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Reviewers Swear These Sneakers Feel Like Slippers You Can Exercise In
Working out is a healthy way to manage stress and feel good. Alongside the proper gym equipment, the right pair of workout shoes can prevent foot pain and help you reach your goals with peak performance. Worn with your favorite athleisure outfit, these workout shoes are perfect for all types of exercise, including running, HIIT, weight lifting, Zumba and much more, while still being stylish too. When heading into your next workout, make sure you have the right shoes on your feet to support your arches, avoid injuries, and help you get stronger.
The Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab is comprised of footwear experts who have evaluated sneakers for walking, running and gym workouts. Testers wear the workout shoes while exercising and then provide feedback on comfort, support, appearance, fit, and more. Then, we slice the sneakers in half so podiatrists can evaluate the midsole. The best workout shoes below are from brands with previous top performance, styles with exciting, new features, or pairs popular online.
How to find the right workout shoes for you
Emily Splichal D.P.M. at New York's Center for Functional & Regenerative Podiatry recommends to look at "the specificity of the shoe" when shopping to determine if it'll work for a certain type of workout. You should peek at the shoes' features: If you plan on running marathons and going to dance fitness classes, you'll need multiple pairs of workout shoes for proper support in each activity.
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1) Women's Gel-DS Trainer 24 Running Shoes
Popular in our evaluations for both walking and running, ASICS sneakers are a great overall workout shoe. This trainer model has the brand’s signature FlyteFoam Lyte technology for a lightweight midsole that still provides ample cushioning. The high abrasion rubber sole has excellent grip when running outside or CrossFit training. We love that it has a knitted upper to accommodate wider feet while being breathable. Available in six shades, this sleek sneaker is a fashionable addition to your wardrobe while packing a big punch in your workouts.
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2) Women's FuelCore Nergize v1 Training Shoe
In our walking sneaker test, testers and podiatrists alike loved this lightweight sneaker for all types of workouts. They allow great freedom of movement with the breathable knit upper that can also accommodate wider feet. Testers loved the cushioning and overall comfortable feel of these sneakers. Did we mention these shoes have over 5,000 rave Amazon reviews and are the most affordable pair in our roundup starting at $47?
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3) Women's Ultraboost 20 Running Shoe
When heading out for a run on concrete or track, you need cushioning that’ll protect your knees and joints. Testers loved these Adidas Ultraboost sneakers for having “cloud-like” cushioning that supported them with each step. They feature Boost foam, which has air pockets throughout for a light feel. Reviewers with bad knees and low back pain especially appreciated the cushioning on these sneakers. There’s also a knit mesh upper that stays snug to your feet while allowing air flow.
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4) Women's Ghost 12 Running Shoe
When running on a treadmill, you want to wear sneakers that provide excellent stability. Online reviewers rave that the Brooks Ghost 12 running shoes keep you steady, ideal for beginners and experts alike. It has the brand’s “Segmented Crash Pad outsole” with a system of shock absorbers for a smooth run. Available in 32 colors, you are sure to find a style you'll love. Note that these shoes are not designed for underpronators.
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5) Women's Devotion Plus 3 Walking Shoe
Whether walking when traveling or for exercise, you need a shoe that’ll propel you forward while supporting your whole foot. Testers found the Ryka Devotion 3 sneakers to be both comfortable and supportive while providing excellent cushioning and traction. Although testers did not rate these sneakers as stylish, podiatrists who evaluated the shoes said this pair is great for hard surface walking.
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6) Women's Crossfit Nano 8.0 Flexweave Cross Trainer
For the CrossFit fan, you need a shoe that’ll keep your feet supported, but is still lightweight for easy movements when completing high impact training. With the ultimate goal of strength, these sneakers from Reebok are designed to go easily from lifting weights to push-ups and squats. Reviewers appreciate the flat, stable bottom with a snug knit upper that stays in place, but doesn’t dig in. One reviewer especially loves that "they’re extremely supportive with a good amount of flex, great for all cross training.” Available in 23 colors, we love that this sleek sneaker can easily go from the gym to social events.
