Gaining better health through exercise has come a long way and its progress has never been more evident in the past decade. People have become more conscious about conditioning their bodies to live longer and look more toned. You may call it just a fad but this outlook in life is going to stay with us for a long, long time and if not, forever.
There are several types of exercises one can engage in, but we shall delve into one specific exercise routine: cross training. This involves different disciplines such as swimming, strength training, cycling, and fitness-class activities. These are used to supplement running, which is the main exercise for cross training. Such disciplines are meant to help build flexibility and strength in muscles that aren’t used in running. These disciplines are high-intensity workouts that could cause some stress injuries to the muscles.
To attain your objectives in muscle development and at the same time prevent injuries, you will need some essential support, especially on your feet. Cross training shoes have been developed for these reasons. It’s a combination of different types of footwear, a hybrid as it may appropriately be called, that is designed to handle all the stresses of the different exercises.
Why call it a hybrid? Because they can have the lateral stability of tennis shoes or basketball sneakers and they possess the right cushioning of running shoes. Also, they can have the forefoot padding of volleyball shoes. They are made of flexible materials like those in running shoes or sometimes of leather-type constructs. Cross training shoes are versatile because they can be used for a wide range of disciplines. They don’t specialize in only one specific activity.
PUMA Women’s Tazon 6
If you’re looking for the perfect pair of shoes, look no further than these shoes which have a sleek and streamlined silhouette. This sets it apart from other cross-training shoes out there. It’s a stylish pair of sneakers which have midfoot saddles and synthetic leather uppers. The shoes have EVA in the heels to absorb impact for maximum fit and comfort.
The PUMA Women’s Tazon 6 shoes are made by a well-known athletic brand which successfully combines influences from lifestyle, sports, and fashion into their products. This is noticeable from the design as well as the functionality of the shoes. No matter what your preferences are, you will be able to make a choice between the different styles and sizes available.
The imported shoes have a revolutionary design. They have EcoOrthoLite sock liners which are breathable. Each shoe also has a TPU shank for improved stability while you’re cross-training. The shoes have rubber soles and their shaft measures “low-top” from the arch. With these shoes, you can look stylish while enhancing your performance.
- Imported shoes which are made with synthetic leather and rubber soles.
- The EcoOrthoLite sock liner is breathable for maximum comfort and fit.
- Available in different sizes and styles.
- The shoes are quite narrow.
- Some say it’s fairly stiff.
ASICS Women’s GEL-Fit Sana 2 Fitness Shoe
This is the 2nd version of the fitness shoes which means that it has some cool upgrades. However, it has the same sole geometry as its predecessor. It’s fitness-focused and the improvement is the addition of the fluid fit upper feature that’s printed. The shoes also have mono-sock tongues which are part of the flexible-fit system.
The tongue of the ASICS Women’s GEL-Fit Sana 2 Fitness Shoe has elastic bands which will provide support and tension from your heel all the way to your forefoot. It also has gel cushioning systems for the rearfoot. This feature combined with the flexible and lightweight midsole provides superior cushioning for you.
With these shoes, you’ll stay comfortable even if you’re breaking into a sweat. The shoes are made of synthetic material with rubber soles. They have a low-profile design with a groove graphic upper and a heel cup on the outside. Also, the shoes have outsoles which are high-abrasion.
- Low-profile shoes which feature a contrast stretch heel cup on the exterior and a groove graphic upper.
- The shoes also have a mono-sock fit system along with an elastic internal sleeve.
- Available in different sizes and colors.
- The color may rub off over time.
- Not suitable for those with high arches.
Skechers Women’s Flex Appeal 2.0 Sneaker
This is another pair of shoes that comes from a well-known brand all over the world. The Skechers Women’s Flex Appeal 2.0 Sneaker has a memory foam insole that’s air-cooled. It’s an imported pair of shoes made of knit fabric and has rubber soles. The shoes are lightweight and stylish too. They’re also comfortable and they come in different colors and sizes.
