69 best lightweight training shoes

Based on reviews from 106 experts and 41,926 users. Learn how our rankings work or see our guide to lightweight training shoes. Updated May 2020.

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  • Gender Size
  • Brand
  • Workout

    Shoes with optimum cushioning, lateral support, and flexibility for daily workouts and studio sessions. See workout shoes

    CrossFit

    Versatile, low-profile shoes for constantly varied exercises including plyometrics, sprinting, weightlifting, and rope climbing. See CrossFit shoes

    Weightlifting

    Heavy-duty shoes with a wedge and an elevated heel that create a sturdy platform and promote ankle mobility. See weightlifting shoes

    Use
  • CoreScore
  • Price
  • Colors
  • Low stock

    Footwear with few offers from online retailers and sold out in most sizes.

    Discontinued

    Shoes that have been taken out of production but are still sold by most online shops.

    New

    Shoes that just came out and have not received sufficient feedback from the buyers.

    Low drop

    Shoes with 0mm to 5mm heel-to-toe drop. Allow for a more grounded underfoot feel. See low drop training shoes

    High drop

    Above 10mm. Mostly include weightlifting footwear with an elevated heel. See high drop training shoes

    Lightweight

    Shoes below 300g that accommodate fast-paced training. See lightweight training shoes

    Minimalist

    Shoes with the drop of 0-4 mm, an average weight of 200g, and a low stack height. Render a barefoot-like experience. See minimalist training shoes

    Non-marking sole

    The outsoles of these shoes do not leave scuff marks on the floor. See non-marking training shoes

    Orthotic friendly

    The insoles of these shoes are easily removable and can be replaced with an orthotic insert. See orthotic-friendly training shoes

    Rope prtection

    Most cross-training shoes have reinforcements at the midfoot which help to resist abrasion during rope climbs. See training shoes with rope protection

    Features
  • Drop

    A difference in height between the heel and the toes. - The lower drop delivers a more sensitive ground contact, while the higher one provides more heel cushioning. - In case of weightlifting shoes, a high firm heel lessens the strain on the Achilles tendon during squats.

    Heel to toe drop
  • Collection
  • Number of reviews
  • Discount
  • Collaboration
    • Weight

      Training footwear typically weighs between 200g and 300g per shoe to accommodate agile workouts. Minimalist trainers go as low as 150g, while weightlifting shoes can go as high as 500g.

      Weight
    Filter

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    1. Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave - Hunter Green/Coal/Khaki/Bright Lava
    2. Nike Free TR 8 - Black/White
    3. Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit - Orange/Black
    4. Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2 - Black
    5. Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 v2 - Black
    6. New Balance Minimus 40 Trainer - Gray
    7. Nike Flex Control 3 - Black
    8. No image
    9. Skechers Flex Advantage 2.0 - The Happs - Gris Light Grey Black
    10. Inov-8 F-Lite 195 v2 - Grey/Blue
    11. Reebok Speed TR Flexweave - Black Shark Black
    12. Nike Varsity Compete TR 2 - Black
    13. Inov-8 F-Lite 230 - Khaki
    14. Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v3 - Green
    15. Nike Retaliation TR 2 - Black
    16. Puma Enzo - Black
    17. New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Trainer - Black/Magnet/Gold
    18. Inov-8 F-Lite 260 - Black
    19. Reebok CrossFit Speed TR 2.0 - Grey
    20. Reebok CrossFit Nano 4.0 - Industrial Green Ultima Purple Black Primal
    21. Reebok Trainfusion Nine 3.0 - Blue
    22. Skechers Elite Flex - Rot
    23. New Balance Minimus 20 v7 Trainer - Black Black White
    24. Puma Ignite Flash evoKNIT  - Grey Steel Gray Puma Black
    25. Inov-8 All Train 215 - Black
    26. Asics Gel Craze TR 4 - INDIGO BLUE/INDIGO BLUE/WHITE
    27. Asics Weldon X - Carbon Onyx Mid Grey
    28. Puma Enzo Beta - Peacoat/White
    29. Reebok Reago Pulse - Black
    30. Vibram FiveFingers V-Train - Yellow

    There are different types of training shoes available on the market and choosing which one is the perfect pair solely depends on the preference of the wearer. There are high-cut, mid-cut, and low-cut trainers, ones with leather, mesh, knitted, or canvas upper; some have thick, visible midsoles while others don’t. Workout shoes are also categorized by weight and there is now growing popularity of lightweight training shoes or those that weigh under 300 grams. But the question now is, are there really any benefits in using lightweight training shoes?

    Benefits of using lightweight training shoes

    best lightweight training shoes
    Best Lightweight Training Shoes - February 2020

    In 2016, a group of researchers from the Rodger Kram’s Locomotion Laboratory at the University of Colorado Boulder published a study on the effects of heavy running shoes on a runner’s performance. The study was conducted among 18 male distance runners using running footwear secretly fitted with 100-gram or 300-gram weights and predicted that time-trial performance would be slowed down by 1% and 3%, respectively. Based on the study, each 100 grams of weight added to the shoe is equivalent to adding almost a minute to a runner’s time; take 100 grams off the weight of the shoe, nearly a minute is shaved off of a runner’s time.

