Are you wondering what the right shoes are when it comes to elliptical workouts? Well, consider your search over because I am here to show you the best ones!
I have tried many different pairs and narrowed the selection to five exceptional options. Plus, I put together a guide on what you should look for when choosing from these trainers.
Keep reading to get all the information!
5 Best Shoes for Elliptical Training (For Men and Women)
Here are five of the best elliptical shoes on the market today. Let’s find your perfect pair!
NOTE: If you want to furnish your home gym, you can check out our pieces on the best elliptical machine and the best compact elliptical machine article for full buying guides.
1) Asics Gel-Venture 8 – Best Overall Elliptical Shoes
- Has all the features needed for an elliptical
- Can be used with orthotics
- Not the most attractive design
The Asics Gel-Venture 8 is a great shoe option. It has all the features you should look for in workout shoes for the elliptical: it’s breathable and lightweight with good cushion and excellent grip.
But what puts it in the top spot for me is that it has a removable sock liner that is replaceable with a medical orthotic, making workouts more accessible to people prone to injuries.
Also made for trail runs, these shoes’ sturdy rubber outsole is made with Asics High Abrasion Rubber, allowing it to brace against the foot pedals effectively.
2) Nike Free 5.0 – Best Running Shoes
- Low-profile lace design
- Not great for wide feet
Want to do gym workouts and occasional runs? These are great shoes! These lightweight sneakers feel almost like a slip-on shoe: they’re comfortable and move seamlessly with your feet.
Though light, there is enough cushion on this Nike footwear to support the feet through continuous exercise. The breathable knit upper allows the feet plenty of freedom for movement.
The rubber soles also offer great flexibility while providing ample traction for elliptical users.
3) New Balance FuelCore Nergize V1 Cross Trainers – Best Cross-Training Shoes
- Can accommodate wide feet
- Limited color options
- All-white option stains easily
Those who do multiple types of workouts will get a real bang for their buck with these trainers. They excel with elliptical use, providing good traction, comfort, and breathability.
Additionally, if most options are too narrow for your feet, this New Balance pair has roomy toe boxes that allow you to enjoy your time on the machine better.
4) Reebok Print Run 3.0 – Best Support
- Cozy and supportive
- Offers different prints
- Not great for wide feet
These Reebok Print Run 3.0 trainers are a great option for those starting out on the elliptical because they are extra comfortable and supportive and have excellent traction.
This pair boasts 3D foam dual-density midsoles, which is to say it provides great support for the arch, heels, and balls of your feet. Pedaling is amazingly comfortable in these, in my experience.
Staying on the machine is also effortless, thanks to its carbon rubber trim outsoles.
5) Under Armour Charged Assert 9 – Best Cushioning
- Impressive cushioning
- Steps feel energized and bouncy
- Some users experience blisters on their ankles
This Under Armour pair uses what they call “Charged Cushioning” for its midsoles (made from compression molded foam) that put a spring in your step, encouraging great movement.
Boosting and energizing movement gives me the feeling of a more productive workout. This footwear also features cushioned EVA foam sock liners that make each step more comfortable.
It is highly flexible with its mesh upper and lightweight rubber sole that aids user movement.
What to Look for in the Best Shoes for Elliptical Workouts
There are a few “best shoes” for elliptical training, so finding the right shoe for you is critical. Here are some pointers to help you make the best decision:
Choose elliptical trainers in a size that gives you a snug fit that is secure and not tight. If you have wide feet, look for trainers with ample space in their toe box for maximum comfort.
I suggest trying on your elliptical shoe before purchasing them to ensure the right fit. I find that going by measurements given when shopping online usually gives a pretty snug fit too.
Ergonomics are important, especially if your goal is to find shoes that can help you develop your skeletal muscle via elliptical training.
In terms of what I’d suggest, a good elliptical shoe should give enough arch support and not have too much weight. Any build of shoe that provides these features is a good place to start.
When it comes to style, feel free to stick to your tastes! Staying comfortable and protected through elliptical workouts is key, but pick a style you would also be excited to wear!
Type of Shoe
There are different types of athletic shoes for various types of workout sessions. There isn’t a category for “elliptical trainers,” but we know we need a few things, like enough support.
A casual walking shoe for everyday wear probably will not cut it. A running shoe or a cross-training one would work best since these shoes offer arch support, ankle support, grip, etc.
While we may want to consider based on brand or price, looking at Adidas, New Balance, and Asics when we set foot in a shoe store, it’s important to consider each pair carefully, regardless of brand.
Keeping feet comfortable for all workout sessions is very important. But for elliptical training, I recommend a flexible shoe, as mimicking your foot movement will allow you to feel more relaxed.
Apart from this, when you are on the elliptical machine, flexible footwear can more evenly distribute the shock from movements than a stiff shoe, so there are fewer chances for injury.
You will find that the usual elliptical trainer will use breathable mesh material. This is because a mesh upper is good at keeping the feet cool and reducing sweat buildup.
