What jumps to mind when you think about exercise? For some of us, dread and fear! For others, excitement, intensity, health, and fitness. But when we talk about fitness and exercise today, we no longer think just in terms of cardio or weightlifting. A new era is here; the era of the hybrid workout, or what is often referred to as cross training.
What is cross training?
You’ve heard the term cross training but may not be sure exactly what it means or entails. That’s OK, because there’s no one specific exercise or workout that defines cross training. In general terms, cross training includes a multitude of exercises done in a routine that works a wide range of body parts. Cross training workouts can include everything from squats, deadlifts, box jumps, rope climbs, and much more. It can also include cardio like jogging or running, as well as other practices like yoga and Pilates.
Think of cross training as a total-body, HIIT-style (High Intensity Interval Training) workout designed to stress multiple parts of the body at once, a complete full-body workout much like you see in the Marines and military.
What are training shoes?
As you can see, cross training workouts can vary dramatically and feature a wide range of exercises, from cardio to weightlifting, yoga, and more. To keep pace, you’ll need the proper workout gear and footwear.
Running shoes are constructed to offer the support runners need, as well as the cushioning to soften the impact from running on hard surfaces. A dedicated weightlifting shoe offers stability, but not necessarily the support or cushioning needed by runners.
Cross training shoes are designed to be the best of both worlds, offering versatility to perform the required jumps, squats, lifts, and other exercises associated with cross training-style workouts.
To find the right pair of cross training shoes, consider the following features.
Anyone who lifts heavy weights knows that keeping a stable base and lower body is vital. The right pair of cross training shoes can provide the proper combination of support and stability you need for lifting heavy.
Running and jumping are high-impact activities, meaning extra stress is placed on joints and muscles which can cause both short- and long-term pain without the proper pair of shoes. Look for cross trainer shoes that offer a good amount of cushioning to soften any blows you experience while running.
Fabric and Materials
Look closely at the materials and fabrics used in the shoes, as well as how they’re constructed. You want a cross trainer that is flexible, while remaining sturdy and supportive when needed.
The upper part of cross training shoes is made of lightweight, breathable materials to help keep your feet cool and dry when training.
The sole of a cross training shoe is critical in its construction, as it is the only part of the shoe that directly contacts the ground. But there are three distinct parts of the sole: the insole, midsole, and outsole.
The insole is the inside part of the shoe that your feet rest in. The midsole is where you’ll find most of the cushioning which if done properly, helps you distribute your weight evenly, perfect for balance and support.
The outsole is the part of the sole that makes direct contact with the ground as you exercise. The style of the outsole, whether flat or more rounded, can help when performing certain exercises. For example, a flatter outsole may prove beneficial for lifting heavy weights.
Here’s a term you may not have heard before, but one that can be important when choosing the right cross training shoes. The drop describes the difference in height between the heel and toe of the shoe. For instance, a 4mm drop is on the flat end, while an 8mm drop means the heel is raised, or higher, than the toe.
Running shoes usually tend toward a higher drop, as you may expect from the toe to heel gait of a runner. Conversely, a cross training shoe often tends the opposite way, or flatter on the scale. Why? To provide the stability needed from a more level, or flatter, shoe for weightlifting and HIIT workouts.
5.11 Tactical’s Best Cross Training Shoes
5.11 shoes are built for military-grade workouts, so you can count on them to be rugged, durable, and the perfect shoe for your next workout. Our 5.11 A/T Trainer features our All-Terrain Load Assistance System which is designed to help you thrive and succeed in any type of intensive workout.
The heel features extra cushioning for rugged terrain, while the outsole provides unmatched traction, support, and stability to help keep you going in the harshest environments. This lightweight and ultra-breathable training shoe comes in a wide range of colors and sizes. It could very well be your next favorite piece of workout equipment!