The Best Nike Shoes for Dedicated Cross-Training Workouts

Buying Guide

If you want to squat deeper and climb the rope higher in your next workout, Nike has you covered with the optimal cross-training shoes.

Last updated: 20 September 2022
5 min read
Nike’s Best Cross-Training Shoes

Cross-training is a method of incorporating various kinds of sports and activity training into a workout regime. Regular cross-training can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle while strengthening different muscle groups through different types of movement. Cross-training may mix running, weightlifting, aerobic exercise and sports drills into the same workout.

A good cross-training schedule can be as challenging as it is versatile, which means you'll need a pair of cross-training shoes that can keep up. Here's what to look for, along with some of Nike's top picks for the ultimate cross-training shoes.

What Is Cross-Training?

Cross-training is exercise with multiple modalities, such as different sports, aerobic movements and resistance training, intended to provide athletes with a range of positive benefits, including endurance, strength, flexibility and balance. Cross-training exercise programmes can appeal to athletes of any fitness level, and may draw from weightlifting, plyometrics, gymnastics, boxing, rowing, swimming and running. Workout programmes can vary greatly, but you can expect to squat, lift, push, pull, run and climb your way to improved fitness. The variety of multi-directional movements involved in cross-training require a special type of cross-training shoe (regular old gym sneakers just won't cut it).

What to Look for in Cross-Training Shoes

  • Flexibility: your cross-training shoes will need an outsole with enough flexibility to handle a variety of cross-training movements, from burpees to box jumps.

  • Fit: try on your training shoes at the end of the day to make sure there is still enough wiggle room in the toe box after your feet swell (look for a wide toe box). And make sure the ankle collar doesn't rub or slip. A good pair of training shoes should feel comfortable from the first step, but you should also try a variety of movements in each pair before deciding. Get more tips on fit.

  • Breathability: you will undoubtedly sweat, as cross-training can push you to your limits, so move beyond your day sneakers and opt for shoes with a breathable mesh upper.

  • Weather Protection: if your workouts take you outdoors, you may need a pair with a water-resistant upper and a durable, non-slip rubber outsole.

  • Support and Stability: a good pair of cross-training shoes will provide enough arch support and have a wide base to stabilise your feet during weightlifting moves. If you get serious about weightlifting, you might buy special weightlifting shoes.

  • Cushioning: some cushioning is needed to absorb impact during plyometric moves, but too much cushioning can throw you off balance during heavy lifting. Aim for the right balance between cushioning and stabilising features in your training shoes.

  • Versatility: the best cross-training shoes are as effective at gripping a rope as they are at supporting a lift or stabilising a lateral jump. You'll want a shoe that can do it all, so you won't have to change into a different pair mid-workout.

Nike's Cross-Training Shoes

One of the most optimal Nike cross-training shoes is the Nike Metcon. These workout shoes are designed for versatility, with a wide, flat heel to provide stability during heavy lifting and enough responsive foam to cushion high-impact movements. Plus, the rubber outsole tread wraps up your arch, providing traction to help you land jumps on the floor and climb a rope without frustration. And the lightweight upper allows your feet to breathe, while textured overlays provide durable abrasion resistance. The Nike Metcon is built for your most versatile workouts.

And there's a Nike Metcon shoe for every type of cross-training athlete as well: those who want to minimise weight and enhance speed, those who want the option of a heel lift for weightlifting and those who need extra flexibility for agility moves. Each Nike Metcon shoe comes with its own set of unique features, while striking a balance between stability and responsiveness—making them an ideal choice for cross-training.

What's more, there's no question that these shoes look sharp. And with multiple styles and colours to choose from (in Nike men's and Nike women's sizes), including a cross-training pair that can be completely customised to coordinate with your favourite workout clothing, you're sure to find the aesthetic that makes you feel your best.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Running Shoes Be Used for Cross-Training?
If running is part of your workout, you may prefer to switch to a running shoe for that portion of the workout, though most cross-training shoes can accommodate short sprints. However, wearing running shoes when performing lifts can leave you without adequate support. And lateral agility moves can throw you off balance if you're landing on a highly cushioned sole designed for running. While you may be able to get through a cross-training workout in running shoes, a training shoe designed for more versatile exercise classes is going to enhance your success.
How Often Should I Replace My Nike Metcons?
As a general rule of thumb, you should replace your cross-training shoes at least once every six months. For frequent and intense workouts, you may need to replace them every four months. For this reason, many athletes prefer to have two pairs of training shoes, so they'll last longer and have time to dry out between workouts.

Originally published: 14 January 2022

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