Exercise

The 5 Best Cross Training Shoes For Women – 2018

With the wide variety women’s cross training shoes on the market, it’s hard to know where to start looking for the perfect cross trainer. We checked out a variety of cross trainers and reviewed those we feel are worth looking into.

We hope this in-depth information will make it easier for you to make the right selection for your personal needs and preferences. Below are our 5 top rated cross trainers for women.

For more of my recommendations, have a look through these popular Women’s Workout guide links: Vertical Climbers, Spin Bikes, Rowing Machines.

Quick Answer: The 5 Best Women’s Cross Training Shoes

  1. PUMA Women’s Tazon FM CrossTrainer Shoe
  2. NIKE Women’s Flex Supreme TR 4 Cross Trainer
  3. RYKA Women’s Influence Cross Training Shoe
  4. ASICS Women’s Gel-Craze TR 4 Cross Trainer Shoe
  5. Champion Women’s Gusto Cross Trainer

Here is a feature overview of my top 3 overall picks. Our guide and comparison table of the body fat scales will help you choose the right one for you.

Best Women’s Cross Trainers

 PUMA Women's Tazon FM CrossTrainer ShoeNIKE Women's Flex Supreme TR 4 Cross TrainerASICS Women's Gel-Craze TR 4 Cross Trainer Shoe
Uppers:Synthetic leatherTextile / meshSynthetic / mesh
Soles:RubberRubberRubber
Colors Available:6238
Other Features:OrthoLite socklinerFoam coreGel insole

Women’s Cross Training Shoe Reviews

PUMA Women’s Tazon FM CrossTrainer Shoe at a Glance:

  • Synthetic leather upper
  • Rubber sole
  • Ortholite sockliner
  • 6 Color Options

The cute and stylish PUMA Women’s Tazon FL Cross-Trainer Shoe is true to size. That’s something to watch in cross-trainers as many run small. Having said that, consider whether you will be using thin socks or thicker athletic ones. If you prefer the thick style, it might be a good idea to go with half a size larger.

This PUMA is made with a synthetic leather upper and is breathable, thanks to a PUMA’s patented sockliner. It is a lightweight trainer and very comfortable for a variety of activities- from fitness and exercise to just using for everyday wear.

While the shoe is comfortable, with sufficient cushioning, they are a bit stiff at first so may take some time to break-in. It fits snuggly without feeling too tight, though the toe box could have offered more room for the toes to spread out when doing high impact activity like running. The toe box size may be less of an issue for someone with a narrow foot.

The arch support was good and the shoe is roomy enough for inserts. While these shoes are designed with fitness in mind, they would be great for people who are on their feet all day for work. They are sufficiently comfortable and supportive for most any activity.

Overall this PUMA model is our top pick for the best cross training shoes for women.


NIKE Women’s Flex Supreme TR 4 Cross Trainer at a Glance:

  • Textile upper
  • Rubber sole
  • Foam core
  • 23 Color Options

The attractive and stylish NIKE Women’s Flex Supreme TR 4 Cross Trainers are feather light, yet supportive and in our opinion the best Nike cross training shoes. They feel like you are barely wearing shoes at all!

It’s breathable style give this Nike an airy feel. This is likely due to its mesh fabric. While there is plenty of cushion, the shoe doesn’t feel bulky in the least.

In spite of its light weight, it is a sturdy shoe. The fit is firm but offers a roomy toe box, wider than the others we tried out. This is an advantage for those with wider than normal feet.

Its reliable rubber soles provide good balance and slip-proof performance with a reliable traction for supporting you while performing a variety of activities. This is particularly important for things like managing weights in the gym. One caveat here – they may be more apt for light lifting over heavier weights.

The heel fits well, with no noticeable slippage. It is true to size and provides decent arch support, though not as good as the others.

These weren’t the best for best shock absorption. They may be good for running on natural surfaces like on the beach or trails, but probably not the best choice for long runs on harder surfaces like concrete or asphalt.  Runs on the treadmill with these trainers would be okay.

These Nikes allow for agility in moving such as during dance fitness classes. While classified as cross trainer sneakers the NIKE Women’s Flex Supreme TR 4 were better for walking, running on a giving surface, cardio dance (such as Zumba and Jazzercise), and light weight lifting.


