Shape Best In Fitness Awards 2023: Best Workout Shoes

Say goodbye to sore feet and blisters. These top-notch workout shoes for runners, lifters, cyclers, and more will keep you comfortable and supported.

Nike / Hoka / Lane Eight.

Unlike your activewear, the shoes you slip on your feet for a workout may very well be an afterthought. The kicks you lace up ahead of your trail run might have been the best-looking pair on the sale rack, and the sneakers you pop on for your lifting session could be the same pair you wear for your mid-day walks. NBD? Not exactly. The potential result: achy arches, blisters galore, and subpar performance.

To give your feet the support they need during any workout, stock up on the best workout shoes of the year, as determined by Shape's panel of experts and editors.

Best Trail Running Shoes: NoBull Graphite Matryx Trail Runner

The NoBull Matryx Trail Runners get the nod for their seamless, one-piece construction and durable, abrasion-resistant material (read: tough enough for the trails). Plus, they come with reflective details and an outer lug sole that's optimized for maximum traction to protect you from falling.

Graphite Matryx Trail Runner
NoBull Graphite Matryx Trail Runner $179.00

Expert Review: "These are very comfortable, lightweight sneakers. They provide great support and the material is great for dirty trails because it’s so easy to clean. They also have reflectors on the seams so when it starts to get dark, they can be used as a safety measure." Noelle Lambert, track and field Paralympian

Best Road Running Shoes: Asics NOVABLAST 3

These Asics running sneakers feature a trampoline-inspired outsole design, which can almost guarantee you'll add a little spring to your step. They offer maximum cushion that makes every stride feel like walking on air rather than striking the hard pavement. The mesh upper offers both breathability and flexibility, while never wavering on the supportive, locked-in feeling.

Asics Novablast 3
Asics NOVABLAST 3 $140.00

Expert Review: "I can't bear the thought of running without wearing Asics sneakers. They have just the right amount of cushioning, while not feely clunky or heavy. I have wide feet, too, which can make it difficult to find a pair of running sneakers that don't hurt my feet over time — but not these. The Asics NOVABLAST 3 will be in my rotation for miles to come." Alyssa Sparacino, ACE-certified personal trainer and Shape editorial director

Best Cross-Training Shoes: Reebok Nano X1

These versatile kicks are equipped with a flexible foam under the forefoot, a lightweight heel clip to promote stability, and a breathable yet durable upper that keeps your feet cool as you train. Thanks to those features, the sneakers are suitable for HIIT workouts, jogs, weight lifting sessions, and beyond.

X1 Nanos
Reebok Nano X1 $135.00

Expert Review: "I love the Nanos! They have a wider toebox than most athletic brands which is great if you have wider feet. Super sturdy and solid sole which is great for lifting." Laura Su, NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist and strength coach

Best Hands-Free Shoes: Kizik Women's Madrid Eco Knit

These stretchy sneaks are equipped with a sturdy yet springy heel that allows you to easily slip your foot right into the shoe — no bending over or lacing up required. The responsive cushioning feels like you're walking on a marshmallow, and the breathable knit upper is made entirely from recycled plastic bottles.

Women's Madrid Eco Knit
Kizik Women's Madrid Eco Knit $99.00

Expert Review: "My mom is so obsessed with these sneakers, she purchased a second pair soon after buying her first. She loves being able to step into the kicks and walk right out the door when her hands are full. And thanks to the cushy insole, the knee pain she's had for nearly three decades disappears when she wears them out and about." Megan Falk, Shape assistant editor

Best Sneakers for Walking: Hoka Bondi 8

Not only do these sneakers come in many stylish color combinations, but they have impressive construction as well. The foam supports ankles and helps your foot bounce into the next step, while the rear design provides a soft landing pad for heel strike to forefoot transitions. The symmetrical cushion was designed as a neutral shoe with a low heel-to-toe drop to distribute stress evenly through the foot, which is ideal for walking.

Bondi 8
Hoka Bondi 8 $165.00

Expert Review: "My friend and I have a tradition of taking an epic walk through the length of Manhattan each summer — 10 to 14 miles depending on the route — and each year I've worn Hoka Bondi sneakers. The mesh construction and lightweight design means my feet never feel bogged down, and I survive with minimal next-day soreness." Shannon Bauer, Shape and InStyle senior commerce editor

Best Sneakers for Flat Feet: Women's UA Surge 3 Running Shoes

These running shoes aren't just great for people with flat feet. They're universally comfortable, thanks to their light, breathable design, making them perfect for running, hiking, or walking. A cushion around the ankle provides added support and helps reduce break-in time. 

Under Armour
UnderArmour Women's UA Surge 3 Running Shoes $65.00

Expert Review: "My mom and I both have pretty flat feet, and we love these shoes for any activity. Their arch support is some of the best I've tried to date, and they are so comfortable for running. I distance run on occasion, and these are the only shoes I'll wear to do so." Christina Oehler, Shape beauty commerce editor

Best Cushioned Running Shoes: On Cloudstratus

Ideal for long, outdoor runs, these On running shoes are highly cushioned yet lightweight. Rubber grip on the outsole provides traction, and 75 percent of the polyester used on the shoes is from recycled materials.

