Are you ready to jump into your fitness routine this 2020?
Yeah, I bet you’re pretty pumped up to crush your fitness goals this year and I am, too! There’s just something about the start of the year that makes you want to chase those goals down.
And speaking of chasing, you’re probably looking to stuff your feet into those ratty running shoes and hit the ground running STAT.
Before you end up making one of your first fitness mistakes for the year, allow me to let you come to a screeching halt. While those shoes might be the comfiest, cushiest pair you have lying around, you might be missing out on serious gains with those same shoes.
To get the most out of your training, you need to start looking at footwear that can deliver more than your run-of-the-mill running shoes. Specifically, a pair that is up for those days when you’re doing squats and deadlifting but can easily shift to those days when you’re pounding miles underfoot.
Confused? Don’t worry. This article will cover some of the best training shoes for men so you can truly crush those goals this year!
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- Best Training Shoes for Men
- Things to Keep in Mind
Best Training Shoes for Men
New Year, new shoes! If you are looking for shoes that can take you off the rack to the track, these are the shoes that are up for that challenge.
The Nike Metcon 3 is the latest model in the popular Metcon series. It retains all the critical design elements in its predecessors but comes with a new innovation-a drop-in midsole that is firm in the heel area and softer in the forefoot. This provides the necessary cushioning for those sprints while the firm rubber heel and flat platform give you the stability you need to generate force for lifting.
This is probably one of the more versatile training shoes and can reportedly endure the most grueling workouts from wall exercises to sprinting to lifting.
An upgrade introduced in January, called Flyknit technology, boasts of added comfort and breathability while maintaining a sock-like fit.
- A versatile shoe with enough cushioning for short sprints while providing stability needed for lifting.
- Made of lightweight material with added durability in key high-wear areas by way of embroidery without adding more weight.
- The flat platform enables you to plant your feet flat on the floor-great for deadlifting!
- Made of breathable material and mesh on the heel and ankle keep feet cool.
- Squeaky like previous Metcons.
- Traction is not so good for outdoor running. These shoes are not really slip-resistant and would be safer used indoors.
- There are issues with the fit when the shoes are ordered online. I suggest going to a physical store to make sure they fit you well.
- Not so affordable compared to other training shoes. Even more expensive if you get the pair with Flyknit technology.
If we’re talking about the best training shoes for men, it is impossible to miss including the Reebok Nanos in the discussion.
The Reebok CrossFit Nano 7 is the latest in the company’s Nano series and came out about the same time Nike released the Metcon 3. Where Nike retains most of the things that make their Metcons, well, Metcons, Reebok is fond of making an almost complete overhaul in every generation of Nanos.
So, what’s up with the Nano 7?
For the latest generation of Nanos, Reebok employed their new NanoWeave tech upper for added breathability and comfort. What is NanoWeave, pray tell?
Well, it’s sort of like an exoskeleton encasing the shoe in a protective shell, providing added durability while keeping the shoes more comfortable.
Reebok also boasts of its multi-surface outsole that is specifically designed to help you take on those rope climbs and burpees with ease.
- It is a bit pricey but it is more affordable than the Nike Metcon 3 DSX Flyknit.
- This is a shoe that is constructed pretty well and can pretty much take a beating.
- NanoWeave tech upper provides added durability while keeping the shoes breathable and comfortable.
- There is a 4-mm drop from the heel to the toes, which make these shoes great for squats and lifting.
- Crystallized rubber outsoles with multi-directional pattern for better grip even with changes in direction.
- These shoes look a lot like the Metcon 3. In fact, Reebok got a lot of flak for the overall aesthetics of the Nano 7.
- Uncomfortable design with narrow toe box and the heel keeps rubbing against the skin. Better wear socks.
- These shoes might initially feel very uncomfortable but Reebok assures that they get more comfortable the more you wear them. Looks like they need to be properly broken in.
Compared to big names in training shoes like Nike and Reebok, Asics is still quite new in the arena of training shoe showdowns. In spite of all that, Asics managed to get a lot of things right with their first entry into the said arena—the Met-Conviction, which sounds almost like Nike’s very popular Metcon series.
The Conviction X came out sometime in January 2017 and is, according to Asics, geared towards high-intensity training. It utilizes its patented Rhynoskin synthetic leather to enhance its durability. It also uses its trademark integrated lace garage technology to keep your laces from coming undone.
Other than that, it has a perforated sockliner for improved drainage of moisture and increased breathability. If you tend to workout in hotter environments, you might want to check these out.
- This is one of the most sensitive minimalist training shoes, allowing you to feel the ground and let you adjust as you see fit.
- Breathability is topnotch. The Conviction X is highly recommended if you work out in a hot environment.
- Lace garage technology keeps your laces from coming undone.
- A heel drop of 4 mm is acceptable for weightlifting.
- Seamless materials are used to prevent irritation from the more traditional stitches and seams.
- The flexibility of the upper and the sole fail to transfer as much power and provides less stability for weightlifting.
- It makes squeaky noises due to the plastic sheath running along the sides of the shoes.
