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Cross training shoes can be difficult to shop for, especially if you’re not sure where to start. If you regularly engage in multiple different fitness activities, you want shoes that are versatile enough to support you. Luckily, there are some shoes specifically designed to carry you through every exercise at the gym. They can help with power lifting, rope climbing, stretches, and gymnastics.

Two of the top cross training models on the market are the Nobull Trainer and the Nike Metcon 3. Each has a variety of potential advantages and disadvantages. The best one for you really depends on what kind of fitness activities you’re engaging in and what you prioritize most in the construction of a shoe.

FeatureMesh CablesRubber OutsoleProtective Upper
#1. Nobull
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#2. Metcon

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#1. Nobull

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When you’re comparing different brands, one of the standard cross training shoes to consider is the Nobull Trainer. This shoe has an upper that’s made completely out of a material similar to mesh. However, rather than being true mesh, the material is crafted from the SuperFabric cover that Nobull has patented.

The SuperFabric cover is used to provide optimal protection for your feet, which is ideal when you’re engaging in fitness training and lifting heavy weights. In addition, the material is durable enough to avoid wearing down when you climb ropes or otherwise engage in high-friction activities. Since the shoes are completely woven rather than paneled, there aren’t any seams that might break apart.

The tongue is made from lightweight mesh that increases the overall breathability. The extended outsole allows you to plant your feet and gain extra stability during different exercises. Rather than using a stable heel cup like many other cross training shoes, the Nobull Trainer is designed with a heel that’s slightly higher than that of the competition. This allows for greater lift support. In addition, the outer sole has a metal divot that makes rope climbing easier.

The durable outsole wraps entirely around the shoe, and the tongue is crafted from microsuede mesh. You get the typical level of stability that you’ll want from cross training shoes. The shoelace eyelets are enclosed by metal rings, and there are two lace pairs available for the shoes. Despite the lack of heel cup, the slightly raised heel allows for a stable stance.

When compared to other cross training shoes, the Nobull does tend to be on the more expensive side. Some other manufacturers may create shoes with similar features at lower price points. However, they don’t have the same woven durability that the Nobull’s fabric material boasts.

#2. Nike Metcon 3

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The Metcon 3 is the latest in a series of multipurpose athletic shoes from Nike. A few different characteristics set the construction apart. Rather than being created from traditional fabric, the shoe is made out of cables that function similarly to mesh. This allows for a greater degree of durability and flexibility than you can get with traditional fabric. The shoe also features a complete rubber outsole, which covers the entire bottom of the design to offer increased traction.

The heel of the shoe is made out of TPU. This is a resilient and durable material that many manufacturers use in their lifting shoes. TPU is best known for being stable and resistant to abrasion, so you don’t have to worry about prolonged friction exposure.

In addition, like many of the cross training shoes on the market, the Metcon 3 comes with a plastic heel cup. This cup cradles the heel when you take a lifting stance, and it also helps to keep your feet from sliding across the ground if you’re engaged in other fitness activities. Whether you’re lifting weights or doing gymnastics, the heel cup has you covered.

For fitness athletes who prefer to engage in all areas of the gym, the Metcon 3 has multiple features that make it extremely versatile. The tough TPU rubber sole gives you strength and traction when engaging in power and strength movements. Another ideal piece of the design is the wrapping of the bottom layer of TPU. Rather than stopping at the sides of the shoe, the outsole encases the shoe instead to provide grip on all sides. There’s also a divot to help with rope climbing.

The shoe’s upper is made of a combination of thermal and mesh fabric. The lightweight fabric is fairly easy to maneuver, and the shoe tends to conform to the shape of your foot. As for security, the Metcon 3 gives you the same level of security that you’d hope to find in fitness shoes. There’s a reinforced string threaded into the shoe eyelets, which reduces the stress and prevents stretching of the holes.

The Metcon 3 can often be found for a lower price than the Nobull Trainer, but it’s not the cheapest cross training shoe on the market. If you’re shopping on a budget, you might want to compare a few other pairs of shoes at a lower price point.

Final Thoughts

In terms of versatility and overall design, the Metcon 3 tends to come out on top. The wrapped outsole gives it superior grip and traction on all sides, and the materials tend to be durable. In addition, the heel cup offers reassuring stability when you’re engaged in power lifting exercise.

The Nobull Trainer is also a high quality cross training shoe. If your main priority is durability and flexibility, then the Nobull comes out on top. The unique woven mesh fabric tends to be more comfortable and to conform more easily to your foot than other shoes. In addition, the materials are more resistant to wear-and-tear since there aren’t any seams in the upper.

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