- Has a memory foam insole that’s air-cooled.
- Imported shoes with rubber soles and knit fabric.
- Available in different sizes and a wide range of colors.
- They’re quite wide.
- Some customers have issues with the shoes’ structure.
Reebok Women’s CrossFit Nano 7.0 Track Shoe
These shoes have multi-surface outsoles allowing you to perform cross-training activities with ease. They have heel counters on the outside which create a more stable feel for when you’re lifting. The Reebok Women’s CrossFit Nano 7.0 Track Shoe has NanoWeave uppers as well as updated nano tooling. The shoes are made of synthetic material and have rubber soles. They have a low-profile style and a heel cup that’s reinforced.
- Low-profile shoes with a heel cup that’s reinforced and an upper with NanoWeave tech.
- The design allows for superior ankle mobility and a natural feel.
- Available in various styles and colors.
- Sizes run small.
- The instep is fairly tight
Ryka Women’s Deliberate Cross-Trainer Shoe
These shoes have ombre overlays which are flowing, and which delivers a feminine touch to the to-go trainers. The Ryka Women’s Deliberate Cross-Trainer Shoe has synthetic and no-sew overlays which are grouped together to provide streamlined support to the midfoot. Also, the midfoot and heel has a mono-mesh which provides support and fine textural detail. Also, the shoes are lightweight.
- Imported cross trainer shoes with a feminine design.
- Has rubber soles and removable insoles.
- The synthetic overlays are packaged together providing excellent midfoot support.
- The tongue isn’t padded.
- Some say the toe box is too big.
New Balance Men’s MX608v4 Training Shoe
These shoes are made of leather and have rubber soles. The New Balance Men’s MX608v4 Training Shoe has a mesh tongue that’s padded and a dual-density collar. The heel has a pull-tab and the shoes have a lace-up closure too. Also, the shoes have an EVA footbed and a textile lining that’s breathable. The rubber outsole is non-marking and the shoes feature full-length comfort.
- Has a leather upper and a tongue with padded mesh.
- Also, has a pull tab at the heel and a lace-up closure.
- The textile lining is breathable, and it also has an EVA footbed.
- The heel notch isn’t too well-padded.
- Some say that the stitching on the toe of the shoes isn’t made well.
Mizuno Men’s Wave Unite 2 Training Shoe
This is another pair of cross-training shoe that’s made of synthetic material and has rubber soles. The Mizuno Men’s Wave Unite 2 Training Shoe is imported and has an air mesh upper for better comfort, feel, and breathability. It’s also made with a Wave Technology which will provide you with just the right amount of stability and cushion. Also, the combination of blown rubber and solid rubber on the forefoot outsole makes the shoes durable.
- Comfortable shoes made of synthetic materials and rubber soles.
- Has a Wave Technology which will provide just the right amount of stability and cushion.
- The shoes are durable and flexible too.
- Sizes run small.
- Some say that the cushion comfort isn’t enough.
ASICS Men’s GEL-Intensity 3 Cross-Training Shoe
These shoes have overlays which are resistant to abrasions as well as uppers made with breathable mesh and leather. The ASICS Men’s GEL-Intensity 3 Cross-Training Shoe has a GELÂ® Cushioning System on the forefoot and rearfoot that’s visible and allows for better cushioning and comfort. The midfoot, on the other hand, has a Trusstic SystemÂ® which will provide you with tortional stability. And the brace on the forefoot will keep your feet locked-in for added support.
- Lace-up shoes which have synthetic overlays and midsoles with two layers.
- The collar and tongue of the shoes are padded.
- Has a GEL Cushioning System on the forefoot and rearfoot.
- The shoes are fairly narrow.
- The heels in the shoes tend to slide up and down.
Reebok Men’s CrossFit Nano 8.0 Flexweave
Here’s another superior cross training shoe from Reebok but this time, it’s for men. The shoes have multi-surface outsoles which will allow you to perform various activities with ease. The Reebok Men’s CrossFit Nano 8.0 Flexweave shoes are made of synthetic material and have rubber soles. The imported shoes have external heel counters which provide a more stable feel for when you’re lifting. Also, your feet are kept secure by the minimal drop outsole. These shoes will provide you with security, durability, and flexibility too.
