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If you love to break a sweat, chances are you have a favorite child. Maybe running is what makes you feel most alive, or you wish you could spend every day in the boxing ring. Whatever exercise you consider your darling, you probably also know (considering you’re here, after all) that cross-training is essential for for preventing injuries and making sure you get to stick with that workout well into the future. And if you’re looking to start bolstering your everyday training with add-ons like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or strength training, you’re going to need one (or several) cross-training shoes trainers recommend all the time.

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Having the right footwear not only keeps your feet comfortable, but it can even take your workout to the next level—you just need to know what to watch for.

But first: What is cross-training, exactly? The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons defines cross-training as “a way to vary your fitness program by combining different types of exercise activities.” Basically, you can think of it as athletic insurance that guarantees you’re working every part of your body, so no one part suffers from overuse. (For example, if tennis is your jam, you risk over-using your elbows and shoulders.)

“Choosing a workout routine to compliment your main choice of physical activity is vital and can make you a lot happier than randomized training cycles,” Jose Duncan Jr., a trainer with Crunch Gym, previously told Well+Good. Not to mention, you may just find out there are multiple movement styles you enjoy beyond the one you originally fell in love with.

If you’re ready to start varying your workout regimen, you have options: You could throw in a few days of strength training a week, move through a HIIT workout, or sign up for a dance cardio class. Whatever you choose, have fun and make sure you have the right pair of shoes! We’ve got trainers—including Pilates instructors, weightlifting fanatics, and running coaches—naming their go-to cross-training shoes below.

Shop the best cross-training shoes for women

Asics Gel Kayano 28 — $120.00

“The Asics Gel Kayano 28s have just the right amount of cushion and support for all of the jumping and cardio, but I can still feel my feet on the floor for our low impact Sculpt classes,” says Natalie Vatalaro, Director of Training at DanceBody—a dance-based workout studio. “A perfect blend for every kind of training!”

These Asics come preloaded with a mesh upper to keep your feet cool, as well as a Dynamic DuoMax Support System to keep you feeling stable and supportive.

Sizes available: U.S. women’s 5 to 13

 

Nike Free Metcon 4 Training Shoes — $120.00

“I like that the soles are flat so you feel stable and grounded while lifting, but it also has enough cushioning underfoot to soften your landing during high-impact moves,” says Jordan Galloway, Well+Good editor, and Good Day Pilates instructor.

The Nike Free sole is made with flex grooves in the tread that mimic the natural movement of your foot and a removable cushioned insole that will allow you to insert your own custom orthotics.

Sizes available: 5 to 12

 

Reebok Nano X2 Women’s Training Shoes — $135.00

Maillard Howell, CrossFit trainer and head of fitness at Reebok, recommends the Reebok Nano X2s for lifting heavy weights. “[They have a] super stable sole and heel for my lifting movements, but the toe box isn’t wide like most crosstraining shoes, and these have that running shoe flexibility up front,” he says.

Slip these on, and you’ll find that the Floatride cushion in the front foot energizes your every step. The Flexweave knit upper, meanwhile, keeps your foot secure no matter how many jump squats and lunges you have programmed for today.

Sizes available: U.S. women’s 6 to 11

On Running Cloud X — $140.00

“I’m a runner, professional coach, fitness instructor, and die-hard gym rat. I need a shoe that lets me move easily from the streets to the treadmill, to the strength floor, and right into teaching a studio class without missing a step,” says Schwinn trainer Jason Schneider. And these are it.

These lightweight kicks are made for multi-faceted workouts and feature an engineered mesh upper with a woven pattern that’s breathable, durable, and easy to move around in.

Sizes available: U.S. women’s 7 to 14

 

Saucony Women’s Ride ISO 2

“Ankle support is number one for me when it comes to a cross-trainer, so I actually go for a stability-running shoe,” says Equinox spin and strength training instructor Clayton Buckaloo. “I’ve had three pairs and have loved them. I need to be able to transition from agility training to endurance training in one workout session. The most important piece of my cross-training footwear are my Aline inserts, which are suspension-zoned performance inserts designed originally for x-game athletes and level up any selection of cross-training shoe.”

