10 Best Cross-training Shoes For Women in 2021
Cross-training shoes have become more and more appealing to women, especially those who want to cut back on their expenses. Because of their versatility, these shoes can be used for different types of workouts: from running to weightlifting and even HIIT.
Hence, we at RunRepeat took it upon ourselves to test more than 300 cross-training shoes for women so that we can come up with our top picks for ACTUAL performance. Never mind the marketing spiels, it’s always the experience that counts here.
Overview of this guide
How we choose the best cross-trainers for women
Our top picks would only make sense to you if we are fair and reasonable in our assessments. In order to ensure fairness, we do the following:
- Buy ladies’ cross-training shoes using our own money. This eliminates sponsorship bias, which may cause us to be extra kind to the brands who gave us freebies.
- Use the shoes in actual rotational workouts. Of course, we won’t appreciate the full potential of cross-training shoes if we limit their usage to one type of workout. All our top picks here went through workout circuits conducted by our experts.
To give you a more holistic picture of how each cross-training shoe works, we also come up with a Corescore. This numerical rating is practically the weighted average of the scores given by experts and regular fitness enthusiasts from in and out of RunRepeat.
Newer releases in a series are like younger siblings: they are always compared to the ones before them, so they better be really good. Well, comparison-loving lasses surely found their match with the Metcon 7. This model is just outstanding, both in its own right and when compared to previous Metcons.
The most notable feature of this shoe is perhaps Nike React. This cushioning technology came from Nike Running, and having it here made this shoe really a lot more “runnable” than the previous releases. Every step gets sufficiently energized, and the midsole also delivers enough impact protection.
React and other relevant features also made this shoe more suitable for exercises such as burpees and double-enders. What more could we ask for?
Those ladies who love working out with ropes will surely love this one. This shoe was equipped with a rope guard on the medial side, giving it the right traction needed when rope climbing. Just this little thoughtfulness from Nike already won us over.
Indeed, the Nike Metcon 7 is a dependable all-round shoe. It’s a dependable partner whatever workout program you want to follow.
Don’t get us wrong here! The Reebok Nano X1, which we are about to discuss next, is not in any way inferior to the Nike Metcon 7. To us, they are of equal footing. However, there could only be one the “best overall” shoe, so we just let a simple toss coin decide the fate of these two. Sorry, Reebok!
Anyway, we have nothing but endless praises for these Reebok cross-training shoes. It surely seemed like the Nano X1 was designed with versatility in mind. It has been a great companion for running, strength training, and even some home workouts.
At the foundation of it all is the comfort that this shoe delivered. No matter how well equipped a shoe is, no one would want to wear it if it isn’t comfortable. The Nano X1 cradled our feet with its soft and breathable knit upper and generously cushioned soles.
Speaking of cushion, the midsole is equipped with a foam used in Reebok’s running shoes. This tooling delivered so much impact protection that we were able to run for hours and we still didn’t feel sore after. We even wanted to do more workouts! Now if this isn’t awesome, we don’t really know what is.
Best for HIIT
HIIT is effective in toning the body and ridding it of excess fat. Yet, it’s super tiring to do. It’s not called “high-intensity” for nothing. Hence, you need the Nike ZoomX SuperRep Surge as a partner for your HIIT sessions.
The midsole tooling is just so comfortable and soft. It’s bouncy so there was no need to exert so much effort just to get things done. It was also so comfortable that we felt like we were walking on clouds and/or air. We certainly could go on gigs or even work while wearing this amazing Nike shoe.
Speaking of using this shoe beyond workouts, we just love how the SuperRep Surge looks! The color choices aren’t so bright, but they are definitely OK enough to make this shoe look pretty upbeat.
We were also in awe of how supportive this shoe was. Our feet felt so locked in without ever feeling restricted or choked. There was pressure, but it was just enough to make you feel confident that your feet were safe as you do more intense routines.
The Nike ZoomX SuperRep Surge just made things so much easier that we actually thought we could work out longer. Can you believe it?!
Nike once again hits the jackpot with the SuperRep Go 2. This workout shoe is so versatile that it can be used for different types of workouts: from running to box jumping and even weightlifting. If you are someone who loves HIIT, then this model is the perfect companion for you.
Its cushioning system is really worth the hype. It definitely made us feel like we were walking on cottony clouds. We couldn’t complain even if our workout times were extended by our coaches; our feet didn’t hurt at all. This shoe really delivered top-of-the-line cradling and impact protection.
Another noteworthy aspect is the support that the Nike SuperRep Go 2 gave. Even if the workouts had been really fast and explosive, we didn’t experience any shoe-induced wobbliness. The outer arc design and the 360-degree ribbing really did wonders for foot containment. Nike should implement this on all their workout shoes.
When it comes to looks, this shoe is not to be overlooked. It has a very sleek design that really is free from all distractions. It’s also quite light, so we were definitely willing to wear it when we go out for strolls.
Given it’s all-around utility, there should be no question in your mind right now about the Nike SuperRep Go 2’s worthiness.
Best for agility
Our girl friends out there who are into aerobic exercises and agility workouts will surely love the Nike React Metcon Turbo. This offering from Nike delivered the goodness of Metcon, but with a twist. It’s way more cushioned so the experience of comfort is truly maximized.
