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11 Best Gym Shoes for Men
Whether you choose to register for a gym class in a plush location downtown or you have an awesome gym set-up in your garage, one thing is certain; you need a solid base to crush your workout. A pair of good-quality gym shoes is a must-have for your workout sessions.
And without beating about the bush, this article is going to walk you through 11 of the best gym shoes for men that will allow you to reach your fitness goals, whatever those are.
Why You Need Gym Shoes
But wait! Like seriously, do you actually need a gym shoe? I mean, what’s wrong with using the same pair of sneakers for running, walking, and gymming?
Athletic footwear is designed for different purposes. Without getting into the nitty-gritty details, running shoes are designed to allow better heel-to-toe movement and are perfect for track activities.
On the other hand, gym shoes or training shoes are built to allow lateral movements that improve stability during workouts. For this reason, they are designed to be closer to the ground to give the wearer – that is, you – more joint and muscle support.
A good gym shoe not only supports your form and posture, but it also prevents your feet from getting sore and tired quickly. Choosing the correct workout shoe type can improve your performance significantly.
Also, having a pair of gym-dedicated shoes means that your running or walking shoes will last longer. Even if you earn a CEO’s paycheck, it doesn’t make economic sense to buy a pair of workout shoes many times within the shortest intervals.
Shopping for exotic shoes may be fun, but the stress of looking for good-quality gym shoes is not something you want to deal with very frequently. You’ve got your fitness goal to worry about; why add the pressure of incessant shopping for shoes to that?
Hopefully, I’ve done a good job of convincing you to get a separate shoe for gym-going. So, which shoe should you buy for your gym sessions? Here are 11 great options to choose from, depending on your fitness goal.
Best Gym Shoes for Cardio
Special attention is given to the outsole of shoes designed for cardio. The following handpicked models are equipped with the essential features such as rugged rubber, internal cushioning, EVA foam, and efficient liners – all geared toward providing the support you need to reach your goals without worrying about discomforts.
1. Adidas Alphabounce+
The Alphabounce+ is not just your regular gym shoe. Adidas specifically designed it for agile optimization and speed drills. In simple terms, you’re going to need this shoe if you want more out of your cardio regimen beyond long-distance runs.
The gym shoe features an upper built from highly-supportive Forgedmesh and a midsole designed with the renowned Adidas’ Bounce+ cushioning. The Alphabounce+ interior is fitted with a sock-like construction that snuggles the foot and offers maximum comfort throughout your cardio session.
A grippy rubber outsole means you have improved stability during high agility training on the usually smooth gym floor. Overall, the Alphabounce+ is not just one of the best gym shoes for men, but it is also one of those shoes that give you the look of someone serious about their fitness goals.
2. Hoka One One Men’s Clifton 6
With over a decade of manufacturing high-quality athletic shoes, it is safe to say that Hoka One One is no longer the new kid on the block when it comes to gym shoes. The brand is not only known for producing some of the best outdoor running shoes, but it has also become synonymous to excellence as far as producing quality shoes for the fitness enthusiast is concerned.
In keeping with its tradition of excellence, the brand’s Clifton 6 is a perfect blend of a soft and light shoe designed to improve your performance as you put in the miles on a treadmill. But even if you decide to hit the road with this shoe, you can be sure that every stride will bring you closer to your goals, thanks to its relaxed silhouette.
Clifton 6 features an embroidered design for improved lockdown. And the lightweight upper means there is no extra weight on your feet to worry about. It comes with a sole that has been specifically formulated to improve the various feet movements during high agility training.
Whether you intend to stick to a gym or plan to take your fitness regimen outdoors, Clifton 6 from Hoka One One should be top on your list.
3. Athletic Propulsion Labs Men's Techloom Wave Sneakers
Great fit, unmatched support, and convertible design – these are the qualities that readily pops into mind for those who have experienced the unique Techloom Wave Sneakers.
The incredibly lightweight gym shoe doesn’t feel like any regular gym shoe at all – in a good way, though. It really doesn’t feel like you’re wearing a shoe. Instead, it feels like you’re slipping on a slipper. APL put everything they had into this one and the result? The fitness industry has a new, unrivaled standard!
The upper consists of the brand’s lauded TechLoom 3D rebound. It is highly stretchy, elastic, and dynamically woven to adjust to every movement of your feet. “Ventilations zones” are strategically placed to increase airflow and to keep the feet cool and dry.
The shoe features an internal cage that offers extra support and customizable lockdown without interfering with full-range feet movements. And you can completely remove the laces and instantly transform this shoe into a fitting slip-on.
But what really sets Techloom Wave Sneakers apart from the herd is the inclusion of the Propelium technology instead of the traditional EVA. The Propelium is APL’s proprietary system that provides improved structural integrity, increased energy generation, and maximum comfort.
4. Under Armour Men’s HOVR Machina
The HOVR Machina is Under Amour’s specially designed shoe for cardio and running. If you are looking for a gym shoe that gives you an almost zero-gravity feel, look no further than this one.
