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10 Best Gym Shoes For Smashing Workouts [2023]

Expect your performance to improve with these training shoes for men.

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Looking for the best gym shoes and training shoes to take your workouts up to the next notch? You’ve come to the right place.

Training shoes and gym shoes for men are specifically designed to help you avoid injury when completing big lifts, and to give you a natural feeling and solid footing so that you still engage as many muscles as possible.

Many people rock up to their sessions a little underprepared, normally with a pair of running shoes that aren’t up to the task ahead. Running shoes tend to have highly-cushioned soles and bend and flex easily, qualities you really don’t want when you’re trying to squat or deadlift heavy loads.

Training shoes vs running shoes

The main difference between training shoes and running shoes is that training shoes are designed for multi-directional movement, whereas running shoes are designed for forward-moving heel-to-toe movement, and will have a higher heel drop to facilitate the extra shock absorption required.

If you lift weights then you’re going to need a pair of training shoes as opposed to a pair of joggers. Training shoes will have a lower heel drop (the distance between your heel and the ground) to give you a more stable base and to better mimic going barefoot.

Training shoes should also have durable soles with plenty of grip to prevent you from sliding around when you complete a deadlift or back squat, for example.

So, which are the best gym shoes and training shoes for men currently available?

We’ve scoured the web to find training shoes from a number of popular brands, offering a range of designs with sturdy soles that improve your balance and posture when lifting weights, lighter creations for intense CrossFit sessions, and even a few hybrid numbers that are practical for whatever you get up to when you hit the gym.

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Athletic Propulsion Labs TechLoom Tracer

For the luxury gym shoe wearer

Athletic Propulsion Labs $250
The wonderfully named Athletic Propulsion Labs (APL) covers that niche territory between luxury and performance. The Los Angeles brand was founded in 2009 by the Goldston twins, two siblings that don’t hold back when it comes to style and innovation.

Their TechLoom Tracer training shoes are engineered to be as comfortable as possible thanks to a moulded collar around the ankle and heel to provide optimum support. Available in a huge range of colours and styles, and with the combination of a TechLoom forefoot and a Propelium midsole to give you stability and cushioning in all the right places, APL’s Techloom Tracer is a worthy candidate for your next pair of training shoes.

Under Armour UA Project Rock 4 Training Shoes

For those who want to push themselves to their limits

Under Armour $150
When Kevin Plank started Under Armour out of his grandmother’s basement back in 1996, he could only have dreamed that one day his brand would be uttered in the same breath as market leaders like Nike and Adidas. It just shows what hard work and belief can achieve.

The UA Project Rock 4 training shoes have been made in collaboration with The Rock himself, so you know they're going to be able to withstand the toughest of workouts. You get plenty of support throughout the midfoot and heel, Under Armour's HOVR cushioning technology and a knitted upper for sock-like comfort. We've tried this pair out for ourselves, and can comfortably say they're some of the best training shoes we've ever owned.

Nike Metcon 7

For the serious weightlifter

Nike $130
Nike really needs no introduction. The biggest brand in sports, Nike has been helping athletes of all levels achieve their best performances since its founding in 1971. Nike is constantly researching and developing new materials and designs to further assist you within whatever sporting discipline you participate in.

The Metcon 7 is the latest iteration of Nike's high-performance men's workout shoe. Claiming to be the golden standard for weight training shoes, Nike’s Metcon 7 is the most breathable version yet, meaning your feet - and ultimately, your whole body - will stay cool. Plus, with a solid and stable base, including a wider heel, these shoes will help you to lift heavier weights. The Metcon 7’s are pretty good-looking too, as expected, and can happily be worn outside the gym.

Reebok Nano X1

For CrossTraining fanatics

Reebok $130
For a brand that was created in the grim industrial north of England, Reebok hasn’t done badly for itself. From high-performance sportswear to street fashion trends they definitely have more than one string to their bow, and even create standout gym footwear.

The Nano X1 training shoes are made for CrossFit sessions, but can equally find favour with regular gym-goers who partake in intense workouts. They features a Flexweave upper to help handle dynamic movements, along with midsole cushioning for short sprints or running on the spot.


