The Best 5 Shoes for Elliptical Machines 2023

Do you use the elliptical trainer at the gym? You might think that any shoes will do, but you could be wrong. Let us tell you about the best shoes for elliptical machines, and why you need them.

After all, it’s a cardio workout and you’re on your feet the whole time. This means that wearing the correct shoes is a must, so you don’t put an inadvertent strain on your body.

We detail what to look for in shoes to safely carry out this low-impact workout, and review our top 5 picks of shoes.


Here are our top 5 picks of the best shoes for elliptical machines

1. Asics Gel-Venture 6 Running Shoes

Gel in the heels of these shoes provides cushioning, and the outer soles have lugs providing good traction. They’re low top and have a removable sock liner if you need to fit your own orthotic insoles. Asics High Abrasion Rubber is placed in areas of the sole subject to high wear, making them durable.

ASICS Men's Gel-Venture 6 Black/Phantom/Mid Grey Shoe 10.5 M US
  • Rearfoot GEL Cushioning System: Attenuates shock during impact phase and allows for a smooth transition to midstance.
  • Removable Sockliner: A sockliner which can be removed to accommodate a medical orthotic.
  • Trail Specific Outsole: Reversed lugs provide uphill and downhill traction on all types of terrain.
  • AHAR Outsole: Acronym for ASICS High Abrasion Rubber. Placed in critical areas of the outsole for exceptional durability.
  • Imported

ASICS Women's Gel-Venture 6 Black/Carbon/Neon Lime Running Shoe 8.5 M US
  • Rearfoot GEL Cushioning System: Attenuates shock during impact phase and allows for a smooth transition to midstance.
  • Removable Sockliner: A sockliner which can be removed to accommodate a medical orthotic.
  • Trail Specific Outsole: Reversed lugs provide uphill and downhill traction on all types of terrain.
  • AHAR Outsole: Acronym for ASICS High Abrasion Rubber. Placed in critical areas of the outsole for exceptional durability.
  • Imported


2. Puma Tazon 6 Cross Trainer Shoes

Puma brings us synthetic leather upper shoes with a saddle in the midfoot to give support. The rubber soles have a thermoplastic polyurethane shank for stability, and EVA in the heel pod provides cushioning and shock absorption. Styles are available for men and women.

PUMA Women's TAZON 6 FM Cross Training Sneaker, Puma Black-Puma Silver-Beetroot Purple, 10
  • Midfoot saddle for maximum fit and comfort
  • EVA in the heel absobs impact. TPU shank for increased stability
  • Breathable EcoOrthoLite sockliner for optimum fit and comfort


3. Reebok Print Run 3.0 Shoes

Lightweight and stretchy, these shoes from Reebok have mesh uppers that are breathable and comfortable. The soles have dual-density construction from proprietary 3D foam compounds. There’s a carbon trim in the heel and toes for added traction.


4. New Balance Coast V4 FuelCore Shoes

New Balance offers us lightweight mesh and synthetic slip-on bootie style shoes. A no-sew material application means support without hard ridges. The insoles are designed to support your feet, and an EVA midsole provides cushioning. A blown rubber outsole has grooves for traction.

New Balance Men's FuelCore Coast V4 Running Shoe, Phantom, 11 D US
  • Removable Insert
  • Blown Rubber Outsole
  • Bootie Construction
  • Nb Response 2.0 Performance Insert
  • Synthetic/Mesh Upper

New Balance Women's FuelCore Coast V4 Running Shoe
  • Blown rubber outsole
  • Bootie construction
  • Nb response 2.0 performance insert
  • Synthetic/mesh upper


5. Nike Free RN 5.0 Running Shoes

This latest version of Nike’s Free RN running shoes is very lightweight for an almost barefoot feel. Its soles have been updated to give more flexibility while rubber pods on the forefoot and heel provide traction. The uppers are breathable mesh with stretch, and there are suede overlays to support your feet.



Reviews of the Best Sneakers for Elliptical Training

Running shoes or cross-training shoes are a good choice for using an elliptical machine. They will support your feet and help you maintain grip. Here are our top 5 picks of the best shoes for elliptical machines.

