11 Best Workout Shoes For Women 2023

Most of us want a fresh start at some point. The best workout shoes for women lay the foundation to help you meet—and exceed—your fitness goals, and ultimately create better habits. My top picks include Nobull’s Gum Trainer, which is extremely comfortable and designed for multiple sports, and On’s Cloud X3 for gym-specific workouts, including cross training and weight lifting. All my winners are stylish and supportive, and keep your feet and joints healthy for light to intense sweat sessions.
The best workout shoes for women inspire you to get moving and stay motivated.ILLUSTRATION: FORBES / PHOTO: RETAILERS

If you’re wondering if you need specific shoes for different activities, the fitness experts I spoke with pointed out that certain features are more important depending on the sport. Whether you’re doing HIIT sessions or long runs, your movements and level of impact often dictate the ideal shoe for you. Below, all the best workout shoes for women to help you achieve your personal best.

For more on women’s fitness gear, check out our stories on the best walking shoes for women, the best workout leggings for women and and the best women’s tennis shoes.

MOST POPULARSizes: 5-11 | Widths: Standard | Colors: 8 total, including Black and Navy| Weight: 11 ouncesBased in Boston, Massachusetts, Nobull has been in business since 2014 but recently became buzzworthy, thanks to their bestselling Gum Trainer, which has a low heel stack that keeps you closer to the ground and a supportive structure that adds extra stability. The flat sole helps guide your foot so you have the ideal lift-off from heel to toe, and the upper is water-resistant and built to withstand intense workouts. Also great: The anatomical insole molds to your foot and the toe box is wide to keep you comfortable as your feet swell during exercise.
Sizes: 5-11 | Widths: Standard | Colors: 5 total, including Fawn and Rose | Weight: 7.05 ouncesSwiss-engineered and designed On has skyrocketed to popularity since the company’s founding in 2010 due to their like-walking-on-air running shoes—which provide a firm takeoff and cushioned landing. The On Cloud X3 offers stability and cushioning, and it’s extremely lightweight, so it’s basically the holy grail for everything from lunges to squats to burpees to interval runs on the treadmill. While this model is more minimalist than some of the other super-springy Ons, it offers stability for varied workouts. Under ArmourUnder Armour Charged Assert 9 Sizes: 5-12 | Widths: Standard | Colors: 6 total, including Black and Halo Grey | Weight: 8.15 ouncesFor a springy model with out-of-the-box comfiness, this all-around shoe comes at an affordable price point. It features a lightweight, breathable upper, a soft sock liner for a snug fit, and a cushiony foam midsole that’s forgiving on joints. Reviewers love this pair for everything from running to interval training to providing support during long days standing at work. Many even say they’re deep enough to accommodate an orthotic—although some comment they run slightly wide.Sizes: 5-12 | Widths: Standard | Colors: 6 total, including Football Grey and Light Soft Pink or design your own | Weight: Not listed The Nike Metcon is one of those shoes that has a cult following—many users are on their third or fourth pair—because they’re an all-around popular fit for HIIT, weightlifting, CrossFit and more. This shoe has a wide and flat heel that’s great for maintaining balance while lifting, a durable mesh upper with plastic overlays for stability and a handy lace lock system to keep laces from tripping you up mid-workout. Reviewers say these prevent stress injuries and offer cushioning during cross training, but they’re not great for long runs.Sizes: 5-12 | Widths: Medium, Wide | Colors: 14 total, including Airy Blue and Black | Weight: 7.3 ouncesIn our tested review of the best walking shoes for women, the Brooks Ghost came out on top. For another option, we also considered Hoka. If you’re a fan of a rocker shoe—which has a thicker sole that creates a smooth transition from heel strike to toe off—the Clifton has an extremely lightweight EVA foam midsole that won’t weigh you down. The outsole is durable but flexible, the padded, extended heel collar holds your foot in place, and it’s got a breathable mesh upper to keep feet cool. Sizes: 5-13 | Widths: Standard, Wide | Colors: 19 total, including French Blue and Sage | Weight: 8.7 ouncesNo workout shoe is perfect for every single person and choosing the best fit is incredibly personal, but this top-rated sneaker has been consistently popular since 1999 for a reason. It offers superior cushioning and stability, and while it’s technically a running shoe, it’s versatile enough for everything from to burpees to lunges to incline treadmill sprints. Reviewers like this version of the Nimbus for its thinner tongue, although some say it runs narrow in the toe box. Sizes: 5-13 | Widths: Narrow, Medium, Wide | Colors: 7 total, including Black and Dark Navy Blue | Weight: 8.8 ouncesBrooks has been in business since 1914, but in 2001 they decided to focus strictly on producing running shoes, and they do it really well. Their foam midsoles are notoriously adaptive and bouncy, offering runners both shock absorption and rebound. This neutral running shoe—the latest version of the Ghost, which was first introduced in 2008—is beloved for its cushioning and stability that can handle both shorter runs and long hauls. AsicsWomen’s Gel-Resolution 8Sizes: 5-12 | Width: Standard | Colors: 13 total, including Smoke Blue and Peacoat | Weight: 11.99 ouncesWhether you’re ripping groundstrokes or smashing overheads, this shoe is consistently a court favorite for support and durability. It has a supportive gel footbed that molds to the foot, it offers lateral stability for side-to-side movements across the baseline and users report it gives a locked-in feeling that allows you to change directions and recover quickly. Many have even adopted this as a pickleball shoe. One downside to this model, though: While it’s great for narrower feet, some say this shoe is too snug in the toe box.Sizes: 5-11 | Widths: Standard | Colors: 5 total, including Seaside Grey and Vector Blue | Weight: Not listedWhen you’re doing high intensity interval training, you’ll need a responsive cross-training shoe that’s breathable and doesn’t make you overheat. This top-rated, lightweight and airy model has a slim heel for stability, a high-traction outsole that’s grippy for both indoor and outdoor, and a springy forefoot which will make transitions from mountain climbers to split squat jumps a breeze. Users also say these can accommodate a wider foot.  AdidasAdidas Edge Lux ShoesSizes: 5-11 | Width: Standard | Colors: 7 total, including Cloud White and Carbon | Weight: Not listedIf studio classes with choreography are your thing, this pair is ideal for a variety of heart-pumping moves—from jumping to squats to dance. Reviewers says they’ve got the perfect degree of cushioning to prevent excess stress on joints, but they’re not clunky so they don’t inhibit different movements. The molded sock liner helps them stay in place on your foot, they come at a wallet-friendly price point and they transition well from studio workouts to errands around town.Sizes: 5-12 | Width: Medium, Wide | Colors: 5 total, including Violet Ice and Black Tie Dye | Weight: 8.2 ouncesZumba and hip-hop classes require lots of footwork, and this pair offers just the right amount of flexibility along with arch and ankle support for lateral movements, pivoting and jumping. It’s narrow through the heel and roomier in the forefoot to let your toes spread out and give more stability and it has a pivot point on the ball of your foot that allows you to turn and spin easily without putting extra pressure on your knees.

