubber outsoles, which tend to be firmer than mixed-material outsoles. You may also want your outsole to have some grip, allowing for increased support during plyometric exercises.
- Foam Midsoles: Depending on the brand and style, cross-trainers may vary with respect to midsole construction. Foam styles to be more comfortable for the wearer, while pairs with TPUs tend to offer additional stability.
- Extended Toe Boxes: As cross-trainers are designed to use for lateral movements (whether you’re jumping, squatting or lifting), they typically come with expanded toe boxes to ensure your feet stay comfortable as you engage in fast-paced movements.
While these features tend to work out well for many, it’s important to keep in mind that choosing the best women’s cross-training shoes will ultimately come down to figuring out what works best for you and your needs — and makes you feel comfortable and properly supported as you hit the gym.
As you look to find the best women’s cross-training shoes to meet your needs, it’s probably a good idea to take the time to research all of the brands to determine which one best caters to your needs. Unsurprisingly, athletic powerhouses such as Nike, New Balance and Under Armour all carry a range of stylish and functional cross-trainers, while a number of smaller brands have standout options too, among them Nobull and Altra.
Below, we have rounded up a selection of 15 of the best functional cross-training sneakers for women you can buy — coming from brands both big and small. What’s more, many of the pairs sell for less than $100, with the lowest-priced option coming in at just $30. Read on to shop all of our favorite options now.
The brand’s first training sneaker, this style from Athletic Propulsion Labs is designed with an exceptionally light, breathable Techloom upper and mid-cut silhouette that provides ideal support and ankle stability. Underfoot, the shoe features APL’s signature Propelium midsole for enhanced cushioning and shock absorption.
Ryka Dedication XT
Ryka’s Dedication XT features a breathable mesh construction with a soft lycra bootie and stretchy strap near the collar that can be tightened to your liking. The shoe is also equipped with plush forefoot cushioning, a narrower heel for a more secure, locked-down fit and a wider toe box that allows for more wiggle room. They pair is offered in two colorways, as well as wide width sizes.
Asics Gel-Quantum 90 2
Coming in six colorways to choose from, the Gel-Quantum 90 2 delivers a lightweight EVA midsole and Gel cushioning in the heel, which reduces shock during the impact phase and allows for smoother transitions. Meanwhile, rubber and Gel outsoles provide superior traction and added cushioning.
Sponsored by Nike
Nike Air Zoom SuperRep
Perfect for high-energy workouts like cardio, HIIT, and circuit training, this bold style features a full-length plate designed to offer stability and distribute pressure over the Zoom Air units to activate the cushioned support. You can count on these to absorb impact from high-intensity movement and deliver cushion during lifts. Forefoot grooves also offer flexibility for burpees, planks, and push-ups, while Outrigger arcs up the side of the shoe add forefoot support during side-to-side movements.
Featuring a breathable knit upper, Adidas’ Pureboost offers a sock-like fit and utilizes the brand’s responsive foam cushioning for ideal energy return. A stability strap at the ankle also lends extra support. These come in black and white versions.
New Balance Minimus 20v7
This New Balance sneaker is constructed with a knit upper with nylon infused yarn, while a solid Vibram outsole provides reliable traction and ground feel to maintain a natural stance during strength training. What’s more, the shoe offers a can’t-miss multicolored look that’s perfect for spicing up your all-black workout ensemble.
Inov-8 F-Lite 260
The Inov-8 F-Lite 250 is versatile for any form of workout due to its breathable mesh upper with a Rope-Tec lacing system and Powerheel cushioning for stability. What’s more, the sneaker features Sticky Grip rubber technology for improved traction in the forefoot, as well as an external heel cage at the back for additional support in the heel.
Puma LQDCell Optic 11
Puma’s LQDCell Optic 11 boasts a cool look, thanks to a chunky, retro-like silhouette with iridescent pops of color throughout. In terms of technology, the sneaker features LQDCELL cushioning in the heel and midfoot, with EVA wrap-ups at the midsole providing lateral stability and support during dynamic movements.
Under Armour Charged Breathe TR 2
In its midsole, the UA Charged Breathe TR 2 features Charged Cushioning, which uses compression-molded foam for responsiveness and durability. The sneaker has a lightweight, breathable upper designed to keep the wearer cool and dry, as well as a full rubber outsole made for increased traction and durability.
Sponsored by Nike
Nike SuperRep Go
This Nike style, another SuperRep variation, features a soft mesh upper that’s breathable and flexible, paired with a thick foam midsole — a trending feature in the performance sneaker market as of late. The chunky midsole is designed to offer responsiveness during a range of activities such as jumps, squats, and planks. In addition, the shoes boast rubber tread in high-wear areas for stability and traction.
