Best Shoes for Orangetheory – 2021 Buying Guide

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
Test Winner: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
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If you are not familiar with Orangetheory, you have come to the right place. Orangetheory is a 1-hour full-body workout that focuses primarily on strength and endurance. It uses heart rate-based interval training to burn more calories post-workout than traditional exercise.

The benefit of the workout is that is it effective for all fitness levels which is great news whether you are starting for the first time or a seasoned fitness pro! 

But what are the best shoes to wear for an Orangetheory workout? Do not worry, we have got you covered. When it comes to choosing the best shoes for the Orangetheory workout, we have researched and selected some of the best shoes on the market.

Look below at the 10 best shoes that will help you complete your Orangetheory workout. 

Standout Picks

Brooks Ravenna 11
For those who need a stability shoe to correct mild overpronation or help support flat arches, but still want a lightweight model, the 11th edition of the Brooks Ravenna offers an excellent solution. This road running shoe is a popular option among those who prefer to forego bulk, and focus on working smarter with less. It’s a simple looking pair of footwear, with just a couple of color options and a 10mm heel to toe drop that will work well for the average user.
Amazon Link
Brooks Men's Adrenaline GTS 21
One of Brooks’ best running shoes, the Adrenaline GTS 21 is a stability shoe developed for users with flat to medium arches and mild overpronation. But what makes it such a great option for indoor workouts is the fit, generous cushioning and durable outsole. In true Brooks fashion, it comes both in medium and wide widths, so users who need a bit more toe space won’t have trouble finding a size that works with their foot shape.
Amazon Link
Nike Free X Metcon 2Men's Training Shoe
This futuristic looking shoe was designed to do well with a wide variety of workouts, including runs and gym sessions. It’s highly breathable, supportive and stable, and in true Nike fashion, it looks amazing, with plenty of popping color options. The Nike Free X Metcon 2 combines the best parts of Nike’s flagship models for great results you’ll definitely appreciate.
Amazon Link
New Balance Women’s FuelCore Nergize V1 Sneaker 
Stylish and comfortable, these New Balance FuelCore Nergize V1 are a fantastic workout shoe, designed to support you through intense exercise. The women’s New Balance sneakers have a REVlite midsole that provides an extremely responsive ride and lightweight cushioning, making them a great shoe for intense exercise.
Amazon Link
adidas Men's Alphabounce Beyond 2 Running Shoe
The Alphabounce Beyond 2 by Adidas is a versatile running sneaker that puts emphasis on breathability and flexibility, while providing you with the right amount of cushioning you will need during your Orangetheory sessions. This neutral shoe comes in a huge number of color options, so you can show off your personal style during your favorite workouts.
Amazon Link
Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave
The brand behind official CrossFit gear knows a thing or two about making a great pair of shoes for versatile movement. The Nano 8 Flexweave by Reebok is the best version of this shoe yet, with improvements in terms of fit and performance, and a price point which will work for most people looking for quality, durable footwear. The shoe is focused on stability, with a 4mm drop that will allow you to perform at your peak, whether it’s cardio or a power workout you’re doing.
Amazon Link
Saucony Women’s VERSAFOAM Cohesion 12 Road Running Shoe 
Known for being one of the most respected names in running shoes, Saucony, has another shoe to add to its collection, the Saucony VERSAFOAM Cohesion 12. Mixing performance technology and athletic style, the new Cohesion 12 will easily become your favorite pair for the gym.
Amazon Link
Mizuno Men's Wave Inspire 17 Running Shoe
This version of the shoe has been nicely updated from previous versions but the company did not add any weight or bulk. The Mizuno shoe category always strives to provide a fluid feel upon roll through from heel to toe. The springlike bounce-back lets you transition quickly between exercise moves. Hidden internal straps support and cradle the midfoot to give unmatched support.
Amazon Link
ALTRA Men’s ALM1976P HIIT XT 2
ALTRA has refined the already popular HIIT XT both in fit and function, to make way for the new HIIT XT 2. Improved in durability, flexibility, comfort, and more, there is nothing this shoe cannot do. It features a wrap-around sticky rubber outsole that is extremely durable.
Amazon Link
Nike Women’s Flex Trainer 9 Sneaker 
Perfect for circuit training, the Nike Flex Trainer 9 is a reliable shoe that will provide you with the right level of support so you can achieve your workout in no time at all. Different from a lot of the other shoes in our collection, this Nike sneaker is built with a durable foam midsole that doubles up as an outsole, reducing the weight of the shoe and making it one of the lightest sneakers in our collection.
Amazon Link

