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Best Workout Shoes

Footwear built for performance and pain relief.

Let your muscles feel the burn, not your feet. Whether you’re gearing up for the 25th rep of your strength training routine or the final stages of your elliptical sesh, you need a shoe with just as much stamina. Experience workout shoes built for pain relief—and performance.

KURU offers some of the best workout shoes on the market with our shock-absorbing EVA foam, superior arch support, and patented heel protection that cradles your heel and dynamically flexes with each step.

What are Workout Shoes?

Good workout shoes are built for performance—designed to keep you comfortable and moving through your exercise routine.

The best work out shoes typically feature shock-absorbing midsolesextra cushion where it counts, breathable and flexible uppers, and arch support for lasting endurance.

There are a variety of workout shoes on the market today, often based on activity—from stability training shoes to walking shoes to trail runners. We’ll unpack them in more detail below.

KURU offers some best shoes for working out, featuring premium arch support, patented heel protection, and shock-absorbing foams to help your feet (and joints!) last through every Burpee.

  • A woman stretching wearing a pair of KURU ATOM workout shoes.

Types Of Workout Shoes & Finding The Best Fit

Workout shoes that fit well can improve performance and reduce injuries. Find the best style for you with the help of KURU.

The best workout shoes for you are those best suited to the activity you’ll be performing. Take a look at a few styles of workout shoes for your next gym or outdoor workout.

  • Cross-training shoes
    Cross-training shoes: Cross-training shoes often feature lateral stability and heel-to-toe cushion to adapt to almost any workout. Our FLUX for men offers 15% more bounce and 3X longer-lasting cushion to keep you moving.
    Cross-training shoes
  • Walking shoes
    Fitness walking does best with evenly distributed cushion from heel to toe, flexible upper, and a wide toe box, like our stylish ATOM for women and men.
    Walking shoes
  • Strength training shoes
    Strength training calls for a wide, sturdy base for safety when lifting weights. Try our versatile QUANTUM or anti-slip KINETIC.
    Strength training shoes
  • Trail shoes
    When your workout is on the hiking trail, a pair of quality trail or hiking shoes can help stabilize your feet and ankles over more technical terrain. Look for a trail shoe that features traction-heavy rubber outsoles, a rounded heel cup, and arch support like our CHICANE or QUEST.
    Trail shoes

Workout Shoe Care Tips

Keeping your workout footwear fresh and clean is as simple as following these simple tips from our KURU GURUs.

  • Workout shoes probably take some of the most beating out of all your footwear, with consistent sweat, high-impact movements. Keep your workout sneakers fresh by alternating their use and allowing them to fully dry out between uses.
  • Protect your colorful or white workout shoes from wet conditions with a preventive spritz of KURU Shield, our proprietary blend of shoe protector spray. This water-repellent layer works on all shoe materials and helps safeguard your footwear from the elements.
  • Refresh an extra-loved pair of gym shoes with our KURU Shoe Cleaning Kit. Equipped with an all-material shoe cleaner, cleaning brush and microfiber cloth, this kit helps your shoes last.
  • Always wear socks with your shoes for working out. Feet tend to sweat even more while we exercise, and socks can help reduce your risk of blisters and odor. Keeping bacteria and sweat at bay can also help extend the life of your shoes.


  • What shoes are best to workout in?

    The best shoes to workout in feature shock-absorbing foam, cushion, stability, excellent arch support, and a wide toe box. The perfect pair for you will depend on your activity. For strength training, you’ll want a more stable and firm base, whereas for walking you might prefer more evenly distributed cushion and some extra flexibility.

  • Can you workout in boots?

    It’s possible to workout in boots, but we don’t recommend it—unless of course you are hiking! Boots don’t often have the cushion, breathability, and flexibility ideal for completing a workout, so it’s best to stick with exercise-specific athletic shoes.

  • How do I shop for workout shoes?

    When shopping for workout shoes, it’s smart to first consider the types of activities you’ll use your shoes for. Each exercise type lends itself to different needed features.

    For any shoe, podiatrists recommend replacing walking shoes every 300–500 miles, or every six months to a year. The rubber and support starts to wear down over time, which can lead to an increased risk for injury.

  • Is it okay to exercise in bare feet?