How maximized, you ask? Well, for one, we didn’t really notice that we had already done a lot of jumping and skipping. Usually, these highly demanding routines are the ones that easily wear the feet out. This is simply amazing.
Aside from the awesome cushioning system, the breathable upper also added to the experience of comfort. We never really experienced the annoying constricted and wet feeling of more rigid and non-well ventilated shoes.
In addition to comfort, this version of the Metcon felt significantly lighter than many of the previous releases. This is noteworthy because the previous Metcons were already on the lighter side. Now that Metcon Turbo went even lighter, the barely there feel is just insane!
When it comes to support and lockdown, the Nike React Metcon Turbo was a beast. We never had to worry about slips even if we were executing exercises such as burpees, squats, and speed ladders.
Given all those, there is really nothing more that we could ask for.
Simply put, the Reebok Speed TR really deserved the “Speed” in its name. This Reebok model truly did not disappoint when we talk about features that are related to agility and speed.
First of all, it was light, and we mean really light. It didn’t put so much pressure on the foot, and the upper materials were just so breathable. Not once did we feel too constricted or excessively warm while wearing this cross-training shoe from Reebok. If not for the superb support that it delivered, we would have forgotten that we had something on!
Speaking of support, the fit for one was really close to skin. Then again, this did not put comfort in jeopardy because of how breathable the materials were. Yet, we truly felt that it was there during critical movements, such as when we do sudden lateral or forward stops, because the response was just pretty prominent.
Underfoot, the cushioning system really did a pretty good job. Well, it was not too cushy that we were already sitting too high off the ground. It was also not too stiff either. The midsole was just effective enough to not let us feel the ruggedness of the ground, but still responsive enough to keep us in control.
Hands down, the Speed TR from Reebok is a really good pick!
Best for all-day wear
When will Nike give us a break from praising it and its products? Probably never because the Swoosh is at it again with the Free Metcon 4. This workout shoe is pretty much the best of ALL worlds. This is practically an effective partner for anything in your workout program.
Lifting is not a problem because the upper is flexible enough to expand to accommodate foot flexions, and it definitely was sturdy enough not to break under reasonable pressure. The outsole was also quite grippy, so it definitely could give the stability that you’d need.
Speaking of the outsole, it was uniquely designed to flex with your foot. It practically was a series of segments with deep grooves in between, which also served as its flexion points. This configuration made it easy for us to do burpees and similar exercises.
The cushioning was also something that we could not stop raving out. It was just so plush and comfortable. Jogging or even sprinting were definitely not enough to give us pain because of how protective from impact the midsole tooling was. Hey, it’s not even a problem if you want to wear the Nike Free Metcon 4 the whole day!
The Nike In-Season TR 9 was more than just a pretty face. This stylish sneaker from Nike actually offered immense levels of comfort. The upper materials were breathable and soft. The cushioning was pretty plush. The foot just got some cradling and pampering from all directions.
Besides comfort, this shoe also provided dependable containment for the foot. The strap really did its job in keeping the foot securely mounted on the footbed. It also protected the laces from getting undone as we moved more aggressively.
As a result of all that, we didn’t have problems executing the side-to-side and vertical movements required by many of the exercises in our HIIT programs. Doing some calisthenics was not a problem, either.
The durability of the upper materials and the level of support that they provided might have given the impression that the shoe was quite on the heavy side. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. The Nike In-Season TR 9 was easily among the lightest workout shoes we have ever worn!
There’s no doubt that the In-Season TR 9 delivered on the aspects that matter, and then some more. You will surely not lose when you bet your money on this one.
Best budget shoe
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Even with its low price, the New Balance FuelCore NERGIZE has been able to meet the high expectation of its wearers. We appreciated its lightness and breathability, which made it such a comfortable companion not only during workouts but also during light strolls around the neighborhood.
Besides comfort, the fit is also laudable. During workouts, we didn’t really have to worry that the shoe would just come off. The materials that make up the upper offer a one-to-one fit. As if that’s not enough, there’s the tongue and laces that really held the foot in place quite securely.
Speaking of fit, it’s good news to many of our colleagues that this New Balance model is also offered in wide variants. Perhaps NB is really serious in reaching out to as many sectors of the market as possible.
The fashionistas in us were also quite happy that there were a lot of options. Who says that we should look haggard and unkempt during training? We will forever beg to differ, because we love working out in style and the New Balance FuelCore NERGIZE is a good and stylish partner for that.
The New Balance FuelCore NERGIZE ticks all the right boxes. There’s absolutely no reason for you not to enjoy it.
If you are one of those people who still think that a shoe has to be pricey in order for it to be considered promising, then we’re guessing that the Nike Legend Essential 2 will make you change your mind.
This shoe is a budget model that seriously means business. It was able to deliver huge amounts of comfort. Because of how cozy it felt, we didn’t have qualms wearing it even if we were at work or even when hanging out with friends! It was just so comfortable; if you want some sort of pampering for your feet, then this shoe is the one that you should get!
This Nike workout shoe was already so cheap to begin with, and hey, it’s also durable enough to last many months or even years. You surely are getting so much value for your money when you get this one! It’s really A BANG for the buck.
Generally, this one has got to be one of the most versatile training shoes we’ve ever worn. We could wear it for almost anything: jogs, runs, box jumps, rope exercises, and many others. This truly is an “essential” partner for more comprehensive workout sessions.