5 Tips for Choosing the Best Cross-Training Shoes

Step into comfort with your new cross-trainers!

It’s important to have support that will get you through your workouts. From your shoes, that is! When you’re switching up your workouts from strength training to cardio and back again, support and protection for your feet is key. Having the right shoes will help you get through those challenging workouts feeling your best! Check out our Skinny Ms. rules for finding the right cross-training shoes for your feet.

1. Arch
If you notice pain in your feet after exercising, you may have the wrong shoe for your foot shape. Examine your feet to determine whether you have high arches or are flat-footed, or ask for help from the store staff to determine the shape of your arches. If you have normal to high arches, it’s best to stick to a more cushioned sole. For those of you with flat feet, look for a stability or neutral shoe. These keep your feet in their most natural position.

2. Uppers
The major characteristic of cross-training shoes is the stable, supportive cover around your foot (the part that covers the top of your foot and toes). Look for a pair that has breathable material on top, but is supportive throughout. If you need extra support, consider a pair with leather material in the upper. Do your feet tend to sweat when you exercise? Look for a shoe with breathable material. Once you put them on, walk around! And not just straight ahead, either. Cross-trainers are designed for all types of movement, from the elliptical to Zumba class, so try to mimic those movements before you buy. You should feel supported around your toes and around your ankles.

3. Traction
The last thing you need is to slip in the middle of a group exercise class, right? Slide right off of the treadmill? No, thank you! Cross-training shoes typically have more traction than a walking or running shoe. When you try on the shoes, try shifting your feet from side to side and twisting on the balls of your feet and your toes. You want to feel as if the shoes are gripping to the ground below you.

4. Fit
If you buy shoes that are too small, you run the risk of pain in your feet and toes. If they are too big, you may fall victim to pesky, painful blisters. You’ve walked around in the shoes, but now try standing and wiggling your toes around and fanning them out. You want to feel as if you have room to do so, but are supported by the fabric of the shoe while doing so. Make sure the shoes truly are comfortable. Don’t rely on “breaking them in.” When they arrive in the mail, or if purchasing them at the store, try them on with your workout socks on. If they are not comfortable, simply return, or if shopping in the store, don’t buy.

5. Brands
With so many options, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start. When committing to new shoes, always look at over three different brands. Each brand will fit a little differently. Your favorite brand may not be the right fit for your feet. For example, Nike shoes tend to run narrow, and that doesn’t work for all feet. While we all love a cute pair of shoes, make sure they fit well first and foremost!

Use these cross-training shoe buying tips when shopping online or bring them with you on your shopping trip and you will have success. Once you have found a pair you like, remember to replace them every 80-100 workout hours. Happy shopping!

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The SkinnyMs. team believes that all people, regardless of age, size, and fitness level, have the power to transform their lives — they just need the resources to do so. The SkinnyMs. method promotes healthy living through a combination of clean eating and regular exercise. We offer everything you need to be successful.

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  1. I am looking for good cross training shoes, what are few of the best/good cross training shoes? Provide the names, thank you !

    1. There are many individual factors that come into play when selecting an appropriate pair of running or cross training shoes, so a pair that is good for one person, may not be good for another. It is always best to visit a running specialty store or podiatrist to help you determine which types of shoes are best for your particular body type, foot shape, and gait.

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