For those seeking total athletic performance

Puma $90
The Dassler brothers famously fell out over creative differences back in 1948. Adolf went his own way and created Adidas, brother Rudolf set up Puma. The latter may still sit slightly in the former’s shadow, but that shouldn’t take anything away from the brand’s huge success and high-quality products.

Puma’s FUSE workout shoes feature a wide toe box to give you a stable stance while the internal midsole provides shock absorption. Durable PUMAGRIP provides all-purpose traction and a TPU heel clip offers a boost of support. Available in three awesome colours, Puma’s FUSE are guaranteed to kick your training up a gear.

New Balance 624

The perfect all-rounder

New Balance $75
Another one of the US sportswear giants is New Balance. This company found its footing (pun most definitely intended) in the footwear market, initially starting out developing insoles for those with no arches in their feet or who suffered from pronation. That expertise has since been channelled into collections of footwear that are globally renowned for their comfort, performance, and good looks.

New Balance has a great range of training shoes that will be perfect for your gym workouts. Their durable trainers, such as the 624v5, are designed for impact and superior traction, so you can stay quick on your feet. Featuring a wide range of technologies for ultimate support and comfort, New Balance’s workout shoes are available in different colours, meaning you can hit your new personal best in style.

Inov-8 F-LITE 260 V2

The best workout shoes from an underdog brand

Inov-8 $140
While we're not for one minute saying Inov-8 is an unknown brand, we would imagine that not many pairs of its shoes will show up in gyms and workout studios, compared to some others on this list. But they really should, as the company, founded in the British Lake District in 2001 as a one-stop shop for off-road and trail runners, produces shoes that are incredibly capable.

And you don't have to just run off-road to benefit from Inov-8's innovations, as the F-Lite 260 V2 Cross Training shoe has been designed in collaboration with 10x CrossFit athlete Scott Panchik. Scott's input has meant Inov-8 has been able to reinforce areas of the shoe that need to be to help during lifts or climbs, while others have been fitted with lightweight materials to ensure you stay nimble. In fact, we'd say it's well designed it could just be the best workout shoe on this list.

York Athletics Henry

For the absolute best fit

York Athletics $120 USD
It may not be as big as some of its native brothers and sisters in the US sports sector, but York Athletics have had a big, positive impact on the sports footwear market. From their close association with NFL to more recent collabs with NBA stars, they’ve always been there on the fringes for the more fashion-conscious sportsman.

York Athletics' Henry are available in various models, each of which determines which sporting discipline it is best suited to. The Henry Sweatshirt represents the company's interpretation of a training shoe. It's made from a sweatshirt jersey material to provide a slipper-like feel alongside a breathable build, while a solid rubber outsole gives full ground contact, meaning you can remain planted while performing deep squats or heavy deadlifts. Their casual appearance makes them suitable for wearing outside of the gym too.

Mizuno TC-01

For outright comfort

Mizuno $200 AUD
Japanese brand Mizuno has truly stood the test of time since starting out as a small sportswear store in Osaka in 1907. Although probably more associated with golf, tennis, and baseball, they do like to branch out, a great example being Mizuno’s range of that promote balance and awareness during gym sessions.

Utilising innovative performance research to help improve body awareness and foot sensitivity to deliver sophisticated and advanced training shoes for men, Mizuno’s range will give you just the right amount of stability and support during your gym workouts.

No Bull Trainers

The ultimate in versatility

No Bull $187 AUD
You have to be pretty daring to quit a job as Reebok’s head of strategy, or it’s global creative director, but that’s exactly what Marcus Wilson and Michael Schaeffer did in 2014. Why? Because they saw a gaping hole in the CrossFit footwear market that they wanted to fill. The end result was NoBull, a brand that designs great looking gym wear that offers total reliability.

NoBull has an extensive range of some of the best men's training shoes that feature a 360-degree mesh layer to protect your toes on zombies and rope climbs, and a flat outer sole that provides fantastic stability during lifts. Available in a variety of styles and colours, NoBull has you covered when it comes to trainers.