12 Best Workout Shoes for Men in 2018

Guys, the struggle to find workout shoes is real. We know because we have wasted time and money on products in the past that ended up failing after very little use.

Sound familiar?

Whether you are just getting into CrossFit or want to upgrade your running shoes to a more comfortable pair, we will highlight the best workout shoes for men who want to ensure that their next purchase doesn’t go to waste.

Continue reading to learn more about the shopping process and see what our experts thought of the top five pairs in the “Review” section.

Top 12 Workout Shoes for Men Comparison Table

DesignNameUseUpper MaterialRating (1-5)
  1. New Men’s Nike Metcon 3 Cross Training Sneaker CrossFit Mesh 4.6
  2. Brooks Men’s Adrenaline Gts 17 Running Synthetic, Mesh 4.6
  3. adidas Performance Men’s Powerlift.2 Trainer Shoe Weightlifting Synthetic, Mesh 4.6
  4. Reebok Men’s Ros Workout Tr 2.0 Cross-trainer Shoe Cardio, Mix Synthetic, Mesh 4.5
  5. K-Swiss Men’s X-160 CMF Training Shoe Cardio, Mix Synthetic, Textile 4.5
6. Inov-8 Men’s Fastlift 325 Cross-Trainer Shoe Weightlifting Synthetic 4.5
7. Nike Flex Experience RN 4 Running Shoe Running Mesh 4.3
8. Inov-8 Men’s F-Lite 235-M Cardio Synthetic, Textile 4.3
  9. Aleader Men’s Mesh Cross-traning Running Shoes Running, Cardio Textile 4.3
  10. Reebok Men’s Yourflex Train 8.0 L MT Training Shoe Running, Cardio Synthetic, Textile 4.2
  11. ASICS Men’s Gel Craze TR 3 Training Shoe Cardio Synthetic, Mesh 3.9
  12. Reebok Men’s Crossfit Nano 7.0 Cross-Trainer Shoe CrossFit Synthetic 3.9

Choose Shoes That Match Your Activities

Those who focus more on cardio workouts have different needs than those who spend the day at the CrossFit center. Not all of us need the same type of shoes, especially since our feet are all different!

When you narrow down the options based on your activities, however, it will be much easier to select the right pair.

  • Weightlifting – Shoes that you would use for high-impact activities such as running or drills have a lot of cushioning to help absorb impact shock, but when it comes to weightlifting, these shoes aren’t going to help you.

Weightlifting shoes have a minimal amount of cushioning in addition to a raised heel, which will help provide you with an increased range of motion in the ankle. The result is a deeper squat.

These shoes also provide you with more stability, which is exactly what you need when you are pumping iron.

  • Cardio – Bring back the cushioning and the shock absorption for these shoes! If you run outdoors, on a treadmill, or even laps around your gym’s indoor track, stick with a running shoe. They are designed with flexible soles that nurture the heel to toe movement, and they have a higher heel drop.

If you know you will be mixing it up with a variety of cardio exercises, fitness machines, and weight training, then you will need a pair of cross trainers. They are designed for multidirectional movement and not just heel to toe motion. If you jump, change direction, move laterally or work out on a variety of surfaces during your cardio routine, then you need cross trainers.

  • CrossFit – CrossFit shoes are in a category all of their own since you need a shoe that will provide you with enough stability for lifting weights as well as being flexible when performing other exercises throughout a routine.

For rope climbing, look for shoes that have a rubberized instep to help provide you with grip.

Those who tend to stick with a mixture of lifting and cardio will do well with shoes like the Reebok Nano 7.0s.

What Do Your Feet Need?

There are a lot of technical terms that surround footwear and feet, but we will give you a breakdown here to make sure you understand how to choose the right workout shoes for your feet.

  • Flat Feet – Try a motion control shoe if you have flat feet and you overpronate to a moderate or severe degree. Pronation is the way your foot rolls when you walk, and for some guys, the foot rolls too far inward; this is known as overpronation.

If you run, stability shoes will help keep your feet in line if you only have mild overpronation issues.

  • Underpronators – When your foot rolls too far outward when you walk or run, this is known as under pronation. The majority of your weight is falling to the outside of the foot throughout your gait.

In your case, shoes that have plenty of cushioning will help keep things in line, or a neutral shoe if your problem is mild.

Why Upper Material Matters

The uppers – or the top portion of the shoes that cover your feet – come in different materials, and the type you choose does have an impact on your workout.

