“Heading to the gym” is quite a broad term. It can mean anything from stationary cycling and cross-fit to circuit training and weight lifting. 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. I mean, you wouldn’t head to soccer practice with a pair of ice skates – so why is going to the gym so different?
Choosing the correct footwear for gym activities is pretty important when you consider things like posture and injury when you’re spending a long time on your feet. Running trainers may feel like they are doing the job initially, but long term you’ll feel the damage.
So, here we’ve put together a selection of some of the best gym shoes on the market at the moment, tried and tested by our team at DMARGE HQ – a choice of expertly designed footwear for gentlemen who take the gym seriously.
Nike Mecton 5
Phil Knight started Nike back in 1971, naming his sports company after the Greek goddess of victory. She must have certainly been looking out for him over the years, as Mr Knight has an estimated net worth of $38 billion - and they continue to innovative sports solutions, such as these Mecton 5 shoes. They’re made for high impact training, with a sole that offers the ideal traction needed for heavy lifting and intense circuit workouts.
Adidas Weightlifting 2 Shoes
German sportswear manufacturer Adidas has tried its hand at just about every sport that is practised by more than ten people on the planet. They were one of the first brands to bring in straps for weightlifting shoes, to help fight against foot movement and ultimately reduce injury for amateurs and professionals. These Weightlifting 2 Shoes are a modern take on this technology, combined with a look that will dazzle other gym-goers. They feature a breathable upper sock that helps promote natural movement, along with a non-compressive sole for support under heavy loads.
Reebok Nano 9 Trainer
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. This Nano 9 trainer is made for cross fit sessions. It features a Flexweave upper to help handle dynamic movements, along with midsole cushioning for short sprints or running on the spot.
Under Armour Tri Base Reign 2
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. Just shows what hard work and belief can achieve. His designers have come up with this Tri Base Reign 2, a highly durable and practical shoe that is made for lifting, circuits and other intense gym workouts.
Puma Zone XT Trainers
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. For this selection, we have chosen their Zone XT trainers, created for endurance-based training. They feature a blend of Hybrid and Ignite foams for optimum responsiveness, along with a mesh upper for optimum breathability.
York Athletics Henry Lox Optics
It may not be as big of 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. These Henry Lox Optics are perfect for those highly intense gym sessions like boxercise or cross-fit. They feature a breathable mesh and even an innovative Dri Freeze lining that keeps your feet feeling cool when your heart rate is up.
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 these TC-01 trainers that promote balance and awareness during gym sessions. They’ve been made with fully knit upper for maximum comfort and movement, and a 4mm lox drop for just the right amount of stability during exercise.
Athletic Propulsion Labs Techloom Breeze
The wonderfully named Athletic Propulsion Labs cover 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 Breeze trainers are sold as lightweight running shoes, but we reckon they have the marbles as an all-round trainer for the gym too. They have a Propelium cushioned insole for superior comfort when training, and a rubber outsole for optimum traction.
NoBull Patchwork Trainers
You have to have a big pair to quit a job as Reebok’s head of strategy, or even more so, 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 cross-fit footwear market that they wanted to fill. The end results in NoBull, a brand that designs great looking gym that offers total reliability. These Patchwork Trainers feature a 360-degree mesh layer to protect your toes on zombies and rope climbs, whilst also tightening your grip. A flat outer sole also provides fantastic stability during lifts whilst breathable fabrics offer both comfort and peace of mind.