Let’s face it, choosing the best gym shoes for women is not the easiest of tasks.
The seemingly endless shoe racks and shoe isles in brick and mortar stores, combined with the endless pages of online selections is making my head spin as I type this.
There are just too many darn women’s athletic shoes to choose from! 🙂
Luckily, by breaking down the process of choosing the best women’s shoes for working out, we can alleviate some of the typical headaches brought on by such an endeavor.
Want to learn more?
Jump to our: Beginners Guide to Women’s Athletic Shoes
One of the single most important aspects of getting healthier is doing it correctly so as to not hurt yourself. The easiest way to start off is with a good pair of cute gym shoes to encourage you to get up off of the couch, and will keep your feet comfortable from any injuries that a new found exercise habit may cause.
10 Highest Rated Workout Shoes for Women
Here are the top ten gym shoes for the ladies; as determined through sizable surveys and test runs at the gym and beyond, by our crew and other customers.
#1 – Reebok Women’s Crossfit Nano 5.0 Training Shoe
- Kevlar construction for ultimate durability
- Mesh upper for increased airflow
- CMEVA compression molded foam for shock absorption
- Specifically designed for Crossfit exercises
- Huge range of colors
TheWomen’s Crossfit Nano is Reebok’s lightest and toughest Nano shoe yet and is specifically designed to stand up to the rigors of Crossfit exercises. There’s the Polyurethane NanoShell that improves stability and support during heavy weight lifting, a carbon rubber wrap with a grip pattern to improve your grip on rope climbs while reinforcing the shoe so it doesn’t shred. Then there’s the Kevlar infused upper so your Crossfit shoes will be just as tough as your workouts.
Who Makes It?
Reebok have been at the forefront of innovative running shoes since the 1890s when Joseph William Foster made some of the first shoes with spikes on them to help athletes run faster. Since then, Reebok have been committed to creating sports products for every athlete in order to help them fulfill their potential – whether it’s on the Olympic track or in the school playground.
The Nano 5.0 is the lightest, strongest and most technology-packed Nano shoe yet. It’s stable, durable and designed just for Crossfit athletes. A better fit and solid construction makes this shoe one of the best Crossfit shoes for women.
#2 – ASICS Women’s GEL-Kayano 22 Running Shoe
- GEL cushioning systems to absorb shock at the rearfoot and forefoot
- FluidRide technology provides 20% extra bounce and support while being 15% lighter
- Impact Guidance System connects the shoe from heel to toe for stability
- Next to no stitching means more durability and better comfort
- Specifically designed to help correct foot pronation
Gel-Kayanos are a tried and tested running shoe that regularly rank among the top women’s sneakers. ASICS have created a new favorite with the Gel-Kayano 22 that features a near seamless design and a shoe that is connected from the front to the back with Impact Guidance System to make every footfall more stable and fluid.
Other improvements include the heel-clutching system for a more secure fit and the FluidRide system that provides more bounceback than ever before while being 15% lighter than previous systems.
Who Makes It?
ASICS started from humble beginning in Kobe, Japan, after the second World War. The company’s founder, Kihachiro Onitsuka, saw children walking barefoot in the streets and began creating basketball shoes in his living room. From there, the company has dedicated itself to promote the benefits of sport and to satisfy the needs of athletes.
Most people know ASICS produce good running shoes for women, but the Gel-Kayano 22 shoes have the company’s best technology yet for enhanced comfort, fit, shock absorption and some serious bounce while still coming in a sleek package.
#3 – Brooks Women’s Ravenna 7 Running Sneaker
- Propulsion Pods act as a suspension system for greater stability
- Diagonal Rollbar guides body into natural alignment
- Ultimate flexibility with Omega Flex Grooves
- DNA adaptive midsole cushioning
- Mesh upper for moisture management and protection from the elements
Brooks shoes are another top contender for the best sneakers for women. The Ravenna 7 shoes give great energy return with Propulsion Pods to help spring you into your next step. They provide a snug fit thanks to an adjustable saddle that pulls the heel in and wraps the midfoot securely.
Plus, they help to align feet that roll inwards by guiding them to a natural alignment with the Diagonal Rollbar. Not to mention that the Ravenna 7’s come with sleek mesh in some seriously cool color blending.
Who Makes It?
Brooks have been in the running game since 1914 and provided some of the first shoes to runners before running was even considered a real sport. Since then, the Seattle-based company has seen its fair share of trials and tribulations and have come out on top by focusing on high tech running shoes for the serious athlete.
Forward thinking technology, quality materials and a fantastic reputation in the runner’s world makes the Brooks Women’s Ravena 7 one of the best women’s training shoes out there.
