7 Best Cross-training Shoes For Women, 100+ Shoes Tested in 2023

Nicholas Rizzo
Nicholas Rizzo on
7 Best Cross-training Shoes For Women, 100+ Shoes Tested in 2023

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.

Of course, brands like Nike and Adidas will claim that their cross-training shoes for women are the best. However, what they promise may not be what you will actually experience on the field.

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.

How we test training shoes

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.

Best cross-training shoes overall for women

Nike Metcon 7
Nike Metcon 7

CoreScore

87
Great!
4.3 / 5 from 1,799 users
90 / 100 from 24 experts

Pros

  • True to size
  • Stable
  • Awesome grip
  • Very comfy
  • No break-in period
  • Lightweight
  • Very breathable
  • Amazing durability

Cons

  • Not for wide feet
  • A bit pricey

Verdict

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.

Nike Metcon 7 full review

Best women's cross-training shoes for HIIT

Nike ZoomX SuperRep Surge
Nike ZoomX SuperRep Surge

CoreScore

84
Great!
4.3 / 5 from 583 users
86 / 100 from 2 experts

Pros

  • Great for HIIT
  • Excellent side support
  • Clicks with the rowing machine
  • Good breathability
  • Attractive design and colors
  • Comfortable step-in feel
  • Well-crafted

Cons

  • Not for wide feet
  • Lacks grip on wet floors

Verdict

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 ZoomX SuperRep Surge full review

Best women's cross-training shoes for agility

Nike React Metcon Turbo
Nike React Metcon Turbo

CoreScore

84
Great!
4.0 / 5 from 94 users
90 / 100 from 10 experts

Pros

  • Excellent for agility workouts
  • Lighter than other Metcons
  • Cushioned for jumps and short runs
  • Stable for moderate lifting
  • Secure lockdown
  • Breathable
  • Appealing design

Cons

  • Horrible for rope climbs
  • Not for heavy lifting
  • Narrow for wide feet

Verdict

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.

Nike React Metcon Turbo full review

Best Nike cross-training shoes for women

Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 3
Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 3

CoreScore

83
Good!
4.2 / 5 from 317 users
82 / 100 from 6 experts

Pros

  • Perfect for HIIT
  • Light on the foot
  • Bouncy cushioning
  • Great flexibility
  • Stable side support
  • Snug, locked-down fit
  • Breathable

Cons

  • Not for wide feet
  • Arc catches debris outdoors

Verdict

The Nike Free Metcon 4 is a great shoe for an all-around application. If you want to buy one shoe to do most of your exercise needs, I don’t think you would regret the Nike Free Metcon 4. They are not running shoes, but they will get it done in a pinch if you need to pump out a mile or two at the end of your routine.
Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 3 full review

Best women's cross-training shoes for all-day wear

Nike Free Metcon 4
Nike Free Metcon 4

CoreScore

88
Great!
4.4 / 5 from 2,410 users
87 / 100 from 6 experts

Pros

  • Comfortable in-shoe feel
  • Unbelievably flexible
  • Solid platform
  • Grippy outsole
  • Highly breathable
  • Durable
  • Unique design

Cons

  • Not for wide feet
  • Not suitable for running
  • Expensive

Verdict

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!

Nike Free Metcon 4 full review

Best value cross-training shoes for women

New Balance FuelCore NERGIZE
New Balance FuelCore NERGIZE

CoreScore

83
Good!
4.4 / 5 from 150,409 users
80 / 100 from 1 expert

Pros

  • Unbelievably lightweight
  • Surprisingly low price
  • Glove-like fit
  • Wide option available
  • Sleek style and variety of colorways
  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Highly breathable
  • Very flexible
  • Good grip

Cons

  • Not for long periods of wear
  • Not for hardcore cross-training
  • Tight for high arches

Verdict

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.

New Balance FuelCore NERGIZE full review
Author
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.