Best Aerobic Shoes Reviewed & Rated
Having become popular in the 80s, aerobics is a high-intensity type of exercise that his highly customizable, and is available for anyone, anywhere. It began as a simple rhythmic callisthenic and evolved to cover and draw from dance, stepping, the use of free weights, kickboxing, and forms of martial arts. Being rhythmical, an excellent way to get the heart rate up, and a varied form of exercise, it is completely understandable why it has such a huge following, decades after it was first practiced.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 105 hrs of research
EVA Sock Liner
Micro G Foam Cushioning
- Under Armour Micro G Assert 7
- Reebok Crossfit Nano 8.0 Flexweave
- Adidas Alphabounce Instinct
- Ryka Hydro Sport
- ASICS GEL-Quantum 180 TR
- New Balance 608v5
- K-Swiss ST329 CMF
- Nike Metcon 4
- Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2
- Ryka Tenacity
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Aerobic Shoes
1. Under Armour Micro G Assert 7
EVA Sock Liner
Micro G Foam Cushioning
No Wide Sizes
Your feet will breather while landing those moves in these Under Armour shoes. They are made of a light foam and mesh in the upper, giving a good amount of breathability, while leather overlays provide stability to your midfoot. The sock liner is constructed with EVA, and the Micro G Foam down the length of the shoe takes care of shock absorption and energy return. Traction points at the high impact zone make the shoe stable and light, and the solid rubber outsole is non-marking, making it a good choice for gym floors. It’s worth to note that these are neutral shoes, made for those with regular arches.Read more
The EVA sock liner in this shoe will give you a custom, comfortable fit along with providing your feet with some security and stability. A good athletic shoe hugs the foot and this will do that in spades.
There is leather on the upper for midfoot stability, however, the Under Armour Micro G Assert 7 is mainly with mesh that is both extremely adaptable and great for allowing plentiful airflow. This will ensure that your foot is comfortable and cool, and with the lower amount of moisture inside the shoe, you are less likely to develop any blisters or hot spots. These shoes are mid-range in terms of price but for that cost, you are getting a high quality, meant for exercise, lightweight shoe that will leave your feet feeling great even after a high-impact workout. The Assert 7 comes in a variety of color options, so you can even purchase a pair that matches your favorite workout outfits.
2. Reebok Crossfit Nano 8.0 Flexweave
Toe Tection Technology
Abrasion Resistant Outsole
Dual Density Midsole
Developed for Crossfit classes that include a huge variety of movement types, the 8th edition of the Crossfit Nano is a stellar pair of footwear, and one of the brand’s most popular pairs of shoes. It’s a lightweight, low drop shoe with enough cushioning and tech to support you through the most challenging workouts, and it is available in 15 different color options, allowing you to choose the style that will look best with your workout clothes.Read more
The biggest update in this model is the newly developed Flexweave material used for the upper, which now includes flexible fibres that give stretch and improve fit, all while providing the stability that’s needed for gym workouts and short runs. It’s highly breathable, so you won’t have to worry about odors, and the classic lacing system and internal heel counter do a good job at providing lock-in.
On the bottom of the shoe, you get a high abrasion rubber outsole that wraps up around the arch to give added durability during rope climbs, and a ToeTection section at the front reinforces the toe box. The midsole is dual density, with plenty of cushioning for landings from jumps, but with enough stability for lifts, and the Ortholite sockliner on the inside maximizes comfort. The price of this model is around average, and it’s a great investment for almost anyone looking for a good gym shoe.
3. Adidas Alphabounce Instinct
Continental Rubber Outsole
Snug Fit for Some Users
Made for runners who need a versatile pair of footwear, the Alphabounce Instinct is a great investment for anyone looking for a single product to serve all their workout needs. This model will do just as well in an aerobics class as it will on the treadmill, and even looks great thanks to the futuristic design and simple color options based on whites, blacks, blues and grays.Read more
The upper of the Instinct features a seamless Forgedmesh upper which is breathable and molds to the foot, all while providing targeted support for linear and lateral movement. A sock-like construction offers a snug fit, while the lacing system reaches all the way to the side of the arch, securing the shoe and wrapping your foot from the midsole up.
