7 Best Nike Training Shoes in 2024

Nicholas Rizzo
Nicholas Rizzo on
7 Best Nike Training Shoes in 2024
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Nike fans looking for a pair of versatile and dependable training shoes for gym workouts, non-stop jumping, and hardcore weightlifting need not look far. A brand known for its stylish sneakers and performance running kicks, the Swoosh brand has been keen on expanding its catalog.

Whether you’re a HIIT junkie trying to set a new PB or a beginner weightlifter on the lookout for the most stable kicks to jumpstart your game, we have got you covered. We even went the extra mile to look for the REAL superb Nike training shoes by testing them in different circumstances and conditions, inside and outside our lab.

How we test training shoes

True, Nike training shoes are good-looking and all, but the question is - do they deliver performance-wise? Enter: RunRepeat. 

Here at RunRepeat, we are shoe-doting geeks who are here to tell you which shoes are all hype and which actually work. To achieve this, we do the following:

  • Buy shoes using our own money to avoid pressure from brand partnerships.
  • Work out and train using the shoes. We head out to our gyms to personally experience what the shoes feature. We check everything - price, looks, comfort, support, durability, and more.
  • Weigh, measure, test, and even stretch and flex every shoe to its limits. We slice the shoes into pieces so we can have a broader view of what we are dealing with inside our lab.

For more information about our testing methodology, check out this link.

Best Nike training shoes overall

What makes it the best?

The Nike Free Metcon 5 is the best training shoe from Nike because the synergy of its amazing qualities allows us to perform a variety of exercises with ease. It was so supportive; lifting was such a breeze in it. Its midsole tooling under the heel felt so plush and comfortable, ensuring pain-free strides. This shoe’s heel-to-toe drop cemented this shoe’s status as a versatile trainer.

The amount of support that this shoe delivered was the result of a synergy between several factors. Of utmost importance were the secure clasp around the ankle and the wide base, especially around the heel. The collar hugged the rear part of the foot because of its generous padding. Plus, the heel area of the midsole is wider than the average by 8.1 mm. Given this much additional space, the possibility of our feet slipping off the footbed was nil.

When it comes to the midsole tooling, the heel area is again a point of interest. Our HA durometer in the lab measured the softness of this part to be 17.4 when the average goes as high as 27.0. The heel indeed felt soft underfoot, and it delivered an ample amount of protection when we ran and made impactful jumps and landings.

Our caliper measurements showed that this shoe’s heel-to-toe drop is 6.4 mm. Based on our experience, shoes with drops ranging from 4 mm to 8 mm offer the most functional versatility. True enough, the Nike Free Metcon 5 allowed us to perform different types of exercises with ease: from runs in place to push-ups and even moderate lifting.

This shoe would have been perfect if not for the width of its toe box: the caliper pegged the width of the widest part of the toe box at 107.9 mm. It makes this part of the shoe 7.4 mm wider than average, and that’s a lot!


  • Impressively stable
  • Noteworthy ankle support
  • Awesomely close-fitting
  • Roomy toebox
  • Nice and airy upper
  • Comfortable for all-day wear
  • Quite cushiony
  • Notably lightweight
  • Exceptionally flexible
  • Stylish design and overall look


  • Not for long runs (2-3 miles max)
  • Upper lacks durability
Full review of Nike Free Metcon 5

Best Nike training shoes for weightlifting

Nike Romaleos 4

What makes it the best?

Lifting weights, no matter how heavy, was such a breeze with the Nike Romaleos 4 because of its wide base, very firm heel counter, and effective way of keeping our posture upright. Without a doubt, this shoe is the best for weightlifting among Nike’s trainers.

Just by looking at it, we already saw how wide the midsole platform was. Using a caliper, we ascertained its dimensions. It’s 111.5 mm wide at the forefoot and 91.3 mm wide at the heel. Compared to the averages, these figures are higher by 4.4 mm and 4.2 mm, respectively. Because of the base’s width, we lifted without worries that our feet would slide off the shoe.

The heel counter is also worth a nice mention. It was just so firm that our ankles felt securely locked down. After manually squeezing it in the lab, we gave this part a perfect 5 for stiffness and resistance.