- Some people also found the toe box a little too narrow.
These shoes live perfectly up to their name.
As a minimalist shoe, the NoBull Black Ivy Trainers take all of what makes a good training shoe and packaged it neatly. I am a particular fan of its minimalist look—i.e. no flashy colors or logos. The NoBull logo is reflective for when you need it but that is basically it. If you are like me and want a shoe that is all bite and hardly and bark, you might want to check it out.
Aside from its understated elegance, these shoes are constructed well to last you many months or even years of training. The company uses SuperFabric®–a durable, abrasion resistant, and breathable material—providing its wearer 360 degrees of protection from the most intensive workouts. SuperFabric is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, glass, and even barbed wire so it’s fairly safe to say that it can hold up to those rope climbs as well.
The outsole lug is also designed for multi-environment usage, so you’ll have no problems working out indoors or taking your business outside.
- These shoes sport a simple look-none of those flashy designs that will blind whoever looks at them.
- 4-millimeter heel drop is acceptable for lifting exercises.
- Seamless one-piece SuperFabric® construction providing 360-degree protection from harsh weather conditions as well as intensive workouts.
- Lightweight shoes that won’t hold you back on sprints.
- Reflective NoBull logo for when you need it.
- Shoe sizes tend to run a bit smaller so order a half-size up.
- These shoes are not so breathable. If comfort is a big issue then you might want to skip these shoes.
If the original was a great hit, the successors will ultimately have to deal with the challenge of surpassing their predecessors. Luckily the F-Lite 235 v2 does not disappoint, taking all that was good in the original F-Lite 235 and giving back more.
The v2 has a patented grip—its Rope-Tec 360 technology—where the rubber outsole wraps around to the upper, giving the shoe greater traction for those tricky rope climbs.
These shoes have also been designed to be even lighter than their processor, using lighter materials and a geometric pattern on the outsole. This geometric pattern, according to Inov8, is made to cover more surface area while cutting back on non-key areas to keep from bogging the shoes down with excess weight.
Inov8 also updated their Met-Cradle to lock down the midfoot and give your shoes a nice, snug fit to ensure that they stay on with every movement.
- These shoes fit very snugly that users have compared them to wearing gloves for feet.
- They come with a new rubber toe cap to give you more protection for those burpee drops.
- The Rope-Tec 360 technology makes rope-climbing a breeze and protects the shoes at the same time.
- The Meta-Flex groove in the shoes creates a natural flexion of the forefoot, allowing for efficient, natural, and explosive movements.
- These shoes are lacking in ankle support, which is integral to heavy weightlifting.
- The shoes are light and flexible, which means less support overall when lifting heavier weights.
From the line of minimalist training shoes by New Balance comes the Minimus 20v6 Cross Trainers, which are geared towards strength and interval training workouts. These shoes are inspired by bare feet, which is a good sign for weightlifters everywhere. You know you want to be as close to the ground as possible, right?
These shoes come with certain innovations such as the Vibram outsole to increase durability. Vibram is an Italian company that is known for making soles geared towards the mountaineering crowd. In the Minimus 20v6, this translates into a better grip and more durable shoe.
The REVlite midsole is also incorporated into the shoe design to increase lightweight responsiveness. While this means that there is a bit of cushioning involved, which might worry the weightlifting crowd, it appears to be just the right amount of give to give you comfort and support at the same time.
- The Vibram outsole not only makes the shoe more durable but provides great traction, too.
- These minimalist shoes are lightweight and will not bog you down on those sprints.
- There is a 4-millimeter heel drop, which is acceptable for weightlifting.
- No-sew overlays reduce irritation and chafing brought about by traditional seams.
- These shoes have an innovative “burrito tongue” in which one side of the shoe is longer and wraps around the top of the foot.
- Also features an asymmetrical foam collar that provides a snug fit while delivering ankle support.
- Shoe sizes tend to run a bit small. If you are purchasing online, order at least a half-size larger.
- The soles are way too narrow at the arch of the foot.
- The soles feel a bit slick and rough at the same time, which necessitates wearing socks.
Adidas is a big name in the world of weightlifting and their weightlifting shoes are very popular among lifting enthusiasts. But can it hold up against other training shoes?
In spite of being designed particularly for weight training exercises, the Powerlift 3 Cross Trainer can certainly hold its own against other training shoes. It feels surprisingly comfortable on short runs compared to other lifting shoes, with enough cushioning to keep you happy enough for approximately 250 meters. Beyond that, there are no guarantees.
Compared to other training shoes, it’s in the lifting where the Powerlift 3 truly shines, providing excellent support. Slipping and sliding when applying force at an angle would not be an issue with these shoes as they have a pretty stiff heel cup. Aside from that, it also conforms to your feet due to an excellent lacing system. While most other shoes have two or even three straps, the Powerlift 3 only has one to provide additional support.
Overall, it is best to keep in mind that these training shoes are not designed for longer runs or marathons. However, they are great if you’re into short bursts of speed and CrossFit.
- These shoes provide great support whether lifting or landing from a box-jump due to the combination of heel stiffness and lacing system.
