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best men's gym trainers

19 Best Men's Gym Trainers (UK)

Looking for gym attire can be a minefield, and selecting the best men’s trainers for the gym is no different. Not only is the right footwear paramount to comfort, but it can massively affect your performance and safety.

There are plenty of things to consider, especially the style of exercise you’ll be doing when you’re in the gym, but we’ve covered these at the end of the article.  

Before we start, if you’d like to advance your gym member status and become a fitness professional, OriGym’s  CIMSPA accredited Personal Trainer courses will help you start your career in the gym.

Or, if you’re unsure about which fitness course is best for you, download our FREE online prospectus and have a browse!

19 Best Men’s Gym Trainers to Buy

1. Altra Running Solstice XT (£115.00)

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After hours of research, we can conclude that these are some of the best gym trainers available online. Men’s trainers for all kinds of sports are Altra’s speciality, with a different shoe for every activity.

The Solstice XT is designed to be versatile, making them some of the best men’s trainers for the gym as well as for on-the-go workouts. They’re a great investment if you want to upgrade without having to keep a completely separate pair of trainers for the gym.

With their patented FootShape™ toe box, your toes are able to relax and spread out more naturally. The grooves on the midsole also allow your foot to flex and feel light, with speedier and better performance.

On top of that, the outsole actually maps the bones and tendons in your feet to help you bend and move more naturally. This means that though they may not be cheap gym trainers, they are one of men’s best options for all round support, stability, and comfort!

2. Hylo Athletics Corn Runners (£100)

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The Corn Runners are one of the best products on our list of men’s gym trainers for the ecologically minded. They’re built with not just your comfort and performance in mind, but the planet too.

Made using seven renewable materials, they are fully recyclable and have a 42% lower carbon footprint than the average running shoe. They’re called Corn Runners for a reason: those seven renewable materials? Three of them actually come from corn!

The foot is held in place by internal reinforcement, providing lateral stability. They’re designed for speed too, with technology in the midsole to maximise energy return.

The Corn Runners are available in eight different colourways, from khaki green to orange. This is another element that’s environmentally conscious: they use water-based ink to dye all of the trainers. 

Though the name would suggest these trainers are just for running, the combination of their sole, breathable material, and reinforced interior makes them a versatile shoe.

If you like to stick to running or other cardio-based workouts, check out our article on cardio and aerobic exercise here for the benefits, risks, and tips on structuring your schedule. 

3. Payntr Bodyline 412 (£69.99)

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Men’s gym shoes can often be very expensive depending on the function, brand, and where you’re buying them from, but this product offers great quality for a fraction of the price of its high-end competitors.  

There’s added support in the heel cup, sides, and toes, which makes them ideal for training. It also adds stability, making them better for weightlifting than most running trainers. 

They feature an upper section of breathable mesh, and suede overlays to cushion and protect pressure points. This will help prevent injury and give you support around the weakest points when exercising, whatever it is that you’re doing. 

Want to learn more about injury prevention? Check out our guide on the importance of rest days to see how taking a break can benefit your health, as well as your progress. 

4. Lonsdale Fulham (£59.99)

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Another option for those on the lookout for cheap gym trainers, the Lonsdale Fulham shoes are perfect for a variety of gym exercises. Lonsdale specialise in boxing equipment, and so their trainers are light, agile, and ideal for fast movement and changing direction. 

The strap also makes them perfect for strength training, which requires your feet to be kept as sturdy as possible.

Men’s white gym trainers are incredibly popular at the moment, so it makes sense that Lonsdale has stuck to a minimal palette for these shoes. They’re not only available in white though - you can also get them in black or black and white. 

Despite their perks, they probably aren’t the best men’s gym trainers for running on the treadmill, or doing anything high-impact on the joints. The smaller drop in these shoes means there’s less padding for when you’re running. 

5. Sundried Barefoot (£50.00)

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There’s an ongoing debate regarding the benefits of weight training barefoot. Doing so can mean you channel more power through your feet to the floor, as well as increasing your body’s sense of movement. 

That being said, it can increase risk of injury if your feet have no protection. Therefore, the best men’s gym trainers for weightlifting are ones designed to mimic being barefoot.

These Sundried trainers have a reinforced rubber heel that provides maximum comfort and prevents blisters, as well as being anti-slip. They also have toggles instead of laces, meaning your feet are more secure without the risk of them loosening throughout your workout!

