Orangetheory is a type of cross-training that improves your fitness, helps you lose weight, and provides a fun and healthy new way to stay active.
If you’re doing Orangetheory, you may not get the best results if you use the same pair of shoes you run in. This form of fitness is all about high-intensity interval training. Because most of us don’t run that way, the best shoes for Orangetheory are not running shoes, but rather cross-trainers.
If you’re an Orangetheory fan and you’ve been using your regular shoes, now is the time to invest in a new pair!
We recommend the Nike Metcon 6 above others. It has a flat, wide heel for extra stability, offers great traction for speedy moves, and also comes with a removable Hyperlift insert which can be used if you need even more stability on your feet.
If that shoe doesn’t do it for you, we have a whole bunch more that will change the way your Orangetheory feels forever!
Buying Guide – Orangetheory Shoes
Type of shoe
The first thing to consider when shopping for Orangetheory shoes is the type. Don’t just pick up any pair of sneakers, look for ones that are categorized as cross-trainers.
These are ideal for a wide range of gym exercises, which is mainly what you’ll be doing at Orangetheory. They’ll cushioned your feet, provide support (at least the good ones), and allow you to move laterally as well as forward and backward.
Out of all the sneaker types (running, tennis, walking), cross-trainers come in the biggest price range. You can find crazy inexpensive shoes as well as shoes that make you do a double-take when looking at their price.
But we recommend sticking with something in the mid-price range. Why? Well, the cheapest shoes are just that, cheap. They won’t feel good and they’ll wear down quickly. And the most expensive shoes pack in extra features, plush cushioning, and other extras you don’t necessarily need.
So a pair in the mid-price range will help you find that happy medium.
The foam in the midsole of the shoe is what will protect your feet as you’re working out. Make sure the shoes you pick have enough. Make sure you try them on and walk around a bit to make sure it feels comfortable.
Generally speaking, cross-trainers have good support. No matter what, you won’t go wrong. But make sure they feel supportive when you try them on. If you overpronate (your feet roll inwards as you walk) consider a stability pair of shoes or ones with extra support.
Check the outersole (bottom of the shoe) to make sure there is plenty of rubber on the bottom of the shoe. This will help it last. It will also ensure you have enough traction while you are exercising.
FAQs About Cross-Trainers
What Are Cross-Trainers?
They’re made to be able to withstand a variety of different movements and sports. They have a mixture of characteristics taken from different kinds of shoes.
Good cross-trainers will have the stability, support, and cushioning of a running shoe, as well as side-to-side support for things like fast HIIT movements.
What Should I Look For In A Cross-Training Shoe?
When shopping for the best shoes for cross-training, look carefully at the soles. They should be wide, thick, and durable.
This part of the shoe will provide you with cushioning no matter what workout you’re doing. Choose a shoe that will offer good shock-absorption. A wider outsole adds an extra element of stability.
Why Are Cross-Trainers The Best Shoes For Orangetheory?
Orangetheory is made up of a wide variety of different types of cardio workouts. Cross-trainers offer the most versatility, so no matter what exercise you happen to be doing, they’ll get the job done for you. You could wear normal running shoes, but you’ll be sacrificing stability.
How We Chose These Shoes
In picking out our top recommendations, we found shoes that are all cross-trainers, have plenty of cushioning and support, and straddle the line between value and durability.
We used our testing and review process on all these shoes. That included doing extensive research on different models, testing them out, and picking a range of shoes for different types of people.
In addition, we always make sure our shoes are current and up-to-date. They are always available and in-stock when we publish our reviews.
1. Nike Metcon 6
Nike has been upping their game in terms of shoe technology in the past decade. Many of their latest shoes have been entirely athlete-informed, meaning they’ve taken real-life, real-person data and feedback into consideration when manufacturing their shoes.
The Metcon 6 is one of their best cross-trainers. It’s perfect for Orangetheory for a variety of reasons!