The midsole is made with bounce technology, often found in basketball shoes, and it’s a great material to have in your training footwear. It’s both shock absorbing and responsive, and gives you a bouncy feeling underfoot. The entire sole is flexible, with a Continental rubber outsole that works just as well on wet as it does on dry surfaces. Depending on the color option you choose to go with, the cost of this sneaker will vary, but there are a few colorways that are slightly more affordable than others.
4. Ryka Hydro Sport
Requires Breaking In
The Ryka Hydro Sport is a hybrid shoe designed for both aerobics and water sports. The unique constellation of features it offers, which includes materials that are water resistant, removable footbeds, and webbing ideal for workouts that are done in and around water make this a shoe you should definitely consider. There’s no specific way an aerobic workout has to be designed to provide the most benefit, but if yours involves water these are the shoes for you.Read more
The functionality of the RYKA Hydro Sport shoes is reflected in its removable, perforated nitracel footbed, as well as the drainage ports in the soles, ensuring that these sneakers dry out quicker than normal. They have a thick outsole made of a “sticky” rubber that maximizes traction on wet surfaces, and it’s made even easier for use thanks to the easy slip on and off design.
These shoes are made from a synthetic and mesh fabric upper that is quick drying and water resistant. The material is also chlorine resistant and forms a comfortable spongy wall around your foot. The webbing along the midfoot cage provides excellent medial and lateral support. These are perfect for high-intensity water aerobics, but would also do quite well in an aerobics class that has you perspiring like crazy.
The RYKA Hydro Sport, cross trainers that are specifically designed for water aerobics and sports, have features that will enhance your aerobic experience and leave you feeling fresh and accomplished when you’re done. Their water resistant and chlorine resistant construction ensures that you won’t have to spend your entire workout in soaking wet shoes, especially thanks to their unique drainage system. For the price, there are no better quick drying shoes whether or not you wear them to the pool, on wet trails, or in a high-intensity aerobics class.
5. ASICS GEL-Quantum 180 TR
Synthetic Leather and Mesh Upper
Forefoot and Rearfoot GEL Cushion
Suitable for Lifting
An absolute favorite among gym buffs, the GEL-Quantum by ASICS is a model that was made for both running and cross training, and it focuses on providing the user with premium shock absorption and in-shoe comfortability. This stable pair of footwear comes in a few color options, has a 10mm foot drop, and weighs around average for this type of sneaker.Read more
The upper of the GEL-Quantum 180 TR is made with a combination of mesh and synthetic upper, coupled with synthetic underlays that provide the foot with all-direction support. Breathability is high in this model, and comfort is heightened through a padded mesh tongue, and a padded collar that protects the Achilles area.
The sole is made of GEL cushions in the forefoot and rearfoot sections, encased by a lightweight Solyte frame that all work together to cushion each landing when you run or jump. The Trusstic System prevents sole twisting, which means that you can even use these for lifting, and the ASICS High Abrasion Rubber does a great job on any surface, giving you a great amount of durability. Because this model was introduced a couple of years ago (and has remained a fan favorite), it can be bought at an average price, however, note that color options may be limited.
6. New Balance 608v5
Dual Density Foam Collar
Abrasion and Slip Resistant
May Get Hot
Break In Period
The 608 series by New Balance has been around for several years now, and each new version of the shoe brings improvements that anyone participating in an aerobics class will appreciate. The v5 is a premium training shoe that’s not just great for workouts, but looks and feels great for everyday wear as well. With a few simple color options you can choose the style that will fit your wardrobe best, and considering that it’s a high quality sneaker by a reputable brand, you can count on it serving you for a good amount of time.Read more
The upper of the 608v5 is exactly the same like the previous version, with the addition of several extra ventilation holes. Made with leather, it offers great support for both linear and lateral movement, and although it will take a few wears to break in, it will perfectly adapt to your foot shape. The mesh lining and dual density foam collar both greatly contribute to the comfortability factor.Another great thing about this shoe is the fact that it can be bought in standard, wide and extra wide widths.