Reebok Nano 9
The Reebok Nano 9 is ideal for high-intensity workouts, lifting sessions and cardio. The style features a low-cut design meant to increase the mobility of the ankle, as well as a lightweight, durable upper made from 100% textile along with a soft rubber midsole protection wrap. In addition, the shoe offers a stylish look, making it a solid choice for transitioning from a workout class to running errands or grabbing a meal.
Designed to get you through everything from dance classes to high-intensity training, Adidas Novamotion trainer is built with a lightweight, breathable mesh upper, with a TPU heel counter and a non-marking rubber outsole. Cloudfoam in the midsole offers superior cushioning and an Ortholite sock-liner keeps things comfortable.
The Merrell Banshee is a vegan-friendly style, crafted with a breathable mesh upper that sits atop an EVA foam midsole for all-day comfort. The shoe features a traditional lace closure to keep the foot in place, with overlays at the instep and a molded TPU heel counter ensure stability. In addition, the sneakers feature an M Select GRIP outsole to ensure durable traction.
Whether you’re hoping to run, climb or lift, the Nobull Trainer will have you covered. The sneaker can take on a variety of workouts thanks to its durable, lightweight SuperFabric upper and its outsole that blends together flexibility, traction and support.
The Altra Solstice offers a sleek performance look with a flexible knit upper and a responsive lightweight EVA midsole. The style can be used for a variety of activities, including cross-training as well as road running and road racing. What’s more, the shoe comes in a wide array of colorways, including neon hues as well as more understated shades.
Asics Gel-DS Trainer 24
Ryka Devotion XT
The Ryka Devotion XT Cross Trainer has responsive cushioning for impact protection and shock absorption, with rubber on key traction areas. In addition, the shoe includes a pivot point, making it an A-plus choice for smooth rotational movements. On Amazon, the style is offered in a wide array of sizes, as well as a number of toned-down colorways.
APL Techloom Pro
For those looking to show off their personality through their shoes, look no further. The APL Techloom Pro comes in a slew of eye-catching colorways that will brighten up any workout — and the style has such a sleek look, you may want to wear it outside the gym, too. With regard to construction, the Techloom Pro boasts a lightly cushioned footbed with a lace-up closure and a textured textile upper.
Mizuno TC-02 Cross Trainer
The Mizuno TC-02 training shoe offers a dual-layered mesh construction on the upper with supportive straps in the midfoot to keep feet locked down. Meanwhile, a solid rubber outsole offers a 360-degree grip. The shoe comes complete with Mizuno’s proprietary C.O.B. technology, which is meant to help the wearer achieve increased body awareness and thus improve their balance.
The Champion Adapter features a one-piece lightweight knit and mesh upper, a soft lining, and a plush memory foam insole, which all sit atop a flexible EVA outsole. Even better, the shoes are more affordable than many other options on the market, with a price tag of just $30. They’re offered in a pink and red colorway that’s designed to stand out, whether you’re lifting weights at the gym or hitting the streets for a road run.
This ultra-lightweight trainer features a mesh upper with neoprene at the ankle for a secure fit and Vionic’s Advanced Motion System to keep you supported throughout your workout. In addition to being practical, the sneaker also has an eye-catching look, with polka-dot laces, raised eyelets, and visible stitching.
Under Armour UA Project Rock 2
From Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Under Armour Project Rock line, these sneakers feature UA Hovr foam technology for a “zero gravity” feel, a breathable soft-knit upper and a 3D-molded midfoot panel for structure and support. Underfoot, a flexible Tribase outsole can help enhance your movement.
Hoka One One Cavu 3
Featuring Hoka One One’s signature oversized outsole, the Cavu 3 works through a variety of exercises thanks to its responsive cushioning, breathable stretch-knit upper and durable rubber outsole. If you want a shoe to wear for road running as well as for the gym, this may be the style for you.
New Balance Fresh Foam Cross TR
To provide long-haul comfort, this New Balance cross-trainer features the brand’s ultra-soft, lightweight Fresh Foam cushioning in the midsole. The silhouette has an engineered knit upper with TPU at the heel for stability and a lightweight outsole made of solid rubber.
Designed to support the various movements of high-intensity interval training, these sneakers feature a mesh upper with a pillow around the collar to keep you locked in as well as a flexible outsole for reliable grip as you maneuver across the gym floor. The shoes come in a range of colorways — so you’ll find something to suit your needs regardless of if you prefer a neutral or a bold hue.