1. ASICS Gel-Venture 6 Running Shoes

ASICS is a Japanese company founded in 1949. It wasn’t until 28 years later that ASICS introduced its sports shoes and other products to the US market. They’re now a firm favorite with many.



The Gel Venture 6 comes in styles for men and women. Sizes available range from 7 to 15, and 5 to 14, respectively. Men have an extra-wide and regular option while women have a choice of wide and regular.

There’s an array of colors including blues, greens, greys, and blacks, in 26 designs for men and 27 for women.



Gel cushioning in the heels absorbs shock and provides support for your feet. You can remove the sock liner if you want to place custom orthotics in your shoes.

Patented AHAR (ASICS High Abrasion Rubber) is placed in strategic parts of the outer soles which are likely to take more wear. Reverse lugs on the sole are designed to help give traction when going up and down slopes. This is great for keeping your foot stable on an elliptical machine.

Mesh uppers allow feet to breathe, and laces secure the shoes on your feet. The arch support is neutral, and these shoes are good for supination (overpronators). There’s also a loop on the back for easy on/off.

Some find these shoes come in about a half size small, so you might need to size up.


  • Gel in the heel for cushioning and shock absorption.
  • Reverse lugs on the sole for grip.
  • AHAR to reinforce high wear areas on the sole.
  • Lightweight, breathable mesh uppers.
  • Wider widths are available.


  • Might not run true to size.
ASICS brings us a shoe with gel cushioning in the heel for shock absorption, and reverse lugs in the sole for traction. Lightweight, breathable uppers keep feet fresh, and the sock liner is removable for your own orthotics.


2. Puma Tazon 6 Cross Trainer Shoes

Puma is a European company headquartered in Germany. It has made sports shoes for many top athletes, including Usain Bolt and Boris Becker. It was founded in 1948 by Rudolf Dassler, whose brother Adolf, interestingly, at the same time founded Adidas.



The Tazon 6 cross-training shoes are available for men and women. SIzes are 6.5 to 13 for men, and 5.5 to 11 for women. There are 10 color options for men in a regular width only, while women have the choice of four colors and a regular and wide width.



Synthetic leather uppers have perforations to allow for better airflow. There’s a saddle feature midfoot for added support, comfort and a better fit.

There’s a pod in the heel which has EVA foam, and the cushioned midsole adds comfort and shock absorption. The sock liner is made from soft foam and gives a plush feel underfoot.

A thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) shank is built into the rubber sole providing stability as you move. A lugged sole gives traction to your feet.

These shoes seem to run small, and you might need to purchase a larger size than you would typically wear.


  • Saddle in the uppers for added comfort and a good fit.
  • TPU shank for stability.
  • Cushioned midsole.
  • Perforated synthetic uppers.


  • Run small and narrow.
Puma is a well-known international sports brand. The Tazon 6 comes in a range of colors and sizes for men and women. It has a synthetic upper and cushioning throughout the midsole. The outer soles have built-in stability and provide traction.


3. Reebok Print Run 3.0 Shoes

With its roots dating back to the 1890s in the UK, Reebok came to the US market in 1979. It was acquired and incorporated under the Adidas umbrella in 2005 but kept its separate identity.



These lightweight shoes have a textile upper to keep feet comfortable and allow them to breathe. They come in sizes from 7 to 14 for men and 5 to 12 for women. Colors on offer are blues, blacks, greys, and blues in 12 varieties for men, and eight for women.



The material in the forefoot of the shoes has a four-way stretch for comfort and a casual feel.

Cushioning is precisely placed throughout the foot to support the central zones. Both the outer and midsole have dual-density construction from proprietary 3D foam to help absorb shock and give more padding for your feet.

Carbon rubber has been placed in the rubber rim at the toes and heels to give traction.

These shoes might run large, so be prepared to size down.


  • Lightweight.
  • Four-way stretch in the forefoot.
  • Targeted cushioning in the midsole.
  • Grip in the outer soles.


