Whether you’re returning to the gym after an extended hiatus or just looking to add some intensity to your workout, a high-performance pair of workout shoes is a worthwhile investment. The tough part? Deciding which ones to get.
Today’s gym shoe market is saturated with brands both big and small––each promoting innovative shoes with flashy names like Alphafly, Ultraboost, and Floatride. To narrow your options, consider the kind of workouts you’ll be doing (like running, resistance training, circuit training, or even outdoor exercises) and choose a shoe that’s designed to match your routine.
To ensure you spend more time on your fitness plan and less time shoe shopping, we rounded up 11 of the best workout shoes for 2022. No matter your budget or workout style, you’ll find the perfect fit with brands including Nike, Adidas, Xero, and more.
1. On Cloud X
The Swiss shoemaker has been gaining popularity, and its all-purpose Cloud X trainer shows why. Its unique hollow CloudTec outsole and dynamic Helion foam cushioning add explosiveness to every step, while raised sidewalls on the sole create a stable platform so you can crush your workout.
Adidas raised the bar for both performance and sustainability with the Ultraboost 22. The cushy Boost midsole cushioning prevents foot fatigue, the Continental rubber outsole adds traction, and the upper is made with a high-performance yarn that contains at least 50 percent recovered ocean plastic—the ultimate feel-good running and workout shoe.
Eyeing some new weightlifting goals? The Nike Metcon 7 will help you reach that PR. The shoe’s wide, flat heel creates a stable platform for heavy lifting, and React foam in the midsole adds cushioning for a comfy feel. The grippy outsoles wrap up around the arch to provide dependable traction for more adventurous workouts like rope climbs.
With its layered support system, responsive HOVR cushioning, and a flexible mesh upper, Under Armour’s HOVR Apex 3 was designed to maximize your movement in all directions. Additionally, its TriBase outsole offers strong grip and flexes with your foot for increased freedom of movement.
Weightlifters will appreciate several features on the Fastlift 360. The external heel cage and Powertruss sole design provide support and a strong base for lifting, while the grippy rubber outsole prevents slips. The upper is made with ballistic nylon, a material that offers excellent protection and durability but can still flex with your foot for a comfortable fit.
A minimalist gym shoe that offers impressive performance and stylish looks, the Nobull Black Canvas Trainer is a top-rated choice. Guards along the sides of the shoe provide added protection and stability, while the outsole lug pattern was designed for flexibility and traction on a variety of surfaces.
If you prefer to break a sweat in the great outdoors, the Floatride Energy 3 Adventure Shoes from Reebok is an excellent footwear choice. The Floatride Energy foam creates a responsive, bouncy feel, the mesh upper is designed to quickly drain water, and the lugged carbon rubber outsole has plenty of durability and grip for jaunts on the dirt.
Thick cushioned midsoles aren’t for everyone, and the Xero Speed Force is ideal for those who prefer a barefoot feel. The flexible rubber outsole, low-to-the-ground design, and wide toe box promote the natural movement of your feet and enhance balance and agility, too. You can also remove the three-millimeter insole to get even closer to the ground.
Save money without sacrificing performance with the Fresh Foam Roav from New Balance. Its Ultra Heel design and bootie upper provide a supportive, snug fit around your foot, the plush Fresh Foam midsole creates a smooth, cushioned ride, and the sticky rubber outsole offers dependable traction.
Don’t let its low price point fool you: The JOLT 3 will get you through your toughest workouts without a hitch. Flex grooves on the outsole aid natural foot movement, while the combination of an ultra-soft sockliner and an EVA midsole provides all the comfort you need.
Kane designed the Revive with recovery in mind. Ideal for post-workout wear, this unique shoe features external holes for enhanced airflow, and raised bumps on the footbed stimulate blood flow to tired muscles. Better yet, the dual-density midsole creates a cushioned feel and oversized channels and sipes on the outsole prevent slips.