When you’re working up a killer sweat, you’re not really supposed to feel that comfortable. (You know that whole, “get comfortable with being uncomfortable” motivational hullabaloo? This is the time to really keep that in mind.) Of course, while a good workout is kind of meant to push you out of your comfort zone, a good pair of workout sneakers most definitely shouldn’t. So, to make sure that the discomfort you’re feeling during a workout is for the right reasons (challenging your muscles, pushing your endurance to new limits, etc.) and not the wrong ones (lack of arch support, weak ankle protection, etc.), here’s your guide to the best sneakers to slip on for all of the different workouts you might be squeezing in on the regular.
Reebok Floatride Run Fast Sneaker, $140
When it comes to speed, one of the biggest things to look for in a shoe is something that won’t weigh you down. And as far as lightweight sneakers go, this number from Reebok hits the sweet spot of giving your feet just the right amount of cushion while still feeling super light.
Brooks Ghost 11 Sneaker, $120
Running for a longer duration of time is just as much a matter of endurance as it is finding a shoe that doesn’t force you to call it quits before hitting the finish mark. The Ghost sneaker ticks all the boxes when it comes to what you should be looking for in a long-distance running shoe, including a segmented crash pad for shock absorption upon landing, as well as BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning for total comfort.
Adidas Powerlift 4, $130
Design is everything when it comes to finding the right shoe for casual and serious lifting, alike. In the case of this number from Adidas, the raised heel helps naturally improve form and contribute to a cleaner technique during lifting, while additional elements like the narrow fit and a wide midfoot strap help maximize stability and comfort during training.
Nike Metcon 4 XD, $130
Sure, you can pretty much rely on the ideal weightlifting or cross-training shoe to get the most out of your CrossFit sessions, but with an especially strong grip, lightweight mesh design, and minimal cushioning to allow for maximum stability during tuck jumps, split jerks, and the like, we figured this pick deserved its own honorary mention.
New Balance NBCycle WX09, $125
If you’re an avid cycler (or even if you only dabble, honestly), having a quality shoe that’s built primarily to carry you through a spin class can make all the difference. Luckily, New Balance created an option with all the functionality of top notch spin shoe – think hook-and-loop straps, and single-release SPD® cleats – with all the style of a top notch sneaker.
York Athletics The Henry Mid, $125
When we think of an ideal boxing sneaker, a few things come to mind: a lightweight design for quick, “float like a butterfly”-esque movements; good grip and traction for maximum stability; and good ventilation to allow for breathability through the most grueling of workouts. This pick from York Athletics ticks all the necessary boxes, while keeping all of the unnecessary bells and whistles to a minimum with a sleek, minimal design.
Ryka Tenacity High Top Training Shoe, $75
Those who enjoy a good dance workout are usually in it for the fun, but even the most fun of Zumba classes can be made infinitely less so when your sneakers aren’t giving you the support you need through all that dancing. Luckily, this shoe from Ryka helps target the key pain points for Zumba-goers, including a mid-foot velcro strap for a secure fit to prevent foot slipping and friction inside the shoe, a high-top design to protect ankles during quick footwork, and extra cushioning at forefoot pressure points.
Under Armour UA TR96 Training Shoe, $75
If you’re someone who likes to change it up a lot but doesn’t necessarily want to invest in a bunch of different shoes for all of your different workouts, one of the best all-around trainers out there is easily this option from Under Armour, which boasts a lightweight mesh design, a flexible rubber outsole, and a well-cushioned and responsive midsole.