TOP 23 Best Workout Shoes for Women Reviewed (NEW for 2020)

Looking for the best workout shoes for women of 2020?

Look no further. I searched and found the 23 best training shoes for women and reviewed them here.

It does not matter if you do CrossFit, long distance running, HIIT, Zumba, Treadmill, Orange Theory, or any other studio workout class or workout style, we have something on this list for you.

I know how hard it can be for us ladies to find the right workout shoe and trial and error is not a fun way to go about it.

So…

…why not check out these 23 “proven to be great” workout shoes and save yourself some hassle?

TOP 23 Best Workout Shoes for Women 2020

Nike Women's Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Shield

Review: If your workout includes hitting the pavement in cold or wet weather, these Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Shields running shoes will have you flying in style while your feet stay dry.

The sole stays grippy when wet and have thoughtfully designed channels that lead water out and away as you zoom along.

Pros

  • Nike shield technology water-repellant upper with sealed seams.
  • Grippy when wet high traction outsole.
  • Lightweight.
  • Iconic Pegasus styling.

Cons

  • Designed for running, not great for cross training due to a 10 mm rise.

Takeaway

Best women’s running shoe for zooming along in rainy weather.

Asics Women's Gel-Nimbus 22

Review: The all new design of the Asics Women’s Gel-Nimbus 22 will have you take a second look at this classic running shoe.

This shoe is designed with the Asics Trusstic system located at the arch of the shoe. The Trusstic adds stability and gives a slight forward motion as you run.

This midsole has a full 2mm more of Flytefoam for a cushier, more comfy ride than its predecessor. Enjoy your ride!

Pros

  • Wrap around gel midsole at the heel.
  • Thicker Flytefoam insole for a well-cushioned ride.
  • Trusstic system for women adds support and forward motion.

Cons

  • Not many colors to choose from, bland styling.

Takeaway

Best Gel Nimbus yet, well-padded and structured running shoe you won’t regret buying.

Are you a runner? If so then you share my passion for great women’s running shoes. I have my list of personal favorite’s right here!

Inov-8 Women's F-Lite 235 V3

Review: These Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 got an updated look with several new features you need if you cross-train. They are very light and have a natural feel that moves with your foot.

They have a low drop, which makes them great for barbell lifts, but they also have a special Powerflow+ midsole which manages to give better shock absorption and energy return than standard midsoles, all while remaining thin and nimble. How did they do that?!

Pros

  • Powerflow+ midsole is thin and flexible, yet has superior shock absorption and energy return.
  • Metaflex outsole means the forefoot remains flexible.
  • Rope Tec and rubber sole bumper for added durability.

Cons

  • They run just a tad wide.

Takeaway

A functional training shoe that is lightweight, protective, flexible and has a natural feel, this shoe is everything you need from a cross training shoe.

Do you love CrossFit? So do I! That’s why I created this list of the BEST women’s CrossFit shoes.

Check it out!

Under Armour Women's HOVR Phantom

Review: The Under Armour HOVR Phantom shoes have HUGE impact protection and massive energy return which is why they call these “Zero Gravity” shoes and named them HOVR, because they make you feel like you are hovering above ground.

They have a very comfortable soft knit upper that allows your foot to breathe while holding it in snug and secure.

Pros

  • Excellent impact protection and energy return.
  • Stretchy breathable knit upper holds the foot secure.
  • External heel counter for rearfoot support.

Cons

  • Run small, order a half size up.

Takeaway

You are going to love the way these feel and perform, they will make your run feel like flight.

Nike Women's Metcon 5

Review: The new Metcons are here! If you CrossFit, Cross Train, or are involved in functional fitness, these are the shoes for you ladies!

Nike thought of everything when they designed this version of the Metcon.

It has wrap-around protection for the rope climb, a heel clip to help with handstand pushups, a flexible front, stable heel and a removable Hyperlift insole that helps while lifting and can be removed for other activities.

Pros

  • Hyperlift insert gives you a 6mm drop for lifting and is removable.
  • Outsole wraps up over the outer to protect shoes during rope climb.
  • Flexible forefront allows your foot to move.
  • Heel counter keeps heel stable during lateral moves.

Cons

  • Metcons are not great to run in. Best as a Cross Training shoe.

Takeaway

One of the best Metcons yet and a fantastic shoe for CrossFit, one of the best women’s workout shoes too.