A drop of 20.5 mm didn’t deviate far from the advertised 19.05 mm, and it helped not only in stabilizing our feet but also in engaging our calves and straightening out our backs.

The durability of the upper was a source of worry, though. After twelve seconds of Dremel drilling, a see-through hole was already formed.


  • Phenomenal stability
  • Sturdy platform and sole
  • Better lockdown with two straps
  • Comfortable for a lifting shoe
  • True to size
  • Efficient traction
  • Appealing looks


  • Upper lacks durability
  • Not for narrow ankles
  • Not breathable
Full review of Nike Romaleos 4

Best Nike training shoes for HIIT

What makes it the best?

After many workouts and countless hours in the lab, we crowned the Nike Air Zoom TR 1 as the top HIIT Nike training shoe. Its explosive yet flexible nature allows us to perform bursts of various workouts efficiently and effectively while maintaining our steadiness—care of the grippy outsole.

The Air Zoom unit embedded in the midsole serves as the powerhouse force of this shoe, providing unwavering energy for effortless run intervals and jumping exercises. Complementing the bounce is a soft cushion that absorbs impact protection to save us from fatigue. Our durometer confirms it’s 24.6% less dense than the average trainer.

We never encountered issues as we performed mountain climbs and planks as the midsole moved freely with minimal resistance. Our bend test confirms it’s 8.8% more flexible than average, explaining the shoe’s natural feel. To ensure we avoid moving uncontrollably, Air Zoom TR 1 makes its outsole extra grippy. Our durometer reveals it’s 10.0% softer than average, translating to better traction.

Unfortunately, the impermeable upper made our intense workouts feel more heated due to its lack of ventilation. Those looking for breathability will have plenty of other options.


  • Dependable bite on gym floors
  • Pretty durable toebox
  • Good impact protection
  • Nice lateral stability
  • Secure heel hold
  • Smooth heel-to-toe transitions
  • OK for occasional outdoor use


  • Not breathable at all
  • Not for wide-footers
  • Not for heavy lifting
Full review of Nike Air Zoom TR 1

Best Nike training shoes for speed

What makes it the best?

The Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 is our #1 pick for the undisputed speedster in Nike's training shoe stable, as we found that the responsive and bouncy midsole just makes us move faster. It also has outstanding flexibility and a highly durable outsole, which help it seal the deal as our best Nike training shoe for speed.

Whether it's a short run or an explosive jump, the Metcon Turbo 2 always puts a big bounce in our step whenever we have the need for speed. That's thanks to its responsive midsole foam, which has a Zoom Air unit in the forefoot. That foam is also quite soft and comfortable; we measured it to be 17% softer than the average training shoe.

The shoe features amazing flexibility that makes us feel much more agile while performing plyometrics or other dynamic exercises. It took 32% less force than average to bend it 90 degrees in our flexibility lab test.

We also have no doubt that the Metcon Turbo 2’s outsole is durable enough to withstand the pounding of speed-intensive workouts. Not only is the outsole rubber 2.5% harder than the average training shoe, but it is also 17.5% thicker.

However, the Metcon Turbo 2’s heaviness weighs it down as a speedy trainer. At 12.06 oz (342g), it is actually 0.5 oz (16g) heavier than the average training shoe.


  • Bouncy Zoom Air in the forefoot
  • Good for short runs
  • Perfect for jumps and aerobics
  • Stable for moderate lifting
  • Excellent flexibility
  • Amazingly breathable
  • Durable outsole


  • Upper is not durable rope climbing
  • Heavy for a "speed-oriented" trainer
Full review of Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2

Best minimalist Nike training shoes

What makes it the best?

The Flex Control 4 takes the cake as the best minimalist shoe from Nike because its structure had very little resistance to our flexions, allowing us a wider range of motion. Given the amount of air that it let in during our test workouts, we even forgot that we actually have shoes on. Its feather-like lightness is also worth noting.

In the lab, we assessed the heel counter stiffness and torsion resistance with our bare hands. After squeezing it, the heel counter got a score of 2 out of 5 for stiffness. The shoe’s base, for its part, also got a score of 2 out of 5 for rigidity after a number of manual twists. Many points for flexibility (and, therefore, minimalism)!