In the sole, this model features the brand’s ABZORB shock absorption system in the heel that prevents force from negatively impacting your joints and muscles, as well as a full-length foam midsole. The rubber outsole is abrasion and slip resistant, and has been designed in a way that minimizes weight. The price of this shoe is below average, and it makes for a great investment for anyone who is looking for a durable pair of workout shoes.
7. K-Swiss ST329 CMF
Memory Foam Footbed
High Grip Outsole
Shock Absorbing Heel
No Wide Sizes Available
The ST329 was originally designed as a tennis shoe, developed by K-Swiss as their signature pair of athletic footwear. Thanks to it’s quality make, leather upper, and super shock absorbing cushioning, it’s a durable pair of shoes that will work not only for tennis, but aerobics or just regular lifestyle use as well. It’s got a thick rubber outsole with generous tread that works well on a variety of indoor and outdoor surfaces, while boasting some comfort elevating features on the inside that make it stand out from similarly priced shoes.Read more
The K-Swiss ST329 CMF is made from high-quality leather on the upper and a thick rubber sole that has maximum shock absorption. It also boasts a deep multi-dimensional tread, perfect for tennis but also for aerobics where quick footwork and rapidly changing movements require non-slip designs to prevent injury. The area around the heel cup is reinforced with dual foam to ensure the most energy return. Their sleek, streamlined look also helps them go from the gym to the street without a second thought.
These shoes have been specifically designed for comfort, and though your aerobic exercise may only last an hour, these shoes could be worn for many more. Orthotic inserts aren’t needed when these shoes have custom made memory foam footbeds, allowing you ease of movement, freedom from joint pain, and the feeling of walking on air. K-Swiss may have had their origins in tennis, but these elite sneakers can be used for a variety of athletic purposes. These durable sneakers are built to last, and can be used beyond the tennis courts thanks to great multi-directional traction on the bottom of the sole, extra bounce and energy return in the heel, and a memory foam footbed that cushions your feet and protects them from fatigue, especially if you’ll still be wearing these shoes well after your workout is over. Best of all? They’re affordable, ranking low on this list when it comes to price.
8. Nike Metcon 4
Sticky Rubber Outsole
Mesh Ankle and Heel Collar
Laces Too Long
A pair of sneakers made for various types of indoor exercise, the Nike Metcon 4 is the latest edition of Nike’s highest rated cross training shoe. An incredibly stylish choice with over 9 color options, it’s a pair of footwear you’ll greatly enjoy wearing during your high intensity aerobics classes. It’s made to be flexible but supportive in the upper, soft to the touch and breathable, stable and grippy in the outsole, and most importantly, durable, so that you can wear them for quite some time to come.Read more
Like a large number of Nike’s running shoes, the Metcon is also made from a textured mesh that has an increased durability to traditional mesh materials. But, in order to add a greater level of support, Flywire cables wrap up from the bottom of the shoe, around the midfoot, all the way to the top, enabling you to move in any way possible without having to worry about stability.
What makes aerobics such an effective form of exercise is the variety of movement types it can incorporate. From jumping, stepping, lateral movement, and even dance inspired moves, it will push you to your limits. The Nike Metcon 4 allows you to do all of this, thanks to the stabilizing heel cup that ensures a good footing with plenty of ankle stability to prevent sprains and injury. Nike footwear comes expensive, and the same goes for the Metcon 4. First and foremost, it’s the latest edition of the model, making use of high quality materials which were developed with high performance in mind. Second, it’s a stylish piece of footwear that looks so good you might even be tempted to wear it as a pair of everyday shoes.
9. Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2
Sticky Rubber Outsole
Welded Upper Overlays
Secure Lacing System
0 mm Drop
This pair of cross training shoes is so versatile, you will be able to use it for all of your workouts, be it aerobics, jumping rope, running or weightlifting. It’s made with a 0 mm drop, putting your body in a completely neutral position that won’t push you towards your toes. It only comes in two colors, but you won’t care about its appearance once you consider all the performance features it offers, including the extremely light weight that will allow you to train longer with less fatigue.Read more
The best part of the F-Lite 235 v2 is the outsole made with a sticky rubber compound that will grip all indoor gym surfaces, no matter of the way or direction in which you’re moving. 3 mm traction lugs allow for excellent surface grip, and the Meta-flex technology allows your foot to move in an unconstricted way, giving excellent flexibility in all directions.
The best workout footwear will give you a snug fit that’s neither too loose, nor too constricting. Hitting the sweet spot, the F-Lite 235 v2 is made with a breathable upper that allows a good level of moisture management, but wraps the foot with welded overlays for a more secure training session. Ranking above average when it comes to price, the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2 may be a bit too expensive for some people, but if you’re in need of a versatile pair of sneakers for a variety of training sessions, then it’s definitely worth the investment. You’ll appreciate the fact that these shoes are quite durable, so you’ll be able to use them for more than just a few months.
10. Ryka Tenacity
Hook and Loop Closure
High Top Style
The Ryka Tenacity is a cross trainer that looks like something out of Back to the Future II. It sits higher on the ankle and resembles more of a boot than a shoe. It’s ideally suited for dance training and aerobic workouts in a gym setting that might combine weights. It’s not as lightweight as other RYKA shoes, but some wearers will welcome the added stability of a little more rubber, padding, and upper materials.Read more
This is the only high top shoe featured on this list, and because of its 4” shaft measurements, it goes well beyond the ankle bone and wraps around to provide lots of support and stability. The adjustable hook and loop strap lets you customize the fit to your own preference. It is made of a combination of mesh and synthetic materials, giving you lots of breathability but also flexibility.
The Tenacity can be worn for your aerobic workout, your gym session, or even out and about, with its youthful, futuristic style. RYKA has put some time into the design of this shoe, making it both fashionable and functional. It also features an N-gauge EVA foam pad under the forefoot so that calf exercises will be a breeze, and dance workouts involving leg extension or pronation will be comfortable. Their design also allows for easy pivoting, essential in aerobics classes. They require almost no break in time so you can get right to your workout without any problems! RYKA has put a lot of thought and care into the design of the RYKA Tenacity, culminating in the perfect shoe for both aerobics, dance, and a gym session. Their high top design supports the ankle, while the N-gage EVA foam pad supports the forefoot. The highly breathable mesh design keeps your feet cool and dry, and the synthetic components bring the support and the style. The addition of a hook and loop lacing system means you can easily adjust the fit of the shoe throughout your workout. For the price, they’re definitely one of the best aerobic shoes on the market, particularly if you dig a retro style.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
A good aerobic workout will leave you sweating and breathing hard. Your feet should not have to work as hard to breathe. A breathable shoe is important when you’re exercising to keep your foot comfortable and dry. Good aerobics shoes will allow air to circulate near your feet to regulate their temperature. This is especially important if you have sweaty feet or if you suffer from athlete’s foot or other skin condition.
Breathability in shoes is achieved in a number of ways. Shoe manufacturers can use:
Portholes – add small holes at the sides that allow air in and that work really well in a leather or synthetic leather upper.
Mesh or Canvas – which provide great breathability as well, although, canvas does tend to be a little too stiff for aerobics.
Cut Ventilation – added ventilation in the sole that is really great for wet conditions like water aerobics.
The best ventilation in an aerobics shoe is provided by mesh uppers. This allows air in all around the foot while still providing for a shoe that hugs the top of your foot, keeping it in a good, stable position.
Poor ventilation can cause your feet to stay uncomfortable, sweaty and hot which will ruin the workout. Retaining sweat inside the shoe will also lead to a build-up of microbes and an unpleasant smell. We recommend that you allow your shoes to air out after use, no matter what type of ventilation it may have. We also recommend wearing a fresh pair of natural fiber socks while in your aerobics class, to keep your feet and your shoes in their very best shape.