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Durability

The number one factor we strive to bring with the highest level of shoes to the list is for durability.

No one wants to spend money on shoes that don’t last more than a few weeks. Moreover, shoes can be expensive! Some athletic shoes easily top hundreds of dollars! The durability factor will be especially true for Orangetheory.

The workouts are very demanding of the body, as well as the shoes. Therefore, we searched through so many shoes to find the footwear with the highest durability.

Material

Some people save and budget for everything. Also, they plan for the shoes they do purchase to last a definitive amount of time. If the shoes wear out before then, it might not be in their budget to replace them. Some key components that make a shoe durable are the material, the construction method, and the care guidelines.

However, it also depends on how the buyer takes care of the shoes. New technology allows for shoes to be constructed from different materials that are all very durable. Mesh is usually the chosen material to use in athletic shoes as it supports good air flow and encourages flexibility of the shoe. Furthermore, some shoes are made of leather. While leather has its benefits to long-lasting capabilities, it can be hotter on the foot.

Construction Method

Secondly, the construction method heavily constitutes how long a shoe is going to last. If the shoe is assembled with poor standards and no overseeing quality control, the durability is not going to be there. Shoes that have good strong materials and properly tuned machinery or human assembly are going to last longer. The stitching method has a lot to do with good durability.

Reinforced stitching or thread that is heavy duty will add to the durability of a shoe.Glue is also widely used in the construction of a shoe. Glue binds the layers of the sole together. Additionally, glue is sometimes used to attach the upper to the sole if the stitching is not present. As long as the glue is of good quality and commercial grade, it is wonderful to use.

It also gives the shoe a more seamless than stitching look if that is what the designer is looking for. However, with glue, it is hard to fix should it come loose somewhere on the shoe.

Support

Another highly important characteristic to look for in a shoe for Orangetheory is the amount of support and the stability it provides.

Orangetheory is a fast-paced and rigorous workout. You absolutely must have shoes that can keep up with the demands of the class without sacrificing your form and jeopardizing your body. The last thing you need to have happened is sustaining an injury while working out.

Most of the time, aside from user error, injuries in a gym setting can be prevented with proper footwear. Correspondingly, the injuries may not be felt at the time of class but more likely when you get home hours later.

Wearing improper shoes for the activity can result in sprains, torn muscles, shin splints, collapsed arches, and more. This is not supposed to scare you away from exercise. But rather, to draw attention to the utmost importance of wearing the proper shoes.

Each day more than 10,000 people seek treatment at an emergency facility for injuries sustained in sports, recreation, and exercise. This is not including to a person’s routine doctor. Equally important, a large portion of injuries could have been prevented if wearing the right shoes.

A highly supportive shoe will have a padded collar and tongue area. This supports the ankle from rolling out from under you and the top of the foot from chafing. Supporting the ankles prevents sprains and even broken ankles.

The overall structure of the shoe will be just rigid enough to keep the foot secure; while at the same time allowing for some flexibility so you can complete the movements required in Orangetheory maneuvers.

Breathability

If you are fully active for an entire hour and doing the workouts set forth in Orangetheory, you will pour buckets of sweat.

It is easy to wipe your face or neck with a towel when you are sweating. However, it is not so easy to wipe your feet while in the middle of working out. Your feet are stuck inside shoes and by personal choice socks. You will need to find a shoe that has a very high breathability and air flow component.