If you’re someone who supinates—meaning, your ankle doesn’t roll in very far when you push off the ground or land—the improved heal grab on this shoe will help you keep your form intact. The PWRFOAM midsole also absorbs the impact of your movement, protecting your joints.

Sizes available: U.S. women’s 5 to 12

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39 — $160.00

“Ultimately, a good cross trainer should be comfortable, supportive, flexible, and effective,” says Pamela Trujillo, NASM, a trainer with SLT Tread. “The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus features a midfoot band that integrates Nike’s Flywire technology, which keeps your foot securely in place. They are also extremely breathable and lightweight, on top of being comfortable and flexible, with a durable, thick outsole that provides excellent traction.” Best of all: These are also great running shoes, so you don’t have to purchase multiple pairs of sneakers if you don’t want to.

This shoe comes equipped with Flywire technology through the midfoot to keep your feet in place and the mesh upper promotes breathability.

Sizing available: U.S. women’s 5 to 12

Asics Gel Nimbus 24 — $160.00

“I love this shoe because it’s supportive enough for intense cardio and jumping, but it’s not super bulky like other sneakers,” says DanceBody training manager Emily Sindoni. “I want to feel like I’m walking on air, but I don’t want to feel like I’m wearing Moon Shoes all day! This shoe is light enough for quick, fancy footwork and allows me to feel the floor and ground myself for balancing and sculpt work.”

The FLYTEFOAM cushioning provides impact absorption and reflective details to keep you safe during early morning or late evening training sessions.

Sindoni recommends sizing up for the perfect fit.

Sizes available: U.S. women’s 5 to 13

Into high-intensity interval training? Try the best shoes for HIIT on for size

Adidas Dropset Trainers — $78.00

This simple pair of trainers from Adidas is on sale and comes with high-traction soles to keep you from slipping and sliding through your HIIT workouts. Made with 50 percent recyclable materials, this better-for-the-environment shoe has high traction and a flexible upper that stretches over the foot for a comfy fit.

This sneaker has a host of five-star reviews backing it up, and everyone says they fit true to size. Win, win.

Sizes available: U.S. women’s 5 to 11

 

Nike Women’s Air Zoom SuperRep 2 Training Shoes — $120.00

The Nike Air Zoom Super Reps are my favorite for HIIT workouts,” says Bridget O’Carroll, founder of on-demand Pilates workout Studio Qila. “They’re super cushioned and supportive, perfect for absorbing impact. They also have a pretty unique sole that offers a ton of stability, which is especially helpful for someone with past ankle injuries.” The mesh ribbing on the top of this shoe keeps your foot in place as you move through different movements, and the rubber tread provides plenty of traction no matter what surface you’re working out on.

Sizes available: U.S. women’s 5 to 11

 

Lululemon Chargefeel Mid Women’s Workout Shoe — $148.00

Full transparency: I’m not a fitness trainer, but Lululemon’s freshly released cross-trainer is my new favorite shoe to rock in HIIT class. As someone with sensitive ankles, I’m constantly worried about the toll lateral movements (like side lunges) take on my body. The soft, knit turtleneck is made of an engineered mesh, and these sneakers make every rep feel secure. Plus, the dual-density midsole features a springy feel that really, well, charges your workouts.

Sizes available: U.S. women’s 5 to 11

 

APL Techloom Breeze Sneaker — $220.00

While I couldn’t get a hold of Obé fitness trainer Dorian Cervantes, I’ve taken enough of her classes to know she always sports this white, slipper-esque APL sneaker. The slim silhouette of these sneakers keeps you close to the ground, has a textile upper for breathability, and features a lace-up front, so you never have to tie your shoes again.

Sizes available: U.S. women’s 5 to 10

Saysh One Sneaker — $150.00

Designed by track star Allyson Felix, these shoes are unique in their category. If you’re expecting, Saysh One’s impressive maternity return policy will allow you to swap out your pair for a new size if you outgrow them. That means you can keep smashing all your cross-training goals through your pregnancy… without having to buy a new pair of kicks every few months.

As for the design of these shoes, you’ll enjoy a breathable soft microsuede fit that’s soft to the touch and a molded heal that forms to the unique shape of your food.

Sizes available: U.S. women’s 5.5 to 11

 

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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