What are Cross-Training Shoes?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

Cross-training shoes, which are also sometimes called "x-training shoes," are athletic shoes that are intended to be worn during various types of exercise and sports activities. These are often considered to be good all-purpose shoes for people who enjoy a variety of sports and fitness activities. A person who plays tennis, enjoys walking, and also uses an elliptical machine at the gym, might be a perfect candidate for cross-training shoes. Someone who needs shoes for just one specific activity, such as running, might do better to choose a pair of shoes that is designed with that activity in mind. Most athletic shoe companies carry cross training shoes in their product lines.

Keeping the feet dry help to keep them healthy and fungus free.
Keeping the feet dry help to keep them healthy and fungus free.

People who take part in aerobics classes or lift weights can benefit from the stability that cross-training shoes offer. Running shoes and walking shoes are designed to support forward motion. Shoes for cross-training help with overall stability and also help to support the feet and ankles when the wearer is performing lateral movements. This also means that cross-training shoes can be worn by people who are looking for overall improved stability and balance.

People who take aerobics classes can benefit from investing in cross-training shoes.
People who take aerobics classes can benefit from investing in cross-training shoes.

An important feature in cross-training shoes is traction. Most of these shoes are made with soles that offer the wearer maximum traction. This is because the designers of these kinds of shoes know that the people who wear the shoes may wear them outside in wet or snowy conditions. Without good traction, the wearer could slip, fall, and become injured.

Cross-training shoes may be a good option for people who play tennis in addition to other sports.
Cross-training shoes may be a good option for people who play tennis in addition to other sports.

The upper parts of the shoes and the interiors are usually made with breathable material for the same reason; designers know that the wearer's feet may become damp due to sweat or outdoor conditions. Breathable material helps to keep the feet as dry as possible. This is important because keeping the feet dry is an important step in keeping the feet healthy and free of fungus. Furthermore, this feature helps to keep the wearer as comfortable as possible.

Most athletic shoe companies carry cross training shoes in their product lines.
Most athletic shoe companies carry cross training shoes in their product lines.

When choosing between cross-training shoes, it is important to find a shoe that is comfortable and is also a very good fit. If the shoe does not fit the foot well, then all of the engineering that has gone into the design of the shoe is for naught. Be sure to try on a number of pairs of cross-training shoes and walk around in them in the store before making a purchase.

Improved balance may be one goal of cross training.
Improved balance may be one goal of cross training.
Hiking, running or doing other physical activity without the proper footwear may lead to an increase in injuries.
Hiking, running or doing other physical activity without the proper footwear may lead to an increase in injuries.
Cross-training shoes may be designed to include support for runners.
Cross-training shoes may be designed to include support for runners.
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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