Materials that have the highest breathability are usually mesh or mesh-like. Mesh is an interwoven design where air can flow through the microscopic holes between the strands of fabric. It allows moisture and heat to escape from the shoe. Mesh is also faster drying than a material such as leather.

It won’t retain smells as easily as leather or some synthetic materials. Leather, while generally considered by some to be more durable, will most definitely keep your feet hotter. If you are a person that is not bothered by wet feet then you can choose either option.

However, if you are searching for a shoe that will allow air to flow through and around the shoe, a mesh design will be your best choice.

Shoes that stay wet have a higher chance of growing bacteria, fungus, or mold inside them. Therefore, it is important if your shoes do get sweaty to get them dry after every class. Otherwise, not only are you risking contracting a fungus, you are lessening the life of your shoes.

Responsiveness

With all of the quick motions and high intensity that Orangetheory fans do, having a shoe that can keep up will be imperative to the success of your workout.

If you have on shoes that work against you instead of assisting you, you could face burn out and fatigue. It will make it hard for you to be successful on your journey with Orangetheory if you cannot keep up. No one likes to be discouraged while working out.

A shoe that is designed to move with your foot and with just enough sole structure to stick and stay will foster great success. You need a shoe that is going to be ultra-responsive that within milliseconds can absorb the impact of the foot and transfer the energy back out to fuel your workout.

Furthermore, you should look for a shoe that has a pretty flexible sole. If you purchase a sole that is too rigid to allow for quick and brisk movements. The transitions of your foot through each exercise is going to completely rely on the midsole construction of the shoe.

Contrary to that, if you have a midsole design that is too loose, you risk the chance of injury because the shoe does not hold underfoot. Moreover, it does not support the integrity of the foot. Upon landing, if the midsole is too weak, you could land incorrectly or off-gait and seriously injure the foot. You could potentially break the bones of the foot, twist an ankle, or sustain a worse injury.

Traction

With the prevalence of slips and falls, it is super important to find a shoe that provides adequate grip.

More importantly, finding the right balance between grip and release. Likewise, many falls result from the traction being too tough and not releasing the shoe from the ground quickly enough. You should consider shoes that have a good rubber sole. The tread thickness off of the sole should be very small; to clarify, it should barely come off the sole and almost appearing flush with the sole.

The sole of a shoe will probably be the first thing to wear out on the shoe. Keep a watchful eye on the soles of the shoe. You can analyze the treadwear to see if you have regular pronation, which is the way your foot lands and rolls through. On the other hand, you could have overpronation or under pronation. This will cause the soles and traction to break down unevenly.

Furthermore, shoes that are being produced now compared to many years ago are being made from materials that are lightweight without losing all of the great features of a more dense shoe. However, the benefit to a lighter weight shoe is many faceted.

It can prevent leg fatigue and up your exercise ability. Being able to lift your feet quickly and easily will add to the success you find in doing Oranetheory workouts. When you are done with your workout you will not feel as if you have walked through quicksand if you choose a lightweight shoe. You will have a quicker recovery time as well.

Lastly, you should only choose to have weights on your legs with working out not having bulky shoes that weigh you down.

Top 10 Shoes for Orangetheory

1. Brooks Ravenna 11

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Brooks Ravenna 11
Brooks Ravenna 11
Brooks Ravenna 11
Amazon Link

For those who need a stability shoe to correct mild overpronation or help support flat arches, but still want a lightweight model, the 11th edition of the Brooks Ravenna offers an excellent solution. This road running shoe is a popular option among those who prefer to forego bulk, and focus on working smarter with less. It’s a simple looking pair of footwear, with just a couple of color options and a 10mm heel to toe drop that will work well for the average user.

The upper of the Ravenna uses a one-piece mesh upper that is mainly focused on providing adequate air flow and moisture management. Key sections are made with close-woven material to increase durability, while the midfoot is held in place through synthetic overlays that extend from the arch up to the laces.

The tongue and collar are lightly padded, preventing heel pain and allowing you to tighten the fit as much as you need.

