These 10 Cross-Training Shoes Can Stand Up to Any Type of Training


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Many people go to the gym and stick to only one form of exercise. They stay on the treadmill the whole time, only attend the studio spin classes, or park themselves by the strength machines. While there’s nothing wrong with focusing on a single type of exercise, cross-training tends to be more beneficial overall, because it involves supplementing your routine with a variety of different workouts. If you primarily run, for example, cross-training by adding plyometrics or weightlifting to your workouts will help improve your strength and performance.

To effectively cross-train, you might assume that you need a bunch of different shoes — a dedicated pair for running, another made for lifting, and one specifically for HIIT. But according to Jake Boly, strength coach and founder of That Fit Friend, the right pair of cross-training shoes can go a long way. “I like to think of shoes as tools for accomplishing the task and goal at hand,” Boly tells POPUGAR. The more tailored your shoes are to your workout, the more efficiently you’ll be able to train.

There are many cross-training shoes out there, but since there isn’t just one way to cross-train, not all of them are made equal. “If you’re taking classes and doing HIIT workouts, then you’ll want a shoe with a responsive midsole and lightweight construction to keep you light on your feet and to give you more ‘bounce’ when training,” Boly explains. “If you’re lifting heavy weight, you’ll want a midsole that provides stability for balance and power production purposes.”

When shopping for cross-training shoes, Boly says there are three key areas you want to look at: the outsole, midsole, and upper.

  • Outsole: The outsole is the material on the very bottom of the shoe. This part of the sneaker is important for creating traction, which is especially important if you train on slippery gym floors.
  • Midsole: The midsole is the layer of foam between the outsole and the upper. It influences stability and responsiveness, Boly explains.
  • Upper: The upper is the part of the shoe that covers your foot. Breathability and durability are the most crucial factors here, Boly says, and they vary from shoe to shoe.

Still not sure exactly what you’ll need based on your workout routine? If so, read on to shop 10 of the best cross-training shoes, including a few of Boly’s favorites.

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