If you’re planning on starting aerobics—or you’re already doing aerobics—you need good shoes to cushion and support your feet.
Cross-training shoes are the best for aerobics. They feature medial and lateral reinforcement that locks in your feet during side-to-side movement.
Our favorite cross-training shoe available is the Nike Metcon 7. It has a light upper with textured overlays, lateral reinforcements for stability, and uses Nike React foam for cushioning and protection.
We’ve reviewed 8 excellent cross-training options so you can choose the shoe that best suits your aerobic needs.
Top 3 Best and Favorite
Nike Metcon 7 X
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Under Armour Charged Rogue 2.5
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Gravity Defyer Energiya
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1. Nike Metcon 7 X
The latest version of Nike’s Metcon is extremely versatile. It’s marketed as a weightlifting shoe, but it has many features that make it great for aerobics.
The mesh upper flexes with your feet and will keep your feet cool during vigorous exercise. Textured overlays in areas that get a lot of wear not only increase the durability of this shoe but also add support.
The shoe has a traditional lacing system and features a locking tab that flips over the laces to prevent them from coming untied while you’re working out.
Your first and last eyelets are standard but the middle ones are Flywire lace loops. Some may find that these tend to break easily, although they help to provide a locked-down fit.
The heel is flat and wide to provide a stable platform. It also includes a flexible plate that helps to distribute weight evenly. To protect the foot against lateral movement during aerobics, each side of the shoe has a rubber “wrap” that comes up the side for reinforcement and stability.
In the midsole, Nike React foam offers excellent cushioning and protects the joints against shock during landing.
The Metcon 7 has built-in Hyperlifts which increase the heel-to-toe drop to 7 mm as opposed to the 4 mm of the previous version, which came with insertable Hyperlifts.
Nike shoes naturally run slightly narrow, especially in the midfoot. Individuals with wide feet may need to order up half a size in order to get a comfortable fit.
- Mesh upper with textured overlays
- React foam cushioning
- Built-in Hyperlifts
- Wider heel
- Nike shoes naturally run slightly narrow and those with wide feet may find that it’s too tight in their usual size
2. Reebok Nano X1
Reebok’s Nano X1 is labeled as a HIIT trainer making it versatile and easy to use for aerobic workouts.
You can get the shoe with an upper of Flexweave Knit, which is soft, breathable, and flexible. Or Flexweave Grit, which is slightly less flexible but highly durable and made to withstand the rigors of high-intensity workouts.
The tongue of the shoe is not gusseted, which can cause it to move around while exercising. This may reduce the comfort and practicality of the shoe.
The midsole is packed with Floatride Energy foam, and has a drop of 7 mm which means more heel cushioning. It absorbs the shock after jumping but still offers some responsiveness. The shoe has also lost some weight since the previous version, the X1 is only 12 oz.
To protect the foot from moving laterally while working out, an external plastic TPU heel clip on the rearfoot holds the foot in place.
- Flexweave Grit or Knit upper
- Floatride Energy midsole
- New heel drop of 7mm
- External heel counter
- Some may find that the tongue moves around while exercising
3. Under Armour Charged Rogue 2.5
The Under Armour Charged Rogue 2.5 features a very light and breathable upper made of engineered mesh.
An external heel counter keeps the heel locked down to prevent lateral movement when doing aerobics.
The Charged Rogue has been called the perfect mix of cushioning and flexibility. Two different foams in the dual midsole—Charged Cushioning and Micro G—provide both effective energy return for a spring in your step and impact-attenuating cushioning.
A solid rubber outsole with a texture of squares underneath provides good grip on smooth surfaces.
This shoe can run small and you may have to order a size up for it to fit comfortably.
- Engineered mesh upper
- Dual midsole
- External heel counter
- Solid rubber outsole
- These shoes can run small and you may have to go a size up
4. Gravity Defyer Energiya
The upper of the Gravity Defyer Energiya is mostly eco-friendly microfiber leather, with a breathable knit section at the forefoot for breathability.
It’s abrasion-resistant, highly durable, and provides some external support to your foot.
These shoes are excellent at absorbing shock. They use VersoShock technology, which makes use of a hidden VersoCloud spring system to absorb impact and return it to push you off effectively. This technology also helps to protect the joints from wear and tear associated with impact.
Lateral stability is provided by the full-perimeter TPU shank. It also features a front-rolling design—meta rocker—for easy heel-to-toe transitions.
These shoes also come with Perfect Fit insoles, which are ideal for the neutral foot. But every purchase also includes a pair of Corrective Fit orthotics, which provide support to keep the feet in alignment and reduce pain.
Some may find that the toe box is a bit too narrow for them to splay their toes comfortably and naturally.
- Eco-friendly, microfiber leather upper
- Hybrid VersoShock Technology
- TPU full-perimeter shank
- Early-stage meta rocker design
- Some may find that the toe box is too narrow for comfort
Top Aerobic Shoe For Women
5. Rykä Influence Training Shoe
The mesh upper of the Rykä Influence Training Shoe is light and breathable and is reinforced with a web of synthetic overlays—Flex-Foil and Direct Fuse—for subtle support.
