No matter your preferred workout – running, weightlifting, cross training, HIIT, or all of the above – the right pair of gym trainers is non-negotiable if you want the best results. As well as proving to your fellow gym-goers that you mean business, the best gym shoes for men combine flexibility, support and breathability. However, the exact specifics depend on your workout of choice, so read on for our guide to choosing your perfect pair of gym shoes for any workout, as well as the best styles to buy in 2023.
What to look for in gym shoes for men
With so many dedicated gym shoes for men on the market at the moment, finding the perfect pair can feel like a feat – and you haven't even begun your workout yet. But this needn't be an overwhelming decision to make.
The most important thing to consider is the main type of exercise you'll need your shoes for. If you're a runner, you'll need specific running shoes that offer a combination of comfy cushioning and just the right amount of bounce.
For interval training, look for a secure fit, solid support in the heel and mid-foot, and a larger, flatter base for extra traction on multiple types of surfaces.
If weightlifting is your thing, your main priority will be reducing lower back pain and maintaining proper form, so opt for extra support in the form of a stiff upper, a strap across the laces, padded heel and hard outsole.
And if you like to mix it up with a range of different workouts? You'll need a multi-functional all-rounder that's cushioned and supportive yet flexible and breathable.
Best men's gym shoes for running
You'll feel like you're running on clouds in the aptly named Cloudswift runners from On. They're crafted using an innovative Swiss-engineered superfoam called Helion, which is ultra lightweight yet durable, with impact protection for your best run yet. Running on hard surfaces never felt easier. Now, your only task is to take your pick from 11 colourways. Or collect them all? We're not judging.
Best men's gym shoes for weightlifting
Adidas Powerlift Weightlifting Shoes
Whether you're a weightlifting novice or a fully-fledged pro, Adidas' Powerlift Weightlifting Shoes will have you sorted. The combination of a wide velcro strap and laces provide a stable base that will keep your midfoot locked down when attempting those big lifts. The die-cut wedge midsole and narrow fit offer extra support, while a flexible forefoot gives you room to move your toes for comfortable lifting. Note that these shoes run slightly small, so size up for a comfier fit.
Best men's gym shoes for cross-training
New Balance DynaSoft TRNR V2
Cross-training – a workout involving varied functional movements performed at various intensities – requires a pair of men's gym shoes that allow you to move in different directions while offering enough support to minimise the likelihood of sustaining an injury. For this type of workout, New Balance's DynaSoft TRNR V2 gets our vote. These ultra-versatile trainers boast a lightweight cushioned midsole for all-day comfort, as well as a solid rubber outsole with multi-directional traction to help you keep your footing, no matter the terrain.
Best men's gym shoes for HIIT
Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2
Approach your HIIT sessions with absolute confidence, in a pair of Nike's Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 trainers. Stability and responsiveness are combined for quick movements, springy take-offs and a cushioned landing. The goal in creating these kicks was maximum durability and minimal weight. They're cushioned underfoot with lightweight Zoom Air cushioning and the instep of the upper is thin but tough, with mesh on the outer part for breathability. Other helpful features include a wide, flat heel for stability and a grippy rubber sole that's flexible enough to let your foot bend comfortably.
Best men's gym shoes for cycling
These sleek cycling trainers from British brand Tiem fuse good looks, high performance and sock-like comfort. They boast a breathable mesh toe-box, slip-on construction, and single-strap closure system, so all you have to do is focus on the cycling – indoor or outdoor. Note that cycling shoes should fit slightly tighter than your other trainers, so if you have a narrow foot it is recommended that you opt for half a size down from your usual trainer size, otherwise stay true to your usual shoe size.
Best value men's gym shoes
Puma FUSE 2.0 Training Shoes
Designed to help you tackle any workout, Puma's FUSE 2.0 Training Shoes get our vote for the best value gym shoes for men. Stability, fit and traction are prioritised, with a wide toe box to give you a stable stance, an internal midsole for shock absorption, a durable PUMAGRIP rubber outsole that provides all-purpose traction and a TPU heel clip for enhanced support. All for under £100.
Best men's gym shoes for mixed use
Reebok Nanoflex Trainer 2.0
If you like to mix things up in the gym with an array of different workouts, you'll need some all-rounder gym trainers that are ready for anything. Reebok has just the pair. Its Nanoflex Trainer 2.0 sneakers are made with a mesh upper that's breathable and durable, with integrated support for stability and a rubber outsole with a strategic lug pattern for ultimate traction. The perfect shoes for in and out of the gym.
Want to look good while working out? Read our guide to the most stylish gym clothes.