What Are Cross Training Shoes?

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Have you come across the term cross training shoes and weren’t sure what it meant? These shoes combine all the traits of tennis shoes, running shoes, and volleyball shoes to ensure athletes have a comfortable fit as they engage in all kinds of activities and sports. 

Whatever your fitness goals, it is likely that your workout routine combines various types of movement. For this reason, you will require gear designed to offer you comfort at every stage. You need not change your footwear as you move from one room to another during your training. This is where cross training shoes come in.

Everything You Need To Know About Cross Training Shoes

True to their name, cross training shoes are designed in such a manner that they will aid you during any activity you choose. However, they are best for people that engage in hybrid workouts or multiple sports.

For instance, they will be a great companion if you do weight training and cardio at the gym. You can also use them for:

  • Yoga
  • Casual cycling
  • Tennis, volleyball, and basketball
  • HIIT training
  • Aerobics
  • Dance classes

If you run for long distances, it would be best to incorporate running shoes as well. But if you are looking for a shoe you can wear both during your weight lifting class and at yoga, cross training shoes are the way to go.

Of course, it is essential to note that cross trainers come in different forms. Shoe designs use various features and materials, and the best pair for you will depend on your activities, style, and individual needs.

Tips on Choosing Cross Training Shoes

Here are a few tips to help you settle on the best pair.

Check the Fit

The number one consideration when picking training shoes is a comfortable fit. As you try on a pair, ensure to flex your toe and wait for any pinching, rubbing, or pulling. It would also help to try them on with your athletic socks to ensure you get an exact fit. Most importantly, remember to do so in the evening or afternoon, as this is when your feet swell to their largest size.

As you try on the shoe, ensure you move around the store and pay attention to the traction on the ground. If you are in-between sizes, always opt for a half-size up. A pair of trainers that fits well will not let your heel slip out and will have space between the longest toe and the shoe’s front end.

Know Your Arch

Generally, you may need trainers that offer more stability as you move if you have flat feet. On the other hand, those with high arches will need more cushioning to aid in shock absorption. Provided your arches do not cause joint problems or muscle stress, you can begin by trying out neutral cushioning shoes. These are lightweight and move naturally with your feet. If you need more support, you can always opt for stability shoes that will provide cushioning and stability. 

Training With Kettlebell

Focus On the Construction

Good cross training shoes should combine stability with flexibility and comfort. Some of the structural components you need to pay attention include:

  • Heel Support: Go for a shoe that provides a lot of additional heel support. You might want to check for EVA foam on top of a thermoplastic polyurethane layer. This is both durable and lightweight.
  • Outsoles: It is always wise to choose outsoles that work together with the midsoles to offer stability. The outsoles should be thick and provide plenty of traction. Furthermore, they should be wide enough to offer lateral support.
  • Uppers: A leather upper offers more stability. The hand’s mesh or synthetic upper will be more flexible and breathable. So, the latter would be the best option if your feet tend to sweat. 

Pick a Style

Whether you are drawn toward geometric shapes, bright colors, or classic neutrals, plenty of styles will match your aesthetic needs. However, it is always essential to put comfort and fit before style. For instance, you might prefer chunky shoes, but a lightweight option will offer more comfort.

Difference between Walking Shoes and Cross Trainers

Generally, walking shoes are more flexible. They have less ankle support and thinner soles, so unlike cross trainers, they aren’t tailored for explosive movements. Also, cross trainers have more cushioning while walking shoes only have to cushion at the heel area. While you can wear cross trainers for a stroll, it isn’t recommended to wear walking shoes during your workout.

How Often Should You Replace Your Cross Trainers?

While the intervals for replacing your shoes may differ depending on the frequency of your workouts and your movements, experts recommend replacing your cross training shoes bi-annually. But, if you notice that your shoe twists easily in the heel and midfoot or the heel feels less firm when you pinch the sides, it is time to replace your pair immediately.

Waiting too long to get new trainers means you’ll have to put up with working out in a shoe that barely fits or supports you, making you more prone to injuries.


Are you looking for a versatile pair of shoes for your workouts? Try cross training shoes as they will accommodate all your needs. However, you need to pay close attention while purchasing your pair to ensure that whatever your choice is, it suits your individual needs and provides comfort.

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