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Review: Best Cross Training Shoes

Cross Training is a vital part of many workout routines and affords individuals the opportunity to exercise their entire bodies in diverse ways. Often used to describe a wide range of activities, the general concept behind cross training is exercise “across” multiple sports, and could mean a combination of running, weight-lifting, court games like basketball or volleyball, Frisbee; the list goes on and on. If you find yourself involved in a variety of sport and exercise activities, then you’re looking for an all-around, premium cross-training shoe.

Cross training shoes are engineered to perform well during a wide range of physical activities, and thus reside in a realm somewhere between a light running shoe and your everyday sneaker. Cross trainers are an important tool for exercise enthusiasts as they provide the lateral support that is needed for the stop and go movements found in court games to cross-fit.

The list below includes the best cross training shoe in 2021 for doing just about everything from basketball to tennis, gym workouts to light running. These shoes offer superior lateral support and a high level of comfort for extended wear.

Best Cross Training Shoe

New Balance Men's MX00 Minimus TR Cross Training Shoe

New Balance engineers have set the bar high by creating the Minimus Zero, which features an authentically natural design along with their FantomFit and REVlite RC technologies; ideal for much-needed support, protection, and cushioning during dynamic workouts. Fans of the Minimus Zero appreciate the lighter weight (8.4 ounces) and zero-drop profile from heel-to-toe, which brings the body closer to the ground, creating a higher sense of control. In addition, the Minimus Zero offers a no-sew upper, which eliminates irritation during tough exercise.

ASICS GEL-Exert TR Men's Cross Training Shoe

The ASICS GEL-Exert TR provides such excellent control and protection through its use of a full-length, Flexion Fit engineered upper, which effortlessly flows with every cross movement. Ideal for the most aggressive gym or court workouts, the lightweight cushioning is a product of a low-profile, SpEVA Midsole, which was designed to slow down midsole breakdown. This technology, coupled with lateral outriggers along the forefoot and ASICS articulated flex-grooves across the entire outsole, allow the stable responsiveness needed for dynamic, high-intensity workouts.

Nike Men's Lunar TR1 Cross Training Shoe

Analysis of the Nike Lunar Trainer 1 reveals a lightweight, low-profile cross trainer with a nearly barefoot-like ride, and a masterfully engineered outsole which provides superior traction for multi-surfaced workouts. Reinforced with Nike's patented Flywire, the no-sew, synthetic mesh upper locks your foot into place with well-ventilated, highly responsive, and supportive feel, allowing for sharp lateral cuts in whatever sport activity you're practicing. In utilizing pressure-mapping technology, the engineers have discovered where athletes need the most traction and cushioning, creating a durable rubber outsole that provides a confident grip on any terrain.

PUMA Men's Cell Surin Cross Training Shoe

While a bit on the heavier side at 12.9 ounces, the Puma Cell Surin offers unbeatable stability with its engineered midsole TPU Shank, perfect for those performing many explosive, multi-directional movements. Long lasting comfort is created with Puma's specialized heel cushioning unit and a breathable EcoOrthoLite sockliner, which allows for a dreamy, snug fit. A tough-grip, blown rubber outsole provides excellent traction on varied surfaces and will stand up to the continued wear and tear of all your aggressive workout routines.

Reebok Crossfit Nano 3.0

The Crossfit Nano 4.0 is an all-around cross training performance machine, excellent for any lifting schedule and supportive enough for light running. Reebok made this version a bit lighter while adding flexibility, and many avid supporters say these shoes are a perfect fit. Reebok's Duracage technology supports the trainer with a nearly indestructible upper, while their patented RopePro protection wrap is a unique addition for athletes utilizing rope climbs in their routines.

Added perks include a four millimeter heel-to-toe drop for increased stability, a multi-surface, rubber blown outsole for superior traction, and engineered pods in the heel and forefoot for delicate cushioning and shock absorption. The overall, Crossfit-specific design of the Reebok Crossfit Nano 4.0 makes it a solid choice for anyone wanting to train like a Spartan.

NIKE Lunar Cross Element Ladies Training Shoe

The Nike Lunar Cross Element has raised the standard for how durable a training shoe should be. What delivers this indestructibility is Nike's patented lightweight, ripstop mesh upper with Flywire wrapped cables. The Flywire technology allows dynamic stability that adapts to your specific and varying movements.

Synthetic overlays on the toe and medial arch of the Lunar Cross Element enhance durability for rope climbing and plank activities, while the no-sew upper offers superior comfort and breathability. The upper is seamlessly attached to Nike's coveted Lunarlon midsole, providing soft but responsive cushioning while a thin web-rubber outsole has elevated lugging in strategic areas for aggressive traction on varied surfaces.

With the most innovative technologies in the shoe business, the Nike Lunar Cross Element is a top choice for women looking to perform their best across a wide range of sport activities.

New Balance Women's WX20v3 Minimus Cross-Training Shoe

With a 4 millimeter drop from heel-to-toe, the Minimus 20v3 Cross trainer sits somewhere between a true minimalist, barefoot running shoe and your traditional lightweight cross trainer. The Minimus 20v3 was designed for neutral runners, who may struggle with chronic injuries or gait issues, to learn better, more efficient form.

A No-sew overlay application will keep you blister free during the toughest of your gym routines or middle distance runs. The Minimus 20v3 is equipped with anti-microbial, odor resistant materials, so can be worn sans socks, while a tough Vibram outsole provides substantial surface contact for 360 degree traction.

ASICS Women's Gel-Synthesis Running Shoe

Featuring ASICS Rearfoot GEL Cushioning System and their award winning Solyte Midsole Material, the GEL-Synthesis disperses shock during the impact phase and creates a smooth ride transition during any cross training activity. ASICS has slimmed down the trainer by using their lightest midsole compound to date, which provides enhanced cushioning and long lasting durability.

The GEL-Synthesis also introduces a lightweight, synthetic-leather shell with breathable, no-sew mesh for added support and comfort. This innovation is combined with a removable inner bootie that can be used separately for a variety of workouts from running to lifting.

Adidas Women's Adipure Climacool 360.2

Adidas Women's Adipure Climacool 360.2

Built with Climacool ventilation technology, the Adipure 360.2 features 360-degree cooling for the entire foot, keeping you dry throughout your toughest multidisciplinary movements. Adidas flex grooves have been cut into the non-marking rubber outsole for a more natural ride that won't scuff up the court.

Wear testers have ranked the Adipure 360.2 very high on their lists of best cross training shoes for women, making them a solid option for those of you looking for an all around shoe to use in the gym or on the streets.

Reebok Women's Crossfit Nano 4.0 Training Shoe

The latest evolution of the highly praised Nano series comes equipped with Duracage technology, delivering a featherlight yet indestructible upper. The innovative RopePro Protection Wrap gives the grip and support needed for climbing ropes.

The combination of a 4 millimeter heel-to-toe drop and shock absorbing pods in the forefoot and heel offers superior impact absorption and stability in a nearly barefoot, minimalist outfit. All of these technologies, coupled with an open, no-sew weave-mesh upper providing breathability, make for a great option for those seeking a training shoe that will hold up to the demand of your toughest workouts.

Olympic Rik
Rik is an elite distance runner, coach, and footwear specialist in Portland, Oregon. As a Dynamic Product Tester for well known shoe manufacturer, Rik analyzes the design, manufacture, and functionality of prototype running shoes. From simulated performance under high speed recording to multi-surface durability testing, his reviews cover every facet of shoe production. With over 12 years of experience as a competitive distance athlete, Rik is an expert on all things running. He has coached track and field at the collegiate level and currently coaches athletes competing in the 5k to Marathon distances.
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