Are you ready to take your current exercise program to the next level? Try High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This form of training boosts the mind and body through coordination training that enhances strength, power, and speed.
It is also often considered as one of the most extreme forms of exercising known to exist. HIIT classes will take you to the extreme and beyond.
For the benefit of exercise buffs and newbies ready to “sweat it out” on the treadmill and with other gadgets in the gym, this article focuses on the 7 best shoes for HIIT training in 2022. It presents a number of factors that must be considered before making a final decision.
Based on quality and many other considerations, the Adidas Men’s Powerlift.3.1 Cross Trainer Shoe meets and exceeds all the preset requirements for a well-balanced, well-designed HIIT, cross-training shoe.
Best Shoes for HIIT and Cross Training
Below is the full list that made the top 7 based on quality, style, and design.
1. Adidas Men’s Powerlift.3.1 Cross Trainer
If you are looking for a cross-training shoe with additional support without sacrificing comfort at the same time, then you need to take a closer look at the incredible Adidas Men’s Powerlift.3.1 Cross Trainer.
These shoes allow your feet to spread without overcompensation, made possible because a higher density die-cut wedge midsole will help to keep you stable during the most crucial parts of your lift.
According to recent purchasers, these cross-training shoes offer one of the most reliable and stable platforms, including a secure fit and expanded width when needed, leading to increased comfort. The grip-friendly rubber outsole provides a firm foundation on all surfaces while additional lock-in support is provided with an instep strap closure that keeps your feet in place.
Your feet will remain cooler and dry due to the unique styling of the tongue and collar of these weightlifting, cross-training shoes. They come with a lightweight synthetic upper that is comfortable, stable, and durable. You can also use this shoe for light kickboxing workout.
These shoes are a product of a company that continues on the right path to further success.
- Lightweight and very stable
- Perforated collar
- World-renowned Adidas logo and lines embossed on it
- Velcro Loop for a stronger but easier fit
- Mesh collar
- Open forefoot structure
- Flexible, rounded toe
- Foam midsole
- A little narrow
- The heel needs support and elevation
- No sizing options for larger feet
These shoes designed for weightlifters are not only good-looking but very affordable too. With near perfect ranking on Amazon, it should be clear to see why these shoes remain a preferred pick over other weightlifting footwear in the market.
2. RYKA Women’s Tenacity Cross-Trainer Shoe
Although currently listed as a dance studio shoe with street and gym style fused in, the overall appearance of these shoes indicates something very different.With rugged good looks and a higher than average silhouette height, these shoes are worn by women that love to experience the outer edge, pushing all boundaries.
Setting personal records will not be a problem while wearing these shoes.
The higher-up ankle design is ideal for HIIT exercises given that it offers good lateral side-to-side support. Low profiled platform highlights the n-gage EVA forefoot for extra cushioning when needed, and of course, the Mid-foot strap gives a firmer fit with personal adjustments.
The pivot point of these shoes allows for moves that are often part of Jazzercise or Zumba classes largely because the good arch support is provided by Flextra, found only on these very distinctive looking versatile shoes.
Its uniquely-styled rounded toe design offers extra room for the toes to move freely and frequently while I.H.G clip provides additional heel support and stability.
- User-rated “Amazon Choice”
- Lace-up front
- Smooth lining
- Dual foam cushioning insole good for users with orthotic needs
- Rubber traction outsole
- Synthetic and mesh uppers
- Worth the price tag
- Sturdy enough to offer stability
- Inadequate padding
- Limited support
- Poor color choices
3. Reebok Men’s CROSSFIT Speed TR Cross Trainer
Speed and agility work very well together while wearing these cross-training shoes.
The Reebok Men’s CROSSFIT Speed TR Cross-Trainer is built for muscle support and increased balance while also offering a built-in compression sleeve for stability. Metafoot flex grooves also allow for expanded toe spread-out for additional comfort.
Similarly, specifically targeted underfoot for advanced cushioning provides excellent support and comfort.
