When buying cross trainer shoes, it is important to find one that is comfortable from the beginning. No “breaking in” should be required, according to Rachel Nall in her article “How to Choose the Right Shoe for Cross Training.” The shoe should provide the same stability and comfort during the 50th hour as the first. Although she suggests trying on many brands, the best cross trainer shoe for women in 2016 should help you narrow the field.
For the best fit, Nall says you should be able to wiggle your toes freely, have a thumb’s length of space between the toe and front of the shoe, and they should feel supportive of your foot. Trying the shoe on should be done using the socks you will wear when cross training to ensure a comfortable fit. Try walking, bending, jumping and moving in different directions when you try on the shoe. Your foot should feel cushioned, stable, and lightweight enough for you. No slipping should be acceptable. Nall states it may be time for a new pair when you notice worn soles or breaking down near the backs of the shoe. She recommends not thinking of replacing them after a certain number of miles but instead use hours as a gage.
New Balance declares female athletes will love the WX608v4 for the comfort and support it provides. The dual-density foam in the collar provides a softer foam near the foot for comfort with a firmer density foam behind for support. The EVA foam in the footbed and IMEVA midsole allow more support with firm yet flexible cushioning. The internal shank perpetuates the support while flex grooves enables increased movement flexibility. The ABZORB cushioning foam in the heel provides comfort while absorbing shock at heel strike. The Phantom Liner gives the comfort of a seamlessly smooth fit with an even distribution of pressure throughout the foot. The combination of comfort and fit puts this NB on the list of best cross trainer shoes for women athletes.
PUMA calls the Pulse XT Geo Cross Trainer its most dynamic yet in women’s shoe, sealing its place in the list of best cross trainers for women. The Ariaprene used in construction of the bootie, mesh upper and no-sew overlay creates a breathable shoe that stretches. It injection-moulded EVA midsole provides comfort without adding very much weight (total shoe weight 6.2 oz.). EverTrain footbed technology contributes to the resilience and bounce of this shoe. The rubber outsole combined with the full length flex grooves allow multi-direction movement on most surfaces. Reviewers on Amazon state the shoe does run small in size. For narrow feet, order a half size bigger. Wider feet should order a full size larger than normal. Although the bootie feature does not allow the shoe to open as wide as others, it provides a snug fit once on the foot.
Ready to take on the water, Ryka Hydro Sport Cross Trainer is a best cross trainer shoes choice for water aerobics and water sports. This lace up shoe with a padded tongue and collar includes a synthetic and mesh upper created to dry quickly. Lateral and medial support comes from the unique midfoot cage webbing. The removable insole utilizes Nitracel technology, allowing for high level shock absorption and powerful return. The EVA molded midsole and sticky rubber outsole (better for grip on wet surfaces) have drainage ports to aid in water elimination. The easy on-off design includes a removable perforated sockliner and insole. The material is chlorine resistant to keep athletes looking their best and keeps this shoe among the best cross trainers for women.
With a few refinements, Mizuno describes the Wave Sayonara 2 is like the original only better. The lightweight (6.3 oz.) trainer utilizes Wave technology to provide dispersed impact from foot strikes and trainable support with durability. SmoothRide Engineering kicks in for a rocking motion in stride with a powerful toe-off. The flex grooves in the heel and Flex Controllers in the forefront increase the flexibility while providing a firmer platform with a 10 mm ramp. The U4ic midsole carries on the shock absorption and great transition through the stride. The sockliner allows more responsiveness and endurances while the mesh upper improves breathability in this best cross trainer/running shoe for women. The G3 outsole rounds out this shoe by including a superior grip and reduced weight.
The next shoe, Adidias Powerlift.2 Weightlifting Trainer, can handle the weight of being on the best cross trainer shoes list,. The synthetic lightweight mesh upper and collar provides support and durability. The wider fit last, textile cushioning, and high density midsole wedge offer comfort and stability for lifters. An instep strap improves rearfoot lockdown reliability as the synthetic leather and 3 stripes afford support and durability. A non-marking, flat profiled and patterned outsole delivers durability and a consistent grip. Reviewers on Amazon seem to agree these shoes run a half size big and provide great stability for lifting although walking in them can be a challenge.
Skechers Skech Air Style Fix is fashioned with a shock absorbing midsole and memory foam insoles that provides a comfort similar walking on air. With a weight of only 8 oz., the shoe is one of the lightest in hits class. The Knit Mesh fabric and synthetic upper allows for breathability as the 26 air pillow pockets provides rebound to each step. The lace up design gives a secure fit for each foot. A padded collar and tongue add to the security and comfort while the 1” heel adds support for the foot. Reviewers on Amazon describe these shoes as amazingly comfortable and true to size.
Adding to the selection on the list of best cross trainer shoes for women is Nike’s Studio Trainer Print Shoe. The quality starts with a seamless mesh and synthetic upper that eliminates chafing from hard edges as the perforated toe box and side panels heighten air circulation, not to mention add to the look of the shoe. Called super lightweight, the trainer features a low-profile and rubber sole with pivot points that affords quick movement as well as strong performance in any setting, including the dance studio. The minimal midsole allows for flexibility in lateral movements with the support athletes expect from Nike. Many reviewing the shoe on Amazon called them comfortable and light. Activities these shoes were described as being good for include Zumba, weightlifting, and resistance training.
Finishing out the best cross trainer shoes for women list is the Inov-8 F-lite 195 Trainer. Inov describes these as the “most versatile shoe in the performance training category.” From the F-lite series, this shoe only weighs 6.8 oz. with a 3mm drop. The stripped-back mesh upper allows for natural movements that flows with the meta-flex technology in the forefoot. The met-cradle lacing system and the close fitting heel offers a secure hold regardless of the activity. Rope-Tec technology provides traction and stability on rope climbs while the minimalistic style of the trainer improves balance during weightlifting. Finally, the sticky sole compound that allows for traction on multiple terrains makes this one incredible shoe.
Rachel Nall on “How to Choose the Right Shoe for Cross Training.”