- Imported shoes with a RopePro feature for maximum traction.
- The wide toe box provides you with a comfortable fit.
- Durable shoes which are also very flexible.
- The sides may start tearing after some time.
- Some issues with sizing.
NIKE Men’s Free Trainer 5.0 V6 Training Shoe
These enhanced cross training shoes will offer you better stability without the added weight. The hexagon-shaped flex grooves have rubber grips to allow natural movements of the feet. The NIKE Men’s Free Trainer 5.0 V6 Training Shoe also has mesh material that’s highly-breathable and has lateral support, so you can make those hard cuts. It’s an upgraded version with enhanced support as well as flexibility because of all the added features.
- These enhanced cross-training shoes offer more stability without the extra weight.
- Has lateral support and a mesh that’s highly breathable.
- Lightweight, flexible, and comfortable.
- Some say they lack shock absorption.
- Sizes run small.
Who Needs Cross-Training Shoes?
Cross training, as earlier mentioned, is a combination of several types of activities that are drawn from different sports. Cross training, initially, would refer to a training or sport that an athlete undergoes that differs from the one that said athlete specializes in. Take, for instance, the running discipline, a sport that is a part of almost all athlete’s training. Now if you are a basketball player and are technically proficient in running, then you already are in some sort of cross training.
Presently, the design of cross-training shoes has taken into consideration the features of different kinds of shoes. Aside from that, the shoes have also considered the aesthetic factor, where they have now adopted popular styles to make them more appealing to consumers. Tennis shoes then dominated the market on style and the casual look. Not anymore as cross-trainers are as good-looking, if not more appealing.
Because of the wide range of disciplines that cross-training shoes may be involved in, their category has become so huge that they are now further divided into sub-categories. One very popular activity that uses the design and advantages of the classic cross training shoe is aerobics. This includes any form of dance that is related to exercises. The shoe design for this activity has the side-to-side support commonly found in tennis footwear and the heel-cushioning and flexibility of running shoes.
Moreover, there is also some added support to the ball of the foot. Aerobics involves a good amount of activity that puts stress on the balls of the feet and having the right shoes will solve this problem. Such features make the shoe perfect for any kind of aerobic workouts.
Most people do not really specialize in just one sport but involve themselves in different ones. Cross trainers will suit them perfectly because the shoes are designed for all-around activities. On the weekend, basketball may be the main game or perhaps a spontaneous breakout of a flag-football game during parties or picnics. Wearing cross training shoes will do well in different sports. But things can become different if and when, one should get serious about specializing in one.
What Are The Benefits Of Cross-Training Shoes?
Just its definition alone could give one an inkling on what cross-training shoes are and the benefits they have to offer. Just to reiterate, cross trainers are a combination of hybrid shoes that have the features of several athletic footwear. They can have the beneficial features of tennis shoes, basketball shoes, running shoes, and volleyball shoes. Stability and cushioning features of several athletic shoes are all built into cross-training footwear
Cross trainers are basically made of both leather-type and flexible materials and both these offer various benefits for users. Perhaps the most popular benefit of cross-trainers is their versatility where they can be utilized for various purposes, a jack-of-all-trades in the shoe world of sports. Take the following points into consideration when thinking of purchasing a pair of cross-training shoes.
You only need one pair of cross training shoes for various workouts. Cross trainers will give you the comfort you’ll need for various kinds of sports. Buying a pair will certainly save you money and time as you will be needing only one pair for different activities. They are multi-purpose for multi-activities. Furthermore, because of their design considerations, they are more durable and will definitely last longer than running or walking shoes.