RYKA Women’s Influence Cross Training Shoe at a Glance:

  • Synthetic upper
  • Rubber sole
  • Padded tongue and collar
  • 6 Color Options

The RYKA Women’s Influence Cross Training Shoe is a quality, well-constructed choice. It comes in a variety of vibrant colors as well as more muted tones. This includes some fun, brightly colored laces. They have blind eyelets (the holes the laces run through).

Great for dance fitness classes such as Zumba due the ease of turning, twisting, and making pivoting motions. This is made possible by a built in pivot-point in the sole of this shoe. Another reason for its agility is its tendency to get less traction than those styles that are designed for running. It does well on studio and gym floors.

The insole is bouncy but has less cushioning than some of its competitors. For this reason, it wouldn’t be the best choice for hard core running or other super high impact activities.

These cross trainer sneakers run a little small. It’s probably wise to order half a size bigger than what you normally wear.  Remember to take into account they type of socks you use.

The arch is well-defined, but not too high. The upper portion of shoe is structured without much give. Which lends itself to greater stability. This is a plus for weight lifting.

The RYKA Women’s Influence are lightweight, comfortable and sturdy with good lateral support another good choice for the best training shoes for women!


ASICS Women’s Gel-Craze TR 4 Cross Trainer Shoe at a Glance:

  • Synthetic upper
  • Rubber soles
  • Gel insole
  • 8 Color Options

The ASICS Women’s Gel-Craze TR 4 Cross-Trainer Shoe’s claim to fame is its unique sole construction. ASICS uses cushioning technology created by fusing two materials, a patented gel and foam; and the sole’s high abrasion rubber protects against wear and tear.

The Asics women’s cross training sneakers are the only of our 5 choices that has a removable insole, allowing those who rely on orthotics to replace the insoles with inserts.

It provides a good amount of cushioning but arch support was lacking, so inserts may be wise for those with arch issues.

Ordering up half-a-size for improved comfort is wise, as these shoes seem to run small. The toe box is sufficiently roomy.

This style is probably the least supportive of the 5 we reviewed, so may be a better choice for someone who’s heavy on weight lifting and less focused on high impact cardio. This ASICS model is lightweight and provides exceptional flexibility.


Champion Women's Gusto Cross Trainer

Champion Women’s Gusto Cross Trainer at a Glance:

  • Mesh fabric uppers
  • Synthetic soles
  • Memory foam Insole
  • 16 Soft color options

The Champion Women’s Gusto Cross Trainer is a great option for the budget-minded athlete.  It’s the most economical of the ones we reviewed. The stylish design looks good for general wear as well as for showing up at the gym.

This feather-light shoe has a fabric upper which is kinder to wider feet, providing a good amount of give. The mesh toe allows for more wiggle room.

This Champion model offers more flexibility than its competitors. Possibly because of this, it also provides less support, so may not be the best choice for activities that require stability such as managing heavy weights.

A unique feature is the Champion’s memory foam insole which is super comfy. The down-side of the insole is its minimal arch support. For this reason, this shoe is geared more toward light to moderately strenuous activity. These cross trainers are true to size, super cute and are good cross training shoes!


Cross Trainers For Women Comparison

Women's Cross Trainers UpperSoleColorsOtherRating
PUMA Tazon FMSynthetic leatherRubber6OrthoLite sockliner4.4 / 5.0
NIKE Flex Supreme TR 4Textile / meshRubber23Foam core4.3 / 5.0
RYKA Influence Cross TrainingSynthetic / meshRubber6Padded tongue and collar4.2 / 5.0
ASICS Gel-Craze TR 4Synthetic / meshRubber8Gel insole4.0 / 5.0
Champion GustoMesh fabricSynthetic16Memory foam Insole4.3 / 5.0

How To Choose the Best Cross Trainers for You

best cross training shoes for women

Arch Support

Does the shoe you are considering have the necessary arch support for your type of foot?  If you require additional support, in the form of an insert, does the shoe provide enough room for you to use one without your heel slipping out?

Those with high arches should be aware of cushioning. Those with flatter feet should stick to a more neutral

Foot Width

If you have a wider than normal foot, the flexibility of fabric is worth considering so that it will provide some give Make sure they are roomy enough for your toes to splay when you wear them for high impact exercise or running.

The toe box should allow for wiggle room. Heel should remain in place when active. It shouldn’t slip out or move around, so the back of the shoe should be able to hold your heel in place without digging into the ankle.

