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Reebok HIIT TR

Reebok HIIT TR

From Amazon

Lightweight EVA foam cushioning, mesh upper, flexible outsole

Back in the 1980s, Reebok briefly overtook Nike as the top athletic shoe brand. They did it by creating a shoe made specifically for a new exercise craze: step aerobics. (They made the plastic step too. Smart.) Nike countered by creating a brand new category of footwear: the cross trainer. That marketing game is still being played today. What's popular? HIIT or high intensity interval training. So why not make a shoe just for it? That's exactly what Reebok did with the HIIT TR. It's a grippy, versatile shoe designed to support whatever style of jumping around you like to do to make your heart beat fast.

– Chris Shugart

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Nike Air Zoom SuperRep

Nike Air Zoom SuperRep

From Amazon

Slip-on, two Zoom Air units in the forefoot, Cushlon foam at the heel

Another shoe designed specifically for HIIT workouts and circuit training. And man, they thought (over-thought?) of everything. This futuristic-looking shoe has "brake pads" to help you cut hard from side to side, and even a "burpee break" – a small groove right where your foot flexes. This is designed to help your foot flex properly when doing push-ups, planks, short sprints, and of course burpees... if you actually enjoy those. The duel Air Zoom cushions absorb your energy and shoot it right back—springing you into your next move. Yeah, a minimalist shoe this is not... but it sure is comfortable.

– Chris Shugart

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Inov-8 FastLift 335

Inov-8 FastLift 335

From Amazon

1.25" heel, nylon ripstop upper, adjustable hook-and-loop instep strap

The athletic shoe market is weird. On one side, you have extreme specialty shoes made for one specific sport or style of training. On the other side, you have do-anything cross trainers. The FastLift 335 is somewhere in the middle. At first glance, it looks like an Olympic weightlifting shoe. And yep, that's mostly what it's made for given its external heel cage. But unlike other weightlifting shoes, these have some flexibility built in too, meaning you can keep them on for the rest of your non-snatching workout.

– Chris Shugart

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Nike Free X Metcon 2

Nike Free X Metcon 2

From Amazon

Rubber wraps for rope climbs, flexible and lightweight design

Voted the best all-around gym shoe by magazines who vote on such things, the latest "CrossFit without saying the word CrossFit" shoe by Nike looks like a winner. Reviewers love the extra ankle support and breathability. Perfect for your "mixed workouts" with "varied movement patterns." Wink-wink.

– Chris Shugart

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Salomon Sense Ride 3

Salomon Sense Ride 3

From Amazon

Trail running shoe, Quicklace system, all-terrain grip

Some people enjoy running along endless stretches of straight asphalt... for miles. We call those people "masochists." If I'm going to run, I prefer to do it out on some mountain trails where my mind has to stay sharp and my body has to react to unexpected terrain changes. Also, I get to see chipmunks and shit. If that's the kind of running you like, your regular gym shoes aren't going to cut it. You need something with traction and protection, like these third generation Sense Rides from Salomon. These shoes have road-ride comfort combined with all the tactical extras you need to bound over sharp rocks and loose debris. And the one-pull, wire-like laces mean they'll never come untied when you're running from a bear or backwoods serial killer.

– Chris Shugart

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