These shoes are also designed to make you feel secure and comfortable. Comfort, safety, and stability are considered in the design of cross trainers. Since they were made as a combination of several athletic footwear, cross trainers can be used for different sports and activities like gym workouts, elliptical training. In all these, the footwear will offer more flexibility, comfort, and protection.
You will only need one pair for various purposes. Whether you go jogging, cycling, running or taking part different in sports like basketball, volleyball or tennis, one pair will take care of all your needs. Here are some of the activities you can engage in using cross trainer shoes.
Walking is perhaps the simplest, most practical type of exercise. And since this is done every day, one should need shoes that can maximize your comfort. Cross trainers should be the perfect fit. If you opt for some running after walking, the shoes will provide the same comfort and support as well.
You can also use the cross training shoes for tennis and basketball. For tennis, you can also get that much needed lateral support. Trainers can make those quick cuts easier in tennis courts. For basketball, the shoes will provide the right comfort and cushion for every jump you make.
You can also use them for indoor workout activities. Always make it a point to wear your cross trainers even when engaging in indoor activities like pushups, jumping rope, weight-loss training, and more. It will provide you more stability and comfort.
What Are Cross-Training Shoes?
Cross training shoes are specifically designed for elliptical training. They perform as well with low-impact workouts because their design provides padding and cushion to the balls of the feet. Without such, any physical activity can wear you down a lot quicker. The footwear’s flexibility also gives enough protection and are designed to withstand any shock due to the impact of exercise activities.
Moreover, cross trainers are light and flexible, meaning they will be providing the wearer with a super-comfortable experience. They are truly a must for people who frequent gyms or for those who do daily running exercises. Unlike other types of trainers, cross-training shoes are compatible and versatile in the sense that they can be used for several types of sports activities. This is mainly due to their design, where a combination of several types of footwear was considered in their development. Although cross trainers can be as versatile, they are however not recommended for running long distances.
How you will decide on which cross trainer to buy will depend upon your stride and the width of the foot. Presently, there is a wide range of cross trainers available in the market. Taking these requirements into account, you will end up with the best training footwear that could provide the maximum comfort, perhaps even better than what you expected.
Try exploring your friendly sports store and check up their shoe section. You will be amazed by the wide variety of sports shoes showcased and this can even be confusing for anybody trying to purchase a pair for a distinct purpose. When making a decision, keep in mind the purpose of why you are buying the shoes. You should get a pair that is most suitable in terms of protecting and supporting your feet, should be breathable and flexible. Here are some pointers that can help you select the appropriate footwear for those workout sessions which may get intense.
Put on the socks that you wear during exercises when trying on a new pair of cross-training shoes. Walk and slightly run in them to make sure that they will make you comfortable. Walking will make you feel solid while running makes you feel more fluid and flexible. Good cross trainers are usually flexible and have padding in the middle part of the shoe.
Check the toe and the sole of the shoes to determine the type of shoe. A little knowledge about shoe built-up can help you. For walking and running shoes, they usually have soles which are thinning and the toes that curl upward. For cross trainer shoes, the soles are usually thick.
Don’t pay too much attention to appearance. Sometimes, the best cross training shoes are not the best looking in appearance. Give more importance on how the shoes would fit and how it gives you maximum comfort.
Give the shoe the wiggle test. If you can spread out your toes and wiggle them inside the new shoe, then they are a good fit. Furthermore, there must be a thumbnail space inside and that the heels are properly secure and supported when the shoes are worn.
It’s important to have the right kind of cross training shoes if you are to engage yourself in a variety of sports activities, more even so for those who love meeting the challenges of new exercises and activities. With the best pair of shoes, you may add some new elements to your exercise routine without having to worry about injuries.
What Are Some Practical Tips For Choosing Cross Training Shoes?
There are still other details that need to be considered aside from the usual standard parameters that are normally followed when choosing the best cross training shoes. Activities involved in cross training come in varied forms from intensity to proper performance and endurance.
Don’t get carried away by the attractive design of many cross-training shoes. Sometimes, perhaps, one would find a great pair with the proper specifications that meet the highest standards and still can have a great design. If not, it’s still best to consider all the relevant factors when shopping for the best cross training shoes.
