Best Cross Training Shoes for Women: Save Your Feet from Suffering

Best cross training shoes for women
Mark Foster
Written by Mark Foster

CrossFit is an intense and highly varied fitness regimen for both men and women. Because of the intensity, you need to be comfortable and the outfit you wear should support your objective. That’s where the best cross training shoes for women come in.

They can help you focus on the training itself and getting fit instead of worrying about discomfort and possible injuries.

Why choose cross training shoes? Can’t we just wear running shoes for our training? CrossFit shoes are specifically designed for the highly varied workout routines. On the other hand, running shoes are often designed for only one activity (which is running). The functions and the materials could be different for each type of shoe.

In CrossFit, people can practice a wide variety of movements inspired by running, rowing, gymnastics, weightlifting, and other activities. It’s difficult and challenging, but you don’t need to experience unnecessary suffering because of the wrong pair of shoes you wear. It’s best that you experience maximum comfort so that you can count on them whenever you go beyond your physical comfort zone.

CrossFit shoes features

First, we’ll discuss what specific features you should look for before buying a pair. Then we’ll mention some of the popular CrossFit shoes out there. This way, you will be better equipped to make a purchasing decision. You’ll also be more certain that what you chose is the best based on your needs and preferences.

How to Choose CrossFit Shoes

Choosing the best is a priority for most people, especially for those engaged in intense physical workouts. In most of those workouts, it’s likely that the feet will endure the most pain and take most of the work.

That’s why you need to be careful in choosing cross training shoes. You will be using it for hours and it will be your regular companion during those exhausting routines.

So how do you choose the best one for you? Here are some of the things you should consider.

Is it lightweight?

When people go to a store and see a shoe they like, they first touch it and then take it off the shelf.The weight of the shoes is one of the most important factors people consider before buying a pair.

In many physical activities (especially running), a heavy pair of shoes can contribute to the strain and exhaustion we feel.It’s even more important during cross training because we’ll be taking a lot of physical punishment. But if the shoes are lightweight, we are spared from unnecessary pain. Many people agree with this and you’ll encounter them as you read product reviews from different customers.

Does it feel comfortable?

Aside from being lightweight, there are other factors that both beginners and experienced CrossFit trainers consider. A lightweight shoe already contributes to the comfort we feel but there are other things that can add to that.

Comfortable CrossFit shoes

One thing is the “breathability” of the shoe. Does it promote air circulation? If yes, we will feel fresh all day even after harsh workouts. CrossFit activities are intense and can cause us to sweat profusely. If the shoes we wear are breathable, we take away some of the discomfort.

It will also be more sanitary because the sweat won’t linger on our feet. Many CrossFit shoes today are made from breathable mesh upper. The difference among them is how much of the surface area is made from breathable materials.

Another issue in regards to comfort is how it actually feels on your feet. You could invest in an expensive pair of shoes that has all the works, but if they’re not comfortable, you’re not going to work out in them. When you’re trying them on, wear the socks you plan to work out in so that you can see how they’ll fit together. Shoe manufacturers don’t all use the same scale when constructing their shoes, so there’s going to be some differences.

What material is the shoe made of?

This is another important factor many CrossFit trainers consider. Many CrossFit shoes are already made from lightweight materials, especially in the midsole and the cushioning system. These parts usually contribute to most of the weight of the shoe. In the past, the midsole and the cushioning system are made from heavier types of polymers (e.g. polyurethane).

But now, EVA (stands for ethyl vinyl acetate) and other materials such as GEL cushioning are found to be lighter while not sacrificing durability, so your shoe will remain both durable and comfortable for the long haul.

Do the shoes provide enough support and stability?

Aside from comfort, support and stability are also important factors.Whether it’s low- or high-impact training, the support and stability provided by the shoes will help us do more and go beyond our physical capabilities. But if the shoes fail us, we can never reach our full potential.

Support and stability

It’s not an overstatement. Some people have already reported minor injuries especially in their feet, which can lead to skipping important CrossFit sessions. For people who are die-hard CrossFit fans, this is a huge hassle. That’s why CrossFit fans often prioritize support and stability over all the other factors. So how do we determine if the shoes we’ll buy pass the test?

One thing you should look for is the cushion. This is especially important when running. Our feet have to endure consistent impact from the ground, so there needs to be some way to reduce this in order to minimize the pain in our feet. But running isn’t the only exercise involved in CrossFit; the cushioning of the shoes should accommodate your movements in different directions as well.