That’s not to say that you should only get shoes with a mesh upper for elliptical workouts, but that your footwear of choice should ideally be able to keep your feet cool for the best comfort.
Though your shoes do not need to absorb shock much when on elliptical machines, enough cushioning is still essential for the exercise as your knees and joints need stable and supportive shoes.
Try to look into trainers that have cushioned midsoles or a midfoot saddle. If the one you like doesn’t feature either, check to see if it can accommodate a replacement for better shock absorption.
In my opinion, this is an essential element in picking the best shoes for elliptical training. Machine pedals are NOT flat, so unsuitable soles tend to slide off, which isn’t secure or safe.
Keeping your foot stable on the pedal is crucial. For that, a rubber sole, a flexible sole with a terrific grip, is something I recommend. Synthetic soles are also commonly used for elliptical.
Lightweight shoes are advisable for use when stepping on the machine, but be careful of choosing one that is too lightweight, as these shoes often do not offer a good deal of support.
For example, a shoe with a mesh upper and rubber sole (both great for an elliptical) will likely not be heavy, but be sure that it is sturdy and has ample cushioning.
As I mentioned earlier, you want something more on the lightweight side. Avoid clunky materials like leather. There is synthetic material on footwear that can be heavy too.
Go for something with a breathable material on the upper, a natural rubber outsole, and sufficient cushioning. There are also shoes with a memory foam insole for those who want more comfort.
Closure types are not the deciding factor for the best shoes, so you have a lot of room to choose if you prefer laced shoes, velcro seals, or slip-on. Any type of closure will work here.
As long as your feet are encased securely inside stable shoes, you should be good on the machine. Ensure the fit is snug, so they don’t slide off or wobble around in use.
When looking for the best shoes for the machine, remember that good elliptical shoes offer good cushioning, traction, and breathability.
Reading reviews can give you a good idea of how each shoe performs in these regards.
There are plenty of high-quality shoes that are not for the elliptical, or at least not for your specific concerns (e.g., wide feet, pronation, etc.), so reading reviews can be helpful.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here’s some more helpful information on elliptical training before you buy shoes:
Do You Need to Wear Special Shoes When Using an Elliptical Machine?
There is no special category for an elliptical shoe, just outdoor or workout shoes that play well with elliptical pedals. I recommend using these over walking shoes which lack proper support.
Generally, footwear made for cross-training or running will work best. You want something lightweight enough, adequately cushioned, and with enough flexibility and breathability.
Can I Wear Running Shoes for Elliptical Training?
Most running shoes can work well enough on elliptical machines as they have good arch and overall support. They are comfortable with the movements required by the machine.
However, if you want more versatile shoes, cross-trainers may be better suited as these have better support for your ankles. Still, a running shoe is not at all a bad option for an elliptical.
How Do I Keep My Feet From Hurting on the Elliptical?
You should wear the right footwear to prevent injuries as much as possible. The wrong shoes will have you enduring discomfort or even pain while doing workouts on the machine.
This means wearing shoes with the right fit, support, cushioning, and traction. You should also ensure that your form and posture are correct to avoid unnecessary discomfort or pain.
Is Elliptical Good Cardio for Belly Fat?
Proper use of an elliptical machine provides good aerobic exercise, meaning it can up your heart and help with burning calories and losing body fat. Belly fat is not specifically targeted.
This workout will require movement from the upper and lower body, helping give users an overall tone and definition. It can help eliminate belly fat, but it is not an isolated workout.
When losing body fat, rowing can be comparable to elliptical exercise. Read up on the difference between rowing and elliptical to compare the two.
What Kind of Clothes Should I Wear When Using an Elliptical Trainer?
I recommend wearing more body-hugging pieces and stretch fabrics for your elliptical workout. You do not want clothes to get caught in the machine’s gears or drag your movements.
Just like how your footwear should be breathable, so should your workout clothes. Expect to break a sweat, so something moisture-wicking will help keep you cool and comfortable.
Summary of My Top Picks
Let’s have a quick recap of the best shoes for elliptical training:
Best Cross-Training Shoes – New Balance FuelCore Nergize V1 Cross Trainers
These New Balance shoes are my pick for those who like variety in their workouts and need wiggle room for their toes.
From the elliptical to weights, this pair will carry you through nicely.
Best Running Shoes – Nike Free 5.0
The Nike Free 5.0 is a great flexible option that naturally mimics foot movement while offering ample support.
These are lightweight and perfect for people who like their runs as well.
Best Overall Elliptical Shoes – Asics Gel-Venture 8
These shoes from Asics provide everything you need and more. Its detachable sock liner allows room for medical orthotics if you need them.
At the moment, I think this is the best pair for elliptical workouts that money can buy.
Finding the right shoes can be difficult because there are so many options. In this article, I reviewed five of the best elliptical shoes in the market that I could try.
I have also shared what you want to see when deciding which trainers to buy. The key things to look for are traction, flexibility, cushioning, and breathability.
Good luck on your elliptical journey, and stay safe!