Best gym trainers for men & women 2023
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a January gym-goer, or you’re one of those keen beans who works out relentlessly (we truly envy your commitment levels), gym trainers will always be the most important aspect of your exercise outfit.
You absolutely must choose the right ones.
A good pair of gym trainers will help serve a number of purposes including comfort, stability, support and of course, helping you to look fly as hell while you pump iron.
Today’s the day to toss out those stinking, hole-ridden abominations and slide yourself into some pillowy soft, fresh new gym trainers.
We’ve got the best options for both men and women, so let’s get you back to feeling the burn in style.
Jump straight to:
What are the best types of trainers for the gym?
Each individual type of gym shoe is incredibly important for their particular purpose, much like boots with different soles for various football pitch types.
And the so-called ‘best type’ relates to your specific needs within your workout environment.
We’re not daft, we don’t expect anyone to rock up to their local gym sporting a pair of Doc Martens anytime soon, but there are subtle differences in gym footwear which you need to know about before you invest.
Let’s take a look at the options and then show you the best available for each one.
All-round / CrossFit / HIIT gym trainers
These are specific shoes created for the all-round gym experience. They usually have a flatter sole than running shoes (sometimes with instep rope grips) but still contain a slight curve to them to help with warm-ups and light cardio.
Stability and shock absorption are still the most important factors for this type of gym trainer. High-intensity interval training class? Covered. Little go on the bike or the rower? Covered. Just don’t go full Forrest Gump and you’ll be fine.
Specialised running shoes
One for the treadmill junkie. Built for the sole purpose of providing comfort and stability when the wearer is jogging and sprinting.
There’s absolutely no harm in having a pair of running shoes as your all-round gym trainers, but only if you’re focused more on cardio than getting hench. Go on, unleash your inner Sir Mo Farah.
Weightlifting / powerlifting shoes
For all those powerlifting folk and members of things such as the #SquatSquad. Weightlifting shoes are built entirely for stability and extra shock absorption.
These shoes often have a flat sole with a wider, raised heel area, helping to distribute immense weight more evenly across the feet. Definitely don’t go near the treadmill in these.
Best gym trainers for men
Best all-rounder: Nike Metcon 8
Nike doesn't mess around when it comes to producing footwear fit for athletes, or the casual gym-goer, for that matter.
Whichever way you see yourself, the Nike Metcon 8 is the latest release from their highly-respected training shoe collection.
With more breathability and tech than ever before, they feature React foam midsoles plus incredible traction through a rubber outsole and rubber insteps for rope climbs.
Oh, did we mention they also look fantastic in the flexing mirror? They’re the only gym buddies you’ll ever need.
Best for CrossFit: Reebok Nano X2
The Reebok Nano X2 is a little bit of a hybrid for those people who don’t mind breaking 5km records, then jumping off to snap some muscle fibres.
Renowned as a popular CrossFit shoe, this next-gen Nano is tough enough for whatever routine you throw at it.
The Nano X2 is all supported by a comfortable Floatride Energy Foam midsole, mmm.
The Flexweave woven upper gives the shoe a breathable feel, meaning they can live in the gym bag without gassing out your car either.
Best for HIIT: Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2
Marketed as being “a racing powerhouse”, the Nike ZoomX is built for ultimate comfort too.
It has Nike’s best energy return per step and a carbon-fibre lightweight plate gives more response than ever before.
The mesh fabric gives all-round breathability and the internal foam insert on the heel along with a wider toe area, gives the perfect build to tackle anything that HIIT class throws at you.
Plus, it’s World Athletics approved. So there.
Best for running: Asics Gel-Kayano 29
They’re legendary in the exercise game, it’s Asics. Those lot really know how to provide their customers with ultimate support and comfort for their sweat sessions.
If you haven’t tried a trainer that has Asics Gel, then you’re truly in for a treat. It's stability heaven.
This OG classic Gel-Kayano gets updated every year. With its FFBLAST+ technology running throughout the sole, it means you won’t feel anything but a pillowy cushion with each step.
Wait, are they making Asics Gel mattresses yet?
Best for weightlifting: adidas Adipower 3
One for the iron pumping crew. Couldn’t get further from a treadmill if you tried? This is the one for you.
The clue’s in the name, you’re going to want to hump lumps in these. Call us old-fashioned, but we do like the clean, simple design and colourways too.
With a canvas upper and straps, the adidas Adipower 3 is somehow both stable and flexible at the same time.
An EVA foam heel manages to take any level of squat strain, whilst the sole gives you enough grip to avoid any embarrassing groin strain mishaps.
Best gym trainers for women
Best all-rounder: Asics Gel-Cumulus 24
When it comes to a bit of everything, this natural neutral from Asics has what it takes.
Coming in a little cheaper than the Gel-Kayano, the Asics Gel-Cumulus is built for shorter distances and all-round balance.
With a sole that's packed with FFBLAST tech, it'll have every step on the floor, the stairs and the HIIT class covered with comfort.
An unstoppable model from one of the best sports footwear brands around. It's a must-have for the casual's gym bag.
Best for CrossFit: Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 3
BIG visuals included here. It isn’t just looks though, the Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 3 is a top-tier gym shoe, built for HIIT performance.
The clear talking point is the two hefty Zoom Air units, ready to absorb every single bound and leap.
The inside arcs and mesh ribbing work together to provide lateral support for the foot during side-to-side moves.
The upper is beautiful and breathable, whilst the outsole offers pure traction through a split sole which promotes natural movement. Trust us, these will HIIT the spot.
Best for HIIT: Reebok HIIT TR3
A slightly cheaper alternative to the Nano, but every bit as good, the Reebok HIIT TR3 can step up to the job.
Using the same lightweight FLOATRIDE technology underfoot, it cushions your landings and helps you spring into the next movement.
The split outsole with rubber traction is going to help you grip hard on those sweaty studio floors. Mesh uppers keep you cool too.
This is a solid shoe for HIIT, available in lots of fun colourways. And it's not too expensive either. Bonus.
Best for running: adidas Ultraboost 22
You’ve likely seen us wax lyrical about how good the earlier versions of this trainer are.
Well, it’s good news for #girlswhocan, because the new adidas Ultraboost 22 is available right now. And it’s been created by a design team made up entirely of women. Wonderful.
It’s worth mentioning that this shoe is lightweight and perfect for all-round workouts or classes too.
Where does this trainer excel most though? Hammering the treadmills of this world, that’s where. The BOOST midsole is known to be one of the finest around and frankly, the whole package looks amazing.
Best for weightlifting: Nike Metcon 8
It’s another win for the Nike Metcon 8. As you’d expect, the women’s version is every bit as good as the men’s design.
Perfect for the warm-up on the cardio and can effortlessly shift you into your floor and machine routines. And you only have to buy one pair to do it all, winner.
They come in a wide range of colourways with the same levels of breathability, durability and support as the men’s sizes.
Nike hasn't held back on improving this Metcon model and we think it’s the ideal time for you to invest.
Not find anything that’s suitable for your particular needs in the gym? That’s fine! We’ve got the cheapest prices for a massive range of running shoes, gym trainers and weightlifting shoes at FOOTY.COM.
Don’t break sweat trying to find deals, you can find them all here.