Shock Absorption

If you spend a lot of your time running or engaging in high impact activities, shock absorption is a must in order to protect your knees and ankles.

Cushioning is the key in women’s cross training sneakers for ensuring sufficient protection from shock. Both the heel and forefront of the trainer should have good cushioning.

Size

Some shoes run notoriously small, so pay close attention to whether or not the model you are considering runs true to size or whether you should order up a size or a half.

Flexibility

For activities where you make frequent changes of direction, you should have a shoe that supports that movement. You don’t want a shoe that is so stiff it cuts into your ankles or heel or that limits your foot’s movement. At the same time, you don’t want a shoe that’s so flexible as to compromise support and stability.

Stability

The sole and overall design of a cross trainer should promote good balance, especially when during weight training. This is important to ensure you don’t lose your equilibrium when maneuvering heavy weights.

Budget

If budget is a consideration, there are quite a few affordable options on the market. Having said that, any serious athlete who is regularly active should make an investment in a good quality pair of cross trainers. The less expensive options are likely to wear out and you’ll end up having to replace them prematurely.

Preferred Activity

Cross training by definition means alternating between different fitness activities, but we usually have our preferred ones. If you are heavy on the running or other high impact exercise, good cushioning will be key.

If you do a lot of lifting, especially with free weights, traction and stability should be a focus in your search for the ideal cross training shoes.

For activities like Jazzercise or Zumba which require frequent change in direction, good lateral support is key. Since these can involve high impact moves, cushioning should be a serious consideration as well.

FAQ For Cross Training Shoes

Q: What is Cross Training?

A: Cross training refers to practicing a variety of different fitness activities, usually alternating quickly between each. Some of the more popular of these activities include weight training, running, and high-impact cardio.

Q: What are Cross Trainer Shoes?

A: Cross trainers are a hybrid of different athletic shoes which are designed that way in order to be multi-purpose, such is the nature of cross training.

Q: What’s the Difference between Crossfit and Cross Training?

A: Perhaps you’ve heard the term “crossfit” and have confused it with “cross training”. If so, you actually aren’t confused because crossfit and cross training are essentially the same thing. Crossfit is a trademarked fitness program, however today people use the term to loosely refer cross training. They are basically one and the same.

Q: How Do Cross Trainers Differ from Standard Workout Shoes?

A: Cross trainer sneakers are designed to support you while engaging in a variety of fitness activities. Cross trainers features include: the heel cushioning of a running shoe for good shock absorption, the lateral stability of a tennis shoe or basketball sneaker to enhance balance and stability when making quick lateral moves and weight lifting, and the forefront cushioning of a volleyball shoe to soften harsh impact.

The benefit of a cross-training shoe is that the shoe is versatile enough to be utilized for various activities, and for those who participate in different activities, but do not specialize in one.

Q: What are Key Features of a Good Cross Trainer?

Outsoles – Outsoles, or the bottom of the trainer, should be thich and provide traction to avoid slippage. This type of sole allows for rapid changes between activities, the hallmark feature of cross training.

Midsoles – Midsoles should provided plenty of cushioning, especially for the athlete who spends a good amount of time running or enjoying other high impact activity.  Well-cushioned midsoles are essential for providing sufficient shock absorption for high impact fitness.

Upper – The upper part of the shoe should provide sufficient support to the ankle and breadth of the foot so that the foot doesn’t turn out or inward when working out. For ultimate comfort, the material should be breathable.

Final Recommendations For Cross Training Shoes

Like anything we are passionate about, if you are a person serious about a variety of activities and are committed to regular exercise, making an investment in a quality cross trainer is worth it, both to ensure durability and for your own safety and well-being.

Professional trainers recommend alternating shoes between workouts to extend the life of your cross trainers and for your own comfort, so having a few on hand is a wise idea.

We hope our reviews and the information we’ve provided helps you in your quest to find the perfect cross trainer for you and your individual exercise needs.

I hope this guide was helpful for finding the best women’s cross training shoes to fit your needs. If you want to comment or recommend a pair of shoes I didn’t include, please use my contact form to get in touch.

Comfort
Support
Value

The PUMA Women's Tazon FM CrossTrainers won the "Editors Choice" award with a combination of comfort, support and value.

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