Why Trust Forbes Vetted
To find the best workout shoes for women, the Forbes Vetted team has spent many months researching the top footwear brands, considering factors such as the overall quality, range of styles, customer service, shipping and return policies and other services that guarantee an excellent shopping experience.
At Forbes Vetted, we have published numerous articles on athletic shoes, including guides to the best walking shoes and the most comfortable sneakers for women. Our writers and contributors regularly interview fitness and sports experts to get their insights and advice on choosing sneakers—along with other types of shoes—for a variety of styles and budgets. Our expertise also extends to men’s footwear, with guides to the best walking shoes for men and most comfortable dress shoes.
My Expertise
For this story, I spoke with three top workout professionals: Christine Burke, Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Runner Products at New York Road Runners; Kate Lamere, chief instructor at Barry’s Chicago; and New York City-based personal trainer and running coach Elizabeth Corkum. They discussed key factors to look for when shopping for women’s workout shoes, how the right shoe can bolster your workouts and practical advice on how to care for your sneakers.
How I Chose The Best Women’s Workout Shoes
To determine the best women’s workout shoes, I first spoke with the above experts for guidance and considered shoes highly rated by professionals. I pored through hundreds of product reviews and evaluated shoe models from both veteran athletic brands and buzzworthy, newer-to-market companies.
I ultimately chose the best workout shoes for women by determining if they were consistently top rated, had a high degree of cushioning and if they received excellent marks for comfort, support and injury prevention. I also considered if the shoes were available in a wide range of sizes, widths and colors, and price levels.
What To Consider When Buying Workout Shoes
The best shoes for you depends on your workouts, your anatomy and the way you move. “The proper footwear is the foundation of your form when training, regardless of modality,” says Kate Lamere, chief instructor at Barry’s Chicago. “The shoes you wear will impact your foot health and balance, help you stay injury-free, prioritize your form, and make your session as impactful as possible.” Below, the top things to keep in mind when shopping for the best women’s workout shoes:
What You’ll Wear Them For

