Best shoes for weightlifting and Running / Cardio

Not all great weightlifting shoes are good for running and vice versa. In fact, lifting in running shoes is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, while dedicated Oly shoes with their hard raised heel are not going to get you far on the track. There are however shoes that do an excellent job handling the demands of both sports and below we’ll look at the best shoes for weightlifting and running.

The Best Shoes for Lifting and Running

First we’ll highlight what we feel are the three best shoes for weight training and cardio and from them select one as the best overall value.

New Balance MX20V3

New Balance MX20V3

The MX20V3 provides that barefoot feeling so many lifters and runners want in their shoes. At the same time it delivers excellent lateral support and the high degree of durability necessary in any shoes for lifting and running. With a sufficient drop (4mm) to get you properly positioned under the weight but not so much that it will be a hindrance on the treadmill, the shoe also provides enough arch support and cushioning to keep you comfortable regardless of activity.

Key features include:

  • Excellent grip
  • Lightweight synthetic mesh upper
  • Odor resistant antimicrobial properties
  • No-stitch construction to reduce chafing

Inov8 F-Lite 195

Inov-8 F-Lite 195

Key features include:

  • Ultra lightweight construction
  • Highly durable and versatile
  • Injected EVA midsole
  • 3mm footbed

Reebok Nano 5.0

Reebok Crossfit Nano 5.0..

You’ve no doubt heard the term “tough as nails”, but what about “tough as Kevlar”? Well the Reebok Nano 5.0 is exactly that with the introduction of Kevlar fabric into the upper. In spite of this the shoe somehow manages to maintain a high degree of flexibility during prolonged runs. The Nano also displays excellent lateral stability which, when combined with the wider than normal toe box, makes it one of the best shoes for running and lifting .

key features include:

  • Flexible, flat sole for lifting or running
  • MetaSplit grooves mimic natural flex lines
  • Solid TPU shell for excellent overall support
  • Available in a range of color combinations

Learn more about Reebok weightlifting shoes here.

Our Choice for the Best Shoes for Running and Weightlifting

New Balance MX20V3

New Balance MX20V3

The MX20V3 is our choice for best shoe for running and lifting because it just feels right whether you’re lifting bar-bending weights or blazing through your 3rd mile on the track. While the other shoes will both serve you well performance-wise, we believe the added comfort level of the MX20V3 when combined with the more attractive price point and superior arch support make these the best shoes for weightlifting and running currently available.

Final Thoughts on the Best Shoes for Weightlifting and Cardio/Running

While it may be tempting to just pick any dedicated CrossFit shoe as the best shoe for running and lifting, often the best shoes can come from surprising places with the Inov8 F-Lite 195 being a good example. Primarily designed as a running/light workout shoe it turns out to be incredibly effective on the lifting platform as well. The lesson? Don’t judge a shoe by its marketing alone.

Conclusion

If you spend any time on weightlifting forums you’ll find plenty of folks who still advocate lifting in bare feet. Our advice: don’t do it. It’s an idea as discredited as lifting in running shoes. Maybe 50 years ago the best shoes for lifting and running were so poor that barefoot was a realistic option, but not today. Today the best shoes for weightlifting and running feature first-class construction while also being affordable. They’ll not only help you push to new PBs but, more importantly, help you avoid injury and deftly move from the platform to the track without skipping a beat.

Up Next:

Check out our review of the Risto’s weightlifting shoes and best high-top weightlifting shoes. If you are a lifter that loves high top weightlifting shoes than you definitely need to check out that article.

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