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7) Women's Influence Cross Training Shoe
Ryka designs sneakers specifically for fitness classes popular among women. These cross training shoes are perfect for studio classes such as dance, Zumba, and aerobics. The high traction outsole helps you keep your grip with pivot points, so every twist and turn is smooth. The anatomical insole has extra arch and heel support to prevent foot pain. With over 2,500 rave Amazon reviews, reviewers love how comfortable they are, but recommend going up half a size for a better fit.
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8) Women's HIIT TR Cross Trainer
HIIT, high intensity interval training, is a type of exercise that involves quick bursts of intense exercise followed by active recovery that's popular among those who want to break a sweat in less time. When completing HIIT workouts, you'll need sneakers that are light and quick on your feet. Reebok designed the HIIT TR Cross Trainer specifically for high impact exercise with lightweight EVA foam cushioning perfect for burpees, jumps, and squats.
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9) Women's Metcon 5 Training Shoe
For safety and support, weight lifters should opt for workout shoes with a flat, stable bottom that'll keep them level when handling heavy weights. Also great for HIIT or CrossFit, the outsole is designed for strong grip, extending on the sides of the sneaker for support when rope climbing. The foam is firmer at the heel and softer in the forefoot to cushion high impact activities. Plus, you can customize these workout shoes to be your favorite colors!
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10) Women's Tree Dashers
Allbirds sneakers are famous for being both extremely comfortable and machine washable. The original styles were designed for walking and travel, but the brand’s newest slip-on sneaker is perfect for all types of workouts. The Tree Dashers have upgraded features like a structured top for stability, a contoured footbed, and a wide heel, preventing overpronation. Our textile pros love that Allbirds aims to make sustainable choices by using Tencel, merino wool, castor-bean based foam, and natural rubber.
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11) W X-SCAPE NBK Low
Deckers X Lab
If you ever dream of being able to workout in the comfort of your slippers, you need these innovative sneakers from Deckers X Lab. They combine the soft comfort of slippers with high performance sneakers, ideal for at home workouts. The wool lining feels great on your feet while regulating your temperature to prevent overheating. There's also plenty of cushioning in the midsole for a supported feel while exercising. Reviewers say they're so comfy that they never want to take them off.
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12) Women's Gel-Kayano 26 Running Shoes
Arch support helps those with flat feet have more stability to prevent strain. ASICS Gel Kayano running shoes are designed for those with flat feet and overprotonators. Overprotonation means when running, your big toe tends to do most of the work causing foot pain. These sneakers spread the impact across your whole foot and have firmer foam the prevent the foot from rolling inward excessively. With FyteFoam cushioning, the midsole has soft cushioning and shock absorbing gel for a smooth run.
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13) Hoka One One Akasa
Hoka One One
With a Plantar Fasciitis diagnosis, you want to make sure your workout shoes have a deep heel cup and plenty of arch support to avoid any pain. Hoka sneakers are popular among Plantar Fasciitis sufferers as they have the brand’s “Active Foot Frame” that supports the heel to prevent muscle strain. Plus, they have Hoka’s signature foam midsole without the bulky appearance of traditional orthotic shoes.
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14) Women's 520v5 Cushioning Running Shoe
If you have wide feet, look for workout shoes that have a knit upper and are also available in wide sizing, such as these New Balance sneakers. The knit upper can accommodate wider feet, bunions, and hammertoes too. With lightweight cushioning in the midsole, these shoes are designed for comfort. There are over 1,000 rave Amazon reviewers who recommend wearing these sneakers running, to the gym, and even on family vacations for comfy walking all day.
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15) Xodus ISO³
Take your workout outside for fresh air and a whole new exercise experience with the Saucony Xodus ISO3 workout shoes. This pair has an outsole with deep grooves for great traction and durability across any tough terrain, including trails. The external frame of the shoe keeps your ankle supported in the heel cup with tongue and collar padding for added comfort. There’s a perforated and cushioned footbed to support your arches while still being breathable.