First, it’s an incredibly breathable shoe. A quick glance reveals larger-than-average mesh pores to allow for increased airflow through the shoe (18% more than its predecessor, the Metcon 5). No matter how intense you’re going, your feet will be cool and ventilated.
As well as superior ventilation, the Metcon 6 offers excellent stability. The sole is flat and wide, keeping you steady and stable on your feet, whether you’re moving fast or doing something you need extra sturdiness for.
The unique Hyperlift insert adds an extra 8mm offset that can help improve stability. This is particularly useful for exercises like squats, where you need to be extremely careful with form.
Other features that add to the impressive stability of this shoe in all conditions include a textured synthetic print on the outside of the upper, a thick heel clip, and a rigid rubber outsole that supports the midfoot.
The extra rubber on the outside of the shoe is easy to see. It offers added security on side-to-side movements that you don’t find in normal running shoes. The sticky rubber of the outsole helps you stay put, grip when you need to, and reduce the chance of injury due to slipping, especially while doing fast-moving exercises.
- Flat, wide heel
- Removable 8mm Hyperlift insert
- High-traction outsole
- Flywire for a better fit
- The Hyperlift insert may move underfoot
2. NOBULL Trainers
If you’re a dedicated runner, you may not have heard of these trainers. They’re certainly not designed for running, but put on a pair of these in the gym and you may be surprised at how good they feel.
With an upper crafted from a single piece of SuperFabric, these shoes are more durable, breathable, and resistant to abrasion than most others. An unusually perforated tongue adds to the breathability, keeping your feet cool and comfy
When these are on your feet, it’s noticeable how light they are. The weight savings do not mean fabric quality is sacrificed. But that doesn’t mean they’re an empty shell; they have some great stability features.
Carbon guard plates on the lateral and medial sides of the shoe provide a flexible yet stable protective layer, for when you’re doing side-to-side movements. The lug-patterned outsole was made to be effective and super grippy on a variety of surfaces.
A medial rope grip assists you when you need that extra bit of stickiness. The reflective NOBULL logo keeps you visible when training in darker conditions. And you’ll get two pairs of laces with each purchase!
Be aware that while these shoes have some great features as a cross-trainer, they may not offer enough arch support or shock-absorption for some.
- SuperFabric upper
- Outsole features a lug pattern
- Carbon lateral and medial guards
- 4mm heel-to-toe drop
- May not be enough arch support or cushioning for some
3. Puma FUSE
If you’re looking for a value-packed shoe for cross-training that won’t break the bank, we recommend the Puma FUSE. They’re fairly wide from heel to toe box, giving the shoe a very stable platform-like feeling. Your toes have room to splay naturally, which enhances your natural stability.
The mesh upper is high-tensile and made to resist whatever tension you put it under. And like any good gym shoes, it’s abrasion-resistant to make it last longer. A traditional lace-up system allows you to tighten it to your exact liking, which is an important part of a secure and stable shoe.
The midsole offers some shock absorption for fast ground moves. On the outside, the PUMAGRIP outsole is sticky enough to offer extra stability when doing quick or heavy moves.
It also features flex lines in the forefoot, to allow for metatarsal splay, to improve your natural sure-footedness.
- Wide toe box for extra stability
- Vertical flex lines to allow toes to splay
- TPU heel clip for support
- PUMAGRIP outsole
- Only available in men’s sizes, so ladies need to order 1.5 sizes down
Top for Weight Lifting Focus
4. Reebok Nano X
These cross-trainers are wide, stable, and have extra support at the heel. This makes them great for weightlifters, as they’re planted firmly on the ground and have a good shock-absorbing midsole.
They get bonus points for being a decent running shoe, too!
A Flexweave upper is breathable and cooling on the feet, while leather overlays add an element of support from the outside in. The lace-up closure system means you can get a tight fit so your shoes won’t be moving anywhere any time soon.