The outsole uses BioMoGo DNA cushioning for a responsive ride that’s durable and works well for users of different weights. As for stability, that’s ensured by a GuideRails system that’s placed on the sides of the shoe, directing the foot’s movement, preventing it from rolling inwards or outwards during all types of movement.

The outsole is made with blown rubber, but what makes it great for Orangetheory workouts is the Midfoot Transition zone which is put there for a higher level of flexibility. As for cost, this model ranks slightly higher than average but isn’t as expensive as some of the other models listed in this guide.

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2. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Brooks Men's Adrenaline GTS 21
Brooks Men's Adrenaline GTS 21
Brooks Men's Adrenaline GTS 21
Amazon Link

One of Brooks’ best running shoes, the Adrenaline GTS 21 is a stability shoe developed for users with flat to medium arches and mild overpronation. But what makes it such a great option for indoor workouts is the fit, generous cushioning and durable outsole. In true Brooks fashion, it comes both in medium and wide widths, so users who need a bit more toe space won’t have trouble finding a size that works with their foot shape.

The upper of the Adrenaline uses engineered mesh that will allow for great moisture management, while the 3D print overlays ensure support in key areas. Both the collar and tongue are generously padded for the best possible in-shoe feel, and the lacing system allows for easy adjustments.

The sole of the Brooks Adrenaline is a work of art in itself, as it uses BioMoGo Technology which cushions based on your personal needs and is environmentally friendly. The heel portion includes a DNA Loft insert that’s highly shock absorbing and offers great rebound, while the GuideRail Holistic Support System prevents your foot from rolling inwards during runs and workouts.

The outsole uses blown rubber for lightweight traction and added cushioning, while the flex grooves allow the foot to move naturally, without constraints.

As for the price, this shoe ranks slightly above average, but is an overall good investment for most users who need a bit of extra support, and a higher level of shock protection.

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3. Nike Free X Metcon 2

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Nike Free X Metcon 2Men's Training Shoe
Nike Free X Metcon 2Men's Training Shoe
Nike Free X Metcon 2Men's Training Shoe
Amazon Link

This futuristic looking shoe was designed to do well with a wide variety of workouts, including runs and gym sessions. It’s highly breathable, supportive and stable, and in true Nike fashion, it looks amazing, with plenty of popping color options. The Nike Free X Metcon 2 combines the best parts of Nike’s flagship models for great results you’ll definitely appreciate.

The upper combines lightweight, flexible and breathable mesh in the forefoot area, with a neoprene construction in the midfoot for a fit that looks and works great. A bootie construction ensures a seamless fit, with the TPU cage and fully customizable lacing system allowing for the shoe to wrap up around the midfoot from the arch. A pull tab at the heel makes on and off easier than most other models, while an external heel counter ensures a locked in feel.

The midsole of this model uses double density foam for shock absorption, but it’s placed on a firm base for great support even during heavy lifting. The outsole combines carbon rubber, which is extremely durable (and is placed on the inside of the big toe to prevent wear in the area), and blown rubber for increased cushioning.

The traction pattern resembles that found on the Free RN 2018, which allow a great amount of flexibility. In terms of price, this shoe falls in the average category, and is a great investment for most users.

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4. New Balance FuelCore Nergize V1

Where to buy
Amazon Link
New Balance Women’s FuelCore Nergize V1 Sneaker 
New Balance Women’s FuelCore Nergize V1 Sneaker 
New Balance Women’s FuelCore Nergize V1 Sneaker 
Amazon Link

Stylish and comfortable, these New Balance FuelCore Nergize V1 are a fantastic workout shoe, designed to support you through intense exercise. The women’s New Balance sneakers have a REVlite midsole that provides an extremely responsive ride and lightweight cushioning, making them a great shoe for intense exercise.

Featuring an NB Memory Sole insert, these provide a comfy base for every step you take. The shoe has a synthetic and mesh upper that is extremely lightweight, allowing your feet to breathe. It also caters to people with plantar fasciitis.

The New Balance training shoe offers a sleek and stylish design with a contemporary bootie upper construction. It provides a snug and supportive fit that you will not want to take off.