Whether you are participating in lower or modified impact aerobics or high-impact, high-energy kickboxing aerobics classes, your feet need to stay comfortable throughout. The amount of cushioning you need and where will depend on the shape of your foot and your preference.
For those with high arches, padding around the tongue and top of the foot will be important. Some people will prefer to have a little thicker padding around the ankle. Most importantly for aerobics though are:
Cushioned, fitted insole
The bottoms of your feet take a pounding during aerobics. A passed, fitted insole will help to soften those blows and keep your feet from becoming sore and exhausted.
EVA or other cushioned midsole
No one thinks about the midsole until they go home to soak their feet in an Epsom bath. EVA is a material that is firm but cushioned to absorb the impact of your weight as you walk, jump, kick or, yes I am going to say it, do burpees. Gel materials also work well. If the shoes have memory foam, the foam should be thicker rather than thin. The all-over shock absorption and cushion are important for the ongoing comfort of your feet.
Extra heel cushioning
Your heels are designed to take some impact. They evolved with a little shock absorption of their own but they can always use a little help, especially while doing aerobics. Extra cushioning in the heel will prevent fatigue.
Other factors will contribute to your comfort as well. A good aerobics shoe will close properly with traditional laces or with velcro straps, to ensure a proper, firm but not tight fit. It will also be constructed of quality materials that won’t cause sore spots or irritation while working out. Overall, look for these extra comfort features when you are considering a shoe for aerobics.
When considering fit, the shoe should not be loose. You want the perfect snug but not tight hug. Your feet should not lose circulation especially while working out. Because feet swell with exercise, they should be adjustable. If you want a little extra support in the ankle, choose a high top that is well fitting and adjustable.
If you have high arches, look for a shoe with extra arch support so it fits the bottom of your foot well, or choose to wear a custom insole or orthotic. Make sure there is enough room for your toes, to avoid having them compressed during the workout. The better the fit, the more comfortable you and your feet will be.
Aerobics exercise requires a lot of flexibility to move safely and smoothly through the various exercises at a pace that benefits your body. Jumping, running, kicking, the dreaded burpee, squatting, and scissor kicks all require that we support our body weight while making the most of the flexibility in our joints. They also require a shoe that can move to keep pace with the rest of our body.
When it comes to flexibility, the perfect aerobics shoe has:
A pliable sole. Rubber is an excellent choice.
A flexible, not too stiff upper.
More support if you have flatter feet; and
Greater flexibility if you have high arches.
What to avoid
Rubber that is too thick. It should be able to fold in on itself or have cut grooves that allow it to fold.
Soles that are too thin or too flexible, you will not have enough stability (kind of like trying to run a marathon in a pair of flip-flops)
Rigid soles (like chemically hardened rubbers) that will not flex.
The ability to move in the shoe also means the ability to pivot. Pivoting is an important part of most aerobics routines these days. A good aerobics shoe will have traction in the right places to keep you safe on your feet while pivoting. In an aerobics shoe, traction is most important in the forefoot because you pivot using the ball of the foot and all of the pressure of your body weight and momentum is on the ball at the moment of the pivot. Look for a shoe that has good traction in the forefoot and most especially under the ball of the feet.
Most shoe manufacturers don’t make anything they call an aerobics shoe. This is because they know that aerobics is a varied exercise that may be best suited to a cross-trainer, a running shoe, a trail runner, a water shoe, or a cross-fit type shoe. What you need will be based entirely on the type of aerobics you want to participate in.
look for a shoe that has extra shock absorption and excellent traction, like cross-training shoes and trail runners.
For low-impact, modified aerobics, look for good traction and lots of cushion and support in the insole. You also, as much as possible, want to have a shoe that is lightweight.
For dance aerobics, look for a shoe that has extra flexibility, is lightweight, and shock absorbing.