These shoes are lightweight and designed specifically for cross-training. Its trademark CORDURA® uppers are tough, durable, and supportive, capable of withstanding even the most extreme workouts.
Its amazing low-profile platform with increased traction outsole provides stability and a high level of gripping on all surfaces, ensuring you continue to perform without weighing your feet down.
You can switch from sprints to squats, to weights, and back again while wearing the best shoes for interval training. The exposed heel clip is another new introduction among a new generation of features that adds additional stability when needed for difficult exercise routines.
- Better suited for less strenuous workouts
- Flared outsole
- Metasploit flex grooved outsole
- Sweat/heat resistant collar and tongue
- Anti-friction collars
- Molded compression midsole
- Priced cheaper than its peers
- Ideal for cross-training
- Durability issues
- Weak upper fabric
It is disappointing, though, that these shoes are rated low by customers on Amazon compared to others in its category. This is despite the fact that the manufacturer boasts of a stellar reputation.
4. PUMA Women’s Fierce Core Cross-Trainer Shoe
These shoes stand out not only in looks but also in styling, such that they are now setting trends from coast to coast. The PUMA Women’s Fierce Core Cross-Trainer Shoe is a perfect complement to denim skirts, shorts, and skinny jeans designed with a modern flair.
Looking more like a premier fashion shoe than a training shoe, the style of these shoes brings about a different look and approach that makes them qualify as one of the best shoes for interval training.
Besides the rugged good looks of these shoes, there is more to discover that keeps them flying off the shelves.
Designed to be both versatile and functional, these shoes provide optimal comfort and support.
With increased medial and lateral support for 360-degree movements, they also offer an exaggerated heel thickness on both sides that guarantees increased stability during light or medium workouts.
- Breathable mesh uppers
- Cage overlay for optimal lockdown
- Internal flatlock precision stitching
- Outside pivot points at heels
- Increased traction rubber outsole
- Great looking and very stylish
- Very affordable
- Highly admired by outdoor-going ladies
- Comfort issues
- Not very suitable for HIIT intense workouts
Although highly ranked on Amazon, these shoes do not offer the support required to be considered cross-training shoes. Nonetheless, customers are largely attracted because of the very affordable price.
5. New Balance Women’s 20v7 Minimus Cross Trainer
You will never feel out of balance when wearing these women’s cross-training shoes.
Nylon infused yarn surrounds the feet with a protective barrier that is built with good lateral support. Seamless uppers with one-piece Vibram outsole assures good traction required when wearing these shoes for more intense workouts.
Asymmetrical collar comprised of molded foam provides a more natural fit. It also comes with a flatter outsole, which is the perfect look of a good HIIT shoe capable of withstanding some of the grueling exercises for women.
Listing these shoes as great for running, mountain climbing, jumping, and burpees may be stretching it a bit too far, though.
Typically, shoes designed as a cross-trainer model are best suited for one purpose – cross-training exercises and certainly not for running or mountain climbing. On the other hand, running shoes require additional midsole support with more shock-absorbing cushioning not found or offered on these cross-training shoes.
- Engineered knit/synthetic uppers
- No-sew overlays
- Odor resistant
- Awesome lateral and arch support
- Highly comfortable
- No negative issues provided at this time except for the limited color it offers
These shoes remain highly rated on Amazon for one specific reason – limited reviews. Only time will tell if it can hold its own among highly demanding customers.
6. ASICS Women’s Conviction X Cross-Trainer Shoe
These women’s shoes were designed for high-intensity training. They come with a firmer, flat heel that, in turn, offers increased stability.
Specialized rhynoskin technology produces one of the most durable and toughest quarter panels among the leading (and competing) styles in women’s exercise footwear.
Seamless uppers are designed with tear-resistant composition leather that blends nicely into the mesh parts of the toe box. Ventilated heel, perfect toe box, and a soft tongue keep your feet cool and dry. The tongue has a unique pocket for the extra-long laces, therefore, maintaining the nice clean look of a premium cross-training shoe.
