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Heavy-lifting Circuits

The slight, 4 mm heel helps you keep your weight back so you can squat low and deadlift heavy while feeling connected to the floor. Stiff plastic wraps around the back of the sneaker, and a rigid sole cuts down on wobbling when you go heavier or do single-leg exercises. Testers said they're minimal enough for other workouts too, especially HIIT sessions. ($130, reebok.com) (ICYMI, lifting heavy is crazy good for you.)

Photo: Reebok

Group Classes

This cross-trainer was made for class-hopping, according to our testers. One tester also said she almost forgot she was wearing shoes at all, but still felt totally protected attacking a heavy bag during a kickboxing class. The snug arch keeps you steady for workouts that involve quick cuts and side stepping, such as dance cardio. These are narrow, so there isn't much room for your foot to move around, which should eliminate any worry of slipping out. ($100, asics.com)

Photo: Asics

A Hike

Unlike some hiking boots that take a few go-arounds to break in, one tester told us she found these immediately comfortable. The outsole is covered in two types of lugs: A larger center strip works to help you maintain your footing on loose ground, while a less-aggressive outer ring makes you feel solid on slick surfaces. Don't let the leather and suede fool you—they're totally waterproof (and easy to clean). And the sealed-seam inner keeps the elements out, so even if you underestimate a puddle or get caught in the rain, your feet will stay dry. ($140, forsake.com) (Just make sure you grab these other hiking essentials before you head out.)

Photo: Forsake Duck

Intervals

This racing shoe is lightweight and speedy without sacrificing the cushioning you need for interval workouts. A flexible beam through the center of the outsole gives extra arch support and keeps feet from collapsing inward or rotating outward when you're pounding the pavement or treadmill. ($110, newbalance.com) (The perfect tester: this running interval workout that strengthens your whole body.)

Photo: New Balance

Spin Class

Surprise: You don't need a clip-in to crush your Spin. One tester said she didn't think it was possible to nd a sneaker that delivers the same strong, smooth ride as a cycling shoe until she slipped this one into her Spin bike's cage. The square toe box lets your toes splay comfortably, there's no drop from the heel to forefoot (just as in a cycling shoe), and the firm outsole keeps your foot from bending around the pedal, while its rubber tread won't let you slip out—which means faster sprints and heavier climbs. Plus, these are designed to be versatile running shoes, so it's like getting two great sneakers for the price of one. ($120, altrarunning.com) (Rather clip in? Here ae all the best bike shoes for all your cycling needs.)

Photo: Altra