On Cloudstratus $170.00

Expert Review: "These running shoes provide serious cushioning. They’re a bit chunkier than other options, but they’re super supportive on long outdoor runs." Christie Calucchia, Shape news editor

Best Sneakers for Plantar Fasciitis: Brooks Revel 5

Brooks Revel 5 lives up to the brand's reputation. They are unbelievably comfortable, require zero break-in time, and have a sole that rolls with every step. They're the ideal running shoe, providing the perfect balance of comfort and support with every step. 

Revel 5
Brooks Revel 5 $100.00

Expert Review: "I wear these shoes everywhere, not just to work out. I have a pair in black, and they look sleek with any athleisure outfit I'm wearing. They're my go-to travel shoe because they are roomy on the inside when my feet swell from the plane." — Oehler

Best Everyday Slip On Sneakers: APL TechLoom Bliss

Cool-looking slip-on sneakers are hard to come by, but APL pulls it off with this pair. They come in a variety of sleek colors and offer the brand's signature comfort and performance features.

APL TechLoom Bliss
APL TechLoom Bliss $220.00

Expert Review: "Not only do these look cool, but they’re so comfy and truly slide on and off. They’re great for pairing with a stylish athleisure outfit, but I also wear them while taking a walk or doing an easy workout." — Calucchia

Best Shower Shoes or Flip Flips for Locker Room: Nike Benassi JDI Women's Slides

Simple and streamlined, the Nike Benassi JDI Women's Slides are lightweight enough to slip in your gym bag with a soft, supportive midsole for ultimate comfort. The textured pattern on the upper adds a premium vibe.

Benassi JDI Women's Slides
Nike Benassi JDI Women's Slides $25.00

Expert Review: "I love the ease and comfort of my Nike slides. I’m always on the pool deck, and they’re so easy to slip on and really grip the floor. They also look so cute on." Anastasia Pagonis, gold and bronze medaled Paralympic swimmer

Best Cycling Shoes: Peloton Cycling Shoes

Peloton's cycling shoes won in this category for their breathable, vented uppers and three straps for an ultra-secure fit. They also get points for being true to size and including Delta cleats that you can wear on non-Peloton, Delta-compatible bikes (making them a great pick for cycling beginners or anyone who likes to use non-Peloton bikes at the gym or while traveling).

Cycling Shoes
Peloton Cycling Shoes $125.00

Expert Review: "I've used these shoes three times a week for the past two years, and they've held up incredibly well. I found them to fit true to size, and I appreciate how easy they are to adjust for the perfect fit." — Geil

Best Sneakers for HIIT: Lululemon Strongfeel

For CrossFit, HIIT, and other workouts with lots of jumping and lateral movement, the Lululemon Strongfeel shoes feature a lightweight, supportive upper that keep your feet locked in place (aka you're less likely to stumble). Their low-profile cushioning make this shoe ideal for transitioning between strength and cardio moves.

Lululemon Strongfeel
Lululemon Strongfeel $128.00

Expert Review: "There's a lot to love about these shoes (the easy slide on/off, the lug sole for extra traction, the retro-inspired colorways), but my favorite has to be that these were designed for women's feet specifically in mind, giving them a much better fit than the HIIT shoes I wore in the past." — Geil

Best Weight-Lifting Shoes: Nike Metcon 8

The Nike Metcon 8 sneakers were made to take your strength training to the next level — securely and safely. The wide, flat heel has an inner plate that distributes weight evenly throughout the foot, which means you're able to lift with confidence and stability. But, these weight-lifting shoes are also flexible enough to ensure you're able to crush a HIIT class or boot camp workout comfortably, too.

Nike Metcon 8
Nike Metcon 8 $130.00

Expert Review: "When I'm not strength training barefoot, these are the only shoes I'll wear. The ability to really feel my feet in contact with the floor is critical to my mind-body connection during training sessions. Plus, the Metcons have a stable, flat base of support that's essential during heavy weight lifting — wobbling around on cushioned running shoes is asking for trouble (aka injury)." — Sparacino

Best Eco-Friendly Sneakers: Lane Eight Women's Trainer AD 1

The just-firm-enough cushioning in the midsoles of these sneakers is created from harvested toxic algae blooms, which pollute waterways and harm wildlife. The stretchy knit upper is crafted with recycled plastic yarn that gives the shoes a suede-like feel. 

Lane Eight Women's Trainer AD 1
Lane Eight Women's Trainer AD 1 $130.00

Expert Review: “I love wearing these lightweight sneakers during HIIT workouts with lots of plyometric moves. The uppers have a sock-like fit around my ankles, so I don’t have to worry about them slipping off my feet mid-burpee. Plus, they absorb impact so well, my neighbors don't have a clue of how powerfully (read: loudly) I'm jumping.” — Falk

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