High abrasion rubber can be found on the entire length offering superior traction. With a new meaning to the word versatile, these cross-training shoes can also be used as slippers for casual wear.
The amazing rubber sole also provides excellent protection on any terrain and condition such as strolling on the sidewalk, hitting the court, or venturing off on a rugged mountain trail.
Just like some amazing everyday shoes, the ASICS Women’s Conviction X Cross-Trainer Shoe is so versatile too.
- External TPU heel counter
- Removable insole
- Flexible forefoot
- Lower heel height
- Excellent responsiveness
- Super comfortable on rugged surfaces
- Works as a cross-trainer and ideal for a diverse kind of outdoor run too
- Wide toe box
- Easy lacing
- Inadequate cushioning
- Poor traction
- Available in one single color
Less than stellar ratings on Amazon due to limited reviews available makes it difficult to judge for now.
7. Nike Women’s Free 5.0 Tr Fit 5 Training Shoe
Now, here is a pair of shoes designed for women who want more intense training. With just the right amount of cushioning without the extra weight, it is simply perfect.
Mimicking the feeling of bare feet, these are perhaps some of the very best shoes for HIIT workouts that offer a full range of motion without restrictions. With natural movements, you will be able to experience all the insanity that HIIT workouts bring along.
These shoes are solid, supportive and comfortable.
These women’s shoes provide excellent arch support for good stability since they are manufactured with a lightweight midsole and less foam. This might be good and comforting, but it can also spell trouble given the lack of solid cushioning – especially when used for activities other than HIIT exercises.
Be that as it may, the heel drop remains above the prevailing standards of 4mm, making it a proper HIIT training-shoe.
From core to cardio or circuit training, this sneaker is designed for multidirectional movement, an integral part of all HIIT exercises.
The breathable mesh uppers offer superior support that retains the overall lightweight configuration of these athletic designed cross-training shoes.
- Dynamic Flywire technology
- Phylite cushioning midsole
- Removable insole
- Synthetic mesh uppers/linings
- Bootie construction
- Extra light
- Breathable and easy to wash
- Very affordable
- Available in multiple colors
- Declining comfort
The brand name, Nike, has contributed to the success of this footwear and as such, they continue to rank high on Amazon.
What to Look for When Buying Shoes for HIIT
HIIT exercise sessions are considered to be one of the most extreme workouts on the planet. One thing is for sure, you are going to sweat a lot, and so are your feet.
Shoes designed for HIIT classes should be lightweight and capable of removing moisture from your feet while you are at it. As such, the best shoes for HIIT classes often have mesh panels that allow your feet to breathe, and they come with additional small perforations that easily allow heat to escape.
Achieving the perfect fit remains one of the leading reasons for complaints from the majority of Crossfit shoe consumers and as such, they are often encouraged to order a half size up when ordering shoes online.
This is, however, not the case when ordering shoes for HIIT classes.
Due to multidirectional movements and the need for stability in HIIT classes, your shoes should fit according to your present foot size.
Shoes for Crossfit training should feel comfortable the first time that they are worn with no break-in period required.
One hallmark of HIIT classes is the frequent lateral side-to-side repetitive movements. Traditional exercise shoes focus mainly on comfort and cushioning with little to no support for lateral movements. Cross-training shoes, on the other hand, require proper foot support for some of the most intense workouts that are known to exist.
HIIT shoes require support to prevent a slide-out over the edges of your shoes with possible injuries occurring.
This explains why external cages are built into shoes designed for HIIT classes so as to compensate for extreme lateral movements.
Exercise shoes worn outside will obviously not last as long as shoes that are customarily worn indoors. Durable exercise shoes can last for months, even years, depending on the frequency of use. Luckily, most HIIT classes are conducted indoors usually with little to no exposure to outside weather conditions.
Shoes purchased solely for use for cross-training and HIIT classes should not be used for any other form of exercising. Take care of your cross-training shoes, and they will take care of you.
The drop of cross-training shoes is the difference in height from the heel to the toe. Crossfit shoes typically have a heel drop of about 4mm compared to an 8mm drop for average training or running shoes.