If you are looking for better stability, then you need shoes that have synthetic material on the uppers. A mixture of mesh and synthetic or textile and synthetic is fine since they create air vents on the shoes, but those with mesh only on the top – such as the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17 – won’t provide you with the same level of stability as shoes such as the adidas Performance Powerlift 2.0.

Mesh is also useful if you tend to sweat a lot or when the weather is warmer since the material is so breathable.

Top 5 Best Workout Shoes for Men Reviews

1. Nike Metcon 3

Shoe Weight – 11.5 ounces.

The best workout shoes for men interested in CrossFit are definitely the Metcon 3s from Nike.

You will notice that the rubber from the sole extends up to the instep, which will help provide you with plenty of grip when you’re rope climbing.

The level of stability that they provide makes them ideal for weight lifting, and the flexibility allows you to sprint, cut, and perform wall exercises with ease. There is also a heel clip that will prevent any drag from slowing you down for those wall exercises, and the level of traction is powerful.

We were surprised at the level of stability these provided considering that the uppers are mesh. The secret to Nike’s success, in this case, is due to the flywire cables they use to help provide a solid lockdown on your feet.

If you are serious about Crossfit or need a versatile shoe for any other workout style that mixes a variety of exercises and movements, these shoes are worth every penny.

2. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17

Shoe Weight – 10.7 ounces.

If the majority of your exercise involves running or jogging, then you need a solid pair of shoes on your feet that can provide you with the cushion you need.

Quite a few guys find the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17 to be a good match, especially those with flat to medium arches. As a stability running shoe, these are recommended for those of you mild overpronation issues.

The shoes are designed with a progressive diagonal roll bar that will help guide your body back into its natural path of motion as you run, and the mixture of synthetic and mesh material on the top provide you with superb stability.

They are just as pricey as the Nike’s, but they’re worth it if running is your main way of working out.

3. adidas Performance Powerlift.2

Shoe Weight – Not Specified.

Guys who prefer to spend their time lifting weights in the gym need a pair of adidas Performance Powerlift 2.0s on their feet. Unlike the Nike Metcon 3 that was designed for a mixture of uses – weight lifting included – these shoes are more in line with a lifter’s needs.

The fit is wide, which provides your feet with room to expand when you are putting so much pressure on them during a lift, and the raised wedge heel will make your squatting experience so much better.

The fit feels great and the quality is there, but one small detail that we found a bit annoying was the length of the shoelaces. They were long – too long – which left a lot of excess material that needed to be tucked away. Fortunately, all you need to do is purchase some new laces if this bothers you.

If you have never tried using a pair of shoes designed specifically for lifting, or if you are replacing an old pair, consider the Performance Powerlift.2 from adidas.

4. Reebok Ros Workout Tr 2.0

Shoe Weight – Not Specified.

Does your workout consist of a little bit of everything? If so, Reebok’s Ros Workout Tr 2.0 shoes will offer you everything you need.

They provide you with excellent grip thanks to the tread pattern on the soles, and they feature a low-profile build for better stability when lifting.

Doing some high-impact intervals in your routine? No problem, because these shoes have the cushioning to absorb impact shock.

Even for CrossFit, these shoes are a great choice, especially if the Nike’s were a bit out of your price range. They will not perform as well in rope climbing as the Metcon 3s, but they get the job done.

Most guys find them to be comfortable, but they do tend to be a bit narrow. If you have wide feet, consider some of the other cross trainers we included on our list.

5. K-Swiss X-160 CMF Training Shoe

Shoe Weight – Not Specified.

Want an affordable running shoe that you can use for a few other exercises, as well? K-Swiss is a great brand to consider.

These shoes are incredibly cushioned, making them ideal for high-impact workouts and, of course, running.

The uppers are just as breathable and stable as the previous shoes since they combine a mixture of mesh and synthetic material, so if you sweat heavily or you’re headed outdoors in the summer, these will help keep you nice and cool.

One of the most unique features of these shoes is on the soles, where you’ll see how K-Swiss has incorporated their Tubes Technology to provide you with superior cushioning and comfort. The empty “tubes” that they have designed into them provide you with superb shock absorption, which is why they work so great for runners.

While the level of quality and craftsmanship isn’t anywhere near as good as the other brands in our top five, these are still some of the best workout shoes for men shopping on a budget.