The Sneakers You Need For Every Type Of Workout

When you're in the market for a new workout sneaker, there are obviously a lot of factors that come into play, including whether they'd look good in a gym selfie and if they're within your budget. But the question that should really matter in your quest is, will this shoe be functional and comfortable for the types of workouts you typically do?
Wearing the wrong type of shoe for a workout is kind of like trying to eat soup with a fork — not very productive and potentially dangerous. Your feet are the basis of your movements, so you need appropriate support for specific activities. The right shoes can help you maintain your form as you exercise, make your workouts feel good, and even prevent injuries.
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Your best bet is to go to a store to try on different types of shoes and see how they feel, but sometimes shopping online is the more convenient option. If you're not sure where to start, here are the best workout sneakers, for every type of workout.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team, but if you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
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Running

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Though there's a lot of cushion on these Saucony running shoes, they're very lightweight and responsive or springy. If you're preparing for your first race and in need of a comfortable neutral shoe that will get you through training, these are a wise choice.
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Built for speed workouts, the Asics Roadhawk FF2 is designed with a neutral foam sole that will almost propel you forward with each step. Keep in mind that these are intended for shorter sprint workouts, rather than longer runs.
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Chunky sneakers are apparently on-trend from a fashion perspective, and they're also functional for running, especially outdoors. These Hoka One One sneakers feature a "plush" curved sole that's supposed to help you roll through your foot as you run, as well as a wide toe box for added comfort.
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Lifting Weights

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Straps on the midfoot of these lifting shoes provide a little extra stability, which will help you create the force necessary to lift heavy weights. The heel is also a little raised so you can lower deeply into a squat.
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Beloved by CrossFitters, the Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 has a grippy yet flexible sole that keeps you grounded. This isn't a shoe that you'd want to run in, but you could pull off short distances on a treadmill or during a CrossFit workout.
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The wide base and almost grippy rubber bottom of the Nike Metcon makes it a very stable shoe. When you're doing lifts or plyometric drills, that low-to-the-floor feeling will come in handy.
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Cross Training

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APL sneakers are highly Instagrammable; they come in dozens of trendy colors and are a Kris Jenner fave. While they're cool looking, they're not necessarily ideal for tough outdoor runs. But the APL Techloom Pro are great for studio workout classes like bootcamps.
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For running-heavy classes like Barry's Bootcamp or Orangetheory Fitness, consider this Brooks running shoe. The sole is cushioned but "energized," meaning you can be quick on your feet through plyometric exercises. Though it might be a little too springy for lifting heavy weights.
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This ideal cross-training shoe provides lots of traction between the bottom of your foot and whatever surface you're on, whether it's a gym floor or wooden studio. The unique shape of the sole is also meant to provide lateral stability.
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Dance Cardio

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People say the sole of these On Running shoes feels like clouds. The laces also tuck away so you won't trip.
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The high-cut ankle ensures you won't roll an ankle as you bounce around in Zumba.
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The bouncy and responsive UltraBoost sole lets you jump around with ease, and the knit upper won't give you blisters as you move side to side.
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