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One shoe certainly doesn’t fit for all when it comes to the gym, with finding the best gym shoes to suit the demands of your workout being of huge importance.
Getting this decision wrong can put additional pressure on your muscles and joints, increasing the chances of injury in the process.
As a result, I have put together a list of some of the best gym trainers on the market today, with each having been designed with different types of athletes in mind.
Whether you are into CrossFit, running, weightlifting, treadmill or if you are something of an all-rounder, you will find something to suit your needs below. I’ve also taken into consideration all of the important factors surrounding purchasing a new gym trainer, including fit, price, materials and style.
Let’s kick things off by taking a look at my first trainer on the list.
The Nano series from Reebok has been around since back in 2010, with the 8 Flexweave being designed to meet the demands of CrossFit athletes in order to develop their most comfortable product to date.
The Flexweave upper provides both durability and breathability, whilst I also found that it offers additional stability during training due to its lockdown functionality.
Meanwhile, the outsole of the Nano 8 is designed specifically with CrossFit in mind, providing excellent grip when dynamic lifts or movements are being carried out.
Elsewhere, I found that the flex grooves in the forefoot really allow for flexibility, perfect for the wide range of exercises carried out in CrossFit or HIIT training.
The Nano 8 is both simplistic and attractive in its design and includes a range of colourways with each shoe. Weighing in at around 283g (UK size 9), the Nano manages to offer stability, durability and flexibility, something in which all CrossFit athletes will appreciate.
Those looking to beat their PB’s and improve performance in the gym should definitely consider investing in a pair of the new Nano 8 Flexweave’s from Reebok. Considering the price point, the trainers are well worth the money and offer a great alternative to many of the more common mainstream manufacturers.
Reebok designed the Nano 8 so you can push physical limits. A new heel bootie construction creates ultimate performance comfort with the addition of a CMEVA moulded midsole and ...
The Epic React is a relatively new shoe from Nike, with its foam-cushioning-design helping to provide one of the comfiest products on the market. As well as this, the fact that they are supremely lightweight and responsive means that they are an excellent running shoe for those exercising both in the gym and on the streets.
During testing, I found that I get more response from the Epic React with the more force that I created, while Nike claims that their Lunarlon cushioning offers 13% extra return.
Flyknit is a material found in a huge number of Nike products today, with this helping to hug the foot at all times, adding to the stability in the process.
For those running in the gym, you will find traction only where you need it, with the Epic React rubber sections on the tie and heel offering grip when needed the most.
Weighing in at 239g (UK size 9), these shoes certainly provide the durability needed too and on top of that, they are also one of the best-looking product of their kind available today.
For serious lifters, there are few gym trainers better than the Adidas Power Perfect 3. I genuinely found that these shoes were able to assist in the progression of lifting more weights in the time that I used them, which is pretty crazy.
These shoes provide excellent stability, with the elevated heel also resulting in greater mobility during testing, perfect for those looking to execute deeper squats and improved deadlifts.
This version of the Power Perfect also includes a mesh toe box, that helps to improve breathability, while the strap and lacing system helped to ensure that my feet remained stable at all times during training. Elsewhere, a wedge midsole also allows for only adds to the stability on offer.
Adidas have produced some fantastic weightlifting shoes in the past, however, the Power Perfect 3 makes use of the latest technology in order to provide perhaps the best product to date in this area. These shoes are affordable for most potential customers and they come in a few different block colours in order to suit your needs.
The adidas Power Perfect III Weightlifting Shoe gives you optimum stability and lightweight support. A high-density midsole provides exceptional cushioning and comfort while the ...
Those who enjoy running on the treadmill or taking advantage of your gym’s cross trainers should certainly consider investing in the Fresh Foam Zante v4 from New Balance.
These shoes provide huge amounts of cushioning thanks to the foam material used on the midsole and the engineered mesh helps to keep them both lightweight and breathable.
I found that the full-contact outsole provided excellent transitioning during steps when on the treadmill and cross trainer in particular, with the shoes Hypo-Skin in the upper helping to lock down the foot, ensuring no additional movement occurs.
The New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v4 is another that comes in at a good price point. they also come in a range of neutral colourways, perfect for those more individual gym attendees.
The Nike Free TR v8 is perfect for those looking for a good all-round gym shoe. Due to the fact that it offers natural movement for cardio activity, as well as lockdown for heavy lifting, it can be used in a variety of different activities within the gym.
I found that the foam midsole offered excellent cushioning when running on the treadmill, while flex grooves also help to promote natural movement for things like CrossFit and even Yoga.
Elsewhere, a wing-like feature helps to keep your feet stable during lifts such as squats and deadlifts, while the mixture of synthetic and textile materials on the upper provides both breathability and durability.
These shoes utilise Free technology that is synonymous with Nike’s running shoes, making the Free TR v8 feel like you are as close to barefoot as possible. The Free TR v8 is both affordable and easy on the eye.
Regardless of what type of exercises you undertake in the gym, it is hugely important to find the right kind of shoes to fit your needs. As a result, before making your decision, it is also important to take on board the following factors.
Those purchasing shoes for cardio or running exercise may wish to leave a small amount of room in order to allow for improve your performance, but this will not be the case with weightlifting or CrossFit products. Here, you will want the shoes to fit relatively tight, optimising balance at all times.
Different types of gym shoes are likely to have different lacing systems based on their functionality, with lifting shoes often featuring an additional strap in order to maximise lockdown. However, this will clearly not be suitable for those looking for a flexible ride when on the treadmill or during a HIIT class.
Gym shoes have become increasingly lightweight over recent years, however, those undertaking certain heavy lifts or compound movements may wish to have something a little bit more durable, while runners are likely to prefer a more barefoot-feel.
Those who train at the gym are perhaps dealing with some form of injury, which having the wrong form of footwear can only worsen. As a result, it is important to ensure that the type of shoes that you purchase is not going to have any negative effect, while some may even support your issue due to their stability and mobility.