It comes in a variety of colors, 26 to be exact, as well as in a variety of sizes, including wide options. Available for a mid-price, this option is a brilliant buy that you will not want to miss out on! 

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5. Adidas Alphabounce Beyond 2

Where to buy
Amazon Link
adidas Men's Alphabounce Beyond 2 Running Shoe
adidas Men's Alphabounce Beyond 2 Running Shoe
adidas Men's Alphabounce Beyond 2 Running Shoe
Amazon Link

The Alphabounce Beyond 2 by Adidas is a versatile running sneaker that puts emphasis on breathability and flexibility, while providing you with the right amount of cushioning you will need during your Orangetheory sessions. This neutral shoe comes in a huge number of color options, so you can show off your personal style during your favorite workouts.

The upper of the Alphabounce Beyond 2 uses a Forgedmesh upper that is exceptionally supportive and works well both for linear and lateral movement. It will provide a customized fit, while the lacing system and support zones ensure great lock in. The heel is held in place through an integrated Fitcounter.

The outsole on the Alphabounce Beyond 2 uses Continental rubber that works great outdoors, both on dry and wet surfaces. For those using these indoors and on treadmills, it will work just as well, seeing that it’s durable, and can be purchased in light colors that won’t mark gym floors. The Bounce cushioning is highly responsive, and responds to the amount of force being applied, with a high rate of rebound.

As for price point, it mostly depends on the color option you go with, so this shoe can cost you from average to way below average, for an affordable pair of training sneakers.

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6. Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave
Reebok Men's CROSSFIT Nano 8.0 Flexweave
Reebok Men's CROSSFIT Nano 8.0 Flexweave
Amazon Link

The brand behind official CrossFit gear knows a thing or two about making a great pair of shoes for versatile movement. The Nano 8 Flexweave by Reebok is the best version of this shoe yet, with improvements in terms of fit and performance, and a price point which will work for most people looking for quality, durable footwear. The shoe is focused on stability, with a 4mm drop that will allow you to perform at your peak, whether it’s cardio or a power workout you’re doing.

The biggest update in the 8th edition of the CrossFit Nano comes in the upper, which is cut low in order to allow for maximum flexibility and freedom of movement, while the Flexweave material uses fibres woven into a figure of 8 which is both supportive and flexible. Breathability is ensured through the material itself, as well as a mesh tongue. A Toe Tection portion ensures durability in the front, while the heel bootie gives you a snug yet comfortable fit.

The midsole and outsole on this sneaker were developed to give both cushioning and flexibility, as well as support and stability. The midsole uses dual foam - softer in the forefoot and firmer in the heel area, so you can easily use this model for lifts without worrying about stability. The outsole is non-marking with flex grooves for increased mobility, and it’s abrasion resistant, so you can easily wear it for treadmill runs. The lateral sides use RopePro ridges that allow you to grip during rope climbs and descents.

As for the cost, it’s average compared to the other models listed here, with the only downside of this model being excluded from most of the brand’s promotions.

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7. Saucony VERSAFOAM Cohesion 12

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Saucony Women’s VERSAFOAM Cohesion 12 Road Running Shoe 
Saucony Women’s VERSAFOAM Cohesion 12 Road Running Shoe 
Saucony Women’s VERSAFOAM Cohesion 12 Road Running Shoe 
Amazon Link

Known for being one of the most respected names in running shoes, Saucony, has another shoe to add to its collection, the Saucony VERSAFOAM Cohesion 12. Mixing performance technology and athletic style, the new Cohesion 12 will easily become your favorite pair for the gym.

This running shoe has been built using Grid technology with VersaFoam cushioning, making the shoe bouncy and extremely comfy to wear. It has a rubber outsole that is exceptionally durable and offers plenty of traction.

The running shoe features rubber overlays that provide shape and structure, making them extremely supportive. The women’s shoe has a lightweight upper that offers plenty of ventilation for your feet. The high ankle gives the wearer plenty of support, particularly around the heel area. These shoes are also suitable for people who suffer from plantar fasciitis. 