    Though running speed may not mean as much to a cross-trainer compared to runners, using the right kind of footwear could easily mean beating a personal record in box jumps, burpees, jump ropes, or sled pushes. Below are just some of the benefits of using lightweight training shoes:

    They don’t weigh the wearer down

    There have been claims that using weighted shoes could help burn more calories, but studies show that there is little difference in the calories burnt when using weighted shoes and when not. These types of shoes could even cause injuries because they weigh the foot down, acting like a pendulum, which can strain the muscles and the joints of the lower extremities. As for lightweight training shoes, because they are made with materials that are usually soft and weigh very little, they feel like a natural extension of the foot and don’t burden the wearer with additional weight.

    They are more flexible

    Lightweight training shoes are typically made of pliable materials in both the upper and in the sole unit. They aim to support natural foot flexion. Some of the common materials used on the upper include mesh, jersey, and knit. These materials are soft and don’t cut into the instep when the foot is dorsiflexed, preventing any discomfort. As for the midsole, ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) is the most commonly used compound; but depending on the shoe manufacturer, it gets modified to be more flexible, cushiony, and even weigh less. Also, stiff sole units tend to cause foot discomforts such as arch pain, corns, and calluses.

    Breathable

    As mentioned above, the materials used on the upper are mesh, jersey, or knit. These textiles are crafted to be breathable and to ensure that the inside of the shoe is well-ventilated. The interior of lightweight training shoes is also lined with either mesh or a soft fabric that contributes to the breathability. The importance of keeping the inside aerated is to prevent the foot from excessively sweating and developing an unpleasant odor. Moisture build-up could leave the inside of the shoe damp which becomes a breeding ground for fungus that could give the wearer athlete’s foot.

    Frequently asked questions

    How much do lightweight training shoes weigh?

    Lightweight training shoes weigh less than 300 grams per shoe and about 200 - 250 grams on average. The most lightweight trainers belong to minimalist training shoes as their weight goes as low as 150 - 200 grams per shoe. The reason behind this is that minimalist training shoes do not have thick midsoles. They usually just have an outsole that is only a few millimeters thin and an insert that’s even thinner. This type of construction allows wearers to feel more ground contact as if they were training barefoot.

    What’s the best brand of lightweight training shoes?

    Nike, Puma, Adidas, Skechers, New Balance, Asics, Under Armour - these are just some of the manufacturers that offer lightweight training shoes. As for which brand makes the best one depends on the user as one type of footwear may come highly regarded by one group of fitness enthusiasts, but may not be as effective for other gym-goers. People have different foot types and also have varying tastes when comes to materials used, style, and fit. There are shoe experts and workout aficionados that extensively test footwear and provide their reviews. You can take their insights as a guide, but it is also wise to see what actual buyers say about the footgear you are interested in. Here at RunRepeat, we curate user and expert reviews, so consumers can have an overview of what the footwear has to offer in a timely manner.

    How long do lightweight training shoes last?

    The rule of thimb is that training shoes should be replaced every six months. However, there are several factors to be considered in doing so. First, how often is it used? If the footgear is worn on a daily basis, then the pair might have to be replaced earlier than six months. Another factor to look at is where it is utilized. Shoes used indoors do not wear out as fast as those used outdoors. You should also check various elements of the trainer such as the outsole, the midsole, and the upper. The tread of the outsole should be visible and able to provide traction. The midsole should still attenuate shock and keep the foot comfortable. As for the upper, it should not have holes or unravel seams that could compromise how it supports the foot. The eyelets, if present, should be intact as the wearer would not be able to achieve a proper fit if the eyelets are no longer functional. If any of these elements no longer work as they are supposed to, then it’s time to buy another pair of lightweight training shoes, regardless of how long you have been using the old one.

    How to take care of lightweight training shoes?

    The general rule when it comes to cleaning training shoes is not to throw them into the washing machine because that could compromise the integrity of the footwear. The same rule applies to lightweight training shoes. The best way to clean them is by brushing off dried dirt with a soft bristled brush. If there is staining or stubborn dirt, a clean cloth or brush dipped in a solution of warm water and mild soap can be used to remove it. The soapy concoction should be rinsed using a damp clean cloth or a clean wet brush. As for the drying method, do not throw it in the dryer or place it near a heat source as it could deteriorate or even catch fire. The best way to dry lightweight training shoes is by air drying them for 10 hours or longer, depending on how wet they got.

    15 best lightweight training shoes

    1. Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave
    2. Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v3
    3. Reebok Speed TR Flexweave
    4. Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit
    5. Skechers Flex Advantage 2.0 - The Happs
    6. Puma Enzo
    7. Nike Free TR 8
    8. Inov-8 F-Lite 195 v2
    9. Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 v2
    10. Inov-8 All Train 215
    11. Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2
    12. Nike Flex Control 3
    13. New Balance Minimus Prevail
    14. Nike Varsity Compete TR 2
    15. Nike Retaliation TR 2
    Author
    Nicholas Rizzo
    Nicholas Rizzo

    Nick is a powerlifter who believes cardio comes in the form of more heavy ass squats. Based on over 1.5 million lifts done at competitions, his PRs place him as an elite level powerlifter. 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 Forbes, Bodybuilding.com, Elite Daily and the like. Collaborating along the way with industry leaders like Michael Yessis, Mark Rippetoe, Carlo Buzzichelli, Dave Tate, Ray Williams, and Joel Seedman.

    nick@runrepeat.com