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Sneakers are probably our most commonly worn shoes. We wear them regardless of the season, and often regardless of what the rest of our outfit looks like. One of the most common reasons they’re worn, however, is for working out. An amazing pair of sneakers or athletic shoes can seriously make all the difference in a workout, whether you’re looking for something to absorb shock while running or something responsive if you’re doing a HIIT class full of squat jumps and skaters!
It’s so important to find a shoe that you not only like the look of, but one that suits your needs. It’s one thing if you slip it on and it’s comfortable, but it’s another if it’s still comfortable after a gym session or long hike. Sometimes it’s as simple as switching from walking shoe to a running shoe or vice versa. Yes, there’s a difference! Verywell Fit explains that most walking shoes are “too stiff and don’t flex the way runners need them to flex,” but are great options for short, easy walks. There are so many factors that go into choosing a shoe for any type of workout. Let’s get into the factors we considered when choosing our top picks.
How we picked the best shoes for different workouts & body types
- We considered different types of workouts, whether cardio, strength, specialty or more casual.
- We considered budget. We put together a list that covers shoes that range from affordable to a bit pricey (but worth it)!
- We considered important factors like plantar fasciitis, achy knees or a sensitive lower back.
- We considered flexibility and comfort at first wear.
- We considered heel height and cushioning.
3 Quick Picks:
10 of the Best Women’s Sneakers and Shoes to Suit Your Workout
Best workout shoes overall: Nike Revolution 5
A fifth-gen running sneaker, the Revolution 5 does it all, with high-energizing cushioning and a molded foam insole. Reviewers say these are comfortable “right out of the box”!
Best workout shoes for CrossFit: Reebok CrossFit Nano 8.0
These sneakers were literally made for someone tackling CrossFit or another cross-training routine. It’s super flexible and has a low profile so it won’t hinder your mobility!
Best workout shoes on a budget: Skechers Summits Sneaker
These sneakers were already pretty affordable with this white version coming in under $50 — but now that you can grab them for as low as $28, you absolutely do not want to miss them!
Best workout shoes for running: Brooks Glycerin 18
These sneakers look so comfy on the internet — just imagine trying them on for the first time. They have a stretchy mesh upper and are specifically created to provide “incredible underfoot support” and “excellent traction”!
Get the Brooks Glycerin 18 (originally $150) for just $130 at Zappos!
Best workout shoes for walking/hiking: Columbia Pivot Mid Waterproof
Waterproof shoes are so important for when you’re hitting the trail or even strolling along some slippery winter sidewalks. These sneakers are our recommendation, and one reviewer said wearing them is “like walking on clouds”!
Best workout shoes for Zumba: Capezio Rock It Dansneaker
Zumba sneakers need smoother soles for turns and padded collars for extra ankle support, to name just a couple of important factors. If you’ve been wearing walking or running shoes to Zumba, these Capezio sneakers and their built-in flex points could change everything!
Best workout shoes for weightlifting: Reebok Legacy Lifter II
You can see right away that these Reeboks are different from your everyday sneakers. They have an anatomical shape and a grippy rubber outsole to help you perfect your form and lift to new heights (and weights)!
Best workout shoes for plantar fasciitis: Aetrex Carly
These sneakers have a doctor-recommended arch placement specifically to help with plantar fasciitis, along with memory foam cushioning and a padded heel counter to help with overpronation!
Best workout shoes for cycling: Shimano IC5 Indoor Cycling Shoes
If you’ve tried a cycling class before, you know you need special shoes to fasten your feet to the pedals. Ready to stop renting and get your own? Try these highly-rated Shimanos!
Best workout shoes for HIIT: PUMA UltraRide
These responsive, lightweight sneakers won’t slow you down while you’re quickly powering through short intervals of super tough moves. They have high-rebound cushioning, so if anything, they’ll help you out!
Check out more of our picks and deals here!
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