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What Shoes Do You Use In The Gym?

Merry christmas everybody!

Having used indoor aerobic style training shoes for several years, because I used to mix my gym sessions with different group workouts before Covid. Now I reside in the gym exclusively for bodybuilding purposes. Even though I perform most conventional lifts, I spend about half the time with machines. I know practically nothing about the subject of lifter’s shoes.

Can anyone point me in the right direction?
Is there a more general purpose allround type of lifter’s shoe that works not only for powerlifts?What shoes do you use, and do you like them?

Thanks in advance!

Any of the CrossFit/ WOD shoes I find are pretty solid for anything.

The Reebok Nanos had a billion versions. I don’t know what people like here anymore.

Nike’s MetCons were my favorite for awhile, but I started to fall out of love with Nike in general so I haven’t tried the newer ones. I have a pair in Tarheel colors that are baller, though; unfortunately, they’ve started up with the permastink.

I recently tried UnderArmour’s tribase reign (or something like that), and I like them! They have the sock kind of fit, which I’d never tried before these; I neither love nor hate it. They also have a really solid base with a bit of heel drop (I don’t like the completely flat shoes). These are the first-ever UA shoes I’ve liked.

To sum up, I think each of the big brands have good choices for “training” shoes. For instance, I know people like New Balance Minimus, but I’ve never tried them. My decision factor when my shoes get too stinky tends to be what’s on sale that meets my criteria:

  • Low cut
  • Sturdy sole
  • Flexible toe box
  • 4+mm heel drop
  • Really loud colors
  • Mesh outer

Deadlift slippers are my go to for squats and deadlifts.

For everyting else


I usually wear Nike skate shoes but, a few months ago bought a pair of Lems minimalist shoes. Highly recommend them.

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If you are just lifting weights, whatever shoe that is comfortable. If doing wide stance squats save some money and get some Converse high top Chuck Taylors. Deadlift in your socks.
If you are considering competitive Olympic lifting, buy one recommended by Olympic lifters


Just regular shoes with no brand or type…cost 9.99…


Chuck Taylors in the gym but they are useless for walking.


I have a lot of shoes blushes. I like Nike Metcons that @TrainForPain suggested. They’re decent all-purpose within a gym environment. Given their Crossfit origins they hold up nicely for say a squat workout that also includes box jumps.

I have a pair of Olympic weightlifting shoes that I squat in. Since I somewhat plan my sessions I’ll usually do anything quad-dominant wearing these. I do have a tiny shoehorn in my gym bag if I decide to swap.

It’s worth noting, I think, that Brian Alsruhe seems to do almost all his lifting in his oly-shoes. And broad jumps too, among other things where my first instinct would have been to use a different shoe.

My favourite shoe though is a pair of Feiyue shoes. They are dirt cheap assuming you don’t get ones made in France. The Chinese ones are better anyway, IMHO. The French ones are squishier, and fall apart far sooner. What I like about them is how minimal they are, and nevertheless they hold up to road work (in my experience). I sometimes use them as casual wear (different pair that I don’t intend to stink up)

You might have an easier time finding them if you search for Wushu shoes.


This is also my approach.

I go in Amazon, order by price (low to high) and pick the cheapest things that will cover my feet. They invariably last me over a year of daily use with no issues.


My Chuck Taylors only saw the gym. And only on leg day.

Majority of my training is done in a pair of 2014 Pendlay Do-wins. They’re weightlifting shoes, so great for taking weights off the floor, pressing overhead, squatting, and benching if you press from your heels (which I used to do, because I used to compete in a federation that required it).

On deadlift days, I wear a pair of Mark Bell’s Crossfit Lite shoes, which I’m pretty sure he stopped making a long while back. They’re just souped up Chuck Taylors.

I competed in my only 3 powerlifting meets and my first 3 strongman shows in a pair of Chucks and did just fine that way too. But these days, they have a lot of padding in them, so look for the old school style.


I train at home and if I’m doing something like upper body only movements and maybe kb swings at the end, I will wear whatever is around - flip flops, slippers, no shoes of any kind, or my training shoes. I’m not that worried about it. For lower body stuff and conditioning I have an old pair of some kind of under armours. They are still supportive and have been great shoes training wise for many years now. I will run, squat, deadlift, and burpee in them. I used to use chucks for my squat and deadlift day back when I was powerlifting. I still have them, but don’t really use them anymore.

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I have been training at home for 2 years now but still prefer to wear specific shoes.

I like Inov8 F Lite. I’ve had 192, 195 and now on 235. They are good all-rounders and tend to last about 2 years with daily use. What goes first is always the bendy bit between the toe box and the laces.

I lift in Inov8 Fastlift but just as comfy in the f-lites.

I also have a pair of Nike Metcon which are just as good, they just squeak a bit.

Over the years I have also worn Vibram Fivefingers and Chuck Taylors.


40 years ago, I trained barefoot in the gym, loved it

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That’s my preference, but it’s at home.

Most gyms have a shoe policy for hygienic purposes.

Nowadays yes…but back then it was primitive style in the gyms, :laughing:

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A big thank you to all responders! You lead me in the right direction and made my search for further information a fun and easy journey.

I will try the Metcon 7 for a start, and compare them to Nano X1. A versatile lifter’s shoe! If none of these doesn’t sit well, I will thankfully try the other suggested alternatives.

Btw, Chuck Taylors (or barefoot lifting) won’t do it for me, as my foot arches need more support.

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I train in a pair of beat up Nike tennis shoes that look like just regular “lawn mowing” shoes. I also wear them to work, to the grocery store. I need new shoes, but My point is, I usually just have one pair of shoes that I wear for everything that doesn’t call for formal attire.


Now were talking serious usage! You should be sponsored by Nike, Dave! LOL

Actually, my runners shoes used to follow a certain periodization scheme. First they were running shoes (or everyday walking shoes), then I used them to the gym and back for a period - before finally using them while mowing the lawn or washing the car. Then they were left in a cupboard for some time before I dared to throw them away.

My indoor gym shoes follow a more true path. I use them until they get seriously broken with holes and eventually the sole will break loose. A lifeline of 3-4 years. I once threw a pair away in the bin at the hospital gym. The day after a collegue (known for being careful with money) had them on in the gym! Maybe his timeline of usage is longer than mine? To his defence I admit I should buy new shoes more often. LOL


I use my running shoes which are Atreyus. Super, super comfortable and good support

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