Finding the right workout trainer brings needles and haystacks to mind, mainly because the gym experience is so varied: one man’s go-to workout consists of treadmills and rowing machines, another camps out by the squat racks, and others still enjoy a bit of everything.
We’ve covered lifting-specific shoes here, but if you need something to cover all bases – from burpees to barbells – the following trainers combine cardio comfort with a decent amount of weights-ready stability.
MF BEST BUY:
Allbirds Tree Dasher
Allbirds is the brand marrying performance with sustainability. Every shoe it produces uses as much natural material like wool, tree and sugar as possible, and the brand prides itself on being 100 per cent carbon neutral.
Thankfully those eco credentials are backed up by impressive design, too, with the Tree Dasher boasting a dual-density SweetFoam® midsole for cushioning, stability and ample energy return.
Elsewhere, the seamless one-piece upper – made from FSC® Certified eucalyptus trees – provides sock-like comfort whatever the workout.
NOBULL Granite Trainer
A premium-quality shoe for every type of training, NOBULL’s Granite Trainer combines next-level comfort with a level of lightweight stability that’s hard to come by.
Durability and breathability are provided by the seamless one-piece upper – made from abrasion-resistant SuperFabric® – and underfoot grip is ensured with criss-crossed lugs on the outsole.
New Balance Minimus TR
From weights work to HIIT circuits, the Minimus TR has got you covered.
No-sew overlays on the upper combine with ‘premium liners’ inside the shoe for silky-soft comfort (New Balance even designed the shoe to be worn without socks), while full rubber coverage across the midsole delivers added cushioning and support.
On Cloud X
Swiss brand On has successfully shaken up the world of running shoes, and if the Cloud X is anything to go by there’s every sign it can do the same in gym wear.
The lightweight frame means you won’t be weighed down when working out, while Helion™ Superfoam cushioning does a fine job of absorbing impact. Breathability is ensured by the mesh upper and integrated tongue and sock layer lining.
Puma Pure XT
Even if you struggle to stomach the average price of trainers, Puma’s Pure XT is more than just a budget-friendly option.
All-surface traction is provided by a PUMAGRIP rubber compound on the outsole, while the ProFoam ion midsole ensures lightweight shock absorption. The shoe fits a dream, too, thanks to the wraparound TPU cage.
Asics Gel-Kayano 28
Primarily a running shoe, but one more than capable of transitioning to the gym floor, Asics’ Gel-Kayano has been around since the mid-90s and has plenty of high-spec features to show for it.
A redesigned external heel counter helps lock the foot in place, and the rearfoot and forefoot GEL™ cushioning soaks up impact with ease.
With a low profile and flat base, Mizuno’s TC-11 bears all the hallmarks of a weightlifting shoe. However, the knitted upper and soft, flexible midsole make it just as at home pounding out burpees as picking up heavy stuff from the floor.
The jack-of-all-trades approach means it doesn’t quite excel in either area, but this is a perfectly good shoe for anyone who enjoys an all-action approach to fitness.