HIIT shoes are generally flat in appearance, allowing for closer contact to floor surfaces during HIIT classes.
The smallest rise in a cross-training shoe can cause severe imbalance during difficult HIIT class movements. For this reason, cross-training shoes should also be multidirectional in flexibility and grip.
Fast-paced workouts in HIIT classes require the right amount of traction. From climbing ropes to jumping over small hurdles, optimal traction is needed at all times. Cross-training shoes for HIIT classes should have a durable outsole with rubber added to the forefoot for quick movements.
Outsoles and midsoles of cross-training shoes are typically much firmer than standard exercise shoes.
Also, some cross-training shoes worn in HIIT classes will provide a metal divot that extends upwards to support rope climbing and other precarious movements.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What should the fit of my CrossFit shoe be like?
A. One excellent and easy way to see if the Crossfit shoes are the right length is to measure a thumb-wide space from your longest toe to the end of the shoe. If it feels comfortable, then you know it’s the right fit.
Your size will also have a lot to do with the fit you are looking for. Along with the fit, your new Crossfit shoes should also have adequate heel support.
This plays a big role in finding shoes that fit correctly.
Q. Can I wear Crossfit shoes for weightlifting?
A. Crossfit shoes are primarily worn in HIIT classes and during other similar forms of exercises. These shoes are designed with features that protect your feet during weightlifting moves such as jerks and squats.
Make sure that the shoes you will be wearing for heavy lifting have the support that is required when lifting twice your body weight.
Q. Can I use CrossFit shoes for running?
A. Crossfit shoes are designed to be less cushioned but with more support in the heel area where most of the weight is placed during weightlifting.
The same shoes may not be ideal for running.
Running shoes typically require more support from the midsole to the outsole with a higher cushioning factor. Sticking to Crossfit shoes that are designed for exercises like aerobics and intense workout might be a better idea.
Q. How long can I expect my pair of Crossfit training shoes to last?
A. That would depend on the frequency of use and how your shoes are used. In other words, the length of time that shoes will last may vary. A pair of shoes may last from six months to a year for one person but only three to four months for someone else.
In essence, taking good care of your shoes with occasional cleaning and removing of mud and other debris will definitely make them last longer.
The brand and model is another factor to consider too.
Q. How much can I expect to spend on a pair of training shoes?
A. The price range for a good pair of Crossfit shoes often depends on the manufacturer and the composition of the shoe in general. With a budget in mind, finding the right Crossfit shoe should not be a problem. There is virtually an unlimited number of online stores offering a wide range of Crossfit shoes in every style, color, and configuration imaginable.
Doing some homework, reading user reviews and feedback about the Crossfit shoes that you are interested in will often produce the results you are looking for.
Q. What kind of shoes should I wear for High-Intensity Workouts?
A. HIIT training is not entirely new and the class formats are often well-established, therefore it might be better to look at the type of training that will take place in your HIIT training classes before going for the shoes.
Not all HIIT classes are the same; some are much more rigorous than others. Looking at the types of exercises that will be undertaken will give you a better idea in regards to what kind of shoes you will be needing.
When looking for a change of pace from your usual mundane exercise routine, HIIT is the experience of a lifetime that will open your eyes to things around you may have never noticed before.
Pushing yourself to the limits with rigorous and extreme exercises requires specialized footwear that is capable of handling a variety of sharp lateral movements.
Similar in appearance to the more traditional exercise shoes worn to the gym, cross-training shoes have a lower heel drop that improves stability with closer and better traction on floor surfaces.
Available in a broader range of styles and colors, shoes worn to HIIT exercise classes need to perform at the maximum at all times.
Cross-training shoes are a hybrid of several different types of athletic footwear that makes them unique and specialized. Discovering the difference between an “x-training” shoe versus the traditional exercise shoe is the first step into another world of self-fulfillment.
- What to Know About High-Intensity Training Shoes, dickssportinggoods, March 19, 2020