The upper material is quite light and porous. In the lab, we placed it over a light source and saw that it is covered in numerous tiny holes that definitely let air in and out. Indeed, we felt the air from all directions. This shoe got a 3 out of 5 from us for ventilation.

At 9.8 oz or 277g, the Nike Flex Control 4 is indeed lighter than the average gym shoe, which weighs 11.2 oz or 317 grams. In the gym, we felt like we had ‘phantom’ shoes on. It’s there to provide protection, but we never felt its weight on our feet.

We cannot recommend this shoe to exercisers who need a lot of impact protection. Our HA durometer in the lab showed that the midsole has a softness score of 32.0, which makes it significantly firmer than the average midsole which has a score of only 27.0.


  • Comfortable in-shoe feel
  • Lighter than average
  • Very flexible
  • Foot feels planted
  • Budget-friendly
  • Good grip
  • Simple aesthetics
  • True to size


  • Durability issues
  • Not for serious workouts
Full review of Nike Flex Control 4

Best budget Nike training shoes

What makes it the best?

The Nike Legend Essential 3 is undoubtedly one of the cheapest Nike training shoes out there. It costs only $65 while the average price for Nike shoes can go as high as $101. But more than just an attractive price tag, this shoe also delivered a just-enough impact protection during our test workouts. It also felt comfortable all over. These benefits were enough to convince us that the Legend Essential 3 is the training shoe from Nike that offers so much without asking a lot from our pockets.

After assessing the softness of the midsole in the lab, we learned that this shoe’s tooling is actually more balanced. Our HA durometer measured it to be 26.3 while the average is 27.0. Having this type of midsole allowed us to be pain-free as we do jumping ropes and box jumps.

The Legend Essential 3 was also quite big on comfort. It had a thicker-than-average tongue that hugged the top of our feet comfortably and securely. Through caliper measurements, we learned that the tongue is 6.2 mm thick while the average is 5.8 mm. This shoe also offered a good deal of ventilation, getting 4 out 5 during our breathability tests. 

The softness of the midsole was actually a two-edged sword. While we enjoyed the impact protection that it delivered, we cannot do heavier weightlifting with it. The Legend Essential 3’s midsole just couldn’t give the stiffness that we needed during those times.


  • Very affordable
  • Super lightweight
  • Breathable upper
  • Enough cushioning for jumps
  • Wide platform
  • Flexible
  • Good grip


  • Lacks durability
  • Not for heavy lifting
Full review of Nike Legend Essential 3

Best Nike training shoes for Crossfit

Nike Metcon 9

What makes it the best?

We tested the limits of Nike trainers in the lab and the gym and found Metcon 9 to be the most suitable for CrossFit. It has a sturdy base and a firm foothold to support our power stance and heavy lifts. It displays flexibility and reliable grip for other floor workouts, jumps, and climbs. Metcon 9 handles any WOD we throw at it with ease!

From deadlifts to heavy squats — the wide and sturdy base assists us despite the absence of a raised heel. Our caliper confirms a vast 116.9/95.0 mm forefoot and heel area. With its generous platform, raised sidewalls, and an upper that locks our foot down, we’re able to control our balance. Metcon 9 goes the extra mile by incorporating a non-compressible Hyperlift plastic under the heel for extra support.

Metcon 9 feels versatile for most exercises. In our bend test, it stands 15.0% more malleable than average. It grips well on our wall and rope climbs because of the sidewalls. Despite the friction, it barely showed signs of wear. 

Underfoot, the traction performs flawlessly on gym floors and feels like it will last long. Our durometer confirms an above-average 91.0 HC measurement. Harder rubber means it’s more resilient.

Given its lower-than-average stack, we learned that Metcon 9 isn’t the most suitable for cardio and rope jumps. It lacks the cushion for repetitive landing impact.


