The best gym trainers for every workout

When it comes to working out, a great pair of gym trainers is essential.

An image of gym trainers, dumbbells and a skipping rope

by Isabel Martins |
Updated on

The best trainers for the gym provide optimal support, comfort and performance. If you've just joined a gym for some yoga classes or you've been a regular for a while, there are a few essential items you'll need to bring with you. These include a water bottle, your go-to workout clothes, and of course, an excellent pair of gym trainers.

Purpose-designed gym trainers are so necessary because they're specifically built to support your feet whilst you work out. Unlike fashion trainers they can help prevent certain types of injury, as they cushion your feet and lessen the impact when jumping or landing. You'll just need to know how to clean your trainers well if you have a particularly sweaty workout to avoid unpleasant smells.

Best trainers for gym at a glance

Best overall trainers for gym: Adidas Ultraboost 21 Womens Running Shoes – Buy now on Sports Direct
Best gym trainers for support: Women's Fitness Shoes Mid 140 – Buy now on Decathlon
Best budget gym trainers: Get Fit Womens Mesh Running Trainers – Buy now on Amazon UK

Many gym trainers are versatile and suitable for a variety of workouts. Whether you're doing strength training, cardio, or group fitness classes, a good pair of trainers can provide the necessary support and functionality for different activities. Be sure to go for trainers for wide feet or arch support trainers if you have particular foot requirements.

Aside from protecting your feet, they can also help improve your workout performance, such as quick direction changes. This, of course, can only be done when you buy top-quality gym trainers, and we've decided to round up our favourite choices below:

Best gym trainers

Best overall trainers for gym

Adidas Ultraboost 21 Womens Running Shoes
Price: £80 (was £159.99)

www.sportsdirect.com

Although they come with a premium price tag, these Adidas Ultraboost 21 Womens Running Shoes are a worthy investment. They feature added bounce due to their 'boost' capsules, meaning you can easily jump around without placing stress and pressure on your feet and ankles. We also love that the upper part of it is entirely made from recycled materials, meaning it's environmentally friendly, too. They're designed as running trainers, but can be used for most gym machines, as well as exercise classes.

Pros

  • Premium look and feel
  • Designed for running
  • Innovative shoe construction

Cons

  • Not many sizes in stock

Best gym trainers for support

Women's Fitness Shoes Mid 140
Price: £19.99 (was £24.99)

www.decathlon.co.uk

Overall, these Women's Fitness Shoes Mid 140 gym trainers are an excellent choice. They have a reinforced toe, so when you land or jump, you won't put unnecessary pressure on your toes, and the smooth outsole zones help remove pressure from your joints. We also love their colourful and snazzy design.

Customer review: "So comfortable. No problem to wear it all day."

Pros

  • For workouts or casual wear
  • Great value
  • Supportive
  • Comfortable fit

Cons

  • Not many sizes available

Best budget gym trainers

These Get Fit Womens Mesh Running Trainers are undeniable proof that just because you're on a budget, you don't need to compromise. They're available in a wide range of colours, so you'll be sure to find a pair that matches your gym wear.

Customer review: "These trainers are fantastic value for money and very comfortable. Good quality too. Definitely buying more colours."

Pros

  • Lots of styles and colours to choose from
  • Lightweight
  • Flexible
  • Popular on Amazon

Cons

  • Some sizes are sold out

Best gym trainers for cross training

Nike Metcon 9
Price: $90 (was £129.95)
Alternative retailers
NIKE$150.00View offer

The Nike Metcon 9 is a top-tier gym trainer, featuring a larger Hyperlift plate for stability in intense workouts. The lace-lock system ensures a secure fit. Extended rubber wrap and durable mesh provide support and breathability. While the dual-density midsole offers comfort during cardio. The full-rubber outsole ensures traction, and the breathable textile adds durability and flexibility, allowing unrestricted movement during heavy lifts.

Customer review: "I received my usual size 8 and the Metcons fit nice and snug with thin socks. I think it's a good stable shoe for squat variations and other leg exercises because of its firmness, and also a good hybrid shoe with flexible toe box for crossfit exercises. It bends without pinching my toes. The fabric is light and breathable."

Pros

  • Attractive design
  • Supportive for gym training
  • Breathable

Cons

  • Sizing runs small

Best gym trainers for lifting weights

Adidas weightlifting shoes, designed for heavy lifting, offer stability with a raised heel and high-density midsole. The robust canvas upper, secured with a lace-and-strap combo, ensures a firm fit. The rubber outsole is crafted for secure foot placement. Additionally, the shoe incorporates over 50 per cent recycled materials, contributing to Adidas' commitment to reducing plastic waste.

Customer review: "First time I wore them I added an additional 10kg to my previous best squat so that was pretty good. Advice to go up half a size was correct in my case (i.e. I'd usually take a 6.5 so went for the 7)."

