A good friend of mine recently decided to jump on the HIIT (stands for High Intensity Interval Training) wagon. Knowing that I run this blog and have plenty of experiences buying cross training shoes, she asked me to help her pick up a pair of good HIIT shoes for her workouts. I did a lot of research and eventually handed a few choices to her. Since all the work has been done, I thought it will be a waste not to put out some of the information here so you can use them as reference for your own buying of hiit training shoes.
Best type of shoes for HIIT training
The first thing to note before buying shoes for HIIT workouts is to know what you should be looking for out. Depends to the demands on the HIIT programme, the kind of support your shoes should provide is different from traditional running shoes. The latter places more emphasis on the heel and sole support since there is where most of the impact will happen. For HIIT, the stress will likely come from the jumping and the lateral movements so your shoes should be able to absorb or reduce
Below are what I feel are important factors to consider when you are doing your shopping:
- Lateral support: Due to the many side movements being used during the training, you need a shoe that provides solid lateral support avoid ankle sprains or slippage.
- Minimal cushioning: The quick pacing of HIIT workouts means you don’t want a shoe with a chunky cushioning to hold you back. The minimal heel lift also ensures you wouldn’t put too much pressure on the front of your toes when doing the intensive workouts.
- Light weight: Lastly, you want a pair that feels on your feet during those fast workouts.
Best men and womens HIIT shoes
Based on the above criteria, here are some options that I think will make a wonderful pair of HIIT training shoes.
New Balance 4mm drop shoes for women
(Updated: 5 May 2016 – The WX20v3 has been replaced by the WX20v4 which retains many of the benefits described below. To see the shoe, click on the link above)
There are a couple of features that I really liked about this shoe. First of all, the design is really beautiful, especially the colors. Upon wearing it, it feels very light and fits well like a glove. The WX20v3 is a minimalist shoe, meaning it has a low toe to heel drop. In this case, it is around 4mm. If you always been wearing heavily cushioned or padded cross trainers, you might want to take it when wearing this for the first few times. Let your feet have time to adjust to the lower heel drop and over time, your balance will improve and your feet will strengthened as well.
For HIIT training, this is a great choice. The stability and the arch support minimize the impact of all those jumping on your feet and knees, thus reducing any possible discomfort after the workouts.
- Solid traction: The bottom has enough traction to ensure no slippage during the intensive workouts
- Wide toe area: For people with wide feet, this is a godsend. Not only has the toe box area has lots of room to wriggle in but the actual width of the entire shoe is wide as well. The only downside is that the design can look a bit awkward compared to regular women cross training shoes.
- Great midsole support: The shoe’s midsole support provide the additional stability for those side by side movements
- Antimicrobial treatment: No more smelly feet!
LunarElement review – Best nike hiit shoes
Next up is Nike. I decided to look through all the Nike cross training shoes and pick the one that I thought will best Nike Hiit training shoes. The Nike Lunar Element has been designed exclusively to fit the HIIT workout requirements. In this design, Nike understood the basic requirements of a good HCCI shoe and created one with the following benefits:
- Low profile: This shoe keeps your feet near to the ground by lowering the heel. This will prevent the back of your feet from having blisters due to the intensive HIIT workouts.
- Cooling: The mesh materials allows the shoe to breathe so that your feet will not be drenched in sweat.
- Extra cushioning: The LunarElement includes additional padding at the forefoot to protect our toes from the HIIT training exercises. If you been through one of these workouts, you know the forward motion can be brutal for our toes.
- Sufficient toe box: The shoe has a wide enough toe box that should accomodate most feet. It definitely will not mesh your toes together which is not ideal for a HIIT workout.
- Solid grip: The sole has a powerful grip that will prevent any accidental slippage from the workouts, which can cause some serious injuries.
Overall, the Nike Lunar element is one of most under the radar nike cross training shoes that few know about. However, it is a quality shoe that you can consider for your HIIT workouts since it is has been designed specifically for this purpose.
Adidas adipure 360.2 review
It is one of the strongest recommendation for my friend due to its many benefits. The Adidas adipure is so popular that it is already into its third version. If you want to know what are their differences, check out my article on Adipure 360.2 vs 360.3.
The reason for its popularity is that it is simply a very good cross training shoe with its adquate cushionng, solid lateral support and grip, and all around comfort and fit. It has both men and women models so either gender can pick this one up.
- Good ventilation: The shoe has a nice air flow, which means you will never get sticky and disgusting feet after the HIIT workouts.
- Comfortable with good support: The shoes have all the support in the right places and is also comfortable to wear.
- Minimal heel lift: I think the design says it all. Very minimal heel lift compared to normal running shoes.
- Great design: I like its simple but classic design. There are many color options to choose from like those above.
Reebok CrossFit Sprint
Another good model that can be consider the best shoe for HCCI training is the Reebook crossfit sprint for women.
The main reason I recommend this shoe was its flat sole which is great as a HCCI workout shoe, although not so great as a running shoe. There is a also cushioning support with strong lateral sides for those quick movements. They are also wider than normal reebok shoes so great for those who needs a wide toe box.
The only downside is the heel slippage that some reviewers have experienced during jumping. The shoes didn’t actually come out but the reviewers feel that they might.
How about HIIT running shoes?
I believe some HIIT goers will also be runners and are hoping to find a shoe that can support both HIIT training and running. However, as explained earlier, running and cross training impose stress on different parts of our feet and leg so specialised shoes tend to focus on reducing the different types of stress. A shoe that can be used for both running and cross training tend not to be the best for either. As a person who both runs and cross trains, I strongly encourage you to have different pairs of shoes for different needs.
Main differences between running and HIIT shoes
- Weight: The HIIT shoes tend to be much lighter
- Type of support: Heel vs lateral. You need the latter for HIIT training while the former for running
- Stability: HIIT workouts require a more stable shoe due to the many different jumping and cardio movements. Most running shoes can’t provide that kind of stability needed
Hope you like the picks for what I consider to be the best cross training shoe for HCCI training.