Because of this, many companies focus on the cushioning of the midsole and heel, as these are the areas where there’s a lot of wear and tear. This way, there’s a lot less impact on the pressure points of our feet so you won’t experience as much pain. Some shoes also have good cushioning system in the forefront, just behind your toes. The goal here is to reduce the impact and keep the feet comfortable even after intense activity.

Does it look stylish?

After considering the functionality of the shoes, it’s time to look at the design. Experienced CrossFit practitioners often consider the design last. That’s because function is a lot more important., but that doesn’t mean we should neglect the style.

Mainly, the design of the shoes should instantly look athletic. This way, it will align with your motivation to get fit and achieve more physical power. The general layout and shape might vary a bit from one shoe to the next, but overall, they support the user’s image of getting stronger.

Does it look stylish

Most shoes are available in a wide variety of colors so you can choose one that complements your outfit or simply sports your favourite colour. There’s no reason you can’t look good while working out.

What’s even better is that function and style now often go hand in hand. Many companies have figured out how to combine style and function so that users can get the best of both worlds. It’s now an easy task to find a pair of shoes that look good and, at the same time, feel really comfortable and stable.

Now that we’ve discussed the important questions you should ask before buying cross training shoes. Next is we’ll review some of the popular products out there. You will learn what their best features are and why each one could be the best choice.

Best CrossFit Shoes for Women: Product Reviews

PUMA Women’s Cell Riaze

PUMA Women's Cell Riaze Cross-Training Shoe

Shipping Weight:  2 pounds

Specific Features: Two toned mesh with bonded synthetics (upper), rubber outsole, EVA and Bubble Technology midsole

Description: At first glance, it has the look and feel of athleticism. You might immediately feel that it’s specifically designed for CrossFit training. PUMA Women’s Cell Riaze Cross-Training Shoe also has the combination of classic and modern styles. Maybe that’s one thing that made them so popular.

Another thing that users discover is that it has a cushioned midsole and heel, so they always feel comfortable and stable. These can help you go on with your training without worrying much about the impact on your feet. The padded tongue and collar also add to the comfortable experience.

However, the extra padding might be an issue to some users. The shoe might feel a bit small because the padding takes up some of the space. In addition, the air circulation in the tongue area might also be prohibited. It covers a considerable part of the shoe so sweat might be a problem in this area.

As mentioned earlier, the breathability of the mesh upper is also important. Even if our activities don’t involve much running, our feet will still sweat. The breathable areas can promote air circulation so we can always feel fresh and comfortable.

AVIA Women’s Avi-Celeste Cross-Trainer Shoe

AVIA Women's Avi-Celeste Cross-Trainer Shoe

Shipping Weight: 8 ounces

Specific Features: Compression molded EVA midsole, solid rubber outsole, ultra-lightweight layered mesh upper

Description:  Some CrossFit fans are just into the basics. They want a lightweight, comfortable, and flexible shoe they can use for their CrossFit activities. They also want one that they can use for their dance-inspired fitness classes.

That’s where the AVIA Women’s Avi-Celeste Cross-Trainer Shoe comes in. It’s ultra-lightweight, comfortable, has an EVA midsole, and provides forefoot flexibility and a pivot point. This is suitable for both CrossFit and Zumba sessions.

The compression molded EVA midsole can absorb much of the impact while still being lightweight. The layered mesh upper also contributes to the shoes being lightweight. In addition, that layered mesh upper provides extra comfort and ventilation.

New Balance Women’s 711 Mesh

New Balance Women's 711 Mesh Cross-Training Shoe

Shipping Weight: 3 pounds

Specific Features: 8mm heel-to-toe drop, CUSH+ midsole, SBS visual tech heel crash pad

Description:  This is also one of the most popular cross training shoes. It also covers the basics. However, New Balance Women’s 711 Mesh Cross-Training Shoe has something more to offer.

One is that it has an SBS visual tech heel crash pad. From its name, we can learn that it reduces the impact our heels have to endure when running.

Aside from reducing the impact, many users have also reported that the heel cushion provides extra comfort. It feels good and it might motivate you to push further.

The shoes are also lightweight and flexible, so it can provide support for many of your activities, whether it’s just short distance walking or short bursts of high speed running.