Pros

  • Holds foot securely
  • Good grip
  • Made from recycled materials

Cons

  • Larger sizes are out of stock

Best gym trainers for running

Nike Pegasus 40
Price: £119.99

www.nike.com

Nike's Pegasus 40 offers a responsive ride with enhanced comfort in sensitive foot areas. The trainers suit various running styles for both short and long distances. The medium cushioning with Nike React technology ensures a consistent, comfortable experience. High responsiveness, featuring two Zoom Air units, provides an energised feel. The midfoot strap offers a moulded fit. Also, an innovative inside-out approach prioritises comfort, breathability and adaptability to the foot. Additional benefits include optimised heel area, traction, and a smooth toe-off with an extra flex groove.

Customer review: "These shoes are very comfortable. They offer a lot of support and they fit my foot very well. I love wearing these shoes, I get the new model every time they come out they are so comfortable."

Pros

  • Available in a huge range of sizes
  • Design your own style
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Supportive when running

Cons

  • Can get dirty and hard to clean afterwards

Best barefoot gym trainers

Whilst barefoot trainers are not for everyone, if you're seriously into your fitness you may benefit from the extra grip and mobility Motus Strength Womens trainers offer. Build ankle strength and feel more sensation as your foot connects with the ground. The outsole features a 2mm sole with 1.5mm lugs for superior traction and durability. The high midfoot sidewalls are designed for cross-training, for optimised support during lateral movements. These trainers are designed to support active feet without sacrificing flexibility.

Pros

  • Made with vegan product
  • Increase ankle strength
  • Improved grip on gym equipment
  • Natural mobility

Cons

  • No customer reviews

Best gym trainers for a wide fit

Womens Wide Fit New Balance MX624WN5 Trainers
Price: £79.99 (was £89.99)

www.widefitshoes.co.uk

Womens Wide Fit New Balance MX624WN5 Trainers offer comfort with a deep toe box, preventing foot cramping during movement. The soft leather upper, Eva foam footbed, Imeva midsole, and Abzorb® cushioning ensure flexibility, support, and exceptional shock absorption. The non-marking rubber outsole enhances durability and grip. These trainers are available in extra wide and, extra deep and ultra wide and deep fittings.

Customer review: "First time in years I have had shoes that fit properly and don't cause any discomfort or pain."

Pros

  • Range of wide fittings available
  • Spacious toe box
  • Superior cushioning

Cons

  • Only one colourway

Best gym trainers for arch support

Skechers are popular for good reason. Experience unparalleled comfort in Skechers Arch Fit - Big Appeal shoes. The lace-up design, engineered mesh upper, and removable Arch Fit insole provide podiatrist-certified arch support. With a cushioned midsole, flexible traction outsole, these athletic shoes prioritise both style and functionality. Benefit from air cooled memory foam and machine washable footwear.

Customer review: "I have a high arch. Love these sneakers for walking long distances."

Pros

  • Arch support
  • Great for everyday training
  • Available in a range of colours and sizes
  • Super comfortable
  • Breathable

Cons

  • Not intended for intensive workouts

Best gym trainers for comfort

FitVille Women's Rebound Core Shoes offer extra width up to 4E, ensuring a spacious toe box for sensitive toes and preventing cramped feet. The dual-density EVA midsole, U-shaped arch support and EnergyWave pad provide shock absorption and extra bounce. The rubber outsole ensures top-notch slip resistance, while the heel ring helps to support flat feet. The shoe features a comfortable PropelCore™ sole technology with x3 more support, adapting to your unique foot shape for all-day comfort and alignment.

Customer review: "Having done some considerable research I ordered FitVille Women's Rebound Core Shoes. While I was unsure if they would live up to my needs, I have to say I am very happy. Having had foot pain for quite some time, these shoes have helped noticeably. I have recommended them and will be getting another pair of shoes from FitVille soon."

Pros

  • Wide and Extra Wide fit available
  • Shock absorbing
  • Wide toe box
  • Comfort and stability

Cons

  • May not solve more complex foot conditions

Gym Trainers Buyers Guide

When choosing gym trainers, it's important to consider factors such as your specific workout needs, foot shape and any existing foot conditions. It's a good idea to get fitted by a professional at a speciality store to ensure you find the right pair for your requirements.

Quality gym trainers are designed to provide proper support to your feet and joints, especially during high-impact activities like running or jumping. They typically have cushioning and shock absorption features to reduce stress on your feet, ankles and knees. Nike's simple guide to finding the right training shoe breaks down the footwear features required for particular activities.

The right pair of trainers can enhance your athletic performance by offering traction. Whether you're lifting weights, doing cardio, or engaging in various exercises, having the appropriate footwear can optimise your movements and help you perform at your best.

Properly fitting gym trainers can provide stability and reduce the risk of slips or falls. They can also help maintain proper alignment during different exercises, minimising the chances of injuries or strain.

Comfort is key when it comes to workout shoes. Ill-fitting or uncomfortable shoes can distract you from your exercise routine and may lead to discomfort or pain. Quality trainers are designed with comfort in mind, ensuring a better workout experience.

Isabel Martins has contributed to various Bauer Media Brands such as Yours and What's The Best as a Commercial Content Writer.

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