What are cross-trainer shoes for?

Written by r.l. remenyi
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When you embark on a workout routine, it is important to buy the correct type of shoes to prevent injury. The right shoes can offer the support you need for a specific sport. While some people may not understand the purpose of cross-trainer shoes, the truth is they are a versatile shoe that can be worn for many athletic activities.

Shoe Structure

It is important to understand the structure of cross-trainer shoes to fully grasp what activities they can be worn for. They have a wider sole to provide the proper support for a side-to-side motion and to prevent you from rolling your foot, as well as moderate padding that is dense to help increase stability. Most cross-training shoes have mesh over the top of the foot for better ventilation. Overall, they are durable and can be worn for many physical activities.

Health Clubs

Many people wear cross-trainer shoes at health clubs, or gyms, because they provide the right amount of support for weightlifting and various aerobic activities, such as the stationary bike, the elliptical machine and aerobics classes.


Cross-trainer shoes also can be worn for indoor sports such as volleyball, basketball and racquetball. They also can be worn outside for tennis. However, a good rule of thumb to follow is if you are playing a certain sport more than twice a week, it is best to purchase a shoe designed for that sport.

Specialised Shoes

Cross-trainer shoes are not for running. While they can be worn for sports that include running for short distances, if you are planning to participate in a running training program, you should buy running shoes. Cross trainers do not provide the tight fit and cushioning in the heels that running shoes do.


In addition to knowing what activities to buy cross-trainer shoes for, you should also know how often to replace your shoes. According to Dick's Sporting Goods, cross-trainer shoes are good for 100 hours of wear, or the equivalent of two one-hour workouts a week for a year. If you are doing more vigorous workouts, replace your cross trainers twice a year. Additionally, if you notice wear and tear to the soles of your shoes, it is probably time to replace them.

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