After spending more than 20 hours lifting weights, sprinting, balancing, leaping, and doing so much circuit training in seven pairs of cross-training shoes, and interviewing four experts in body mechanics, we found the New Balance Minimus 40 (available in women’s and men’s sizes) is the best shoe for the widest range of workouts at the gym due to its flat-but-flexible sole, breathable mesh fabric, and comfortable design.

The comfortable, not-flashy New Balance Minimus 40, which comes in women’sand men’s sizes is a great all-purpose cross-training shoe that excelled at every task we threw at it, from lifting weights to high-intensity intervals. The grippy sole is flat yet flexible, giving a glued-to-the-floor feel when our testers were squatting or deadlifting, but still feeling nimble during fast-moving or direction-changing plyometrics or jumps. The breathable mesh upper keeps the shoes cool and feather-light. The only issue we ran into concerned fit: One tester felt they run a bit long, so if you’re between sizes, you should probably go smaller rather than larger.

If our top pick is sold out or you do more high-intensity interval training than lifting, the Under Armour Ultimate Speed in women’s and men’s sizes is a good option. It performed just as well as the New Balance in workouts that included high-intensity intervals and plyometrics, with great traction and a secure, comfortable fit. This shoe has the best arch support of any of our picks and a slightly curved sole for facilitating running, walking, and general mobility. Although this shoe also felt plenty stable to wear while lifting weights, our testers preferred the more anchored sensation they got from the flatter soles of our other picks. The shoe’s upper has a double layer of material around the mid-foot that adds side-to-side stability while you’re in motion, but it can also make the shoe feel hotter than the New Balances during longer or outdoor summer workouts.

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