If you’re just passing by or in a rush, I took the liberty to choose the Nike Men’s Tanjun Sneakers so that you could have a look.
If there’s one thing that holds for any gym-goer is that not every shoe is fit for the job. Luckily, the sneaker gods have blessed us with many options over the past few years.
So, if you’re on the lookout for the best shoes for a gym workout, these 5 kicks belong on your must-shop list.
- Skechers Men’s Energy Afterburn Lace-Up Sneakers
- Asics Men’s Gel Venture 6 Running Shoes
- Adidas Men’s Powerlift 3.1 Cross Trainer
- Reebok Men’s Crossfit Nano 8.0 Flexweave Sneaker
What's Inside This Article?
Best Shoes for Gym Workout Reviewed
- Breathable fabric
- Allows natural flex
- Provides support through the pads
- Size may be smaller or bigger than expected
Sneakers are all the rage these days.
So, everyone and their mother are out to find the perfect pair of kicks to match their Insta-worthy outfits.
But, can I confess something?
I’ve always wanted to jump on the fancy-sneakers bandwagon.
Of course, I would NEVER sacrifice efficiency over a cool design – which is why I’m head over heels with Nike’s most fashion-forward line, the Tanjun sneakers.
These beauties are perfect for running, but I’ve come to notice that they work just fine for other gym activities such as Crossfit and bouldering (yes, I went there!).
What I enjoy the most about my Tanjuns is that they come with a near-perfect cushioning system.
They sport a memory foam insole and an equally cushy outsole, both of which protect my feet from the shock.
On top of that, the upper is made of thin yet durable perforated layers which allow the toebox to “breathe.” #byebyestench
And speaking of the toebox, it features a no-sew design which provides me with enough room to perform a range of motions to the point of mimicking a barefoot experience.
- Great traction
- Lightweight design
- Shock-absorbing pads
- Stiff shoe upper
Well, the first time I laid eyes on these kicks, I was like “OK, couldn’t they make them bulkier or something?”
But I was running my mouth.
These days, the Skechers Afterburn Lace-Up pair is chilling by my nightstand, motivating me to get out of bed and hit the treadmill on those lazy weekend mornings.
And if you’re wondering why the (mild) obsession, well, here’s the scoop.
The new-age-looking sneakers feature a rubber outsole that provides my feet with excellent traction.
So, there’s virtually zero chance I’ll ever slip or slide while running in those – unless, of course, I’m too much of a clumsy runner.
Bulky size aside, the sneakers are also lightweight, a quality that allows me to move freely while working out.
The kicks also come with a compression-molded midsole, a padded heel, and a scuff-resistant leather upper which not only absorb the impact but also make me feel comfy AF – even if I have to wear them all day long.
The only issue with these gym shoes is that the upper is not that flexible and often feels stiff (after all, it’s made of leather).
So, it may take you some time to get used to the design, but once you do, it’ll totally be worth it.
- High-quality cushioning design
- Anti-friction outsole
- Breathable material
- Large toe box
If there’s one sports brand that I trust 110%, that’s Asics.
Between their Nimbus 20 and Quantum 360, the company knows what it takes to create a comfy yet efficient pair of shoes for the serious gym-goer.
But, if I had to choose just one of their game-changers for the rest of my life, that’d be the Gel Venture 6 running shoes.
The treadmill-friendly kicks come with a rear-foot GEL cushioning system (hence the name) which makes for a cushy feel, even during midstance.
Honestly, not many gym shoe brands can brag that their design can attenuate the shock both on impact and midstance.
The pair also features multi-directional lugs which provide you with an outstanding grip on the ground and reduce your chances of slipping.
The upper is also made of synthetic fabric which makes your shoes last longer while allowing them to “breathe” more easily.
So, no stinky feet for you.
The only thing that I’d change in these shoes is the size of the toe box.
I know this part is supposed to be a bit lose to keep your toes from suffocating, but I guess it was just too big for the size of my foot.
- Breathable material
- Keeps feet stable for weightlifting
- Large toebox increases your range of motions
- Heel material is prone to abrasions
I don’t know about you, but after stuffing my workout closet with Adidas’s merch for more than six years now, the three-stripe brand feels like home at this point.
But, if I’m being honest here, nothing compares to that empowering feeling I get when I slide on my Powerlift 3 cross-trainers.
The sneakers are perfect for those days when I want to hop from the squat rack to the Crossfit room without having to change shoes.
And if you’re wondering how that’s possible, well, the kicks feature a high-density midsole which increases my stability.
Meanwhile, the shoe’s upper is made of synthetic leather, supporting my ankle and forefoot even more and giving me a greater sense of balance.
The toebox is also pretty big which means I can move around quite easily.
And to top it off, the shoe has an inner mesh for maximum breathability, even when I’m performing cardio-esque lifts such as snatches or squats.
My only concern regarding this shoe is the heel’s material.
