6 Features to look out for when choosing your gym shoes (buyer’s guide)

gym shoes

Pretty gym wear is one thing but shoes that help you get results is another!

Choosing the right gym shoes is very important, not only to minimise injuries and strain on the feet and back but to also obtain stability and support. When you feel safe lifting heavy weights then you feel more confident to lift heavier am I right?

So, what are the five features to look out for when choosing gym shoes? Let’s take a look.

5 features to look out for in gym shoes

1. Strong Lateral Support

How many times have you worn shoes for a while and suddenly your feet start to edge inwards or outwards? This is due to the week lateral support of the shoe. This is one of the most important features to look out for in gym shoes to avoid injuries and muscle imbalances. When your foot is not stable or off-balance you are putting a lot of stress on muscle, joints and bones. This also goes for any High intensity Interval training or running. For a guide to running shoes, check out our article here.

2. A flat or raised heel?

This is a very important feature and depends on the type of exercise you plan on doing. For instance, any high intensity training, cross training or running should be performed in shoes with raised ankle support. This includes shoes like the Nike Air Zoom SuperRep or the Nike SuperRep Go trainers.

However, if you are focusing on weight lifting then it is important to choose training shoes that have flat or ever so slightly raised heels. If we take a look at the Nike Metcon 6 X gym shoes, these shoes have adjustable heel height with a removable hyperlift. This is a great feature because it gives you a bit more flexibility over what you can do using these shoes.

3. Durable Traction for proper grip

Another important feature is shoe grip. This is important for whenever you are training on wooden or slippery floors. You may be wondering where on earth is a slippery floor at the gym, but if you take a look at the proper squat racks. The proper weight lifting squat racks are normally located on a lifted wooden platform or if you are a person who performs any of the gym classes, these are sometimes taking place on slippery floors too.

So it’s important to ensure your gym shoes have proper grip. Both Nike Metcon 6 X gym shoes and Nike Air Zoom SuperRep have rubber thread on the outer sole and sides to provide full grip during workouts.

5. Cushioning in the rights areas

In regards to cushioning, it is important to choose gym shoes that provide cushioning in the right places for proper support. However, the areas where cushioning is needed is also dependant on the type of exercise that you do.

For instance, shoes for cross training and Hight intensity Interval Training (HIIT) should have cushions that compress. This is to take away the stress from joints and bones. However, shoes for weightlifting and powerlifting should have firm cushioning at the heel and softer at the forefoot to give you stability when exerting strength and power but also to provide cushion for any high-impact movements.

 6. Breathability

Whether you are running, cross training or weightlifting, you need shoes that are lightweight and breathable. Always check whether the shoes are made with breathable material to help the foot get some sort of air conditioning. This is important to avoid sweaty and smelly feet at the end of your workout.


Choosing the right gym shoes is important to support your joints and bones but to also help you get proper stability to protect against any injuries and help you exert strength and power in confidence.

The best gym shoes for weightlifting are the Nike Metcon 6 X gym shoes which provide proper grip, support and cushioning in the right places. On the other hand, if you are looking to perform more high intensity or cardiovascular workouts then the best shoes for that are the  Nike Air Zoom SuperRep.

Other high quality and budget friendly options

Adidas Powerlifting Shoes

YISIQ Breathable trainers

ASICS running shoes

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