New Balance Fresh Foam Roav V1

From Amazon

Bootie Construction For Easy On-and-Off

Okay, fine, we’ll do some cardio. But it better feel like we’re running on a cloud of angel butts. These shoes fit the bill. And the Ultra Heel technology provides a seamless fit to keep you locked in for a cushy ride.

– Chris Shugart

Reebok Lifter PR

From Amazon

Powerbax TPU Plate, Hook and Loop Closures

While it’s marketed as the “circuit slayer” this is primarily a weightlifting shoe. Like to clean & jerk? This is the shoe you want.

– Chris Shugart

Inov-8 F-Lite G 300

From Amazon

From Amazon

Versatile Cross Trainer Weighing Only 300 Grams

These kicks incorporate the world’s strongest material – graphene – an allotrope of carbon consisting of a single layer of atoms arranged in a two-dimensional honeycomb lattice. But mainly, they look cool.

– Chris Shugart

NOBULL Knit Runners

From Amazon

Lightweight, Breathable, Stretch Knit Upper

Seemless, sock-like construction makes this one of the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever tried. They call them “runners” but I wear them for everything.

– Chris Shugart

Under Armour Men’s Tribase Reign 2.0

From Amazon

TriBase Outsole, Medial Rope Grip

Billed as a cross trainer and aimed at the CrossFit market, it’s actually more suitable for lifting given the firm midsole. Very stable and tough, but with just enough flexibility for comfort and performance.

– Chris Shugart

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

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

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

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

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