Its upper is a compression mesh engineered to be breathable and as light as possible. The shoe is designed to significantly reduce impact, and thanks to its solid rubber outsole plus the traction pods underneath, there’s nearly no chance of slipping.
Combine all of these with the brand’s proprietary Pebax propulsion wave plate in the midsole, and you have a shoe with the smoothest heel-to-toe transition.
Although cardio is not weightlifting, certain activities require great stability, and HOVR Machina shines in that aspect, too. The shoe provides excellent stability, enhanced responsiveness, and soft cushioning to improve comfort.
5. York Athletics “The Henry” Lightweight Shoe
It’s really difficult not to like this shoe if serious cardio is your thing. Every feature in “The Henry” is included solely for high-intensity workouts starting with the simplified, lightweight upper, and the highly responsive EVA foam.
Whether you are gymming at home or in a class, you’ll be proud of this stylish shoe that looks and feels great. That means this shoe can serve both as a gym shoe and a fashionable sneaker, giving you twice the value of what you paid for!
The sneaker offers a more natural feel underfoot, thanks to a responsive midsole that provides superb ground feel. And to ensure that you don’t get uncomfortable during high-intensity workouts, the entire upper is made from breathable mesh. It feels like a slipper on your feet!
The rubber outsole is slip-resistant and features a black carbon for maximum durability. The custom PU foam sock liner ensures moisture-wicking and adequate cushioning. With The Henry, you are sure to push that extra mile.
Best Gym Shoes for Weightlifting
Weightlifting requires shoes designed primarily for form preservation. In other words, the best gym shoes for men who lift weights come with improved cushioning for greater support, and widened heels and midsoles, and toes for better contact.
Here are some of the best models that can encourage you to face the challenging task of lifting weights.
6. Reebok Legacy Lifter Sneaker
The Rebook Legacy Lifter delivers when it comes to a shoe that offers the support and security needed for better and safer lifts.
The shoe doesn’t just offer one but two security layers – a classic shoelace design plus a double-strap system for improved lateral support and stability.
For traction and superior grip, the Legacy Lifter features a simple but highly effective abrasion rubber outsole. There’s absolutely no need to worry about awkward slips with this shoe. Additionally, the training sneaker offers the benefits of a full-length low-profile EVA midsole plus forefoot flex grooves.
The back includes adequate cushioning for maximum comfort. The prominent heel is built for lifting compression, so wearers feel comfortable during lifts.
Rebook’s Legacy Lifter comes in a handful of colors, including primal red and grey, white and blue, and black and gold.
7. Adidas Powerlift 4
The Powerlift 4 is arguably the best version in the Adidas Powerlift shoe line. It is almost unthinkable to hit the gym with the intention of lifting some weight without a pair of these unrivaled weightlifting shoes. After all, it is not called a powerlift for nothing!
This is a no-frills shoe designed for one thing only – weightlifting. In keeping with this goal, Adidas fitted this shoe with a rubber outsole that keeps you firmly planted on the ground during lifts. With the Powerlift 4, there are no slips, just grips!
Unlike previous versions in the Powerlift shoe line that were constructed with mesh and synthetic leather, this one has an upper made from lightweight canvas. Canvas material is highly durable, which is why it is used on tents and backpack constructions. Bottom line: this is one tough shoe!
Besides durability, the material gives wearers a sense of maneuverability. You don’t need to go through lots of lifts before the shoe starts to feel really good. “Breaking in” is a matter of a few lifts, and you’re good to go.
This shoe is designed to provide exceptional training experience owing to several essential features, including an open forefoot and highly stable die-cut midsole wedge. You don’t have to worry about crushing the heel cup, thanks to the heel-loop that allows for easy wearing. The shoe also features a wide instep strap that ensures a tight, secure fit.
And the best part? The Powerlift 4 is not just one of the best gym shoes for men with a flair for lifting weights; it is also among the most affordable training shoes on the market.
8. Nike Romaleos 4
If you’ve used Romaleos 3, you will immediately notice that this fourth version from Nike is completely revamped and has no carryover whatsoever from the previous model. Instead, Romaleos 4 feels more like an upgrade to version 2. But all of this will not make sense if you haven’t used or at least seen the previous version. So, let’s just talk about the current model.
Romaleos 4 comes with a thick woven fabric upper that is both dense and flexible. The ankle collar feels comfortable, thanks to the cushioning around it. Besides the strap at the ankle area, the shoe features another wider strap enclosure at the metatarsal area that offers unmatched fit and lockdown throughout your exercise regimen.
This strength-focused shoe boasts of a widened outsole, a supportive midsole, and a heel that provides a solid base for heavier lifts. And if you have an explosive athletic style, you will find the rigid, heel-lifted outline particularly useful.
In terms of stability, Romeleos 4 ranks very high and outdoes many training sneakers in the same category. With the outsoles running a bit longer than the shoe’s body, you can be sure of secure lateral movements. This shoe does a great job of bolting your feet into the ground! Screw
It is not out of place if you have a hard time choosing between Romaleos 4 and Powerlift 4. Actually, Nike designed the Romaleos 4 to give Adidas a run for its money!