#4 – Adidas Performance Adipower Weightlifting Trainer Shoe
- Power strap to lock your foot in
- Integral heel support for ultimate stability with heavy weights
- Lightweight injected polymer for structure and strength
- VentFlow openings for comfort when things get sweaty
- Specific design to aid in weight lifting
If you’re serious about your weight lifting then you need a shoe that can support you when things get heavy. The Adidas Performance Adipower Weightlifting Trainer Shoe is designed with the weight lifting lady in mind, from the extra support structure in the heel to the PU-coated leather upper that is both comfortable and durable.
If that didn’t sound stable enough, there’s the adjustable hook-and-loop instep strap and the power strap across the laces to really lock you in.
Who Makes It?
Adidas is a big name in the sporting products industry, and their aim is to help athletes perform better, play better and feel better. They’re a big player on the sport scene, also owning Reebok TaylorMade and CCM. Perhaps it’s no surprise that their training shoes are on the feet of some of the world’s top athletes, setting trends and breaking records every step of the way.
Your feet are your foundation when it comes to weight lifting so having weight-specific shoes can really make a difference. These have the technology you need along with Adidas’ renown reputation for creating high quality sports products.
#5 – Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 16 Running Sneaker
- Extended Caterpillar Crash Pad for full ground contact and smooth heel to toe transition
- DNA midsole cushioning
- Diagonall Roll Bar for super support
- New lacing system for an even more secure fit
- Moisture managing materials keep feet cool and dry
The Adrenaline GTS 16 is one of Brook’s best sellers and comes with some handy improvements from its predecessors. Take the lacing system with adjustable eyelets that pull from the heel to really secure your foot, an even longer segmented crash pad for a smooth heel to toe transition as well as a deeper V-Groove for a better transition when running.
These shoes will stand the test of time too, with Element linings to wick moisture away from your feet while protecting from the weather, and HPR Plus to add durability to high-wear areas on the outer sole.
Who Makes It?
Brooks are one of the oldest companies in the world of sports products and it’s their commitment to high quality, innovative running shoes that have kept them going over all these years.
Sales don’t lie – there’s a reason the Brooks Adrenaline 16 are one of the top selling training shoes for women.
#6 – Nike Women’s Free Rn Flyknit Running Shoe
- Super lightweight
- Flex grooves along the mid-sole allow great flexibility
- Provides a barefoot running feel
- One-piece seamless design hugs foot for superior comfort
- Bright standout colors
Come close to the feeling of barefoot running with Nike’s Flyknit running shoe, a super flexible and lightweight option that still provides cushioning and support with a Phylite mid-sole that flexes and contracts with your foot’s movements.
The seamless, one-piece design fits like a sock to help you move naturally and feel great while you do it. There is added structure with Flywire cables that can be tightened around your foot, plus a non-stretch heel material.
Who Makes It?
Nike is a big name in the sports industry, known for innovative and technology packed products. Take for example the Nike Frees and Flyknit: Nike spent eight years studying the bio-mechanics of running to design shoes that felt natural and weightless, which led to the birth of Nike Frees.
Then came four years of work with engineers and designers to knit a shoe that felt like a sock – resulting in the Nike Flyknit.
The Flyknit Nike workout shoes aren’t as structured and supportive as other running shoes as they’re designed to mimic barefoot running and let your feet move naturally.
If you’re used to traditional running shoes they can take some getting used to but do strengthen your feet and feel great with their lightweight, sock-like design. They also make for some of the best gym shoes that you can easily squash into your gym bag.
#7 – PUMA Women’s Pulse XT Geo Cross-Training Shoe
- Ariaprene bootie construction that stretches and breathes
- Designed for high intensity workouts
- Padded tongue and collar for comfort
- Lightweight and flexible
- Rubber mid-sole for grip and support
Puma’s Pulse XT Geo Cross-Training shoe is designed for high intensity workouts indoors or out. They’re lightweight, super flexible and sleek looking.
Puma have used high quality materials that will last the distance and let your feet breathe. They also come with a few added comfort extras like padding along the collar and tongue, plus a rear pull-on strap.
Who Makes It?
Puma is a brand that covers sports and lifestyle products, with a touch of fashion thrown in. Puma have been establishing themselves on the fitness scene for over 65 years and support athletes in sports such as Running, Football, Golf and even Motorsports. Their brand strengths are their technical innovation, forward thinking design and focus on style.