Running: “A running or walking shoe is unique to the individual and should enhance your foot anatomy, running economy and hip alignment,” says Lamere. Consider getting fitted by a professional when buying running shoes for the first time and having your gait analyzed regularly so you can find a running shoe that complements your stride. “Just because a shoe works well for a friend doesn’t mean it will work well for you, since everyone’s foot anatomy is different,” says Christine Burke, Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Runner Products at New York Road Runners. Also consider what type of surface you plan to run on, whether it be a treadmill, a track, a trail or asphalt, as this may determine the best sole and upper material for your needs.
HIIT: “HIIT workouts require agility, balance and often lateral movements,” says Lamere. “You want to look for a sole with a minimal shape that’s flexible with cushioned support. The laces should tighten around the entire foot for a movable but supportive feel, and then finally, the sole should offer traction and stability to avoid slipping on polished surfaces.”
Weight Training: “Strength training is best performed with a shoe with a flat and hard sole and a wide heel to ensure your weight can be distributed from edge to edge,” says Lamere. “When lifting, you want your feet to be as close to the ground as possible and next to no shape on the bottom of the shoe.”

Size And Width
Most women’s workout shoes come in medium widths, but some brands—such as New Balance, Brooks, and Hoka—also come in narrow or wide widths so you can choose what works best for you depending on your foot anatomy. Experts says it’s fairly typical to size up a half or full size in a workout shoe so feet have room to spread out and swell when you sweat. “Shoes that are too large or too small can cause issues like blisters and black toenails,” says Burke.
For runners, “the width of the foot, length of the toes, height of the arch and width of the heel are all very important and personal factors for what will or won’t fit that runner,” says New York City-based personal trainer and running coach Elizabeth Corkum. “Most runners will be best suited in a neutral shoe, which tends to have less ‘spring’ or material than a stability shoe or super shoe.” A neutral shoe is designed to be neutral across the entire shoe, while a stability shoe will control a runner’s movement and address structural concerns like pronation or supination. A super shoe combines a lightweight midsole foam with a carbon fiber plate, which improves running economy—so the runner doesn’t have to do as much work—and makes the shoe springy. Super shoes tend to be more expensive than typical workout shoes by $100-$200.
In general, flatter soles work well for lifting weights as they allow for weight distribution and a connection with the ground. For cross training or running shoes, “the sole of the shoe will vary greatly depending on the type of shoe—neutral, stability, super shoe—and in stack height and heel drop,” says Corkum. The stack height refers to how much material is between your foot and the ground, and it implies how cushiony the shoe will feel. The heel drop of a shoe, which is measured in millimeters, refers to the difference between the heel and toe cushioning, and it affects the way your foot strikes the ground.
Upper Fabric
“Fabrics have evolved a lot, especially in the last 10 to 15 years,” says Corkum. “In general, most running shoes are designed to be lightweight, breathable and durable in the top of the shoe.” Many workout shoes have an upper made from engineered mesh, which is lightweight and doesn’t cause feet to sweat. Trail shoes sometimes incorporate a Gore-Tex membrane or a ripstop nylon.
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