RYKA Women’s Influence

Shipping Weight: 3 pounds

Specific Features: Padded tongue and collar, Flex-Foil and Direct-Fuse support layers, narrower heels, more secure footbed.

Description: This RYKA Women’s Influence Cross Training Shoe focuses on ergonomics. The Flex-Foil and Direct-Fuse layers provide support in lateral movements. The arch support reduces the impact on important pressure points. In addition, the sole includes a pivot point to accommodate natural movements whenever you work out.

This shoe is built with the women’s needs and biology in mind, such as having narrower heels and more secure footbeds. Also, these shoes are also good for dance-inspired workouts such as Zumba, allowing you to float across the floor while still having the support and cushioning that you need.

Many users have found that these shoes can absorb a lot of impact. Whether in Zumba or more intense workouts, these shoes can help you perform the higher impact moves without worrying much about your feet, legs, and knees.

The design is a bit more colorful than the other cross training shoes mentioned above. However, it’s still pleasing to the eyes and has the athletic feel. For beginners, it might look unconventional, but that hasn’t stopped these shoes from being popular.

This is an excellent choice for those who prioritize comfort and functionality. In addition, RYKA shoes are flexible and accommodate a wide variety of movements that are common in dance exercises.

Brooks Women’s Glycerin 12

Brooks Women's Glycerin 12 Running Shoe

Shipping Weight: 3 pounds

Specific Features: Round toe, New Super DNA with 25% more cushioning than BioMoGo DNA, Ideal Pressure Zones

Description: This Brooks Women’s Glycerin 12 Running Shoe prioritizes comfort. It’s lightweight, and the makers went beyond the standards. The Ideal Pressure Zones in the outsole are there to optimize weight and pressure distribution. This way, you won’t feel much strain after a tiring workout.

This is especially designed for those who run a lot. It’s comfortable and you’ll never have to worry about blisters, even if you’re running for miles. It also has a narrow heel and more room for your forefoot.

When running, there’s a lot more movement going forward (especially in marathons). Having more room in the forefoot can add extra comfort while you’re performing this strenuous activity.

Many users also love the cushioning. The Brooks Womens Glycerin 12 Running Shoe has enough cushioning to absorb most impacts and keep you comfortable.

That and the being lightweight of the shoe feels like you will love running. For many runners and fitness enthusiasts, the comfort alone can be the extra push they need to run one more mile.

ASICS Women’s Gel Fit Tempo

ASICS Women's Gel Fit Tempo Cross-Training Shoe

Shipping Weight: 3 pounds

Specific Features: Removable insole, Breathable mesh upper with synthetic overlays, Rearfoot GEL cushioning system

Description: The ASICS Women’s Gel Fit Tempo Cross-Training Shoe provides enough stability, support, and cushioning. Just like the other ASICS shoes for women, this one is designed to be performance-driven. Every time you wear it, you’ll feel motivated to get your run on.

Many runners and CrossFit trainers prefer wearing shoes with some space for the toes to wiggle around. Maybe they got used to it or it just feels comfortable. If you’re one of them, this one’s for you.

For many fitness enthusiasts, it’s likely that they’re not just into cross training. It’s likely that they’re also trying different types of workouts. One month they might be focusing on cross training. The next month they might be into indoor dance workouts.

The ASICS Women’s Gel Fit Tempo Cross-Training Shoe is great for different types of workouts and settings, making them very versatile for whatever you’re interested in.

In terms of style, this shoe is very flashy, which may be perfect for those who don’t want all eyes on them. The features are straightforward and still cover the basics.

Best Shoes for CrossFit: Comfortable, Functional, and Stylish

CrossFit is intense (and painful), but that doesn’t mean your feet should suffer unnecessarily. If you wear the best cross training shoes, you can focus more on the workout itself instead of worrying about discomfort and injury.

Cross training shoes

If the shoes you wear are comfortable and functional, you can perform each CrossFit activity with grace and intensity. You will also experience more fun because you always have a reliable footwear to count on whenever you strive for the goal of getting fit.

Have a story you’d like to share with us or an opinion about any of the shoes mentioned here? Please be sure to leave us a comment below, and we’ll do our best to respond.


Mark Foster

Mark Foster

Mark Foster loves to push his limits when it comes to survival in the wilderness. He might go for a 30-days adventure without any food or equipment except for a survival kit and a knife. We should mention that his survival kit has 122 items in it, so he know what he is doing. Mark is working on his book to share with the world all his experience gained during those brave adventures.