  • Might run large.
Textile uppers with four-way stretch at the front provide comfort and breathability in these shoes. They have targeted cushioning for support, and the outer soles have added traction at the heels and toes.


4. New Balance Coast V4 FuelCore Shoes

With over 100 years of experience, New Balance is a recognized name in sports shoes. It’s known for offering comfortable footwear in a variety of widths to accommodate most feet.



These shoes are stylish and very lightweight with a synthetic mesh upper. They come in sizes 7 to 14 for men in regular, wide and extra-wide widths. Ladies can choose from sizes 5 to 12 in regular and wide.

Color selection on these shoes is great, with 25 for men and 33 for women. While the men’s are mainly blacks, greys, reds, and whites, women’s include pinks, blues, reds, greys, blacks, whites, and yellow. Finding a pair to match up with your latest gym clothes should be a breeze.



A bootie construction fits snugly and lets you slip them on and off easily. Laces are there to secure the fit. The design of the shoe is “no-sew” meaning there aren’t seams to dig into your feet.

Proprietary FuelCore combines with different foam densities to cushion your feet and add a spring to your step. A performance insert offers support and padding.

The sole has traction and is made from blown rubber making it lightweight. A heel-to-forefoot drop on these shoes is about 8mm.

It’s worth noting the tongue on these shoes is attached, so you might have difficulty getting them on if you have a high instep.


  • Very lightweight.
  • Varied color selection.
  • No-sew bootie construction.
  • Cushioning from different foam densities.


  • Might be hard for those with high insteps to get on.
A synthetic mesh upper, supportive insole, cushioned midsole, and rubber outsoles make these shoes comfortable and lightweight. There’s a choice of widths and colors for men and women.


5. Nike Free RN 5.0 Running Shoes

Nike brings us a natural motion shoe with a barefoot feel. The lightweight, stretch uppers are designed to fit your feet like a glove fits your hand, snug and comfortable.


The shoes come in styles for men and women, with sizes ranging from 7 to 15, and 5 to 12 respectively. Colorways on offer for men include obsidian mist with metallic silver, grey, black, white and crimson. For women, there’s white, black, and blue with hyper pink, wolf grey and white with platinum.



The mesh uppers move with your feet and have synthetic suede overlays to provide support and stability. They have an asymmetrical lacing system that places the lace at the side of your foot relieving pressure on your instep. A bootie design with an integrated tongue gives a seamless fit.

Low-density rubber foam soles have grooves from heel-to-toe, allowing them to be flexible in all directions. There are rubber pods placed on the heel and forefoot to provide traction.

There’s no heel counter, but your foot remains locked down. The offset on these shoes is 6mm.

The suede accents on the uppers could get dirty quickly. There’s also no hook on the heel to help pull the shoes on.


  • Lightweight “barefoot” feel.
  • Asymmetrical lacing system to relieve pressure on your instep.
  • Flexible soles.
  • Rubber pods at the heel and toe for traction.


  • Suede accents might mark easily.
  • No tab to pull the shoes on.
These are natural-motion shoes designed to give a barefoot feel. Their mesh uppers stretch and have suede accents for support. The low-density foam rubber soles are flexible with added pads for traction at the heels and toes.


What Are the Benefits of Using an Elliptical Machine for Exercise?

Some might view elliptical machines as a less active form of exercise compared to a treadmill or a bike. They’re however great for a low-impact aerobic workout for the whole body. Here are some of the benefits they offer:

  • Low impact: The elliptical motion mimics that of running without placing additional strain and stress on your back and joints. There are no jolts to your legs and body as your feet don’t leave the pedals.
  • Natural motion: This machine helps you follow the natural path intended for your feet, legs, and hips when running, jogging, or walking. Some even have pedals that move and adapt to your natural stride — your feet remain in place, and the pedal angles itself as you move.
  • Workout for the whole body: Sometimes called a cross trainer, this machine allows you to use your arms and legs at the same time. This exercises various muscle groups in your body.
  • Programmable workouts: Like many other exercise machines, ellipticals can be set to provide you with varied workouts. You can alternate the resistance they offer or mimic hill climbing. Some also track your heart rate, letting you work at an optimum level.
  • Burns calories: Working your whole body increases energy expenditure, which means more calories burned. An elliptical machine might give you the impression that you aren’t working hard when you are — this perception leads to you exercising harder than you think.