The Puma Pulse XT Geo Cross-Training shoe are affordable, lightweight and flexible. If you’re into your high intensity workouts you’ll love their durable construction and materials that allow air flow in so your feet don’t overheat. Quite simply, they’re a good gym shoe choice.
#8 – Adidas Women’s Alphabounce
- EVA foam in the midsole provides a soft and elastic feel
- FORGEDMESH upper has no seams for a sock-like feel
- Designed from studying motion capture imagery of foot movements
- Sleek, modern design
- Suitable for all sports
The Adidas Women’s AlphaBounce is a stylish and comfortable sneaker that would suit most sports or gym sessions. The upper is made from one seamless piece of material to create a sock-like feel with mesh to let your feet breathe no matter how hard they’re working.
The midsole is made with EVA foam and feels snug from the moment you step in, while providing some serious bounce during any activity.
Who Makes It?
Adidas are a big company that strive to make their products modern, stylish and packed full of technology. They aim to help athletes perform at their best. In doing so, they employ over 55,000 people in more than 160 countries and continue to grow in popularity and innovation.
The AlphaBounce are simple and comfortable while sitting at a relatively affordable price point for women’s running shoes. They have a smooth and snug fit, plus decent bounce so they’d be ideal for using during gym classes and general sports.
#9 – New Balance Women’s Vazee Agility Training Shoe
- Sock-like fit allows for agile movements
- Quix outsole gives traction on all terrain, from grass to concrete
- Agility Support upper helps prevent sideways foot rolling
- Designed for speed and agility
- Easy and comfortable to slide on and off
The New Balance Vazee Agility Training Shoe is designed for moving fast on your feet. The sock-like fit creates a seamless wrap around your foot to stay with you through all movements, while the Agility Support upper helps to prevent your foot from rolling sideways.
The New Balance Vazee is a light and comfortable women’s athletic shoe which can be used for indoors or outdoors activities thanks to the all terrain traction on the sole.
Who Makes It?
New Balance is a company devoted to helping both athletes and everyday exercisers to reach their goals. They don’t spend much money on celebrity endorsements, instead focusing on research and development to let their products do all the talking. New Balance has been around for over 100 years helping people to get active.
The New Balance Vazee Agility Training Shoe lives up to its name as a shoe designed for quick, lateral movements. It’s best for those who like a variety of gym classes and could also be used as tennis shoes, badminton shoes or for other outdoor sports due to its solid sole traction.
#10 – Saucony Women’s Ride 8 Running Shoe
- iBR+ rubber sole is 33% lighter and more cushioning than standard rubber
- Extra supportive midsole returns energy to the runner
- Helps to centre the foot for a more ergonomic gait
- FLEXFILM exoskeleton provides strength and comfort
- Designed for long distance road running
Saucony’s Ride 8 Running Shoe is for those who love regular, long road runs. It has amazing strength and cushioning to stand up to constant pounding on the pavement and will support your feet from toe to heel.
The POWERGRID cushioning system creates a smooth ride while centering the foot, absorbing impact and distributing pressure to all the right places. To top it off, the FLEXFILM upper layer creates a strong exoskeleton for comfort and strength.
Who Makes It?
Saucony has spent many years studying the biomechanics of top athletes in order to bring their research and technology to everyone, from regular runners to ultra marathon athletes. They aim to create products that maximise your performance so you’re thinking about your workout, not your gear.
This is a great shoe for continued comfort and durability for long runs. If you’re a fan of pounding the pavement then you’ll notice the support and energy return technology packed into the Saucony Ride 8 Running Shoes.
What Type of Feet Do You Have?
When choosing women’s workout shoes, you first need to answer a few of the common questions people ask themselves. Questions regarding the price you can afford, the color you prefer, the shape of your feet, how long you plan to use them for, what brands you and others trust to make the best workout shoes.
To be clear, there is a lot of running terminology out there that can help with this process, such as supinator, pronator, and neutral types of feet. We’ll go ahead and explain these here just in case you run into a situation where someone is throwing these terms at you expecting you to know them.
Also known as underpronator, this term simply means your feet have high arches and roll outward.
This means that you have feet which roll inward, coupled with flat or low arches.
Somewhere in-between the two types listed above. Your feet have an average gait and the weight is evenly distributed across the foot.
Once you have determined your foot type from the three feet type options listed above, in order to choose the best running shoes for women you’ll need to know which kind of shoes goes with each type. At the end of the day it’s all about the comfort, durability, and style that suits you best.
Here’s a breakdown
Supinators need cushioning sneakers for shock absorption, pronators need motion-control or high stability workout shoes for alignment, and neutrals need stability or moderate-stability type of gym shoes for both cushioning and balance.