While Nikes tend to run narrow, I do have a list of CrossFit shoes that work great for women with wide feet here.

Nobull Women's Training Shoes

Review: These Nobull trainers are the unsung heroes of many CrossFitters closets.

They are some of the most durable shoes around, lasting twice as long as other trainers thanks to the Seamless one-piece Superfabric upper which is coated in indestructible microbeads that stand up to any abuse you throw their way, yet allow the upper to be flexible so you can jump and run.

The sole is flat and stable, so these shoes are great for lifting and they have a snug fit, so they become one with your feet as you train.

Pros

  • Superfabric stands up to rope climb and other abuses.
  • Carbon lateral and medial guards add structure and lateral support.
  • Flexible upper and forefoot.

Cons

  • Not for dynamic dance or Zumba style workouts because the soles are too grippy making it hard to turn fast.

Takeaway

Excellent pair of trainers specifically designed for CrossFit, Cross Training and functional fitness.

Adidas Women's Ultraboost 19

Review: These running shoes give your running a performance boost while remaining plenty flexible and comfortable too.

The 360 Primeknit upper moves and stretches with your foot. The 3D heel frame and Stabilizing Torsion Spring provide just the right amount of support without making the shoe feel clunky or restrictive and the dual-density midsole provides the liftoff you need to stay motivated mile after mile.

Pros

  • Stretch knit upper conforms to and hugs the foot.
  • Flexible stretch web outsole.
  • Continental brand rubber provides superior traction.

Cons

  • The upper gets dirty and looks worn pretty quickly, probably because of the knit fabric style.

Takeaway

Energetic running shoe with a stretchy, form fitting knit upper for comfort that’s hard to beat.

Brooks Women's Ghost 12

Review: These new Brooks Ghost 12 are even softer than previous models and really do make you feel like you are running on clouds.

They have the support and cushion to help with plantar fasciitis and make excellent workout shoes for ladies who suffer from plantar fasciitis. The toe box is also roomy, just like previous models.

Pros

  • BioMoGo DNA midsole provides lightweight responsiveness.
  • DNA Loft provides softness and cushion, without the weight.
  • Flexible segmented crashpad on the sole accommodates all types of foot strike.

Cons

  • Laces are too short and the ankle collar comes up higher than other models.

Takeaway

Soft and cushy workout shoes, like running on clouds.

These Brooks Ghost 12 shoes are perfect for women who suffer from plantar fasciitis. If YOU have plantar fasciitis and are looking for some great workout shoes, check out these shoe reviews for women with Plantar Fasciitis.

Reebok Women's Flexagon Energy TR

Review: These Reebok training shoes are great for low-intensity workouts in the heat. They are super breathable, and your feet may get cold if it’s too chilly outside.

They are super lightweight and comfortable, thanks to the thin fabric on the upper. They are reasonably flexible and cushioned, and are offered at an affordable price.

Pros

  • Really lightweight, breathable upper – ideal for workouts in hot weather.
  • Cushioned midsole provides comfort.
  • Flexible outsole makes these shoes good for jogging or low-intensity workouts.

Cons

  • Upper wears quickly.
  • Not good for rainy or cold conditions because the upper is really breathable.

Takeaway

Very light weight and breathable jogging shoes ideal for warm weather workouts.

APL Women's Techloom Phantom

Review: APL’s best selling workout shoe, the Phantom, is surprisingly attractive and stylish. But looks are not everything.

The technology built into the shoe is what truly makes it shine. This cross-training shoe is built with Advanced Propulsion Labs proprietary Propelium.

This Propelium midsole material is more durable and has better energy return than EVA used in other shoes, so the shoe is lighter, uses less material and returns more bounce to your stride than others.

Pros

  • Minimalist style, minimal arch support and cushion – good for weight lifting.
  • 8mm drop helps propel you forward – also good for squats.
  • Form-fitting knit that hugs your feet.

Cons

  • Run about one size small.
  • No arch support, minimal cushion.

Takeaway

Perhaps the most elegant looking cross training shoe you can get. Minimalist feel with a luxurious look.

Puma Women's Speed Sutamina Sneaker

Review: This new Speed Sutamina running shoe by Puma will become your new favorite. Not only is it a great looking shoe that is sure to capture attention and compliments, but it incorporates smart technology that make it great for running.

The Proplate, in combination with the 12mm drop, give you a boost forward, and the Profoam EVA insole gives you plenty of energy return without weighing you down.

