Best Cross Training Shoes for Bad Knees

7 Best Cross Training Shoes for Bad Knees 2022

During cross training, your knees are susceptible to pain due to the physical activity involved. Best Cross Training Shoes for Bad KneesBut you can minimise the risk of knee pain by wearing the correct shoes. So, which are the best cross training shoes for bad knees.

The best cross training shoes for pain-free knees should be well cushioned and offer support for your feet. Below is a review of the best shoes you can use during cross training.

Related: Best Cross Training Shoes for Supination 

Reviews: 7 Best Cross Training Shoes for Bad Knees 2022

1. Nike Air Max Men’s Alpha Trainer – Cross Trainer

Alpha Trainer has received a lot of praise in terms of its functionality, comfort, fit and style. Yet it’s made of durable materials to deliver value for money.

Nike Air Max Men’s Alpha Trainer – Cross Trainer

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The name air max emanates from the air bags place on the heel of this cross trainer. The purpose of this is to deliver a lightweight and responsive underfoot platform. Thus your feet are protected from the repeated impact shocks you get during cross training.

The removable foam insole adds to your underfoot cushioning to increase your comfort. You can substitute with insoles of your choice depending on your foot arches.

A durable and grippy rubber serves as the outsole. Together with the multidirectional serrations, this material offers reliable traction especially on hard surfaces.

The upper of Alpha Trainer features an engineered mesh designed to offer a snug fit and ventilation. It’s reinforced with overlays at areas most susceptible to wear and tear. There’s enough padding on the tongue and collar to ensure you get a snug fit.

What’s more, the interior is lined with a sleeve which prevents rubbing and moisture build-up.

  • Excellent fit
  • Comfortable wear
  • Appealing style
  • Durable construction
  • Ample cushioning
  • None

2. PUMA FM Tazon 6 Cross Trainer

Although Tazon 6 FM features a somewhat low-profile midsole, it’s equipped with the cushioning needed to alleviate or prevent knee pain. A heel pod made of EVA foam provides a base for soft landing and shock attenuation. In addition, there’s a plush sock liner which adds extra cushioning.

PUMA FM Tazon 6 Cross Trainer

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Tazon 6 FM also features a shank to increase the durability of the midsole and keep your feet steady during your cross training.

With the sticky rubber on the outsole, there’s guaranteed traction to prevent sliding or skidding. This rubber also entails multi-directional indentations to increase traction especially on rough surfaces such as asphalt or concrete. Plus the rubber has good resistivity to abrasion which prolongs the shoe’s life.

Like many puma fitness shoes, Tazon 6 FM comes with a synthetic leather on its upper. This guarantees users great support while ensuring durability. At the midfoot is a stitched saddle to lock your foot securely.

Inshoe ventilation is provided by the perforations on the forefoot and the side. Thus the inside of the shoe won’t accumulate excessive moisture during your workouts.

  • Soft cushioning
  • Perfect foot lockdown
  • Supportive
  • Durable and responsive heel platform
  • Ideal for weightlifting and outdoor cross training
  • A bit stiff for high impact workouts

3. Under-Armour (Charged) Commit 2

Like most Under Armour workout shoes, Commit 2 features a charged midsole cushioning. This technology delivers a very comfortable cushioning which is necessary during the various forms of cross training. Its responsiveness makes your workouts less tiresome and free from injuries such as knee pain.

Under-Armour (Charged) Commit 2

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The sockliner mimics your foot shape and it’s well-padded for added underfoot comfort and support. Plus it prevents moisture accumulation especially if your feet are prone to sweating.

A grippy rubber serves as the material for outsole. It offers protection from sliding and also creates resistance against abrasion. Plus there’re numerous indentations on the outsole to enhance traction.

Most of the upper unit is covered with synthetic leather to offer a secure fit for your heels, midfoot and the ankles. The rest is covered ArmourVent mesh to ensure ample ventilation to your feet.

What’s more, your rearfoot is reinforced with a heel counter to keep your feet stable inside the shoe.

  • Supportive
  • Ample cushioning
  • Good stability
  • Lightweight
  • Appealing colors
  • None

4. Nike Varsity Men’s Compete Trainer – Best for HIIT

You can use Compete Trainer in indoor and outdoor cross training. Despite its low profile configuration, this cross trainer provides a comfortable and supportive platform under your feet, thanks to the EVA foam at its midsole. It helps in mitigating the effects of impact shocks which might otherwise cause knee pain.

Nike Varsity Men’s Compete Trainer – Best for HIIT

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The solid rubber on the outsole provides a reliable protection for your feet and the upper mesh. Plus it offers the means for traction to prevent instances of sliding or skidding. It’s also generously indented with multidirectional patterns to heighten its traction on both outdoor and indoor surfaces.

The upper unit employs a breathable mesh to allow adequate ventilation in the foot compartment. It’s also flexible to permit movement of the foot without restriction. The low-cut design on this unit ensures you ankles have unrestricted movement especially when your workouts involve numerous range of motions.

What’s more, synthetic overlays cover high-wear parts to protect the mesh from ripping off.

  • Ideal for outdoor and indoor workouts
  • Supportive and comfortable
  • Sturdy
  • Breathable
  • May slide on wet surfaces

5. New Balance – Men’s 608 v5

You can’t go wrong with this cross training shoe. Now in its fifth edition this shoe will go a long way keep your feet and knees free from injuries. Though the shoe looks bulky, it’s is made with lightweight materials to avoid burdening your feet.