They mold to your feet effortlessly and have an extremely lightweight feel, making them ideal for those who have previously lifted barefoot and are looking to duplicate that experience. 

6. On Cloud X (£130.00)

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These are the best men’s gym trainers for cross training workouts and short runs. These are great if your workout is varied and you combine inside the gym with outside.

There’s a firm heel on these trainers as well as the patented cloud technology in the sole, making them lightweight, breathable, and extra supportive on impact. 

The heel provides support for squatting and lunging in a way that running shoes often fail to. So, what other exercise are these the best men’s gym shoes for? 

The sole is cushioned but firm and supportive enough to distribute pressure on all sides. This means for exercises that are high-impact or involve changing direction quickly, such as HIIT or CrossFit, you’re protected from jarring your joints!

They still have quite a high heel-toe drop however, so they’re not the best men’s gym trainers for weightlifting.

These were also featured in our best cushioned running shoes list, so, as you can tell, they’re one of the most comprehensive products here.

7. Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 2 (£109.95)

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These are one of the only men’s gym trainers specifically designed for HIIT workouts. Each element of this shoe is designed to provide optimum performance and comfort in high intensity exercises.

The big arcs on the sides of the shoe act as a brace for your foot when you’re moving suddenly, and sharply, from side to side.

There are two air units on the forefoot of the shoe so that, when you land on your forefoot, the power is absorbed and channeled back to you! This technology is great for HIIT exercises like squat jumps and high knees.

There’s another plate, on the full length of the shoe, that helps distribute this power, helping to balance the foot during these exercises. 

And not just that, they’re made from recycled materials too! 20% of the material is made up of Nike Grind, plastic bottles, and other scraps. 

If you want to get clued up on how HIIT can enhance your fitness before giving it a try, check out OriGym’s guide on the benefits of HIIT workouts

8. Athletic Propulsion Labs TechLoom Tracer (£255.00)

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If you’re looking for variety in style, as well as innovation, these trainers are for you. They are more expensive than some of the others featured on our list, but you certainly get what you pay for.

The molded lycra collar and a soft, sculpted heel, allows for a range of comfort and movement. This makes them an incredibly versatile pair of men’s gym trainers. 

They’ve also got a lacing system that will limit loosening to help keep your foot steady, stable, and in the same position throughout your workout. This will also help prevent injury with less risk of your laces getting snagged by equipment. 

With over ten different colourways, each one of these colours is unisex too! This is great if they’re out of your size: simply get the women’s shoe in a size and a half up.

All of this makes the TechLoom one of the best men’s gym trainers around. UK based retailers will stock them, despite the brand being based in L.A, but they do offer international shipping on their website. 

9. Adidas Power Perfect 3 (£110)

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Specifically designed for weightlifting, these are engineered to offer maximum stability, grounding, and support.

The heel support and lace strap are the key features of this shoe. This wedge midsole is super dense so that you’re anchored to the ground. Combined with the straps and laces your foot is locked into position safely and comfortably.

Not only is the heel dense and solid, to support you, the elevated design helps support your lifts, helping aid performance and personal bests! 

That’s what makes these some of the best trainers for the gym. Some men’s gym trainers are designed to be all-rounders, supporting a variety of exercises. If you’re a dedicated weightlifter though, you want something streamlined to your needs: and this shoe is exactly that.

If this article has been useful so far, check out some of our other ones including hints, tips, and more information about gym exercises and regimes:

10. Mizuno TF-01 (£115.00)

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These are some of the lightest shoes on our list. They’ve got a woven fabric upper, like some of the others, but without compromising grip, sturdiness, or power.

Their external heel counter, the “MIZUNO COB”, is designed for excellent traction and grip. This puts the TF-01 alongside others on our list that have been created with high intensity workouts in mind.

With increased balance and reaction time, these trainers are probably best suited for those who do interval training such as HIIT workouts and CrossFit.

We know that buying new equipment can be an expensive investment, men’s or women’s, and that’s no different with something like gym trainers. There is a men’s sale quite often though! Just look for the ‘outlet’ tab on their website. 

11. NOBULL Gum (£120.00)

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When it comes to a multifunctional gym shoe, NOBULL’s Gum trainers may just top the list. Every element of these trainers has been crafted to support any number of exercises from climbing, to running, to lifting, to high-impact movement. 

