The Best Workout Shoes for 2021
Achieve your fitness goals in the right shoes for your routine
The best thing about trying out a new fitness regimen in 2021 is the number of options we have! Streaming boot camp, dance cardio at the gym, socially-distanced yoga, treadmills, weight machines, spin class – you name it, there is bound to be something to pique your interest and get you moving.
And because you have enough going on, we’ve put together a list of shoes to help you on your fitness journey.
Best Shoes for Strength Training
The most important thing to look for in a strength training shoe is stability. You don’t want too much bounce in the support because it could cause you to lose your balance, and unsteady feet + heavy weights = disaster. These styles will give you the support you need without throwing you off balance.
The Men’s Nike Flex Control TR4 has a midfoot strap across the top to give you extra stability, with rubber on the sides to keep you stable and a grooved, textured sole to keep you rock steady as you chase those gains.
The Women’s Nike Legend Essential 2 has a flat, stable heel plus extra side-to-side support. The sole of the shoe has grooves under the toes to keep it flexible, plus give you extra traction to grab any workout surface.
Best Shoes for Dance Cardio
In contrast to strength training shoes which need to provide stability, dance cardio shoes (for things like Jazzercise and Zumba), need to be lightweight and flexible. You want a shoe that won’t weigh you down and that will allow you to move freely as you bust a move all over the studio.
Dance your way to your fitness goals with the New Balance FuelCore NERGIZE. It has a snug fabric upper that will hold onto your foot while remaining flexible, with a midsole that uses New Balance’s proprietary REVlite technology – which makes it super light and cushioning. The low profile and slip-on design will give you all of the versatility you need to set the floor on fire!
Pro tip: order these shoes a half size up to make sure you have room to flex your foot as you turn and pivot on the floor.
Best Shoes for High Intensity Exercise
High intensity interval training (HIIT) demands a lot from you – agility, strength, persistence – and your shoes have to be able to keep up with every element of that. With Nike, you’ll fit the bill and then some.
The Men’s Nike Legend Essential 2 is great for HIIT (as well as weight lifting, which is no surprise). It has a flat heel for stability plus flexibility under the toes for freedom of movement to brace yourself when needed and tons of grip to help keep you steady during drills. The reinforced overlays on the back and sides and the high-abrasion honeycomb mesh on the top of the shoe will keep you going no matter how hard you train.
The Women’s Nike MC Trainer has a stable flat heel design, plus an added layer of support with a cushioned footbed and a thick foam midsole, giving the shoe its awesome profile. The grippy rubber outsole will give you the stability you need on any gym floor, and the durable synthetic and mesh upper is a perfect blend of durability and breathability for those hot workouts.
Best for Shoes Treadmill and Elliptical
Machine workouts need shoes that provide grip, stability, and comfort. For that, we recommend ASICS and Nike.
The Nike Quest 3 is a sleek, versatile shoe. It’s super comfortable from all sides – the breathable upper keeps you cool while rubber traction outsole keeps you steady on the machine. Put on your headphones and get your sweat on knowing no matter what you throw at this shoe, it’s going to give you the support you need.
The ASICS Gel Venture 7 is billed as a trail running shoe, and it also has everything you need for a machine workout. This shoe features an ORTHOLITE sockliner – which means it will literally form to your foot for ultimate support and comfort. It also has a heel cup that will help keep your foot in a neutral position, which means a reduced chance of injury. Plus, the gel tech in the heel will give you superior shock absorption. What else could you want in a shoe?
Best All-Around Cross-Training Shoes
If your workout routine is anything but routine, these shoes will give you the versatile support you need to switch from plyos to planks to pumping iron.
We’ve mentioned it once already, but it bears repeating: the Men’s Nike Legend Essential 2 is the best all-around gym shoe for guys. It has superior stability, traction, comfort, and style. Whatever your exercise, this cross-trainer will give you everything you need to get through your gym session.
The Women’s Nike In-Season TR 9 is the best of all worlds. Lightweight, comfortable, and cute, this shoe will do whatever you need it to. When you’re on the treadmill, the dual-density foam construction in the footbed will give you the support and bounce you need to take your run to the next level. The memory foam sockliner will mold to your foot to give you superior comfort and stability, whether you’re taking a dance class or sweating it out in a high-intensity workout. And the durable, dynamic traction pattern on the outsole will keep you steady during lifting and isometrics.
No matter what your routine demands, the right gym shoe will help you get fit while adding serious style to your workout.
All items in stock as of time of publication.