Since it’s made of EVA plastic, it’s not as durable as -say- TPU, so it may wear out sooner than expected.
- Durable, breathable upper
- Improved traction
- Comfortable midsole/sockline design
If you’re looking for a pair of gym shoes that can help you tackle a 5K and provide you with excellent support for lifting at the same time, this cross trainer is a good target to aim at.
Thanks to Reebok’s unique Toe-Tection technology, the sneakers increase your stability during unilateral moves such as lunges or single-leg deadlifts.
Meanwhile, the shoe sports a low-drop design that keeps your feet as close to the ground as possible.
That’s why it’s perfect for lifting weights and juggling around in the Crossfit room.
But, perhaps the most distinct feat of this shoe is its material.
The Reebok best-seller is made of a unique nano-weave fabric that’s super breathable and stable, adding to the shoe’s overall durability and stability.
It also has a rubber outsole which increases traction and prevents you from slipping while lifting weights or engaging in those Crossfit burpee burnouts.
And for those of you who think the shoe is not comfy given the many feats, note that it has a molded midsole and sock line, striking the perfect balance between comfort and efficiency.
The Best Shoes for Gym Workout buying guide
Type of Workout
If your workout routine is anything like mine, some days are all about that power rack while others scream “treadmill.”
That said, it can be tempting to use the same pair of kicks for all your gym activities, but trust me, that’s the last thing you wanna do.
You see, the human foot consists of 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments, all of which work together to keep your body mobile and balanced.
So, stuffing your feet in the wrong type of footwear could lead to several injuries, from blistered toes to sprained ankles. Oh! Talking about injuries, I wrote a roundup review of the best running shoes for knee pain that I think might be of interest to you.
To spare yourself the pain and long-term side effects, you should always buy a pair that’s specially designed for the type of workout you’re about to perform.
And if you don’t know where to start, here’s what life has taught me so far.
Since I’ve clocked my fair share of miles on the treadmill, I’ve concluded that lightweight, flexible sneakers with soft, compressible soles are second to none.
Such a design allows me to move my feet around quite easily without feeling the impact of running, jumping, and cutting side-to-side.
On the other hand, when I feel like deadlifting, I opt for a pair with flat soles to provide my body with a firm grip on the ground.
By doing so, I force my glutes and hamstrings to work more efficiently, reducing my chances of injuring.
Now, on those few occasions when I can’t choose between the squat rack and the elliptical, I turn to my tried-and-true cross-trainers.
This type of gym shoe accommodates various types of workouts, from running to benching.
And from my experience, cross-trainers with a flexible forefoot and good side-to-side support can get you places.
If you are specializing in Olympic lifting, spare yourself some time, and see the types of Olympic lifting shoes that I have specially selected for you.
Cushioning (Important for Treadmill Buffs)
Another thing to consider when shopping for the best shoes for a gym workout is the cushioning of the kicks – in other words, just how comfy the shoe feels when you put it on.
As I mentioned above, choosing a pair with a cushy design can take your cardio performance to a whole new level, and here’s why…
From the sock liner to the heel collar to the toe box, athletic shoes are specially designed to support your feet while walking, running, or jogging.
But, even though these special feats “hug” your feet and provide them with a sense of support, moving them up and down inside the shoe could lead to injuries due to friction.
That’s where cushioning steps in.
By adding pads to the mix, you prevent your feet from rubbing against the shoe’s rigid parts and spare yourself the blisters.
So, my advice?
Choose a pair with a cushy feel to it, especially if you plan to hit the treadmill once too many times.
Increased Traction (Important for Weightlifting Bros)
If you hit the weight room way too often, keep an eye out for a pair with improved traction.
Since you need to keep your feet grounded during lifts, these kinds of shoes will prevent you from slipping and sliding.
After all, landing in a full split is not the goal here, am I right?
Not that you don’t already know, but note that your shoes will stink after a sweaty gym sesh.
Well, if you don’t want to be that guy (you know, the one with the smelly feet), be mindful of your shoes’ material.
Synthetic fabrics are more breathable than natural textiles such as leather, which is why they’re my top choice when it comes to athletic footwear.
Oh, and a word to the wise: nanofibers are next-level breathable, so you know what to do.
Well, it’s true, I can’t live without my Tanjuns.
From the way they support my feet to the way they look, these Nike kicks are by far the best shoes to match my gym gear and workout I could have ever asked for.
Their cushioning design always surprises me as it “hugs” my feet with care and makes my workouts that much easier.
The kicks also sport a well-designed, no-sew toebox which blesses my movements with a natural flex that most sneakers can’t even dream of.
Another great thing is that they sport a breathable upper that allows the air to pass through and reduces the foul smells.
All in all, I think this Nike line is geared towards everyday comfort, and that’s exactly what I look for in a pair of high-quality gym shoes.
So, yeah, I’d recommend Nike’s Tanjun sneakers in a heartbeat.
But, the real question is: Are you ready to kick into high gear with these top five?