Pros

  • 3D TPU support supports the heel for stability.
  • Proplate drives you forward using a reflex toe-off.
  • High rebound lightweight Profoam midsole.

Cons

  • Upper is not very breathable.

Takeaway

Attractive, responsive women’s running shoe with flexible knit upper.

Mizuno Women's TC-02 Cross Trainer

Review: Here comes Mizuno, known for running shoes, busting onto the scene with a new pair of cross-training shoes.

This shoe incorporates BASFs Elastopan® polyurethane for the midsole which enables Mizuno’s ‘Center of Balance’ (COB) technology to transmit ground feedback to the feet through activation bumps molded into the midsole. This improves the athlete’s balance, and athletic performance.

Pros

  • COB technology for enhanced ground feedback, balance and performance.
  • Stable and comfortable minimalist style shoe – good for lifting.
  • 4mm drop.
  • Flat multi-directional grip.

Cons

  • I’m not sure the upper would hold up well during rope climbs.

Takeaway

I love this new low profile training shoe from Mizuno, the minimalist style and superior ground feedback are just what you need for cross training movements.

Merrell Women's Vapor Glove 4

Review: Previous models of Merrell Vapor Glove are some of the most well-loved CrossFit shoes known to the sport. These new Vapor Glove 4s follow the tradition with the same barefoot feel.

They are super stable and keep your feet planted firmly on the ground, making them great for lifting.

They are flexible enough for other cross-training movements and conform to your feet. It’s the closest you can get to not wearing shoes at all.

Pros

  • Vibram rubber outsole for greater traction.
  • Great connection between your feet and the ground.
  • Durable Cordura and TPU upper.

Cons

  • The sole is quite thin, these are great on a gym floor, but not on rocks or pebbly surfaces.

Takeaway

Great minimalist barefoot shoe for cross training and weightlifting.

The Merrell Vapor gloves make excellent shoes for lifting weights, but there are many other shoes out there dedicated to the sport of weightlifting. I have a list of my favorite weightlifting shoes reviewed right here.

New Balance Women's 1080v9 Fresh Foam

Review: The New Balance 1080v9 Fresh Foam are the 9th iteration of this model neutral running shoes. They have been around so long because runners love them.

The fresh foam insole is softer than the previous version, a change made thanks to the data and feedback collected from runners, and the upper is soft, form-fitting jacquard knit.

These are great for long runs and being on your feet all day, but also some of the best women’s athletic shoes.

Pros

  • Soft ultra-cushioned fresh foam midsole.
  • 8 mm drop helps propel you forward as you run.
  • Designed based on data from real runners.
  • 3D contoured ankle cuff.
  • Extra room in the toe box for toe splay.

Cons

  • Some find the heel too wide and loose.

Takeaway

Plush cushioning and a contoured form fitting construction make this one of the most comfortable running and training shoes you own.

Hoka One One Women's Cavu

Review: These neutral, minimally cushioned Cavu running shoes allow you to feel connected to the ground with every stride you make.

The Profly cushion is softer in the heel and firmer in the forefoot. The breathable mesh upper leaves your feet feeling refreshed and the shoe has internal reinforcements to support your foot.

Pros

  • Wide toe box – plenty of room to spread your toes.
  • Very lightweight.
  • Flexible sole.
  • Mesh upper is well ventilate and allows your foot to flex.

Cons

  • Not as much arch support as other Hoka One One models.

Takeaway

Comfortable shoes for jogging or walking that feels so light, it’s like not wearing shoes.

Saucony Women's Kinvara 10

Review: This Kinvara 10 celebrates the 10 year anniversary of Saucony’s best neutral, lightweight, energetic running shoe.

They use high abrasion EVA+ for the midsole and outsole, which is lighter than rubber used in other shoes.

The Everun cushioning delivers boosted, invigorating energy return that will put some bounce into your running stride.

Pros

  • EVA+ Midsole and outsole for ultra-lightweight running shoes.
  • Everun cushioning for superior energy return.
  • Soft flexible breathable knit upper conforms to your foot.

Cons

  • These shoes run large in terms of height, or how much space is left above your foot after you lace them up.

Takeaway

Lightweight speedy running shoe, great for runners with wide feet.

On Shoes Women's Cloud X

Review: If you like to mix up your workout style, these Cloud X shoes might be perfect. They have a modest 6mm drop that keeps you connected to the ground.

