Like any other sports- and fitness-related domain, the training shoe market for women is dominated by Nike and Adidas. In terms of sales and popularity, no one else comes close to these two. But is it the same when it comes to performance?
Here at RunRepeat, we consider it our mission to test more than 200 ladies’ training shoes ourselves so that we can tell facts from exaggeration.
We present here our top picks, and you can rest assured that this is based on actual experience instead of the promised performance. Hence, you can expect to get acquainted with brands other than Nike and Adidas here.
This shoe is made to be comfortable, versatile, and performs at a high level, and it hits them all on the head. It is expensive, but they hand you everything you would expect with your money - killer lockdown, great cushion, versatility, and overall performance. Whether you are looking to hit your PR or repping it out to failure, these will be the shoe for you.
The experts unanimously agree that the Nike Metcon 6 is a superior training shoe. One reviewer goes as far as calling it his “favorite training shoe to date,” while another one finds it “the most well-rounded training shoe” on the market. The consensus is that it is THE best Metcon yet.
“One of the best” is the consensus among experts regarding the Reebok Nano X. As befits a Nano, it is a versatile cross-trainer which is “not too great at anything, just pretty good at everything.” It is agreed to be a “one-stop-shop” for workouts “IF you are not running.” Contrary to the brand’s statement, the X is not as “runnable” as the experts have hoped.
The Nano X1 lives up to its lineage's name, but gears away from Crossfit-centered functionality. Reebok now describes it as the shoe for "ultimate fitness." It is designed for people who love to train hard and don't want to be limited by just one type of workout. As it is not a specialty training shoe for one type of workout, it comes with a couple of restrictions. Keep in mind that it can only go so far when it comes to lifting and running.
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.
Apart from crucial comfort, other reasons why the Nike Legend Essential 2 works great as a workout shoe is that it provides stability and flexibility. This combination of attributes yields excellent support to let the wearer perform their workout efficiently. To top it off, this Nike training shoe is budget-friendly, offering great value for money.
Nike's fourth iteration of the Romaleos has been welcomed with wide arms by most lifters. The shoe's updated design includes a supportive midsole, wide and flat outsole, and two broad straps over the laces. These features have received high remarks in the stability and comfort departments. The mentioned misfire is reported to be not that bad and tolerable. Overall, the Nike Romaleos 4 is an excellent addition to your rotation.
It's clear that the Savaleos from Nike is designed to adequately perform in both lifting and working out. If you're looking for footwear that can switch between these two endeavors, this shoe could be the answer. However, if you're a dedicated lifter, investing in a specialized lifting shoe is better. In a nutshell, the Nike Savaleos is a versatile, entry-level lifting shoe that could double as a workout buddy.
The Renew In-Season TR 10 is a women's exclusive Nike workout shoe that highlights plush cushioning, comfort, and energy return. This is brought on by the readjustment of the Renew midsole to be deeper than its older sibling. Despite a few minor misfires, the Nike Renew In-Season TR 10 is still a competitive workout shoe and provides the essentials, making it worth the try.
The Adidas Futurenatural is a training shoe designed to be an ideal companion in a wide range of exercises. It highlights a futuristic design, a foot-mimicking shape, and a wide base for stability. It is most recommended for gym sessions, agility-based moves, sprints, and short runs.
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.