Connection Between Feet Type and Shoe Design
When looking at the best gym shoes for women, you want to keep in mind the cushioning and flexibility features. A shoe which combines the two, and also provides stability, should demand your attention.
The top workout shoes vary by material and design, as well as how they were manufactured. Take a look inside the shoe before you buy, or read the descriptions online; special construction not only give you, as the ultimate wearer, comfort, but also durability and design to prevent injury.
If you’re a supinator: The layer between the mesh upper and the threads is known as the midsole, look for workout shoes with soft midsoles. Because your foot type does not provide enough shock absorption. This will make your shoes more flexible.
If you’re a pronator: Look for shoes that have contrasting color, typically gray, around the arch. The reason behind it is because this observation indicated that there is a presence of a dense material which provides reinforcement, keeping the arch from collapsing. your type of shoes will be pretty stiff, flexing only near the top/toe area.
If you’re a neutral: As a neutral you’re pretty much concerned with bridging the two worlds; meaning, you’re looking for cushioning and stability. What you want is a lightweight gym shoe for women that bends just to the ball of the foot. Congratulations, as your feet type has the most freedom when choosing the best gym shoes for women, and you can pretty much wear whatever feels good.
Things to Keep in Mind
Below we address some of the things to keep in mind before impulsively adding the shoe to your cart and checking out. There is nothing quite like the feeling of landing on something that absolutely calls your name out.
Similarly, there is also no feeling like the feeling of disappointment after the dust settles and you realize you’ve made the wrong choice.
To combat this, we take a look at some of the key things to consider when buying gym shoes for women. Le’ts take a look shall we.
Adult Feet Can Change
A little know fact, but true nonetheless, adult feet can and do change! Ask any doctor that has anything to do with examining feet or knows anything about feet from a medical perspective and they will advise you that, when looking to buy the top workout shoes for women, you should get to know your feet better.
One of those doctors, Dr. Steven Raiken, of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, states, “it’s a myth that our feet don’t change as we become adults; our feet change as we get older, and we should measure them twice a year.”
There are 23 bones and 33 joints in the human foot and ankle, which means there is room for growth. As a personal test try and see if any of your elderly colleagues or family members remember their shoe size in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and so on; you are bound to be quite surprised at the results.
Try Before You Buy
It is very important to make an attempt if you are in a store to try on the shoes before buying them. As we mentioned above, even the feet of adults change, so picking quality women’s workout shoes will require thorough analysis of the brand, size, features, etc.
Not all brands are created equal, sizes tend to vary from brand to brand, so there is more to it than just looking at the box with the number. Also, because our feet swell throughout the day and therefore expand. It is usually best to try on shoes towards the latter portion of the day, when your feet are at their widest/largest.
Trying on the best workout shoes for you is even more important if you wear orthotics; shoes need to fit you well with the orthotics inside, and the only way sometimes to figure this out is to test it, by actually trying on the workout shoe.
When trying on workout shoes you should use the rule of thumb, meaning that there should be about a thumbs width between the big toe and the top of the shoe. Also the heel should not slip out when walking, but rather fit tightly.
When buying shoes online, make sure to read the description and keep an eye out for any special instructions from the manufacturer that would suggest anything different about the shoe, or something for the average person to keep in mind, when it comes to the fitting aspect of the workout shoe.
Price vs. Quality
As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Good quality means that the manufacturer has to cover their overhead, uses more expensive material, and thereby has to charge you a higher price than the cheaply fabricated stuff that’s out there.
Good quality workout shoes and some of the best gym shoes for women can be pricey for most people, but totally worth it. You should look at the shoes as an investment into your health and decrease your chance of injury due to poor manufacturing. Cheap shoes tend to wear out much faster and before you know it you’ll need another pair.
With that all being said, do not be deterred, because as the best gym shoes of 2018 list below will show you, there are plenty of good deals to be had out there.
Fun fact: According to Dr. Clifford L. Jeng, an average pair of running shoes should be replaced every 350-400 miles of use.
One thing to keep in mind is that overpriced quality shoes, typically ones associated with famous people and sell high because they can, will not bring you any extra value, aside from bragging rights. Quality and price plateau at a certain point and anything you pay afterwards is just marketing.
If you’re searching for your new best shoes for the gym, look no further. Based on your preferences, there is a shoe in this list for everyone.
Remember to treat shoes as an investment in your health, so give consideration to durability and function instead of just pure style. But most of all, make sure the shoes feel good and that they make you feel good; good luck on your journey through fitness ladies!
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- Updated on March 28, 2019 by Ada Lane