Even the bottom of the shoe is expertly crafted! These have a lug sole, usually reserved for hiking and walking boots, designed for extra traction. There’s circular grooves, and it’s slightly wider than the shoe, to help your speed and performance!

Abrasion resistant too, these are some of the best gym trainers for men’s workouts around. Seamless in shape, available in a huge variety of colourways, and did we mention the lug sole?

Don’t just take our word for it; there’s huge swathes of positive testimonials from satisfied customers, globally, on their website.

12. Merrell Trail Glove 6 (£100.00)

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These are another pair for the weightlifters. This barefoot shoe is one of the best men’s gym trainers for balance and comfort.

With an added sling-like part at the back of the shoe, combined with a shape that mimics the foot, they’re constructed to keep your foot in its natural position.

They also top the list on the sustainability front! Alongside some of the more eco-conscious shoes, the Trail Glove 6 has several features made of recycled materials. In fact, the laces and the webbing pull tab are 100% recycled!

Not only are heaps of the materials sustainable, some are even plant based. The BLOOM® midsole is named after the algae biomass it’s constructed from. 

All of that makes these one of the best men’s trainers for gym goers, whether you’re lifting or transitioning outside for a hike!

Barefoot shoes can even be good for runners, depending on your style! Check out our list of best barefoot running shoes to improve your run and form. 

13. Asics Gel-Quantum 360 6 (£150.00)

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These are all about comfort. Privileging continuous cushioning, the soles of these are designed for shock absorption with high-impact activity.

So what makes them different from the other best men’s gym shoes for high intensity workouts? They’re designed with running in mind. These are ideal for those favouring equipment such as the treadmill, the cross trainer, or cardio classes.

The silicon-based unit, made of gel, disperses pressure and shock. This means that all those heavy landings you’re doing in classes like CrossFit will be plusher, and smoother, with the Gel-Quantum 360.

If you visit the gym but also like to take your workout outdoors, the outer of these shoes is designed to last. It’s made from AHAR, a carbon rubber resistant to deterioration.

14. Allbirds Tree Dashers (£120.00)

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New Zealand based brand Allbirds are another company as concerned with sustainability as they are performance.

They have a sugarcane midsole, tree material used for the body of the shoe, and the company itself boasts being 100% carbon neutral. All of that puts them high up on the list of eco-friendly gym trainers. 

The men’s collection also has a wide variety of standard colourways and limited editions, so you can be confident in their style as well as comfort.

On top of that, containing a feature largely unique to them, they’re designed for odour control. This means they’re one of the best men’s gym trainers for cardio (and any of the sweatier activities!)

15. Inov-8 F-Lite (£150.00)

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According to Inov-8 these are the best men’s gym trainers for the toughest workouts. With a graphene-enhanced rubber sole, the F-Lite has been designed around grip and strength.

No matter how varied your workout is, the features on these shoes will support you to quickly adapt and react. There’s also a lightweight and breathable upper which, combined with the midsole technology, provides optimal comfort.

The grip isn’t just the star of the show for lifters! If you’re doing high intensity workouts the soles can erode a lot quicker. This is because of impact and quick multi-directional movements. 

That means that though they’re not cheap gym trainers, these men’s F-Lites work out as a great investment. Because they’re hardier, they should last longer than some of the other cheaper options. 

If high intensity is your thing, our article on the best HIIT apps will help provide essential workouts for when you’re at home! 

16. Under Armour UA HOVR Apex 3 (£120.00)

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The HOVR Apex 3 has a little bit of everything. Performance is at the forefront of everything Under Armour does, and these trainers are certainly no exception.

That outer strap acts as a brace, locking the midsole and the heel in place for maximum stability. Combine that with the foam midsole itself, and you’ve got one of the best men’s gym trainers for cardio and lifting alike.

Despite the spongey, comfortable sole, these are superior to many shoes designed with just running in mind. 

The cushioning aims for comfort and support during impact, helping to propel you forward. The strap construction, though, supports the heel and adds grip. Not just that but the sole maximises ground contact, despite its height, better for lifting than other runners.

17. Puma X First Mile Training Shoes (£90.00)

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Despite being one of the more cheap gym trainers on our list, these men’s Pumas are far from a compromise. 

Like some of the other eco-conscious models, these shoes are designed with sustainable materials. First Mile is a network trying to strengthen micro-economies in disadvantaged communities in Honduras, Haiti, and Taiwan.