This shoe also features a wide toe box. This is significant for weightlifting, as it allows the toes space to splay and get the body’s center of gravity balanced. It’s also important for running, to prevent chafing of the toes.
The low-cut ankle collar provides more flexibility and mobility than some others. At the same time, the high-density ankle collar offers support. You won’t feel restricted with these on your feet.
But you will feel supported. A wraparound TPU heel helps lock the heel in. Your shoe and foot feel and perform like a single unit.
A compression-molded EVA midsole absorbs the shock of landings and adds an element of comfort. The heel-to-toe drop of these shoes is also minimal, at 4mm, which means you won’t be leaning forward inadvertently.
The unique Metasplit decoupled outsole helps improve heel-to-toe transition and enhances flexibility.
- Metasplit decoupled outsole
- Compression molded EVA midsole
- Flexweave upper with leather overlays
- 360-degree TPU heel wrap
- They run small
Best Low Drop
5. New Balance 20v7 Minimus
If you’d prefer a shoe that’s fairly flat as opposed to one with a noticeable slope from heel to toe, we recommend the New Balance 20v7 Minimus. It has a 4mm heel-to-toe drop, which means your foot isn’t quite flat on the floor, but close.
It’s quite minimalist and light on the feet, so you’ll feel fleet-footed and springy when you’re wearing them. The upper is a unique mixture of yarn and nylon, featuring mesh windows to let the hot air out and cool air in.
These design features make the shoe quite flexible, which is an advantage during cross-training. The light Vibram outsole provides good traction on multiple surfaces. It also features a REVlite midsole cushion, to absorb shock when doing ground moves.
Although the toe box of this shoe is comfortably wide, the heel seems to run quite narrow, which some users find to be uncomfortable.
- REVlite midsole cushioning
- 4mm heel drop
- Vibram rubber outsole
- Thin asymmetrical collar
- Unlike most New Balance shoes, these ones seem to run slightly narrow
Most Color Options
6. Under Armour Tribase Reign 2.0
Under Armour makes some great apparel, but they make quality shoes as well. These are their cross-trainers, and they’re perfect if you want a good shoe that can match your outfit.
To be honest, there are more color choices for men than there are for women. The men’s shoes come in a variety of bright, eye-catching colors, while the women’s are restricted to more muted tones. That said, there are still a good few different ones to choose from.
You should feel quite stable on your feet, whether weightlifting or doing HIIT circuits. An external heel counter increases the stability quite a lot, and locks your heel in no matter what exercise you’re doing.
A rubber outsole with zonal flex in the forefoot gives you good flexibility for things like mountain climbers, planks, and pushups. There’s also a unique rubber design under the forefoot, to allow for a more secure grip on the floor.
The sole has full coverage, wrapping around the sides of the shoe to increase durability, and a medial rope grip assists when you need help pushing yourself up those ropes.
A Micro G foam midsole runs the full length of the shoe, giving you slight bounce and shock absorption.
- Micro G foam full-length midsole
- Sizeable heel counter for stability
- Zonal flex in the forefoot
- Medial rope grip rubber
- Fewer color choices (and more neutral) for women
Best Wide Toe Box
7. Altra Solstice XT
People with wide feet can struggle to find comfortable shoes! Altra shoes are well-known for being accommodating for wide feet, and these cross-trainers should be perfectly comfortable for wide-footed Orangetheory fans.
The FootShape toe box is an Altra thing, and allows the toes space to spread out and create a natural platform.
This is a zero-drop shoe, which means you’ll be planted flat on the ground and as stable as can be. There’s not a lot of cushioning in the shoe, so some may find it to be a little hard on the feet if you’re doing a lot of bouncing around.
The upper is made of quick-drying and breathable mesh to allow for good airflow. It also features a synthetic overlay cage for even more sturdiness.
Last but not least, a high-abrasion, EVA rubber outsole features Innerflex grooves running across the sole for increased traction, both inside and outside the gym.