Here are some important factors that can have an important impact on the shoes that are most suitable for you. Add the following parameters to those already discussed when choosing the best cross-training footwear.
What kind of activities will you be engaged in which will impact on the shoes you will choose? One shoe model may enhance your performance on certain cross-training activities but may reduce your potential on other ones. Since cross training is a varied sport, this should be an important factor to consider.
For instance, you can engage in powerlifting and may require a specific shoe model. Such model will definitely not be right for running. Conversely, cross-training shoes that are excellent for running will not be appropriate for powerlifting or some other activity like rope climbing. It will require some sorting out on your training routine on whether you prefer shoes for a certain activity or one that can allow you to perform a greater number of exercises.
Remember that all feet are different. Pronation is also to be considered when selecting an adequate pair of cross-training shoes. Pronation is a normal part of the gait cycle which helps to provide shock absorption at the foot.
Overpronation occurs as the foot rolls inwards and the arch of the foot flattens, thus the term “flat-footed”. On the other hand, under pronation (or supination) is the insufficient inward roll of the foot after landing. If one suffers from either, it is needed to pay attention to the ability of the shoes to adjust to such condition.
For those with arch issues, look for shoes that can provide adequate arch support to match the anatomy of your feet. The pair to be selected should give some leeway so you can modify the shoes to suit your condition and give you optimum comfort. For instance, if you are flat-footed, look for shoes with removable inner soles. This will allow you to replace these instead with custom devices that will adapt the shoe to your requirements.
Of course, this doesn’t mean reconstructing the entire pair. Just bring your own device and try it at the shoe store. You should not be afraid to do so as you are not damaging anything. Wear the prospective pair with your device and see if such can adapt to your condition.
Style matters too. We would all want style injected into our choices. As a matter of fact, almost everybody would want a pair that is modern, and in-style and no blame can be pinned on anybody on this matter. Awesome looking shoes would give one that rock-star feeling. We cannot also ignore the fact that there is so much more to consider than looks when choosing the right cross-training shoes. What we need is a pair that will provide specific and demanding qualities to support the intended exercises.
FAQs About Cross-Training Shoes?
For you to understand cross-training shoes better, let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions about them.
How do Running Shoes Differ from Cross Trainers
Although both shoes are used in the exercise, there are several differences between running shoes and cross training shoes. Cross trainers are suited for medium runs while running shoes are for longer distances. Cross trainers are equipped differently as it provides support, impulse, and functionality to their respective activities. Running shoes are designed mainly for running. Finally, cross trainers have thicker soles, cushioning and traction than running shoes.
Do Expensive Shoes Guarantee High Quality?
The more expensive shoes don’t mean that they are the best. Don’t base your decision on the price tag. We have discussed earlier that there are several factors that can influence your choice and definitely, the price is not one of them. Remember that each pair may fit specific areas of cross training. Their technology and materials can be different from the rest; hence the price may not be the same between models.
How Often Should Cross-Training Shoes be Replaced?
Wearing out is something that can be visually determined. The user can also “feel” the degradation. On the outside, the shoes may look okay, but the inside could tell you differently. The midsole’s inner cushioning might have been worn-out, having completed its life cycle. Again, the best time to replace the pair is when they start giving you discomfort or providing you an inferior sensation.
Are Cross-Training Shoes Limited to CrossFit?
The answer will depend upon the model of your choice. We have defined earlier that a cross-training shoe is a combination of different types to footwear, a hybrid as it may appropriately be called. It is, therefore, common to find training shoes that possess similar qualities to one with specific sports requirements. For instance, a cross-training model which was designed partly for dodgeball can be used for that specific sport. If you are not sure if a cross training shoe would fit for a specific sport, simply ask the store’s resident shoe expert.