Best Gym Shoes for Cross-Training
It really wasn’t the easiest thing to pick just three fitness shoes out of all the superb cross-trainers available. But hey, giving you the best means doing a lot of digging, researching, and sifting to come up with something worth your hard-earned cash.
These cross-trainers models are designed to provide the perfect combination of stability, support, comfort, and cushioning. I’ve selected models that have a lightweight design, offer simplicity, and are particularly rigid for increased support.
Question: why should you invest in other types of gym shoes if a cross-trainer can strike provide an equilibrium of all the features of other training shoes?
Answer: cross-trainers are not sports-specific shoes. Meaning, they will not excel at weight lifting, cardio, or any other athletic activity. They offer a mixture of all the features, making them a better option if you do a combo of gymming activities. Think of cross-trainers as jacks of all trades (suitable for many fitness activities) but masters of none (not excellent for any particular athletic activity).
9. New Balance Men’s Minimus Prevail V1 Cross Trainer
New Balance is really not new when it comes to fitness shoes with superior balance. But if you’re not convinced, then you need to try the brand’s Minimus Prevail V1 Cross Trainer.
Among other important features, the best gym shoes for men should be lightweight. While many trainers meet that criterion in some way, the Minimus Prevail V1 is roughly 30% lighter than most gym shoes, thanks to its REVlite midsole foam style. You’re probably not easily going to come across any fitness sneaker that offers such a lightweight ride combined with the durability and responsiveness of other heavier shoes.
But this shoe is not just about lightweight. It comes with a knit upper engineered using special TPU fibers to ensure greater posture throughout your drill sessions. An external TPU heel counter, combined with an asymmetrical collar, makes for a sleeker shoe modified for strength, stability, and style.
This training shoe offers excellent underfoot support for a good ground feel. So, out goes the fear of slipping during weight lifts and other HIIT sessions.
10. Under Armour Men’s Tribase Reign 2.0 Cross Trainer
Take a good look at the Tribase Reign 2.0 cross-trainer from Under Armour. Notice anything different? Not really, right? This shoe looks like most other cross-trainers on the market, except it is not!
Flip the trainers over, and you’ll understand why it is one of the best gym shoes for men. First off, the TriBase technology that sets the shoe apart from other cross-trainers can be visibly seen at the bottom. The three points of stability (TriBase) on the outer sole maximizes ground contact for better balance, enhances greater upward flexibility for easy motion, and increased downward flexibility for firm grips during lifts.
In simpler terms, this is the shoe to pick if you want your heel and midfoot to drive firmly into the floor for maximum equilibrium.
The forefoot is engineered to have superior flex and traction, making it an attractive proposition for sled pushes, split jerks, tough planks, and other training drills. The shoe comes with a full-length Micro G foam midsole cushioning that provides great comfort and protection for the feet.
Now, take another look at this shoe. I’m sure you can appreciate its subtle difference from most of the traditional trainers available. But here’s something most people don’t notice quickly about the Tribase Reign 2.0. Under Armour designed it to be closer to the ground than many other sneakers. That means wearers can easily notice its superior responsiveness, power transfer, and tactile feel.
By raising the collar and increasing its heel lock-in, Under Armour made sure this shoe offers unmatched traction and contact.
I know you’re not likely to buy this shoe in a brick and mortar store, so you might not get to “take a look” at it as I’ve suggested a few times. But hey! Who needs to visit a physical store to examine a shoe when you can view it from any angle, including a 360o clip of the shoe online?
11. Nike Men’s Metcon 3 Training Shoe
Everything you carry to a gym says something about your personality – from your gym bag to towels, shoes, and even a high tech wallet that clips to your gym shorts. If you truly want to stand out from the crowd, take a look at the Metcon 3. It is one of the best gym shoes for men who want to look cool while smashing their fitness goals.
There’s really no need to hype the Metcon 3. Nike did a tremendous job with this workout shoe, making it a regular feature on almost all gym shoe guides. The quality, comfortability, and looks rank it at the very top of the cross-trainer shoe category (never mind the fact that it is coming last on this list, I only saved the best for last).
Metcon 3 is not just a pretty face (I know it’s not human, but permit the expression). The shoe is designed to provide increased stability, flexibility, and rigidity, making it a perfect fit for weight training, agility, and the likes.
The shoe’s top is built with a durable mesh for increased airflow and adequate ventilation. These features mean you can focus more on reaching your target during your gym sessions instead of worrying about moisture buildup, hot feet, and frequent breaks to remove your shoes and get some fresh air.
The heel is wide and flat enough to support balance and flexibility, and each pair comes with moderate soft foam that provides a good base for heavy lifts. But whether you are lifting weight, doing leg squats, or any other HIIT, the Nike Metcon 3 is a great cross-trainer option that guarantees absolute comfort.
The shoe comes with reflective strips, meaning you don’t have to worry about training in low-light conditions. Plus, this shoe has got you covered if your gym outfit doesn’t come with pockets. Metcon 3 is fitted with small bonded back pockets for holding essentials such as coins, keys, and even a small media device.
There’s simply no reason for not buying this shoe if you care about the looks of your gym shoes just as much as your fitness goals.
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