This video from Livestrong shows you how to use an elliptical trainer.


What Type of Shoes Are Best for Elliptical Training?

If you think about the way your body moves on an elliptical trainer, it’s consistent with your natural gait. Therefore, it makes sense that shoes designed for these activities will support and cushion your feet in the right way for this machine.

So while there are no shoes specifically designed for ellipticals, running shoes or cross trainers would make good choices.

These are designed to support and cushion feet through the same range of motion as an elliptical workout.


Features to Look for in the Best Shoes for Elliptical

When choosing shoes for training on an elliptical machine, you want to make sure your feet are going to be comfortable and supported. Here are some features to look for:

  • Flexible, breathable uppers: Look for materials like leather or mesh, which will allow your feet to breathe and stay fresh. These will also be flexible so your feet stay comfortable.
  • Traction: A rubber outsole with added grooves or other details for traction will mean your feet remain firmly seated in the pedals. Look for additional pods or grip in the toes and heels. Pods in high-wear areas are also a bonus as this will make the shoes durable.
  • Flexibility in the soles: Firm soles that don’t allow for a lot of movement in your feet might cause your ankles or knees to ache. Look for a sole which will move and bend with your feet.
  • Cushioning: The more comfortable your feet are, there’s a higher chance you’ll exercise for longer. Look for cushioning from either an EVA midsole or padded insole. Gel is another material often used in the soles for added comfort.
  • Stability: You want your feet to be supported and stay inside your shoes. Look for stability features in the uppers like leather or suede accents. Check for shanks added into the soles.
  • Seamfree linings: No-sew or one-piece construction will mean no hard ridges from stitching to aggravate your feet.
  • Secure fastenings: Whether from laces or hook-and-loop fasteners, you want your shoes secured on your feet. Remember not to over-tighten them, which can restrict circulation.


Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Wear Shoes on Elliptical?

Elliptical training offers a low-impact workout, but there are still some stresses and strains on your body. Therefore it’s important to keep yourself supported correctly. Wearing shoes for elliptical training will cushion and support your feet the same way they would on a treadmill, or walking or running outside.

This is especially the case if you have any foot issues like supination or overpronation. The right shoes can help correct this and make sure your feet and body stay aligned while exercising.

If you want a barefoot feel, some shoes will support your feet and give you this feeling of freedom.


Why Do My Toes Go Numb on the Elliptical Machine?

The main reason your toes go numb when using an elliptical is keeping your feet in a stationary position. This results in additional pressure being placed on the nerve endings. It’s much the same as your leg going numb when you sit cross-legged, or with one leg under the other.

To encourage blood flow and help prevent this happening, you can pedal backward every so often to relieve the pressure. Wiggling your toes occasionally can also help.

This video explains changing the direction on an elliptical machine.

Other factors that come into play are your shoes, and how tightly they’re fastened. Make sure you wear shoes with good cushioning that fit you well and don’t over-tighten them.


What Muscles Are Exercised on an Elliptical?

The elliptical trainer mainly targets the muscles in your lower body — the quads, glutes, calves, and hamstrings. When you engage your arms with the attached ski-style poles, then your upper body gets a workout as well. This targets your biceps and triceps.

Then comes your back, abs, and core. Correct posture while working out on this machine works these parts of your body to keep you upright.


Get Stepping

Having comfortable feet is key to optimizing your workout on an elliptical trainer. To help with this, you need shoes that are supportive, cushioned, have traction and flexibility. Choosing the best shoes for elliptical machines will enhance the quality of your workout, keeping your legs, ankles, and feet stable.

The shoes we’ve detailed will all be good for the job in hand. The ones you choose will depend on your personal preference for style and color and getting the right size for your feet.

We hope you found our guide informative and enjoyed reading it. Let us know how you get on with the shoes you choose; we would love to hear from you — and please share so other elliptical users can benefit.


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