The best training shoes protect your feet from the shock of impact, and give you maximum flexibility to get your workouts done in proper form. Image Credit: Pexels/Victor Freitas

The melody of harps in the air and a breeze blowing all around me – that’s what happened when I slipped on a pair of ASICS Gel-Nimbus 24 training shoes for the first time. Pick up your pair now, with Amazon Prime, and get free, fast delivery.

Exaggeration aside, these are possibly the best pair of shoes I’ve worn, ever, for any kind of sport and exercise. And there’s a reason for their perfect fit. ASICS’ shoe technology was born out of the Research Institute for Sports Science in Japan, so a great deal of science and analysis has gone into making sure the shoes are comfortable, durable and high-performing.

The GEL-Nimbus 24, in particular, is a cloud-like ride. Whether I'm on a stationary bike or the treadmill, puffing away in HIIT training sessions, or trying to keep up in a CrossFit class, the shoes have supported me all through my workouts.

They're soft, with a lightweight upper made of 20 per cent recycled material, so there’s no fear of chafing or blisters. They’re breathable, thanks to an engineered mesh upper that wraps around the whole shoe. And they’re cushioned with ASICS’ GEL technology, and FF Blast+ cushioning system, which absorbs shock while allowing your foot flexibility of movement, as you switch from jumping jacks to a long run. So, they’re perfect for both indoors and outdoors – the gym or the track around your neighbourhood park.

Once your foot is in, it feels locked down, but in a comfortable, secure way. A word of caution to those with wider feet, though – the shoes may feel too tight around the toes, since the toe box is narrower than other ASICS shoes. You’ll find that you can select wider alternatives from the men’s collection, although women reviewers say they’ve had to order a size up for a better fit.

With a range of colours to choose from, there’s no going back, once you’ve picked up a pair of Gel-Nimbus 24.

If you’re looking for something in another style or budget, take a look at our other picks below, which still check most of the boxes on our training shoes wish list:

2. Best Cross Trainers (Women): PUMA Provoke XT W 


  • Dramatic, eye-catching design
  • Rubber traction pods in the outsole
  • Lightweight


  • Heel support may run too high in the back

There’s nothing subtle about this pair of cross trainers by PUMA. Designed with a dramatic collar shape and aggressive geometric tooling, the shoes’ silhouette is unlike anything we’ve seen before. A thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) piece – which is basically a cross between rubber and plastic – in the midfoot and heel adds stability and control during gym workouts, and the brand’s PROFOAM technology provides instant, lightweight cushioning. However, some reviewers say the heel support in the back runs a little higher than usual, and may even interfere with runs or workouts.

3. Best Cross Trainers (Men): Reebok Nanoflex TR 


  • Mesh upper for breathability
  • True to size
  • Durable


  • The shoes could use more cushioning, reviewers say

No matter how intense your training sessions get, Reebok’s Nanoflex TR shoes will see you through till the end. Designed for men who are used to tough workouts, these shoes have a strong, durable mesh upper and flex grooves in the rubber outsole for maximum flexibility. Reviewers recommend them for weight lifting, HIIT (high intensity interval training) and training sessions at the gym, but say the shoes are not ideal for running, since they feel restrictive and don't offer the cushioned support needed for long, sustained exercise.

4. Best for Versatility: Skechers Ultra Flex Fitness Shoes 


  • Excellent cushioning
  • Easy, slip-on design
  • Machine washable
  • Eight colours to choose from


  • Fit may be too wide for some

A pair of trainers that you can wear all day, and not just at the gym, these Skechers Ultra Flex First Take shoes are ideal for both men and women who are always on the go. With a soft, woven and stretchable upper, a springy Ultra Flex midsole and a rubber traction outsole, the shoes adapt to your various exercises with ease. They stretch in all the right places and have an almost sock-like fit and feel. Reviewers say they like them so much, they’ve bought multiple pairs in different colours. If you have narrow feet, however, it’s best to try them on first, since they run a little wide.

5. Best for Comfort: New Balance Cross Trainers


  • ABZORB cushioning in midsole and heel
  • Phantom liner to reduce irritation
  • Fits wide feet comfortably


  • No arch support

When you’re in the middle of a work out, your shoes should feel like an extension of your leg – you definitely shouldn’t be distracted by scratchy fabrics or too-tight toe boxes. It’s why New Balance’s cross trainers are perfect for the gym. They prioritise comfort, thanks to their ABZORB cushioning technology – both the midsole and the heel crash pad absorb impact through a combination of cushioning and compression resistance. There’s also a polyurethane foam insert to support your feet during high-intensity training sessions – but do note that it’s flat, and doesn’t include arch support. Plus, the shoes look great. Reviewers say they love the suede and mesh upper, which offer both style, and breathable comfort as they work out.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.