When it comes to what you want in a gym shoe, versatility is key. Why? Let’s face it—when you hit the gym, you’re doing something different each time, whether you’re lazily pedaling on the bike while watching ESPN, sweating it out in the weights area, or begrudgingly attending whatever yoga class your girlfriend convinced you to try (“just once”). And because of that, you need a shoe that can take whatever you throw at it.
You also want your gym shoes to be sturdy but lightweight (so you can shove them into your gym bag and haul them from home to work to the gym to home without breaking your back), and you want them to be fashionable yet functional. Yeah, we said “fashionable” and “gym shoes” in the same sentence. Believe us, when you’re sporting that ratty t-shirt from that 5K you ran six years ago, you’re going to want to have something nice on your body. Check out 25 of our favorites that fit the bill and then some.
PUMA Carson Runner
You love the comfort of your favorite sweatshirt, so why not replicate it in your gym shoes? These PUMA Carson Runners are crafted from heather jersey, giving you that collegiate look, even if you’re 10 years out of college.
Nike Air Max 1 Essential
Nike Air Max is legendary among sneaker geeks, and the Air Max 1 Essential is no exception. It has the signature air sole for maximum cushioning, and the classic Nike swoosh to inspire you to just do one more set.
Reebok Furylite OG Red Rush
Featuring a low-cut design that enables you to move around the gym with ease, Reebok’s Furylite OG Red Rush is solid enough to take you through your workouts, but stylish enough to wear post-workout as well.
New Balance 574
Perhaps New Balance’s most iconic shoe, the 574 has been produced since they combined two of their best shoes together in 1988. And while it might look more like a lifestyle shoe than an athletic shoe, crafted out of a combination of suede and mesh and paired with an ultra-cushioned sole, it’ll quickly become your favorite shoe to work out in.
Reebok Ventilator Neon
You’re guaranteed to look fly on the treadmill with these 1990s throwback Reebok Ventilators, with oversized logos and neon accents.
Adidas Tubular Runner
A reintroduction of the popular 1993 version, the Adidas Tubular Runner features a, well, tubular outsole made out of EVA, taking its inspiration from an inflatable tire.
Reebok ZPump Fusion
Everyone remembers the classic Reebok pump from 1989 that was supposed to help you dunk baskets like Shaq. All these years later, you still might not be able to dunk like Shaq, but at least you can still don the pump with pride, by wearing the reimagined Reebok ZPump Fusion, which takes the pump from its original home on the tongue and puts it right on the side.
Inspired by retro Nike running shoe styles, the Internationalist features a rugged waffle sole to ensure traction throughout whatever you’re doing. Pair that with the classic Nike swoosh, and you’ve got a classic shoe that’s up for anything.
Nike Air Pegasus 83
Similar to the Internationalist, the Nike Air Pegasus 83 features a rubber waffle sole to ensure that you’re sure-footed, and the mesh and suede upper allows for a good casual look that’s appropriate for the gym and for other weekend activities.
Reebok Les Mills ZCut
A collaboration between Les Mills and Reebok, the ZCut is a handsome shoe that looks like something a bit out of this world. Utilizing NanoWeb and Fit Frame technologies, the shoe is super comfortable and flexible, and the adjustable Velcro heel strap not only looks delightfully old school, but it ensures your shoes will fit like a glove.
Adidas ZX Flux
If you’re looking to stand out in the weight room, the Adidas ZX Flux will do that. Featuring colorful geometric designs on the compression-molded EVA sole, the shoe is eye-catching as it is reliable, with its stretchy mesh upper and Torsion System interior.
Adidas Climachill Cosmic Boost
If you’re the guy who simply hits the treadmill at the gym, the Adidas Climachill Cosmic Boost is the shoe for you. Crafted with Adidas’ bouncy Boost midsole and built-in Climachill technology, these shoes will keep you clocking miles on the treadmill for longer than you ever have.
Nike Air Huarache
These look less like gym shoes and more like moon shoes, but Nike Air Huaraches are a revamped version of the 1991 classic construction that everyone lusted after. And while these kicks feature a ton of accents that will look killer on the street, the neoprene and elastane construction, forefoot flex grooves, and phylon midsole will make these also perform well in the gym.
Adidas Los Angeles
Aping the design aesthetics of Adidas’ original LA Trainer, the Adidas Los Angeles takes everything that’s good about a walking shoe and everything that’s necessary in an athletic shoe and fuses them together.
Nike Roshe LD-1000
An update on the classic Nike shoe from the 1970s, the streamlined Nike Roshe LD-1000 has deep forefoot flex grooves for natural range of motion, a breathable mesh upper, and an Ortholite sockliner for a snug feel.
Nike Roshe One Fleece
An update of the update featured above, the Nike Roshe One Fleece is simple and clean, crafted out of fleece (which is all the rage nowadays), and has a waffle sole that is designed to look like stepping stones.
Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit
Nike’s Flyknit series introduces a breathable, ultra-light running shoe. The Free 4.0 Flynight is more cushioned and lower to the ground than other Flyknits, making it perfect for taking down miles on the treadmill when it’s too cold to run outside.
New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Sweatshirt
Crafted from breathable sweatshirt material, New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Sweatshirt is the perfect weekend shoe—hit the gym, grab coffee, and head straight into relaxation mode.
Nike Air Presto Fleece
Another pair of sneaks made with breathable fleece, Nike Air Presto Fleece’s soft sweatshirt-material uppers pair well with its molded midfoot overlays. Its flex grooves provide natural range of motion, and also just look cool.
Nike Air Max 90 Ultra
Another update on the original sought-after Nike Air Max, the Nike Air Max 90 Ultra is almost a third lighter than its predecessor, while still featuring the signature Air-Sole heel that made the originals a “must have” buy in the early 90s.
Athletic Propulsion Labs Techloom Pro
Athletic Propulsion Labs is new to the sneaker scene, but their shoes are nothing less than incredible (they were actually banned by the NBA for giving players an unfair advantage). The Techloom Pro has a one-piece woven upper crafted to be ultra-breathable, as well as a super-cushioned interior and sole made with the company’s proprietary Propelium material.
Air Jordan Future Low
Air Jordans leapt onto the scene in 1984 and were one of the best-selling shoes in history. There have been a ton of iterations ever since the shoe’s 1980s debut, and the Air Jordan Future Low is one of the newest. Featuring a minimalist mesh upper with reflective coating and a sole crafted out of both translucent and solid rubber with a herringbone pattern, it’ll look good both on and off court.
Nike Air Max 95
The Nike Air Max 95 is an update of the original that was a hit with runners after its debut in 1995. Featuring the signature Air Max sole, the shoe has an innovative lacing system for a secure lockdown, which means you won’t have to hop off the treadmill to tie your shoe ever again.
Adidas Ultra Boost
The mega-lightweight Adidas Ultra Boost will feel like your favorite pair of running shoes from the first day you put them on, and the fact that they’re so light will make it even easier to convince yourself to grab your gym bag on the way out the door in the morning.
Adidas Yeezy Boost 350
Out of the partnership between Adidas and Kanye West comes the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350, which is an all-black, minimalist shoe featuring a funky ribbed sole, mesh uppers, and barely-there laces.
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