When your workout involves running you will appreciate these neutral, flexible running shoes that have a super comfortable stretch knit upper that hugs your foot.

Pros

  • Super lightweight, under 7 oz each.
  • Less cushioned than running shoes – great for strength training, HIIT, dance classes, etc.
  • The aesthetics make larger feet look cute and smaller somehow – that’s important, right?

Cons

  • They tend to get dirty fast and are not available in many colors.

Takeaway

These multipurpose shoes are good workout shoes for women because they are great for the gym, group workout classes, road running and mixed sports training.

Looking for more of the best women’s workout shoes? I have a list of the best workout shoes reviewed here.

Ryka Women's Devotion XT Mid Cross Trainer

Review: With a wide foundation and excellent ankle support these Ryka Devotion XT Mid-high Cross Training shoes are great for the gym, basketball, HIIT, group workout classes and more.

I love the pivot point on the sole that makes turning and changing direction a breeze, and the ankle support is the best for lateral moves you do in dance, Zumba and HIIT classes.

Pros

  • Great ankle support, protects during dynamic movement.
  • Good arch support.
  • Heel and midfoot strap locks foot in – these will not slip or slide while you move.

Cons

  • Pretty flashy colors, need a few low key color choices in the mix.

Takeaway

The shoes that help you move and keep your ankle protected while you move – great for Zumba, dance, aerobics, HIIT, basketball and more.

Altra Women's HIIT XT 2

Review: The Altra HIIT XT 2 is quite different from other Altra models. To be clear, this shoe is designed for weight lifting and other cross-training movements and therefore has very little padding a wider footbed and wider toebox, because when you lift, you need a stable flat base and room for your toes to splay.

This shoe also has good lateral support for side to side movements.

Pros

  • Designed for lifting and CrossFit.
  • Flat, wide base.
  • Low drop and minimal cushioning.

Cons

  • Not for running or dance style classes, minimal cushion.

Takeaway

Great weightlifting and CrossFit shoe for women, stable and durable shoe that keeps your feet connected to the ground.

Inov-8 F-Train 240

Review: This new cross-training shoe from Inov’8 is made for lifting and functional fitness moves, while managing to be comfortable at the same time.

How did they do it? They use a mesh sock-like upper paired with the Adapterfit cradle that locks your foot in comfort while resisting the abuse from the rope climb.

They also made the insole cushioned and firm in key areas so you have some padding without losing the stability you need to lift weights.

Pros

  • Power Footbed is cushioned and firm in key areas to give a stable base ideal for lifting.
  • Adapterfit cradle both locks foot in and provides abrasion resistance for the rope climb.
  • Sock-like mesh hugs foot and offers forefront flexibility.

Cons

  • Shoe is unisex, select size carefully.
  • Only available in black/grey.

Takeaway

A comfortable and well thought out weight lifting and CrossFit shoe.

Puma Women's Weave XT

Review: This Puma Weave XT workout shoe is a great multipurpose gym shoe that is just as comfortable inside as out in the street. It is flexible and soft and thanks to the weave upper, conforms to your foot and stays secure.

This is an ideal shoe for the treadmill, elliptical, stair stepper, light jogging, and other low-intensity workouts.

Pros

  • Snug yet comfortable sock-like fit.
  • Attractive feminine design.
  • Flexible midsole and upper.

Cons

  • Not for long distance running or weight lifting.

Takeaway

Fashionable, flexible workout shoes great for the gym, exercise machines light jogging and walking, one of the best gym shoes for women.

Asics Women's Gel-Kayano 26

Review: This latest version of Asics Gel Kayanos are great structured stability running shoe for overpronators.

These shock absorbing shoes allow you to run long distances without aggravating foot problems and causing pain. The cushioning is amazing and the light weight feels great.

Pros

  • Dynamic Duomax technology prevents foot rolling.
  • Flytefoam midsole provides plenty of spring and energy return.
  • Rear and forefoot gel provide plenty of impact protection.

Cons

  • Shorter narrower toe box.

Takeaway

Best long distance running shoe for overpronators.

Nike Women's in-Season TR 8 Cross Trainer

Review: My favorite feature of the Nike Free TR8 is the sole and upper are flexible, while the heel has a locked-in feel with plenty of support.

If your workout has lots of side to side movement, like with HIIT or dance style workouts, you can feel secure that the ankle support is there. If you need to run, these shoes work for that too.