The running shoes come in 12 different colors and sizes including wide options. Sold for a mid-price, the Chohesian 12, is a must-have buy.

Amazon Link

8. Mizuno Wave Inspire 17

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Mizuno Men's Wave Inspire 17 Running Shoe
Mizuno Men's Wave Inspire 17 Running Shoe
Mizuno Men's Wave Inspire 17 Running Shoe
Amazon Link

This version of the shoe has been nicely updated from previous versions but the company did not add any weight or bulk. The Mizuno shoe category always strives to provide a fluid feel upon roll through from heel to toe. The springlike bounce-back lets you transition quickly between exercise moves. Hidden internal straps support and cradle the midfoot to give unmatched support.

The blown rubber technique gives shoes a light and airy step that spring back. Blown rubber also contributes to the traction and grip of the sole on this shoe. Moreover, this technology is considered the highest standard in the sports shoe world.

Think of the wave bringing together the correct amounts of cushioning and stability. The cushion is just enough to make your foot feel very supported and the stability makes you feel in total control of your motions and movements. These two things work in perfect harmony. The Mizuno Wave Inspire shoes are at a great price point for most budgets.

The shoes are in our mid-range of price points and they are not necessarily going to break the bank with their cost. They will last through daily exercising and running. Mizuno has become a top contender based upon their durability and quality products.

Amazon Link

9. ALTRA HIIT XT 2

Where to buy
Amazon Link
ALTRA Men’s ALM1976P HIIT XT 2
ALTRA Men’s ALM1976P HIIT XT 2
ALTRA Men’s ALM1976P HIIT XT 2
Amazon Link

ALTRA has refined the already popular HIIT XT both in fit and function, to make way for the new HIIT XT 2. Improved in durability, flexibility, comfort, and more, there is nothing this shoe cannot do.
It features a wrap-around sticky rubber outsole that is extremely durable.

The shoe has an EVA midsole and a PowerSole 5mm contour footbed insole for ultimate comfort and cushioning. The shoes’ upper has been reinforced with a mesh material, making them more durable. The shoe lacing system offers enhanced support and stability when on the move. 

Available in 3 different colors including Black/White, Blue/Lime, and Gray/Orange, the color choice is a little limited. The sizing offers half sizes however does not extend to wide, X-Wide, or narrow options which is a little disappointing.

Sold for a mid-price, this is a great buy for fans of ALTRA.

Amazon Link

10. Nike Flex Trainer 9

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Nike Women’s Flex Trainer 9 Sneaker 
Nike Women’s Flex Trainer 9 Sneaker 
Nike Women’s Flex Trainer 9 Sneaker 
Amazon Link

Perfect for circuit training, the Nike Flex Trainer 9 is a reliable shoe that will provide you with the right level of support so you can achieve your workout in no time at all. Different from a lot of the other shoes in our collection, this Nike sneaker is built with a durable foam midsole that doubles up as an outsole, reducing the weight of the shoe and making it one of the lightest sneakers in our collection.

For additional durability, rubber has been added to high-impact areas, reducing wear and tear. A Tri-Star pattern along the outsole also works by dispersing pressure. 

The sneakers feature mesh in the forefoot, improving the breathability of the shoe. A heel strap and synthetic upper provides support when working out. Available in 11 different color shades, Nike offers an array of color choices for you to pick from.

These come in a selection of sizes, including wide options. Sold for a high price, the Nike sneakers may exceed some budgets, however, they have plenty to offer in return. 

Amazon Link

Sources

  1. Amy Schlingre, HIIT Workout: What It Is and Why It Works?, Newspaper article
  2. Priscilla Ward, We Tried It: Orangetheory Fitness, Health article
  3. Jackey Deschamps , Orangetheory Fitness-My First Month, Personal blog
  4. Mikey Rox, 10 Ways to Make Your Shoes Last Longer, Article
  5. Admin, Gym Accident Statistics, Legal article