  • Exceptionally stable for weightlifting
  • One of the most durable cross-trainers
  • The best shoe for rope climbs
  • Reliable foot containment
  • Very comfortable in-shoe feel
  • Nice grip on gym floors
  • Accommodates wide feet (finally!)
  • Surprisingly flexible


  • Heavier than average (and previous Metcons)
  • Not great for cardio workouts and rope jumps
  • So-so breathability
Full review of Nike Metcon 9

A buyer's guide on Nike training shoes

Nike training shoes are designed to meet the needs of athletes at every level, regardless of their experience in the gym or fitness level. Still, with so many possibilities, deciding which Nike training shoe is best for you can seem overwhelming.

We are here to help you make the right purchasing decision. 

Choosing Nike training shoes for you

Here are five essential factors to consider while choosing a pair of Nike training shoes:

Workout type

Various workout types call for different shoe types. Choose a shoe that is made for the activities you will be performing in your training shoes by taking these activities into consideration.

Consider a shoe with high cushioning and support if, for instance, you plan to do a lot of running. On the other hand, if your workout will mostly involve lifting weights, you’ll want a minimum amount of cushioning and increased traction and ground connection.


Here is a brief overview of the popular Nike trainers and what they are best for:

Shoe Best for
Nike Metcon Crossfit, weightlifting (moderate to heavy), rope climbing
Nike Free Metcon HIIT, weightlifting (light to moderate)
Nike Metcon Turbo HIIT, agility training, short runs, weightlifting (light)
Nike Air Zoom SuperRep HIIT, cardio, aerobics
Nike Romaleos weightlifting (heavy)


Your personal tastes and the type of exercise you'll be doing will determine how much cushioning you require in your training shoes. To lessen the impact on your joints and absorb shock, look for shoes with sufficient cushioning.


Minimal cushioning (21.8 mm in the heel)


Max-cushioned (31.7 mm in the heel)


You’ll need a shoe with a good level of traction to prevent your foot from slipping and sliding during your workout. Nike shoes that incorporate rubber pods or grooves on the outsole are a good option.


If you frequently do rope climbs, make sure that the shoe has appropriate sidewalls for grip and abrasion resistance.



Look for a training shoe with a good amount of ventilation in order to keep your feet cool and dry. Mesh or knit uppers are a good option here.


The comfort and performance of your training shoes depend on how well they fit. In order for your toes to be able to move freely, the shoe should fit snugly but not too tightly. To guarantee a proper fit, try on shoes at the end of the day when your feet are most swollen.


FAQs about Nike training shoes

Do Nike training shoes fit true to size?

The majority of Nike Training shoes run true to size, however, it's important to remember that every person has different feet, so what fits one person comfortably might not fit another person the same way. To achieve a suitable fit, it is always advised to try on shoes before buying.

Due to changes in design, construction, and intended use, various Nike training shoe types may also fit differently. For instance, the fit of a running shoe could differ from that of a cross-training shoe or a weightlifting shoe. When choosing a size for a shoe, it's critical to keep the intended purpose in mind.


Can Nike training shoes be used for running?

Sure, many Nike training shoes may be used for running, but if running will be your main activity, it's best to choose a shoe that is made for running.

What is the difference between Nike running shoes and Nike training shoes?

Nike running shoes are made exclusively for running and offer support and cushioning to lessen the effect of constant forward motion. In contrast, Nike training shoes offer support for lateral motions, jumping, and weightlifting and are made for a variety of sports.

When compared to running shoes, Nike training shoes are frequently more adaptable and may be used for a range of workouts, whereas running shoes are made exclusively for running and may not perform as well in other activities. To ensure the best possible performance and comfort, take into account the kind of workouts you'll be undertaking and select shoes made especially for those activities.

Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 Heel tab

Nicholas Rizzo
Nicholas Rizzo
Nick combines 10+ years of experience in the health and fitness industry and a background in the sciences in his role as the Fitness Research Director. During his competitive powerlifting years his PRs have him sitting in the top 2% of bench presses (395 lbs), top 3% of squats (485 lbs) and top 6% of deadlifts (515 lbs) for his weight and age. His work has been featured on Bodybuilding.com, LiveStrong, Healthline, WebMD, WashingtonPost, and many more. Along the way, collaborating with industry leaders like Michael Yessis, Mark Rippetoe, Carlo Buzzichelli, Dave Tate, Ray Williams, and Joel Seedman.