Let’s face it: half the fun of going to the gym and getting pumped up is hoarding a stockpile of sick workout gear, gym accessories and smart fitness gadgets. [Laughs in Gymshark.] However, there is a bit more when it comes to shoes. It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice who’s embarked on some kind of New Year’s health and fitness resolution that you’re “really going to stick to this year”, or if you’re an OG gym rat. With calluses the size of a dime, wearing the wrong shoes while working out doesn’t just look dusty, it can lead to all kinds of joint pain and injury. (You wouldn’t run a 5K in a pair of sandals or dress shoes, would you? Blister City.)
Finding the right pair of training shoes for your specific needs is a must, and a solid pair doesn’t have to break the bank either. These days, workout shoes can be affordable, comfortable, and cool enough to hang out in. Whether you’re just starting your fitness journey or you’re a seasoned member of your local 24/7 gym, here are a few of our favorite workout shoes, from runners cool enough to wear to the club and platform lift shoes to everyday sneakers and more.
Our favorite runners
I have long praised how much i love Cloudstratus running shoes from At. The extra cushion helps relieve my joint pain and makes it easier to run. Plus, they’re cool enough to wear without feeling like a doofus. (Note: They also make a great gift. I bought these for my dad and he has been talking about them ever since.)
Dope design, even better function
As well as being essentially streetwear, these all-gender Clifton Edge sneakers are “designed to help you feel like you could run forever.” They’re made with a combination of responsive cushion and HOKA’s softest, lightest foam yet, and feature a unique heel geometry to help cushion your impact and increase the gliding feel you crave. Plus, if you’re not a racer, you can swap them out for those crispy FILAs you wanted to throw away.
A pair of timeless classics
Generally, having a flat bottom isn’t something people look for, unless it’s in a lifting shoe, of course. A flat-bottomed lifting shoe allows for greater stability when lifting heavy loads, which is essential if you are trying to PICK IT UP AND SET IT DOWN. Plus, these classic Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars go with any outfit, so they can be moonlit as everyday kicks when you’re not showing the iron who’s boss.
Earn your (three) stripes
If you’re a casual weightlifter or gym goer looking for good shoes for exercise and general activity, these Adidas NMD_R1 are where it’s at. They’re made with a soft, stretchy knit upper and feature signature Boost cushioning for all-day comfort. Additionally, Adidas created this line using Primeblue, a high-performance recycled material made in part with Parley plastic ocean.
On the other hand, for more serious lifters and aspiring powerlifting pros, you can’t go wrong with a solid pair of weightlifting shoes. And, as it turns out, Adidas’ Powerlift 4’s are lightweight, feature both a high-density wedge midsole and lace-up closure with a hook-and-loop top strap, and ultimately look sick.
To fly like a bird
The Allbirds aren’t just for guys working in start-ups, they’re actually nice, responsibly produced sneakers. “Nowadays people are also looking for shoes that are good for the environment, that are made ethically,” Craig Dotya NASM Certified Trainer, Explain. “I really like the Allbirds in this category; they are known to be comfortable and durable.
all the birds
all the birds
These unisex Workout Plus sneakers from Reebok aren’t just cool kicks that go with everything; they’re actually solid workout shoes that come in a litany of different colors, can be worn in the gym or on the street, and give off that “I’m retro, but I’m not trying too hard” look. . I mean, come on, look at this little flag. So cute.
When streetwear and athleisure meet
Look, not everyone has enough time to hit the gym, go back to their apartment, get changed and hang out. That’s where these limited-edition Speedcross 3 ADV trainers from Salomon come in – when you’ve got a HIIT class at noon and a night squinting at a DJ in pink indoor sunglasses at 11am, there’s no there is no better option.
Meet near the squat rack.
Rec Room staff independently curated all items featured in this story.