The bonus of looking for an athletic shoe that will suit the type of aerobics that you want to do is that you will have a shoe that you can also wear to participate in other sports and activities. Take that aerobics class on Monday and go ahead on to cross-fit on Tuesday. Go from the gym to a run on the trail. Whatever your life style, an aerobics shoe will be versatile.
No matter how you get your exercise, there is sure to be a shoe on this list to suit your needs.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Aerobics are a wonderful activity to help you burn calories, lose weight, and get better cardiovascular endurance. There are several kinds of aerobics you can get involved with, whether it be classes like step, spinning, dance or zumba, each will get your heart rate up and pumping.
Go out of your comfort zone for some fun, and sign up for a new class you've never done before-you'll feel accomplished, energized, and learn something different!
While aerobics can help you lose weight and get in shape, it's really down to changing your lifestyle habits that can help you stick to your healthy lifestyle. Here are a few beginner tips to help you in the kitchen:
1). Sit down for breakfast: carve out the time in your busy day to actually ENJOY your breakfast, even if it's a quick 10 minute sitting in front of the window watching the sunrise.
2). Swap out things gradually: making small changes you can stick to in your nutrition can add up over time, and doing it in a gradual way will make you less likely to slip up. Swap out candy for fruits, fried foods for grilled foods, and sodas with sparkling waters.
Other Factors to Consider
Aerobic shoes come in an array of shapes and sizes, suitable for the beginner to the high-performance athlete. Though there is not one particular style of shoe you should exclusively use for this type of exercise, there are key features to look for – stability, traction, flexibility and comfort are important whether you’re hitting the gym or doing a home workout.
Whether you participate in high-impact, high-cardio, sweat until you drop aerobics, or low-impact, improving your health and flexibility aerobics, in the water or out, at home or as a break from your Iron Man training schedule, there is a shoe for you in this list.
Including a lot of high-impact movement, aerobics can take its toll on the body, which is why you want something that will take care of your feet. To prevent your muscles and joints from experiencing too much fatigue, discomfort or even pain, a high quality pair of shoes is crucial.
The right shoe for aerobics is a balance of stability so you move confidently, cushion to help you through those higher-impact moves, breathability to take care of sweat, and sturdy construction so they last. They don’t have to be expensive but they should be well built. We’ve gathered a list of the best shoes for aerobics for you to choose from below. Wearing any of these will let you focus on your moves without having to stop to think about your shoes. Happy Workout!
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What are the best shoes for aerobics?
Aerobics can encompass a lot of different types of activities from dance to calisthenics to yoga to stepping. It may be very high-impact or low or modified impact. As a result, a lot of different types of athletic shoes can be used for aerobics. What you want to look for are the specific features of the shoes that will be the most beneficial for your aerobic workout. Whatever your specific needs, you will find a shoe above that suits.
q: Can cross-trainers be used for aerobics?
Cross-training sneakers are one of the best shoes for aerobics, because they’re designed to be used for a variety of different athletic activities. They’re great for basketball, for running, for the gym, and for HIIT. They often have great arch support, mesh for breathability and airflow, rubber for shock absorption, and provide a lot of stability without sacrificing flexibility. They range from very lightweight to a heavier shoe, depending on the fit and feel that athletes want. They are great for energy return and eliminating foot fatigue.
q: How should aerobics shoes fit?
Aerobic shoes should generally feel lightweight and be snug but not tight on your feet. They should never feel tight or cut off circulation. Remember that your feet will swell after exercise to be sure to accommodate that. Also, see our criteria above for tips on a good fit.
q: Can aerobic shoes be used for other activity?
Since aerobics shoes can be runners, cross-trainers, trail runners or another type of athletic shoe, they certainly can be used for other activities. However, if you regularly participate in aerobics and another form of exercise, like running or cross-fit, it is probably best to purchase a specialized pair for the other activity. Both pairs will last longer and you will not wear then down unevenly. Also, some gyms prohibit the use of shoes that are used outside, a good thing to keep in mind.