    It depends on the type of exercise you’re doing! If you’re rolling out your mat for a yoga or Pilates class, bare feet might actually be preferable. But if you’re performing high-impact cross-training activities like box jumps, HIIT workouts, Zumba, or strength training, proper gym shoes can provide you with added cushion and shock absorption to help you exercise safely and comfortably.

Athletes, active individuals, and even those embarking on a new fitness regimen face a higher risk of experiencing foot and ankle injuries, whether from trauma or overuse.


In fact, 47% of respondents in our study reported that their foot pain began due to an injury.

Explore the latest foot pain trends, common causes of pain, treatment and prevention plans for maintained foot health in our 2024 Foot Pain Trends Report!

How To Choose Your Workout Shoes

Let’s unpack a few considerations and features to look out for when buying a pair of workout shoes.

  • Activity type
    Just as running shoes aren’t the best shoes for fitness walking, trail runners aren’t the best choice for Zumba. Each shoe type offers different strengths, so searching your options by activity type can help you find the best pair.
    Activity type
  • Foot conditions
    Knowing a little bit about your feet can go a long way. For example, the best workout shoes for flat feet have plenty of shock-absorbing cushion on the footbed to help protect low arches. Similarly, those with high arches might prioritize a contoured footbed or arch support that can hug and support their feet.
    Foot conditions
  • Shock-absorbing midsole
    Whatever style of workout shoe you choose, shock-absorption is a must. When we workout, we often place extra impact on our muscles and joints, so shock-absorbing foams can help reduce that added stress.
    Shock-absorbing midsole
  • Cushion in the right places
    If you’re a runner, you’ll want extra cushion in the heel and forefoot to protect your feet in the landing strike zones. That said, a walker will do best with a more evenly distributed cushion.
    Cushion in the right places
  • Quality arch support
    Supportive shoes that hug and support the contours of your foot can help treat plantar fasciitis and keep you moving even during a challenging workout.
    Quality arch support
  • Lateral stability
    If you’re performing a strength training routine, an HIIT workout, or other high-impact movements, look for a shoe that features lateral stability to keep your ankles aligned and protected during tough landings.
    Lateral stability
  • Sturdy base with a wide toe box
    Stability is important in a workout shoe, and a wide toe box allows the toes to lay flat and articulate without getting squished through high-impact activity.
    Sturdy base with a wide toe box

Three Layers of Support

At KURU, we pride ourselves on our unique approach to shoe design. We believe that shoes should be shaped to fit the natural contours of your feet, which is why we create every pair in three distinct support layers, not just an insole.


Our revolutionary ergonomic design starts with a curved footbed and adds unparalleled triple-layer support that includes shock-absorbing KURUCLOUD, heel-cupping KURUSOLE, and arch-supporting ULTIMATE INSOLES. The result? Shoes that are so comfortable you’ll stop thinking about your feet.

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  • How KURU brings relief


    Our patented KURUSOLE plate features a unique design that cups the heel and allows for dynamic flexion with each step. This superior support helps protect and preserve the heel’s fat pad and guide your body to a more natural alignment.

Our Secret

Animated GIF showing KURUSOLE tech in KURU shoes vs. typical flat interiors for plantar fasciitis pain.
Why Others Love KURU

Why Others Love KURU

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Most comfortable workout shoe I have ever worn. Nice wide toe box, cushioned heel, excellent shoe construction all the way around. this is my 4th pair of KURU shoes and I love them all.


Super comfortable workout shoe! I’ve had foot and knee pain from running on a treadmill. My Kuru Quantums are really helping and it’s only been a couple of weeks. Super glad I bought them, planning to get a second pair!


Best workout in years! I have really terrible bunions which causes pain with almost all shows. So glad I tried these! They provide comfort and security even when I work out. First comfortable shoe I’ve found in a long time.

Ashley J

Great shoe for running / walking. I bought this a month ago and followed the break-in guidance so I’m just now getting to the point where I’ll start wearing it in my regular workouts. So far, I couldn’t be happier, great support and cushioning and most importantly, no foot pain.

Rob S

Repeat Buyer! Love this shoe -this is my 3rd pair. Cured my plantar fasciitis and ankle issues. Great arch support and comfortable for work-outs, long walks with dog, or just all day wear. Only wish it would last longer (I need a new pair every 9 months or so).

Leann H

Recommended Shoes for Workout

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