The plastic materials, recycled for the shoe, are collected by local people, employed to help reduce environmental waste.

On top of that are the features that make it one of the best men’s gym shoes! The wide foot space allows for your toes to spread out more and provide stability.

The clip wrapped around the heel provides additional support, and there’s vertical flex lines which support the metatarsal bones in the foot.

18. New Balance Minimus TR (£95.00)

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Another option for those looking for more cheap gym trainers, the men’s New Balance Minimum TR tick a lot of boxes.

These hugely versatile men’s gym trainers are stable, comfortable, breathable, and all from a brand that’s exploded as one of the best available for men’s gym trainers in the UK. 

So why are they jostling for the top position in comfort? They not only have ‘premium liners’ inside the shoe but New Balance actually designed them to be worn barefoot!

That means that on top of the lace closure, and the midfoot rubber wrap, adding grip and stability, these are some of the comfiest men’s gym trainers on our list.

Going for a bigger, household brand also means their gym trainers may be in the men’s sale at places like JD sports and other outlets! So you can bag yourself an even bigger bargain.  

19. Reebok Legacy Lifter II (£150.00)

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And last but not least we have the Reebok Legacy Lifter. These are alongside the Adidas Power Perfects as the best men’s gym trainers for lifting.

Reebok have used “Flexcage” technology on this shoe, providing a lighter weight solution to stability. Your foot will be supported without the shoe being too heavy, your weightlifting secure and your foot anchored in place. 

The 1.9cm heel means they’re the optimum men’s gym trainers for squats. The heel has been specifically measured and manufactured to offer the perfect positioning, keeping your ankle and foot in position to achieve better form. 

If you spend most of your time in the weight room then the Legacy Lifter is one of the best men’s trainers for you in the gym. 

Why not check out some of the other top tips on equipment we’ve got? Start with our list of the best weightlifting belts!

What Should I Be Looking for in Men’s Gym Trainers?

The short answer is, it depends on what kind of activity you like to do! The best men’s gym trainers for weightlifters won’t be the same as the best for HIIT or CrossFit.

If you’re an all-rounder though, I hope we’ve demonstrated above that there’s a few key elements you want to make sure are there to bag yourself the best men’s gym shoes. Below are the features you want to look at when deciding!

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Sole

The most important feature of a pair of versatile men’s gym trainers is probably going to be the sole. If it’s too cushioned, it can often be unstable for lifting. If it’s too thin, even when designed for contact, it may not offer enough support for cardio.

So, you want to be looking at the ‘lift’ of the shoe but also the material it’s made from. A sole that’s comfortable but sturdy, designed to mimic the shape of the foot, will be best for weightlifting. 

The shape of the sole is significant too. If there’s a wedge this will help with lifts. As a rule, if there’s a thicker sole, with a more uniform thickness, this is ideal for running.

A combination of shape, material, and height make some of the men’s gym trainers on our list the ideal investment; they have a little bit of everything!

Upper Material

No matter what activity you prefer in the gym, you need a breathable, comfortable upper. This is the part of the shoe that covers the foot, largely thought to be the most important.

Whether you’re lifting, or doing predominantly cardio workouts, you want the upper to be breathable. A woven upper can be a great way of guaranteeing your foot can breathe and doesn’t overheat!

The other thing to consider, especially if it’s a fabric shoe, is durability. The sole will be designed with wear and tear in mind, especially a pair of men’s gym trainers designed for intensity workouts or cardio.

A tough, engineered mesh upper, however, like on Payntr’s Bodyline 412s, will ensure breathability as well as long lasting quality.

Laces

Whether you can’t get enough of the weight room, or you prefer high intensity exercise, the laces will be a feature you need to look at carefully.

A lot of trainers, such as APL’s TechLoom Tracers, have lace designs that use technology specifically to minimise loosening, slippage, and therefore increase stability.

Without this, a good option is something like Sundried’s toggle system, a laceless shoe with a strap like the Lonsdale Fulham, or a strap over the laces like on Reebok’s Legacy Lifter. These will all make sure loosening of the laces doesn’t compromise your performance!

There’s plenty on our list though, that fit the bill no matter what you prefer. Several of the best gym trainers here are for all men’s activity in the gym. Keep reading to find out which activities these men’s gym trainers are designed for!