Important Factors To Keep In Mind
Breathability Of The Cross Training Shoes
When it comes to sweating, cross training can get quite messy. And it’s not just your face that sweats, your feet tend to sweat too! Anyone who cross-trains knows how uncomfortable it is for the feet to feel suffocated because of heat and sweat. That’s why the first factor you need to consider when choosing cross training shoes is the breathability.
Feeling a dampness in the shoes can be very uncomfortable to cross trainers. Also, when your shoes aren’t breathable, you might experience other adverse effects from sweating such as internal slipping, foul odors or even the growth of unwanted fungi. So it’s important to choose a pair of cross training shoes which are breathable to prevent your feet from overheating. Then you can do your activities without feeling sweaty or uncomfortable down there.
Protection And Durability Of The Cross Training Shoes
These are the next factors to consider when selecting cross-training shoes. Cross training involves different kinds of intense activities. Therefore, you definitely need a good pair of shoes to wear while performing these activities. The shoes should also be suitable for different kinds of terrain as you may train on grass, mud, uneven surfaces, and more.
Choose a shoe which will provide you with superior protection. You can base this on the shock absorption of the shoes and other similar features. Of course, shoes which have these features may be a bit more expensive than those which won’t provide good protection. So basically, you get what you’re playing for. And when it comes to safety, the price shouldn’t be more important.
Since cross training can get pretty intense, performing it will put significant stress on your shoes. Therefore, you must also choose a pair that’s durable enough to survive all the activities you’re doing. Pay attention to the material of the shoes as well as the quality. From the upper to the sole, all the parts of the shoes must be durable if you want them to last for a long time.
Just like with protective shoes, those made with durable materials are considerably more expensive. But think about it, you’ll definitely save more if you invest in a durable pair of shoes which will last long. That is instead of choosing a pair made of inferior materials only to find out that it can’t keep up with your cross-training.
The Flexibility Of The Cross Training Shoes
Next up, consider the flexibility of the cross-training shoes. This is another important factor which you need for the intense activities involved in cross-training. When it comes to flexibility, also take into account the multi-direction designs of cross training shoes which enhance their flexibility. Also, try to find out which parts of the shoes are the most flexible. This will help you determine if the shoes are right for you.
Usually, people prefer cross training shoes which have a low profile. Also, the height of the midsole should be appropriate, so it will provide you with enough shock absorption and will serve as a steady platform with just the right thickness. If lifting is part of your training, make sure the midsole isn’t too big as well as this will have an effect on your balance.
The Thickness Of The Sole And The Cushioning Of The Cross Training Shoes
The sole’s thickness is also important. When the sole is too thick, your feet won’t feel comfortable especially when you’re performing heavy lifting, running or aerodynamic exercises. Make sure the sole has the appropriate thickness which will provide you with enough support and comfort.
Cushioning is also vital when it comes to cross-training. This is especially true if you’re fond of intense activities such as running, jumping, and more. Of course, your feet shouldn’t lose space to accommodate the cushioning. Again, choose a pair which will provide you with just the right amount of cushioning you need.
Toebox Of The Cross Training Shoes
There’s nothing worse than trying to cross train while the toebox of your shoe is strangling your toes. This disrupts your training as it’s quite uncomfortable and irritating. Also, keep in mind that your toes need some space, so you can spread them. This will help you maintain your natural gait while offering enough resistance.
Choose a pair of shoes which have a good proportion between the toe box and the overall size of the shoe. The bigger your shoe is, the more space you will need for your toes. However, too much space isn’t good either as it might cause inner slipping.
Cross training shoes were designed solely for the reason that its functions can serve the user who engages in different sports activities. It is a combination of different types to footwear, a hybrid as it may appropriately be called. One pair, for instance, was designed for tennis and basketball where lateral stability is required, for volleyball where forefoot padding is essential, etc.
With this concept, one will need only one pair which can be used for different sports activities. Obviously, it can save you both time and money. There is a wide selection of cross-training shoes available today. New designs have also been developed for those with pronation issues. The final choice boils down to what shoes will best fit the user’s requirements.
What do you think?