what are cross training shoes

Have you ever wondered what cross-training shoes are? You might have seen them in stores or heard about them from fitness enthusiasts, but understanding their purpose and design is essential for maximizing your workout potential.

Cross-training shoes, engineered to support various activities like running, weightlifting, and aerobics, offer versatility and stability for your workouts. With features designed to cushion impacts and provide lateral support, they’re the go-to footwear for multifaceted training routines.

But these shoes aren’t just about aesthetics or comfort; they’re about enhancing your performance across different exercises. Keep reading to learn more about them.

What are cross training shoes?

Cross-training shoes are footwear that is designed for various types of workouts and exercises. These shoes typically have a combination of features from different athletic shoes, such as running, basketball, and weightlifting shoes. 

These shoes provide a balanced blend of stability, support, flexibility, and cushioning. Interestingly, Athletes, fitness lovers, and people who participate in functional fitness programs such as CrossFit, HIIT (high-intensity interval training), and circuit training love them.

What are Cross-Training Shoes Good For

As we have explained above, cross-training shoes are a type of athletic footwear designed for various exercises and sports. In layman’s English, they’re the all-around champions of workout shoes because they’re versatile and offer great support, stability, and comfort. Let’s look at some activities where cross-training shoes shine and are used.

1. Gym Workouts

Cross-training shoes are perfect for gym workouts as they provide a stable base for lifting weights, doing squats, or performing lunges. They offer good cushioning and shock absorption, which helps protect your joints and muscles during high-impact activities. They are also comfortable, lightweight, and designed to withstand the wear and tear of the gym environment. They are used for a wide range of gym workouts, from strength training and cardio to agility drills and group fitness classes.

2. Dance Classes

Cross-training shoes can be a good choice for certain dance classes, particularly those that involve a mix of movements and lateral actions. They provide versatility, support, stability, durability, traction, and cushioning, which are beneficial for dance styles like hip-hop or aerobic-based classes. However, specialized dance styles may still require specific dance shoes tailored to their unique requirements, such as ballet or tap shoes. In such cases, it’s advisable to follow the guidance of your dance instructor or studio for appropriate footwear.

3. Circuit Training

Cross-training shoes are an excellent choice for circuit training workouts due to their versatility, support, stability, durability, traction, cushioning, and lightweight design. They can accommodate the variety of exercises involved in circuit training, from weightlifting and bodyweight exercises to cardio elements while providing the necessary comfort and protection for your feet. Their ability to handle quick changes in direction and different gym surfaces makes them a practical and well-rounded footwear option for circuit training.

4. Short Distance Running

Cross-training shoes can be a reasonable choice for short-distance running, as they offer versatility, support, and durability suitable for occasional runs. They provide adequate arch support, cushioning, and lateral support, making them a practical option for individuals who engage in a mix of activities, including running. However, for more serious or frequent runners, specialized running shoes are recommended due to their optimized features for longer distances and reduced risk of running-related injuries.

5. Court Sports

Cross-training shoes can be a reasonable choice for court sports, especially for recreational or less competitive play. They offer versatility, support, durability, traction, and cushioning, making them suitable for activities like tennis, basketball, or volleyball. However, serious and competitive players may benefit from specialized sport-specific shoes tailored to the demands of their respective games, which can provide enhanced performance and injury prevention.

5 Tips to Choose a Cross-Training Shoe

Now that you have an answer to what are cross training shoes, how do you pick the shoe that’s just right for you? Fret not because we’ve got your back!

1.Fit for Your Feet

Like Cinderella’s glass slipper, the right cross-training shoe should fit your feet like a glove. Look for a snug yet comfortable fit that prevents unnecessary sliding or pinching during lateral movements. Remember, your feet might swell a bit during exercise, so it’s wise to try on shoes when they are at their largest at the end of the day.

2. Versatility is Key

Cross-training shoes are the chameleons of the athletic shoe world. They need to handle a variety of movements, from jumping jacks to squats and sprints. Opt for a shoe with adequate cushioning to absorb impact, sufficient ankle support to prevent twists, and a flexible sole for natural movement. This way, you’ll be ready to tackle any exercise that comes your way.

3. Breathability Rules

Sweating it out during a workout is a given, but nobody wants their feet to feel like they’re in a sauna. Look for cross-trainers with breathable materials to keep your feet cool and dry. Mesh panels and moisture-wicking linings are your best friends in the battle against sweaty feet.

4. Stylishly You

Who says you have to compromise style for functionality? Nowadays, cross-training shoes come in many designs and colours to match your flair. Whether you’re into vibrant neon shades or classic monochromes, a pair out there screams ‘you’. Embrace your style while embracing those burpees!

5. Quality Over Bargains

While the allure of a great deal is hard to resist, remember that quality is a long-term investment. A well-constructed cross-training shoe might have a slightly higher price tag, but it’ll withstand the test of time and intense workouts. Don’t skimp on durability and support for a few dollars off – your feet will thank you later.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are cross training shoes good for running?

Cross training shoes are designed to provide versatility for a variety of activities including running, but they may not offer the same level of support and cushioning as specialized running shoes. If you’re running longer distances or have specific running needs, it’s generally recommended to use running shoes for optimal performance and injury prevention. However, for occasional or shorter runs, cross training shoes can suffice.

Can I use cross training shoes for weightlifting?

Cross training shoes can be suitable for weightlifting due to their stable base and support. They offer features like firm soles and lateral support, which can help with weightlifting movements. However, if you’re into serious powerlifting, you might benefit from specialized weightlifting shoes that provide even more stability and support for heavy lifts.

How often should I replace my cross training shoes?

The lifespan of cross training shoes can vary depending on factors such as frequency of use, intensity of workouts, and your body weight. A general guideline is to replace them every 6-12 months or when you start noticing signs of wear and tear, loss of cushioning, or decreased support. If you’re an avid athlete or engage in high-impact activities regularly, you might need to replace them more frequently.

Do cross training shoes have good arch support?

Cross training shoes typically offer moderate to good arch support, but it can vary depending on the specific model and brand. Some cross training shoes are designed with enhanced arch support to cater to individuals with flat feet or high arches. It’s essential to try on different pairs and choose the one that provides the right level of support and comfort for your feet. If you have specific arch support needs, consider using orthotic inserts for additional support and customization.


To sum it up, cross-training shoes are the versatile stars of the athletic footwear world. They’re ideal for various activities, from gym workouts to group classes and sports. Investing in good cross-training shoes will keep you comfortable and supported, regardless of your exercise routine. I hope you’ve found an answer to the question ”what are cross training shoes”

By Tunde Rasheed

I'm a fitness coach with a passion for writing. I spend most of my leisure time working out, reading and writing. I created dhammyfit to help you get the most out of your cardio workout sessions.

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