FAQs

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What Kind of Activity Should You Use Men’s Gym Trainers For?

This one’s easy: everything! The best men’s gym shoes available will usually be designed with several different gym activities in mind, if not something super specific.

As you can see from our list there’s a pair of gym trainers for all men’s exercises. Whether you’re weightlifting, using the rowing machine, or doing a HIIT class, there’s a pair for everybody!

Weightlifting

As we mentioned before, a combination of the sole and the laces will ensure the best pair of men’s gym trainers for weightlifting. 

You want the sole to either have a smaller ‘drop’, like with some of the barefoot options, or have a wedged heel like the Adidas Power Perfect or the Reebok Legacy Lifters. Either one of these options will ensure increased power, channelled through the leg, as well as stability.

If there are laces instead of a toggle or a strap, then ensure they are either designed specifically for minimal loosening, or are supported by a strap. This just means you can ensure your foot is locked into place. 

HIIT or CrossFit

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Some of the best men’s gym trainers will be designed specifically for HIIT, like the Nike AirZoom Super Reps. There are plenty of options, though, if you want to mix high intensity workouts with other activities in the gym.

HIIT and CrossFit both demand a few of the same things from your body, your pace, and, of course, your gym trainers. 

Both exercise styles involve exercises with high-impact and quick changes in direction. This is why you want to look out for any men’s gym trainers that boast a ‘brace’ or any additions to the outer sole. 

These features are designed to increase stability when changing direction, as well as supporting the ankle during such movements. 

Treadmill & Other Equipment

The best gym trainers for men’s workouts on the bike, the treadmill, or the crosstrainer, will have a combination of some of the features mentioned above.

You will need good grip, stability, and, of course, breathable material to ensure your foot is balanced and snug. 

If you’re running on the treadmill, hopefully you’ll know from the sections above what you need to be keeping a lookout for in your men’s gym trainers. 

A thicker sole for running, a better grip for the rowing machine, and good lace security for the cross trainer are all features you can bear in mind when shopping around.

If you know what you’re looking for, and the kind of regime you tend to favour in the gym, hopefully our list has told you everything you need to know to choose the ideal pair!

Why Gym Trainers Over Men’s Runners?

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If you’re a runner outside of the gym, as well as on the treadmill, you might be tempted to just use your running trainers in the gym.

To answer this question simply though, you’re much better getting something ideally suited for gym activity specifically. This will include going on equipment like the treadmill, as well as other exercises, that need a shallower sole and stronger grip.

The top gym trainers have men’s stability, traction, and comfort in mind, as well as just support for impact when running. So, far better, if you’re a regular at the gym, to invest in a pair that are better suited to transition from inside to outside.

If you do want to pick up a pair of trainers better suited to outdoor running, check out the 22 Best Cushioned Running Shoes here

What Does the ‘Drop’ of Men’s Gym Trainers Mean?

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You might see some of the best men’s gym shoes boasting a particular ‘drop’. This simply means the height difference between the ball of your foot and heel. 

The reason this can crop us so much when looking for the best men’s gym trainers is because the size of the ‘drop’ will affect which activities you should wear them for.

If cardio, or high intensity workouts, are your thing, you’ll want a drop size to match your natural stride. You also want quite a big drop to provide enough cushioning to maximise shock absorption.

When weightlifting, you want to keep the drop to a minimum. This is where the barefoot trainers on our list come in. 

The reason these are some of the best gym trainers for men’s weightlifting is that the drop brings you close to the ground. Take a look back at the Sundried Barefoot and Merrell Men’s Move Glove for the best in this department.

Before You Go!

So, there you have it! We’ve come to the end of our list of the best men’s gym trainers. We hope that you’ve found the perfect pair to suit your needs, or at least that you’re more aware of exactly what makes the best men’s trainers for gym based workouts. 

Before you go, don’t forget that if you’re interested in becoming a gym instructor yourself, OriGym’s Level 3 Personal Trainer course is a great place to start! 

If you want to see what other courses are available, check out our FREE online prospectus to narrow down your options!

Written by Jessie Florence Jones

Content Writer & Fitness Enthusiast

Jessie has a 1st class honours degree in English Literature from University of Leeds and an MA in English Literature from Durham University. Naturally Jessie has a real passion for writing especially about film, culture and wellbeing. Outside of writing she loves hiking, country walks and yoga, which she has been doing religiously over lockdown.

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