- FootShape toe box
- Innerflex grooves in the outsole
- Zero drop shoes
- Caged upper for stability
- Not very cushioned
8. Adidas Crazyflight
The important of comfort can’t be overstated. If your shoes aren’t comfy on your feet, whether you’re doing an Orangetheory class or walking from the bedroom to the kitchen, you’re not going to perform as well!
These are the most comfortable shoes on this list. Much of that has to do with the midsole. While running shoes make a big deal of the midsole cushioning, cross-trainers often don’t.
If you’ve gotten used to running on clouds, you may prefer a cross-trainer that has some decent cushioning in it too, and we’d recommend this one. It’s actually a volleyball shoe, designed to be light and springy.
A light, stretch-mesh upper hugs your foot comfortably without restricting your movement. The midfoot is reinforced with a TPU layer, keeping the shoe stable and firm.
The midsole is made from flexible Bounce foam, offering great shock absorption and energy return for whatever exercise you’re doing at the time. A wide forefoot adds to the stability of the shoe, and a molded heel counter keeps your foot where it should be.
Lastly, an asymmetrical grippy rubber outsole with a special anti-slip heel keeps you confident on your feet on any surface.
- S-shaped heel counter
- Flexible Bounce Boost midsole
- TPU-reinforced midfoot
- EVA stability frame
- The white shoes may begin to discolor
Top Breathable Shoe
9. Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3
Trying to train with hot feet isn’t fun. Breathability is an essential quality of a shoe, and this one wins top spot for exactly that.
It’s a 4mm drop shoe, with lace-up closure and a protective abrasion-resistant toe cap. The upper is minimalistic, constructed from tactile and synthetic material. Elastic mesh sections let the cool air in and the heat out, so your feet will always stay cool and dry.
Apart from the superior breathability, it offers some features that make it an excellent cross-training shoe.
It’s more cushioned than most, with a POWERFLOW+ midsole that offers superb shock absorption (10% more than regular shoes) and energy return (25% better than other shoes).
Inov-8’s ROPE-TEC system on both the medial and lateral sides of the shoe will be helpful provides extra traction when you are crosstraining on a rope.
The outsole features strategically-designed Meta-Flex grooves for better foot alignment and contributes to good form.
A unique DFB shank (Dynamic Fascia Band) in the sole gives a flexible heel-to-toe transition and delivers an extra boost of energy with every step.
- Meta-Flex outsole technology
- POWERFLOW+ cushioned midsole
- 360° ROPE-TEC system
- DFB shank for stability
- May not suit those with high arches
Best Running and Cross-trainer
10. On Cloud X
For runners who do cross-training and would like to use the same shoe for both, the ON Cloud is what we suggest.
Just looking at the sole of these shoes, you can see that they’re brilliant for shock absorption. They’re actually classified as a road running shoe, but they work quite well for cross-training too.
The knit-mesh upper is lightweight and delivers effective ventilation. The traditional lace-up and padded tongue and ankle collar allow you to get a nice tight fit that’s comfortable and stable for you.
Even more, stability is delivered by a molded heel cup, which prevents unnecessary movement of the foot in the shoe.
These shoes feature a unique CloudTec Speedboard that propels you forward on every stride with rocker-like power.
The sole is packed with Zero-Gravity Clouds, which absorb impact, resist abrasion, and give you a great grip on any terrain.
- CloudTec Speedboard
- Molded heel cap
- Zero-Gravity Clouds on outsole
- 6mm heel-to-toe drop
- They run large
Why Trust Us
Shanna loves to work out and has been exercising at the gym for many years. She always wears cross-trainers when working out and knows what to look for to find the best shoes. Shanna used her own experience and our thorough review process to review the shoes on the list.
Shanna has written extensively for The Wired Runner. Her trustworthy reviews have helped thousands of runners and gym-goers find great shoes and gear.