The mesh upper is breathable, the shoes are very light and they are flatter and wider in the heel, so you can use them for lifting and squatting, no problem. These are truly multi-sport workout shoes.

Pros

  • Perfect for gym, HIIT, cross-training and dance class.
  • Flexible upper and sole.
  • Flat wide, stable sole – good for squats and lifting.

Cons

  • This model runs narrow.

Takeaway

Best women’s training shoes for virtually all sports.

Buyers Guide to the Best Workout Shoes for Women

close up photo of womans workout shoes holding plank position

What is Your Workout or Exercise Style?

Think about what you plan to use your workout shoes for. Features that make great cross-training shoes are different from what makes a good lifting shoe or a good shoe for a dance style class.

For Example:

Nike Metcon 5 make great shoes for CrossFit because they are minimally padded, have a flat sole and are flexible in the front while locked in at the heel. These shoes would not make good shoes for running or dance class, because they are minimally cushioned and do not have the bounce or energy return needed for running.

On the other hand…

The Brooks Women’s Ghost 12 are perfect for running. They are well cushioned, really lightweight, and have plenty of energy return. But they are too cushioned for lifting and CrossFit style workouts, because they do not create a stable base you need for lifting.

female athlete doing fitness workout at gym

Are You an Over or Under or Neutral Pronator?

Pronation is a term you might find used when describing running shoes.

Underpronation

Underpronation is when your foot strike the ground as you run, the heel hits at an angle without pronating inward.

Underpronators need shoes with ample cushioning.

Neutral Pronation

Neutral pronators feet hit the ground at the outside heel and pronate inward a little, which is the best since this style absorbs shock from running most efficiently without causing injury.

Neutral pronators can wear neutral running shoes.

Overpronation

Overpronation is when you run and your foot lands on the outside of the heel and then pronates inwards too far, putting too much pressure on the inside of the foot.

Overpronators need shoes with good stability and structure to correct and guide the foot to prevent the overpronation of the foot as it strikes the ground.

Do You Have Any Issues like Plantar Fasciitis, Shin Splints of Knee Pain?

If you have any issue with your feet, consider choosing your workout shoe based on what works for your particular needs.

I have a list here of the best workout shoes for people who suffer from Plantar Fasciitis here.

If you get shin splints while running, I have a list of the best shoes for shin splints reviewed here.

Women’s Workout Shoe FAQs

female crossfit athlete exercising with dumbbell

What is the Difference Between CrossFit or Weightlifting and Running Shoes?

The ideal CrossFit shoes are much different from the ideal running shoes. Running shoes are typically well-cushioned, supportive and designed to return energy to your stride.

Running also have a steeper drop, meaning the heel is higher than the tow, propelling you forward as you run.

Running shoes are designed to move you forward.

CrossFit shoes are typically less padded, minimalist style even. They have a flat wide base and more room. CrossFit shoes are designed to allow you to lift and squat comfortably and safely.

Cushioned shoes will not work because they do not provide a stable base to lift from, and the cushion would be destroyed of crushed under the repetitive strain of heavy weight.

What is the Difference Between Running Shoes and Shoes for Zumba?

The biggest difference between running shoes and shoes ideal for Zumba is the sole and the level and areas of support.

For Zumba you need shoes that allow you to move and pivot quickly. Running shoes are designed to move forward, Zumba shoes allow you to move in all directions and often have a round pivot point under the ball of the foot.

Zumba shoes also have solid ankle support since Zumba uses a lot of lateral, or side to side movements, so your ankle must be kept secure.

Can I Wear Regular Running Shoes on the Treadmill?

You can wear regular running shoes on a treadmill. The only thing you should know is that running outdoors will wear down the shoe cushion faster than a treadmill because treadmills have their own built-in impact protection.

If you wanted to, you could choose a shoe with less cushion to use with the treadmill, but regular running shoes are also a great choice for the treadmill.

Wrap Up

This wraps up the best workout shoes for women of 2020, I hope you found the perfect pair for you.

If you like gym gear reviews don’t forget to sign up for the Garage Gym Power newsletter and stay in the loop with news and reviews of the latest gym gear and equipment!

Katie

Katie

Katie is a busy wife and mother of four. She is a freelance writer and frequent contributor on Garage Gym Power. She guards her gym time jealously, and would rather miss a PTA meeting or get takeout for dinner than miss a workout.