The traditional lacing system has an extra eyelet if you need a bit more support on the bridge of the foot, and the overlays work together with the laces to provide a secure locked-down fit.
An anatomically designed insole offers good support for the arch and heel, while the dual-density N-Gage EVA foam midsole absorbs shock and returns the energy to the sole for an easy transition.
A grippy outsole allows for stability in the aerobics studio, and there’s even a Pivot Point to make twists and turns easy. It’s also non-marking.
These shoes are designed specifically for women and come in a variety of colorways. They also come in wide sizes.
The shoes do have a high ankle collar and some individuals may find that it’s uncomfortable and digs into their ankle during certain aerobics exercises.
- Synthetic and mesh upper
- Anatomical insole
- Dual-density foam midsole
- Available in medium and wide
- Some individuals may find that the ankle collar is too high and digs into their ankle on certain movements
Best Lightweight Shoe
6. Inov-8 Bare-XF
The Inov-8 Bare-XF is extremely lightweight, weighing just 7 oz—198.4 grams—for a men’s size 9 and 6 oz—170 grams—for a women’s size 7. It is also a zero-drop shoe that amplifies the ground feeling underfoot.
It’s very flexible, thanks to the stretchable mesh upper and 3 mm Power footbed. There’s no midsole cushioning in this shoe because of its minimalist design, but the footbed cushions the foot and absorbs shock.
For light support, there are synthetic overlays on the upper that work with the laces to lock the foot down securely.
An external heel clip helps to keep the foot in place and eliminate lateral movement that could place strain on the feet.
Sticky rubber on the outsole not only helps to absorb shock, but it offers excellent grip on studio floors for aerobic movements. It’s resistant to grease, oil and is highly durable.
A Meta-Flex horizontal flex groove in the forefoot provides better forefoot flexibility during moves.
- Breathable mesh upper
- Met-Cradle lacing system
- 3 mm Power footbed
- Zero heel-to-toe drop
- There may not be enough cushioning for some users
Top Stability Shoe
7. Propét Stability Fly
For overpronators or those with foot conditions, the Propét Stability Fly is a good choice of shoe to protect your feet while doing aerobics. These shoes are A5500 coded and approved for use by diabetic patients to reduce skin abrasion.
The knit mesh uppers are soft on the skin and extremely comfortable. They’re also very breathable, so your feet can stay cool and dry throughout a workout. The lace-up closure allows for a tight and locked-down fit.
Rigid arch support helps to present overpronation and keep your feet safer when doing aerobics. The footbed is removable for adding a custom orthotic if needed.
A cushioned heel provides optimal shock absorption for hard landings. There’s a heel counter to keep the feet firmly in place.
A wide and round toe box allows for the toes to splay naturally and prevents pressure or friction against the toes, especially during high-impact exercise.
- Precision knit mesh
- Removable footbed
- Cushioned heel
- Wide toe box
- The fabric lace loop may snap with vigorous exercise
Best for Aerobics And Running
8. On Cloud X
Those who wish to do aerobics and run in the same pair of shoes would appreciate the On Cloud X.
The double-layered mesh upper promotes airflow through the foot and is supported at the same time. An external heel counter provides lateral support and when the lacing system is locked down the foot is very secure.
It’s also incredibly light, at just 8 oz—226.7 grams—for a men’s size 9 and 7 oz—198.4 grams— for a women’s size 7. Despite its lightness, the shoe is well-cushioned.
The company’s signature CloudTec midsole technology used hollow pods to absorb shock and provide energy return. Some of these pods make direct contact with the ground, while others have a light layer of rubber over them for grip and extra shock absorption.
On top of the pods is a full-length Speedboard plate, which flexes with the foot to create a smooth transition and stability. It also prevents the foot from twisting. In the midsole, Zero-Gravity foam offers impact absorption and protects the joints.
The shoe is suitable for aerobics, but if using it outdoors, small stones and debris can get stuck in the pods, making it difficult to clean.
- Versatile shoe
- Two-layer mesh upper
- Helion super foam and CloudTec Elements
- Precision-molded heel cap
- May be difficult to clean as debris can get stuck in the pods
Can You Wear Running Shoes for Aerobics?
You can wear running shoes for aerobics, but you shouldn’t. Running shoes are designed for forward movement, rather than side-to-side movement.
Instead, choose a pair of cross-training shoes, as they provide the lateral support necessary to protect your feet from the movements associated with aerobics.
What to Look for In the Best Cross-Training Shoes
When buying a pair of cross-training shoes, consider the following factors:
The shoes should have firm but flexible midsoles that offer both cushioning—shock absorption—and arch support. There should be extra cushioning in the heel for absorbing impact.
Also, choose a pair of shoes with an upper that provides good breathability and a degree of flexibility to allow for movement.
The outsoles should contain rubber that gives good grip on smooth surfaces, and the shoes should also have reinforcements on the sides of the heels to provide lateral support during sideways movements.