Adidas/May 2023/
4 minute read

What Kind of Shoes Should You Wear to the Gym

Get the right support for your training session. Find out the best workout shoes for the gym with adidas’ top picks and advice.

From active go-getters to everyday comfort-seekers, most people have a favorite pair of running shoes in their closet for their cushioning, support and maybe even style. But does that make them the best shoes for the gym?
Unless you’re going to the gym to knock out 30 minutes on the treadmill and a few mat exercises, running shoes aren’t the best footwear for gym training. There are many different kinds of running shoes, but the general characteristics include a curved outsole for springiness as you push off, and a well-cushioned midsole for energized strides and long-distance comfort. While these are great characteristics for running, they can inhibit your movement in strength-based workouts and can even be dangerous if you’re lifting heavy weights due to their instability in held positions. 

How To Pick Gym Shoes

For general training, the best gym shoes are breathable and provide light support with little to no curve in the sole. This lets you grip the floor with your whole foot, creating better balance in strength and conditioning moves. A cross-training shoe is versatile and checks the boxes for many different exercises. Of course, specific shoe choice varies based on your workout, so consider the type of exercise you'll be doing.

SHOES FOR HIIT Workouts, Cross-Training or Lifting Weights:

Look for a training shoe with a low arch or minimalist profile that provides you with the right support and balance. These shoes are often flat on the floor and let you get full stability in your stance. These are the best workout shoes if you like to mix it up in the gym, from weights to bodyweight workouts to cardio machines.

Dropset Trainers





Weightlifting shoes are designed with sturdy, stiff soles and a lift in the heel to give you more range of mobility in your calf and ankle. This helps you squat lower and have more stability in big power lifts like the front squat, squat clean, squat snatch and more. These are the best gym shoes if you are focusing on training big lifts.






Running shoes are the best choice if treadmill walking or running is most of your workout. They’ll give you the support and cushioning you need to feel comfortable while racking up the steps, and you can still do some mat exercises afterward. If you’re going to the weight room after the treadmill and don’t want to carry two pairs of shoes, you can take off your running shoes and just wear socks to get more stability in your lifts. However if you like to do quick, lateral movement that requires footwear, then wear a cross-training shoe with a stable midsole for better balance in jumps.




No matter which shoes fit your workout style, it’s important to take care of them to help them last longer. How often you replace your gym shoes depends on how often and how heavily you use them, but in general, it’s best to watch for signs that the shoe is breaking down. If the heel, outsole or cushioning is wearing down, or if you’re feeling pain during or after wearing them, then it’s probably time to switch to a new pair.
If your shoes feel fine but are just a bit dirty, giving them a wash will liven them back up. Read more of our articles to learn how to wash your gym shoes and how to lace them back up.