New Balance - Men’s 608 v5

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The entire midsole is covered with a durable and lightweight foam which delivers comfort and support. The heel area is made to be more comfortable and responsive with an additional cushion known as Abzorb.

In addition, the midsole has flange-like edges at the heel and forefoot to provide lateral support for your feet. Extra support and stability comes from the outsole which appears to protrude outwards especially at the heel.

Underneath the midsole is a sturdy rubber which acts as the outsole. Not only does it provide protection for your feet and midsole but it also delivers excellent traction to prevent sliding or skidding. It’s also equipped with treads to increase the gripping ability.

Suede leather makes the upper unit to provide a very secure cover for your feet. The heel and toe area are further supported by leather overlays. Inshoe ventilation is provided by the numerous perforations located conveniently on the upper unit.

  • Excellent support
  • Provides comfortable landing
  • Impressive durability
  • Secure traction
  • Good for gym and outdoor workouts
  • Minimal flexibility

6. Skechers Advantage 3.0 Flex – Stally

If your workouts requires a lot of foot movement, then you require a flexible shoe like Flex Advantage 3.0. The midsole, outsole and the upper unit of this shoe are made with flexible materials to permit natural and unrestricted foot movement.

Skechers Advantage 3.0 Flex - Stally

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At its midsole is the FlexSole compound which provides a responsive and flexible landing base for your feet. This foam provides a bouncy feel when you hit the surface to protect your feet from the landing impact. There’s also a well-padded insole to add to the midsole comfort.

The foam on the midsole extends to form part of the outsole unit. The forefoot and heel of the outsole is covered with a rubber compound to provide a means for breaking and lessen wear and tear. The patterns on the outsole enhance traction while increasing flexibility.

A woven fabric covers the upper unit with the forefoot having bigger spaces to allow air circulation. The weaving is tighter at the heel and midfoot so as to provide better support to these parts. Moreover, this is further reinforced with stretchy side cords and heel overlays.

The resulting cover on your feet is flexible enough to allow unrestricted movement.

Other components which enhance your comfort include the padded collar and tongue.

  • Comfortable
  • Flexible build
  • Stylish
  • Can be used as casual wear
  • Little arch support

7. Nike TR 8 Free Men’s Cross Trainer

If what you’re looking for is a versatile gear for various cross training workouts, then Free TR 8 from Nike can be a good option. It’s an ideal cross trainer for weightlifting, jogging, cardio dance, treadmill, HIIT and so on.

Nike TR 8 Free Men’s Cross Trainer

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Underfoot cushioning results from the soft foam which is placed at the midsole. It’s purposely designed to deliver comfort and absorb impact shocks whenever your feet strike the surface. The raised flanges on this platform help in supporting your feet to enhance stability.

Providing surface grip is the rubber foam featured on the outsole. This material has high resistance wear and tear which makes the shoe to survive for long. Plus it’s equipped with grooves or indentations to increase flexibility and grip.

Your feet are covered and secured from hazards by a breathable mesh. But it also allows sufficient flexibility which is necessary during most of the cross training workouts. The upper is also configured to provide lateral support to upper part of the foot.

  • Provides lateral support
  • Comfortable landing platform
  • Flexible
  • Ideal for numerous workouts
  • Breathable
  • Back collar is too high

How to Choose the Best Cross Training Shoes for Bad Knees

Persistent knee pain might side-line you from running, cross training or other activity. People who have collapsed foot arches are more likely to experience knee pain because of the tendency of their feet to roll inwards.

However, you can avoid and minimize knee pain by wearing the most appropriate shoes for your foot type. If you’re experiencing knee pain, then here are the factors to consider in your cross training shoes.

1. Underfoot Cushioning and Responsiveness

One of the causes of bad knees is inadequate cushioning in your cross training shoes. This is especially true when you’re involved in high-impact workouts like plyometrics, burpees, squat jumps, running and so on.

Therefore, consider well-cushioned trainers for high-impact workouts so as to minimize impacts on your knee joints.

2. Arch Support

If you have collapsed foot arches, there’s a tendency of your feet to roll inwards excessively. Usually referred to as overpronation, this causes misalignment of your lower body appendages. As such you may experience pain on the foot, ankles, knees, and lower back.

The remedy for overpronation is wearing arch supporting shoes. This is raised midfoot zone which keeps the arch area supported so as to prevent excessive foot rolling.

3. Lateral Support

During side-to-side movements, your feet may exhibit excessive movements. This reduces your stability thus straining your foot, knees, ankles and lower back. Therefore, your shoes should provide adequate lateral stability so as to minimize excessive foot movements.

Shoes that are designed with a sturdy upper part are good at providing lateral stability during side-to-side movements. However, the material for the upper unit should not hinder natural foot biomechanics during workouts.

4. Flexibility

Most of the workouts requires your feet to bend without restriction. So, your shoes should be flexible enough to allow unrestricted foot movements.

5. Breathability

Regardless of the type of cross training, your shoes should promote ample air circulation and heat dissipation. This keeps your feet cool and dry thus minimizing discomforts and odor accumulation.

6. Lightweight

Your typical cross training shoes should not add a lot of weight on your feet. They should be lightweight so that you can make moves swiftly and effortlessly.


Regardless of the type of cross training you’re involved in, proper running shoes will help you avoid knee pain problems. They provide a sympathetic landing platform which takes away impacts from your knees. In addition, they support your feet to promote natural foot movements.

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