- Compared to other training shoes, these Powerlift 3 Cross Trainers are more affordable.
- The shoes are lightweight and provide just enough cushion to be comfortable for short runs and sprints.
- These shoes provide great protection for your feet with a pretty solid toebox and lots of overlap between the upper and the tongue.
- The Powerlift 3 fits true to size with plenty of room for adjustment with their lacing system plus the additional strap.
- Breathability is lacking in these shoes. There are a couple of vents above the ball of the foot but not enough.
American brand Under Armour does not disappoint with the Charged Ultimate 2.0, a cross-trainer shoe that promises to be big on comfort while maintaining stability and durability. It’s like taking the comfy cushiness of a running shoe and giving it a bit of stiffness to withstand the rigors of training.
So what makes it stand out from the rest?
For one, it uses its own 4D Foam® Sockliner, which molds to the shape of the foot. The concept for this innovation is a lot like the memory foam mattress that conforms to the shape and contours of your body as you lie down on it. Employed in the Charged Ultimate 2.0, this promises to maintain comfort underfoot while eliminating slippage.
Training shoes are designed to tread lightly the balance between cushioning for those sprints and stiffness for heavy lifting. Under Armour considers all this and came up with the Charged Cushioning® technology in the midsole to ensure the “ultimate in responsive cushioning”. What this means is that it absorbs the impact of high intensity workouts while providing you with some sort of feedback so you know precisely what your foot is doing.
Overall, this is a shoe that ticks all the boxes in terms of stability, comfort, grip, and durability.
- Although bulkier than most running shoes, it is pretty lightweight for its looks.
- The shoes are constructed well using streamlined materials that feel great against bare skin.
- 4D Foam® sockliner feels great even without socks and conforms to the shape of the foot so even those with “oddly shaped feet” will feel comfortable.
- Give great support to ankles.
- The burrito tongue needs a bit more work as it has a tendency to bunch up at the bottom.
Things to Keep in Mind
In simpler times, you can just shuffle along in a pair of comfy sneakers and pound away at equipment but now, you have shoes for practically anything-running, cycling, weightlifting.
You name it, I betcha there’s a pair of shoes for it.
However, let’s focus on the pair that can handle more than just one type of exercise.
You are going to want a pair that is comfortable, that much is a given. There’s no greater damper than a pair of traitor shoes that end up cramping your style and getting in the way of your workout.
If you are going into a physical store where you can try on the shoes before you buy them, things would be easier. Other things you can look out for is adequate space for your toes to wriggle around and enough support in your heels.
Purchasing a pair of training shoes online poses a more difficult challenge as you can never be too sure you’ll find the perfect fit when your package arrives. In this case, you can try trawling through the comments to see if other buyers find that their purchases fit to size.
Really, the comments are a motherlode of information.
Generally speaking, the pricier the shoes are, the better the quality. However, there are a lot of more affordable options that can deliver just as much as their pricier counterparts, minus the marketing costs and popularity.
Top brands also tend to pack a lot of features in their products but if you’re strapped for cash, no need to sweat more than what you’re doing at the gym. You can just pick up a more affordable pair that does the job, minus the fancy trimmings.
Looking to add weights to your repertoire this 2018?
If you are planning on nailing squats and deadlifts, then you probably know by now that those cushy running shoes will do you more damage than gains. In fact, there are those who would prefer good ol’ Chucks than a pair of fancy running shoes.
In terms of training shoes, my advice is to go for one that has little to no drop from the toes to the heel. This means that your shoes will help you get as close to flat on the ground as they can so you can channel and generate more force for your lifts.
4. On running
These training shoes might be able to crossover from squats to sprints, but they’re not as dedicated to running as running shoes are. They might be comfortable enough for a short jog or a sprint but don’t consider joining a marathon in them anytime soon.
For serious runners, I would recommend getting a pair of running shoes for those grueling days. But if you’re not pounding ten miles underfoot in one go, cross training shoes should be good enough to get you through squats as well as an early morning jog.
Out of all the great training shoes that were assessed in the article, each one with their own strengths and weaknesses, I have to say that the Nike Metcon 3 is the winner in this shoe showdown.
Even though it is a bit pricey, the latest in the Metcon series certainly proved that it deserved every bit of its hype and popularity-the Reebok Nano 7 came in a close second-with just the right amount of cushioning for those explosive sprints as well as stiffness for heavy lifts.
If only the people over at Nike could get rid of that annoying squeaks. However, if that does not bother you then these are pretty solid training shoes that will not only help you to perform well but enhance the gains you get out of every workout.
The problem most people have with training shoes is that they expect these shoes to be comfortable enough for running when they weren’t built for that. Most of the training is expected to be done indoors, although most training shoes are now designed for multi-environment conditions. These shoes might be ideal for short bursts of speed like short runs and sprints but not for marathons. Therefore, these shoes also come with a certain degree of stiffness that is ideal for heavy lifting.
Did you enjoy reading this article? Did you find it informative? Did it help you find the best training shoes for your needs? Are there other training shoes you wish made it to this list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to share this article with your family and friends!