Best Gym Shoes 2021: Top Picks For Weightlifting, CrossFit, And More

There's a lot to factor in when searching for the best gym shoes, especially considering the large variety of styles available, all designed for different types of workouts and exercises.

Whether you're a beginner or a seasoner pro, you'll want a pair of trainers that remain comfortable, even during the most gruelling of sessions, and that will help you perform to the best of your ability.

With that being said, we've put together this list based on price, reviews, and unique features that we think make each of these shoes stand out from the crowd.

So, whether you're after something designed for CrossFit, like these Under Armour Tribase Reign 3's, or looking for something to help you tackle a tough HIIT session, like these Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 2's, then we've got you covered right here.

Best Gym Shoes

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Best Gym Shoes For Weightlifting - inov-8 Fastlift 335

Best gym shoes inov-8 product image of a singular all-black weightlifting shoe
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Brand: inov-8 | Material: Synthetic TPU | Closure: Lace-Up & Strap

If you're looking for a versatile shoe for all kinds of movements including squats with your top squat rack or bench press with your top weight bench, then the inov-8 Fastlift 335's might be for you.

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First and foremost, they come with a stable, caged heel that incorporates Power-Truss technology, which is designed to give you lateral stability and a stable base for lifting, particularly off the floor.

They also come with a secure Velcro strap which should help keep your feet planted and secure within the shoe whilst going for a particularly explosive squat for example.

All in all, if weightlifting is your primary reason for going to the gym, then the inov-8 Fastlift 335 provide a great option to help you get the most out of your lifts.

Best Gym Shoes For CrossFit - Under Armour Tribase Reign 3

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Brand: Under Armour | Material: Synthetic | Closure: Lace-Up

Under Armour have been making gym gear for many years, and its lastest Tribase Reign 3's have been designed for a more recent entry into the sports scene - CrossFit.

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The TriBase sole has been engineered to maximise ground contact and should help keep you stable whilst performing challenging and fast-paced lifts using top kettlebells for example during a CrossFit routine.

The shoe also has a low 2mm offset to further increase stability, whilst the outsole features grooves to improve traction during heavier lifts.

Ultimately, this is an ideal shoe for CrossFit enthusiasts thanks to its innovative design and features which tailor it to that particular form of exercising.

Best Gym Shoes For HIIT Workouts - Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 2

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Brand: Nike | Material: Synthetic | Closure: Lace-Up

Like Under Armour, Nike has been a brand synonymous with sports gear for a long time and its SuperRep 2's demonstrate why they've been at the very top for so long.

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What makes these shoes so good, particularly for HIIT workouts, is that they come with a wide base and a strong amount of cushioning which should keep you stable and protected from the impact of the kind of vigorous, jumping exercises typically found in HIIT routines.

Moreover, Nike has incorporated what they call the 'burpee break', a groove in the front designed to help you hold positions like planks, press-ups and, of course, burpees when you’re up on your toes.

On the whole, these shoes should provide you with enough comfort and stability during every kind of high-intensity exercise which is why they make for a great option for HIIT workouts.

Best Gym Shoes For Deadlifts - SABO Deadlift Shoes

Best gym shoes SABO product image of singular high-top black shoe
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Image Credit: SABO

Brand: SABO | Material: Synthetic | Closure: Lace-Up & Stap

As its name suggests, the SABO Deadlift Shoes are designed mainly for one type of lift in order to help you hit personal bests with your top weightlifting belt on a regular occurrence.

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The SABO Deadlift Shoes are more akin to basketball sneakers, which we questioned as to whether they'd make good gym shoes, than trainers.

Like basketball shoes, the ankle and metatarsal straps, high-top design, and the wide toe box should offer you loads of support and comfort when attempting to pull a heavy weight, even in a sumo stance.

Moreover, the soles of the shoe are ultra-thin, just 2 to 5mm depending on where you measure, allowing your feet to be as close to the ground as possible which is what you should be looking for in deadlifting shoes.

Ultimately, if you're a keen deadlifter and want a pair of shoes that have been engineered to help take your lifts up a gear, then the SABO Deadlift Shoes might be for you.

Best Gym Shoes For Cardio - adidas 4DFWD

Best gym shoes adidas product image of singular black, 3D printed shoe
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Brand: adidas | Material: Primeknit+ | Closure: Lace-Up

The adidas 4DFWD's featured in our best running shoes list so it may not come as a surprise to see it featured as one of the best gym shoes for cardio-based workouts.

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With the lightweight Primeknit+ outer and the responsive 3D-printed midsole, adidas 4DFWD's should be extremely comfortable whilst you run on the top treadmill or cycle on the top exercise bike in the gym.

Furthermore, the 3D-printed midsole utilises adidas' latest technology to generate three times as much forward motion when compared to its previous 4D midsoles, so, for running in particular, these shoes should help you smash your PB.

All in all, if your primary form of exercise in the gym is cardio, then these lightweight trainers from adidas might just be for you.

Frequently Asked Questions About Gym Shoes

With so many different types of gym shoes available, you may have a few questions about what makes each of them stand out, but don't worry because we're here to clear up a few of the most common queries.

Why Are There Different Shoes For Different Exercises?

The reason why there is such a variety in shoes is that each exercise and workout requires different levels of support from your feet.

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For example, with weightlifting-specific shoes, you might find they have a raised heel which should allow you to drop deeper into squats, and the sole is a lot stiffer in order to provide more stability.

Conversely, a shoe built for running will typically come with a lot of padding in the midsole to help absorb some of the shocks delivered when your feet come into contact with the floor during each stride.

So, with that being said, the ideal gym shoe for you all depends on what kind of workout you tend to go for in the gym.

Why Do You Need A Flat Sole For Deadlifting?

As seen with the SABO's, shoes designed mainly for deadlifting tend to come with a flat sole.

This is because you ideally want as much of your feet in contact with the floor as possible so you have the most stability and friction to lift the weight off the ground.

Deadlifting shoes also tend to come with hard soles so you don't lose any power when driving through your legs as more cushioned soles would absorb some of that drive which could result in you failing to complete the lift.

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How Long Should My Gym Shoes Last?

This really depends on how often you use them and how much punishment you put them through.

Although there is no definitive time frame, some signs you need new gym shoes include: being in physical pain around your feet during a workout, you're getting blisters, the sole is worn through, and so on.

Also, if the sole and midsole isn't as cushioned, or as hard if they're for weightlifting, as they used to be then maybe it's time to start looking for some new trainers.

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